Klein and Makled: Extradition à la carte

Klein and Makled: Extradition à la carte

SANTIAGO SOSA

Colombia news - extradition

Colombia has been extraditing criminals ever since the Turbay administration in the late 70s, when the war on drugs was just beginning. Marijuana got hold of Colombia in the beginning of the 70s, when Alfonso Lopez Michelsen was president, and the U.S. started its anti-drug crusade by giving assistance to the Colombian government. Lopez Michelsen’s successor, Cesar Turbay, signed the extradition treaty in 1979, which aimed to have drug dealers sent to be tried in the U.S.

Drugs were key to the U.S. security agenda and were considered to be an external threat. The solution was, therefore, to fight this scourge at the source, and in the mid-80s President Belisario Betancur succeeded in convincing the U.S. to combat not only production but also consumption. The drug problem accelerated in the 80s: marijuana was starting to be grown in the U.S. and was replaced in Colombia by cocaine, which at first was brought semi-processed from Bolivia and Peru. However, the extradition treaty was found unconstitutional in 1987, just as the problem was at its worst, and extraditions were only resumed after the new 1991 Constitution came into force.

Many argued that extradition was (and is) necessary because the Colombian judicial system is not strong enough to try drug dealers, let alone members of illegal armed groups, because many judges can be bribed or threatened. Actually, most members of illegal groups are tried in the US because of drug dealing and not because of their crimes against the Colombian people. But still, some say, this is better than impunity. Nevertheless, scholars have questioned extradition, pointing out that it doesn’t seem to be a deterrent, as trials in U.S. have not stemmed the flow of new drug dealers and members of illegal armed groups.

Now, Colombia’s extradition menu has been bolstered with two cases, which are potential diplomatic crises and have become the focus of international interest.

The first case is that of Yair Klein, an Israeli who trained Colombian paramilitary forces and who was captured in Moscow because of an Interpol request. Colombia is asking for his extradition, but the European Court on Human Rights blocked the process, and so it seems that Klein will be allowed to return to Israel. This raises two issues:

First, why is the international community intervening in the Colombian request for extradition? This is quite hypocritical because the same international community holds the Colombian government responsible for the violation of human rights. There is no coherence in this.

The court argued that the trial wasn’t fair and that if Klein were extradited to Colombia, he would be subject to torture. One argument was ex-Vice President Francisco Santos’ declaration about how Klein should rot in a Colombian jail. The ex-vice president’s action could be included in a book about the DOs and DON’Ts of Diplomacy and International Relations, in the DON’Ts section of course.

Second, Colombia is one of Israel’s main allies in the continent: The Colombian government supported Israel in several occasions in the U.N. and Israel has given Colombia a lot of technical and military assistance. The fact that an Israeli is behind the training of paramilitary forces is potentially a diplomatic crisis and it is not coherent with the Colombo-Israeli tight relation.

The second extradition in question is that of Walid Makled, a Venezuelan criminal who was captured in Cucuta this year. The Chavez administration is asking for his extradition in order to have him stand trial – but so is the U.S., on charges of drug dealing. This brings a terrible crossroads for Colombia: Where should the government send Makled? If he is sent to Venezuela, it will be a very good step in the improvement of bilateral relations, which is gaining ground in terms of border security and has already shown some results.

If he is sent to the U.S. then he is sure to be punished, while some may doubt that Venezuela’s judicial system is strong enough, just as the Colombian one is seen as weak. The other advantage would be that the long tradition of extradition to the U.S. would not be interrupted. Nevertheless, doing so could endanger relations with Venezuela.

The situation is aggravated by the fact that Makled is telling the authorities that he has links with the Venezuelan authorities. The Venezuelan version is that he is trying to save himself from being tried in his country by spreading lies and misinformation, and this will earn him a one-way ticket to the U.S. Accusations of drug dealing against the Venezuelan authorities are nothing new, and they have even extended to Bolivia, Nicaragua and Honduras (when Zelaya was in office). Some may argue that Venezuela wants him extradited in order to silence him.

Regardless of Klein being guilty or innocent and the veracity of Makled’s allegations, Colombia is in quite a situation: It is being denied an extradition, and will itself have to deny one to either the U.S. or Venezuela. Who will be served the hot plate on the menu? It may be too soon to tell and it is not an easy choice.

Although many say that extradition is not effective as a deterrent, it is still a diplomatic instrument, necessary for the well-being of international relations. The fact that a country would extradite a criminal wanted by another is proof of a healthy and friendly relationship, and it is coherent with the international system, showing that a state respects international law and is committed to building and strengthening the international society.

Perhaps we shall soon see Colombia signing extradition treaties with more states worldwide. As the illegal armed groups have links with many foreigners, the solution to their violence will also have to be framed in international terms. Only time will tell if the global community will respond with solidarity.

Santiago Sosa studies International Business at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin

The Columbian FARC and America’s Islamists–Two Sides of Same Coin

[Columbia's FARC problem cannot be resolved by military means, no matter how many neighbors are blamed and have their borders violated by the Columbian Army.  The Columbian conflict has the same roots as every other war involving US and Israeli organized and trained guerrillas, militias or paramilitary forces, the solutions to the conflicts that they have created are not military solutions.   Wherever they wage covert war in Central America, Pakistan, Lebanon, Iraq, Bosnia, Africa, or anywhere in the former Soviet Union--America's illegal, private foreign armies are the source of all current global destabilizations.

The way to peace, at this time, in any location that is under direct threat of war, is for the United States to shut-down its entire global paramilitary network.  This is the real international terrorist network, not the mythical creation called "al-Qaeda."]

Venezuela and Ecuador Resolve Differences with Colombia at Regional Summit

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/venezuela-and-ecuador-resolve-differences-with-colombia-at-regional-summit/

Original source: Venezuelanalysis.com

Mérida, March 8, 2008 (venezuelanalysis.com) – During the 20th Presidential Summit of the Río Group, held Friday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, the Ecuadorian, Colombian, and Venezuelan heads of state reached an agreement that effectively cooled off the diplomatic crisis, which had raged across Latin America last week following air and land attacks by Colombian armed forces last Saturday on encampments of the Armed Revolutionary Forces of Colombia (FARC) inside Ecuadorian territory.

The declaration endorsed by the 19 member countries of the Río Group, which was created in 1986 to be a political forum for Latin American heads of state, included a rejection of the violation of Ecuadorian territorial sovereignty and an endorsement of the resolution of the Organization of American States (OAS), which had denounced Colombia’s attack on Thursday. Moreover, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe issued a formal apology to the Ecuadorian government and people and took full responsibility for the attacks.

Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa had made clear throughout the week that mere diplomatic apologies would not suffice for the resolution of this conflict, so the Río Group declaration also sealed the commitment of President Uribe to ‘not repeat’ the acts that provoked the conflict, and of all member states to respect national sovereignty and uphold peaceful coexistence in the region.

In return, President Correa agreed to receive the documentation that the Uribe administration claimed incriminated Correa for having an inappropriate relationship with the FARC.

During the summit, Uribe read the documents, which were allegedly salvaged from the wreckage of the attacks in a computer that belonged to Raúl Reyes, the FARC second in command who was killed in the assault. Correa responded by asserting that his hands ‘are not stained with blood’ and he rejected the idea that the Ecuadorian government had ‘collaborated with the FARC’.

However, Correa had made clear on Thursday that his government had been in contact with the FARC in order to negotiate the liberation of 12 hostages, including the French ex-presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt whose release is a top priority of French President Nicolás Sarkozy. French Foreign Relations Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed that his government was aware of Correa’s negotiations with the FARC.

Correa claimed that Uribe knew that the Betancourt’s liberation was being arranged for this month and accused the Colombian president of deliberately obstructing the humanitarian process by going ahead with the attacks on the previous Saturday.

The Ecuadorian president proposed to the Río Group Friday the creation of an ‘international force that controls the border that Colombia does not know how to control with its militarist policies.’

Uribe remained staunchly opposed to any such international group that would presumably be involved in the Colombia-based conflict, including the idea supported by several presidents, including Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, of forming a multi-state negotiating group to bring forth a humanitarian accord between the Colombian government and the FARC.

Also in the Summit’s final declaration was a commitment among those involved in the recent conflict to maintain the lines of communication open.

While Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega called the Colombian assault on FARC encampments ‘state terrorism,’ he nonetheless retracted his termination of diplomatic relations with the Colombian government, proclaiming that ‘the agreements reached permit Nicaragua to backtrack in its rupture of relations with Colombia.’

Ecuador’s President Correa, however, said that the restoration of diplomatic relations with Colombia ‘will take a little time,’ because ‘it will be very difficult to restore trust,’ and added that he would ‘coordinate with Venezuela and make a timeline’ and try to repair the relationship quickly.

President Chávez, who in the past week had railed against Uribe, called for heads of state at the Summit to ‘reflect, keep a cool head, because if we continue, this will continue heating up.’

Chavez argued that Uribe’s defense of the violation of Ecuador’s soveriengty represented nothing less than a ‘vindication’ of the principle that terrorism may be fought anywhere in the world, regardless of the affected country’s sovereignty. This is the same principle that led to the wars against Iraq and Afghanistan.

Responding to the Colombian government’s charge that the FARC computer’s supposedly proved Chavez’s support for the FARC, Chavez related two anecdotes of how a former president of Colombia, Ernesto Samper, and a former president of Ecuador, Hugo Banzer, both eventually apologized to him for having launched similar accusations against him at different points in his life.

Chavez reiterated that there is no military solution to the conflict in Colombia, declaring his desire to ‘move closer to the path of peace, [and] distance ourselves from the path of war,’ adding that Ecuador and Venezuela so far have ‘done everything possible’.

‘We have reached the time to detain this whirlpool in which we could end up repenting, and not only ourselves but our peoples, children and communities, for who knows how much time,’ Chávez advised the group, while reiterating that the Venezuelan government has not collaborated with the FARC.

Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Trancoso praised the positive interventions of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, whose call for ‘frank dialogue’ to reduce tensions at the summit was echoed by Uribe and several others. He also thanked Argentine President Cristina de Kirchner, Panamanian President Martín Torrijos, and President Chávez, who, he said, ‘behaved like a true pacifist.’

Morales Trancoso hailed the outcome of the Río Group as the autonomous achievement of a more united Latin America. ‘We have to remember that the Río Group is the only political forum that we Latin Americans have, [and] without the influence of anybody we have come to an agreement and resolved this big problem.’

Following the heated debates that took place over the 10-hour day, President Correa announced that ‘through dialogue, we were able to overcome a very grave conflict.’ Nonetheless, the Ecuadorian president maintained a stern demeanor upon shaking hands with Uribe at the end of the summit.

‘The problem is not solved with an embrace,’ Correa commented after making amends with Uribe, urging the Colombian President to ‘accept international mediation to resolve the problem of the FARC.’

Along with his call for peaceful dialogue, Chávez announced that he had received proof of life of 6 FARC hostages, and Venezuelan Minister of Justice and the Interior Ramón Rodríguez Chacín confirmed that the total proofs of life had been increased to 10 just before Chávez’s departure for Santo Domingo. It remains unclear when these hostages might be released, and whether they will be released unilaterally or in exchange for insurgents currently imprisoned.

On the same day, news reports accompanied by photographs allegedly recovered from the scene of last Saturday’s bombardment revealed that a group of Chilean Communist Party members had visited the FARC encampment where Raúl Reyes was killed in his pajamas by Colombian forces last Saturday.

41 year-old Manuel Olate commented that the camp was ‘pretty simple’ and meant to provide a safe space, outside of Colombia, to ‘receive people who worked for humanitarian exchange,’ as 25 year-old Valeska López put it. ‘It had wooden beds and a classroom. There was nothing that one could say was a camp for military actions,’ Olate recounted.

Aside from the declaration about the conflict with Colombia, the Río Group also ratified Haiti as the 20th member of the Río Group.

Wikileaks Reveal Ugly Truth About US “Public Diplomacy,” Betraying the People’s Trust

[The State Department's "Office of Public Diplomacy" was called "The Enterprise" by Ollie North, when he used it to put-out false information about his "Contras."  It has been an instrument of psychological warfare directed against the American people ever since then.  The other Zionist state calls its office of public lying "Hasbara."  At least they are honest about it being responsible for shaping public opinion to suit the state model.  Here at home, nothing so "ludicrous" as an American department of public lying would ever be acknowledged on any level.

Stinking liars!  If the American people had any sense they would force the closing of the US State Dept.  Hillary is not the source of all diplomatic lies, just the most recent ones. ]

WikiLeaks and the sham of “public diplomacy”

BY BEN BARBER
WikiLeaks and the sham of

AP/Dita Alangkara

As the latest WikiLeaks revelations have shown, when diplomatic cables are made public they are often far from diplomatic. In fact, they aren’t even good journalism.


It is shocking that in the hundreds of cables released in recent days, U.S. diplomats often repeat unverified rumors. If I tried to base a story on such information, my editors would routinely send it back to me with an admonition: “Get some better sources. Find someone to speak on the record. Verify some of this stuff.”

So now the State Department is rushing to mollify foreign leaders in Italy, France, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. This idle and unsubstantiated rumor-mongering by U.S. diplomats has shattered the brittle façade of official smiles we have dubbed “Public Diplomacy” — a euphemism for public affairs that some also call “propaganda.”

Propaganda is meant to persuade the public that black is white. Public affairs tells the public about the good things our government does while simply ignoring the bad things we sometimes do. Public diplomacy is a hybrid of the two — explaining policies to foreign audiences with the hope of changing minds.

Winston Churchill wrote that informing the public during wartime about progress in fighting the Nazis and defending democratic civilization is a worthy and noble task. It builds hope and prepares the public for the slow and costly battle to achieve victory over evil forces.

When Edward R. Murrow was director of the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) in 1963, he told Congress that “American traditions and the American ethic require us to be truthful, but the most important reason is that truth is the best propaganda and lies are the worst. To be persuasive we must be believable … “

However, the field of international relations that is called “public diplomacy” is a new breed of animal that emerged only in the past 15 years – since Jesse Helms, installed as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee after the 1994 elections, began pushing for the USIA to be absorbed by the State Department and shut down, something that officially happened in 1999.

Before that, the USIA was an open and accessible source of information set up in every international capital. It gave out official U.S. policy statements as well as fairly straightforward reports on U.S. culture, economics and politics. Foreign students, journalists and researchers found it easy to visit the American libraries attached to the USIA buildings, which were deliberately separate from the intimidating American embassies.

As a foreign correspondent in the 1980s and 1990s, I would go to USIA public affairs officers for information and to set up interviews with political officers. The American Libraries were a breath of fresh air in countries that either lacked freedom or were so poor that most journalists could not afford to buy its varied publications, dictionaries, encyclopedias and newspapers. In many cities, the USIA would obtain by fax or cable the top daily international stories from U.S. newspapers and provide free copies to many newspaper editors each morning — a service they could not have afforded to purchase.

These days the Internet provides free access to U.S. media and State Department statements. And anti-American terrorism in recent years has made all U.S. facilities overseas less open. Had we not shuttered our USIA offices and American Libraries, visitors would have to pass a terrifying barrier of heavily armed guards, searches and security checks as they do at embassies today.

But the abolition of the USIA has caused great harm to America’s ability to tell its story to the world. To save money and consolidate U.S. international affairs under the State Department, the 2,000-strong independent agency was abolished in 1999. Its staff was now under the control of State Department bureaucrats, forced to rein in the open, informal style of their contacts with the international and U.S. media. “Public diplomacy” was thusly born.

Some — including the conservative Heritage Foundation  — say that the lack of a quasi-independent public affairs office that knows how to speak to the international media without resorting to deliberately confusing “State speak” has crippled efforts to reach Muslims who are subject to a global barrage of anti-American Islamist propaganda.

Our diplomats have been so enamored of their fancy toy of public diplomacy they believe if they can word a policy cleverly enough other nations will swallow it, no matter who benefits. For example, one secretary of state announced her policy would be “transformational diplomacy,” which meant to the rest of the world — if you read some of its materials — that we would transform you. It was not widely swallowed.

Other senior public diplomacy officials circled the globe trying to persuade foreigners that they would happily accept U.S. leadership — if only they understood what fine people we are and what great family values we had.

Another former secretary of state gave me heartburn when she statedthat the United States was “the only indispensable nation.” This was diplomatic? So what about my friends and colleagues in Britain,Thailand, Israel, France, India and Morocco. Are we saying they are dispensable?

Every nation has created its own unique culture, language, agriculture, architecture and religion. But too often our diplomats and other government officials are forced to wear blinders and hew to the jingoistic party line that we are the best and the only indispensable nation.

When we fought as allies in World War II, we respected the contributions of our allies. When we faced down nuclear Armageddon in the Cold War, we did so with European allies in NATO. And in fighting the Islamic terrorism of recent years, our troops mixed their blood in the soil of Iraq and Afghanistan with Afghans, Iraqis, Brits, the French, Danes, Canadians and others.

We need to restore a public voice to this country that is freed from the onerous obligation of parroting American supremacy in order to satisfy domestic political imperatives. Even if we are less indispensable than other nations — due to our huge military, economy, standard of living and rule of law — real public diplomacy would know not to vaunt that status.

To counter the anti-Americanism growing not just in Muslim countries but in Latin America, it is time to treat others with greater respect and to present a more humble image around the world. We must recall the fable in which the powerful lion needed a tiny mouse to remove a thorn from his paw. We may be that limping lion. And the WikiLeaks documents show us roaring aimlessly, trafficking in unverified facts while an increasingly dubious world looks on.

Has Iran Used-Up Its Uranium?

Iran Produces First Uranium Yellowcake from Southern Mine
Iran has produced its first batch of uranium yellowcake, the raw material for enrichment, from a mine in the south of the country, atomic chief Ali Akbar Salehi said on Sunday.
“The West had counted on the possibility of us being in trouble over raw material but today we had the first batch of yellowcake from Gachin mine sent to Isfahan (conversion) facility,” Salehi said on state television.

Conversion is the process by which yellowcake is converted into uranium hexafluoride for enrichment.

The atomic chief said the new step made Iran “self-sufficient” in the entire nuclear fuel cycle as it had previously been obliged to import yellowcake from abroad but he declined to reveal the amount of the first domestically produced batch.

“We cannot cover the overall need of the Isfahan facility but we will produce a significant part of it” from the Gachin mine near the Gulf port city of Bandar Abbas, Salehi said.

He said Iran would formally notify the International Atomic Energy Agency of its yellowcake production.

The announcement came as Iran is poised to hold a new round of talks with world powers on its controversial nuclear programme in Geneva on Monday.

Uranium enrichment lies at the heart of Western concerns about Iran’s nuclear activities as the process can produce fuel for nuclear reactors or in highly extended form the fissile core of an atom bomb.

Iran denies seeking a weapons capability but has pressed on with uranium enrichment in defiance of repeated U.N. Security Council ultimatums.(AFP)


Iran searching for new domestic uranium deposits

By Ali Akbar DareiniAssociated Press Writer / August 25, 2010

TEHRAN, Iran—Iran said Wednesday it is making the search for new uranium deposits in the country a top priority now that it has started up its first in a planned network of nuclear power plants.

The head of Iran’s atomic energy agency did not explain why Iran was intensifying the exploration at home. Tehran has in the past denied its uranium stockpile was running low, as some international nuclear experts have concluded.

U.N. Security Council sanctions bar countries from selling uranium to Iran in response to its refusal to stop uranium enrichment, a process that can be used to produce fuel for power plants or material for bombs.

“The most important priority, after the Bushehr nuclear power plant, is the exploration and discovery of uranium throughout the country,” the official IRNA news agency quoted nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi as saying.

The United States and other nations have tried to persuade Iran to stop enriching uranium out of concern Tehran is seeking a pathway to weapons production under the cover of its civil nuclear power program. Iran denies such an aim and says it only wants to enrich uranium to fuel a future network of power plants.

With Russian help, Iran began loading uranium fuel into its first nuclear power plant in the southern city of Bushehr on Saturday after years of delays.

Salehi, who is also Iran’s vice president, said only one-third of the country has been explored for uranium deposits. He said the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran will carry out exploration work anywhere it detects a uranium vein.

“With the assistance of President (Mahmoud Ahmadinejad) and the allocation of a budget, we hope to survey the whole country as far as uranium exploration is concerned,” Salehi was quoted by IRNA as saying. He didn’t elaborate but said the study and exploration activities throughout Iran may take eight years.

“Anywhere there is a vein of uranium, we will enter into exploration work,” the Iranian government website quoted Salehi as saying.

International experts have said Iran’s stockpile of uranium oxide — used to make the gas that is spun through centrifuges in the enrichment process — appears to be rapidly diminishing.

Tehran still has hundreds of tons of the uranium hexafluoride gas used in the enrichment process.

The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency believes Iran’s rapidly expanding enrichment program has been built on 600 tons of uranium oxide imported from South Africa during the 1970s as part of plans by the U.S.-backed shah to build a civil nuclear power program.

The Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said last year that, based on 2008 IAEA statistics, Iran had already used up close to three-quarters of its South African supply.

Iran’s own principal source of uranium is the Saghand mine in the center of the country, which has the capacity to produce 132,000 tons (120,000 metric tons) of ore per year. Located about 300 miles (480 kilometers) south of Tehran, the mine consists of an open pit with minimal reserves and a deep mine. It has a total estimated uranium ore reserve of 1.73 million tons (1.58 million metric tons).

It also has smaller uranium deposits near the southern port city of Bandar Abbas where a mill is reportedly converting raw uranium into uranium ore concentrate known as yellowcake.

Iran announced discoveries of new uranium deposits in 2006 at three sites in the central Khoshoomi, Charchooleh and Narigan areas.

China Internet cafe blast kills 6, injures 38

[Why would anyone bomb an Internet cafe?  In the world of terrorist attacks and "false flag" terrorist attacks, the usual objective of these nuts is either to send someone a clear signal in the "dialogue of weapons," or to put a stop to some sort of activity connected to the site of the attack.  Which is the case in this Internet attack, and who author of the attack?  We can assume at this point, that it was not a false flag attack by the Chinese government, based upon the fact that there is no known record of China following this line of thinking in the past, but then, China may be following some "new thinking" in the terror war.  If China wanted that particular locus of online activity silenced, there are many other, more quiet ways to accomplish this.  But, we are left thinking,

who else but the Chinese govt.

would want to silence a nest or free-thinkers, or anti-govt. radicals?

Perfect "false flag" attack!  If evidence seems to point one conclusion, even though that is an apparent contradiction to the history leading up to that moment, then it is a suspicious anomaly, which must not be taken at face value.  This bombing in China, like other suspicious attacks in nations that have been targeted by the Evil Empire, such as in Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Pakistan, are merely devices, intended to deflect blame from the powerful people who contract the attacks, and to arouse suspicion about the possible Chinese use of terrorism upon its adversaries.

Like all of these attacks, look to the greatest source of terrorism that the human race has ever known, to find the perpetrators.  The scariest part of everything we uncover about this source of malevolence is its awesome ability to distort reality itself, so that the common man cannot begin to understand the truth about the facts that he his has seen with his own eyes.

"State terrorism" cannot possibly refer to actions of the United States, even if the attacks amounted to cold-blooded mass-murder.  [sarcasm--ed. note]  In a psychological environment where the minds of the people have been so conditioned that they cannot begin to hold the truth about the US Govt. in their minds, truth is seen as a contradiction, therefore an impossibility.  People who have been brainwashed all their lives are perfect participants in a “false flag” psychological war.

Who wanted to create the impression that this was a Chinese attack?]

 

China Internet cafe blast kills 6, injures 38

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE6B40B420101205

Firefighters investigate at the scene of an explosion at an Internet cafe in Kaili, Guizhou province December 5, 2010. REUTERS/China DailyFirefighters investigate at the scene of an explosion at an Internet cafe in Kaili, Guizhou province December 5, 2010. 

Credit: Reuters/China Daily

BEIJING | Sun Dec 5, 2010 3:02am EST

(Reuters) – Six people were killed and 38 others injured in an explosion at an Internet cafe in southwest China, state news agency Xinhua said on Sunday.

The explosion occurred late on Saturday in Kaili city in Guizhou province, Xinhua said, citing local police. It was caused by illegally stored chemicals in an adjacent room.

“The explosion and ensuing fire totally obliterated the cafe,” Xinhua said, adding that the blast also shattered the windows of nearby residential buildings.

Police have detained a man for the illegal possession of the chemicals and have taken the cafe’s boss and manager into custody for questioning, it added.

(Reporting by Sui-Lee Wee, Editing by Daniel Magnowski)

US Has Taken Over Pakistan–(if only the Pakistanis knew)

US Has Taken Over Pakistan

http://www.ahmedquraishi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/us_aid_to_pakistan_2_by_latuff2.jpg

It is a measure of the Pakistani state’s weakness that the Americans apparently have such scope and leeway to influence and direct its affairs

LONDON, UK—Pakistan was already under the American hammer before the WikiLeaks crisis blew. But leaked US diplomatic cables published by the Guardian show the extraordinary extent to which Pakistan is in danger of becoming a mere satrapy of imperial Washington.

The US assault on Pakistani sovereignty, which is how these developments are widely viewed in the country, is multipronged. At one end of the spectrum, in the sphere of “hard power”, US special forces are increasingly involved, in one way or another, in covert military operations inside Pakistan.

These troops are being used to help hunt down Taliban and al-Qaida fighters in the tribal areas and co-ordinate drone attacks, as revealed by the Guardian’s Pakistan correspondent, Declan Walsh. Their activities come in addition to previous air and ground cross-border raids; and to the quasi-permanent basing of American technicians and other personnel at the Pakistani air force base from which drone attacks are launched.

The US hand can be seen at work in Pakistan’s complex politics, with the standing and competence of President Asif Ali Zardari seemingly constantly under harsh review. At one point, the military chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, reportedly consults the US ambassador about the possibility of a coup, designed in part to stop the advance of the opposition leader, Nawaz Sharif.

At the same time, Pakistani diplomats are convinced the Americans are somehow trying to commandeer the country’s nuclear deterrent, which they see as its only real defence against India. And all this importunity is underpinned by “soft power”, by a reverse cash tribute from Washington to Islamabad, approaching $2bn a year. In a very real sense, the Americans buy their way in.

This sort of helpful meddling, or shameless intrigue, or outrageous interference – decide yourself what you want to call it – in the internal affairs of a sovereign country is supposed to have gone out of fashion with the retreat of the British empire and the end of the Raj.

But that was never true in reality, of course. All great powers intrude in pursuit of their own interests; it’s what they do – and picking up where the British left off, the US is no different. It is a measure of the Pakistani state’s weakness that the Americans apparently have such scope and leeway to influence and direct its affairs.

What is equally remarkable, however, is how little the Americans appear able, ultimately, to control their satraps. Zardari talks a good game but achieves little. Millions of US taxpayer dollars earmarked for fighting Islamist extremists allegedly disappear into government coffers, never to be seen again. Washington’s staunch Pakistani allies in the “war on terror” play both sides, maintaining their ties to friendly Taliban and the Lashkar-e-Taiba militant group while simultaneously accepting America’s largesse. Being an imperialist is never easy.

So the Americans don’t get what they want. But neither do ordinary Pakistanis. The larger point is that Pakistan is suffering grievously, in terms of lives lost to terrorism; in soldiers and civilians killed and wounded in the campaigns against Pakistani Taliban in the tribal areas; in a ravaged economy, acute poverty and lack of education; and in the all but forgotten but still terrible aftermath of this year’s floods.

Pakistan needs less foreign interference, not more. And that applies to Arab jihadi fanatics as much as it does to imperious Americans. But on current trends the opposite is happening. The clear danger, highlighted by the leaked cables, is that the west’s unwinnable war in Afghanistan is spilling over into its weak, ill-led and much put-upon neighbour – and that Pakistan, too, could become a war zone.

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010

© 2007-2010. All rights reserved. PakNationalists.com

Medvedev failed to mention Northern Caucasus–Is that Good or Bad?

Adallo: in his address to Federal Assembly Medvedev failed to mention Northern Caucasus

http://www.eng.kavkaz-uzel.ru/articles/15396/

Ali Adallo. Photo by the "Caucasian Knot"

The famous poet and public figure Adallo said in his comment on the annual address of Russian President Dmitri Medvedev to the Federal Assembly that he was surprised with its content – the President made no mentioning of Northern Caucasus. In their turn, politicians do not share this opinion, noting that the President drew public attention to all the country’s problems.

Let us remind you that yesterday, on November 30, Mr Medvedev delivered his annual message to the Russia’s Federal Assembly. This year the topic of Northern Caucasus was not included into his speech, whereas last year President Medvedev called safety in Northern Caucasus “the most serious domestic political problem” of Russia.

“Russia has many problems, but the most important, in my opinion, is Northern Caucasus. If the situation here fails to normalize, disintegration of Russia may start from here. And I’m amazed that the country’s leader said not a word about the region,” Ali Adallo told the “Caucasian Knot” correspondent.

Bellemare’s STL ‘Procedural’ Problems: Indict, Quit and Blame the System!

Bellemare’s STL ‘Procedural’ Problems: Indict, Quit and Blame the System!

By Fanklin Lamb

Exclusive to Al-Manar

Beirut

It’s unlikely, but not impossible, that Special Tribunal for Lebanon Prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare ever met,  U.S. Senator Wayne Lyman Morse (Dem. Oregon), one of three Senator’s to vote against Lyndon Johnson’s fake Gulf of Tonkin resolution that authorized the US military to bomb North Vietnam a generation ago and a  leading American legal scholar.

One can’t help thinking that Bellemare could use Morse’s  counsel on the subject of what some are calling  the Rafiq Hariri murder,  “ a Trial of the Century” while some international lawyers fear it could be a “Trial for a Century.”  Hezbollah Deputy Secretary General Sheikh Naim Qassem called the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL)’s pending indictment “an act of aggression against Hezbollah and Lebanon.” Others are calling the ITL project Israel’s 6th war against Lebanon.

Wayne Morse was the Senate’s acknowledged expert on courtroom Procedural Rights of the accused, whether in local, national, or international courts and in one famous Senate debate, the former law school Dean told his colleagues:  “ Senators,  I don’t have to remind you that without full Procedural Rights none of us have Substantive Rights in any Court of law, Local, State, National of International.”

What Wayne Morse meant of course was that the outcome of any Court or Administrative proceeding is largely  pre-determined by the  Procedures adopted by the tribunal.  And that is a major problem for those wanting the  Special Tribunal for Lebanon to represent justice and for Prosecutor Daniel Bellemare personally, who, said to be increasingly aware of the STL procedural pitfalls now reportedly wants out of what has increasingly become a farce dressed up to look like a Hall of Justice.

Prosecutor Bellemare, appears to be getting ready to heed his family’s wishes, advice of colleagues, and his own sinking feeling  about prospects for success with the Hariri case. He may be planning to do what many a Prosecutor has done with a seriously defective case that he is being forced to bring to indictment by “superiors”, even when he has serious doubts about its viability:  indict and quit and let the “system” deal with the aftermath.  Perhaps citing family or health issues “Bellemare will likely issue indictments to please the Americans and Israelis and then he may well get out of town, knowing that this case is thoroughly politicized and polarized and becomes more so every day.

According to a senior lecturer in International law at the LSE any indictment will be DOA (dead on arrival) and many at the STL realize this. The reasons include the growing doubts among STL and International lawyers regarding the scarcity of probative, relevant or material telecom data evidence to convict anyone.

State Department lawyers realized this months ago but did not calculate the growing Lebanese and now international skepticism over the path the STL is taking.  Time is running out for the indictment seekers.  Tel Aviv and Washington want the indictments out by December 15, before the STL, UN, State Department begin to shut down for the Holidays until after New Year’s.

The clock is ticking.
On 12/3/10 the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat reported on the intensifying  Saudi-Syrian efforts at a resolution while at the same time there is a widening split between US-Israel efforts on the one hand for a fast indictment and France and Saudi Arabia who was the indictment delayed.

The loose cannon of recent revelations about possible Lebanese traitors working with the US Embassy and even Lebanese governmental officials to aid Israel in  attacking Lebanon while using their positions to prevent the Lebanese Armed Forces from performing its most basic function which is  to defend Lebanon may weaken the rush to indict.

Serious questions are being raised about the future of “Embassy Beirut” from revelations contained in current and soon to be released Wilkileaks, according to a UN Senate Foreign Relations Committee staffer.

Based on phone and internet discussions with international lawyers at the London School of Economics, the International Court of Justice in the Hague, and colleagues who work in the area of Public International Law an emerging consensus is developing concerning perhaps fatal procedural issues that continue to arise at the STL.

Such problems make it unlikely that the Hariri Assassination case will ever go to trial.
Some international lawyers who have worked on international tribunals, are familiar with Rules of Procedures at the ICJ and the ICC  and are following the STL are increasingly concluding that there will not be a Trial.

The first “Procedure Rule” for the STL was adopted as urged by the US State Department for the Tribunal to be sanctioned under Chapter 7 of the UN Charter.  This allowed UN forces to enforce any ruling issued by the Tribunal with the use of maximum force it deemed necessary.

Since then a number of Procedural rules have been adopted in order to assure that Hezbollah is found to be a terrorist organization.  Among those made public to date is the decision to try those accused in absentia, a rarity in international tribunals that obviously does not allow the accused the chance to present a defense.

This was exactly Kofi Annan’s fear as he objected to elements in UNSCR 1757.
STL rules for admission of evidence, pleadings, hearsay evidence, demonstrative, circumstantial direct evidence are being broadened and to date, surprisingly  have not been effectively challenged by lawyers from the  195 UN Member States.

Some resistance from amicus curie international lawyers is starting to jell and this growing skepticism is another reason for the ‘rush to indict’ pressure from Washington, Paris and London among other locals.

International tribunals are intended for crimes against humanity, serial war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes like massacres but not for an individual case of assassination.
The claimed justification that Hariri’s assassination threatens global security is obviously baseless. Bhutto was assassinated but she never got an international tribunal nor did (former Lebanese) PM Omar Karameh who was also assassinated (in 1987) while in still in office.

If anything, the Hariri case belongs in the International Criminal Court which was established in 2002.

International lawyers are comparing the STL with the tribunal for former Yugoslavia, which is dangerous. Shortly after an indictment was issued in that case, 8000 Muslims were slaughtered in Srebrenica, under the eyes of international forces. One analyst asked “Do “they” want civil war to break out in Lebanon after the indictment? Is this their scheme?”

Among dozens of evidentiary problems are the issue of several false witness, compromised physical evidence from the crime scene, serious contradictions regarding the weapons used to assassinate PM Hariri, failure to give sufficient attention to photos and video footage from the crime scene,  or conduct autopsies of the victims, presence of residues of enriched uranium reported by doctors who examined bodies of victims,  the errors involved in the arbitrary arrest of  four generals as ‘suspects’, rush to judgment concerning the involvement of Syria, staff leaks to preferred media outlets  sloppy investigative work including the harassment of  college students on campus and women at a South Beirut gynecological clinic, failure to seriously consider evidence of Israeli involvement, among many others.

In Lebanon, the Lebanese Forces and March 14 regard the STL as more important than stability.  So does Hilary Clinton in her statement of 12/3/10.
They want the indictment to be issued so that they study it and then say if they agree to it or not. But based on what? They couldn’t decide on how to try false witnesses for six months (because obviously this will make some March 14 heads roll) so they may be incompetent on this issue as well.

On 12/3/10 the Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat reported on the intensifying Saudi-Syrian efforts at a resolution while at the same time there is a widening split between US-Israel efforts on the one hand for a fast indictment and France and Saudi Arabia who was the indictment delayed.

In addition to Bellemare’s departure, some staff and STL insiders reportedly believe that President of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, Antonio Cassese must step down given his pro-Zionist activities and his often expressed views that, the armed resistance in Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan should be tried for “terrorism”. These views are seen as corrupting the judicial process given Cassese key role in making procedural and evidentiary rulings as the case proceeds.

According to a legal analysts based at the Academy of International Law at the International Courts of Justice in the Hague, the double standards in the STL are pervasive.
One example cited was that the ITL leaked that investigators interrogated Hezbollah members, yet when asked if Israelis were ever interviewed the Prosecutors Office is mute. In point of fact, an event said to have weighed heavily on Hezbollah’s decision to stop cooperating with the STL was the line of questioning and aggressive treatment five of its members received when Hezbollah asked them two years ago to meet with STL investigators. Reportedly, most of the questions had nothing to do with the individuals as possible suspects in the Hariri murder but rather the questioning covered security issues, sought personal information about Hezbollah leaders activities,  typical work schedules,  places frequented, home addresses, those in the Party who were friends with Rafiq Hariri, cars they drove, where they purchased gasoline etc.

Reportedly two were asked about what Hezbollah thought about Rafiq Hariri. They reported that Hezbollah admired the Prime Minister Rafiq. One reason is that Hariri more than once provided political counsel, sometimes cover, and insisted that the Lebanese resistance was just that, a resistance movement and hence exempted from the UNSCR 1559 and various  calls for the Hezbollah ‘militia’ to be disarmed.

According to PM Rafiq Hariri’s wife Nazek, she could always tell when Rafiq had met with Hezbollah officials, particularly Hasan Nasrallah, because he always returned from such meetings in a good mood and energized.

The men used aids de camp to arrange meetings that only Rafiq’s immediate family knew about. Knowing that Israel had total control of Lebanon’s phone system, Rafiq Hariri would sometimes ask his interlocutor, “Do you have fruits?”, meaning, was it convenient for he and Nasrallah to meet.  If it was, Rafiq Hariri would come to Dahiyeh and visit, usually in the middle of the night.  Hezbollah’s Secretary-General once wrote that he felt that PM Hariri understood Hezbollah and understood him personally. Both came from South Lebanon villages and from families of very modest means. Both lost cherished sons. Both knew Lebanon’s position in the region and internal political configuration were not ideal and sometimes easy prey for foreign adventures. Both were good Muslims. one Sunni the other Shia, and deeply believed in dialogue and finding common ground while eschewing petty antagonism over differences in Koranic interpretation in favor of Muslim unity and respect for Lebanon’s Christian communities. Both appeared to relish their private conversations which are said to have ranged from internal, regional, and international politics, to family, Palestine, history, religion, telling each other jokes, and just ‘hanging out.’

By all accounts they respected one another and developed an abiding friendship.  Both were Patriots and despite sometimes being accused of being too cozy with this or that external politic al power centers, both viewed themselves as Lebanese, “first, last and always”.

A family member of PM Hariri remembers the Martyr Hariri saying, more than once to Nasrallah, “the day the government decides to disarm the Resistance that’s the day I quit politics.”

That there will likely not be a trial in the Hariri case assassination case is of little concern to just about everyone, except the Hariri family who seek closure and justice. Israel and the US do not need or even want a trial anymore.

Israeli Knesset member, Tzahi Hanegbi,  expressed hope on 11/10/10  that the Special Tribunal for Lebanon could open a battle with Hezbollah, amid Israeli worries of losing a golden opportunity for a direct confrontation with Hezbollah. According to Hanegbi, “It’s not important that the Lebanese who carried out the assassination be prosecuted. What’s even more important is to portray Hezbollah as a terrorist party which killed a popular and beloved leader in Lebanon.
Gabi Ashkenazi said this week that Israel is closely monitoring the repercussion of the indictment to see if they might reach the border.

An indictment will serve US-Israel projects swimmingly as the public quickly tires of this charade the one narrative that will be repeated for years will be:  “Shia Hezbollah was indicted for killing the Sunni Hariri so let’s go hang em!” Only frustrated international lawyers will be interested in the flaws in the case. The important “historic fact” will forever remain the Indictment.  When the indictments are issued everyone can go home.  Other events will likely overtake this story and it will likely fade surprisingly fast for it was never much about the murdered Prime Minister and the other 20 killed and dozens injured. It was about Hezbollah being the last bone in Israel’s throat and the necessity of seeing the Lebanese Resistance destroyed by any means possible.

Franklin Lamb is doing research in Lebanon and can be reached at fplamb@gmail.com

WASHINGTON RULES–AMERICAN HOLOCAUST

WASHINGTON RULES; AMERICAN HOLOCAUST

American bombs.

Three new books about US influence in the world have been published:

1. Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, by Andrew Bacevich.

2. How Wars End: Why We Always Fight the Last Battle, by Gideon Rose.

3. The Frugal Superpower: America’s Global Leadership in a Cash-strapped Era, by Michael Mandelbaum.

None of these books is going to enlighten you about 9 11, but they are of interest.


1. Andrew Bacevich is a professor at Boston University and a former colonel in the US army.

He opposes the USA’s militaristic, interventionist foreign policy.

His son was killed in the Iraq War.

Bacevich believes that the threat from the Soviet union was exaggerated; the Russian Empire was a place of poverty.

He believes that the Military-Industrial Complex has taken over US policy for its own financial gain.

He writes of the Vietnam War, “McNamara’s considerable analytical ability … facilitated the killing of several hundred thousand non-combatants.”Victim of American Depleted Uranium (liberty.hypermart.net/…/death_made_in_america)

2. Gideon Rose is editor of Foreign Affairs magazine.

He believes that American foreign policy “has been generally good for the United States and the world at large.”

Think of Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Rose believes America has used its armies “to carve out an ever larger ‘zone of peace’ and create a mostly benign structural context in which local, economic, social and political development could proceed”.

Rose writes of Woodrow Wilson: “He wanted to spare Germany the ravages that had befallen his beloved south after its total defeat a half-century earlier.”


3. Michael Mandelbaum is a professor at Johns Hopkins University.

He believes that the USA cannot afford more wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

He believes that, unfortunately, this will help Russia and China.

He writes that “mounting domestic economic obligations will narrow the scope of American foreign policy”.

According to Mandelbaum “One thing worse than an America that is too strong, the world will learn, is an America that is too weak.”


At the UK Financial Times, on 4 December 2010, the influentialGideon Rachman gives his comments:

FT.com / Books / Essays – What if US influence goes into retreat?

“There is no sense in Bacevich’s book that, ultimately, American power in the cold war served a moral purpose and delivered a moral end: the peaceful defeat of a dreadful Soviet dictatorship that had murdered millions of its own people and subjugated many of its neighbours.

“Because Bacevich is so alive to the follies and flaws of American policy, he does not pause to imagine the world without American power, either during the cold war or today.

“The US military presence in the Middle East and the Pacific is huge and brings many problems in its wake.

“But would either area of the world really be in a better state if the Americans simply packed up and left? I doubt it…

“If Bacevich is right, the world will be a better place if the US is forced to abandon its quasi-imperial role.

“According to Rose and Mandelbaum, much of the rest of world may come to regret the diminution of American power.”

Gideon Rachman is an FT columnist and author of ‘Zero Sum World: Power and Politics after the Crash’ (Atlantic)


What Rachman fails to mention is the American Holocaust.

The USA has been responsible for the deaths of many people in many countries.

If you add up the totals, the USA is probably responsible for the biggest holocaust of all time.

USA

“As a Native American, every time I see the American flag I feel the same way I imagine Jewish people must feel when looking at the Nazi flag.”- Rod Coronado, Native American.

IRAQ

The CIA put Saddam into power and manipulated Iraq and Iran into a war. 1.5 million Iranians may have died in the Iran-Iraq war. Then came the Desert Storm campaign, depleted uranium, UN sanctions and the latest Iraq war. Over 1 million Iraqis have died as a result of American interference in Iraq.

9 11

On 9 11, 1973, Salvador Allende, the President of Chile, was killed in an American-sponsored coup, led by General Augusto Pinochet. Pinochet’s rise to power, organised by the CIA and Henry Kissinger, began nearly twenty years of military dictatorship that led to thousands of deaths. 30,000 people were massacred in the weeks following this September 11th, as Pinochet tried to wipe out those who opposed fascism.

The Congo was given a military dictatorship thanks to the CIA assassination of Patrice Lumumba. The Congo conflict has led toat least 3 million deaths.

In Cambodia, America (and Britain) backed Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot who killed nearly 2 million Cambodians.

In 1936, the American National Guard helped Anastasio Somoza to set up a dictatorship which ruled Nicaragua for 43 years.
Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, Ecuador, Uruguay, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Haiti, Greece, Iran… All of these and more suffered from torture and death as a result of American ‘intervention.’

“I will never apologise for the United States of America – I don’t care what the facts are,” said President George Bush Sr. in 1988, when the U.S. Navy warship Vincennes shot down an Iranian commercial airliner. The plane was on a routine flight in a commercial corridor in Iranian airspace. All 290 civilians on board the aircraft were killed.

Many thousands of Afghan civilians have died as a result of U.S. led air strikes in Afghanistan.

Many Germans died after the end of World War II due to the harsh policies of the USA. A survey conducted by the German government stated that some 1.4 million German prisoners died in captivity; many of them died in American captivity.

Since the Second World War, the US government has bombed 21 countries:

China in 1945-46 and again in 1950-53,

Korea in 1950-53

In Korea, nearly 3 million civilians were murdered by the USA and its allies. Civilians were murdered at No Gun Ri and many other places. The USA supported the fascist puppet regime in South Korea. The South Korean government carried out genocide against both North and South Korean people.

Guatemala in 1954, 1960, and 1967-69

Indonesia in 1958

Up to one million innocent civilians died in Indonesia after the CIA put Suharto into power in Indonesia. At least one third of the population of East Timor died after the USA gave Suharto permission to invade that country.

The CIA’s MK ULTRA – Nazi style torture of American children

Vietnam in 1961-73

North Vietnam did not want a war. The US military-industrial complex made sure that there was a war. Through the Phoenix Program, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese were tortured to death in “interrogation centers”.

These torture centers were built by the United States. Women were always raped as part of the torture before being murdered. This terrorism, rape and mass-murder was the policy of the USA. The My Lai massacre itself was an operation of the Phoenix Program.

Up to 5 million Vietnamese were killed in the Vietnam war.

Congo in 1964,

Laos in 1964-73,The United States Air Force dropped the equivalent of a planeload of bombs every eight minutes for nine years on the people of Laos — from 1965 to 1973. Over 2,000,000 tons.This was some of the heaviest aerial bombardment in world history.

Estimated civilian deaths: 500,000 men, women and children.

Peru in 1965,

Cambodia in 1969-70,

El Salvador throughout the 1980s,

Nicaragua throughout the 1980s,

Lebanon in 1983-84,

Grenada in 1983,

Bosnia in 1985,

Libya in 1986,

Panama in 1989,

Iraq in 1991 and later,

Sudan in 1998,

Former Yugoslavia in 1999,

and Afghanistan in 1998 and 2002.

If you add up the totals, the United States of America is probably responsible for the biggest holocaust of all time.
MK ULTRA

“Since before the end of WWII the United States Corporate Mafia Government has been hell bent for total world domination, by any and all means necessary, no matter how brutal — including the slaughter of as many millions of innocent civilian men, women and children as it takes to accomplish that goal.”

Source of quote:http://free.freespeech.org/americanstateterrorism/bibliographies/Main.html

Ex-State Department employee William Blum stated:

“An American holocaust has taken place – So great and deep is the denial of the American holocaust that the deniers are not even aware that the claimers or their claims exist.

“Yet, a few million people have died in the American holocaust and many more millions have been condemned to lives of misery and torture as a result of US interventions extending from China and Greece in the 1940s to Afghanistan and Iraq in the 1990s.”

Yair Klein and Israeli Gun-Running

All is clouded by desire: global banking, Money Laundering, and International Organized Crime

By Alan A. Block, Constance A. Weaver