ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

Americans Don’t Have the Balls To Torture the Truth

CIA boosters weigh in: Man up, America

sf gate

Report On CIA Interrogations To Be Released By Senate Intelligence Chair Sen. Dianne FeinsteinThe Senate torture report has inspired reams of reporting, most of it supportive or at least non-critical. An tide of editorials here, here and here have matched the tone of our own. Sen Dianne Feinstein is the hero of the hour to long time observers.
But now on Day Two the defenders have emerged to criticize the report and explain the past on their preferred terms. Three past CIA directors who presided over the torture years explained their actions in the friendly opinion pages of the Wall Street Journal, which added its own hardline editorial. The basic answer: torture –wait, make that enhanced interrogation techniques — worked, thousands of livers were saved, and the temperature at the time demanded tough stuff. Democrats back then wanted bold action, and who are they to complain now?

Present CIA director John Brennan — once Obama’s national security adviser — added his own toned down criticism. His take: mistakes were made, but we no longer do this stuff.
Then there’s the minority report from Republicans on the Democrat-dominated Intelligence Committee that produced the door-stopper 6,000 page still-secret report and the publicly released versions that’s created all the news. The GOP members picked at perceived flaws and noted that no interviews with CIA employees past or present were included to flesh out the claims built on e-mails, memos and printed communications.
Other voices are now surfacing. Former Nebraska Senator Bob Kerrey, a liberal Democrat who spent eight years on the Senate intelligence panel, doesn’t think it does any good to release the report without a unified forward action, which won’t happen now. Bush-era legal beagle John Yoo, a former Justice Department lawyer who helped write justifications for water boarding and the like, weighed in critically.
John McCain, the only member of Congress actually tortured after capture in North Vietnam, offered his thoughts too. He’s a longtime critic of torture, believing it has little value and taints the country’s image. He was the only Republican to speak out in favor of the Senate report’s dismal findings.

It’s hard to know what impact the graphic and gruesome Senate report will have on public opinion. Polls have repeatedly showed a majority of Americans support torture in the terrorism fight. Maybe this time that perception will change.

John McCain Speech Against Torture, In Defense of the Rights of All Men

FLOOR STATEMENT BY SENATOR JOHN McCAIN ON SENATE INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE REPORT ON CIA INTERROGATION METHODS

Dec 09 2014

Washington, D.C. ­– U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today delivered the following statement on the floor of the U.S. Senate on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on CIA interrogation methods:

“Mr. President, I rise in support of the release – the long-delayed release – of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s summarized, unclassified review of the so-called ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ that were employed by the previous administration to extract information from captured terrorists. It is a thorough and thoughtful study of practices that I believe not only failed their purpose – to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies – but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.

“I believe the American people have a right – indeed, a responsibility – to know what was done in their name; how these practices did or did not serve our interests; and how they comported with our most important values.

“I commend Chairman Feinstein and her staff for their diligence in seeking a truthful accounting of policies I hope we will never resort to again. I thank them for persevering against persistent opposition from many members of the intelligence community, from officials in two administrations, and from some of our colleagues.

“The truth is sometimes a hard pill to swallow. It sometimes causes us difficulties at home and abroad. It is sometimes used by our enemies in attempts to hurt us. But the American people are entitled to it, nonetheless.

“They must know when the values that define our nation are intentionally disregarded by our security policies, even those policies that are conducted in secret. They must be able to make informed judgments about whether those policies and the personnel who supported them were justified in compromising our values; whether they served a greater good; or whether, as I believe, they stained our national honor, did much harm and little practical good.

“What were the policies? What was their purpose? Did they achieve it? Did they make us safer? Less safe? Or did they make no difference? What did they gain us? What did they cost us? The American people need the answers to these questions. Yes, some things must be kept from public disclosure to protect clandestine operations, sources and methods, but not the answers to these questions.

“By providing them, the Committee has empowered the American people to come to their own decisions about whether we should have employed such practices in the past and whether we should consider permitting them in the future. This report strengthens self-government and, ultimately, I believe, America’s security and stature in the world. I thank the Committee for that valuable public service.

“I have long believed some of these practices amounted to torture, as a reasonable person would define it, especially, but not only the practice of waterboarding, which is a mock execution and an exquisite form of torture. Its use was shameful and unnecessary; and, contrary to assertions made by some of its defenders and as the Committee’s report makes clear, it produced little useful intelligence to help us track down the perpetrators of 9/11 or prevent new attacks and atrocities.

“I know from personal experience that the abuse of prisoners will produce more bad than good intelligence. I know that victims of torture will offer intentionally misleading information if they think their captors will believe it. I know they will say whatever they think their torturers want them to say if they believe it will stop their suffering. Most of all, I know the use of torture compromises that which most distinguishes us from our enemies, our belief that all people, even captured enemies, possess basic human rights, which are protected by international conventions the U.S. not only joined, but for the most part authored.

“I know, too, that bad things happen in war. I know in war good people can feel obliged for good reasons to do things they would normally object to and recoil from.

“I understand the reasons that governed the decision to resort to these interrogation methods, and I know that those who approved them and those who used them were dedicated to securing justice for the victims of terrorist attacks and to protecting Americans from further harm. I know their responsibilities were grave and urgent, and the strain of their duty was onerous.

“I respect their dedication and appreciate their dilemma. But I dispute wholeheartedly that it was right for them to use these methods, which this report makes clear were neither in the best interests of justice nor our security nor the ideals we have sacrificed so much blood and treasure to defend.

“The knowledge of torture’s dubious efficacy and my moral objections to the abuse of prisoners motivated my sponsorship of the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005, which prohibits ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment’ of captured combatants, whether they wear a nation’s uniform or not, and which passed the Senate by a vote of 90-9.

“Subsequently, I successfully offered amendments to the Military Commissions Act of 2006, which, among other things, prevented the attempt to weaken Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions, and broadened definitions in the War Crimes Act to make the future use of waterboarding and other ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ punishable as war crimes.

“There was considerable misinformation disseminated then about what was and wasn’t achieved using these methods in an effort to discourage support for the legislation. There was a good amount of misinformation used in 2011 to credit the use of these methods with the death of Osama bin Laden. And there is, I fear, misinformation being used today to prevent the release of this report, disputing its findings and warning about the security consequences of their public disclosure.

“Will the report’s release cause outrage that leads to violence in some parts of the Muslim world? Yes, I suppose that’s possible, perhaps likely. Sadly, violence needs little incentive in some quarters of the world today. But that doesn’t mean we will be telling the world something it will be shocked to learn. The entire world already knows that we water-boarded prisoners. It knows we subjected prisoners to various other types of degrading treatment. It knows we used black sites, secret prisons. Those practices haven’t been a secret for a decade.

“Terrorists might use the report’s re-identification of the practices as an excuse to attack Americans, but they hardly need an excuse for that. That has been their life’s calling for a while now.

“What might come as a surprise, not just to our enemies, but to many Americans, is how little these practices did to aid our efforts to bring 9/11 culprits to justice and to find and prevent terrorist attacks today and tomorrow. That could be a real surprise, since it contradicts the many assurances provided by intelligence officials on the record and in private that enhanced interrogation techniques were indispensable in the war against terrorism. And I suspect the objection of those same officials to the release of this report is really focused on that disclosure – torture’s ineffectiveness – because we gave up much in the expectation that torture would make us safer. Too much.

“Obviously, we need intelligence to defeat our enemies, but we need reliable intelligence. Torture produces more misleading information than actionable intelligence. And what the advocates of harsh and cruel interrogation methods have never established is that we couldn’t have gathered as good or more reliable intelligence from using humane methods.

“The most important lead we got in the search for bin Laden came from using conventional interrogation methods. I think it is an insult to the many intelligence officers who have acquired good intelligence without hurting or degrading prisoners to assert we can’t win this war without such methods. Yes, we can and we will.

“But in the end, torture’s failure to serve its intended purpose isn’t the main reason to oppose its use. I have often said, and will always maintain, that this question isn’t about our enemies; it’s about us. It’s about who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s about how we represent ourselves to the world.

“We have made our way in this often dangerous and cruel world, not by just strictly pursuing our geopolitical interests, but by exemplifying our political values, and influencing other nations to embrace them. When we fight to defend our security we fight also for an idea, not for a tribe or a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion or for a king, but for an idea that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. How much safer the world would be if all nations believed the same. How much more dangerous it can become when we forget it ourselves even momentarily.

“Our enemies act without conscience. We must not. This executive summary of the Committee’s report makes clear that acting without conscience isn’t necessary, it isn’t even helpful, in winning this strange and long war we’re fighting. We should be grateful to have that truth affirmed.

“Now, let us reassert the contrary proposition: that is it essential to our success in this war that we ask those who fight it for us to remember at all times that they are defending a sacred ideal of how nations should be governed and conduct their relations with others – even our enemies.

“Those of us who give them this duty are obliged by history, by our nation’s highest ideals and the many terrible sacrifices made to protect them, by our respect for human dignity to make clear we need not risk our national honor to prevail in this or any war. We need only remember in the worst of times, through the chaos and terror of war, when facing cruelty, suffering and loss, that we are always Americans, and different, stronger, and better than those who would destroy us.

“Thank you.”

Pleading With the Conscience Of A Nation With No Soul

Washington Post Op-ed: CIA report shows need for national conscience

Our belief in the national image is astonishingly resilient. Over more than two centuries, our conviction that we are a benign people, with only the best of intentions, has absorbed the blows of darker truths, and returned unassailable. We have assimilated the facts of slavery and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans, and we are still a good people; we became an empire, but an entirely benevolent one; we bombed Southeast Asia on a scale without precedent, but it had to be done, because we are a good people.

Even the atrocities of Abu Ghraib have been neutralized in our conscience by the overwhelming conviction that the national image transcends the particulars of a few exceptional cases. And now the Senate torture report has made the unimaginable entirely too imaginable, documenting murder, torture, physical and sexual abuse, and lies, none of them isolated crimes, but systematic policy, endorsed at the highest levels, and still defended by many who approved and committed them.

Again, it has become a conversation about the national image, this phoenix of self-deception that magically transforms conversations about what we have done into debates about what we look like. The report, claimed headlines, “painted a picture of an agency out of control,” and “portrays a broken CIA devoted to a failed approach.” The blow to the U.S. reputation abroad was seen as equally newsworthy as the details themselves, and the appalling possibility that there will never be any accountability for having broken our own laws, international law and the fundamental laws of human decency.

The national image is essentially a metaphor, and that metaphor operates differently in the United States than outside. Today, when we speak of how we are perceived in the wider world, we don’t seem to mean a coherent set of ideals about what America represents, or even an image at all, but rather something like a stock ticker that registers upticks and downdrafts in the value of our international brand. What people envision when they think about America isn’t really knowable, and in any case, it’s far easier to simply poll for the favorable and unfavorables. In April, a Gallup poll gave us the latest news from the market: up in Asia, recovering (after the spying scandals) in Europe, flat in South America, falling off peak in Africa. Expect a bear market in coming months.

The idea of a national image as essentially like a marketplace is an appealing one, especially in a country so in love with the market, so convinced they always rise, always recover, always recalibrate. America is always right, and markets are always right, so any deviation from a high-value assessment of the American brand is necessarily temporary. This conviction helps us keep at bay the thought that in many parts of the world, the national image includes scenes of waterboarding, of Americans smashing heads, forcing men to stand on broken limbs, killing by hypothermia and “rectal feeding,” which is rape.

At home, our sense of ourself is more psychologically constructed, like an amalgam of individual pictures. We bring to it the deep love of the lives we lead, so it becomes a composite, made of innumerable images of family and friends, of grandfathers who fought in the war, Thanksgiving dinners and the nice people from church who tend to the soup kitchen. It is a mostly stable image that comprises sepia-toned data points and the sentimental soft colors of Polaroid snapshots of picnics, beaches and candles on the birthday cake. This is who we are.

But that is not at all who we are. As long as the crimes done in our name remain unpunished, they remain our crimes. The lives we love — as many apologists for torture now openly claim — are purchased at the cost of extreme violence and brutality perpetrated on other people, many of them innocent, none of them deserving of torture.

We have come to a critical moment in the debate about torture. It’s no longer possible, as it was when the images of Abu Ghraib emerged in 2004, to pretend that these events were rare, exceptional or the work of a few rogue agents. Nor will it be easy to assimilate them into that beloved average image of our national goodness. We are confronted with our own barbarity, as we have been confronted with the barbarity of the Islamic State. We torture, they behead. We beat men senseless, slam their heads into walls, strip them naked and leave them to die, while they march men into a field and put bullets in their heads. We might still cling to the idea that our crimes are not quite so bad as theirs. But to quibble over the degree of cruelty we tolerate is to acknowledge that cruelty is now standard practice. Unless we punish the guilty, we can have no more illusions that there is anything fundamental about who we are, how we are governed or what religion we practice, that distinguishes us from the worst in the world.

How does the national image survive this? The usual forces will struggle to resist the new information. Some will wear blinders; others will see things selectively. But what do the rest of us do, everyone one of us who woke up, yesterday, to a powerful feeling of helplessness and shame? If the report leads to no further investigation, no indictments or prosecution, does it then just lay there, on the side of history, as something that can’t be assimilated, while the national image slowly comes back to its usual, gauzy, soft focus on our own unquestionable goodness?

If no one in public life is capable of punishing the guilty, if nothing comes of this but more denials and obfuscations, if the CIA is indeed more powerful than the president, the Congress and the Constitution, what is left of our beloved and benign national image?

Moral revolution begins at home, with a revolution in one’s own values. If you are horrified by what has happened, then you must remake your own mental picture of America, in yourself, in your own mind, ruthlessly and mercilessly, until it conforms to the truth of who we are. The first duty is not to look away.

But the crimes are so horrible, the injustice so vast, that it must go further than that. We should take our cues from a species of painting made throughout the Renaissance, vanitas images, which were a type of still life laden with reminders of death: skulls and hourglasses, guttering candles and fruit going bad. Vanitas elements, which also occurred in other kinds of paintings, reminded the living of the inexorable fact of death and Christians of the inevitable day of judgment. They compelled the faithful to see the skull always under the skin.

We are all, to some degree, narcissists, in love with our lives. But we must re-envision those lives with the hard truth of vanitas paintings. We must have the discipline to see the extent of our national depravity. We must bring it home to the very texture of the lives we lead. When you look at your children, remember dead children, torn to shreds by our smart bombs. When you sit by a warm fire, remember the windowless dungeons we made to break our enemies — and not infrequently innocent men accidentally caught up in our wars. When you fall asleep in your bed, remember the sleep deprivation “for up to 180 hours, usually standing or in stress positions, at times with their hands shackled above their heads.”

If you can, if only for a day, or an hour, let every comforting thought be infected with the truth of what we have done.

And will that right the national image? Will it correct its contours, average in a little ugliness? Perhaps not. But we must atone. And we must learn that the national image is a hollow conceit. What we desperately need is a national conscience.

Obama’s No Fault Foreign Policy

daily star LEB

It is exasperating to listen to American officials pontificate about events in the Middle East and offer what sounds like reasonable proposals to resolve the area’s problems, when those same officials and the entire political power structure they represent refuse to acknowledge that they have played a major role in creating or expanding those problems. This is why it is astounding to watch the United States now lead the military assault against ISIS by using the same techniques that contributed in a major way to the birth and growth of the militant Islamist ideology at the core of ISIS and its criminal deeds.

The latest example of this is a statement the U.S. State Department put out Monday quoting Secretary of State John Kerry.

He stated that “[t]he fight against violent extremism in the Middle East can only truly be won if there are clear and appealing alternatives.”

This simplistic statement sounds so logical and reasonable, but in fact is full of dishonesty and disgraceful critical omissions. I say this because the United States itself played a direct and clear role in helping to foment the spread of ISIS-style violent extremism by creating the conditions for it in 2003 when it invaded Iraq and wiped away the former Iraqi state and government. That war created chaotic conditions that provided an opening for Osama bin Laden to send Abu Musab al-Zarqawi into Iraq to set up a local branch of Al-Qaeda. This small group of killers and anti-Shiite Sunni sectarian extremists expanded slowly and eventually rebranded itself as ISIS.

Kerry’s statement is also problematic in mentioning the absence of alternatives. There are no strong alternatives in large part because for over half a century – and today still – the United States and other major foreign powers have enthusiastically supported Arab autocrats and tyrants whose disdain for their own citizens has been the single most important reason for the growth of ISIS-like mentalities and behavior. The status quo in the Middle East that the U.S. favored and supported for so long made it impossible for any alternatives to emerge.

Kerry’s simplistic statement Monday reveals either dishonesty or sheer ignorance, or perhaps a bit of both. That is truly troubling given that his country has a massive amount of military force that it unleashes regularly around the Middle East, most often leading to troubling conditions such as what we are witnessing in Iraq and Syria today. To then follow up with simplistic statements for public consumption in which he offers solutions to the problems the U.S. helped create is an incredible act of disregard for the basic intelligence and common sense of billions of people around the world who do not share the kind of political and intellectual dishonesty he displays in this case.

It is not the responsibility of the United States or any other foreign power to fix the problems of the Middle East, which are mainly home-grown and stem from over half a century of autocratic or dictatorial rule, massive incompetence and mismanagement in governance, rampant corruption, declining education quality, misguided militarism, environmental irresponsibility, and the trampling of the rule of law and citizens’ rights. The United States knew about all this and more, but nevertheless resolutely supported the political systems that ultimately drove many young people into the realm of Al-Qaeda and ISIS.

How can anyone possibly take seriously statements such as those of Kerry? Moreover, why does the United States keep insulting us and the world by making such statements that lack so much logic, credibility and veracity? Presumably, the answer is that the United States feels no real repercussions either from pursuing the corrosive policies it has for half a century, or from adding insult to injury by saying that we need attractive alternatives to stem the flow of our young men into killer movements such as ISIS.

This highlights the wider problem that we continue to suffer from in the Arab world’s relations with the U.S. and other major world powers. That is the perpetuation of colonial attitudes among both American and other foreign elites who toy with the Arab peoples, on the one hand, and Arab ruling elites who play the game of dependent colonial subject, on the other. ISIS represents one of the few fractures in that process that shatters the prevailing conditions of the past century, and, not surprisingly, frightens both Western and Arab rulers. Until those same Arab, Western and other foreign rulers accept that their shared policies were the main underlying reason that allowed ISIS and other such movements to come into being, statements such as Kerry’s this week will only be met with ridicule and disbelief, and have zero impact on anyone other than his poor press secretary who has to disseminate this kind of ridiculous nonsense.

Rami G. Khouri is published twice weekly by THE DAILY STAR. He can be followed on Twitter @RamiKhouri.

- See more at: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Columnist/2014/Dec-10/280488-the-us-just-refuses-to-take-the-blame.ashx#sthash.DMeEXbIY.dpuf

The Greek Stock Market Just Collapsed

GREEK MKT

LONDON (MarketWatch) — Now this is Greek tragedy.

Greece’s Athex Composite GD, -12.78% tanked almost 13% Tuesday — the biggest drop for the index on record, according to FactSet. The renewed jitters came after the government, in a surprise move late Monday, said it would bring forward presidential elections to Dec. 17, potentially, setting the scene for snap elections in early 2015.

Here’s why that’s important: Far-left party Syriza currently is leading the early polls and it seems likely they would win a snap election. This is how to think about Syriza:

  • The party has been calling for an end to austerity in Greece
  • Has been campaigning for market-unfriendly measures
  • Is firmly against the international bailout program that helped the country avoid a default during the depths of its financial crisis.

How bad is Greece’s Tuesday collapse? It’s worse than the 9.7% drop the market saw Oct. 24, 2010, at the peak of Greek debt worries. The drop also eclipses the 10% fall Greek markets saw in 1989 during a bout of political turmoil.

“If there is uncertainty about Greece’s political commitment to the bailout program, it seems likely that the QE opposition within the ECB has some temporary tailwinds,” analysts at RBC Capital Markets said in a note. “If that is the case, the [ECB] January meeting (due on 22 January) could be a quite contentious one, and the ECB might choose to wait until after the elections in Greece to decide further measures.”

With Greece’s problems once again in the limelight, investors all across Europe. the Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, -2.33%  slumped 2.3%, while Germany’s DAX 30 index DAX, -2.21%  fell 2.2% and France’s CAC 40 index PX1, -2.55%  gave up 2.5%.

Greek government bond yields GR10YT, +0.00%  jumped 75 basis point to 7.90%, according to electronic trading platform Tradeweb.

“Not In Our Name!” 60 German Intellectuals Issue Appeal Against WWIII

Roman Herzog, Antje Vollmer, Wim Wenders, Gerhard Schröder and many other demanding an appeal for dialogue with Russia. ZEIT ONLINE documented the call.

Politik, Ukraine-Krise, Russland, Europa, Krieg, Gerhard Schröder, Horst Teltschik, Antje Vollmer, Bundesregierung, Eberhard Diepgen, Hans-Jochen Vogel, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Manfred Stolpe, Roman Herzog, Klaus Mangold, Mario Adorf, Moskau

American and Polish soldiers during an exercise in Poland in May 2014. | © Kacper Pempel / Reuters

More than 60 personalities from politics, economy, culture and media warn forcefully in an appeal against a war with Russia and calling for a new policy of détente in Europe. Their call they make to the federal government, members of parliament and the media.

Initiated the call by former Chancellor advisor Horst Teltschik (CDU), former defense secretary of state Walther Stützle (SPD) and former Vice-President of the Bundestag Antje Vollmer (Green). “We are talking about a political signal that the justified criticism of the Russian Ukraine’s policy does not mean that the progress we have achieved over the past 25 years in relations with Russia will be terminated,” Teltschik says the motivation for the appeal.

Have signed the text, inter alia, the former leaders of Hamburg, Berlin and Brandenburg, Klaus von Dohnanyi, Eberhard Diepgen and Manfred Stolpe, former SPD chairman Hans-Jochen Vogel, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder, former German President Roman Herzog and actor Mario Adorf.

The call in the wording:

Another war in Europe? Not in our name!

No one wants war. But North America, the European Union and Russia inevitably drive up to him if they did not finally halt the disastrous spiral of threat and counter-threat stop. All Europeans, including Russia, have joint responsibility for peace and security. Only he who does not lose sight of this goal, avoiding wrong turns.

The Ukraine-conflict shows that the addiction to power and domination is not overcome. 1990 at the end of the Cold War, we were all hoping. But the success of the policy of detente and peaceful revolutions have made sleepy and careless. In East and West alike. When Americans, Europeans and Russians is the guiding principle to banish war from their relationship permanently lost. It is a different Russia menacing expansion of the West to the East without simultaneous deepening cooperation with Moscow, as well as the illegal annexation of the Crimea by Putin, not to explain.

In this moment of great danger for the continent Germany has a special responsibility for the preservation of peace. Without the reconciliation of the people of Russia, without the foresight of Mikhail Gorbachev, without the support of our Western allies and without the prudent action by the then Federal Government, the division of Europe had not been overcome. To allow the German unit peacefully, was a tall, shaped by reason gesture of the victorious powers. A decision of historic proportions. From overcome division a solid European peace and security from Vancouver to Vladivostok should grow up, as it had been agreed by all 35 Heads of State and Government of the CSCE Member States in November 1990 in the “Charter of Paris for a New Europe”. On the basis of agreed principles and first concrete measures a “common European home” should be established, in which all the States concerned should learn the same security. This goal of the post-war policy is not redeemed until today. People in Europe have to fear again.

We, the undersigned, call on the federal government to assume their responsibility for peace in Europe to meet. We need a new policy of détente in Europe. This is only possible on the basis of equal security for all and equal and mutually respected partners. The German government is no special way, if they continue to call in the stalemate for calm and dialogue with Russia. The need for security of the Russians is legitimate and severe as the Germans, the Poles, the Balts and the Ukrainians.

We must also urge European Russia. That would be unhistorical, unreasonable and dangerous for peace. Since the Congress of Vienna in 1814 Russia is a recognized global players in Europe. All who have tried to change that are violent, bloody failed – the last megalomaniac Hitler’s Germany, in 1941, murdering set out to subjugate Russia.

We call upon the Members of the German Bundestag, as delegated by the people politicians to be the seriousness of the situation, and attentive to watch via the peace obligation of the federal government. Who builds only enemy and tampered with unilateral blame, exacerbated tensions at a time in which the signals should be included on relaxation. Embed held exclude must be a guiding German politicians.

We appeal to the media, their obligation to comply with unprejudiced reporting more convincing than before. Editorialists and commentators demonize whole nations, without crediting the story enough. Each foreign policy savvy journalist will understand the fear of the Russians, invited members of NATO since 2008, Georgia and Ukraine to become members of the alliance. It’s not about Putin. State leaders come and go. Europe is at stake. It comes back to take the people’s fear of war. For this purpose, a responsible, based on solid research coverage can help a lot.

On October 3, 1990, the Day of German Unity, German President Richard von Weizsäcker said: “The Cold War is overcome freedom and democracy have soon enforced in all states … Now they can have their relationships so compact and secure institutional,.. that it is a common life and peace order can first be. so begins a completely new chapter for the peoples of Europe in their history. His goal is a pan-European project. It is a huge target. We can do it, but we can also miss . We are facing the clear alternative to some or fall back according painful historical examples again in nationalist conflicts Europe. “

Until Ukraine conflict we thought we were in Europe on the right track. Richard von Weizsäcker’s reminder is today, a quarter of a century later, more relevant than ever.

The signatories

Mario Adorf, Actor
Robert Antretter (Bundestag retd.)
Prof. Dr. Wilfried Bergmann (Vice – President of the Alma Mater Europaea)
Prince Luitpold of Bavaria (Royal Holding KG and license)
Achim von Borries (director and writer)
Klaus Maria Brandauer (actor, director)
Dr. Eckhard Cordes (Chairman of the Committee on Eastern European Economic Relations)
Prof. Dr. Herta Däubler-Gmelin (Minister of Justice Retired)
Eberhard Diepgen (Former Governing Mayor of Berlin)
Dr. Klaus von Dohnanyi (Mayor of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg)
Alexander van Dülmen (A-Board Company Filmed Entertainment AG)
Stefan Dürr (Managing Partner and CEO Ekosem-Agrar GmbH)
Dr. Erhard Eppler (Federal Minister for Development and Cooperation Retired)
Prof. Dr. Dr. Heino Falcke (Propst iR)
Prof. Hans-Joachim Frey (CEO Semper Opera Ball Dresden)
Father Anselm Grün (Father)
Sibylle Havemann (Berlin)
Dr. Roman Herzog (Former President)
Christoph Hein (writer)
Dr. Dr. hc Burkhard Hirsch (Bundestag Vice President aD)
Volker horns (Academy Director iR)
Josef Jacobi (organic farmer)
Dr. Sigmund Jähn (former astronaut)
Uli Jörges (journalist)
Prof. Margot Käßmann (former EKD Council President and Bishop)
Andrea von Knoop (Moscow)
Prof. Dr. Gabriele Krone-Schmalz (former correspondent for the ARD in Moscow)
Friedrich Küppersbusch (journalist)
Vera Gräfin von Lehndorff (artist)
Irina Liebmann (writer)
Dr. hc Lothar de Maizière (Former Prime Minister)
Stephan Märki (Director of the Theatre of Bern)
Prof. Dr. Klaus Mangold (Chairman Mangold Consulting GmbH)
Reinhard Mey and Hella (Songwriter)
Ruth Misselwitz (Protestant pastor Pankow)
Klaus Prömpers (journalist)
Prof. Dr. Konrad Raiser (eh. General Secretary of the World Council of Churches World)
Jim rocket (Photographer)
Gerhard Rein (journalist)
Michael Röskau (Secretary Retired)
Eugen Ruge (writer)
Dr. hc Otto Schily (Federal Minister of the Interior Retired)
Dr. hc Friedrich Schorlemmer (ev. Theologian, civil rights)
Georg Schramm (comedian)
Gerhard Schröder (Chancellor aD)
Philipp von Schulthess (Actor)
Ingo Schulze (writer)
Hanna Schygulla (actress, singer)
Dr. Dieter Spöri (Minister of Economics)
Prof. Dr. Fulbert Steffensky (Cath. Theologian)
Dr. Wolf-D. Stelzner (Managing Partner: Institute for WDS analyzes in cultures mbH)
Dr. Manfred Stolpe (Former Prime Minister)
Dr. Ernst-Jörg von Studnitz (Ambassador)
Prof. Dr. Walther Stützle (secretary of defense Retired)
Prof. Dr. Christian R. Supthut (Board Member Retired)
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Malaysia Gets International Permission To Investigate Downing of Its Own Aircraft

‘Malaysia plays crucial role in criminal probe’

new-straits-times

 

MALAYSIA’S participation as a full and equal member of the MH17 joint investigation team tasked with the criminal investigation into the downing of the Malaysia Airlines aircraft is expected to result in the identification of the perpetrators of the heinous act, said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

He said the investigation was ongoing, with Malaysia jointly participating with the investigation teams from the Netherlands, Australia, Belgium and Ukraine in the criminal and technical
investigation group.

“Our participation in the investigation is important and I am confident it can help the team find vital evidence to bring those responsible to justice,” he said after the Kojadi Institute convocation at Wisma MCA here yesterday.

Last Monday, the Attorney-General’s Chambers had said in a statement that Malaysia had been accepted as a full and equal member of the joint investigation team that focused on the criminal investigation into the downing of the MAS aircraft.

It was conveyed by the Netherlands National Public Prosecutor’s Office in a letter dated Nov 28 to Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

As part of the international criminal investigation process, Gani and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar left for The Hague last Wednesday to attend the third Eurojust Coordination Meeting on the criminal investigation, which was scheduled last Thursday.

Flight MH17 is believed to have been shot down in Ukraine while flying from Amsterdam to here on July 17, and all 298 passengers, including 44 Malaysians, died in the crash.

On the intention of families of victims to take legal action against Malaysia, Liow said the government was prepared for any possibility.

However, he said, his ministry had yet to receive any information on the matter.

“I just returned from Chongqing, China, and have yet to receive any information related to these cases (filing of suits), but Malaysia is prepared to face any charge in court,” he said in response to a news portal report in the Daily Mail of the United Kingdom last Wednesday, which quoted news.com.au as saying that family members of eight of the MH17 victims from Australia would sue Russia, Ukraine and Malaysia.

Aviation lawyer Jerry Skinner, who will represent the eight Australian families from New South Wales, Canberra, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia, was quoted as saying that he was awaiting information before filing the case at the European Court of Human Rights.

Skinner is known for his negotiation in a US$2.7 billion settlement (RM9.4 billion) for the 270 victims with Libya over the 1988 Lockerbie disaster. Bernama

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