Friday, June 11, 2010

antiwar.com’s week in review
Sanctions Against Iran
“After nearly six months of diplomatic wrangling the Obama administration has finally managed to push through new sanctions against Iran at the UN Security Council,” reported Jason Ditz. While Hillary Clinton lauded the vote as a victory, many in Washington continue to question the efficacy of sanctions.

According to Ditz, “Brazil and Turkey, the two countries voting against the resolution, negotiated an agreement last month to transfer some of Iran’s nuclear fuel to Ankara.” Although this deal was similar to the one the U.S. previously sought, the Obama administration rejected the agreement when it was reached in May.

Brazil has issued a statement indicating that sanctions will only be effective in ensuring the “suffering of the people of Iran.”


Free Manning!
It was revealed this week that 22-year-old U.S. soldier Bradley Manning has been arrested for allegedly supplying Wikileaks with the “Collateral Damage” video. According to Wired, he was turned in by former hacker Adrian Lamo, who claimed to be doing his patriotic duty. Patriotic duty? It seems it was Manning, not Lamo, who was being “patriotic.” After discovering evidence for what he described as “almost criminal political back dealings,” Manning knew it “belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark corner in Washington, D.C.”

“Manning must be defended not only by the peace movement, but by everyone, from progressives to libertarians, who believes government must be held accountable,” said Justin Raimondo. “This is the mission of Wikileaks.com, which we here at antiwar.com fully support. It is absolutely appalling that this kind of situation exists in what was once a free country and is now rapidly coming to resemble a banana republic. Hands off Bradley Manning!”

For more, listen to Scott Horton interview Julian Assange of Wikileaks (who is now reportedly on the run from the Pentagon) and Daniel Ellsberg, author of
Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers.

Probe Talks Weaken Blockade, New Threats of War Emerge
Those wishing to deliver aid to Gaza have not been deterred by Israel’s attack on the flotilla. As several activist groups are organizing aid trips, Israel announced that any attempt by the Turkish military to lend protection would be considered an “act of war.”

On Wednesday, Obama announced that the blockade was “unsustainable,” that the attack was a “tragedy,” and that adjustments should be made to let food and other supplies in while keeping arms out. “The key here is making sure that Israel’s security needs are met but that the needs of people in Gaza are also met,” he said.

In an effort to weaken an international probe into the incident, Israel announced that some banned food items would be allowed in. Unfortunately, “the things Gazans need most – cement, steel and other materials to rebuild their war-ravaged territory – are still mostly banned, and critics denounced the move as insignificant,” said Eric Werner of AP.

Read more on the Israeli raid of the Gaza aid flotilla:
Not So New National Security Policy
The tenure of George W. Bush’s National Security Strategy has come to an end. But before you celebrate, does the “liberal idealism” of Obama’s recently issued 52-page replacement merely cloak militarism and “enthusiasm for ‘the right war’ in Afghanistan”? It seems evident that in his inability to withdraw troops by the promised deadline and in his ongoing struggles with President Karzai, President Obama may be unwilling to let the “United States deviate from the globalist ambitions emphasized in the published strategies of both the Bush and Obama administrations,” said William Pfaff. “In the final years of the Bush administration, Condoleezza Rice defined this as ‘to change the world, and in its own image.’ President Obama’s new strategy is an elaboration of how this is to succeed.”

A Wasteland Called Peace
“We Americans have inherited the imperial mantle and are the new Romans,” said Philip Giraldi. “For the policymakers in Washington ... war is an abstraction, like moving chess pieces around or looking at graphs in a PowerPoint presentation. But for the thousands of American soldiers who will die because of the bad decisions made on Capitol Hill and in the White House, it is deadly serious.”

Giraldi poured cold water on the hopes of those who expected “a better America to come out of the Barack Obama administration,” and added that things have changed for the worse.

There was little to no alarm when the administration authorized the CIA to kill Americans overseas suspected of terrorist involvement. The outrage was similarly lacking a few weeks ago when Nevada-based drone operators killed 23 Afghan civilians due to faulty intel. And as we creep closer toward initiating war with Pakistan, where are the objectors?

It’s time to stop holding out for Obama to reverse course. “Perhaps, like the Roman Empire and the British Empire more recently, the United States will just run out of money and manpower and will retire from the international stage. I have to believe the world will be a better place when that finally occurs.”


From the Antiwar Blog
James Bovard noted the 43rd anniversary of the Israeli attack on the USS Liberty, an event that was immediately covered up by the Johnson administration. “The fact that many of the files and tapes relating to the attack on the USS Liberty are still kept under wraps illustrates how truth has scant chance in D.C. – if some major interest group is profiting from official lies.”

Daniel Luban took a look at the photos of the Gaza aid raid. “Taken together,” he said, “the photos more or less definitively dispel the claim, advanced by the IDF and its media defenders, that the passengers aboard the ship were a ‘lynch mob’ determined to kill Israeli soldiers.” Not only did they not attempt to kill them, “they actually helped treat the soldiers’ wounds.” Luban examined the (changing) storyline and argued that “if the facts of the raid are as clear and unambiguous as the IDF is suggesting,” they should have no problem releasing the unedited footage.


Are You Listening to Antiwar Radio?
If not, you’re missing out. Some of this week’s distinguished guests included:
  • Lew Rockwell, founder and chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute, noted the vast increase in torture under Bush and Obama, questioned American enthusiasm for it, and wondered why doctors – all of whom have taken the Hippocratic Oath – are involved in these awful experiments on humans. Rockwell discussed Ron Paul’s ability to instill libertarian ideals in young people and the uphill battle to convince Americans that Iran is not a threat. To hear more about the CIA’s use of humans in torture experiments, listen to Scott’s interview with Mother Jones Assistant Editor Nick Bauman.
  • Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: “No one ... in their right mind can actually look at this and say Israel is anything other than a rogue nation at this point.” Scahill discussed his debate with Ed Koch, the IDF’s effort to shift the focus to Hamas, and the shooting of a 19-year-old American citizen. If Iran had done it, would the White House be so forgiving? To hear more about the Israeli raid of the Gaza aid flotilla, listen to Scott’s interviews with (the other) Scott Horton, Ray McGovern, Craig and Cindy Corrie, Dean Ahmad, and our own Jason Ditz.
Listen to the complete guest lineup from the week here.
Me on Manning: he’s a hero but he signed a contract. Like Iraq-war refusers part of the heroism is taking the punishment. Man up. I’m not in principle anti-military!

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