Archive | August 4th, 2013

The Hiroshima Myth. Unaccountable War Crimes and the Lies of US Military History

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Global Research

 

This coming Tuesday, August 6, 2013, is the 68th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, the whole truth of which has been heavily censored and mythologized ever since war-weary Americans celebrated V-J Day 10 days later.

In the pitiful history lessons that were taught by my uninspired/bored history teachers (which seemed to be mostly jocks) came from patriotic and highly censored books where everything the British and US military ever did in war time was honorable and self-sacrificing and everything their opponents did was barbaric. Everybody in my graduating class of 26 swallowed the post-war propaganda in our history books. It was from these books that we learned about the “glorious” end of the war against Japan.

Of course, I now know that I had been given false information, orchestrated by war-justifying militarists (and assorted uber-patiotic historians) starting with General Douglas MacArthur. MacArthur successfully imposed total censorship of what really happened at Ground Zero. One of his first acts after taking over as viceroy of Japan was to confiscate and/or destroy all the photographic evidence documenting the horrors of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Back in 1995, the Smithsonian Institution was preparing to correct some the 50-year-old pseudo-patriotic myths by staging an honest, historically-accurate display dealing with the atomic bombings. Following the vehement, orchestrated, reactionary outrage emanating from right-wing veterans groups and other patriot groups (including Newt Gingrich’s GOP-dominated Congress that threatened to stop federal funding of the Institute), the Smithsonian was forced to censor-out all of the unwelcome but contextually important parts of the story. So again we had another example of politically-motivated groups heavily altering real history because they were afraid of revealing “unpatriotic” historical truths that might shake the confidence of average Americans in our leaders, sort of like the near-total media black-out about the controlled demolitions of the three World Trade Center buildings on 9/11/01 that killed thousands of innocent people and unleashed the dogs of war against innocents in Afghanistan (explore www.ae911truth.org for the documentation of that assertion).

Nagasaki on August 9, 1945

The Smithsonian historians did have a gun to their heads, of course, but in the melee, the corporate-controlled mainstream media – and therefore the public – failed to learn an important historical point, and that is this: The war could have ended in the spring of 1945 without the summer atomic bombs, and therefore there might have been no Okinawa bloodbath for thousands of American Marines and soldiers. Also there would have been no need for an American land invasion of Japan – the basis of the subsequent propaganda campaign that justified the use of atomic weapons on defenseless civilian populations and meets the definition of an international war crime and a crime against humanity.

American intelligence, with the full knowledge of President Truman’s administration, was aware of Japan’s desperate search for ways to honorably surrender months before Truman gave the fateful order to incinerate Hiroshima.

Intelligence data, revealed in the 1980s, showed that the contingency plans for a large-scale US invasion (planned for no sooner than November 1, 1945) would have been unnecessary. Japan was working on peace negotiations through its Moscow ambassador as early as April of 1945. Truman knew of these developments because the US had broken the Japanese code years earlier, and all of Japan’s military and diplomatic messages were being intercepted. On July 13, 1945, Foreign Minister Togo said: “Unconditional surrender (giving up all sovereignty, especially deposing the Emperor) is the only obstacle to peace.”

Truman and his advisors knew about these efforts, and the war could have ended through diplomacy by simply conceding a post-war figurehead position for the emperor Hirohito – who was regarded as a deity in Japan. That reasonable concession was – seemingly illogically – refused by the US in their demands for unconditional surrender, initially demanded at the 1943 Casablanca Conference between Roosevelt and Churchill and reiterated at the Potsdam Conference between Truman, Churchill and Stalin. Still, the Japanese continued searching for an honorable peace through negotiations.

Even Secretary of War Henry Stimson, said: “the true question was not whether surrender could have been achieved without the use of the bomb but whether a different diplomatic and military course would have led to an earlier surrender. A large segment of the Japanese cabinet was ready in the spring of 1945 to accept substantially the same terms as those finally agreed on.” In other words, Stimson felt that the US had unnecessarily prolonged the war.

After Japan did surrender, MacArthur allowed the emperor to remain in place as spiritual head of Japan, the very condition that coerced the Japanese leadership to refuse to accept the humiliating “unconditional surrender” terms.

So the two essential questions that need answering to comprehend what was going on behind the scenes are these:

1) Why did the US refuse to accept Japan’s only demand concerning their surrender (the retention of the emperor) and

2) why were the atomic bombs used when victory in the Pacific was already a certainty?

Shortly after WWII, military analyst Hanson Baldwin wrote:

“The Japanese, in a military sense, were in a hopeless strategic situation by the time the Potsdam Declaration (insisting on Japan’s unconditional surrender) was made on July 26, 1945.”

Admiral William Leahy, top military aide to President Truman, said in his war memoirs, I Was There:

“It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons. My own feeling is that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages.”

And General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in a personal visit to President Truman a couple of weeks before the bombings, urged him not to use the atomic bombs. Eisenhower said (in a 1963 interview in Newsweek):

“It wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing . . . to use the atomic bomb, to kill and terrorize civilians, without even attempting [negotiations], was a double crime.”

There are a number of factors that contributed to the Truman administration’s decision to use the bombs.

1) The US had made a huge investment in time, mind and money (a massive 2 billion in 1940 dollars) to produce three bombs, and there was no inclination – and no guts – to stop the momentum.

2) The US military and political leadership – as did many ordinary Americans – had a tremendous appetite for revenge because of Pearl Harbor. Mercy wasn’t in the mindset of the US military or the war-weary populace, and the missions against Hiroshima and Nagasaki were accepted – no questions asked – by most of those folks who only knew the sanitized, national security version of events.

3) The fissionable material in Hiroshima’s bomb was uranium. The Nagasaki bomb was a plutonium bomb. Scientific curiosity was a significant factor that pushed the project to its completion. The Manhattan Project scientists (and the US Army director of the project, General Leslie Groves) were curious about “what would happen if an entire city was leveled by a single uranium bomb?” “What about a plutonium bomb?”

The decision to use both bombs had been made well in advance of August 1945. Accepting the surrender of Japan was not an option if the science experiment was to go ahead. Of course the three-day interval between the two bombs was unconscionably short if the Hiroshima bomb was designed to coerce immediate surrender. Japan’s communications and transportation capabilities were in shambles, and no one, not even the US military, much less the Japanese high command, fully understood what had happened at Hiroshima. (The Manhattan Project was so top secret that even Douglas MacArthur, commanding general of the entire Pacific theatre, had been kept out of the loop until five days before Hiroshima.)

4) The Russians had proclaimed their intent to enter the war with Japan 90 days after V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day, May 8), which would have been Aug. 8, two days after Hiroshima was bombed. Indeed, Russia did declare war on Japan on August 8 and was advancing eastward across Manchuria when Nagasaki was incinerated. The US didn’t want Japan surrendering to Russia or sharing the spoils of war.

Russia was soon to be the only other superpower – and a future enemy – so the first nuclear threat “messages” of the Cold War were sent. Russia indeed received far less of the spoils of war than they had anticipated, and the two superpowers were instantly mired in the Cold War stalemate that led to the unaffordable nuclear arms race and the possibility of total extinction of the human race. What did happen was the mutual moral and financial bankruptcies of both nations that occurred over the next couple of generations of military madness.

An estimated 80,000 innocent civilians, plus 20,000 weaponless young Japanese conscripts died instantly in the Hiroshima bombing. Hundreds of thousands more suffered slow deaths from agonizing burns, radiation sickness, leukemias, anemias and untreatable infections for the rest of their shortened lives. Generations of the survivor’s progeny were also afflicted with horrible radiation-induced illnesses, cancers and premature deaths, still going on to this very hour.

Another shameful reality that has been covered up is the fact that 12 American Navy pilots, their existence well known to the US command, were instantly incinerated in the Hiroshima jail on the fateful day

So the official War Department-approved version of the end of the war in the Pacific contained a new batch of myths that took their places among the long lists of myths that Americans are continuously fed by our corporate, military, political and media opinion leaders, the gruesomeness of war being changed to glorification in the process. Among the other censored out realities include what really happened in the US military invasions and occupations of the countries of North Korea, Iran, Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Lebanon, Granada, Panama, the Philippines, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Colombia, Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc, etc. This list doesn’t cover the uncountable secret Pentagon/CIA covert operations and assassination plots in the rest of the world, where as many as150 nations contain American military bases (permission lavishly paid for by bribery or threats of economic sanctions).

But somehow most of us still hang on to our shaky “my country right or wrong” patriotism, desperately wanting to believe the cunningly-orchestrated myths that say that the war-profiteering multibillionaire corporate elite (and their politicians, military leaders and media talking heads who are in their employ) only work for peace, justice, equality, liberty and “making the world safe” for predatory capitalism.

While it is true that the US military has faced down the occasional despot, with necessary sacrifice from dead and mortally-wounded (in body, mind and spirit) American soldiers and veterans, more often than not the rationalization for going to war are the same as those of the “godless communists”, the anti-American “insurgents” and “freedom fighters” who want to convince us Yankees to just go home where we belong.

August 6 and 9, 1945 are just two more examples of the brain-washing that goes on in all “total war” political agendas, which are always accompanied by the inevitable human slaughter that is euphemistically labeled “collateral damage” or “friendly fire”.

It might already be too late to rescue and resuscitate the humanitarian, peacemaking America that we used to know and love. It might be too late to effectively confront the corporate hijacking of liberal democracy in America. It might be too late to successfully bring down the arrogant and greedy ruling elites who are selfishly dragging our world down the road to our destruction. The rolling coup d’etat of what I call Friendly American Fascism may have already accomplished its goals.

But there may still be some hope. Rather than being silent about the wars that the war-mongers are provoking all over the planet (with the very willing assistance of the Pentagon, the weapons industry and their lapdogs in Congress), people of conscience need to start learning the whole truth of history, despite the discomfort we will feel (cognitive dissonance) when the truth can’t be ignored any more.

We need to start owning up to America’s uncountable war crimes that have been orchestrated in our names. And then we need to go to the streets, publicly protesting and courageously refusing to cooperate with those who are transforming America into a criminal rogue nation that will eventually be targeted for downfall by its billions of suffering victims outside our borders, similar to what happened to Nazi Germany and Fascist Japan.

Doing what is right for the whole of humanity for a change, rather than just doing what is profitable or advantageous for our over-privileged, over-consumptive and unsustainable American way of life, would be real honor, real patriotism and an essential start toward real peace.

Posted in USA, Japan7 Comments

Iran’s Rouhani– ‘US wants confrontation’

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Outgoing President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, left, delivers the official seal of approval of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, center, to give to President-elect Hasan Rouhani, right, in an official endorsement ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Aug. 3, 2013. (photo credit: AP/Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader)

Western nations ‘seeking excuse,’ Iran’s new president says; American-educated businessman appointed chief of staff

Times of Israel

Newly installed Iranian President Hasan Rouhani said Saturday that the United States is seeking an excuse to confront Iran over its nuclear program.

The late Saturday report from state television said the remarks by Hasan Rouhani came during his meeting with North Korean official Kim Yong Nam, who is in Tehran for Rouhani’s Sunday inauguration.

“We believe the United States and the Westerners are seeking an excuse to confront the countries that they do not consider friends,” Rouhani was quoted as saying.

The West suspects Iran is pursuing nuclear weapon, a charge Iran denies.

Rouhani, elected in June, has promised greater openness over the country’s nuclear program, which has placed it at odds with the West.

But the elected president is subordinate, particularly in foreign and security matters, to the clerical leadership.

Also Sunday, Rouhani appointed a US-educated businessman as his chief of staff, his first appointment after taking office.

The Sunday report by the official IRNA news agency said Rouhani named Mohammad Nahavandian, a 58-year-old businessman with a doctorate in economics from George Washington University in Washington.

In his speech Saturday, Rouhani said his top priority is to resolve economic problems. Nahavandian’s appointment is seen as outreach to the private sector.

Iran’s economy suffers from international sanctions over its controversial nuclear program, which the West suspects is aimed at developing weapons technology. Iran denies the charge.

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Why the Palestinian/IsraHell Talks are Futile

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By Dr. Elias Akleh

One more time Palestinian and Israeli negotiating teams play the charade of peace talks under the auspices of the biased pro-Israel American broker. Everybody knows, even the politically naïve average man of the street, and especially the three involved parties that this round of talks, like the many previous talks throughout the last 20 years, will not reveal any tangible success. So John Kerry stated that this round of talks will be a comprehensive final status talks based on the two-states-solution. Palestinian Chief Negotiator, Sa’eb Erakat, expressed his delight that all final status issues, without exception, are on the table, hoping that this time Palestinians would have their own independent sovereign state. Tsibi Livni, Erakat’s Israeli counterpart, claimed that this talk is a new opportunity that they could not afford to waste in order to achieve comprehensive peace between the two people.

Who are they trying to fool; themselves or the whole world?

It is a well known fact that the two-state-solution was a stale born dream since inception. The Zionist imperialist project is to build a Jewish only state that extends from the river Nile to Euphrates. There is no room for any Palestinian state, or any Arab state for that matter, within the ineffective Palestinian negotiating team was dragged again into this talk charade. They have dropped their condition for Israel to stop colonization (settlement) expansion before returning to talks. The Palestinian negotiators are a totally helpless and exposed team. Their tactics, their skills, their weaknesses, their political positions and their personalities are very well known to the Israelis. On the other side the Israeli negotiating team keeps on changing every few years forcing the Palestinian team to start from the very beginning.

Since Oslo Accords in 1993 and for the next 20 years this same Palestinian negotiating team had never gained anything through negotiations, rather they gifted the Israelis one major concession after the other. This team does not really represent the Palestinians and was imposed on them by President Arafat, who bypassed the original authentic Palestinian negotiating team in late 1992 to make his own peace warped agreement with the Israelis leading to the ill-fated Oslo Accords.

In fact the whole present Palestinian Authority does not represent the Palestinians either. After the assassination of President Arafat, Mahmud Abbas won the presidency in 2005 through a dodgy contest dubbed as election, in which Israel had greatly interfered to obstruct all other candidates. Despite this fact, Abbas and his administration, whose term had expired in 2009, had forcefully, and with the help of Israel and the US, extended their term until today; 2013. Abbas had become a Palestinian dictator, who, since his appointment, has been greatly cooperating with the Israelis in security measures to suppress his own people and to secure safety to Israeli occupiers (settlers) rather than defending his own people. Abbas and his administration had never represented the Palestinians and had never worked to secure their basic human rights.

Palestinians demonstrated into the streets of the West Bank, especially Ramallah; the political center for the PA, and in Gaza Strip denouncing and rejecting the return to these futile peace talks, which usually end up with more concessions to the Israelis. The Palestinian security forces in Ramallah attacked the demonstrators with sticks and tear gas.

So, why would the PA and its negotiating team oppose the will of their people, drop all their conditions, and engage into futile negotiations knowing very well that they will end up giving Israel more concessions?

To understand this we have to go back into history to 1990 when Iraq’s Saddam Hussein invaded and annexed Kuwait. Yasser Arafat, then the Chairman of the PLO, made his fatal mistake of supporting Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait hoping to get large financial support from Saddam Hussein.

Unfortunately for Arafat and for his PLO Iraqi army was rebelled from Kuwait and all the Gulf States, who used to finance Arafat, had stopped its financial support leaving the organization to dry out. Close to bankruptcy many PLO officials started to leave the organization. This was a major factor in pushing Arafat into peace negotiations with Israel and into signing the Oslo. 

One condition of the Accords was for Israel to collect taxes from the Palestinians and to transfer it to the PA by the end of year. Also there were the Western donor countries, who pledged to finance the PA as long as it adheres to the Accords. Thus the PA’s budget and the Palestinian economy were put under the control of Israel and donor countries, who in many times withheld money to exert pressure on the PA.

To secure their political positions, their economical monopolies, and to buy the loyalty of the security forces President Abbas and his PA administration including the negotiating team need to go back to futile negotiations to get paid by the Americans and to get their tax money from Israel. Without any negotiating cards, and without any backing from Arab countries, who are busy with their internal problems, the PA is forced to give more concessions to Israel while accepting whatever crumbs Israel and the US would throw at them.

The Israelis are not interested in any peaceful solution at all. For them the two-state-solution is a stumbling block to their colonial expansion. The one-state-solution, some are calling for, on the other hand, threatens their existence as a Jewish-only state since Palestinians compromise more than 50% of the population, and as citizens of the so-called democratic state they would have equal rights to vote and to be elected in the government.

Israel’s primary goal is expansion and building more colonies (settlements) on Palestinian land. Pursuing their expansionist policies the Israelis have accelerated their ethnic cleansing policies by demolishing Palestinian homes in strategic areas, confiscating Palestinian land, and expanding and building more colonies to settle aggressive extremist ultra-orthodox Zionist Jews. On each arrival of the Secretary of State John Kerry to Israel in order to jump-start peace negotiations, the Israelis slap him on the face with the announcement of approving the building of more colonies in the West Bank and in East Jerusalem. The colonies had extended to surround even Ramallah; the major Palestinian city.

The Israeli ethnic cleansing of Palestinians has recently reached its zenith when the Israeli parliament had passed the first hearing last June 24 Plan, whose goal is demolishing 40 Bedouin villages in the Naqab desert, expelling more than 40,000 Palestinian Bedouins, and confiscating more than 800,000 dunums of their land (one dunum equals 1,000 square meters). This is an intensification of an ongoing ethnic cleansing of Bedouins that started in 2005 with 30,000 demolition orders sent to home owners, and the demolishing of over 1,000 homes during 2011.

Thanks to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign, which brought the BrawerBegin Plan to the attention of the European Union, who has recently decided to exclude any Israeli entity with activity in occupied Palestinian territory from participating in the EU financial instruments such as loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB). Among those excluded will be major Israeli banks such as Bank Hapoalim, Mizrahi Tefahot Bank and Bank Leumi since they all operate illegally in the occupied Palestinian territory. Other Israeli companies such as Mekorot; the national Israeli water company, and the Israeli electric car company Better Place, who both have received €120m and €40m loans respectively from EIB in 2011 and 2012 would also be affected. According to the Guardian many Israeli officials and commentators have termed the EU’s move an “earthquake”.

To improve its reputation and to counter act the EU’s decision the Israelis decided to re-enter into peace talks with the Palestinians, yet Netanyahu rejected Kerry’s request for temporary freeze of settlements, and on the eve of PA’s decision to join peace talks the Israelis announced their plans to build 1500 more housing units in the West Bank and 3600 units in East Jerusalem.

The Zionist-occupied American administration is interested into assuring Israel’s hegemony in the region and in dividing the Middle East into smaller weaker states plagued with sectarian conflicts. In the Palestinian/Israeli peace talks, the US is a pro-Israeli biased broker. To tip the balance towards Israel the American administration has sent John Kerry, who few years ago had discovered his Jewish roots, to threaten the PA of cutting off financial aid if they don’t return to the futile talks. To add pressure on the Palestinians Kerry had appointed Martin Indyk, former American ambassador to Israel and another pro-Israel Zionist Jew, to oversee and to facilitate (manipulate) talks with Palestinians. Kerry said that Indyk has a deep appreciation (prejudice) of the Middle East conflict and the art of American diplomacy (conniving) in the region, and would now serve as the American envoy (manipulator) during the talks.

With such scenario one can easily predict the outcome of these talks.

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Top US general visiting IsraHell amid Iran, Syria worries

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Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey, March 2012. (photo credit: IDF Spokesperson)

Martin Dempsey to meet Israeli leaders from Sunday evening; Netanyahu warns that new Iranian president won’t change policy

Times of Israel

America’s most senior military officer was set to land in Israel late Sunday for talks with Israeli leaders that are expected to focus on the Iranian nuclear threat and the civil war that continues to rage in Syria.

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey will be the guest of Israel’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Benny Gantz, and will also meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

Dempsey’s visit, first reported on by Israeli daily Yedioth Aharonoth, comes amid concerns that Israel might be planning a strike on Iran’s nuclear program. On Sunday, Iran was inaugurating new president Hasan Rouhani, touted by some as a relative moderate who may attempt to open a window to the West. Netanyahu, however, told his cabinet Sunday morning that the new leader would continue the policies of his hardline predecessor.

With at least some Hezbollah forces tied down in the fighting in Syria, and the organization experiencing political blowback in Lebanon for its support of the Assad regime, the US may be concerned that Israeli leaders believe the cost of an Iran strike — especially in terms of rocket strikes on Israeli cities from across the border — has dropped significantly, according to the report.

In July, Netanyahu told NBC’s “Face the Nation” that Iran was getting “closer and closer to the bomb,” and that “they’re edging up to the red line.”

Netanyahu said, “They haven’t crossed it yet. They’re also building faster centrifuges that would enable them to jump the line, so to speak, at a much faster rate — that is, within a few weeks.”

“I won’t wait until it’s too late,” Netanyahu vowed at the time.

A report by the US-based Institute for Science and International Security last week said that Iran could break out to a nuclear bomb by mid-2014 if it went ahead with a plan to install thousands of new centrifuges. Tehran maintains its program is peaceful.

Last August, Dempsey demonstrated the gap between the Israeli and American sense of urgency over the Iranian nuclear program when he told a press conference in London that an Israeli strike would “clearly delay but probably not destroy Iran’s nuclear program. I don’t want to be complicit if they [Israel] choose to do it.”

He said that intelligence was inconclusive when it came to Iran’s intentions. An American-led international sanctions regime “could be undone if [Iran] was attacked prematurely,” he added.

Just hours ahead of Dempsey’s visit, Netanyahu upped his rhetoric against Iran’s nuclear program, citing Rouhani’s anti-Israel oratory as proof of his hawkish views.

“Two days ago, the president of Iran said that ‘Israel is a wound in the Muslim body.’ The president of Iran might have changed, but the regime’s intentions did not,” Netanyahu told the cabinet. “Iran intends to develop nuclear capabilities and nuclear weapons in order to annihilate the State of Israel, and that’s a danger not only for us or the Middle East, but for the whole world. We are all responsible for preventing it.”

Netanyahu’s statement appeared to be reiterating his previously withdrawn criticism of an inaccurate translation of a Friday speech by Rouhani.

According to Iran’s semi-official ISNA and Mehr news agencies and Western wire services, Rouhani had said, “The Zionist regime has been a wound on the body of the Islamic world for years and the wound should be removed.”

Netanyahu’s original response said that Rouhani had “revealed his true face sooner than expected.” It added, “This statement should awaken the world from the illusion some have taken to entertaining since the elections in Iran. The president was replaced but the goal of the regime remained obtaining nuclear weapons to threaten Israel, the Middle East and the safety of the world. A country which threatens to destroy Israel must not have weapons of mass destruction.”

But other sources quoted Rouhani differently, and ISNA retracted its original report. “In any case, in our region, a sore has been sitting on the body of the Islamic world for many years, in the shadow of the occupation of the Holy Land of Palestine and the dear Quds. This day is in fact a reminder of the fact that Muslim people will not forgot their historic right and will continue to stand against aggression and tyranny,” Rouhani said, according to a New York Times translation.

Late Friday, Netanyahu’s office removed tweets criticizing Rouhani’s statement, and told the BBC that the prime minister had been responding to “a Reuters report with an erroneous translation.”

Netanyahu has consistently warned that the new Iranian president was merely putting on a “more hospitable face,” and that he has no power or intention to change the Iranian regime’s nuclear policy. Last month, he called Rouhani a “wolf in sheep’s clothing.”

Last Sunday, Netanyahu charged that Iran was going ahead with its nuclear program: “A month has passed since the elections in Iran, and Iran is going full steam ahead on developing nuclear weapons. Now, more than ever, given Iran’s progress, it’s crucial to strengthen economic sanctions against Iran and to provide a credible military option.”

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Rohani calls for regional cooperation to settle problems: Rohani

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Iran President Hassan Rohani (R) and Algerian Parliament Speaker Abdul Qadir bin Saleh meet in Tehran on August 4, 2013.

Iran President Hassan Rohani (R) and Algerian Parliament Speaker Abdul Qadir bin Saleh meet in Tehran on August 4, 2013.
Iran President Hassan Rohani has called on regional countries to strengthen cooperation in order to settle ongoing regional and international problems.

In a meeting with Algerian Parliament Speaker Abdul Qadir bin Saleh on Sunday, Rohani said Tehran and Algiers can have “very good” bilateral and regional cooperation.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran is completely ready to expand and deepen mutual relations with Algeria in economic, cultural and political fields and believes that the settlement of regional issues requires the participation of regional countries,” Rohani stated.

He emphasized that foreign interference, and inability of Muslim countries to use all their capabilities are the main factors behind the problems Muslims are faced with.

The Algerian parliament speaker, for his part, said the two countries enjoy deep-rooted economic, cultural and political ties, adding that his country is keen on improving bilateral cooperation and countering ongoing challenges in the region and the world.

The meeting between Rohani and Bin Saleh came one day after Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei officially endorsed Rohani for a four-year term in office as Iran’s new president.

Rohani won Iran’s June 14 presidential election with 50.7 percent of a total of over 36 million ballots. The voter turnout in the election was 72.7 percent.

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Egypt may use US arms against IsraHell: Senator Rand Paul

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” Egypt already has more planes and tanks than any other country on the African continent, and I fear one day, these arms may be used against Israel or America.”

US Senator Zionist Rand Paul says the US must put an end to sending military aid to Egypt as the African country may one day use the arms against IsraHell and the US.

“Egypt already has more planes and tanks than any other country on the African continent, and I fear one day, these arms may be used against Israel or America,” Zionist Paul wrote in an article on The Washington Times.

He lashed out at the Obama administration for granting hundreds of millions of dollars to Egypt while cities in the US are grappling with financial crisis.

“President Obama sends billions of dollars to Egypt in the form of advanced fighter jets and tanks. Meanwhile, cities like Detroit and Chicago crumble,” the Senator said.

From July 3 when the Egyptian army toppled the democratically-elected government of Mohammed Morsi, it was clear the US would shy away from calling the incident a coup as it would, according to US law, automatically end American aid to Egypt.

“In the case of aiding Egypt, the law is clear. When a military coup overturns a democratically elected government, all military aid must end. So when the military coup occurred in Egypt, how did the president respond? How did Congress respond?” the Senator added.

“The president and his cohorts in Congress responded by shoveling good money after bad into the failed state of Egypt. The president and his cohorts in Congress are intent on building nations abroad. I believe it’s time we do some nation-building at home.” 

The Senate on Wednesday killed a measure from Senator Paul 86 to 13 that would have cut off US aid to Egypt and spent the money on crumbling bridges in the US.

“All military aid must end, that’s the law. There is no presidential waiver, the law states unequivocally the aid must end,” Paul said. “If we choose to ignore our own laws, can we with a straight face preach to the rest of the world about the rule of law?” 

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AIPAC-backed letter on Iran garners 76 Senate signatures

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JTA

An AIPAC-backed letter urging President Obama to exert greater pressure on Iran to end its suspected nuclear weapons program and to seek avenues to diplomatic resolution garnered the signatures of 76 senators.

The letter, which was initiated by Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, outlines what it says are the four “necessary strategic elements” to dealing with Iran.

“An explicit and continuing message that we will not allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability; a sincere demonstration of openness to negotiations; the maintenance and toughening of sanctions; and a convincing threat of the use of force that Iran will believe,” the letter said. “We must be prepared to act, and Iran must see that we are prepared.”

The letter notes overtures by new Iranian President Hassan Rohani to make more transparent a nuclear program Iran insists is peaceful, but also demands that Iran agree to remove 20 percent enriched uranium, which Rohani has said is a non-starter.

The American Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbied for the letter, which drew signatures from 76 of 100 senators.

The letter closed Aug. 2 and is due to be sent on Monday.

Another letter circulating, initiated by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), was more conciliatory, urging Obama to test Rohani’s offer to deal.

There was no word yet as to how many signatures that letter, backed by J Street and Americans for Peace Now, had garnered by week’s end.

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Mugabe’s landslide win in election sparks tensions in Zimbabwe

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A Zimbabwean holds up a ballot during the general elections at a polling station in Domboshava, north of Harare, July 31, 2013.

A Zimbabwean holds up a ballot during the general elections at a polling station in Domboshava, north of Harare, July 31, 2013.
Tensions are rising in Zimbabwe after President Robert Mugabe’s party won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has already refused to accept the results describing parliamentary polls as fraudulent.

According to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, the ruling Zanu-PF party has won 137 seats in the 210-seat chamber, just short of two-thirds.

A spokesman for the ruling party has said the incumbent president could win up to 75 percent of the vote.

Meanwhile, a leading Zimbabwean opposition figure has denounced the disputed vote as a sham, saying he would not accept the results. Roy Bennett, the veteran opposition leader called for a campaign of “passive resistance” against the controversial results.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai has said his MDC would no longer deal with Zanu-PF and promised to challenge the “fraudulent” election results in court.

The results of the presidential vote are yet to be announced.

Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon has called for calm amid rising fears over the repeat of the bloody unrest that broke out in the aftermath of the 2008 elections in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe has become Africa’s oldest leader at 89, having ruled Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been sharing power since 2009, following a deal brokered by a regional bloc to end the unrest sparked after a disputed poll in 2008.

Violence broke out in the last presidential election in 2008, forcing Tsvangirai out of the race despite a first round win after 200 of his supporters were killed in the unrest.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Mugabe’s landslide win in election sparks tensions in Zimbabwe

Mugabe declared winner of Zimbabwe presidential election

NOVANEWS
Zimbabwe Electoral Commission has declared incumbent President Robert Mugabe as winner of presidential election.

Official results show that Mugabe has been reelected for another term with 61 percent of the vote. The election commission said Mugabe’s challenger Morgan Tsvangirai won 34 percent of the vote.

Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party also won the majority of seats at the parliament. The ruling party has won 137 seats in the 210-seat chamber, just short of two-thirds.

The situation is now tense in Zimbabwe after Mugabe’s victory in the parliamentary and presidential elections.

Minister of Justice Patrick Chinamasa has challenged the opposition leader to take his complaints to the courts.

“If anyone is dissatisfied, the courts are there. I invite Tsvangirai to go to court if he has any grounds to justify what he has been saying,” media outlets quoted Chinamasa as saying.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai says his party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) will boycott Mugabe’s government and will challenge the result of the election in courts.

Meanwhile, a top electoral official has resigned in protest at the country’s voting system. The official said the Wednesday polls did not meet the benchmark of fairness.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been sharing power since 2009, following a deal brokered by a regional bloc to end the unrest sparked after a disputed poll in 2008.

Mugabe has become Africa’s oldest leader at 89, having ruled Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980.

Posted in AfricaComments Off on Mugabe declared winner of Zimbabwe presidential election

US involved in Egypt ‘coup’: Muslim Brotherhood

NOVANEWS

The supporters of Egypt

The supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi gather during a sit-in outside Rabaa al-Adawiya Mosque, Cairo, August 1, 2013.
Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood says the United States has been involved in the “military coup” that ousted President Mohamed Morsi.

A senior member of the group, Mohamed al-Boltaji, said the recent remarks by US Secretary of State John Kerry in support of the Egyptian army came as no surprise, as Washington had a major role in the “military coup.”

On Thursday, Kerry defended Egypt’s military for the ouster of Morsi on July 3, claiming that the Egyptian army acted at the request of millions in order to ‘restore democracy.’

“The Egyptian military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people, all of whom were afraid of a descent into chaos,” Kerry said in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

The US official stopped short of calling the military ouster of Morsi a “coup,” adding that, “the military did not take over, to the best of our judgment… to run the country. There’s a civilian government.”

Boltaji noted that the Muslim Brotherhood is ready to hold talks on ending the current crisis and restoring diplomatic legitimacy to Egypt but would not recognize the “coup.”

Meanwhile, Essam el-Erian, another senior Brotherhood member, has expressed surprise that Kerry, an official of the US, which claims to be an advocate of democracy and human rights, has made such comments about the recent “coup.”

On Friday, Gehad al-Haddad, a spokesman for Muslim Brotherhood, asked in a statement, “Is it the job of the army to restore democracy? Does Secretary Kerry accept Defense Secretary (Chuck) Hagel to step in and remove (US President Barack) Obama if large protests take place in America?”

Egypt has been experiencing in a crisis since July 3, when army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi announced that President Mohamed Morsi was no longer in office.

Meanwhile, thousands of supporters of Egypt’s ousted president, Morsi, have refused to leave their protest camps in Cairo. This comes despite a warning from the interim government. The protesters insist that they will not leave their camps until Morsi is reinstated.

Dozens of people, mostly the supporters of the overthrown president, were killed during the violence that erupted after the coup.

Posted in USA, EgyptComments Off on US involved in Egypt ‘coup’: Muslim Brotherhood

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