Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘Syria’

Can Obama wage war without consent of Congress?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 13, 2014

barack-obamaWASHINGTON (AP) — On the cusp of intensified airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama is using the legal grounding of the congressional authorizations President George W. Bush relied on more than a decade ago to go to war. But Obama has made no effort to ask Congress to explicitly authorize his own conflict.

The White House said again Friday that Bush-era congressional authorizations for the war on al-Qaida and the Iraq invasion give Obama authority to act without new approval by Congress under the 1973 War Powers Act. That law, passed during the Vietnam War, serves as a constitutional check on presidential power to declare war without congressional consent. It requires presidents to notify Congress within 48 hours of military action and limits the use of military forces to no more than 60 days unless Congress authorizes force or declares war. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Putin Named Most Powerful Person in World by Forbes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on October 31, 2013

Putin

putin-obama_2252410b

Russian President Vladimir Putin was named the most powerful person on the planet by Forbes magazine Wednesday, knocking US President Barack Obama off the number one spot.

Forbes said that Putin, who ranked third last year, showed his dominance in diplomatic maneuvring during the international crisis over Syria, and the fate of fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden who was given asylum in Russia.

“Putin has solidified his control over Russia (“dictator” is no longer an outlandish word to ponder) and the global stage,” Forbes said.

The top spot has been given to Obama every year since Forbes began compiling the ranking in 2009, except in 2010 when Hu Jintao, the former Chinese leader, was deemed the most influential. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Syria urges UN to prevent ‘US-led foreign aggression’

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 2, 2013

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

UN Headquaters in New York (AFP Photo / Mehdi Taamallah)

The UN is under growing pressure from Syria to do its job and prevent an American “war of aggression,” and the Arab League demanding punishment for “war criminals” in the Syrian government.

  The two identical letters delivered to the UN Secretary General  Ban Ki-moon and President of the UN Security Council, Maria  Cristina Perceval call on the international body to maintain its  role of protector of international legitimacy and prevent US-led  aggression against Damascus, Syria’s permanent representative to  the UN Bashar al-Jaafari told Sana.

The Syrian government continues to deny any use of chemical  weapons on the civilian population, with Jaafari reminding of  Syria’s cooperation with the UN on this issue, which was often  downplayed and twisted in the western media.
“The Syrian government is the first side who asked the UN  Secretary General to form an objective investigation team to  investigate the use of chemical weapons in Khan al-Assal in  Aleppo,” Bashar al-Jaafari said, adding that they warned,   “more than a year ago, against the serious risks of the  possibility of using chemical materials by the armed terrorist  groups in Syria.”      Despite the Syrian government’s swift permission for the UN  investigation team to probe the site of the alleged attack on  August 21, some “foreign countries” launched an anti-Assad  campaign accusing government forces of slaughtering their own  people, Jaafari said.
“Syria has informed, in official letters, the UN Secretary  General and the UNSC about the activities of these groups, which  coincided with a political, diplomatic and media campaign led by  some countries which are directly responsible for shedding the  blood in Syria and preventing the peaceful solution in order to  accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapon,” he  added.

A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA)A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on August 24, 2013 shows bags and containers of what the Syrian government claims to be materials used to make chemical weapons discovered in Jobar on the outskirts of the capital Damascus (AFP Photo / HO / SANA) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Assad: Erdogan thinks he’s Caliph, new sultan of the Ottoman (EXCLUSIVE)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2012

Bashar Assad speaking with RT′s Sophie Shevardnadze
Bashar Assad speaking with RT’s Sophie Shevardnadze

In an exclusive interview with RT, President Bashar Assad said that the conflict in Syria is not a civil war, but proxy terrorism by Syrians and foreign fighters. He also accused the Turkish PM of eyeing Syria with imperial ambitions.

Assad told RT that the West creates scapegoats as enemies – from communism, to Islam, to Saddam Hussein. He accused Western countries of aiming to turn him into their next enemy. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama threatens to attack Syria

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 21, 2012

Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

Barack Obama (AFP Photo / Brendan Smialowski)

US President Barack Obama has a stern warning for the country of Syria. In an address made early Monday, the commander-in-chief confirmed that he has not ruled out an offensive strike on Bashar al-Assad and his regime.

Speaking from the White House, President Obama said that if Syria were to deploy chemical or biological weapons, the United States will follow through with its threat of launching an attack.

Responding to a question about America’s current attitudes towards Assad, Obama said that the United States will not tolerate any efforts to allow Syria or any other countries to use weapons of mass destruction.

“We have been very clear to the Assad regime but also to other players on the ground that a red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized,” the president said. “That would change my equation. . . . We’re monitoring that situation very carefully. We have put together a range of contingency plans.” Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Russia, China veto western-backed Syria resolution at UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

Russia and China have vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution that threatened Syria with more sanctions.

­It was the third time in nine months that Russia and China used their powers as permanent members of the 15-nation council to block resolutions on Syria. There were 11 votes in favor of the resolution. Russia and China voted against it, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained from voting. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Russia, China Veto Syria Resolution From UN Security Council

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 20, 2012

By Michelle Nichols

UNITED NATIONS, July 19 (Reuters) – Russia and China vetoed  a U.N. Security Council resolution on Thursday that threatened  Syrian authorities with sanctions if they did not halt violence  against an uprising, thwarting Western hopes for tough action as  the crisis in Syria escalates.

It was the third time that Russia, a key ally of the Syrian  government, and China have used their veto power to block U.N.  Security Council resolutions designed to put pressure on Syrian  President Bashar al-Assad and halt the violence in a 16-month  conflict that has killed thousands of people.

As efforts to forge a diplomatic solution appeared to  collapse, Syrian rebels clashed with forces loyal to Assad in  Damascus, a day after the killing of three close allies of the  president led to fresh warnings that the situation was spinning  out of control.

The vetoed resolution, which would have extended a U.N.  observer mission in Syria for 45 days, received 11 votes in  favor, while South Africa and Pakistan abstained.

International mediator Kofi Annan, who had sought a tough  resolution to save his disintegrating peace plan, voiced  disappointment, saying the council had failed “to take the  strong and concerted action he had urged and hoped for.”

Russia, which had proposed its own alternative resolution  without the sanctions threat, said it did not now plan to bring  that measure to a vote, leaving the future of the monitoring  mission hanging in the balance less than two days before its  U.N. mandate expires.

Britain proposed a resolution to extend the monitoring  mission for 30 days and hoped to put it to a vote on Thursday,  diplomats said, but it remained unclear how much backing this  new measure might win.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice,  described the twin vetoes as “dangerous and deplorable” and said  the Security Council had “failed utterly.”

“The United States has not, and will not, pin its policy on  an unarmed observer mission that is deployed in the midst of  such widespread violence and that cannot even count on the most  minimal support of this Security Council,” Rice said.

“Instead, we will intensify our work with a diverse range of  partners outside the Security Council to bring pressure to bear  on the Assad regime and to deliver assistance to those in need.”

The United States has been instrumental in forming the   “Friends of Syria” group, which includes a wide range of Western  and Arab countries, that has sought to increase pressure on  Damascus and encourage more unity among Syria’s fractured  opposition. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Syrian rebels attack govt HQ, Assad’s whereabouts unknown

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

•  Assad reported to be in Latakia directing response to killings
• Delayed UN security council vote due to take place
• Obama calls Putin to discuss crisis

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube on July 18, 2012 shows smoke billowing from a municipality building in the Al-Hajar al-Aswad district of the Syrian capital Damascus during clashes between Syrian forces and armed rebels. More than 200 people, mostly civilians, were killed on July 18 in violence across Syria, including 38 in Damascus where armed rebels are pressing an all-out offensive, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. (AFP Photo/YouTube)

Clashes between the Syrian army and rebel fighters are taking place near the government headquarters in Syria’s capital Damascus.

At least one person has reportedly been killed in the fighting in the Ikhlas neighborhood adjacent to the Council of Ministers, says Reuters.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the opposition damaged one helicopter and disabled three military vehicles. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Is Syria Facing a Yugoslavia-style Breakup?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 19, 2012

Even if the regime loses its grip on growing swathes of territory, the civil war’s sectarian dimension could see it opt to retreat into enclaves controlled by its base of Alawite, Christian and non-Sunni support.
AP

AP
Smoke billows over Damascus, Syria, July 18, 2012

“This is a situation that is rapidly spinning out of control,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday, following the Damascus bombing that lacerated the inner circle of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. “And for that reason it’s extremely important that the international community […has] to bring maximum pressure on Assad to do what’s right — to step down and to allow for that peaceful transition.” Panetta’s concern is understandable, because the escalating civil war means that Syria is not only no longer under the effective control of the Assad regime, but that its outcome is increasingly beyond the control of the U.S. and its allies or any other international powers. Needless to say, Panetta’s prescription for maximum international pressure on Assad to step down appears to be wishful thinking. The same may be true for the Obama Administration’s idea of a “managed transition” in which the opposition cooperates with a regime that remains intact after Assad has been removed.

Russia remains firm in its opposition to Western efforts to press for Assad’s ouster. “If we are talking about a revolution, the U.N. has no business here,” said Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov on Wednesday, according to Businessweek. “Assad won’t quit and our Western partners don’t know what to do.” Indeed, the latest violence in the capital renders even more remote the soft landing envisaged by Panetta and by the best-case peace scenario of U.N. Special Envoy Kofi Annan. The denouement of the Assad regime is likely to be nasty, brutish and not especially short. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

SYRIAN DEFENSE MINISTER KILLED IN SUICIDE ATTACK

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 18, 2012

AP  |  By  Share on Google+

Dawoud Rajha

By BASSEM MROUE and ELIZABETH A. KENNEDY, Associated Press

BEIRUT — A suicide bomber struck the National Security building in the Syrian capital Wednesday, killing the defense minister and wounding the interior minister in a brazen attack on the seat of government power, state-run TV said.

Defense Minister Dawoud Rajha, 65, a former army general, is the most senior government official to be killed in the Syrian civil war as rebels battle to oust President Bashar Assad. Interior Minister Mohammed Shaar was in stable condition, state-run TV said.

Although it was unclear who was behind the attack, the high-level assassination could signal a turning point in the 16-month conflict as the violence becomes increasingly chaotic.

The capital also has seen four straight days of clashes pitting government troops against rebels – an unprecedented challenge to government rule in the tightly controlled capital.

Rajha was the most senior Christian government official in Syria. Assad appointed him to the post last year. His death will resonate with Syria’s minority Christian population, who make up about 10 percent of Syria’s population and have generally stood by the regime.

Christians say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people, and they are fearful that Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Muslim groups.

Wednesday’s attack struck the National Security building in Damascus during a meeting of Cabinet ministers and senior security officials. State-run TV said some of the officials were seriously wounded. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

West clings to Arab influence with airstrike democracy – Putin

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentyev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin (RIA Novosti / Mikhail Klimentyev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has criticized the West for clinging to its influence in the Arab world under the guise of “humanitarian operations.” He dubbed western involvement in Arab affairs as the export of “rocket and bomb democracy.”

At a meeting with top Russian diplomats Putin said that certain countries will do anything to retain the influence they have become accustomed to in the Arab world.

He stressed that western nations often adopt a one-sided policy in Arab affairs that violates international law.

“We must do everything in our power to coerce the opposing forces in the Syrian conflict into coming to a peaceful solution,” underlined the Russian President.

Citing the importance of an active dialogue in Syria, he said “this is, of course, a more complicated and delicate task than just barreling in with military intervention.”

Putin added that only a diplomatic solution could lead to long-term peace and stability in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Clinton: Russia and China will ‘pay price’ for supporting Assad

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 7, 2012

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the "Friends of the Syrian People" at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton listens during a meeting of the “Friends of the Syrian People” at the MFA Conference Center July 6, 2012 in Paris, France (AFP Photo Pool/Brendan Smialowski)

Russia rejects in the strongest possible terms allegations that it supports President Assad in the Syrian conflict. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Moscow and Beijing must ‘pay a price’ for backing Assad.

“I do not believe that Russia and China are paying any price at all – nothing at all – for standing up on behalf of the Assad regime.  The only way that will change is if every nation represented here directly and urgently makes it clear that Russia and China will pay a price,” Clinton warned.­

Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov  said the west is operating within a friend-or-foe framework that he called outmoded.

“We categorically reject that such a question would even be posed regarding the current situation in Syria and Russia’s ‘backing’ of President Bashar Assad. This is not a question of supporting certain political figures or leaders. This is a question of managing a crisis situation in the country within a normal political framework,” Ryabkov said.

“Unfortunately, we’re unable to get a basic understanding from our western partners. The west is still appealing to “friend-or-foe” terms. We considered such terminology to be a thing of the past,” Ryabkov explained.

Russia and China once again opted not to attend the “Friends of Syria” meeting. Neither Moscow nor Beijing believe the meeting in the French capital will be helpful in uniting the Syrian opposition “on a constructive basis”.

We have frankly laid out the reasons why we have restrained from joining the mechanism, the very name of which has a contradiction between the word and the deed,” Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said earlier this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

WikiLeaks releases Syria Files, almost 2.5 mln emails to be published

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 6, 2012

Screenshot form the Syria Files section on WikiLeaks website

Screenshot form the Syria Files section on WikiLeaks website

The whistleblower website WikiLeaks has announced the release of almost 2.5 million emails derived from 680 Syria-related entities and domain names. They are said to be “embarrassing to Syria, but it is also embarrassing to Syria’s opponents.”

“It helps us not merely to criticize one group or another, but to understand their interests, actions and thoughts. It is only through understanding this conflict that we can hope to resolve it,” the announcement quotes Julian Assange, who is currently in the Ecuador embassy in London, where he is awaiting a decision on his appeal for political asylum.

The website says the files“shine a light on the inner workings of the Syrian government and economy, but they also reveal how the West and Western companies say one thing and do another.“

Italy ‘secretly supplied’ Syria despite official censure

The first revelation exposes ties between Italian industrial giant Finmeccanica, which is 30-per cent owned by the government, and Damascus.

Despite the fact that Italy has repeatedly condemned Assad, one of Finmeccanica’s subsidiaries supplied Syria with TETRA, an $50 million interception-proof communications network used by the military and police. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Annan: Russia, West agree on transition government for Syria

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 1, 2012

The Syrian crisis is to be resolved by a transition government consisting of the current authorities and opposition leaders. The proposal was announced by UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan after talks in Geneva.

The unity government should be formed on the basis of “mutual consent” said Annan. The Syrian-led transition should take place within a fixed period of time and the envoy hopes this may happen by the end of the year.

Annan, announcing the official communiqué of the international meeting in Geneva, called on the Syrian regime and opposition groups to re-commit to a ceasefire and to start implementing his six-point peace plan immediately, without waiting for the other side.

The plan urges the sides in the Syrian conflict to cooperate with UN observers, allow humanitarian aid delivery, release detainees and grant journalists access to the country. The right to peaceful demonstrations must also be respected, stressed Annan.

Prior to the conference, Annan had proposed a plan for a unity government in Syria excluding political figures that would compromise the country’s stability and effectively calling for the removal of President Bashar al-Assad. Moscow refused to back such a condition and also made sure the plan brokered in Geneva would not require Assad to step down.

Kofi Annan also said that foreign ministers who took part in the conference in Geneva would make up a regular working group on the Syrian crisis. A new round of Syria talks may take place in Moscow, suggest diplomatic sources.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a news conference after the meeting of the Action Group on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, June 30, 2012 (Reuters/Valentin Flauraud)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gestures during a news conference after the meeting of the Action Group on Syria at the United Nations European headquarters in Geneva, June 30, 2012 (Reuters/Valentin Flauraud) Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Syria Massacre Captured By Satellite Cameras (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

By Andrea Stone

Syria Massacre

WASHINGTON — New satellite images of the besieged Syrian region of Houla provide stark evidence of last week’s massacre of more than 100 civilians, many of themchildren, believed killed by government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The before and after photos were taken last Friday and Saturday by DigitalGlobe, a commercial satellite company that provided them exclusively to The Huffington Post. They appear to confirm on-the-ground reports of mass casualties from execution-style killings and shelling of civilians by government troops.

The photos, in the slideshow below, show the village of Taldou, two miles southeast of central Houla.

In one set of images, the city center is seen on the morning of May 25, before the violence began. No unusual activity is obvious.

A second image taken the next day, Saturday, shows what the company said are large crowds massed around the local mosque near the town square. “That was the first tip-off,” said Amy Opperman, a manager in the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center, noting that such crowds are more typical of Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.

The people stand near a line of long, light-colored trenches that are believed to be themass burials photographed by a Reuters photographer on the scene. Analysts compared a clock tower, power lines and other features seen in the photo to confirm the satellite image was a match. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Global | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
%d bloggers like this: