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Posts Tagged ‘War’

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 »
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Global Voice on Peace

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 5, 2012

On the auspicious occasion of 4th Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day, the Movement created this clip to spread Buddha’s peace message all over the world.   Participants:

Agni Frank Eickermann -Spiritual leader, USA
Venerable Samahita Thero, Sri Lanka
Miss Nepal Australia 2011 – Reecha Dhital
Miss Nepal Australia 2012 – Deepashree Shah
Mister Nepal Australia 2012 – Niraj Sharma
Ram Kumar Shrestha – Lumbini-Kapilvastu Day Movement Global Coordinator
Indu Nishani Nanayakkara, Sri Lanka

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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 »

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WikiLeaks remains the target of secret federal investigation two years later

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on November 9, 2012

The United States has yet to charge WikiLeaks or its founder Julian Assange with any crimes, but a judge this week admitted that a 2-year-old investigation is nonetheless still being pursued by federal prosecutors.

US District Judge Liam O’Grady denied a plea on Wednesday to unseal court documents pertaining to an elusive grand jury investigation targeting WikiLeaks started in 2010. Rejecting a request to make certain materials available outside of the closed-door inquisition, the judge acknowledged that publishing those files would put in jeopardy the country’s still pending and highly-secretive probe into the whistleblower site.

“For reasons stated in the memorandum of the United States, unsealing of the documents at this time would damage an ongoing criminal investigation,” O’Grady ruled in a decision according to court papers first obtained by Wired (.PDF).

The judge’s response this week is in regards to the latest request to release materials believed to discuss persons loosely affiliated with WikiLeaks, a website shunned by the Obama administration and largely expected to be indicted sooner or later for publishing hundreds of thousands of US diplomatic cables and other sensitive files online.

In December 2010, the US Justice Department subpoenaed the social media site Twitter with papers demanding information on four registered accounts, including the official @WikiLeaks page and three managed by particular individuals, namely activist Jacob Appelbaum; Icelandic lawmaker Birgitta Jonsdottir; and Dutch businessman Rop Gonggrijp. Initially, those persons unsuccessfully attempted to keep Twitter from providing the government with the requested information, including associated phone numbers, email addresses, bank account numbers and IP addresses. Now nearly two years later, they have been denied access to those still-sealed files yet again. Read the rest of this entry »

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Iran may launch pre-emptive strike on Israel, conflict could grow into WWIII – senior commander

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on September 25, 2012

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome missile system in the city of Ashdod. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome missile system in the city of Ashdod. (AFP Photo/Jack Guez)

An Iranian military official has warned that military conflict between Iran and Israel could “turn into World War III.” He added that if Israel “is putting the final touches on attacking Iran,” a preemptive strike against Tel Aviv would ensue.

Israel “cannot imagine” the force of Iran’s response if Tel Aviv attacks it, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told Iran’s Arabic-language television network. “It will sustain heavy damage and that will be a prelude to its obliteration,”he said.

Hajizadeh added that Iran does not see this happening at the moment because he does not believe that Israel will conduct an attack without its strongest ally – the United States.  Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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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 »

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Iran boasts it could wipe out US presence in Middle East in minutes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 5, 2012

In a picture obtained from Iran's ISNA news agency on July 3, 2012, shows AN Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises, codenamed Great Prophet-7, for Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards at an undisclosed location in Iran's Kavir Desert. (AFP Photo/ISNA/Arash Kyamoushi)

In a picture obtained from Iran’s ISNA news agency on July 3, 2012, shows AN Iranian short-range missile (Fateh) launched during the second day of military exercises, codenamed Great Prophet-7, for Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards at an undisclosed location in Iran’s Kavir Desert. (AFP Photo/ISNA/Arash Kyamoushi)

Iran claims it has the capability to destroy US bases “within minutes” after concluding a massive military exercise in which it launched hundreds of missiles.

“[US] bases are all in range of our missiles, and the occupied lands [Israel] are also good targets for us,” Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, commander of the elite Revolutionary Guard told the FARS news agency.

The three-day Great Prophet 7 training exercise wrapped up on Wednesday. It simulated rapidly releasing batteries of guided missiles and Iran-made drones at mock-ups of US bases.

Haji Zadesh claimed that 35 US bases are within the 2,000 km range of Iran’s rockets, although the actual number of bases within this area is closer to 10.

The aggressive rhetoric comes on the back of a spike in tension between Iran and the US, already locked in a long-running stand-off over Iran’s nuclear program. Washington and the EU believe it is aimed at producing nuclear weapons, while Tehran denies the accusations. Read the rest of this entry »

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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 »

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Court finds Bush and Blair guilty of war crimes

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 2, 2012

George W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

George W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (AFP Photo / Jim Watson)

Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.

“War criminals have to be dealt with – convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice,” 
the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read.

The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush “child-killers”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan X: Pentagon’s blueprint for full-fledged cyberwar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

The wheels of the war machine are ever turning inside the Pentagon, but the Defense Department’s latest endeavor won’t involve fighter jets and armored tanks. The DoD is putting aside billions to enhance its cyberwar capabilities.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is turning towards the private sector and America’s next generation of computer wiz-kids to recruit forces for its next war. A report released Thursday by the Washington Post reveals that DARPA is looking to invest $1.54 billion during the next five years to up its online abilities, with $110 million going directly to a program dubbed Plan X, but unlike before it won’t be budgeted necessarily for thwarting acts of cyberterrorism. Instead the Pentagon is itching to ensure that America can carry out an offensive cyberwar on other nations rather than just readying the US to defend itself against a similar assault from abroad.

Experts say that, if the Pentagon’s plans come to fruition, it will put America at the forefront in terms of cyberwar capabilities. And although it might be a success in the eyes of Congress and corporations with a vested interest in protecting America’s cyber infrastructure, the powers that the Pentagon wants could be bigger than anyone can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

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Israel takes back promise to Obama not to attack Iran before the election

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 25, 2012

Israeli Air Force T-6A Texan aircraft fly in formation during a display for Israel's 64th Independence Day over Jerusalem April 26, 2012 (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Israeli Air Force T-6A Texan aircraft fly in formation during a display for Israel’s 64th Independence Day over Jerusalem April 26, 2012 (Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Sources from inside Washington, DC are telling the international media that Israeli leadership is upset with US President Barack Obama’s handling of Iran’s alleged nuclear threat and may take military action before the November election.

The Debka news agency quotes sources from America’s capital that say Israel has withdrawn its earlier promise to avoid striking Iran before the upcoming US presidential election this fall. The reason, reports Debka, heavily revolves around President Obama’s refusal to side with Israel’s demands in dealing with the rumored emerging threat of a nuclear program in Iran.

Previously, authorities in Israel told the White House that they would refrain from striking Iran until after Election Day as to avoid marring the race by possibly involving the US in an international war. Because President Obama has not put his foot down on Iran’s alleged nuclear warhead procurement plan, Israeli officials are not reportedly willing to attack at any moment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Should NATO Be Handling World Security?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 22, 2012

By Lawrence Wittner, Professor of History emeritus, SUNY Albany

 The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (better known as NATO) is in the news once again thanks to a NATO Summit meeting in Chicago over the weekend of May 19-20 and to large public demonstrations in Chicago against this military pact.

NATO’s website defines the alliance’s mission as “Peace and Security,” and shows two children lying in the grass, accompanied by a bird, a flower and the happy twittering of birds. There is no mention of the fact that NATO is the world’s most powerful military pact, or that NATO nations account for 70 percent of the world’s annual $1.74 trillion in military spending.

The organizers of the demonstrations, put together by peace and social justice groups, assailed NATO for bogging the world down in endless war and for diverting vast resources to militarism.According to a spokesperson for one of the protest groups, Peace Action: “It’s time to retire NATO and form a new alliance to address unemployment, hunger, and climate change.”

NATO was launched in April 1949, at a time when Western leaders feared that the Soviet Union, if left unchecked, would invade Western Europe. The U.S. government played a key role in organizing the alliance, which brought in not only West European nations, but the United States and Canada. Dominated by the United States, NATO had a purely defensive mission — to safeguard its members from military attack, presumably by the Soviet Union.

That attack never occurred, either because it was deterred by NATO’s existence or because the Soviet government had no intention of attacking in the first place. We shall probably never know.

In any case, with the end of the Cold War and the disappearance of the Soviet Union, it seemed that NATO had outlived its usefulness.

But vast military establishments, like other bureaucracies, rarely just fade away. If the original mission no longer exists, new missions can be found. And so NATO’s military might was subsequently employed to bomb Yugoslavia, to conduct counter-insurgency warfare in Afghanistan, and to bomb Libya. Meanwhile, NATO expanded its membership and military facilities to East European nations right along Russia’s border, thus creating renewed tension with that major military power and providing it with an incentive to organize a countervailing military pact, perhaps with China.

None of this seems likely to end soon. In the days preceding the Chicago meeting, NATO’s new, sweeping role was highlighted by Oana Lungescu, a NATO spokesperson, who announced that the Summit would “discuss the Alliance’s overall posture in deterring and defending against the full range of threats in the 21st century, and take stock of NATO’s mix of conventional, nuclear, and missile defense forces.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Congress opens door for US war with Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 19, 2012

Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters (Reuters / Handout)

                                                                Two U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptor stealth jet fighters (Reuters / Handout)

The US House of Representatives has passed a resolution on Iran that moves the United States much closer to a war footing against Iran as many experts and diplomats warn America is ready for attack.

The vote undermines the 5+1 Iranian nuclear talks scheduled for next week, in which the US will participate and which many in the pro-war camp want to sabotage.

Ahead of the vote Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), a tough critic of the resolution and one of the few who voted against it, warned that the US is “getting ready for war against Iran” with Thursday’s vote.

The non-binding resolution H.Res.568 that overwhelmingly passed 401-11, effectively calls for a military attack on Iran when it obtains “nuclear weapons capability.” The vague interpretation, critics say, already applies to Iran, not to mention Brazil, Japan, the Netherlands, and actually any other country with a civilian nuclear program.

Col. Lawrence Wilkerson, former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, warned “This resolution reads like the same sheet of music that got us into the Iraq war, and could be the precursor for a war with Iran. It’s effectively a thinly-disguised effort to bless war.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Grass stained: Israel slams Nobel Prize-winner over ‘anti-nuke’ poem

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2012

Guenter Grass (AFP Photo / John Macdougall)

Guenter Grass (AFP Photo / John Macdougall)

The Israeli government has slammed a poem by prominent German writer and Nobel Prize-winner Gunter Grass criticizing Israel’s stance on nuclear armament. The country labels a comparison Grass made of Israel to Iran “shameful”.

In his lyrical warning What Must be Said, published on Wednesday in the German Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily, Grass claimed it is not Iran, but “Israel’s atomic power [which] endangers an already fragile world peace,” as its nuclear program was developed without any supervision.

Grass called upon Germany to stop supplying Israel with submarines because “we [Germans] may be providing material for a crime that is foreseeable.”

In response, the Israeli Government insisted the country has never threatened any country’s security, as opposed to Iran. Read the rest of this entry »

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