Libby's Stew-To US Dems Fascism 'No Biggie' at Home & Abroad
“The Human Rights Crisis in Iraq” by Ajamu Baraka:
Baraka points out that Democrats such as the “progressive causus”, the Congressional Black Caucus, the Center for American Progress, the New American Foundation, Human Rights Watch and other supposedly “liberal and mainstream institutions and publications” are blaming the bloodbath in Iraq primarily on al-Maliki. These elements opposed Bush’s original attack on Iraq on moral grounds
These same Democratic elements have given direct or “tacit” support on the same “Bush era strategy to destroy Syria.”
In both cases, it was war that was unleashed, and in both cases outside the parameters of international law and in opposition to the wishes and interests of the vast majorities of the peoples of those nations.
"Senate Democrats confirm drone memo author for second-highest US court" by Patrick Martin
David Barron was Obama’s administration official who wrote the memo defending the use of assassination by drone-fired missile. In May the US Senate voted to confirm him to a lifetime seat on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. It was a bipartisan vote, 53 to 45 with only TWO Democrats voting against.
Every prominent liberal in the Senate voted to rubber-stamp the nomination. Those voting for Barron including the self-proclaimed “socialist,” independent Bernard Sanders of Vermont, as well as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, promoted as a potential presidential candidate by the Nation magazine and other liberal groups.
Also supporting Barron were Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, hailed by the pseudo-left as the first openly lesbian senator, Al Franken of Minnesota, and the three supposed critics of NSA spying, Mark Udall of Colorado, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico and Ron Wyden of Oregon.
The unanimous liberal support for Barron was all the more revealing because the vote came only one day after Obama administration officials staggered a Senate subcommittee hearing by declaring the president had the constitutional authority to order drone missile assassinations, air strikes, detention of prisoners, even full-scale invasions, regardless of any congressional authorization.
Martin explains that the Republicans who voted against Barron most likely did so because he is a so-called “liberal” law professor from Harvard. At 46 years old he is now on the second-highest US court in the country and in line for the Supreme Court under a Democratic president.
So, I guess the Dems would consider it a win to have Barron on the Supreme Court. The man who drafted the legal defense of illegal as well as immoral droning.
In his remarks on the Senate floor, Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts spoke for all the liberal Democrats when he argued that Barron should not be held accountable for the drone program despite his drafting the legal rationale for a presidential “right” to assassinate an American citizen.
“Let’s be clear: Barron is...certainly not responsible for the administration’s drone policy or the decisions to authorize an attack,” Markey said. “He is a lawyer who was asked to do legal analysis for his client: the president of the United States.” The same argument was made in defense of the German jurists who did the bidding of Adolf Hitler.
It was Republican Rand Paul who asserted what the Dems should have been asserting: “I rise today to oppose the nomination of anyone who would argue that the president has the power to kill an American citizen not involved in combat and without a trial.”
"In Baghdad, Kerry threatens US military action" by Patrick Martin
Again Kentucky REPUBLICAN Rand Paul speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” recently declared:
I think we have to understand first how we got here [the bloodbath in Iraq] ... We have been arming ISIS in Syria. ... We are where we are because we armed the Syrian rebels. We have been fighting alongside al Qaeda, fighting alongside ISIS. ISIS is now emboldened and in two countries. But here’s the anomaly. We’re with ISIS in Syria. We’re on the same side of the war. So, those who want to get involved to stop ISIS in Iraq are allied with ISIS in Syria. That is the real contradiction to this whole policy.“
"Egypt jails Al Jazeera journalists after show trial" by Alex Lantier
The Eyptian courts have sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to long prison terms. The charges are “trumped-up”, based on them “conspiring” with the Muslim Brotherhood and broadcasting “false” (i.e., truthful) news that is negative about the Egypt’s US-backed military junta.
One of the reporters was sentenced to 10 years, an extra three years added on, for “possession of ammunition” because of “a spent bullet casing he had found on the ground during a protest." The three, together with Al Jazeera itself, have all consistently denied the charges.
The prosecutors presented no real evidence to support their claims. The defendants’ families were hoping for acquittal because of this.
Two days earlier the Egyptian courts announced another “mass death sentence”, this time against 183 Muslim Brotherhood supporters.
According to Martin, the junta government led by al-Sisi has slaughtered almost 2000 people for protesting in the streets after their coup. They have jailed as political prisons 16,000 prisoners. They have handed out multiple “mass death sentences” to destroy the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the country’s "main right-wing bourgeois opposition party."
This is disturbingly 'no biggie' to our Democratic US administration. The US has been supporting the military regime since it overthrew MB President Mohaed Mursi in the coup of last July 2013.
A day before the sentencing of the three Al Jeera reporters, US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged to release $575 million in US military aid to Egypt along with the delivery of Apache attack helicopters.
Kerry, on tour in Iraq, said he had called Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry to register “serious displeasure” over a “chilling and draconian verdict.” Nevertheless, they are receiving $575 in US aid and Apache attack helicopters!
The attempt by Kerry and Washington’s imperialist allies to pose as concerned but powerless onlookers of the junta’s attacks on democratic rights is cynical and absurd. Washington is handing over billions of dollars to the army—headed by al-Sisi, a graduate of the US Army War College—while claiming that it has no leverage over Cairo except for impotent expressions of “displeasure” at its reactionary policies.
In fact, the jailing of Al Jazeera journalists is of a piece with the military government’s broader campaign to terrorize the Egyptian people and crush any force that might set off a renewed revolutionary struggle of the working class. In this campaign, Cairo has enjoyed the unswerving support of the imperialist powers—who fear the social anger in the Egyptian working class and are determined to prevent the outbreak of revolutionary struggles against al-Sisi like those that toppled the US-backed dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
The US is actively enabling profound violators of human rights, who are willing to kill or imprison any objecting to their totalitarian oppression.
"Government military offensive in eastern Ukraine continues" by Chris Marsden
In Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko continues his US-enabled “anti-terrorist” operation against the the residents of eastern Ukraine who dare to question and protest the violent coup that overthrew their elected president.
Petro Poroshenko was elected by 54% of Ukrainians on June 7th. Large numbers of eastern Ukrainians boycotted the election.
Poroshenko has postured that he is offering a peace plan but Marsden maintains that it is little more than an ultimatum for anti-Kiev Ukrainians to surrender. The day before a supposed ceasefire was to begin, a government spokesman bragged that 200 “rebels” had been killed and hundreds wounded.
On Saturday, Pavel Gubarev, the self-proclaimed governor of the Donetsk People’s Republic, said there was no ceasefire near Slavyansk. “There is shooting all the time, and this ceasefire that Poroshenko is talking about is just fake. The Ukrainian forces are either not under his control, or he is just a liar.”
Alexander Borodai, the prime minister of the Donetsk People’s Republic, added: “Since last evening, combat activities are continuing. Poroshenko’s artillery is bombing Slavyansk and the air force has made several raids. Words about a ceasefire as always were just that--words.”
The Western media is reporting that pro-Russian Ukrainians are sabotaging the ceasefire. Meanwhile, the US and NATO are continuing to threaten Russia.
In a weekend interview, Rasmussen described the upcoming NATO summit in Wales, set for September, as taking place under conditions where Russia’s “illegal military actions” in Ukraine had “dramatically changed” Europe’s security.
NATO had conducted “exercises on the ground” in the Baltic states, he said, “and we will not hesitate to take further steps if necessary to ensure continued effective defence and protection of our allies.” He continued, “We have tried to develop a partnership with Russia, but apparently Russia considers us not a partner but an adversary and, of course, we have to adapt to that.”
The US is also leading a push for more severe sanctions against Russia, to be discussed at a European Union summit in Brussels this week. Germany, France and the Baltic republics of Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia have all made supportive noises in an attempt to counter fears of a high economic cost and a threat to gas supplies from Russia, which account for a third of European consumption. European Commission president José Manuel Barroso told a news conference, “I am pleading for a common position of the member states.”
Moscow, anxious to stabilise its economic and political relations with the West and placate its backers among Russia’s oligarchs, continues to seek some form of accommodation with the US, EU and NATO. But it has been forced to take defensive measures, nevertheless.
Russia has denied any major redeployment of forces to its border with Ukraine. A statement issued Friday by Yuri Ushakov, Putin’s foreign policy adviser, said Russia was concerned about security, but “It is just the border guards that are getting some reinforcements, and troops have been withdrawn.”
But on June 21, RT, a pro-Kremlin media outlet, ran a major story headlined “Putin Orders Surprise Drills to Check Combat Readiness of Central Russia Forces.” It stated: “All Russian forces in Siberia, the Urals and beyond have been put on combat-ready alert, Defence Minister Sergey Shoigu said after President Putin ordered surprise drills.
An illegitimate and violent government in Ukraine is a craven pretext for US/NATO geo-political, military gamesmanship against Russia.
Human slaughter by an oppressive Kiev regime, once again, "no biggie" to our Democrat administration as well as our Congress, our media and the vast majority of our passive, low information and low interest citizenry.
[cross-posted on open salon]