Daily Archives: December 14, 2011

Dershowitz: Israel Has Legal Right to Attack Iran

 Israel National News

 

Israel has every legal and moral right to stage a pre-emptive strike on Iran, renowned legal expert Prof. Alan Dershowitz said in Tel Aviv on Monday. He also wants to hear U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speak out more strongly against Iran.

Speaking at the annual business conference sponsored by Globes, Dershowitz stated that regardless of whether or not it would be wise for Israel to attack, “Israel has the right morally and legally to strike Iran just as it did on [the nuclear facility] in Iraq in 1981. Having the right to attack does not mean that it should do so, but I would defend Israel’s right.”

Despite the “deep and positive” security relationship between the United States and Israel, he fears that there may be a “disconnect” over Iran’s race to produce a nuclear weapon and reach the capability to stage a nuclear attack on Israel.

“Israel doesn’t have the military capacity that America has to destroy Iran’s underground nuclear facilities,” Dershowitz explained, adding that that “United States can wait a longer time and has more of a willingness to tolerate a nuclear Iran.”

He praised Obama for stating he will not tolerate an Iran with nuclear weapons, but added, “I would like to hear that from the Secretary of State [Hillary Clinton].”

Turning to Turkey, Dershowitz lividly criticized Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for demanding an apology from Israel over the flotilla clash between terror activists and the IDF on the high seas in May 2010. “Turkey has never apologized for the genocide in Armenia. Talk about chutzpah? Talking about Turkey demanding an apology from anybody?”

Dershowitz also advised Israel to be more aggressive against countries’ threats to arrest visiting IDF officers and political leaders for alleged war crimes.

Israeli officials should not “duck back into their planes,” admonished Dershowitz. “That is not the way great nations behave,” he continued. He advised officers and politicians to “hold their heads high” and challenge countries’ authority to put them on trial.

Dershowitz vowed if they are arrested, he would ”put together the greatest legal team ever assembled.”

He added that Israel’s record  is better than that of Turkey and  NATO and others when it comes to the ratio of civilians to terrorists who are killed in warfare. Deshowitz declared that “the double standard against Israel.” whereby countries are far more guilty of the same charges made against Israel, represents “the depths of international law and the hijacking by the left.”

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Russia accuses West of ‘immoral’ stance on Syria

 

Russia’s foreign minister has accused the West of an “immoral” stance on Syria, saying it should condemn the opposition as well as security forces.

 

bbc.com

Sergei Lavrov said opposition groups were trying to provoke a “humanitarian catastrophe” to get foreign help.

The comments came after UN human rights chief Navi Pillay told the Security Council Syria should be referred to the International Criminal Court over its crackdown on the nine-month uprising.

She said 5,000 people had been killed.

In October, Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution condemning Syria. The draft, introduced by France and the UK, was supported by other Western countries.

On Tuesday Mr Lavrov defended an alternative text drafted by Russia and China which urges both sides in the conflict to refrain from violence.

He described as “immoral” the position of “those who refuse to exert pressure on the armed, extremist, part of the opposition and at the same time accuse us of blocking the work of the Security Council”.

Mr Lavrov said opposition forces in Homs had attacked hospitals and schools.

He added: “To me it is clear that the purpose is to provoke a humanitarian catastrophe, to get a pretext to demand external interference into this conflict.”

Russia has accused Western countries of using the UN to try to force regime change in Syria.

 

 

 

 

 Navi Pillay on Syria crackdown: “Five-thousand killed, including 300 children.”

 

 

‘Crimes against humanity’

Meanwhile, clashes between Syrian security forces and army defectors appear to be intensifying in the north of the country.

Syrian activists on Tuesday said deserters had killed seven soldiers in an ambush in Idlib province.

The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told the BBC the attack had been in revenge for the killing of 11 civilians by government forces earlier in the day.

In New York, UN Human Rights Commissioner Navi Pillay told a closed session of the Security Council that 300 children had been among those killed since the start of the uprising in March.

She also said 14,000 people were believed to have been arrested, and 12,400 had fled to neighbouring countries.

“It is based on the evidence and the widespread and systematic nature of the killings, the detentions and the acts of torture that I felt that these acts constituted crimes against humanity and I recommended that there should be a referral to the International Criminal Court,” Ms Pillay said on Monday.

She said her estimate of more than 5,000 deaths did not include security forces. The Syrian government has said more than 1,000 of its police and troops have been killed.

The Syrian ambassador at the UN, Bashar Jaafari, said Ms Pillay had “allowed herself to be misused in misleading the public opinion by providing information based on allegations collected from 233 defectors”.

It is difficult to confirm the casualty toll in Syria because there are no independent monitors on the ground and international journalists have been denied access to the country.

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Cheney urges “a quick airstrike” against Iran to retrive captured drone

Cheney urges “a quick airstrike” against Iran to retrive captured drone « The Ugly Truth

Salon.com

Once again, CNN philanthropist journalist Erin Burnett has used her show to give voice to the voiceless, to seek out the powerless to offer opinion on the day’s news. She debuted her show “OutFront” in early October by mocking Occupy Wall Street and defending the industry that destroyed the economy.

On Monday night Burnett gave a platform to a man almost as loathed as his Wall Street buddies, former Vice President Dick Cheney. And Cheney, predictably but contemptibly, took the opportunity to bash President Obama for not authorizing “a quick airstrike” to retrieve a predator drone that was recently downed in Iran.

Cheney told Burnett:

The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it. You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick airstrike, and in effect make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone. I was told that the president had three options on his desk. He rejected all of them. […]

They all involved sending somebody in to try to recover it, or if you can’t do that, admittedly that would be a difficult operation, you certainly could have gone in and destroyed it on the ground with an airstrike. But he didn’t take any of the options. He asked for them to return it. And they aren’t going to do that.

The former vice president has been insulting Obama  since Inauguration Day, insisting his policies will make the country “less safe.” Two months into his administration, Cheney charged that the new president “is making some choices that, in my mind, will, in fact, raise the risk to the American people of another attack.” He’s accused Obama of “half measures” and “dithering” on foreign policy. And more than once he’s criticized the president for not taking a tougher stance on Iran.

Even after Obama authorized the successful mission to kill Osama bin Laden, who Bush and Cheney essentially let run free thanks to their discretionary war with Iraq, Cheney wasn’t happy. “I still am concerned about the fact that I think a lot of the techniques that we had used to keep the country safe for more than seven years are no longer available. That they’ve been sort of taken off the table, if you will.”

So Cheney’s carping is nothing new. But suggesting that the president launch “a quick airstrike” to retrieve the downed drone is ridiculous, even for Cheney. There’s no such thing. Cheney has to know that any new U.S. incursion, following on the drone discovery, would sharply escalate tension with Iran, and to do that to recover a drone isn’t at all worth the risk.

It was left to CBS Early Show co-anchor Rebecca Jarvis this morning to ask the follow-up question Burnett did not: “Would not, though, an airstrike on Iran have potentially led us into a war with them?”  Cheney replied:

Well, if you look at what Iran has done over the years, they’ve been the prime backers of Hezbollah, of Hamas, the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983 that cost us 241 American lives. These were Iranian-supported ventures. It’s not as though they haven’t already committed acts that some people would say come close to being acts of war.

For us to go in and take out the drone that crashed would have been, I think, a fairly simple operation, and it would have denied them the value of the intelligence they can collect by having that aircraft,” he said. “But the administrative basically limited itself to saying, ‘Please give it back,’ and the Iranians said no.

ThinkProgress made a good catch: When a U.S. spy plane ventured into Chinese airspace in April 2001 and crashed with a Chinese fighter jet, the Bush-Cheney administration wound up apologizing in order to get 11 soldiers released from Chinese custody.  They didn’t send in “a quick airstrike.”

For the record, Cheney sounded bullish on Newt Gingrich in 2012, though he hasn’t endorsed anyone formally. “I wouldn’t underestimate him,” Cheney said, praising Gingrich’s political skills. “The thing I remember about Newt, we came to Congress together at the same time, ’78, and when Newt showed up, he said, ‘We can become the majority. We can take back the House of Representatives. We hadn’t had the House since the 1940s. And initially, none of us believed it, but he was persistent. And he was tenacious. He kept it up and kept it up and kept it up. And finally by ’94, he’s the newly elected speaker of the House of Representatives with a Republican majority.” Cheney declined to describe the way Gingrich crashed and burned in the years that followed. You’ve got to count that among the nicest things anyone who’s worked with Gingrich has said about him during the whole campaign. Stay tuned.

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US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion?

US troops circling Syria

US troops surround Syria on the eve of invasion? — RT

A former official from within the ranks of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is reporting that US and NATO forces have landed outside of Syria and are training militants to overthrow the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.

Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, formerly a translator with the FBI, wrote over the weekend that American soldiers are among the NATO troops that have mysteriously and suddenly landed on the Jordanian and Syrian border. According to her, several sources internationally have confirmed the news, although the US media has been instructed to temporarily censor itself from reporting the news.

Additionally, Edmonds says that American and NATO forces are training Turkish troops as well, to possibly launch a strike from the north of Syria.

Edmonds writes that an Iraqi journalist based out of London has confirmed that US forces that vacated the Ain al-Assad Air Base in Iraq last week did in fact leave the country as part of President Obama’s drawdown of troops, but rather than return home, the soldiers were transferred into Jordan during the late hours of Thursday evening. Another source, writes Edmonds, informs her that “soldiers who speak languages other than Arabic” have been moving through Jordan mere miles from the country’s border with Syria. Troops believed to be NATO/American-affiliated have been spotted between the King Hussein Air Base in al-Mafraq and the Jordanian village of Albaej and its vicinity.

Nizar Nayouf, a correspondent for Edmond’s Boiling Frog Post whistleblower site, says an employee of the London-based offices of Royal Jordanian Airlines has further confirmed that at least one US aircraft transporting military personnel has brought American troops into Jordan in recent days. Nayouf, the former editor-in-chief of Sawt al-Democratiyya (Democracy’s Vote), had previously been sentenced to a decade behind bars for critiquing the Syrian government. He later won several human rights awards and the 2000 UNISCO prize for press freedom.

Since the uprising of rebel forces opposing al-Assad’s regime over Syria nearly a year ago, American officials have been critical of the country’s government but insist that they have otherwise distanced themselves from becoming involved in the protests. Following the deaths of dozens of protesters in the spring of 2011, the United States imposed strict sanctions against the official government of Syria.

Navi Pillay, the United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights, revealed this week that the uprising in Syria has caused over 5,000 deaths since it began in early 2011. In the case of the crackdown against former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi’s regime, NATO involvement began only one month into the uprising. Nine months later, the total death toll of the Libyan Civil War is estimated to be close to 30,000.

In her report, Edmonds says that NATO troops have been training soldiers just outside of Syria since as early as May, and that US media is prohibited from reporting on it until today. The Turkish paper Milliyet also reports that defected Syrian colonel Riad al-Assad is preparing troops to take over the Syrian government as well.

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