Hillary Clinton: “If I’m President, We Will Attack Iran… We would be Able to Totally Obliterate Them.”

 

 

 

In-depth Report: IRAN: THE NEXT WAR

 

Endless wars are certain no matter who succeeds Obama. Clinton’s finger on the nuclear trigger should terrify everyone. ~ Oliver Stone filmmaker

 

By Stephen Lederman

Note: This piece which is of extreme relevance to the US election campaign was originally published in July 2015.

On July 3, 2015, presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton addressed a hand-picked audience at a Dartmouth College campaign event. She lied calling Iran an “existential threat to Israel… I hope we are able to get a deal next week that puts a lid on (its) nuclear weapons program.”

Even if we do get such a deal, we will still have major problems from Iran. They are the world’s chief sponsor of terrorism.

They use proxies like Hezbollah to sow discord and create insurgencies to destabilize governments. They are taking more and more control of a number of nations in the region and they pose an existential threat to Israel.

We…have to turn our attention to working with our partners to try to reign in and prevent this continuing Iranian aggressiveness.

Fact: US and Israeli intelligence both say Iran’s nuclear program has no military component. No evidence whatever suggests Tehran wants one. Plenty indicates otherwise.

As a 2008 presidential aspirant, she addressed AIPAC’s annual convention saying:

The United States stands with Israel now and forever. We have shared interests….shared ideals….common values. I have a bedrock commitment to Israel’s security.

(O)ur two nations are fighting a shared threat” against Islamic extremism. I strongly support Israel’s right to self-defense (and) believe America should aid in that defense.

I am committed to making sure that Israel maintains a military edge to meet increasing threats. I am deeply concerned about the growing threat in Gaza (and) Hamas’ campaign of terror.

No such campaign exists. The only threats Israel faces are ones it invents.

Clinton repeated tired old lies saying Hamas’ charter “calls for the destruction of Israel. Iran threatens to destroy Israel.”

“I support calling the Iranian Revolutionary Guard what it is: a terrorist organization. It is imperative that we get both tough and smart about dealing with Iran before it is too late.”

She backs “massive retaliation” if Iran attacks Israel, saying at the time:

“I want the Iranians to know that if I’m president, we will attack Iran. In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.”

She endorses using cluster bombs, toxic agents and nuclear weapons in US war theaters. She calls them deterrents that “keep the peace.” She was one of only six Democrat senators opposed to blocking deployment of untested missile defense systems – first-strike weapons entirely for offense.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 


US to Implement Official Strategy to Undermine IS Financial Strength: US Treasury

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014

Fighters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stand guard at a checkpoint in the northern Iraq city of Mosul, June 11, 2014

Reuters / Stringer

RIA NOVOSTI – Oct 23, 2014

WASHINGTON, October 23 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will implement a strategic plan aimed to degrade the Islamic State’s (IS) financial strength, US Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen announced Thursday.

“Our strategy involves three mutually supportive elements. First, we [the US] are working to disrupt ISIL’s revenue streams in order to deny it money in the first place. Second, we aim to limit what ISIL can do with the funds it collects by restricting its access to the international financial system. And finally, we will continue to impose sanctions on ISIL’s senior leadership and financial facilitators to disrupt their ability to operate,” said Cohen at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace conference.

According to Cohen, the United States will cut off the Islamic State’s “revenue from oil sales, ransom payments, extortion and crime, and support from foreign donors” and make it “difficult for them to find a bank anywhere that will touch their money or process their transactions.”

Cohen reiterated that the United States would not change its policy on not paying ransom for those kidnapped by IS, as it “deprives terrorists of funding critical to their deadly aspirations and operations”.

The IS, also known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) or the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has been fighting the Syrian government since 2012. In June 2014, the group extended its attacks to northern and western Iraq and declared an Islamic caliphate on the territories under its control. A US-led coalition is currently carrying out airstrikes against Islamic State positions in Syria and Iraq.

 

U.N. Chief Offers Stark View of Gaza Devastation

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JERUSALEM — Visiting Gaza on Tuesday for the first time since this summer’s 50-day war between Israel and Hamas, the secretary general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, said the destruction was “beyond description,” even as reconstruction efforts were underway for the first time.

“No amount of Security Council sessions, reports or briefings could have prepared me for what I witnessed today,” Mr. Ban told reporters after touring some of the most badly damaged areas of the Gaza Strip and visiting a United Nations school that was shelled during the fighting.

Perhaps anticipating the secretary general’s harsh assessment, Israel on Tuesday allowed a first delivery of building materials across the border into Gaza in a move to signal its support for the reconstruction effort and to deflect international criticism.

But that did little to soften Mr. Ban’s critique. “The build-destroy, build-destroy cycle must be broken,” he said. “The mindless pattern of blockade, rockets and destruction must stop.”

Mr. Ban’s visit to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, came after an international donor conference in Cairo on Sunday garnered $5.4 billion in pledges for the rehabilitation of the tiny coastal enclave, which has a population of some 1.8 million. Palestinian officials said that half the funds would be used for rebuilding while the other half would provide budgetary support for Gaza for the next three years.

United Nations officials said they were also encouraged by the symbolic first meeting in Gaza last week of the Palestinian government of national consensus that was formed in June with the backing of the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and its rival Hamas, which had previously maintained a monopoly of power.

But the continuation of the reconstruction effort will largely hinge on a United Nations-brokered mechanism to monitor and supervise the process — a tracking system meant to balance between the urgent need for relief in Gaza and Israel’s demand for assurances that the building materials will not end up used by Hamas to rebuild its military infrastructure.

“For this to be successful there needs to be full calm — no rebuilding of tunnels or rockets,” Robert H. Serry, the United Nations special envoy for the Middle East peace process, said in a telephone interview.

The Gaza recovery plan drawn up by the Palestinian government states that 2.5 million tons of rubble must be removed and that 60,000 homes were damaged in the war. Of those, it said, 20,000 were severely damaged or completely destroyed.

The shipment Tuesday of building materials included 600 tons of cement, 50 trucks of aggregates and 10 trucks of metal, according to the office of the Israeli defense ministry that coordinates civilian activities in the Palestinian territories. It described the transfer as a “pilot” presumably meant to test the mechanism for monitoring the reconstruction, which is still in its early stages.

The system for ensuring it was all properly used, agreed upon by the United Nations, the Palestinian Authority and Israel last month, involved running a central database for tracking the ordering and delivery of materials.

 

Once in Gaza, the materials would be transferred to private sector vendors approved by the Palestinian Authority. Contractors and engineers would also have to be licensed by the authority. The United Nations will contract local engineers to carry out spot-checks of some projects.

Nazmi Muhana, the Palestinian Authority’s director of crossing points, described the conditions for shipping the building materials as “strict and complicated.” Speaking by telephone from Ramallah in the West Bank he said the materials had to be stored in warehouses equipped with cameras and protected by guards. Since the Palestinian Authority has no forces on the ground in Gaza, Mr. Muhana said, the authority has handed responsibility for the materials to the United Nations.

Israeli officials have refused to discuss the details publicly; one said exposure would only lead people with an interest to look for and exploit the loopholes.

Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas in Gaza, said Hamas would have nothing to do with the deliveries of building materials. “This is a Palestinian Authority-United Nations business,” he said. “They have to stop seeking pretexts obstructing the delivery of materials in sufficient amounts.”

The sole goods crossing now in use between Israel and Gaza has the capacity for 400 to 450 trucks per day, according to Israeli officials, and already transfers about 300 to 350 trucks a day of consumer goods. Eventually, when the reconstruction effort is at its peak, the capacity will need to grow to accommodate 700 to 900 trucks a day.

Since Hamas took over the territory in 2007 Israel and Egypt have tightened the restrictions on the movement of people and goods across their borders with Gaza. Critics of the new mechanism for reconstruction say it falls far short of the lifting of the blockade, a condition they say is necessary for Gaza’s recovery.

Israel has shown willingness to ease the blockade after reaching a cease-fire with Hamas in late August. Israel announced on Tuesday that it would allow the export of agricultural produce from Gaza to the West Bank in the coming weeks, beginning with about 15 tons of dates and sweet potatoes and expanding over time to apply to other products, including fish.

But for a full lifting of the closure, Mr. Serry said, “You need more. You need peace.”

Back in Israel, Mr. Ban visited Nirim, an Israeli community just across the border from Gaza where two residents were killed by Palestinian mortar fire in the final hours of the war. He met the grandparents of a 4-year-old Israeli boy who was killed in another mortar attack on a nearby community and was taken by Israeli army officers into one of the tunnels built by Hamas to infiltrate Israeli territory.

That was meant as a poignant reminder of Israel’s security concerns and its fears that Hamas, the Islamic militant group that dominates the Palestinian enclave, would try to divert funds and materials meant for reconstruction to replenish its rocket stocks and rebuild the destroyed tunnels.

Middle East Israel seizes 400 hectares of West Bank land – AlJazeera

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US official describes as “counterproductive” Israeli announcement to appropriate land, said to be largest in 30 years.

AlJazeera

The United States has urged Israel to reverse its decision to seize nearly 400 hectares of land in the occupied West Bank, a move anti-settlement activists termed the largest land grab in 30 years.

Israel announced the massive land appropriation on Sunday in the Etzion settlement bloc near Bethlehem just days after Gaza ceasefire.

A Palestinian official said the latest land grab by Israel would cause only more friction after the Gaza war that left more than 2,000 Palestinians dead and over 10,000 injured.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called on Israel to cancel the appropriation. “This decision will lead to more instability. This will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza,” presidential spokesman Abu Rdainah said.

A US State Department official called the announcement as “counterproductive to Israel’s stated goal of a negotiated two-state solution with the Palestinians”.

“We urge the government of Israel to reverse this decision,” the official said in Washington.

Peace Now group, which opposes Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank, territory the Palestinians seek for a state, said the appropriation was meant to turn a site where 10 families now live adjacent to a Jewish seminary into a permanent settlement.

International criticism

Construction of a major settlement at the location, known as “Gevaot”, has been mooted by Israel since 2000. Last year, the government invited bids for the building of 1,000 housing units at the site.

Peace Now said the land seizure was the largest announced by Israel in the West Bank since the 1980s and that anyone with ownership claims had 45 days to appeal. A local Palestinian mayor said Palestinians owned the tracts and harvested olive trees on them.

Israel has come under international criticism over its settlement activities, which most countries regard as illegal under international law and a major obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state in any future peace deal.

Israel has said construction at Gevaot would not constitute the establishment of a new settlement because the site is officially designated a neighbourhood of an existing one, Alon Shvut, several kilometres down the road.

About 500,000 Israelis live among 2.4 million Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, territory that Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

 

Five EU nations complain to Israel over land grab

israeli-settlement_3033551b

ISRAELI SETTLEMENT – An Israeli soldier walks through the Gevaot settlement in the Gush Etzion settelment bloc near the West Bank city of Bethlehem Photo: ABIR SULTAN/EPA

 

Published by The Telegraph

Five EU nations have lodged a joint protest to the Israeli Government amid mounting criticism over Israel’s seizure of almost 1,000 acres of Palestinian-claimed land.

Five EU nations have lodged a joint protest to the Israeli Government amid mounting criticism over Israel’s seizure of almost 1,000 acres of Palestinian-claimed land.

Ambassadors of Britain, France, Italy and Spain and Germany’s deputy ambassador formally complained to Israel’s National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen on Tuesday about the government’s plan to seize land in the Gush Etzion area close to Bethlehem for the construction of what is expected to be Israel’s largest settlement in 30 years.

“We gave him a clear message that it was a very bad decision and with terrible timing and that we hope it will be reversed,” one European diplomat told Haaretz.

Mr Cohen reportedy told the ambassadors there were heavy political pressures within the government to speed up construction in the settlements.

Israel’s announcement of the land confiscation order was said to be in response to the killing of three Jewish youths in the area in June. Their deaths led to the 50-day war in Gaza, in which over 2,100 Palestinians and 73 Israelis died.

A US state department spokesperson has described the land confiscation as “counterproductive”.

Last week Palestinian families received eviction orders from Israeli occupation forces, warning that their houses would be demolished in preparation of a land seizure.

Israeli authorities have given the Palestinians and human rights organizations 45 days to submit their legal objections to the decision in Israeli courts.

Palestinian negotiators insist that Israeli settlement building in the West Bank must stop before any comprehensive peace agreement can be reached.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as “occupied territories” and considers all Jewish settlement building on the land illegal.

There are now 350,000 Israelis living in more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel seized the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967. They are illegal under international law and seen as an obstacle to the creation of a Palestinian state.

 

MIT study of Ghouta chemical attack challenges US intelligence

A United Nations (UN) arms expert collects samples on August 29, 2013, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus' eastern Ghouta suburb during an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons strike near the capital. (AFP Photo / Ammar Al-Arbini)

A United Nations (UN) arms expert collects samples on August 29, 2013, as they inspect the site where rockets had fallen in Damascus’ eastern Ghouta suburb during an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons strike near the capital. (AFP Photo / Ammar Al-Arbini)

 

Trend: Syria unrest

RT

Published time: January 16, 2014 04:39
Edited time: January 19, 2014 13:49

A new MIT report is challenging the US claim that Assad forces used chemical weapons in an attack last August, highlighting that the range of the improvised rocket was way too short to have been launched from govt controlled areas.

In the report titled “Possible Implications of Faulty US Technical Intelligence,” Richard Lloyd, a former UN weapons inspector, and Theodore Postol, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), examined the delivery rocket’s design and calculated possible trajectories based on the payload of the cargo.

The authors concluded that sarin gas “could not possibly have been fired at East Ghouta from the ‘heart’, or from the Eastern edge, of the Syrian government controlled area shown in the intelligence map published by the White House on August 30, 2013.”

Based on mathematical calculations, Lloyd and Postol estimate the rocket with such aerodynamics could not travel more than 2 kilometers. To illustrate their conclusion, the authors included the original White House map that depicted areas under Assad control and those held by the opposition. Based on the firing range and troop locations on August 21, the authors conclude that all possible launching points within the 2 km radius were in rebel-held areas.

map

“This mistaken intelligence could have led to an unjustified US military action based on false intelligence. A proper vetting of the fact that the munition was of such short range would have led to a completely different assessment of the situation from the gathered data,” the report states.

The authors emphasize that the UN independent assessment of the range of the chemical munition is in “exact agreement” with their findings.

The report goes on to challenge the US Secretary of State’s key assessments of the chemical attack that he presented to the American people on August 30th and to the Foreign Relations Committee on September 3rd in an effort to muster a military attack on Syria.

“My view when I started this process was that it couldn’t be anything but the Syrian government behind the attack. But now I’m not sure of anything. The administration narrative was not even close to reality. Our intelligence cannot possibly be correct,” Postol told McClatchy publication.

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“The Syrian rebels most definitely have the ability to make these weapons,” he said. “I think they might have more ability than the Syrian government.”

It also remains a mystery why the particular type of rocket that was used in the attack was not declared by the Syrian government as part of its chemical weapons arsenal when it agreed to destroy its chemical weapons and their delivery methods. OPCW inspectors charged with implementing the agreement also did not discover such a rocket in possession of government forces.

Syria agreed to the destruction of its chemical weapons through a deal brokered by Russia and the US after a sarin gas attack on August 21. Western nations blamed the deadly attack on President Bashar Assad’s forces, while Damascus accused the rebels for the incident. The UN fact-finding mission had no mandate to find out who carried out the attack.

Under the UN-backed plan, all of the country’s declared 1,290 tons of toxic agents should be destroyed by June 30. Initially, the first batch of the most dangerous materials was to be moved out of Syria on December 31.

However, the deadline was missed because of the ongoing war in Syria and technical issues. It was only on January 7 that “priority chemical materials” left the Syrian port of Latakia on a Danish ship for international waters.