25-01-14

Obama and Dr. Martin Luther King

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We can wonder what Martin Luther King would think of the war on Syria. 

http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2012/01/16/president-obama-and-dr-king

http://youtu.be/d_-_I-oXA3Y

In 2010, the US made the largest arms sale in its history, selling $60 billion’s worth of jets and attack helicopters to the Arab kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil to the US, though its highly unlikely OPEC would support a slow down or boycott over the kingdom’s political gripes with the US. Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials…

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2013/11/17/335123/israel-s-arabia-united-against-iran/

22-01-14

Geneva 2 Syria: American ‘Peace Talks’

Geneva 2: UN retracts Iran’s invite, Syrian opposition confirms attendance

January 20, 2014

The UN has withdrawn an invitation for Iran to the January 22 Geneva 2 peace conference after Syria’s main Western-backed opposition group threatened to pull out of talks if the Islamic Republic attends.

A UN spokesperson announced Monday that UN chief Ban Ki-moon has withdrawn his invitation for Iran.

“[Ban] continues to urge Iran to join the global consensus behind the Geneva communique,” Ban’s spokesman Martin Nesirky said. “Given that it has chosen to remain outside that basic understanding, [Ban] has decided that the one-day Montreux gathering will proceed without Iran’s participation.”

Following the announcement Syria’s main opposition group – Syrian National Coalition – has confirmed its participation in the peace talks.

“We appreciate the United Nations and [UN Secretary-General] Ban Ki-moon’s understanding of our position. We think they have taken the right decision. Our participation is confirmed for 22 January,” Monzer Akbik, chief of staff of the president of the National Coalition told Reuters.

http://rt.com/news/iran-syria-peace-geneva-916/

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June 20, 2013 - ‘Syrian Rebels: We’ve Received Heavy Weapons from Saudis’:
The first delivery of heavy weapons has arrived on Syria’s front lines following President Barack Obama’s decision to put Western military might behind the official opposition, rebels told the British Daily Telegraph. More have now arrived, confirming reports that the White House has lifted an unofficial embargo on its Gulf allies sending heavy weapons to the rebels. “We now have supplies from Saudi Arabia,” a rebel source said. “We have been told more weapons are on their way, even higher-end missiles.” European Union foreign ministers agreed at the end of May to lift an arms embargo in order to supply weapons to Syrian rebels, but British Foreign Secretary William Hague said at the time that “no immediate decision” would be made on sending arms to the rebels.  ”Terrorists will return to Europe with fighting experience and extremist ideologies,” President Assad told the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.
http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/169117#.Up9x2MTuK5U

November 7, 2013 - Saudi Arabia to spend millions to train new rebel force – Syrian, Arab and western sources say the intensifying Saudi effort is focused on Jaysh al-Islam (the Army of Islam or JAI), created in late September by a union of 43 Syrian groups. Diplomats and experts warned that there are serious doubts about its prospects as well as fears of “blowback” by extremists returning from Syria. The Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, is also pressing the US to drop its objections to supplying anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles to the JAI. Jordan is being urged to allow its territory to be used as a supply route into neighbouring Syria. (The Guardian)

November 10, 2013 - ‘The CIA is Leading Massive Arms Deliveries to Rebels in Syria, Saudi Arabia is Training Terrorists’:
http://www.globalresearch.ca/cia-is-leading-massive-arms-deliveries-to-rebels-in-syria-saudi-arabia-training-terrorists/5357531

November 30, 2013 - Terror Actions in Syria – Saudi Colonel Captured by Syrian Army:
http://www.aydinlikdaily.com/Saudi-Colonel-Captured-by-Syrian-Army-1445
18+...Graphic Video......Saudi lieutenant colonel killed in Syria
Warning - Item 18+...Graphic Video......Saudi lieutenant colonel killed in Syria might contain content that is not suitable for all ages.
By clicking on CONTINUE you confirm that you are 18 years and over.
http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=bed_1373652652

December 6, 2013 - Pentagon approves $1.1 billion Raytheon missile sale to Saudi Arabia:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/12/06/us-raytheon-saudi-missiles-idUSBRE9B50SF20131206

December 12, 2013:
'No one is expecting a tank invasion of Saudi Arabia anytime soon, but the kingdom just put in a huge order for U.S.-made anti-tank missiles':
http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/12/12/why_is_saudi_arabia_buying_15000_us_anti_tank_missiles_for_a_land_war_it_will_ne#sthash.otwdA4hc.dpbs

In 2010, the US made the largest arms sale in its history, selling $60 billion’s worth of jets and attack helicopters to the Arab kingdom. Saudi Arabia is also a major exporter of oil to the US, though its highly unlikely OPEC would support a slow down or boycott over the kingdom’s political gripes with the US.  Israeli personnel in recent days were in Saudi Arabia to inspect bases that could be used as a staging ground to launch attacks against Iran, according to informed Egyptian intelligence officials…

Photo: American military basis on Qatar

13-11-13

Obama refuses to respect Iran rights

Netanyahu calls for more pressure on Iran

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2013/11/13/334512/america-on-selfdefeating-path-to-war/

Mar 20, 2013 - 'How Obama Became Netanyahu'
http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/03/20/how-obama-became-netanyahu0.html

22:03 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in Iran, Israel, Latest News, Obama | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

06-09-13

Latest News Syria: drinking on the 'success' of the next war

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United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, right, drinks after a toast with President Barack Obama and other world leaders during the 65th session of the U.N. General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Thursday.

19:44 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in Latest News, next war, Obama, Syria, Syrian News | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

Latest News Syria: Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama

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The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama for his “extraordinary efforts” to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. The Norwegian Nobel Committee announced the award on October 9, 2009, citing Obama’s promotion of nuclear nonproliferation and a “new climate” in international relations fostered by Obama, especially in reaching out to the Muslim world.

The Nobel Committee’s decision drew mixed reactions from US commentators and editorial writers across the political spectrum, as well as from the rest of the world.

Obama accepted the prize in Oslo on December 10, 2009. In a 36-minute speech, he discussed the tensions between war and peace and the idea of a “just war”.

President Barack Obama flew to Sweden on Wednesday for a diplomatic meeting ahead of a two-day G20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia.

One Swedish reporter cornered Obama on the contradictions contained in the fact that a Nobel Peace Prize winner is planning to launch his second war against a sovereign nation.

“I was wondering,” the reporter began, “could you describe the dilemma to being a Nobel Peace Prize winner and getting ready to attack Syria?”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Nobel_Peace_Prize
http://www.mediaite.com/tv/swedish-reporter-asks-obama-if-nobel-peace-prize-presents-dilemma-when-planning-syria-attack/

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2013/09/06/dear-obama-it-s-time-to-return-your-nobel-peace-prize-here-s-why.html

Photo: Obama won approval on military action in Syria from Senate Foreign Relations Committee

19:01 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in Latest News, Nobel Peace Prize winner, Obama, Syria, war | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

15-06-13

Obama's Africa Trip: live in luxury

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Obama's Africa Trip Could Cost $100 Million

14 June 2013

President Barack Obama's trip to Africa later this month could be one of the most expensive of his tenure, costing the government as much as $100 million. 

According to a confidential internal planning document obtained by The Washington Post, hundreds of Secret Service agents will be dispatched to secure facilities in Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania, which the first family will visit from June 26 to July 3. 

A Navy aircraft carrier or amphibious ship, with a fully staffed medical trauma center, will be stationed offshore in case of an emergency.

In addition, military cargo planes will airlift in 56 support vehicles, including 14 limousines and three trucks carrying bulletproof glass to cover the windows of the hotels where the Obamas will stay. And fighter jets will fly in shifts to provide around the clock coverage over the president's airspace.

The president and first lady Michelle Obama also had planned to take a Tanzanian safari during the trip, which would have required a special counterassault team to carry sniper rifles in the event of a threat from wild animals, the Post reported, citing the document.

But the safari was canceled in favor of a trip to Robben Island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa, where Nelson Mandela was held as a political prisoner, officials told the newspaper.

In total, the Obamas' Africa trip could cost $60 million to $100 million, a person familiar with planning for the journey told the Post.

Among the 56 vehicles for the trip are parade limousines, a specialized communications vehicle, a truck that jams radio frequencies around the presidential motorcade, a fully loaded ambulance, and a truck for X-ray equipment.

Read more:http://www.newsmax.com/newswidget/obama-africa-trip-millions/2013/06/14/id/509967?promo_code=EE9E-1&utm_source=jpost&utm_medium=nmwidget&utm_campaign=widgetphase1

Photo: Barack Obama and his friend United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at a reception

21:03 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in Africa Trip, Latest News, Obama | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

15-05-13

Obama meets Erdogan: Peaceful...

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The White House website released a photo of Obama with his right hand on a baseball bat as he talked on the phone with Turkey’s Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan...

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Opposition slams Turkish government over Patriot missiles…

Turkey’s main opposition party has criticized the ruling Justice and Development Party over the deployment of Patriot missiles along the country’s border with Syria.

During a Sunday parliamentary session at which the country’s budget plan for 2013 was to be discussed, a heated debate on foreign policy broke out between Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy leader Osman Koruturk, English-language newspaperToday’s Zaman reported.

“Turkey had never lost so much dignity in the eyes of its neighbors [as it has today],” Koruturk said.

He noted that Ankara maintained good relations with Tehran, Baghdad and Damascus in the past, and even mediated negotiations between Damascus and Tel Aviv over the Golan Heights.

“Today, we are at daggers drawn with all these,” Koruturk added.

The CHP deputy leader also criticized Turkey’s relations with NATO, stressing that Turkey is far from playing an active role in the Western military contingent.

“It looks as though major NATO members are directing Turkey through the alliance,” Koruturk said.

He highlighted that Syria is being used as an excuse for the deployment of Patriot missiles, and said the real aim for such a deployment is to protect the radar in the Kurecik district of Malatya province, which reportedly protects Israel.

NATO has approved of Turkey’s request for the deployment of Patriot surface-to-air missiles in its territory.

The agreement emerged from a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels on December 4 despite strong opposition from Russia, Syria and Iran.

On December 14, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta signed orders to authorize the plan to deploy Patriot missile batteries and about 400 troops to Turkey following the announcement of a similar move by Germany.

http://www.presstv.com/detail/2012/12/17/278505/turkey-opposition-slams-patriot-missiles/

21-02-13

Obama's secret order: 53 Syrian citizens killed

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http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/21/468516.htm

Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government. Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad. C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

Latest News Syria: Obama's secret order...

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Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.  Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

Photo: February 21th, 2013 - Fifty-Three Civilians Martyred, 235 Others Injured in Damascus

http://www.sana-syria.com/eng/337/2013/02/21/468516.htm

05-11-12

'Peace process': Obama misleads voters

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The Obama administration claims in all kind of television documentaries that its so-called peace process failed because the american government was 'betrayed' by the Israeli politicians.  But that is a lie and it is misleading the American voter.

In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it...

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History

1) On November 15, 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama praised Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for urging his cabinet to accept a U.S. proposal to extend a freeze on West Bank settlement building for 90 days. Under the plan, Washington would block UN resolutions critical of Israel, and supply Israel with fighter jets worth $3 billion. The US government also promised Israel that after the 90-day moratorium, they would not seek an extension, and settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem (all of which is illegal under international law) could continue unabated.

2) In February 2011, more than 100 nations voted for a U.N. resolution that would have condemned illegal Israeli settlements and halted any new construction. The United States vetoed it.

3) On February 19, 2011, Israel said it was deeply grateful to the United States after it vetoed a United Nations resolution put forward by the Palestinian leadership condemning Israeli settlement activity.

4) On  Oct 27, 2011, Israeli jetfighters engaged in aerial bombing of the Palestinian city of Khan Yunes in the Gaza Strip. 

20:45 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in Latest News, misleads voters, Obama, Peace process | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

28-10-12

The 'Arab Spring' is a way to do business: Obama and Facebook

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Social network of the richest of the earth: a group of the wealthiest Americans including Obama and the 26-year-old Zuckerberg, who is worth an estimated 13,5 billion dollars...

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'President Obama made his 2012 campaign pitch at Facebook headquarters on Wednesday in the first ever live "town hall" meeting broadcast over the social network'

In an attempt to re-ignite the youth energy of his 2008 campaign, President Obama launched the first ever live town-hall-style meeting at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, California, on Wednesday.

Broadcast live to the social network’s more than 500 million users, the Q&A session included questions from the live audience as well as those submitted through the event’s Facebook page. Questions were moderated by Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who joined the president on stage wearing uncharacteristically dressy attire.

“Thank you so much, Facebook, for hosting, first of all, ” said Obama as he introduced himself to the crowd. “My name is Barack Obama, and I’m the first guy to get Mark Zuckerberg to wear a jacket and tie.”

During the meeting, President Obama touched on a wide variety of issues sure to play a major role throughout the 2012 campaign, including the ballooning national debt, the federal budget, health care, and the housing market.

While detailing his plan to reduce the deficit, which is expected to hit $1.4 trillion this fiscal year, the president promoted his strategy of spending cuts and increased taxes on the wealthiest Americans, a group that includes both the president himself and 26-year-old Zuckerberg, who is worth an estimated 13,5 billion dollars.

“I’m cool with that,” said Zuckerberg in response to the plan.

Zuckerberg, who recently donated $100 million to the Newark, New Jersey, school system, praised Obama’s education reform efforts. “I think the Race to the Top stuff that you guys have done is one of the most under-appreciated and most important things that your administration has done,” Zuckerberg said.

Obama turned the conversation to the importance of quality math and science education, a topic popular with the Silicon Valley crowd.

“I always hear stories about how we can’t find engineers, and that’s why we’re emphasizing math and science … We want to start making Science cool,” Obama said. “I want people to feel about the next big energy breakthrough and the next big Internet breakthrough the same way they felt about the moonwalk.”

“We’ve got to lift our game up when it comes to science, math and technology,” Obama continued. “That’s hopefully greatest legacy I can have as President of the United States.”

The president also backed the idea that America allow highly skilled immigrants to contribute to America’s technology industry.

“If we’ve got smart people who want to come here and start businesses and are PhDs in math and science and computer science, why don’t we want them to stay? They are job generators,” Obama said to a round of applause. “I think about somebody like an Andy Grove of Intel,” the president continued. “We want more Andy Groves here in the United States. We don’t want them starting companies — we don’t want them starting Intel in China or starting it in France. We want them starting it here.”

To conclude, Obama made his plea to the young crowd that made up the audience, both at Facebook headquarters, and those watching at home, to stay engaged in the politics of the country.

“If you put the same energy and imagination that you put into Facebook into the political process, I guarantee you there’s nothing we can’t solve,” Obama said.

At the end of the event, Zuckerberg made his own stylistic contribution as he presented President Obama with his signature duds, a Facebook hoodie.

12:48 Gepost door Jan Boeykens in 'Arab Spring', Facebook, Latest News, Obama | Permalink | Commentaren (0) |  Facebook |

11-09-12

Human rights first: Who's arming terrorists for bomb attacks in Syria ?

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- Obama signed a secret order authorizing U.S. support for Syrian terrorists seeking to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his government.  Obama’s order, approved earlier this year and known as an intelligence “finding,” broadly permits the CIA and other U.S. agencies to provide support that could help the terrorists oust Assad.  C.I.A. officers are operating secretly in southern Turkey. The weapons, including automatic rifles, rocket-propelled grenades, ammunition and some antitank weapons, are being funneled mostly across the Turkish border by way of a shadowy network of intermediaries including Syria’s Muslim Brotherhood and paid for by Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The United States is setting up joint military, intelligence and medical working teams with Israel, Turkey and Jordan.

- Belgian Senator Nele Lijnen said that she intends to launch a discussion at the Belgian Senate regarding the fact that the terrorists in Syria possess weapons made in Belgium. 

- British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Britain would step up its support for the armed groups in Syria, providing them with an additional £5 million (US$7.8 million). The money is used for bomb attacks in Syria.

- An official source told a SANA reporter that the seized arms included Nato sniper rifles, machineguns, hunting rifles, explosive devices of various weights, devices for remote control detonation and an amount of batteries and electrical wires.

- The Swiss Authorities announced that they are investigating into information published by Sonntags Zeitung newspaper about hand grenades used by armed terrorist groups in Syria.

09-09-12

Obama's 'Middle East Peace Process': sanctions against Lebanon

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British and Dutch urge sanctions against Lebanon's Hezbollah

Fri, Sep 7, 2012 - PAPHOS, Cyprus (Reuters) - Britain and the Netherlands urged other EU governments on Friday to join the United States in imposing sanctions on the Lebanese political and militant group Hezbollah for providing support to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad.

Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal said the European Union should brand Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a move that would enable the bloc to freeze the group's assets in Europe.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said London would like to see the EU "designate and sanction the military wing of Hezbollah".

But other EU member states, which have blacklisted the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, have resisted U.S. and Israeli pressure to do the same to Hezbollah.

Several EU countries have argued that such a move could destabilize the balance of power in Lebanon and add to tensions in the Middle East.

In August, Washington imposed a new round of largely symbolic sanctions against Syria and Hezbollah and said it hoped other countries would take action against the Lebanese group.

Britain, France and Germany also called on Friday for new sanctions against Iran over its 'nuclear program'.

At the same time, and that is is typical for the western hypocrisy, they keep silence about the Israeli nukes which are really a threat for world peace given the Israeli aggressive policy and its constant hunger for more power in the Middle East.

Something about terrorists: Some times ago America's president Obama signed a secret order to authorize U.S. support for the armed gangs and the terrorist attacks in Syria.  And past week, British Foreign Secretary William Hague who is very close relationship with Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, said 'Britain would step up its support for the terrorist attacks in Syria, providing the armed gangs with an additional £5 million (US$7.8 million)'.

As the Director of the Russian Center for Analyzing World Arms Trade, Igor Korotchenko, said 'the US and Britain are responsible for the victims and suffering in Syria by arming terrorists and rejecting a solution'.

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Photo: British Foreign Secretary William Hague and Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs Avigdor Lieberman, founder and leader of Israel’s far right party Yisrael Beitenu (Israel Is Our Home).  Lieberman is the founder of Israel’s Ehnic Cleansing Plan. Since 2001, he proposes to establish four townships in the occupied West Bank, hermetically sealed, which would be grouped the Palestinians. He sees it as a solution for the Palestinian citizens of Israel, who are more than one million, to move the vast majority of the group in tightly closed, self-administered areas. Thus would arise a State ethnically homogeneous from the Mediterranean Sea until the Jordan, sheltering in its midst Palestinian “Bantustans”.  In 2011, Lieberman became the first Foreign Minister to sever ties with the Mossad.  On August 23th, 2012, has urged the international community to help oust Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas whose policies he called "an obstacle to peace".

07-08-12

Latest News Syria: Obama 'very concerned about Syria's chemical weapons'...

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AUGUST 10, 2012, AT NOON: 51 YEARS AFTER THE CHEMICAL WAR BEGAN IN VIETNAM, WE SHOULD BE SILENT IN MEMORY, THEN TAKE ACTION TO REMEDY

To take action go to http://www.vn-agentorange.org/  

There are images from the U.S. War against Vietnam that have been indelibly imprinted on the minds of Americans who lived through it. One is the naked napalm-burned girl running from her village with flesh hanging off her body. Another is a photo of the piles of bodies from the My Lai massacre, where U.S. troops executed 504 civilians in a small village. Then there is the photograph of the silent scream of a woman student leaning over the body of her dead friend at Kent State University whose only crime was protesting the bombing of Cambodia in 1970. Finally, there is the memory of decorated members of Vietnam Veterans Against the War testifying at the Winter Soldier Hearings, often in tears, to atrocities in which they had participated during the war.

These pictures are heartbreaking. They expose the horrors of war. The U.S. War against Vietnam was televised, while images of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have intentionally been hidden from us. But what was not televised was the relentless ten years (1961-1971) of spraying millions of gallons of toxic herbicides over vast areas of South Vietnam. These chemicals exposed almost 5 million people, mostly civilians, to deadly consequences. The toxic herbicides, most notably Agent Orange, contained dioxin, one of the most dangerous chemicals known to man. It has been recognized by the World Health Organization as a carcinogen (causes cancer) and by the American Academy of Medicine as a teratogen (causes birth defects).

From the beginning of the spraying 51 years ago, until today, millions of Vietnamese have died from, or been completely incapacitated by, diseases which the U. S. government recognizes are related to Agent Orange for purposes of granting compensation to Vietnam Veterans in the United States. The Vietnamese, who were the intended victims of this spraying, experienced the most intense, horrible impact on human health and environmental devastation. Second and third generations of children, born to parents exposed during the war and in areas of heavy spraying — un-remediated “hot spots” of dioxin contamination, — suffer unspeakable deformities that medical authorities attribute to the dioxin in Agent Orange.

The Vietnamese exposed to the chemical suffer from cancer, liver damage, pulmonary and heart diseases, defects to reproductive capacity, and skin and nervous disorders. Their children and grandchildren have severe physical deformities, mental and physical disabilities, diseases, and shortened life spans. The forests and jungles in large parts of southern Vietnam were devastated and denuded. Centuries-old habitat was destroyed, and will not regenerate with the same diversity for hundreds of years. Animals that inhabited the forests and jungles are threatened with extinction, disrupting the communities that depended on them. The rivers and underground water in some areas have also been contaminated. Erosion and desertification will change the environment, causing dislocation of crop and animal life.

For the past 51 years, the Vietnamese people have been attempting to address this legacy of war by trying to get the United States and the chemical companies to accept responsibility for this ongoing nightmare. An unsuccessful legal action by Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange against the chemical companies in U.S. federal court, begun in 2004, has nonetheless spawned a movement to hold the United States accountable for using such dangerous chemicals on civilian populations. The movement has resulted in pending legislation HR 2634 – The Victims of Agent Orange Relief Act of 2011, which attempts to provide medical, rehabilitative and social service compensation to the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, remediation of dioxin-contaminated “hot spots,” and medical services for the children and grandchildren of U. S. Vietnam veterans and Vietnamese-Americans who have been born with the same diseases and deformities.

Using weapons of war on civilian populations violates the laws of war, which recognize the principle of distinction between military and civilian objects, requiring armies to avoid civilian targets. These laws of war are enshrined in the Hague Convention and the Nuremberg principles, and are codified in the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and the Optional Protocol of 1977, as well as the International Criminal Court statute. The aerial bombardments of civilian population centers in World Wars I and II violated the principle of distinction, as did the detonation of nuclear weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on August 6 and August 9 of 1945. Hundreds of thousands of Japanese people were killed in an instant, even though Japan was already negotiating the terms of surrender.

The use of Agent Orange on civilian populations violated the laws of war and yet no one has been held to account. Taxpayers pick up the tab of the Agent Orange Compensation fund for the U. S. Veterans at a cost of 1.52 billion dollars a year. The chemical companies, most specifically Dow and Monsanto, which profited from the manufacture of Agent Orange, paid a pittance to settle the veterans’ lawsuit to compensate them, as the unintended victims, for their Agent Orange related illnesses. But the Vietnamese continue to suffer from these violations with almost no recognition, as do the offspring of Agent Orange-exposed U.S. veterans and Vietnamese-Americans.

What is the difference between super powers like the United States violating the laws of war with impunity and the reports of killing of Syrian civilians by both sides in the current civil war? Does the United States have any credibility to demand governments and non-state actors end the killings of civilians, when through wars and drones and its refusal to acknowledge responsibility for the use of Agent Orange, the United States has and is engaging in the very conduct it publicly deplores?

In 1945, at the founding conference of the United Nations, the countries of the world determined:

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom.

If we are to avoid sinking once again into the scourge of war, we must reaffirm the principles of the Charter and establish conditions under which countries take actions that promote rather than undermine justice and respect for our international legal obligations. The alternative is the law of the jungle, where only might makes right. It is time that right makes might.

August 10th marks 51 years since the beginning of the spraying of Agent Orange in Vietnam. In commemoration, the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign urges you to observe 51 seconds of silence at 12 noon, to think about the horrors of wars which have occurred. We ask you to take action so as not to see future images of naked children running from napalm, or young soldiers wiping out the population of an entire village, or other atrocities associated with war, poverty, and violence around the world. We urge you to take at least 51 seconds for your action. In the United States, you can sign an orange post card to the U.S. Congress asking it to pass HR 2634. This would be a good start to assist the Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange as well as the next generations of those exposed to these dangerous chemicals in both Vietnam and the United States.

Jeanne Mirer, a New York attorney, is president of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Marjorie Cohn is a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and former president of the National Lawyers Guild. They are both on the board of the Vietnam Agent Orange Relief and Responsibility Campaign.

To sign the petition, go to http://www.vn-agentorange.org/  


 Global Research Articles by Jeanne Mirer


 Global Research Articles by Marjorie Cohn

http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid...

http://jakking.typepad.com/daily/2004/08/chemical_war_cr....

Photo: victims of American chemical weapons