23/02/2013 - 13:00
23/02/2013 - 15:00
1. BRADLEY MANNING - 1,000 Days in Prison - Enough is Enough!
ÁINE McMAHON - IRISH TIMES
Ann Wright, a former US diplomat and the highest ranking member of the US military to resign over the Iraq war, has cautioned against Ireland getting involved in Nato.
Ms Wright was special guest at a joint Irish Anti-War Movement/ Peace and Neutrality Alliance meeting in Dublin yesterday. She is most noted for having been one of three state department officials to publicly resign in protest at the 2003 US invasion of Iraq.
“I would urge the citizens of Ireland to really push back on this attempt to get Ireland as a part of the Nato forces. We have seen what has happened in Afghanistan and the numbers of Afghans that have been killed in by military operations,” said Ms Wright.
Ms Wright praised Ireland’s record of neutrality but warned it was now being “shopped around” by Nato. “They are trying to get Ireland to join up with them .The secretary general of Nato, Rasmussen, is here today to try and convince the Irish Government to join up with Nato,” she said.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, on a visit to Dublin this week, encouraged Ireland to get involved in more Nato projects and to develop its defence forces. Ms Wright described any involvement of Ireland with Nato as a “slippery slope”.
“It’s a much different road than working with UN forces doing peace keeping operations in Lebanon, [as] Ireland has done for a long time.”
China Will Not Help To "Punish" North Korea
This "news analysis" on North Korea's latest nuke test in the New York Times is rather a lightly disguised threat to China. Starve North Korea or we will disable your strategic nuclear deterrence. Nuclear Test Poses Big Challenge to China’s New Leader
It starts: BEIJING — The nuclear test by North Korea on Tuesday, in defiance of warnings by China, leaves the new Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, with a choice: Does he upset North Korea just a bit by agreeing to stepped up United Nations sanctions, or does he rattle the regime by pulling the plug on infusions of Chinese oil and investments that keep North Korea afloat?
"The principle on which the international system is based is that the US is entitled to use force at will and talk of it violating international law is completely silly."
Does the United States still have the same level of control over the energy resources of the Middle East as it once had?
The major energy-producing countries are still firmly under the control of the western-backed dictatorships. So, actually, the progress made by the Arab spring is limited, but it's not insignificant.
So, for example, if you go back 50 years, the energy resources – the main concern of US planners – have been mostly nationalised. There are constantly attempts to reverse that, but they have not succeeded.
To everyone except a dedicated ideologue, it was pretty obvious that we invaded Iraq not because of our love of democracy but because it's maybe the second- or third-largest source of oil in the world, and is right in the middle of the major energy-producing region. You're not supposed to say this. It's considered a conspiracy theory.
The United States was seriously defeated in Iraq by Iraqi nationalism – mostly by nonviolent resistance. The United States could kill the insurgents, but they couldn't deal with half a million people demonstrating in the streets. Step by step, Iraq was able to dismantle the controls put in place by the occupying forces.
Micah Zenko - Foreign Policy
"The United States is in a state of perpetual war, spending $633 billion this year on defense, with over 200,000 US servicemembers deployed around the world."
During his second inaugural address on 21 January 2013, President Obama offered two aspirational statements that struck many observers as incongruous with administration policies: "A decade of war is now ending" and "We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war."
We should question these observations, not least because of the string of US government plans and activities that increasingly blur the conventional definition of war.
My own list of war-like activities since Obama's inaugural would include:
the announcement that the US military would provide intelligence, transportation, and refueling support for the French intervention in Mali;