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Obama’s Refusal to Respect Iran’s Sovereignty and Treaty Rights is Leaving America on the Self-Defeating Path to War

Kerry P5 1

Notwithstanding France’s simultaneously arrogant and craven grandstanding over Iran’s Arak heavy water reactor, the main reason for the failure of last week’s nuclear talks between the Islamic Republic and the P5+1 was the Obama administration’s imperious refusal to acknowledge Tehran’s right to enrich uranium under international safeguards.  On this point, we want to highlight a recent post by Dan Joyner on Arms Control Law, titled, “Scope, Meaning and Juridical Implication of the NPT Article IV(1) Inalienable Right.” 

Dan opens with a favorable reference to our recent post on the issue, see here; he then focuses on how to interpret the NPT Article IV(1) right to peaceful nuclear energy—a subject he has already written about at some length.  He usefully inserts an excerpt from his excellent 2011 book, Interpreting the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, Interpreting the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty Pages 79-84.  This excerpt lays out Dan’s argument that the right to peaceful use of nuclear technology should be interpreted as “a full, free-standing right of all NNWS [non-nuclear-weapon states] party to the treaty, and not as a contingent right, contrary to the interpretation of some NWS [nuclear-weapon states].”
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FBI v. The First Amendment: The US Government's Investigation of Antiwar.com

Antiwar Magnify

Federal Bureau of Investigation documents released last week reveal the FBI investigated antiwar.com, a website regularly publishing content critical of US foreign policy, for at least six years based on the content and audience of the antiwar.com website. as well as an asinine mistake by the FBI.

According to Julia Harumi Mass of the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California, which is representing Antiwar.com in a lawsuit against the FBI, the FBI produced in response to a document request in the lawsuit documents confirming "that the FBI targeted and spied on Antiwar.com [and the website's founding editors Eric] Garris and [Justin] Raimondo based on their First Amendment protected activity and kept records about that activity in violation of federal law."
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Who’s to Blame for Battlefield America? Is It Militarized Police or the Militarized Culture?

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly is responsible for the growing spate of police shootings, brutality and overreach that have come to dominate the news lately, whether it’s due to militarized police, the growing presence of military veterans in law enforcement, the fact that we are a society predisposed to warfare, indoctrinated through video games, reality TV shows, violent action movies and a series of endless wars that have, for younger generations, become life as they know it—or all of the above.

Whatever the reason, not a week goes by without more reports of hair-raising incidents by militarized police imbued with a take-no-prisoners attitude and a battlefield approach to the communities in which they serve.

The latest comes out of New Mexico, where cops pulled David Eckert over for allegedly failing to yield to a stop sign at a Wal-Mart parking lot. Suspecting that Eckert was carrying drugs because his “posture [was] erect” and “he kept his legs together,” the officers forced Eckert to undergo an anal cavity search, three enemas, and a colonoscopy. No drugs were found.
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Thoughts on Veterans Day

War Grave

Of course I have a lot of thoughts on Veterans Day. It’s kind of hard not too, as you are basically hit with a torrent of gratitude, most of it applied with the same amount of care and specificity of a fire hose.

I wrote this last year, but it still encapsulates much of my feelings towards Veterans Day. I am less angry than I was a year ago, but that anger is still there and will always be. It is something I have recognized about myself and something I will have to manage the rest of my life.

A Few Days After Veterans Day

I get lots of notes thanking me for my service on Veterans Day. I am grateful and appreciative. My friends, both veterans and active duty service members, receive the same affections of respect and esteem and, of course, value those sentiments.

There comes a time, however, when a line is breached. I have difficulty receiving a message from a teacher thanking me for what I have done for my country. I blush at the hand shakes, emails, Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and banners from police officers, fire fighters, nurses, nonprofit organizers and volunteers, clergy, utility workers and good parents; people who do more on a daily basis for our nation than I have ever done.
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US Expands Missile Defense Plans in Romania

NATO Russia

On October 28 Romanian President Traian Basesku, Romania's Minister of Defense Mircea Dusa, US Under-Secretary of Defense for Policy James Miller, James Syring, director of the US Missile Defence Agency, and NATO Deputy Secretary-General Alexander Vershbow attended the groundbreaking ceremony held on the territory of Deveselu military facility, a former air base located at 180 kilometers east of Bucharest, the Romania's capital. 

The move confirms that Romania has become one of Washington’s main security partners in Europe. "This is an historic occasion", Mr. Vershbow noted. 

A disused airfield is to be revamped and converted into a missile defence base which will remain under Romanian command to host an average of 200 US troops (up to a maximum of 500). The facility will be manned by U.S. Navy and civilian personnel with the Romanian military providing security.
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Welcome to Deming, New Mexico -- Where Police Rape is a Matter of 'Protocol'

Deminc NM

David Eckert was stopped by police in Deming, New Mexico without cause, subjected to an illegal search of his vehicle and person, and eventually forced to undergo what amounts to object rape in the form of multiple rectal probes, forced enemas, and a colonoscopy.

The purported reason for this treatment was suspicion of narcotics possession. A more credible explanation is that the police wanted to punish Eckert for politely asserting his rights during an encounter a few weeks earlier.

There is something at once infuriating and appropriate about the treatment inflicted on Eckert: If the beast called the Homeland Security State has a cloacal tract, its aperture might very well be located in Deming, New Mexico. The uniformed degenerates who kidnapped Eckert and subjected him to Gitmo-trade torture claimed to be working with a federally supervised narcotics task force. This part of their story is entirely plausible, given the extravagant and impenitent corruption that typifies federal counter-narcotics operations in the New Mexico border region.


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How America Was Lost

American Flag

“No legal issue arises when the United States responds to a challenge to its power, position, and prestige.” - Dean Acheson , 1962, speaking to the American Society of International Law.

Dean Acheson declared 51 years ago that power, position, and prestige are the ingredients of national security and that national security trumps law. In the United States democracy takes a back seat to “national security,” a prerogative of the executive branch of government.

National security is where the executive branch hides its crimes against law, both domestic and international, its crimes against the Constitution, its crimes against innocent citizens both at home and abroad, and its secret agendas that it knows that the American public would never support.

“National security” is the cloak that the executive branch uses to make certain that the US government is unaccountable.

Without accountable government there is no civil liberty and no democracy except for the sham voting that existed in the Soviet Union and now exists in the US.
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What I Told The Homeland Security Committee

The material below the dotted line is the written version of my part in a six-member panel’s presentation  to the House’s Homeland Security Committee on 9 October 2013.  I ran late on 8 October 2013 and so failed to provide the committee’s members with a typed-up version of my opening statement before the hearing. I submitted it to them on 10 October 2013.

As things turned out, my tardiness did not really matter. The committee’s Chairman was knowledgeable, polite, and interested in what each panel member had to say, agreeing with some and challenging others. The rest of the Committee — at least those who showed up — was a train wreck of ignorance, arrogance, partisanship, and incompetence.

The Democratic members used most of their allotted time to chastise the Republicans for the government’s shutdown. The three Republicans who spoke to me — especially one from New York — had no interest in what I said about the growing certainty that the Islamists’ war soon will be fought, in part, in North America. Instead, the Republicans used most of their time to satisfy their AIPAC paymasters by praising and defending Israel, for whom they have what Alexander Hamilton would describe as a “womanish attachment.”
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America’s Moment of Truth About Iran

America’s Iran policy is at a crossroads. Washington can abandon its counterproductive insistence on Middle Eastern hegemony, negotiate a nuclear deal grounded in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), and get serious about working with Tehran to broker a settlement to the Syrian conflict. In the process, the United States would greatly improve its ability to shape important outcomes there. Alternatively, America can continue on its present path, leading ultimately to strategic irrelevance in one of the world’s most vital regions—with negative implications for its standing in Asia as well.

U.S. policy is at this juncture because the costs of Washington’s post-Cold War drive to dominate the Middle East have risen perilously high. President Obama’s self-inflicted debacle over his plan to attack Syria after chemical weapons were used there in August showed that America can no longer credibly threaten the effective use of force to impose its preferences in the region. While Obama still insists “all options are on the table” for Iran, the reality is that, if Washington is to deal efficaciously with the nuclear issue, it will be through diplomacy.
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Syria Analysts, Impartial? Not likely!

Kagan ISW

As is evident with the vast majority of coverage on the Middle East, the analysis used to bolster media narratives on Syria is predominantly derived from paid “think-tank” commentators posing as objective scholars. To the discerning reader, this dynamic of the mass media relying on dubiously attached “analysts” is in itself nothing new.

In an op-ed titled “The Sham Terrorist Expert Industry”  journalist Glenn Greenwald offers a compelling in-depth critique of the dominant clique of highly ideological “analysts” pervasive within the realm of US national security and foreign policy media. This “clique” – whose primary objectives are to propagate policies of the states or corporations that created the institutions they work for – has extended into the majority of western “analysis” on the Middle East, not least in regard to the Syrian conflict. Indeed, in many cases the analysts and supposed experts covering Syria are employed by the very same dominant institutions (WINEP, et al), and sit in the very same offices, as the frauds in Greenwald’s aforementioned article.
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