By Russia Today (RT)* – The US war on terror is in fact the most massive terror campaign ever, and the invasion of Iraq was the worst crime in recent history, prominent liberal thinker Noam Chomsky told RT*, adding that he wants to see Bush, Blair and Obama tried at the ICC [International Criminal Court].
**Photo: President George W. Bush and President-elect Barack Obama meet in the Oval Office of the White House Monday, November 10, 2008. Author: White House photo by Eric Draper
The ‘father of modern linguistics, Chomsky reflects on the language of the war on terror, coming to the conclusion that the freer the society, the more sophisticated its propaganda.
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By Maung Zarni*, TRANSCEND - Is Burma’s Aung Suu Kyi herself complicit in this Rohingya ethnnocide? is a valid, empirical question that needs to be raised.
**Aung San Suu Kyi | Photo credit: Htoo Tay Zar | Wikimedia Commons.
Aung San Suu Kyi has firmly exhorted the public that is opposed to the Chinese Arms-industry-owned copper mine at Letpadaung in central Dry Zone of Burma that the people must honor commercial contacts signed between the previous Than Shwe dictatorship and China. Or else there will be no investor confidence in the country.
Consequently, she has earned a new iconic title, “Copper Lady”, who, as Chair of the official pro-mining report of the government, has advanced the commercial and strategic interests of both China and Burmese military conglomerate vis-a-vis the economically dispossessed Burmese farmers – in the thousands – whose land and livelihoods have been ruined, thanks to the land grabs by the mining joint venture there.
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By Bill Van Auken, WSWS*, 23 May 2013 - While ostensibly touring the Middle East to discuss a joint US-Russian proposal for peace talks between the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad and Western-backed “rebels,” Secretary of State John Kerry met with US allies to prepare for region-wide war.
**Demonstration in Homs against Assad | Photo: Bo yaser | Wikimedia Commons.
Stopping first in Oman, Kerry held talks with the ruling Sultan, one of the string of monarchical dictators that constitute, together with Israel, the foundation of US influence in the Middle East.
The secretary of state’s visit coincided with the signing of a $2.1 billion deal between the absolute monarchy and Raytheon Corp. for the sale of advanced weapons systems, including Avenger fire units, Stinger missiles, and Advanced Medium Range Air-to-Air Missiles, part of a ring of steel that Washington has sought to erect around Iran.
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Geneva- Not all stupid things are equal. Some stupid things are far more concerning than others, says the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
“There are 19,000 nuclear weapons around the world. It takes only one to cause a humanitarian catastrophe on a horrific scale, ICAN warns.
“Yet we’ve talked ourselves into having 2,000 of them on hair-trigger alert, ready to be launched within minutes.”
We are potentially only minutes away from the horror of seeing an entire city flattened in an instant, killing hundreds of thousands of people with no adequate humanitarian relief possible, ICAN stresses.
“Its effects would spread across borders and generations.”
“This is madness, not a security strategy.”
There is only one cure for this threat. We have to ban nuclear weapons.
You can read and sign the petition on the ICAN website.
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The Swedish Foreign Minister (and former Prime Minister) Carl Bildt has found himself in hot water after his curious comments on a radio show in response to questions over Sweden’s refusal to recognize the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons at the committee of state parties to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty this past April (NPT PrepCom), the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) reports*.
Source: International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).
The Swedish government has been criticized for neglecting to join 80 other countries – including its Scandinavian neighbours Norway, Denmark and Iceland – in signing a joint statement put forth by South Africa which recognized and called for an increased focus on the catastrophic humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons in nuclear disarmament discussions.
In an impromptu call to a morning radio show, Bildt fanned the flames by dismissing the statement as “no big deal” and the 80 co-sponsors as “not really serious states”, even going so far as to label the humanitarian arguments in favour of nuclear disarmament as a “side-track” that “no serious states engage in”.
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Saadnayel, Bekaa Valley, 8 May 2013 (IRIN*) - Two years ago, as Syrian refugees began streaming across borders, Lebanese families opened up their homes. Unlike in Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, where hundreds of thousands of refugees are being housed in camps, at the beginning of the influx into Lebanon, the majority of refugees were hosted by families. Some Lebanese households took in as many as six refugee families.
**Photo: Anaïs Renevier/IRIN | Syrian refugees sit down for lunch in the home of their Lebanese hosts
But as the conflict next-door has dragged on and the number of refugees in Lebanon has grown, so too has the burden on their Lebanese hosts.
Today, most of the 425,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon are renting homes or apartments; with only 6 percent hosted by families, according to a survey by the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR). IRIN spent a day with some Lebanese hosts, bringing you this portrait of a family trying to balance obligation and sacrifice.
It was a series of twists of fate that brought together two families – one Lebanese, one Syrian – that did not know one another.
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By Alex Lantier, WSWS*, 7 May 2013 – In a series of interviews, UN investigator Carla del Ponte said that sarin gas used in Syria was fired by the US-backed opposition, not the regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
*Image: Damascus | Credit: I, Aziz1005 | Wikimedia Commons
Her account explodes the lies on which Washington and its European allies have based their campaign for war with Syria, according to which the US and its allies are preparing to attack Syria to protect its people from Assad’s chemical weapons.
In fact, available evidence of sarin use implicates the Islamist-dominated “rebels” who are armed by US-allied Middle Eastern countries, under CIA supervision.
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By Uri Avnery*, 4 May 2013 — An Ambassador is an honest man sent abroad to lie for the good of his country, a British statesman famously wrote some 400 years ago. That is true, of course, for all diplomats. The question is whether the diplomat lies only to others, or also to himself.
The Middle East | Wikimedia Commons.
I am asking this these days when I follow the arduous efforts of John Kerry, the new American foreign secretary, to jump-start the Israeli-Arab “peace process”.
Kerry seems to be an honest man. A serious man. A patient man. But does he really believe that his endeavors will lead anywhere?
True, this week Kerry did achieve a remarkable success.
A delegation of Arab foreign ministers, including the Palestinian, met with him in Washington. They were led by the Qatari prime minister – a relative of the Emir, of course – whose country is assuming a more and more prominent role in the Arab world.
At the meeting, the ministers emphasized that the Arab Peace Initiative is still valid.
This initiative, forged 10 years ago by the then Saudi Crown Prince (and present King) Abdullah, was endorsed by the entire Arab League in the March 2002 Summit Conference in Beirut.
Yasser Arafat could not attend, because Prime Minister Ariel Sharon announced that if he left the country, he would not be allowed to return. But Arafat officially accepted the initiative.
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