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Some Good Questions

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This is the transcript Ahmadinejab’s United Nations Speech from:

International Business Times
Published on International Business Times (http://www.ibtimes.com)
Home > Ahmadinejad United Nations Speech: Full Text Transcript

Ever-controversial Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad addressed the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday, during which he railed against the United States and said that Sept. 11 was an excuse, or even a plot, to invade Afghanistan and Iraq.

Ahmadinejad made a number of points about the United States, most of them coming in a series of rhetorical questions about America’s often bloody history. He also lambasted NATO for being more interested in fighting wars than helping the victims of the famine in Somalia. While some of his rhetoric rang true, some of it was extreme and other parts seemed irrelevant.

American diplomats walked out during the speech, and were eventually followed by a dozen more from other countries. Perhaps the most important thing worth noting is that Ahmadinejad made a lot of allegations, on topics such as humanitarian aid and the wealth gap, without then mentioning how Iran has dealt with the same issues.

The full text of the speech follows, courtesy of the United Nations:

Mr. President,
Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful to the Almighty Allah who granted me, once more, the opportunity to appear before this world assembly. I have the pleasure to express my sincere thanks to H.E. Joseph Deiss, president of the sixty-fifth session for his tremendous efforts during his tenure. I also would like to congratulate H.E Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser on his election as the president of sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly and wish him all success.

Let me seize the moment to pay tribute to all those who lost their lives in the past year, particularly to the victims of the tragic famine in Somalia and the devastating flood in Pakistan and especially the earthquake and the ensuing explosions in the nuclear power plant in Japan. I urge everyone to intensify their assistance and aid to the affected populations in these countries.

Over the past years, I spoke about different global issues, and the need to introduce fundamental changes in the current international order.

Today, considering the international developments, I will try to analyze the present situation from a different angle. As you all know the dominance and superiority of human beings over other creatures, lie in the very nature and the truth of humankind which is a divine gift and a manifestation of the divine spirit including: faith in God, who is the ever-lasting creator and planner of the entire universe.

Showing compassion to others, generosity, justice-seeking, and having integrity both in words and in deeds.

The quest for dignity to reach the pinnacles of perfection, the aspiration to elevate one’s material and spiritual status, and the longing to realize liberty; Defying oppression, corruption, and discrimination in trying to support the oppressed; Seeking happiness, and lasting prosperity and security for all.

These are some of the manifestations of common divine and human attributes which can clearly be seen in the historical aspirations of human beings as reflected in the heritage of our search for art and literary works both in prose and poetry, and in the socio-cultural and political movements of human beings in the course of history.

All divine prophets and social reformers invited human beings to tread on this righteous path. God has given dignity to humankind to elevate his status to assume his successor role on Earth.

It is vividly clear that despite all historical achievements, including creation of the United-Nations, which was a product of untiring struggles and efforts of free-minded and justice-seeking individuals as well as the international cooperation, human societies are yet far from fulfilling their noble desires and aspirations.

Most nations of the world are unhappy with the current international circumstances. And despite the general longing and aspiration to promote peace, progress, and fraternity, wars, mass-murder, widespread poverty, and socioeconomic and political crises continue to infringe upon the rights and sovereignty of nations, leaving behind irreparable damage worldwide.

Approximately, three billion people of the world live on less than 2.5 dollars a day, and over a billion people live without having even one sufficient meal on a daily basis. Forty-percent of the poorest world populations only share five percent of the global income, while twenty percent of the richest people share seventy-five percent of the total global income.

More than twenty thousand innocent and destitute children die every day in the world because of poverty. In the United States, eighty percent of financial resources are controlled by ten percent of its population, while only twenty percent of these resources belong to the ninety percent of the population.

What are the causes and reasons behind these inequalities? How can bone remedy such injustice?

The rulers of the global management circles divide the social life from ethics and spirituality while claiming the situation is the outcome of the pursuit of the path of divine prophets or the vulnerability of nations or the ill performance of a few groups or individuals. They claim that only their views and approaches can save the human society.

Wouldn’t you think that the root cause of the problems must be sought in the prevailing international order, or the way the world is governed? I would like to draw your kind attention to the following questions:

Who abducted forcefully tens of millions of people from their homes in Africa and other regions of the world during the dark period of slavery, making them a victim of their materialistic greed?

Who imposed colonialism for over four centuries upon this world?

Who occupied lands and massively plundered resources of other nations, destroyed talents, and alienated languages, cultures and identities of nations?

Who triggered the first and second world wars, that left seventy millions killed and hundreds of millions injured or homeless. Who created the wars in Korean peninsula and in Vietnam?

Who imposed, through deceits and hypocrisy, the Zionism and over sixty years of war, homelessness, terror and mass murder on the Palestinian people and on countries of the region?

Who imposed and supported for decades military dictatorship and totalitarian regimes on Asian, African, and Latin American nations?

Who used nuclear bomb against defenseless people, and stockpiled thousands of warheads in their arsenals?

Whose economies rely on waging wars and selling arms?

Who provoked and encouraged Saddam Hussein to invade and impose an eight-year war on Iran, and who assisted and equipped him to deploy chemical weapons against our cities and our people?

Who used the mysterious September 11 incident as a pretext to attack Afghanistan and Iraq , killing, injuring, and displacing millions in two countries with the ultimate goal of bringing into its domination the Middle East and its oil resources?

Who nullified the Breton Woods system by printing trillions of dollars without the backing of gold reserves or equivalent currency? A move that triggered inflation worldwide and was intended to prey on the economic gains of other nations?

Which country’s military spending exceeds annually a thousand billion dollars, more than the military budgets of all countries of the world combined?

Which governments are the most indebted ones in the world?

Who dominates the policy-making establishments of the world economy?

Who are responsible for the world economic recession, and are imposing the consequences on America, Europe and the world in general?

Which governments are always ready to drop thousands of bombs on other countries, but ponder and hesitate to provide aid to famine-stricken people in Somalia or in other places?

Who are the ones dominating the Security Council which is ostensibly responsible for safeguarding the international security?

There exist tens of other similar questions. Of course, the answers are clear.

The majority of nations and governments of the world have had no role in the creation of the current global crises, and as a matter of fact, they were themselves the victims of such policies.

It is as lucid as daylight that the same slave masters and colonial powers that once instigated the two world wars have caused widespread misery and disorder with far-reaching effects across the globe since then.

Dear Colleagues and Friends;

Do these arrogant powers really have the competence and ability to run or govern the world. Is it acceptable that they call themselves the sole defender of freedom, democracy, and human rights, while they militarily attack and occupy other countries?

Can the flower of democracy blossom from NATO’s missiles, bombs and guns?

Ladies and Gentlemen;

If some European countries still use the Holocaust, after six decades, as the excuse to pay fine or ransom to the Zionists, should it not be an obligation upon the slave masters or colonial powers to pay reparations to the affected nations?

If the damage and losses of the period of slavery and colonialism were indeed compensated, what would happen to the manipulators and behind-the-scene political powers in the United States and in Europe? Would there remain any gaps between the North and the South?

If only half of military expenditures of the United States and its allies in NATO was shifted to help solve the economic problems in their own countries, would they be witnessing any symptom of the economic crisis?

What would happen, if the same amount was allocated to poor nations?

What is the justification for the presence of hundreds of US military and intelligence bases in different parts of the world, including 268 bases in Germany, 124 in Japan, 87 in South Korea, 83 in Italy, 45 in the United Kingdom, and 21 in Portugal? Does this mean anything other than military occupation?

Don’t the bombs deployed in the said bases undermine the security of other nations?

The main question is the quest for the root cause of such attitudes. The prime reason should be sought in the beliefs and tendencies of the establishment. An assembly of people in contradiction with the inner human instincts and disposition who also have no faith in God and in the path of the divine prophets, replace their lust for power and materialistic ends with heavenly values.

To them, only power and wealth prevail, and every attempt must bring into focus these sinister goals.

Oppressed nations have no hope to restore or protect their legitimate rights against these powers. These powers seek their progress, prosperity and dignity through imposing poverty, humiliation and annihilation to others.

They consider themselves superior to others, enjoying special privileges and concessions. They have no respect for others and easily violate the rights of all nations and governments.

They proclaim themselves as the indisputable custodians of all governments and nations through intimidation, recourse to threat and force, and abuse the international mechanisms. They simply break all the internationally recognized regulations.

They insist on imposing their lifestyle and beliefs on others. They officially support racism. They weaken countries through military intervention, and destroy their infrastructures, in order to plunder their resources by making them all the more dependent.

They sow the seeds of hate and hostility among nations and people of different pursuits, in order to prevent them from fulfilling their goals of development and progress.

All cultures, identities, lives, values and wealth of nations, women, youth, families as well as the wealth of nations are sacrificed to their imperialistic tendencies and their inclination to enslave and captivate others.

Hypocrisy and deceit are allowed in order to secure their interests and imperialistic goals. Drug- trafficking and killing of innocent human beings are also allowed in pursuit of such diabolic goals. Despite NATO’s presence in the occupied Afghanistan, there has been a dramatic increase in the production of illicit drugs there.

They tolerate no question or criticism, and instead of presenting a reason for their violations, they always put themselves in the position of a claimant. By using their imperialistic media network which is under the influence of colonialism they threaten anyone who questions the Holocaust and the September 11 event with sanctions and military action.

Last year, when the need to form a fact-finding team to undertake a thorough investigation concerning the hidden elements involved in September 11 incident was brought up; an idea also endorsed by all independent governments and nations as well as by the majority in the United States, my country and myself came under pressure and threat by the government of the United States.

Instead of assigning a fact-finding team, they killed the main perpetrator and threw his body into the sea.

Would it not have been reasonable to bring to justice and openly bring to trial the main perpetrator of the incident in order to identify the elements behind the safe space provided for the invading aircraft to attack the twin world trade towers?

Why should it not have been allowed to bring him to trial to help recognize those who launched terrorist groups and brought wars and other miseries into the region?

Is there any classified information that must be kept secret?

They view Zionism as a sacred notion and ideology. Any question concerning its very foundation and history is condemned by them as an unforgivable sin.

However they endorse and allow sacrileges and insult against beliefs of other divine religions.

Dear Colleagues and Friends;

Real freedom, justice dignity, well being, and lasting security are the rights of all nations. These values can neither be achieved by reliance on the current inefficient system of world governance, nor through the invasion of the world by arrogant powers and the gun barrels of NATO forces.

These values could only be realized through independence and recognition of others’ rights and through harmony and cooperation.
Is there any way to address the problems and challenges besetting the world by using the prevailing international mechanisms and tools to help humanity achieve the long-standing aspiration of peace, security and equality?

All those who tried to introduce reforms whilst preserving the existing norms and tendencies have failed. The valuable efforts made by the Non-Aligned movement and Group 77 and GrouplS as well as by some prominent individuals have failed to bring fundamental changes.
Governance and management of the world require fundamental reforms.

What should be done now?

Dear Colleagnes and Friends;

Efforts must be made with a firm resolve and through collective cooperation to map out a new plan, on the basis of principles and the very foundation of universal human values such as Monotheism, justice, freedom, love and the quest for happiness.

The idea of creation of the United Nations remains a great and historical achievement of mankind. Its importance must be appreciated and its capacities must be used to the extent possible for our noble goals.

We should not allow this organization which is the reflection of the collective will and shared aspiration of the community of nations, to deviate from its main course and play into the hands of the world powers.

Conducive ground must be prepared to ensure collective participation and involvement of nations in an effort to promote lasting peace and security.

Shared and collective management of the world must be achieved in its true sense, and based on the underlying principles enshrined in the international law. Justice must serve as the criterion and the basis for all international decisions and actions.

All of us should acknowledge the fact that there is no other way than the shared and collective management of the world in order to put an end to the present disorders, tyranny, and discriminations worldwide.
This is indeed the sole way to prosperity and welfare of human society which is an established and vivid truth.

While acknowledging the above truth, one should note that acknowledgement alone is not enough. We must believe in it and spare no effort toward its realization.

Dear Colleagues and Friends;

Shared and collective management of the world is the legitimate right of all nations, and we as their representatives, have an obligation to defend their rights. Although some powers continuously try to frustrate all international efforts aimed at promoting collective cooperation, we must, however, strengthen our belief in achieving the perceived goal of establishing a shared and collective cooperation to run the world.

The United Nations was created to make effective participation of all nations in international decision-making processes, possible. We all know that this goal has not yet been fulfilled because of the absence of justice in the current management structures and mechanisms of the UN.

The composition of the Security Council is unjust and inequitable. Therefore, changes including the restructuring of the United Nations are considered the basic demands of the nations that must be addressed by the General Assembly.

During last year session, I emphasized the importance of this issue and called for the designation of the current decade as the decade of shared and collective Global Management.

I would like to reiterate again my proposal. I am sure that through international cooperation, diligence and efforts by committed world leaders and governments and through insisting on the realization of justice and the support of all other nations, we can expedite the building of a common bright future.

This movement is certainly on its rightful path of creation, ensuring a promising future for humanity. A future that will be built when humanity initiates to trend the path of the divine prophets and the righteous under the leadership of Imam al-Mahdi, the Ultimate Savior of mankind and the inheritor to all divine messengers and leaders and to the pure generation of our great Prophet.

The creation of a supreme and ideal society with the arrival of a perfect human being who is a true and sincere lover of all human beings, is the guaranteed promise of Allah.

He will come alongside with Jesus Christ to lead the freedom and justice lovers to eradicate tyranny and discrimination, and promote knowledge, peace, justice freedom and love across the world. He will present to every single individual all the beauties of the world and all good things which bring happiness for humankind.

Today nations have been awakened. With the increase in public awareness,they no longer succumb to oppressions and discriminations.

The world is now witnessing more than ever, the widespread awakening in Islamic lands, in Asia, Europe, and America. These movements are ever expanding their spirit everyday and influence the pursuit of the realization of justice, freedom and the creation of a better tomorrow.

Our great nation stands ready to join hands with other nations to march on this beautiful path in harmony and in line with the shared aspirations of mankind.

Let us salute love, freedom, justice, wisdom, and the bright future that awaits humankind.

Thank you.


Source URL: http://www.ibtimes.com/ahmadinejad-united-nations-speech-full-text-transcript-317114


I’d like to know what’s wrong with that speech? Something he said that’s not true?

–Joe

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America’s Slide into Hell

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by Glenn Greenwald.

MONDAY, JUN 25, 2012 04:01 AM PDT

Collapsing U.S. credibility

Condemning foreign governments for abusive acts while ignoring one’s own is easy. But the U.S. leads the way.


Why this is important. Here is Greenwald’s Update excerpt:

UPDATE:

A related point was made by Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1967, when he delivered an extraordinary speech designed to address complaints that his anti-war activism was distracting from his civil rights work, and he explained why the latter was impossible without the former (h/t Duncan Mitchel)

As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action.

But they ask — and rightly so — what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn’t using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted.

Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today — my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent.

Last January, I wrote about King’s speech and how it relates to current political activism.

[Source]

–Joe

The Way of the White Man – MacLeod Cartoon

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The Way of the White Man

Rush Limbaugh and Sandra Fluke

So goes “The Way of the White Man’s Rights” – Doesn’t look too good, does it?

A local blogger puts it this way in his latest posting: Nothing About Witchcraft? This is his take on South Carolina Republican’s “rights” to exclude certain types, including “And obviously you can’t be a contraceptive-advocating college student slut!” – His obvious reference to Sandra Fluke.

Here’s a good example of “witchcraft” wizardry at its best.

[Source – MacLeod Cartoons]

–Joe

American Sharia

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[UPDATE Below]

When you consider teaching American Christians that Yoga, “the stretching and meditative discipline derived from Eastern religions is not a Christian pathway to God” you also see the same fundamentalist, literalism rendered to Islamic Sharia Law. When you look at the regressive, Dark Age dogma coming from the “born again” religions in this country, I see no difference. Yahoo News produced: Southern Baptist leader on yoga: Not Christianity today. This demonstrates the bigoted thinking and belief of patently NON-Christians. These Southern Baptists sound like Jehovah’s Witnesses. This “leader,” Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler, says,

Mohler said he objects to “the idea that the body is a vehicle for reaching consciousness with the divine.”

“That’s just not Christianity.”

The arrogant and self-righteous judgments embodied in these statements fly directly in the face of Jesus’ teaching regarding his “Way of thinking” and more specifically his instructions about judging. More importantly, someone that has “reached consciousness with the Divine” know that what Mohler says is nonsense. He would NEVER assume such assertions if he had actually experienced such a reality. People that actually reached “consciousness with the Divine” know one another. They are the living Truth. They expose the ignorance in such statements and teachings. The problem is, there are so very few of them and some many of the pretenders.

It would be good for religious fanatics to remember Jesus’ admonition to John regarding this matter:

John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man driving out demons in your name, and we told him to stop, because he doesn’t belong to our group.” “Do not try to stop him,” Jesus said to him and to the other disciples, “because whoever is not against you is for you.” – John 9:49, 50.

Then there is this accompanying account:

John said to him: “Teacher, we saw a certain man expelling demons by the use of your name and we tried to prevent him, because he was not accompanying us.” But Jesus said: “Do not try to prevent him, for there is no one that will do a powerful work on the basis of my name that will quickly be able to revile me; for he that is not against us is for us. For whoever gives you a cup of water to drink on the grounds that you belong to Christ, I truly tell you, he will be no means lose his reward. But whoever stumbles one of these little ones that believe, it would be finer for him if a millstone such as is turned by an ass were put around his neck and he were actually pitched into the sea.” – Matthew 9:38-42.

Perhaps, if Mr. Mohler and his kind demonstrated an actual Christian way of being, compatible and consistent with Jesus’ documented teachings, he might have some justification for what he teaches. The proof is in the “being.” His stand against yoga denies that Christ-like “being.”

We’re told that America and the Western Christian World is at war with Islamic Extremist. You can well understand these kinds of teaching lay the root cause of war right at the feet of people like R. Albert Mohler. History reveals it’s really two fundamental extremists at one another’s throats, claiming God is on their side.
[Source]

[UPDATE :: Friday, October 8, 2010]

A Texas town under Sharia law.”

–Joe

Dark Age Barbarism

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… and Freedom of Religion.

What freedom of religion means to most Americans is the right to judge their neighbor. Did you ever think about what the Mormons or Jehovah’s Witnesses are really saying to you when they come, uninvited to your door offering to reeducate you about the Bible, Jesus Christ and Almighty God so you can worship God in truth like they do? What about the other Missionary Ministries that tell you to be accepted as a Christian you first must be saved of your sins. To do that you must to be redeemed by Jesus Christ.  This Gospel of Jesus Christ has been spread to every nation on this Earth by these two religious peoples. They join an illustrious group of Evangelicals and other missionary minded religions that believe they are doing Christ’s work. Christian people have expanded great energies in their fervent beliefs that these words of Jesus are their mandate: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” -KJV

Why do they think you need their information? What do they expect you to do when you get it? What makes any of them think that what Jesus’ preached is the Gospel they preach? Why would one Christian religion enforce their freedom to try to convert another Christian religion? Is this presumed freedom not the root cause of intolerance in direct defiance of Jesus explicit teachings?

Unfortunately, the record for religious tolerance for all people to practice their religious beliefs throughout the history of America is exceedingly abysmal. The Christian Post September 13, 2010 article: Koran Burning: How Dare the Muslim World Lecture America on Religious Tolerance is a good example of the attitude that drives this intolerance. What motivates these people to foist their beliefs upon their fellow neighbors is exactly why they discriminate against all other non-Christian religions and religious peoples. As a “saved” people, recognized by the Hand of God through Jesus Christ these Christians take on the mantle of an exceptional people directly blessed and protected by God. Enclaves of Christians throughout the World take on the trappings of what America does to other religions and religious peoples. The common belief is that“Islamic Terrorists” are the spawn of an Islamic aberration therefore Islam and all that are Islamic are responsible for the war. For decades in Iraq, the Shiite religious majority people were able to live together with their ruling minority Sunni brothers. No thanks to America’s intervention to save all the people from despotic rule and enforced majority governance, as soon as the Shiites got control they cleansed the country of the Sunni. What you never hear much about is that they also cleared out almost all the Christians too.

These are the consequences of what happens where Christians are a minority. This is a real concern among Christian religions throughout the world when the Muslim (Islam) minority are attacked in America. The Wall Street Journal had an article back in January of this years: “Islamic Christianophobia” – The world ignores the persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. On Friday, September 10, 2010, The Independent had Patrick Cockburn: The fires of religious fury are easily lit but hard to put out – Christian communities in the Muslim world that date back 2,000 years are finally being extinguished. Then there is: NYC Mosque Rhetoric May Harm Persecuted Christians in The Christian Post September 2, 2010. They point out that there are millions of Christians in the Middle East and “hateful rhetoric being used by opponents of the proposed mosque near ground zero can result in violence against Christians living in Muslim-dominated countries.”

It would seem that this war on Islamic Terrorist has boxed these warmongering heretics into a corner. Perhaps Michael Moore has the solution: If the ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America – It’s time to move on beyond all the bigotry, lies and emotional claptrap of hurt feelings and sensitivity and deal with what’s really in jeopardy.
[Source]

–Joe

Does This Make Sense?

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keillorToday’s Salon article by Garrison Keillor,

Cut Republicans out of healthcare!

“Let them make do with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Meanwhile, the money we save will pay off the deficit” concludes by saying:

Thirty-six years of bitter battle over Roe v. Wade and what has it gotten us? If the decision were overturned tomorrow, not much would change. The question would revert to the states, and some would permit the termination of pregnancy, others wouldn’t. Meanwhile, the effect of the battle has been quite other than what the Catholic Church could have wanted, the unleashing of angry demons, the poisoning of the body politic.

Conservatives and liberals can agree on the basics — that the nation wallows in debt, that it is shortsighted of the states to cut back on the most essential work of government, which is the education of the young, and that somehow we have got to become a more productive nation and less consumptive — but the ruffles and flourishes of Washington seem ever more irrelevant to the crises we face. When an entire major party has excused itself from meaningful debate and a thoughtful U.S. senator like Orrin Hatch no longer finds it important to make sense and an up-and-comer like Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty attacks the president for giving a speech telling schoolchildren to work hard in school and get good grades, one starts to wonder if the country wouldn’t be better off without them and if Republicans should be cut out of the healthcare system entirely and simply provided with aspirin and hand sanitizer. Thirty-two percent of the population identifies with the GOP, and if we cut off healthcare to them, we could probably pay off the deficit in short order.

It’s time to dump the dead-end issues that have wasted too much time already. Old men shouldn’t be allowed to doze off at the switch and muck up the works for the young who will have to repair the damage. Get over yourselves. Your replacements have arrived, and you should think about them now and then. Enough with the shrieking. Pass healthcare reform.

Maybe we should do the Republicans the favor of taking away their Social Security and Medicare benefits as well. Then when “push comes to shove” we could start thinking about sending that “thirty-two percent” to Alaska.

–Joe

Obama, “Join The World”

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chomsky

Noam Chomsky - photo by John Soares

Noam Chomsky on US Expansion of Afghan Occupation, the Uses of NATO, and What Obama Should Do in Israel-Palestine

If you’re interested in an objective observation on Israel and the United States’ true objectives for the Middle East, read NOAM CHOMSKY’s latest on Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu and what he sees coming up.

Well, Benjamin Netanyahu is on the—you can’t say on the far right anymore, because the country has moved so far to the right that he’s almost centrist. To the far right is his foreign minister, Avigdor Lieberman, who has made his first pronouncement yesterday. He said that Israel has no responsibilities for any previous commitments, not the Annapolis commitment to eventually form some sort of Palestinian state, unclear what, only to the road map. Now, that’s what was reported yesterday in the press.

Now, what’s Israel’s commitment to the road map? He knows very well. The road map is the famous decision of the Quartet—US, Europe, Russia and the United Nations. A couple years ago, it sort of laid out vague plans for what ought to be done. It’s worth looking at them. But put that aside, because really it doesn’t matter, because as soon as the road map came out, Israel formally accepted it and instantly added fourteen reservations, which completely eviscerated it. One of the contributions of Jimmy Carter’s book on Israel-Palestine was that he was the first, I think, to give public attention to the Israeli reservations. They’re in an appendix to his book, bitterly condemned book, but nobody ever mentioned the one major contribution.

In effect, Israel said, “We’ll sign the road map, but we’re not going to observe it, because here’s the conditions.” So, for example, the condition—one condition is that nothing can happen until the Palestinians end, of course, all violence, but also all incitement, so anything critical of Israel. On the other hand, it added, nothing can stop Israel from carrying out violence and incitement. It was explicit, approximately those words. And so it continues. There can be no discussion of the existence of settlements, in fact, no discussion of anything that matters. That’s the road map. Now, the US supported that. That means both the US and Israel reject the road map. And Lieberman’s statement yesterday is, well, that’s our only commitment. You know, if we had a functioning media, those would be the headlines.

And there’s much more to this. You know, President Obama appointed a Middle East emissary, George Mitchell, who’s a reasonable choice if he’s allowed to do anything. So far, he’s only allowed to listen to almost everyone, not everyone. For example, he’s not allowed to listen to the elected government in Palestine, the Hamas-led government. Well, it would be hard to listen to them, because half of them are in Israeli prisons, but nevertheless, you know, they have voices. For example, they’ve supported the call for a two-state settlement that the United States and Israel have rejected. So they’ve joined the world on that.

But why are we not allowed to listen to Hamas? Well, because they don’t meet three conditions that were established. One is, they have to accept the road map, which we and Israel reject, but they have to accept it, otherwise we can’t allow them into the civilized world. The other is, they have to renounce violence. Well, we don’t have to discuss the question whether the United States and Israel renounce violence, so we can put that aside. Third, they have to recognize Israel, but, of course, we don’t have to recognize Palestine, nor does Israel. So they have to meet three conditions that we don’t meet and that Israel doesn’t meet. But again, that passes without comment.

Regarding President Obama role right now:

He should join the world. There has been an overwhelming international consensus for over thirty years. It was made explicit in January 1976, when the Arab states brought a resolution to the Security Council calling for the establishment of two states on the international border, which indeed the international border, up until then, was recognized by the United States. It means the pre-June ’67 border. And official US terminology, when it was still part of the world in the late ’60s, was “with minor and mutual modifications,” so maybe straighten out some curves. Almost the entire world agrees with this. It has been blocked by the United States. The United States vetoed that resolution. It vetoed a similar one in 1980. I won’t run through the record, but it’s essentially the same up ’til now.

So what President Obama should do is, in fact, what President Clinton did in the last few weeks of his administration. It’s important to recognize what happened then. There were negotiations in Camp David in the summer of 2000, which collapsed. Clinton blamed Arafat, the head of the Palestinian delegation, for the breakdown, but he backed off of that pretty quickly. By December, he formerly recognized that the US-Israeli proposals at Camp David could not be accepted by any Palestinian, and he presented what he called his parameters, somewhat vague but more forthcoming. He then made a speech, an important speech, in which he said both sides have accepted the parameters, both sides have expressed reservations. Well, they met in Taba, Egypt, in January 2001, both sides, to iron out the reservations, and they came very close to an agreement, which was very close to the international consensus.

What he thinks about the “two-state” solution:

Nobody supports—I mean, you can talk about a one-state solution, if you want. I think a better solution is a no-state solution. But this is pie in the sky. If you’re really in favor of a one-state solution, which in fact I’ve been all my life—accept a bi-national state, not one state—you have to give a path to get from here to there. Otherwise, it’s just talk. Now, the only path anyone has ever proposed —— is through two states as the first stage.

So, there you have it. There’s no peace in the Middle East because Israel and the United States refuse to recognize the Palestinian people’s legitimate right to exist.

Compliments of Democracy Now

Link to Noam Chomsky’s website. [photo by John Soares]

–Joe

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