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North Korea officially in a ‘state of war’ with South Korea

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 30, 2013

North Korea announced Friday that relations with South Korea are in a “state of war”, following the surge in tensions between the two countries and sanctions by the United Nations Security Council.

“From now, North-South relations will enter a state of war and matters arising between North and South will be treated accordingly,” communicated the regime at Pyongyang, during a special announcement issued through he state news agency.

In his usual bellicose tone North Korean media published what it said to be a statement from Kim Jong-un, who ordered to set up missiles to strike at “any time” U.S. interests in the region as well as South Korea itself.

In this new announcement, North Korea said that “the situation in which there is neither war nor peace of the Korean peninsula is over.”

The two Koreas have remained technically at war since the end of the conflict that faced them between 1950-1953 and ended with a ceasefire, after which an armistice was signed to avoid further conflict.

The statement published by North Korea also warned of “major combat” beyond the region if South Korea and the U.S. continued their military operations in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. According to KCNA, the special announcement was issued today by the Workers’ Party, ministers and other institutions.

These ads are part of the campaign of threats directed by Pyongyang that directly threaten South Korea and the U.S.. The announcements began last March 7 after the UN approved sanctions against the communist country for running nuclear test in February.

In such sanctions, China, the main ally of North Korea, backed and supported the penalties against Pyongyang, a move that analysts say has deepened the isolation and inability to anticipate North Korea’s unexpected response. This week North Korea announced the suspension of the only line of military communication it had with South Korea and managed access to the Kaesong industrial complex amid escalating tension between the two countries.

The White House licks its fingers and responds

As it was expected, the White House in Washington did not take long to respond to North Korea’s declaration of war. In a statement published Friday, the US government says that the threats are taken ”seriously”. The White House “is serious about these threats and remains in close contact with the South Korean allies,” said the National Security Council’s spokeswoman  Caitlin Hayden.

The White House has made it clear in other opportunities that it has the will and the ability to protect the so-called interests of the United States in the region against threats from North Korea. The United States has military bases in the South Pacific region. U.S. President Barack Obama showed his intention to attack North Korea as he responded to questions from the press this week. In fact, the US is now conducting military exercises with South Korea. “This should be proof enough clear to the international community and the North Koreans that we have the ability and willingness to protect our interests in the region.”

The new Secretary of Defense of the United States, Chuck Hagel, has said that “the very provocative and belligerent actions and tone from North Korea increase the danger of more conflict.” Hagel also defended the decision earlier this month to increase defenses against missile threats from the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He insisted that the Pentagon had not  exaggerated in its reaction. “You just need to go wrong once,” said the Secretary of Defense.

The White House reiterated that the “war rhetoric” from North Korea “only deepens the isolation” of that country and that its aim is to resolve current tensions “in a peaceful manner.” “The road to peace is clear to the North Koreans.” The White House has said that Pyongyang must stop its nuclear program, comply with its international obligations and stop its “war rhetoric”.

Russia to the rescue

Today Russia has called both the Koreas as the U.S. to exercise ”maximum restraint and responsibility” in the escalation launched by the Pyongyang regime in recent weeks and that has culminated with the statement that North Korea had entered into a “state of war” with its southern neighbor.

The latest threat of the communist regime of Kim Jong-un follows a series of measures taken in recent weeks, as the placement of missiles in the direction of U.S. bases in the Pacific and cutting military communications with Seoul.

“We hope the two sides exercise maximum restraint and responsibility and that no one exceeds the point of no return,” said Grigory Logvinov, the Russian Foreign senior official in charge of Korean peninsula.

The last movement of Pyongyang does not awaken too many alarms in South Korea, which estimates that “there is not a new threat.”

Not surprisingly, the two Koreas are still technically at war since the end of the Korean conflict in 1953. The South Korean Defense Ministry has merely said his country will repress ”any provocation.”

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Betrayal from the White House as Obama signs Monsanto Protection Act

By DAISY LUTHER | ORGANIC PREPPER | MARCH 28, 2013

Of course, it’s hard to honestly expect President Barack Obama to do the right thing, but many people held out hope that he would veto the most dangerous food act ever to pass the US Congress.  After all, one of his campaign promises the first time around was to enforce the labeling of GMOs.  His wife has that famous organic garden on the White House lawn.  We can trust the Obamas, right?

Wrong.

Yesterday, that slender hope,  the hope that Obama might finally do something for the good of the people instead of the good of the special interest groups that donate heavily to his campaigns, was dashed.  Obama, once again, showed that he is for sale to the highest bidder – and this time that bidder is Monsanto.  Despite a petition that garnered over 250,000 signatures in just a few days, he signed the Monsanto Protection Act into law, completely ignoring the wishes of the people.  In fact, a press release has not even been issued by the White House to give the impression that the highly successful petition was considered.

Food Democracy Now has not given up the battle, however:

We regret to inform you that late last night President Barack Obama signed H.R. 933, which contained the Monsanto Protection Act into law. President Obama knowingly signed the Monsanto Protection Act over the urgent pleas of more than 250,000 Americans who asked that he use his executive authority to veto it. President Obama failed to live up to his oath to protect the American people and our constitution.

Today we’re calling on President Obama to issue an executive order to call for the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered foods.

Not only is GMO labeling a reasonable and common sense solution to the continued controversy that corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow Chemical have created by subverting our basic democratic rights, but it is a basic right that citizens in 62 other countries around the world already enjoy, including Europe, Russia, China, India, South Africa and Saudi Arabia.

Join us in demanding mandatory labeling of GMO foods. Now’s the time!

Please take a moment to click the links above and get involved.  We’ve lost the battle, but not the war.   I’m personally pledging at least one article  per week about Monsanto, their incestuous relationship with the government and their toxic grip on agriculture.  I urge everyone to raise a deafening public outcry – every voice adds to the noise that we can create.  Let’s make a noise that cannot be ignored.

The Monsanto Protection Act was slipped quietly through the Congress, in the usual devious manner.  Officially called the  Farmer Assurance Provision, the resolution puts Monsanto, with all their toxins like the cheerfully dubbed Agent Orange and Round-up, as well as their genetically modified monstrosities, beyond the reach of the judicial system.  The courts cannot stop the death brokering company from growing crops deemed to be potentially dangerous.  (Ummm….that would be ALL OF THEM that have been produced by the Monsanto mad science club.)

If ever there was a company that embodied evil, it would be the Monsanto Company.  Last year I wrote about the company:

The combination of unfettered corporate greed, a eugenics agenda and corrupt political manipulation forms an unholy trinity that could make Monsanto the real Cyberdyne Systems.  In the Terminator movies, Cyberdyne Systems created the artificial intelligence computer system Skynet, which destroyed most life on earth and forced survivors to live underground.

Proving once again that fact is indeed as strange as fiction, the Monsanto Company could single handedly cause TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It).   Read more at  Monsanto: The Real Cyberdyne

Horrifyingly, this is just another step towards the science fictionesque predictions that I wrote about.

While most people are constrained by morals, that clearly doesn’t apply with Monsanto.  Now, they aren’t even limited by fear of prosecution.

Pandora’s Box is unlocked, Obama just propped open the lid, and there’s no way to cram the evil back in.

War Council Pawns meet in Israel

By BILL van AUKEN | GLOBAL RESEARCH | MARCH 21, 2013

Starting a two-day visit to Israel on Wednesday, US President Barack Obama issued bellicose threats against both Syria and Iran. The visit, which plainly has the character of a US-Israeli war council, makes clear that ten years after the US invasion of Iraq, US imperialism is preparing even greater crimes in the Middle East.

The Democratic president threatened the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad that it would “be held accountable for the use of chemical weapons or their transfer to terrorists,” adding that if evidence showed that such a weapon had been used it would be a “game-changer.”

On Iran, Obama repeated his vow “to prevent Iran from having a nuclear weapon” and that “all options are on the table,” while recognizing Israel’s “right” to take unilateral action against Iran. There “is not a lot of daylight” between the US and Israel on Iran, he said.

Obama’s remarks came one day after the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq. No speeches or ceremonies were organized by the Obama administration or the US Congress Tuesday to mark the onset of a war to which 1.5 million Americans were sent, and where nearly 4,500 died and hundreds of thousands suffered either physical or psychological wounds.

Silence, in this case, denotes guilt. Both political parties, every branch of government, the media and the US corporations were directly complicit in what unquestionably stands as the greatest war crime of the 21st century: an unprovoked war, launched on the basis of lies, against a virtually defenseless nation, claiming some one million lives and leaving an entire society in ruins.

America’s ruling elite is now pressing for even greater and more destructive conflicts, in the face of mass public opposition to war. In Orwellian fashion, familiar and discredited pretexts of “weapons of mass destruction,” terrorism and the promotion of “democracy” are being recycled, this time to justify war against Syria.

On Capitol Hill there was a drumbeat of calls for new Middle East wars. Adm. James Stavridis, the chief of the Pentagon’s European Command, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday on extensive planning by NATO for intervention in Syria. “We are looking at a wide range of operations, and we are prepared if called upon to be engaged as we were in Libya,” he said.

Under serious consideration, according to Stavridis, is the establishment of a “no-fly zone.” Calls for such a no-fly zone in Libya, approved by the United Nations Security Council in March 2011, led to a US-NATO bombing campaign and war for regime change.

The committee’s chairman, Senator Carl Levin, (Democrat, Michigan) led the questioning. The day before, he had spoken at the Council on Foreign Relations, calling for the establishment of “a protected zone along the Turkish-Syrian border” and the use of military force to “go after some Syrian air defenses and after some of the Syrian air power.”

Resolutions were introduced in both the House and the Senate calling for stepped-up arming and training of Western-backed “rebels” fighting to overthrow Assad.

Meanwhile, the apparent use of a chemical weapon that claimed the lives of over 30 Syrians Tuesday prompted renewed demands for direct US intervention on Capitol Hill.

The Syrian government charged that the Western-backed fighters fired the rocket carrying the chemical warhead. By all accounts, the device hit a government-controlled village outside of Aleppo. Opposition sources said that most of the victims were Syrian government soldiers, while sources in Syria described them as Alawite civilians, a population that largely supports Assad.

Lawmakers invoked Obama’s earlier threats that the use of chemical weapons in Syria represented a “red line” that would prompt US intervention. “If today’s reports are substantiated, the President’s red line has been crossed, and we would urge him to take immediate action to impose the consequences he has promised,” Republican Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain said in a joint statement.

Graham went further in an interview, calling for sending US ground troops into Syria to secure its chemical weapons, an operation that the Pentagon estimated would require 75,000 soldiers and Marines.

The twisted logic of this campaign is that the two-year-old sectarian civil war that the US and its allies in Europe, Turkey and the Persian Gulf monarchies have fomented, funded and armed has weakened the Assad regime to such an extent that its chemical weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists.

However, these terrorists, such as the Al Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra and other jihadist militias, are the principal shock troops of the Western-backed war for regime change.

As for the claim that Washington is promoting “democracy” in Syria, there could be no more telling refutation than the “election” Monday of the prime minister for a new “interim government” to be installed on Syrian territory seized by the so-called rebels. The winner, chosen by barely 35 members of a Syrian National Council formed under the tutelage of the US State Department, was Ghassan Hitto. A US citizen and Texas-based IT executive, he left Syria as a 17-year-old over 30 years ago.

The ideological pretexts for a US war in Syria are even less coherent than the ones used to carry out the war in Iraq a decade ago. The real driving forces are the same. What is involved is a predatory war aimed at redrawing the map of the Middle East to suit the interests of US imperialism and assure its hegemony over the region’s energy resources. War for regime change in Syria is part of a broader campaign for war with Iran and carries with it the threat of drawing in Russia and China, as well.

While the American ruling establishment may want to bury the memory of the Iraq war, working people have drawn their own conclusions, with poll after poll showing the overwhelming view that it should never have been fought.

The attempt to foist a new war on the American people, using the same warmed-over lies, comes together with a deepening assault on jobs and living standards and continuous revelations of the criminality of the financial aristocracy, in whose interests these wars are fought. Such a volatile mixture is a recipe for social explosions within the United States and the development of a mass political movement against imperialist wars in Iraq, Syria and beyond.

 

Syrians attacked with chemical weapons in Aleppo, say reports

Both the Syrian government and the terrorists groups in charge of the conflict in Syria deny using chemical weapons

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | MARCH 19, 2013

The Syrian government accused rebel militias that vie for control of the country of using chemical weapons in an attack in the southern province of Aleppo. According to the Information Ministry of Syria, 16 people died as a result of the attack.

In previous weeks and months, Western military forces issued a warning about the use of chemical weapons on the civilian population, with U.S. President Barack H. Obama threatening military action if Assad attacked his own people. This attack may then be the beginning of a set up by Western supported insurgents to create an excuse for a full invasion of Syria.

Syrian Information Minister, Omran Al Zoabi, said on Tuesday that the rebels used chemical weapons in an attack on Aleppo in which, in addition to the 16 deaths, mostly civilians, there were at least 86 wounded, mostly in critical condition. “This is a dangerous escalation,” said Al Zoabi on state television in an interview in which he said that Turkey and Qatar, official supporters of the rebels, are responsible for the “legal, moral and political” consequences of the attack.

Several rebel groups rejected the accusations on Tuesday and instead accused the regime of being responsible for the launch of a Scud missile loaded with these materials. “We have no long-range missiles or chemical weapons. If we had them, we would not employ civilians as a target,” said military spokesman Istanbul Lobre Sirius, Louay Muqdad, to AFP.

The regime has, in addition to conventional arsenals, vast reserves of sarin, mustard gas and cyanide. One of the concerns of the international community is that either the regime used these chemical weapons or that terrorists groups linked to the rebels and al-Qaeda in Syria who were brought to fight the Assad regime, get their hands on chemicals weapons handed out to them by Western supporters.

The news agency SANA did not specify what type of chemical weapon were used by the rebels, who the Assad regime has been fighting for over two years and that is composed by terrorists brought in from Jordan, Turkey, Qatar and other neighboring countries. The Syrian war, in which the West is heavily invested, has already claimed the life of more than 70,000 people and caused one of the largest migrations of refugees –more than one million– in the region.

Last week, the head of Israeli military intelligence, Brigadier General Aviv Kochavi, told a conference that he believes Assad is preparing for the use of its chemical arsenals. “Assad retains control over chemical weapons, air force and military equipment from Syria. Assad is making preparations to use these chemical weapons. He has not yet given the order, but is preparing for it,” he said. Israel is said to have requested that the United States attacks Syrian sites where they believe the Assad regime houses its military arsenal.

In August, U.S. President Barack Obama, who tomorrow will visit Israel, warned the Syrian government that if it used chemical weapons against its own people it would face a U.S. military intervention. Until today, the prospect of a chemical attack from the part of the Assad regime has been null, and continues to be, but the use of chemical weapons against civilians –either by Assad or the rebels– is the perfect excuse to invade the country with foreign troops. Several attempts by the United States and some European countries to drive through United Nations resolutions to attack Syria have failed due to the vetoes by Russia and China.

Venezuela’s acting President warns about U.S. led assassination attempt on political rival

Nicolas Maduro says that Pentagon and CIA plan to assassinate Capriles

By DANIEL WALLIS | REUTERS | MARCH 18, 2013

Venezuela’s acting president urged U.S. leader Barack Obama to stop what he called a plot by the Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency to kill his opposition rival and trigger a coup before an April 14 election.

Nicolas Maduro said the plan was to blame his opponent’s murder on the OPEC nation’s government and to “fill Venezuelans with hate” as they prepare to go to vote following the death of socialist leader Hugo Chavez.

Maduro first mentioned a plot against his rival, Henrique Capriles, last week, blaming it on former Bush administration officials Roger Noriega and Otto Reich. Both rejected the allegations as untrue, outrageous and defamatory.

“I call on President Obama – Roger Noriega, Otto Reich, officials at the Pentagon and at the CIA are behind a plan to assassinate the right-wing presidential candidate to create chaos,” Maduro said in a TV interview broadcast on Sunday.

Maduro, who is Chavez’s preferred successor, said the purpose of the plot was to set off a coup and that his information came from “a very good source.”

During his 14 years in power, the charismatic but divisive Chavez, who died March 5 after a two-year battle with cancer, often denounced U.S. plots against him and his “revolution.” Critics dismissed those claims as a smokescreen to keep voters focused on a sense of “imperialist” threat.

In kicking off the opposition’s campaign in the provinces on Saturday, Capriles said Maduro would be to blame if anything happened to him.

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