Obama Authorizes War Against Syria Without Congressional Approval

The US President has violated the Constitution once again by authorizing support for the Syrian rebel groups that fight against the Syrian Army. Having done so, he has effectively declared war on the country.

By LUIS MIRANDA | THE REAL AGENDA | AUGUST 3, 2012

President Barack Obama has signed a secret order authorizing Washington’s support for Syrian rebels in their fight against government forces, as reported by a U.S. source familiar with the matter.

The order, approved this year — although it is not known when it was signed — allows the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies to conduct support operations to get the rebels to overthrow President Bashar al Assad. In addition, the presidential order reflects the collaboration of U.S. a secret command center led by Turkey with the collaboration of Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

The comprehensive framework of U.S. assistance to the rebels has not been determined clearly, but the data points to a step forward by the U.S. government to aid the rebels, which until now had been limited to non-lethal aid, according to Washington.

In fact, the United States increased to $ 15 million the funds for non-lethal aid to be delivered to the Syrian opposition.
The spokesman for the U.S. State Department, Victoria Nuland, said that Washington “has said all along that is ready and willing to deliver non-lethal support to the Syrian opposition.”

“Given that this support has been utilized, we have decided to increase the amount of support given for non-lethal aid” she said. “Also, we will expand our coordination and cooperation with other countries that have chosen other forms of support,” she added, referring to the delivery of weapons by third countries, presumably Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey.

Regarding the secret command center, the British agency Reuters has suggested that this could be the secret base established by Turkey in collaboration with Qatar and Saudi Arabia, near the Syrian border, a fact that came to light last week. Apparently, the purpose of it is to control military operations and communication taking place in Syria and thus to help the rebel forces.

This example of a secret decision among Middle East countries is an example of the leaders of those countries’ wish to topple Syrian President Bashar Assad after together with Western countries, just as they did in 2011 with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Turkey has played an increasing role in Syria, including reports that have Ankara could be behind the bombing of Syrian military leaders on 18 July.

However, the Turkish government has denied any support for such actions. A senior officer in the reserve of an army in the region, indicated that at least 20 Syrian generals who have defected in Turkey are coordinating the rebel forces.
The Israeli authorities have indicated that at least 20,000 Syrian soldiers have deserted.

According to new reports, the Turkish base, near the border with Syria, is located in the Turkish resort of Adana (south), about 60 kilometers from the border with Syria, which also houses the U.S. airbase at Incirlik.

In late December 2011, the Turkish newspaper ‘Vatan’ said the U.S. Army has stored 70 tactical nuclear warheads of the B61-12 type, 50 of which would be reserved for U.S. use. He noted that between ten and 20 of the remaining warheads are designed to be carried and launched by Turkish warplanes.

Moreover, the U.S. Treasury Department confirmed Wednesday that it has authorized the representative of the Syrian Free Army (SLA) — which brings includes many of the armed opposition groups, to conduct financial transactions on behalf of those rebel organizations.

The information about Obama’s authorization to deliver support to the rebels comes amid fighting between security forces and the rebels themselves to regain control of Aleppo, the second largest city in the country.

U.S. Military Thugs Celebrate Death

AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE | APRIL 18, 2012

US soldiers took pictures of themselves posing with the mangled remains of suspected Afghan suicide bombers on more than one occasion in 2010, the Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday.

The LA Times said the US Army had launched an investigation into the incident after the newspaper showed them some of the photos, which it had obtained from a soldier in the division.

The first incident took place in February 2010, when paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were sent to an Afghan police station in Zabol province to inspect the remains of an alleged suicide bomber.

The soldiers had intended to try to get fingerprints and possibly scan the irises of the corpse, but instead they posed for pictures next to the Afghan police, holding up or squatting beside the remains, the newspaper said.

A few months later, the same platoon went to inspect the remains of three insurgents whom Afghan police said had blown themselves up by accident.

Two soldiers posed holding up one of the dead men’s hands with the middle finger raised, while another leaned over the bearded corpse, the newspaper reported.

Another soldier apparently placed an unofficial platoon patch reading “Zombie Hunter” next to the other remains and took a picture.

The LA Times said the military had asked it not to publish the photos for fear of inciting violence, but Times editor Davan Maharaj said that the newspaper had decided to publish a “small but representative selection.”

“After careful consideration, we decided that publishing a small but representative selection of the photos would fulfill our obligation to readers to report vigorously and impartially on all aspects of the American mission in Afghanistan,” he was quoted as saying.

As of early Wednesday, however, the photos had not yet appeared on the newspaper’s website.

The photos come after a series of scandals that has strained US-Afghan ties.

In March a US soldier allegedly went on a shooting rampage in two Afghan villages, killing 17 people — mostly women and children — in what is believed to be the deadliest war crime by a NATO soldier in the decade-long conflict.

The burning of Korans in mid-February triggered deadly anti-US protests, and there has been a surge in “insider” attacks on NATO troops by Afghan forces.

NATO has a 130,000-strong US-led military force fighting the Islamist Taliban, which has led an insurgency against the Western-backed Kabul government since being toppled from power in 2001.

The United States plans to gradually draw down combat troops from the middle of next year before handing over control to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014 as agreed by the NATO alliance.

The U.S. Military and Massacres

Only China has killed more people than the United States of America

By TIM KELLY | THE FUTURE OF FREEDOM FOUNDATION | APRIL 8, 2012

The murderous rampage of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Robert Bales in Afghanistan has received much deserved media attention. Sgt. Bales’s shooting spree, killing 17 Afghan civilians, was quickly condemned by the Obama administration as a horrible incident and an aberration that was in no way representative of the “exceptional character” of the U.S. military.

It is a matter of state doctrine that such “incidents,” no matter how frequent, are treated as singular events from which no broader conclusions can be drawn. This is convenient for U.S. policy makers and politicians, for it absolves them of any responsibility for the actions of the soldiers they deploy overseas to kill people and break things.

But how isolated was this latest massacre?

Anyone following the news is aware that U.S forces are frequently responsible for the deaths of innocent civilians. These deaths may not be the result of a soldier or group of “rogue” soldiers “losing it,” but that is a meaningless distinction. After all, it was Gen. Stanley McChrystal who said of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, “We have shot an amazing number of people, but to my knowledge, none has ever proven to be a threat.”

The past ten years have borne witness to one atrocity after another committed by U.S. soldiers. There was the Abu Ghraib prison-abuse scandal and the “Collateral Murder” video showing a U.S. gunship crew cheerfully mowing down Iraqi civilians. There was the Haditha massacre and the team of U.S. soldiers that were killing Afghan civilians for sport. There was the more recent “incident” of U.S. soldiers urinating on corpses. And during their occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, U.S. troops have carried out night raids into villages that have killed and injured countless civilians. How many such “incidents” have gone unreported?

Are atrocities inevitable when soldiers are being deployed multiple times to foreign countries where they are surrounded by hostile populations? Of course they are.

This is why the ultimate responsibility for the crimes of U.S. soldiers lies with those in power, for they’re the ones who make the war plans and give the orders to invade. When Donald Rumsfeld spoke obtusely of “shock and awe” in the run up to the Iraq War, he knew that it meant the suffering and death of many innocent civilians. But the carnage visited upon Iraqi society by the U.S. military was considered “worth it” by the geopolitical strategists and imperial schemers in Washington. As H.L. Mencken said, “wars are not made by common folk, scratching for livings in the heat of the day; they are made by demagogues infesting palaces.”

Perhaps U.S. troops overseas would be on better behavior if those further up the chain of command were expected to abide by the law. After all, both George W. Bush and Dick Cheney have boasted of authorizing the torture of prisoners. But these admissions to what are clearly violations of federal and international law have not led to any indictments.

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Costa Rica Occupied by U.S. Military -Update-

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 7, 2010

In an interview to a local newspaper, the Vice Minister of Security of Costa Rica, JORGE CHAVARRÍA said the alternative solution to letting the American occupiers move around the country is “too expensive”.  ”It would require the whole national budget to fully equip the Coast Guard so they can do the work the U.S. military will do.”  But if Costa Rica is not capable of securing its own coasts and land, it means the U.S. Army will have to stay in Costa Rican territory forever, and not only for six months as the permit says, doesn’t it?  One point the Vice Minister got right is that drug smuggling is a regional or even continental problem, therefore, Costa Rica cannot solve it by itself.  However, Mr. CHAVARRÍA also believes it is kosher to violate the Constitution and allow foreign forces to occupy the country.  But isn’t this very same action an example of trying to solve the problem by itself?

In the meantime, legislator Luis Fishman has decided to take the approval of Congress to Costa Rican courts as he believes it is unconstitutional.  ”The agreement signed between Costa Rica and the United States in 1998 was to allow Coast Guard ships only and not military,” insists Fishman.  While some legislators complain about the arrival of the Americans, it seems some people in Costa Rica do not understand what this issue is all about.  It is common to read comments in the local media which favor the arrival of the U.S. Army.  Jesus Cespedes Calderon says in a comment that Fishman’s actions only reflect an interest for self promotion and not an authentic concern for the country’s sovereignty.  Luis Adrian Gonzalez Rozmenoski, another Costa Rican writes that people like Fishman and the others opposing the move are a bunch of drama queens that shield themselves with the issue of sovereignty to become popular figures.

Other comments express a belief that the precarious security condition the country is experiencing demands and justifies the type of actions the Costa Rican Congress has taken.  They ignore or do not recognize that the dire situation they so precisely point out exists due to the corruption that exists at all levels in the Costa Rican society.  They surely ignore the Hegelian dialect and way of operating in which the conquerors create a problem to cause a reaction and provide a “solution”.

A local newspaper called La Nacion, points out that the current security problem is a result of the government neglect, who is used to receiving donations from foreign governments instead of setting funds aside for combating crime and drug trafficking. The Director of the Coast Guard, Martín Arias, said in an interview that: “We don’t have the capacity to safeguard all our marine territory”.  Who has?  The United States, with all its might cannot take care of its own borders, which makes it even more ironic that they go to Costa Rican land and oceans to help them safeguard the territory.

Arias added that the government of Costa Rica has indeed neglected the security of the country, by many seen as a small piece of paradise in the middle of a revolted region.  ”The country is happy with accepting royalties from friendly governments,” he said.  The local Coast Guard obtains its budget from the Public Security Department.  The total annual budget for combating crime in Costa Rican waters is of about $145,000 of which only 15 percent is spent on security operations.  Did anybody say corruption?

Although Mr. Arias did not detail how the U.S. Army would help in the fight against drug trafficking, he insisted that if the Coast Guard had the ability to fully patrol the oceans they could limit the extent to which Costa Rican oceans are used to transport and deal illegal drugs.  One thing is sure: Costa Rica does not need 46 War Ships, or 7,000 Marines or War Helicopters to end with drug trafficking in its oceans.

Costa Rica Occupied: Congress Surrenders Sovereignty to U.S. Army

By Luis R. Miranda
The Real Agenda
July 6, 2010

For the first time since it abolished its Army in 1948, Costa Rica decided to allow the invasion of United States ships into its harbor

"Cuando alguno pretenda tu gloria manchar, verás a tu pueblo valiente y viril."

and effectively renounced to its sovereignty.  In an illegal move, the Costa Rican Congress approved the arrival of the American troops which include 46 US warships and 7,000 Marines.  All troops will have freedom to move about the country in their full gear, and will be allowed to police the Central American land.  The Congress’ illegal approval is in direct violation of the Costa Rican Constitution, as it was established after 1948 that the country would would not create or maintain an official army and that all the monies would instead be invested in social reform programs such as education and housing.

Although the US army is supposed to only stay in the country until December 2010, many citizens and political parties declared their opposition to the move, due to the fact the U.S. has never actually left a country it has taken possession of.  The newspaper Prensa Latina reported that the leaders of three parties in Costa Rica called the decision a “violation of sovereignty”.  The move, according to those who support it, is justified in order to empower the effort to eradicate drug trafficking in the region.  According to PressTV, the Costa Rican government argues that the approval is disproportionate to the threat caused by drug smuggling in the country and the Central American area.  Besides the 7,000 troops and the ships, the U.S. also added helicopters to the massive contingent.

Luis Fishman, the leader of the Social Unity Party (PUSC) said that the permission is a blank check to the U.S. to station its forces on the coast line of the country.  Others have warned that this position will allow the American forces to launch attacks against  targets like Venezuela, whose government opposes the American Imperialistic policies.  Before the arrival of the 7,000 troops, ships and Helicopters, the U.S. already counted with two bases in Costa Rica, which were directed by SOUTHCOM, or Southern Command, a paramilitary American group -disguised as a drug trafficking combating force- which maintains a Naval Base in the port of Caldera in the Caribbean and another one in the northern province of Guanacaste.  “We cannot support an illegal act, we won’t allow the Constitution to be broken,” Fishman added.

More complaints were heard from other political leaders.  Legislator Jose Maria Villalta said the permission will allow U.S. troops to “enjoy freedom of movement and the right to carry out the activities needed to fulfill their mission.”  Villalta added that the Washington government sees Central America as being within an area of influence  which it intends to use to force its dominance.  Previous to letting the American military forces in, Costa Rica already had agreements with the United States to allow the presence of Coast Guard vessels to remain in its waters, but never before did it permit the arrival or permanence of a military ships, helicopters or any other major war contingent.

Even if these military forces leave Costa Rican soil, as they are supposed to on December 31, 2010, the country will remain occupied by the flotilla of military soldiers who operate out of Caldera and Guanacaste under SOUTHCOM.  However, many believe that the U.S. Army is there to stay.  Let’s see if the Costa Rican people honor what their National Anthem says: “Whenever someone tries to stain your glory, you’ll see your people strong and virile.”