Tag Archives: Obama

Obama’s Civilian Drone Death Count up to 500% Higher Than US Mass Shootings

By Claire Bernish. Published 7-6-2016 by The Anti-Media

An MQ-1 Predator at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Photo: Maj. David Kurle [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

An MQ-1 Predator at Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan. Photo: Maj. David Kurle [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

United States — Obama’s drones have ‘officially’ killed more innocent people than mass shooters — despite paranoia surrounding gun control and propaganda about unhinged loose cannons shooting civilians en masse.

According to President Obama’s administration — in a years-in-the-making report — drones used in military combat overseas killed between 64 and 116 civilians between 2009 and the close of 2015 — almost certainly a paltry representation of the true total, considering accurate record-keeping remains a near impossibility. Continue reading

Share

White House Caught Blackmailing EU to Force Them to Import GMO and Hormone-Laden Products

It appears that the Obama administration wants to leave the world with a lasting legacy of multinational corporate hegemony by blackmailing the EU into corporate subservience — all the while undermining state sovereignty through secretive supranational trade pacts.

Written by Jay Syrmopoulos. Published by Free Thought Project on 5-4-16.

"The lines of demarcation in TTIP are between the mutually exclusive interests of transnational big business and people and the planet; if the deal passes, the former wins and the latter lose," writes Mark Dearn. (Photo: Global Justice Now/flickr/cc)

“The lines of demarcation in TTIP are between the mutually exclusive interests of transnational big business and people and the planet; if the deal passes, the former wins and the latter lose,” writes Mark Dearn. (Photo: Global Justice Now/flickr/cc)

(Washington, D.C.) – In a stunning revelation, secret documents reveal the U.S. pressuring the EU to approve the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade pact through coercion and threats.

The 240 pages of leaked text from the secretive trade pact reveal the Obama administration threatening to block European automobile imports into the U.S. if the EU continues to refuse U.S. genetically modified products and hormone-treated produce.

The White House made clear the intention to block European car exports into the US to force the roughly 500 million strong EU to buy more environmentally risky US farm produce, according to the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung, along with two German public television channels.

In an attempt to undermine the extremely secretive negotiations surrounding the trade deal between the U.S. and EU, Greenpeace released the texts, which were then made public by the German publication Süddeutsche Zeitung. The German DPA news agency confirmed the authenticity of the documents.

Effectively, by blocking car exports into the U.S., Obama wanted to force the EU to replace its precautionary consumer safety principle with the liberal U.S. approach of permitting foodstuffs until risks are proven, said ARD network’s channels NDR and WDR.

The EU operates under a principle that goods must first be certified as safe, which has often been cited by them as a means to constrain imports of American gene-manipulated and hormone-treated produce.

The goal behind the U.S. actions is to undermine the strict food safety regime of the EU in an effort to open up new markets for American produced GMO fruits and vegetables, which European regulators feel would potentially erode the health of EU consumers and adversely affect Europe’s agriculture industry overall.

The long-term impact of genetically engineered products remains unknown, as there have been no studies on prolonged and regular/heavy usage of GMO products, as is seen in the average American diet. While there has been a major correlation between the introduction of GMO into the U.S. food system and an epidemic of obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases, there are no conclusive studies linking them.

It appears that the Obama administration wants to leave the world with a lasting legacy of multinational corporate hegemony by blackmailing the EU into corporate subservience — all the while undermining state sovereignty through secretive supranational trade pacts.

This article is republished under a free and open use permission from Free Thought Project.

Editorial Comment:
The debate about GMO safety remains hotly contested. The above article states “While there has been a major correlation between the introduction of GMO into the U.S. food system and an epidemic of obesity, cancer, and autoimmune diseases, there are no conclusive studies linking them.” We contend that those who are developing and marketing GMO products also pay lobbyists to prevent these very studies. We did find an opposing point of view, and welcome your additions in the comments section.

 

Share

101 Years Later, Turkey Gets United States to Suppress Truth About Armenian Genocide

“Denial of genocide is the final stage of genocide because it strives to kill the memory of the event; denial seeks to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators; denial creates what the psychiatrist Robert Jay Lifton has called “a morally counterfeit universe for the survivors and their legacy.”

Peter Balakian

Written by Carol Benedict.

"THOSE WHO FELL BY THE WAYSIDE. Scenes like this were common all over the Armenian provinces, in the spring and summer months of 1915. Death in its several forms---massacre, starvation, exhaustion---destroyed the larger part of the refugees. The Turkish policy was that of extermination under the guise of deportation." Picture showing Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, written by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and published in 1918. Image Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

“THOSE WHO FELL BY THE WAYSIDE. Scenes like this were common all over the Armenian provinces, in the spring and summer months of 1915. Death in its several forms—massacre, starvation, exhaustion—destroyed the larger part of the refugees. The Turkish policy was that of extermination under the guise of deportation.” Picture showing Armenians killed during the Armenian Genocide. Image taken from Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story, written by Henry Morgenthau, Sr. and published in 1918. Image Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

President Barack Obama declined Friday to call the 1915 massacre of Armenians a genocide, breaking a key campaign promise as his presidency nears an end, reports now say.

“Armenian-American leaders have urged Obama each year to make good on a pledge he made as a candidate in 2008, when he said the U.S. government had a responsibility to recognize the attacks as genocide and vowed to do so if elected. Obama’s failure to fulfill that pledge in his final annual statement on the massacre infuriated advocates and lawmakers who accused the president of outsourcing America’s moral voice to Turkey, which staunchly opposes the genocide label.

“It’s a Turkish government veto over U.S. policy on the Armenian genocide,” Aram Hamparian, head of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in an interview. “It’s like Erdogan imposing a gag rule very publicly and an American president enforcing that gag rule.” He was referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.”

In 2015, during remarks observing the 100th anniversary of the event, Pope Francis describes it as “the first genocide of the 20th century.” Turkey responded by recalling their ambassador to the Vatican.

Turkey recalled their ambassador to Austria after the Austrian parliament passed a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide, also in 2015.

One hundred and one years ago this month, the Ottoman Empire began carrying out a systematic plan to exterminate its minority Armenian population. Approximately 1.5 million people were killed or died of starvation. On April 24, 850 intellectuals, doctors and writers of the Armenian community were rounded up in what was then Constantinople and later executed. That was just the beginning.

The spring and summer of 1915 became the bloodiest in Armenian history. Men and older boys were separated from the rest of the population and killed without question. Women, children the elderly and the disabled were forced into long death marches into the Syrian dessert with no food or water given them, and those that survived the march were placed in annihilation camps.

For a documentary that is worth watching, please view the following. We can not write a summary that can do better justice to the Armenian Genocide controversy than this.  The images and descriptions of the methods used to carry out the extermination of the Armenian peoples by the ruling Turkish government presented in this film are the blueprint for the subsequent genocides of the past one hundred years. Warning: Not for the weak of stomach or those who seek “quick videos” to explain things. Running time: 93 minutes.

The man who invented the word “genocide”— Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish origin — was moved to investigate the attempt to eliminate an entire people by accounts of the massacres of Armenians. He did not, however, coin the word until 1943, applying it to Nazi Germany and the Jews in a book published a year later, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.”

Long before humanity knew about the horrors of Auschwitz, the Turkish government demonstrated the depravity of government force over vulnerable populations. Long before we knew of the term, genocide became a practice so routine that the Turkish government remains in denial of it to this day.

An article by the New York Times dated 15 December 1915 states that one million Armenians had been either deported or executed by the Ottoman government. Image via Wikipedia.

Even the Jewish community has taken pause. In a recent commentary regarding the Armenian genocide, Rabbi Jeffrey K. Salkin writes, “Why should Jews be talking about this? Because when we look at the Armenians, it is as if we are looking in the mirror.”

Standing on arguments of the numbers of deaths and whether it was intended to eliminate the entire Armenian group, the Turkish government refuses to accept the term “genocide” in reference to the Armenian slaughter. It is not part of their official recognized history; existing laws in Turkey basically prohibit and criminalize mentioning or talking about the Genocide. According to Turkey, “our memory does not support the Armenian narrative on the events of 1915, [but] it is only Turks and Armenians who can effectively address their issues together and work jointly to find ways forward. Turkey is ready to do its part”. They argue there is no “evidence”, no one is demanding the recognition, and that the death count could not possibly be as high as claimed.

The University of Minnesota’s Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies has compiled figures by province and district that show there were 2,133,190 Armenians in the empire in 1914 and only about 387,800 by 1922. Figures don’t lie, but liars figure.

Entrenched so deeply in denialism, in 2007 the Turkish government threatened the United States with closing bases in their borders if the US were to officially recognize this as a genocide. We also know, “The United States isn’t the only target of this censorship effort. At their government’s prompting, Turkish diasporan organizations in 2009 mounted a campaign to stop the Toronto school board from including the Armenian genocide in a human rights curriculum. In 2010, Ankara succeeded in pressuring the Rwandan government to scrap a presentation on the Armenian genocide at a panel on genocide at the United Nations. In 2012, the Turkish government was successful in demanding that the British government order the Tate Gallery to remove the word “genocide” from the wall text of an Arshile Gorky exhibit.”

This year, the Wall Street Journal published a full page advertisement denying the event as a genocide.

Despite these efforts, currently there are 20 countries that officially recognize the Armenian Genocide.

In the United States, more than 40 states, including California, have passed proclamations recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Additionally, the House of Representatives has passed legislation also recognizing the Genocide, lastly in 1996.

Map of massacre locations and deportation and extermination centers. Image via Wikipedia.

Map of massacre locations and deportation and extermination centers. Image via Wikipedia.

In 1915, the New York Times alone ran 145 articles reporting the Armenian crisis. The world was aware. No one did anything.

Turkey is now doing this to the Kurds in SE Turkey. The main stream media remains silent. Will you?

READ MORE ABOUT IT: Resource Articles
Turkey Rights Groups Demand Apology, Compensation, and Restitution for Genocide
Amal Clooney’s latest case: Why Turkey won’t talk about the Armenian genocide
On Armenian genocide, go ahead and offend Turkey
UN: Slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians is not genocide
Why the Armenian genocide holds a lesson for Jews (COMMENTARY)

Editorial Note: This article is comprised of numerous quotes from the Resource Articles listed above. Review of these articles will provide even broader perspectives than those represented here.

About the Author:
Carol Benedict is an independent researcher and human rights activist. She has been studying Kurdish history, culture and politics for over 3 years.

Share

As Patriot Act Expiration Looms, Critics Hope for Sunset on Mass Surveillance

‘Together we will end the Patriot Act, and the sun can rise on a new day filled with freedom and privacy for all.’

Written by Nadia Prupis and Deirdre Fulton, staff writers for CommonDreams. Published 5-22-15.

With a deadline for the USA Patriot Act fast approaching, Congress has little time to decide how to proceed—but the call to 'sunset' the law is growing. (Photo: Dan Cook/flickr/cc/with overlay)

With a deadline for the USA Patriot Act fast approaching, Congress has little time to decide how to proceed—but the call to ‘sunset’ the law is growing. (Photo: Dan Cook/flickr/cc/with overlay)

With the fate of the USA Patriot Act still hanging in the balance late afternoon Friday—and lawmakers eager to leave Washington, D.C., for Memorial Day barbecues and campaign stops in their home states—the chance to see the sun go down on the controversial spying bill is still on the table.

The debate over the Patriot Act is centered around one of its key provisions, Section 215, which is set to expire on June 1 absent congressional action. The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) previously relied on Section 215 to justify its mass phone data collection operation, but its expiration would force an end to that program. Continue reading

Share

‘We Agree’: Iran and P5+1 Announce Consensus on Nuclear Framework

President Obama hails agreement as Iran Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif says deal shows his nation’s nuclear program ‘has always been and always will remain exclusively peaceful’

Written by CommonDreams Staff, Published April 2, 2015.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Photo By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Photo By Bundesministerium für Europa, Integration und Äusseres [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

After days of marathon negotiations in Switzerland, foreign ministers from the U.S., the U.K., Russia, China, France, plus Germany (known as the P5 + 1 nations) and Iran emerged from closed-door talks on Thursday to announce they have reached an ‘historic’ framework agreement regarding Iran’s nuclear program and the lifting of international sanctions.Reading out a joint statement, European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini hailed the framework agreement as a “decisive step” which sets the stage for an ultimate deal which the parties hope to finalize in June. As summarized by the Guardian, Mogherini said:

  • “Today we have taken a decisive step. We have reached solutions on key parameters for a comprehensive future nuclear deal.”
  • She said the solutions agreed at Lausanne create the basis of a future comprehensive nuclear agreement between Iran and the six powers – to be concluded by 30 June.
  • She said the EU and US will terminate the implementation of all nuclear-related economic sanctions.
  • She said the deal could not have gone forward without the political determination and goodwill of all parties.
  • There will be limited enrichment capacity at the Fordow uranium enrichment site. It will be converted into a nuclear physics site, with no fissile material present on premises and international cooperation for R&D is encouraged.
  • The international monitoring agency will have enhanced access to technologies to clarify past and present issues.
  • A future deal between Iran and P5+1 powers will include UN security council endorsement.
  • Another important area of cooperation will be in the field of nuclear safety and security.
  • “We will now work to write the text of a joint comprehensive plan of action.”

Continue reading

Share