Tag Archives: US

Danish Government Colluded In Violating POW Rights

In 2002, Col. Frank Lissner, head of Danish troops in Afghanistan, learned that American forces were violating the Geneva Convention and that prisoners he was turning over to them would be sent to Guantanamo rather than being treated according to regulations of the Geneva Convention. He informed the Danish government of his concerns, but nothing was done and men were sent to Cuba. Col. Lissner even received information that some of the prisoners might be innocent, but once in the hands of the Americans, guilt or innocence were the last considerations. This was at the height of Rumsfeld/Cheney belief it was impossible to violate POW rights because they lacked any such protection. A recent documentary which interviewed Danish soldiers who participated in this action expressing their concerns that any prisoner turned over to Americans would be subject to mistreatment.

There is something sad when troops in other armies mistrust the capacity of the United States military to conduct itself according to international rules and regulations. Is this still another legacy of the Bush administration?

US Terror List Has Many Errors!

A report from the United States Justice Department indicates that among the nation’s 1.1 million people on the watch list for suspected terrorists there is a 35% probability that incorrect names are on the list. The report also shows that large portions of the list are governed by no formal processes for updating or removing names. Get your name on the list and the probability is it remains despite the fact someone made a mistake in placing it on the list. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, “the audit confirms that the nation’s watchlist is massively broken.” The report most probably is listing thousands of innocent people who are unable to prove their innocence.

The Inspector General audit examined names and found that 24,000 were out of date. The list was originally compiled in the hysteria following 9/11 and it needs to be completely revised from top to bottom to ensure there is accuracy and to protect the rights of those who are innocent. Just another legacy of the Bush administration.

North Korea And Missiles- What Next?

North Korea announced plans to fire a rocket which it claims is carrying a satellite and there are no weapons connected with it. A senior American military official says there is nothing to doubt the accuracy of the North Korean claim about their space launch. However, there is genuine concern and President Obama discussed the issue with President Medvedev of Russia and supposedly both agreed they did not want North Korea to be sending missiles into the air. Even the Chinese who are close to North Korea have some concerns. The issue is whether to have the Security Council impose sanctions on North Korea if it pursues its missile program. The flip side is would China support sanctions against an ally even if it does not agree completly with the the idea of satellites.

Hopefully, after the years of Bush confusion President Obama will work with Russia and China to develop an intelligent foreign policy program that reassures North Korea while working for peace and stability in Asia.

US Among Top Five In Executions

The United States has gained the dubious distinction of being among the top five nations in the world which continue to execute people. China which has carried out three fourths of executions in the world stands by its self at the top of the list. All told, 2,390 people were legally killed in the world and since China executes for such horrible crimes as tax-evasion or bag-snatching there is no other nation able to keep pace with the sounds of guns firing at prisoners. Iraq, which last year killed 34 people, has another 128 prisoners waiting for the executioner. Iran, as usual, stands high on the list and has executed eight prisoners who were age 18 at the time of their deaths. Among the methods of killing people in the first decade of the 21st century are, hanging, beheading, stoning and lethal injections. People in this century certainly don’t want to lag behind our ancestors in killing prisoners.

When all is said and done, five nations have reached the pinnacle of execution success and they include, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the United States. Of course, former Governor George Bush of Texas never knew an execution he couldn’t sanction. Fortunately, since 1973, at least 130 prisoners who were awaiting execution were freed due to DNA testing and review of their trials.

Russian Leaders Welcome Signs of New US Policies

Among the legacies of George Bush is creating problems with Russia that had no basis in reality and arose due to a Republican paranoia which played out in seeking to surround Russia with missile bases in complete disregard to the feelings and security of the Russian people. Three former American foreign policy leaders, Henry Kissinger, George Schultz and former Senator Sam Nunn, visited Moscow in order to emphasize their nation’s desire for positive, cooperative relations with Russia. President Medvedev expressed his government’s desire to accept a new American foreign policy approach as reflecting “the goal to significantly improve ties.” The Russian leader indicated his nation would welcome a change in the anti-Russian policies of George Bush.

Senator Nunn put it aptly when he said it is important for the United States and Russia to cooperate in order to avoid catastrophe in the world. Russia can play a key role in dealing with Iran and assisting in bringing about peace in Afghanistan. Russia has millions of Muslims living on the border of Afghanistan and it is not in their national interests to have the Taliban gain control of the government. Bush never grasped that Russia does not wish aggressive Muslim groups on its border.

US Russia Meet About Afghanistan

The Obama administration has accepted an invitation to attend a Russian sponsored meeting concerning the situation in Afghanistan. This represents a sharp contrast with the Bush administration whose policies only served to antagonize the Russians. A senior American delegate will attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization even though the United States is not a member of this group. Defense Department spokesperson Robert Wood noted, “we think it is important to go to this conference (because) it is about Afghanistan” and how nations of the world can cooperate in dealing with the situation.

Iran will be an observer at the meeting which represents an opportunity for the United States to interact with Iranian officials in a meeting where there will be many nations represented. It is through such opportunities that America can establish new relations with Iran.

Russia Warns US It Will Rearm

Several years ago, it appeared the United States and Russia would work together since they apparently had few outstanding issues of dispute. The Bush era led to American military threats such as the program to construct anti-missile bases on the border of Russia and warnings about what Russia should or should not do when Georgia invaded South Ossetia. Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Seryukov now claims the United States has plans to seize control of resources within Russia. “US aspirations have been aimed at getting access to raw materials, energy and other resources.” It is difficult to ascertain exactly how this relates to Russia other than as an example of paranoia running wild.

It is time for President Obama to meet with President Medvedev and clear up the situation. Step one would be to abandon the irresponsible program of building missile bases in Poland and the Czech Republic. Step two is working with Russia to deal with concrete issues such as Iran and the search for peace.

Missile And Anti-Missile Wars Continue!

During the past few years since President Bush rejected Russian offers to jointly develop an anti-missile system in their country, Europe has been torn apart as an anti-missile hysteria sweeps the continent. Bush ignited the problem by insisting the United States would build an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic. This caused President Medvedev to threaten his nation would build missiles. General Valelntin Popovkin, said his nation did not wish to get caught up in a space race, but “we can’t sit back and watch others doing that,” so his response was to push for new anti-missile systems being developed in Russia. Hopefully, President Obama will take a step back, take a deep breath and rethink the entire issue of anti-missiles.

The basic argument of the Bush people was for an anti-missile system to deal with possible Iranian missiles. Why would Iran attack the European Union over what??? This is a non-issue. The simply solution is building any anti-missile system inside Russia and have it run by joint command.

Does Iran Have IT Or Not Have IT?

It increasingly has become a given that Iran is on the road to developing an atomic bomb and once it attains that goal the safety of the world is imperiled. The Iran government on Monday dismissed American concerns about how much fissile material the country has produced saying it isn’t developing a nuclear bomb and that any effort to make weapons-grade uranium would be difficult under the eyes of international inspectors. These comments came a day after US Chief of Staff, Admiral MIke Mullen said Iran has sufficient fissile material for a nuclear weapon and warned the world was under threat if that became a reality. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson, Hasan Qashqavi told reporters, “we have said many times that a nuclear weapon has no place in Iran”s defense doctrine.” He asked reporters, “how is it possible for uranium enriched 3 to 4 percent to be enriched up to 90 percent while under IAEA monitoring?”

Iran’s possession of an atomic bomb does not foster stability in the Middle East, but that does not translate into becoming a threat to the world. First, why would Iran attack Europe or the United States knowing full well their country would be obliterated from the face of the Earth by making a nuclear attack? Second, is the assumption of Western observers the leaders of Iran are complete fools? There is a world of difference between creating tension and posing a threat to the world. It is time for calm behavior and to cease exaggerating the problem of Iran and nuclear weapons.

China Denounces Criticisms Of Human Rights

Methinks, the Chinese government doth protest too much whenever the topic of human rights in their nation is raised by outside groups. A common Chinese strategy in dealing with negative remarks concerning its lack of democracy is to go on the attack and point out those raising issues about human rights do not have the best record in their own country. “We urge the U.S. to own up to its own human rights problems, and not use human rights as an excuse to publish human rights reports in order to meddle in others’ internal affairs” was the response of a Chinese spokesperson to the US State Department annual report on human rights abuses. Frankly, attacking the messenger does not address the issue of the message carried by the delivery person.

China has abused human rights in so many ways it is difficult having a beginning point. Dissidents are in jail, the people of Tibet are not allowed freedom of expression or even freedom of culture to be who they wish to be. China is right, there are many human rights abuses in the United States but that does not have anything to do with what happens in China. Why doesn’t China issue its own human rights report. Naturally, they would be number one on the list.