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We're one crucial step closer to seeing Tony Blair at The Hague

Image
© Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Tony Blair arrives at the Royal Courts of Justice in London to give evidence on media ethics to the Leveson inquiry in May 2012.
Desmond Tutu has helped us see the true nature of what the former prime minister did to Iraq and increased pressure for a prosecution

For years it seems impregnable, then suddenly the citadel collapses. An ideology, a fact, a regime appears fixed, unshakeable, almost geological. Then an inch of mortar falls, and the stonework begins to slide. Something of this kind happened over the weekend.

When Desmond Tutu wrote that Tony Blair should be treading the path to The Hague, he de-normalised what Blair has done. Tutu broke the protocol of power - the implicit accord between those who flit from one grand meeting to another - and named his crime. I expect that Blair will never recover from it.

The offence is known by two names in international law: the crime of aggression and a crime against peace. It is defined by the Nuremberg principles as the "planning, preparation, initiation or waging of a war of aggression". This means a war fought for a purpose other than self-defence: in other words outwith articles 33 and 51 of the UN Charter.

Wolf

War Crimes: Israel Pillaging Palestinian Resources

Israeli quarry West Bank
© Jillian Kestler-D’Amours/IPS
An Israeli-operated quarry in the industrial area of the Ma'ale Adumim settlement in the West Bank, just outside of Jerusalem.
By mining natural resources from the occupied Palestinian territories for its own economic purposes, Israel is committing the war crime of pillage in the Dead Sea area, according to a report released Monday by Palestinian human rights group Al Haq.

"Israel is openly in violation of its obligations as an Occupying Power in the (occupied Palestinian territories), because it is encouraging and facilitating the exploitation of Palestinian natural resources and actively assisting their pillaging by private actors," said the Al Haq report, titled 'Pillage of the Dead Sea: Israel's Unlawful Exploitation of Natural Resources in the Occupied Palestinian Territory'.

Criminal responsibility for the crime of pillage does not only extend to the state of Israel, but can also be applied to individuals, namely Israeli settlers who benefit from the extraction of resources from the Dead Sea, Al Haq said.

Bad Guys

Delhi Car Bombing: Evidence Suggests Journalist Was Framed, Evidence Fabricated to Implicate Iran in Attack on Israeli Embassy Car

Delhi car bomb
© AP
In "The Delhi Car Bombing: How the Police Built a False Case", a three-part series beginning today, award-winning investigative journalist Gareth Porter dissects the Delhi police accusation against an Indian journalist and four Iranians of involvement in the Feb. 13 bombing of an Israeli embassy car.

New Delhi police officials have released hundreds of pages of documents from their investigation into the Feb. 13 bombing of an Israeli Embassy car. The documents aimed to show that a well-known Indian Muslim journalist aided an Iranian conspiracy to plan and carry out the bombing.

But a review by IPS of the evidence filed in the case suggests that the Indian journalist accused in the case has been framed by the police, at least in part to implicate the Iranians in the terror plot.

Attention

1812 Napolean's Defeat in Russia. A History Warning to the American Empire

napolian retreat
© unknown
Napolian retreat from Moscow
It does not matter, any Empire is no exception. Today's' empires does not consist of Generals or emperors. They are the bankers who do have armies and puppet leaders who commands them to be used as a battering ram to invade nations that do not play ball with the bankers. The Bankers funded Napoleon's march to conquer Europe until he marched on Russia.

The over reach of Napoleon invading Russia. When his Army marched on Moscow was the beginning of his decline. His Army suffered a major defeat because when an empire sets out to conquer other nations. They assume they are unstoppable and cannot be beat. They show no respect to their opponent. Napoleon invading Russia was his biggest mistake being far away from having logistics to feed and supplying his army. The Russian troops took advantage of that weakness to defeat Napoleon with the scorched earth strategy depriving his army of agriculture or anything that would aid his army. That is what caused Napoleon's Army to go into retreat withdrawing from Russia. Russia just had a ceremony at the Kremlin celebrating the defeat of Napoleon.

Looking at the United State in its present day. They are in more wars and looking start more. We are in Iraq, Afghanistan , we are in Libya, Yemen. We have 900 military bases in 130 countries. We are looking to go into Africa. We are looking to go into Iran. We are building bases encircling Russia and China. Our troops spread thin all around the world. Can the US Government afford anymore?

Attention

Government Threatens with Jail Time for Growing Produce in Front-Yard Garden

Carrots
© Natural Society
You own your home and the lot that it sits on. So, if you want to plant tomatoes instead of bushes, you should be entitled to that, right? While this may seem like a common sense line of reasoning, many cities and towns across our nation think otherwise. They don't want their citizens using a front-yard garden to grow food - they want perfectly green and manicured lawns.

Using a Front-Yard Garden to Grow Veges? You May Not be Allowed

It seems like every month a few more stories hit the social media grapevines, where home owners are being punished for growing food. Some of these front-yard gardeners have created landscapes that rival those created by high-paid landscaping companies. The difference - all of this greenery is edible.

Whether it's the HOA rules or a city ordinance, some front-yard gardeners are being forced to pull up their plants and scrap their edible landscape. Why? If for nothing more than to have a seamless line of green yards stretching through the neighborhood.

When we can't trust what we find at the grocery store, and farmer's markets are limited and not always within driving distance, growing our own food doesn't just make sense, it makes perfect sense.

And once you've begun growing your own, you will likely begin to wonder why Americans ever moved away from self-sustaining gardens.

Why can't many of us grow food in the front-yard garden? Many townships say that the 'issue' revolves around yard space, where a vegetable garden may only be allowed to take up to 20-30% of a yard area. It may sound crazy that a city government would spend (waste) resources to target gardeners, but it actually happens more often than you would think.

USA

Facade of a Beloved and Legendary "America"

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© salon.com
"We pledge allegiance to the republic for which America stands and not to its empire for which it is now suffering." Sam Smith, editor of the Progressive Review

September 02, 2012 "Information Clearing House" - Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, the Third Reich needed World War II, the Land of the Rising Sun needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home. What will the American Empire need?

Perhaps losing the long-held admiration and support of one group of people after another, one country after another, as the empire's wars, bombings, occupations, torture, and lies eat away at the facade of a beloved and legendary "America"; an empire unlike any other in history, that has intervened seriously and grievously, in war and in peace, in most countries on the planet, as it preached to the world that the American Way of Life was a shining example for all humanity and that America above all was needed to lead the world.

The Wikileaks documents and videos have provided one humiliation after another ... lies exposed, political manipulations revealed, gross hypocrisies, murders in cold blood, ... followed by the torture of Bradley Manning and the persecution of Julian Assange. Washington calls the revelations "threats to national security", but the world can well see it's simply plain old embarrassment. Manning's defense attorneys have asked the military court on several occasions to specify the exact harm done to national security. The court has never given an answer. If hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, consider an empire embarrassed.

War Whore

Bush's CIA Torturers Granted Final Immunity by Obama's "Justice" Department

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© Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images
Anti-torture activists, wearing Guantánamo-style orange jumpsuits, demonstrate outside the White House in June 2011.
By closing two cases of detainees tortured to death, Obama has put the US beyond any accountability under the rule of law

The Obama administration's aggressive, full-scale whitewashing of the "war on terror" crimes committed by Bush officials is now complete. Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the closing without charges of the only two cases under investigation relating to the US torture program: one that resulted in the 2002 death of an Afghan detainee at a secret CIA prison near Kabul, and the other the 2003 death of an Iraqi citizen while in CIA custody at Abu Ghraib. This decision, says the New York Times Friday, "eliminat[es] the last possibility that any criminal charges will be brought as a result of the brutal interrogations carried out by the CIA".

To see what a farce this is, it is worthwhile briefly to review the timeline of how Obama officials acted to shield Bush torturers from all accountability. During his 2008 campaign for president, Obama repeatedly vowed that, while he opposed "partisan witch-hunts", he would instruct his attorney general to "immediately review" the evidence of criminality in these torture programs because "nobody is above the law." Yet, almost immediately after winning the 2008 election, Obama, before he was even inaugurated, made clear that he was opposed to any such investigations, citing what he called "a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backwards".

Evil Rays

Iran's International Profile Raised through Hosting NAM Summit

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© Fars News Agency
American writer and radio host Stephen Lendman believes that the successful arrangement and hosting of the 16th heads-of-state Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement in Tehran was diplomatically a triumph for the Islamic Republic, which disappointed Israel and the United States and helped Iran improve its political profile on the international scene.

Lendman believes that despite the US and Israeli propaganda, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) summit in Tehran which wrapped up on Friday was a great diplomatic victory for Iran and meant a great defeat and failure for the US and the Zionist regime of Israel.

What follows is the full text of Fars News Agency's interview with Stephen Lendman in which a number of issues pertaining to the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Tehran, the frustration of Western powers at the successful summit in Tehran, the attendance of Egyptian President Mohamed Mursi at the summit, the prospects of the movement under Iran's presidency and the role it can play in fostering global peace and stability were discussed.

USA

The US Presidential Campaigns of Lies

Romney
Most Americans consider themselves to be hard-nosed realists. The reality is something else.

Just look at US politics. Particularly at the national level, it is pretty much all about image.

Successful candidates are all tall, and, when they are women, well groomed and attractive-looking. The conventions at which they are nominated, like the one just held in Tampa, Florida to nominate Mitt Romney and his vice presidential running mate Paul Ryan, and the one coming up next week to renominate Barack Obama and his running mate Joe Biden, are professionally staged and choreographed entertainment events.

Romney's even featured a schlock cameo appearance by actor Clint Eastwood, shamelessly reprising his "Dirty Harry" role by leading the swooning delegates in a collective recitation of his famous line: "Go ahead, make my day!"

What actually was said at that convention was a pack of lies. Paul Ryan, who accepted his nomination as vice presidential nominee first, as is the tradition at these events, declared that President Obama had stolen $716 billion from Medicare, the health insurance program for the elderly and disabled, using it to fund his signature health care "reform" program, derogatively dubbed "Obamacare" by Republicans.

He said the president had allowed an auto plant in Ryan's hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin to shut down. He said Obama had "done nothing" to enact budget "reforms" proposed by a bi-partisan budget commission he had earlier created. He called the $831-billion economic stimulus package of federal spending and tax cuts promoted and enacted by Obama in his first months in office nothing but "cronyism" and "patronage" that had "left out" average Americans. All of these assertions were bald-faced lies, and had already been exposed as such when Ryan and other Republicans had first made them earlier in the campaign.

Network

Desmond Tutu: Why I Had No Choice But to Spurn Tony Blair

Desmond Tutu
© Str/Reuters
I couldn't sit with someone who justified the invasion of Iraq with a lie

The immorality of the United States and Great Britain's decision to invade Iraq in 2003, premised on the lie that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, has destabilised and polarised the world to a greater extent than any other conflict in history.

Instead of recognising that the world we lived in, with increasingly sophisticated communications, transportations and weapons systems necessitated sophisticated leadership that would bring the global family together, the then-leaders of the US and UK fabricated the grounds to behave like playground bullies and drive us further apart. They have driven us to the edge of a precipice where we now stand - with the spectre of Syria and Iran before us.

If leaders may lie, then who should tell the truth? Days before George W Bush and Tony Blair ordered the invasion of Iraq, I called the White House and spoke to Condoleezza Rice, who was then national security adviser, to urge that United Nations weapons inspectors be given more time to confirm or deny the existence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Should they be able to confirm finding such weapons, I argued, dismantling the threat would have the support of virtually the entire world. Ms Rice demurred, saying there was too much risk and the president would not postpone any longer.

On what grounds do we decide that Robert Mugabe should go the International Criminal Court, Tony Blair should join the international speakers' circuit, bin Laden should be assassinated, but Iraq should be invaded, not because it possesses weapons of mass destruction, as Mr Bush's chief supporter, Mr Blair, confessed last week, but in order to get rid of Saddam Hussein?