The 28 pages that the Bush administration deleted from the 9/11 report have implications not only for our relationship with the Saudis, but our national security.
The free pass the Bush administration gave the Saudis for 9/11 remains a national scandal. (Photo: YourNewsWire.com)
The sheer volume of crimes that the George W. Bush administration committed will keep historians busy chronicling them for decade. Among them were: 1. Hiding the role that Saudi officials in not only Saudi Arabia, but the United States, played in financing and supporting the planning of the 9/11 attacks. 2. Keeping the relationship with Saudi Arabia status quo afterward. (Nothing to see here. Move on.)
Especially flagrant was that in 2002 the Bush administration removed the 28 pages that dealt with the Saudis from the report of the Joint Congressional Inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. The Obama administration hasn’t been of much help in revealing those pages.
How did Saudi Arabia end up funding the building of mosques and madrasas around the world?
Wahhabi missionary work is a result of efforts by the House of Saud to appease religious leaders. (Photo: Russia Today)
Many in the West may be unaware of the significance of an event in Saudi Arabian history for the rest of the world. In an article titled Saudia Arabia and Iran: The Cold War of Islam (sic – the “i” in Saudia still stands two weeks after the article was posted), Spiegel International reports that in November of 1979, the same year as the Iranian revolution
…Sunni terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca and took thousands of pilgrims hostage. Their leader came from the heart of Saudi Arabia and claimed to be the Mahdi, or redeemer — and he called for the overthrow of the king. The royal family saw little choice but to call for assistance from French special forces — infidels — to liberate the mosque.
But Israel’s security would be better served by leaders
committed to preserving Israel as a democratic state and engaging in serious peace negotiations with the Palestinians.
Israeli officials have forfeited the moral high ground in their denunciations of Palestinians. Pictured: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr Commons)
As Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu serves his fourth term in office, the effects of his long leadership have become strikingly apparent. A country that was seen for so long as a small secular democracy surrounded by hostile Arab kingdoms has completed its transition to a regional military power that is currently dominated by a combination of ultranationalist and orthodox religious parties. Throughout this change Israel has had the unwavering support of the United States, which has given the Jewish state a total of $118 billion over the years and continues to give it upwards of $4 billion a year in military aid.
Israel’s swing to the right had its most telling consequence in late May when the minister of defense Moshe Ya’alon resigned and Netanyahu replaced him with Avigdor Lieberman. Ya’alon, a political centrist, is a former general and chief of staff as well as a former commando leader. Lieberman left the army as a corporal, and as an ultranationalist, has expressed no interest in peace talks with the Palestinians.
China appears to be on the cusp of becoming the world’s foremost research and development engine.
China is second only to the United States when it comes to science publications. Pictured: the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area. (Photo: Alex Needham / Wikipedia)
A version of this article appeared on Consortium News.
The headline reads, “The Rapid Rise of a Research Nation: China’s economic boom is mirrored by its similarly meteoric rise in high quality science.” This was not a headline in People’s Daily or China Daily but in the most prestigious of Western scientific publications, Nature.
The 38 pages, which follow that headline in a special Supplement to the journal Nature, tell us that China is now second in the world in high-quality science publications and growing fast. This certainly contradicts the Western, dare I say racist, stereotype of the hardworking, but unimaginative, Asian drudge, dutifully churning out mounds of low quality work.
Saudi oppression of its own Shias and its war against Yemen are symptoms of its decline.
The Saudi state, which has traditionally used terrorists to do its bidding, is now engaging in direct military intervention, such as in Yemen. (Photo: AP)
Experts in space studies have asserted that when a star stands on the verge of its collapse, its core becomes unstable. It begins to expand far beyond its regular size, appearing to be greatly expanding – when, actually, it is in its weakest and most vulnerable state. This is the precise state in which Saudi Arabia presently finds itself.
In Al Muqaddimah, the great 14th century classic, Ibn Khaldun outlines a template for the rise and fall of empires. He maintains that no society can achieve anything unless consensus exists concerning its goals and objectives and it enjoys what he refers to as social solidarity “asabiyah” – or consensus – supporting those goals. Jockeying for personal power, corruption, and the seduction of wealth creates a general lethargy that constitutes the dying phase of any dominant power.
In effect, the nuclear ban treaty will put a curse on nuclear weapons.
Earlier this month, a UN working group met in Geneva to discuss implementing the nuclear ban treaty. (Photo: RAF)
Do you long for the day when states in possession of nuclear weapons divest themselves of these nefarious instruments of the devil? You have no doubt grown tired of waiting for the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty. Like movies bogged down in development, they are projects forever waiting to be greenlit.
When and if they are finally ratified, arms control treaties, like nonproliferation, are essentially mechanisms to reserve and preserve nuclear weapons for nuclear powers only. Even those in the arms control world with a soft spot for disarmament have given it up as unrealistic. But a growing movement is seeking to forge a treaty that sets the stage for disarmament. Counterintuitively, but, of necessity, the Humanitarian Initiative, or, as it’s more commonly known, the nuclear ban treaty, excludes the nuclear weapons states.
Hillary Clinton’s amalgam of militarism and domestic liberalism is a throwback to another era.
Whoever thought a candidate in the mold of Scoop Jackson would run for the presidency as a Democrat in the 21st century? (Photo: hmjackson.org)
I have long maintained that Hillary Clinton is a candidate out of step with her time. To put it another way, she is a couple of steps behind the will of the people. As an example of that, let’s resurrect the ghost of one-time Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson (D-WA). He died in 1983, but, to a much greater extent than most legislators from his era – and to our detriment — his memory and influence live on. Here’s how he’s described at Wikipedia:
A Cold War liberal and anti-Communist Democrat, Jackson supported higher military spending and a hard line against the Soviet Union, while also supporting social welfare programs, civil rights, and labor unions.
Iraqi civilians will no longer stand for a government that fails to provide security and basic services.
Former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki leads an obstructionist parliament familiar to those watching Republicans in U.S. Congress. (Photo: Thierry Ehrmann / Flickr Commons)
On April 30, hundreds of Iraqi protesters climbed over and tore down the walls surrounding Baghad’s infamous Green Zone, once U.S. headquarters, now home to the Iraq government and invaded the parliament. Writes David Gardner for the Financial Times:
The outburst came after parliament had serially thwarted [current Prime Minister Haider al-] Abadi’s attempt to assemble a more technocratic government of non-partisan experts in charge of finance, utilities and the oil ministry.
U.S. support of Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen is not only marring President Obama’s legacy but sowing death and destruction.
The United States doesn’t seem to have a clear understanding of what it is doing in Yemen. Pictured: Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. (Photo: Richard Messenger / Flickr Commons)
At the end of March the White House announced that it is providing logistical and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia’s military operations in Yemen. The main purposes seem to be to limit Iranian influence via the Houthis and deny Al Qaeda a refuge. Writes Micah Zenko in Foreign Policy, “make no mistake, the United States is a combatant in this intervention.”
U.S.-operated drones are supplying targeting intelligence to Saudi forces in Yemen, which goes well beyond the definition of logistics and intelligence, writes Zenko. In addition the U.S. is providing aerial refueling for Saudi fighter aircraft.
If Donald Trump is elected he will be handed the keys to nuclear-weapons program more entrenched than ever thanks to President Obama.
Donald Trump has demonstrated a willingness to use nuclear weapons if elected president. (Photo: Gage Skidmore / Flickr Commons)
Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has not ruled out using a nuclear bomb once he becomes president. As he told interviewer Chris Matthews in late March, “I’m not going to take it off the table.” Nor would Trump object if South Korea and Japan acquired nuclear weapons. If they did so, he said, the U.S. “may very well be better off.”
It has long been U.S. policy to oppose the development of such a bomb by any other country, including our allies. The aim is to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and make sure they would not be acquired by a rogue state. So far this policy has worked; the spread of nuclear weapons has been limited, if not entirely prevented. There is good reason for calling the use of a nuclear weapon “unthinkable.” In August 1945, two atom bombs dropped by the U.S. all but obliterated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Today the U.S. and Russia possess nuclear weapons with many times the destructive power of the earlier bombs. If a nuclear exchange ever took place, the destruction would be greater than anything the world has ever known, and much of the earth would be contaminated by fall-out.