Monday, September 30, 2013

The Tea Party is Holding the Nation Hostage

We are at war. We have enemies. They are called the Tea Party. They lost their fight to defeat the Affordable Care Act. They lost in Congress and in court. They lost the Presidential Election. Now, those sore losers have gone insane and resorted to terrorism and extortion. They are holding this nation hostage. Like thugs, they are threatening to shut down the federal government unless the Congress delays implementation of the Affordable Care Act for one year. A government shut down will have a devastating impact on the American people.

Don't sleep. This is not just about the Affordable Care Act. It is about Obama. Those people hate that we have a black man in the White House with a Muslim name. He represents the end of their precious white supremacist world. The Affordable Care Act symbolizes Obama and his success. That's why they have labeled it "Obamacare". That is why they are willing to risk everything to defeat it. Like suicide bombers who destroy themselves and innocent civilians, the Tea Party lunatics are willing to destroy the American economy and themselves for the sake of political posturing.

You don't negotiate with terrorists and gangsters. You destroy them. We must unite, mobilize, organize and drive out those stinking cockroaches. In the electoral system, you destroy the enemy by voting them out of office. Vote people vote!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Is America An Exceptional Country?

Good morning, family. Happy Hump Day. Check out the President's UN speech. What did you think about it? Is America an exceptional country? Why? Why not?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

I Still Oppose War With Syria

After the listening to the President's Syria speech, I remain unconvinced by his arguments. All life is sacred. All of us are sickened by the images of dead children lined up in rolls on the ground. No one condones such atrocities. If the U.S. bombs Syria, even more innocent children, women and men will die. One cannot save people by bombing them.

Every day, civilians are killed around the world. Civilians are dying in Darfur, Congo and other countries. Many civilians die in U.S. drone attacks. I do not see the President expressing the same moral indignation when those civilians die. Do not be deceived by government propaganda. War with Syria is not about saving lives.

If it was, the President would have intervened in Syria, Darfur, Congo and elsewhere a long time ago. As noted in the Nation, this war is really about Israel and Iran, not about civilian deaths. Additionally, as fully explained in the Guardian, it is also about the "control of the region's vast oil and gas resources."   By intervening in Syria and Libya, Obama is essentially continuing the same policies of the Bush Administration.  Listen to General Wesley Clark describe the Bush Administration's foreign policy.

The President Obama claims that:
But I have resisted calls for military action because we cannot resolve someone else's civil war through force, particularly after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The situation profoundly changed, though, on Aug. 21st, when Assad's government gassed to death over a thousand people, including hundreds of children.

Over 100,000 people have died in Syria's civil war. During that time, the Obama Administration saw no compelling reason to intervene. Now that 1,000 people allegedly died during chemical weapons attacks on August 21, 2013, all of a sudden the U.S. must intervene? Whether civilians die from bombs, bullets or chemicals, murder is murder. Death is death. The notion that chemical weapons attacks warrant more attention is illogical especially in light of the United States' history.

The United States helped Iraq use chemical weapons against Iran. As reported in the Washington Post:

But there is an even more striking instance of the United States ignoring use of the chemical weapons that killed tens of thousands of people — during the grinding Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. As documented in 2002 by Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs, the Reagan administration knew full well it was selling materials to Iraq that was being used for the manufacture of chemical weapons, and that Iraq was using such weapons, but U.S. officials were more concerned about whether Iran would win rather than how Iraq might eke out a victory. Dobbs noted that Iraq’s chemical weapons’ use was “hardly a secret, with the Iraqi military issuing this warning in February 1984: ”The invaders should know that for every harmful insect, there is an insecticide capable of annihilating it . . . and Iraq possesses this annihilation insecticide.”

As Dobbs wrote:

A review of thousands of declassified government documents and interviews with former policymakers shows that U.S. intelligence and logistical support played a crucial role in shoring up Iraqi defenses against the “human wave” attacks by suicidal Iranian troops. The administrations of Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush authorized the sale to Iraq of numerous items that had both military and civilian applications, including poisonous chemicals and deadly biological viruses, such as anthrax and bubonic plague….

To prevent an Iraqi collapse, the Reagan administration supplied battlefield intelligence on Iranian troop buildups to the Iraqis, sometimes through third parties such as Saudi Arabia. The U.S. tilt toward Iraq was enshrined in National Security Decision Directive 114 of Nov. 26, 1983, one of the few important Reagan era foreign policy decisions that still remains classified. According to former U.S. officials, the directive stated that the United States would do “whatever was necessary and legal” to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran.
In sum, the US is not in a moral position to condemn the use of chemical weapons.

In his speech, President Obama asserted that:
Moreover, we know the Assad regime was responsible. In the days leading up to Aug. 21st, we know that Assad's chemical weapons personnel prepared for an attack near an area they where they mix sarin gas. They distributed gas masks to their troops. Then they fired rockets from a regime-controlled area into 11 neighborhoods that the regime has been trying to wipe clear of opposition forces.
Given American government's history of presenting false or inaccurate intelligence to persuade the public to support war, i.e. WMDs in Iraq and Gulf of Tonkin resolution, I demand proof. Simply stating "we know this and we know that" is insufficient. If the U.S. has compelling evidence, the Obama Administration should make that information available to the public and they should present it to the United Nations and the International Criminal Court.

Unlike that most corporate media, there are some news sources that question the Administration's assertion that the Assad regime ordered the chemical attacks. As reported in the Daily Caller,
According to the doctored report, the chemical attack was carried out by the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division of the Syrian Army, an elite unit commanded by Maher al-Assad, the president’s brother.

However, the original communication intercepted by Unit 8200 between a major in command of the rocket troops assigned to the 155th Brigade of the 4th Armored Division, and the general staff, shows just the opposite.

The general staff officer asked the major if he was responsible for the chemical weapons attack. From the tone of the conversation, it was clear that “the Syrian general staff were out of their minds with panic that an unauthorized strike had been launched by the 155th Brigade in express defiance of their instructions,” the former officers say.
Check out how Chuck Hagel's evasive response when Rep. Grayson asked him about that Daily Caller article. The relevant section starts at 3:47 minutes into the video.

Next, Obama speculates that:
And a failure to stand against the use of chemical weapons would weaken prohibitions against other weapons of mass destruction and embolden Assad's ally, Iran, which must decide whether to ignore international law by building a nuclear weapon or to take a more peaceful path.

This is not a world we should accept. This is what's at stake. And that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.
The U.S. attacked Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya.  Such attacks have not deterred Iran or North Korea. In fact, as Candy Crowley pointed out on CNN's State of the Union, the U.S. invasion of Iraq did not deter Iran. So, why should we believe than an "incredibly small attack" will deter Iran?

President further undermined his national security argument when he said "the Assad regime does not have the ability to seriously threaten our military." If Syria does not pose a threat, why wage war against Syria?  Syria has not threatened to attack the U.S.  Syria has not attacked the U.S.  

Moreover, the President claims that:
And the day after any military action, we would redouble our efforts to achieve a political solution that strengthens those who reject the forces of tyranny and extremism.
That assertion does not negate the fact that many of the so-called rebels are affiliated with Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups. War on Syria will only empower Al Qaeda. As Dennis Kucinich stated, the U.S. should not be Al Qaeda's airforce.

Although I remain unconvinced, the President's speech did have two positive aspects. Obama urged Congress to postpone voting on Syria.  Since the President did not have the sufficient votes to prevail in Congress, he had no alternative. More importantly, Syria expressed a willingness to surrender its chemical weapons. Obviously, that is a major breakthrough.  Now, there is a real possibility that war can be averted. I hope that Obama's diplomatic efforts are successful. We do not need another war.

Friday, September 6, 2013

No War On Syria: Members of Congress Speak Out

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Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Good morning. Listen to members of Congress speak out against war with Syria. I stand with them. I wrote my members of Congress. Today, I will call them as well. I encourage you to do the same. Peace.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Why I Oppose Military Intervention in Syria

This morning, I sent the following letter to my Senators, Barbara Mikulski and Benjamin L. Cardin and my House Representative, C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger.

September 2, 2013

The Honorable Barbara Mikulski
503 Hart Senate Office Building
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510

Dear Senator Mikulski:

I urge you not to authorize military action against Syria. Despite the claims of the Obama Administration, we do not know with absolute certainty that the Assad regime launched chemical attacks against its own people. It is possible that the so-called rebels may be responsible for those despicable crimes against humanity. As reported in the USA Today article entitled Syrian rebels pledge loyalty to al-Qaeda, many of those so-called rebels are affiliated with the terrorist group, Al Qaeda. They capable of anything. Their crimes are well documented in the New York Times and many other media sources.

Furthermore, the Obama Administration's unclassified report does not cite any sources. Similarly, as reported in a Washington Post article entitled Sarin gas used in Syria attack, Kerry says, Secretary of State John Kerry claims that laboratory test results found traces of sarin in hair and blood collected at the scene. However, Mr. Kerry did not provide any details. His claim is unsubstantiated.

We are expected to simply accept the Administration's word. In light of the intelligence community's abysmal track record, that would be unwise. The Bush Administration told us that there were weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and that Saddam posed a threat to national security. After the lost of thousands of lives and billions of dollars, we now know that Bush's assertions were false. Based on faulty intelligence reports, the Obama Administration told us that the attacks in Benghazi stemmed from protests over a film insulting Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him. Later, the Administration had a retract that assertion and admit that it was a well planned terrorist attack. Not to long ago, National Intelligence Director James Clapper told Congress that the NSA was not collecting records on thousands of Americans. Whistle blower Edward Snowden proved Mr. Clapper's assertion to be false. Again, we cannot accept any administration's word without concrete and verifiable proof.

The United Nations conducted an investigation and plans to issue a report soon. Before engaging in an act of war against a sovereign state, America should at least wait until the UN releases its report. That report will confirm whether or not chemical weapons were in fact used. We should insist that the UN inspectors be allowed to conduct further inspections to definitively determine who is responsible for the attack. Even President Obama acknowledged that there is no urgent need to immediately respond with force. We can wait.

Even if the Assad regime committed the alleged atrocities, you still should not authorize the use of force that this time. Syria does not pose a threat to America's national security. They have not attacked or threatened to attack America. If the US attacks Syria, it will jeopardize our national security. Syria will probably retaliate against the US and its allies. Troops should not be deployed for purpose of political gamesmanship or to save face for the President.

In addition, the mission is not clear or sound. "Limited attacks" from the air will not be sufficient to remove Assad from power. If Assad did in fact use chemical weapons, a US attack would probably incite him to use chemical weapons on a larger scale against his own people. Instead of protecting civilians in Syria, more civilians will die.

The US may be forced to escalate its involvement in Syria. The President assures the American people that there will be no boots on the ground. He assures us that the operation will be limited in scope and duration. However, as currently drafted, the President's resolution does not provide any such limitations. That is simply unacceptable.

The Obama Administration claims that it must act because the Assad regime violated international law by using chemical weapons. However, as reported in a Huffington Post article entitled Syria: Is An Attack On The Country Legal?,
Article 2 (4) of the UN charter states that "all members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state." But the UN does allow for states to use force for self-defence and, under Chapter 7, authorizes the Security Council to take action "to maintain or restore international peace and security."
Here, the US is would not be acting in self defense. Moreover, the UN Security Council has not taken any action to maintain or restore international peace. Thus, if the US unilaterally attacks Syria, the US will be violating international law. One cannot uphold international law by violating international law. Such actions make America look hypocritical.

The United States cannot be the world's policeman. The crisis in Syria is Arab problem that requires Arab solutions. The Arab League should bear the primary responsibility for creating stability in the region, not the US. The US should not put troops in danger by using them to prop up and protect Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Syria. Has the US learned anything from its experience in Afghanistan?

Many claim that this operation is being conducted for humanitarian purposes. The Administration claims that its acting in order to protect the Syrian people. You do not protect people by bombing them. There is no guarantee that US bombs will not kill many innocent civilians. That would defeat the purported purpose of the mission. The U.S. drone policy is a prime example of US military attacks can result in significant collateral damage.

This is not about humanitarianism. It is about geopolitics and the control of natural resources. If Syria was not located in an oil rich region, there would be no calls for military action. Thousands of innocent civilians are dying in the Central Republic of Congo, Nigeria and many other countries around the world. Yet, the US does nothing. Clearly, this is not about protecting civilians.

If we truly want to protect innocent civilians, we must intensify our diplomatic efforts, not our military efforts. Please do not authorize the use of military force in Syria.

Very truly yours,

Anson C. Asaka