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Thursday, October 25, 2012

U.S. in Middle East: Kill until all disagreeing are killed; abandon Palestine ─ Kucinich, Carter

Acute and constant U.S. Foreign relations disasters

Re-reporting, editing by 
Carolyn Bennett

Referencing this week’s Washington Post article on the White House’s calculated global killing program, Kucinich writes, the United States’ “‘targeted killing is now so routine that the Obama administration has spent much of the past year codifying and streamlining the process that sustains it.’ …  The current policy creates new U.S. enemies and our government wants to make this program permanent.”

This is a “short-sighted policy,” Kucinich says, that “has been likened to mowing the grass. As soon as you stop cutting the grass down, it comes right back.”

U.S. drone
Human costs
But, Kucinich warns, “Nations are not made of grass. They are made of people” ─ as many as 3,378 people including 885 civilians killed by more than 350 U.S. drone strikes.

Innocent civilians, thousands of people dead [not to mention the maimed and demoralized, the displaced, the terrified and insecure, the destabilized]; and we “continue to kill ‘top leaders’”: repeatedly, we have “killed ‘Al Qaeda’s number 2’… and significant questions persist as to whether the United States is conducting [assassination drone] strikes in accordance with the law. The evidence suggests not.

“We are not solving our problems or making the world safer,” Kucinich says. We are staining our own global image, undermining our ethical place to lead and descending into moral depravity.
U.S. drone
Pakistani backlash

“Will we keep killing until everyone who disagrees with us is dead?”

U.S. drone launch

hile the elected government in Washington was killing people in the Middle East, the Elders were fact finding in the Middle East, talking peace and a two-state solution in Palestine.

The Elders is an independent group of ten global leaders who no longer hold public office (they are independent of any national government or other vested interest), leaders who have earned international trust, demonstrated integrity, and built a reputation for inclusive, progressive leadership.

Palestinian woman
The Elders work together for peace and human rights. They were brought together in 2007 by Nelson Mandela, who is not an active member of the group but remains an Honorary Elder. The Burmese pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi was also an Honorary Elder, until her election to the Burmese parliament in April 2012. Current active Elders are Martti Ahtisaari, Kofi Annan, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi, Gro Harlem Brundtland, Fernando H Cardoso, Jimmy Carter, Graça Machel, Mary Robinson.

Three of the Elders, former Norway Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Ireland President Mary Robinson, and former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, made a two-day visit to Israel and the West Bank this week.

Elders’ findings in Occupied Territories

Elders left to right
Gro Harlem Brundtland
Jimmy Carter
Mary Robinson.

The former President of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, said:
“The aspirations of Palestinians are being crushed, not only by the complete failure of negotiations with Israel but by a lack of unified political leadership.

“They deserve much better,” she said. “Reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas remains an essential ingredient in Palestinian self-determination [and] the leaders have to be more attuned to the demands of the people, especially given the broader changes sweeping the region.” 
The former Prime Minister of Norway, Gro Harlem Brundtland, said:
“It has been very sad to hear of the considerable problems that long-standing Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem face in their everyday lives –

having to reapply every year for the right to stay,
businesspeople waiting years for licenses,
[loss of] their homes to settlers or demolition.

“The effect of this system,” she said, [creates] great suffering, and erode[s] the diverse character of this city, which is so important for people of all faiths and traditions from all around the world.”

As a physician, Gro Harlem Brundtland said she “was particularly affected by our visit to Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian model of excellence for the entire region which faces enormous difficulties in treating those people nearest to it from the West Bank – never mind Palestinians from Gaza – due to Israeli travel restrictions.” This is a tragic illustration, she said, of “the direct human impact of the present deadlock.” 

Middle East
Occupied Territories
The former President of the United States, and the leader of this Elders’ delegation, Jimmy Carter, said:
“We are heading towards a one-state outcome, which will fail to ensure 
  • the security and democratic rights of the people of Israel and

  • renege on the promise of self-determination for Palestinians.

The two-state solution is vanishing. We urgently need a fresh approach by all parties if a Palestinian state is to be achieved.

Jimmy Carter said, “The Elders share the view that the two-state solution is the only realistic path to peace and security for Israel and the Palestinians but changes on the ground ─ including the construction of settlements beyond the Green Line and the growing isolation of East Jerusalem from the West Bank ─ make a Palestinian state unviable.”

In the reporting press on the Elders’ Middle East trip, Mr. Carter reportedly chastised U.S. leadership “for the lack of progress toward a two-state resolution:

The United States ‘has withdrawn commitment to be the major negotiator.’

Sources and notes

“The Kill Matrix ─ State-sponsored murder has killed so many people that it is becoming routine, bureaucratized and pathological” Washington, October 24, 2012, http://kucinich.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=311425

Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today released a statement (text and video) opposing the codification and the streamlining of the United States’ ‘Kill Matrix’ which determines when and where the United States uses drones to conduct targeted killings.

“State-sponsored murder has killed so many people that it is becoming routine, bureaucratized and pathological,” Kucinich added.

American for nonviolence

Dennis John Kucinich (b. October 8, 1946) has been a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Ohio’s 10th congressional district since 1997 (2012, current Congress, ends his tenure). He was a candidate for the U.S. presidency in 2004 and 2008; and before entering Congress, Kucinich was Cleveland, Ohio’s 53rd mayor (1977-1979).

In the U.S. Congress, Dennis Kucinich sits on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. In a Congressional career in which he has stood for bringing articles of impeachment against former U.S. President George W. Bush and Vice President Richard (Dick) Cheney; and against the 2003 invasion of Iraq and consistently for nonviolence, for diplomacy, for peace, Kucinich will end his congressional career in January 2013, following a redistricting by Ohio’s Republican-controlled state legislature that abolished the congressional district in which he serves.

Todays Insight News: “Toward U.S. global Tiananmen?”  Tuesday, June 5, 2012 

The Elders, http://theelders.org/about

“We are heading towards a one-state outcome” (press release) October 22, 2012, http://theelders.org/article/we-are-heading-towards-one-state-outcome

‘The two-state solution is vanishing’ – Jimmy Carter, Gro Harlem Brundtland and Mary Robinson urge a fresh approach to achieving lasting peace in the Middle East

The Elders concluded a two-day visit to Israel and the West Bank by saying that the two-state solution is in deep peril and may soon be out of reach. They urged a fresh, concerted approach to explore all alternatives to the current stalemate in negotiations, stressing that a two-state solution is the only realistic path to lasting peace in the Middle East.

During this visit, the Elders met the Israeli President Shimon Peres, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, international officials and a range of Israeli and Palestinian groups. Their discussions on this issue will continue in the coming days in Cairo, Egypt.

“Carter joins two other members of The Elders on visit to Israel and the West Bank and sees worsening situation for Palestinians” (Common Dreams staff), October 23, 2012, http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/10/23-4

“Jimmy Carter downplays U.S. influence on Israel and Palestine” (Press TV), October 23, 2012,

Elders’ Part II Egypt

“The Elders begin two-day visit to Egypt” October 23, 2102:  In the second part of their trip to the Middle East, The Elders were in Egypt for two days meeting with President Morsi, senior officials, religious leaders and members of civil society. The Elders praised the Egyptians for their success in using non-violent protest to bring about sweeping political changes and expressed their support for the country’s democratic transition.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, Jimmy Carter and Mary Robinson offered encouragement and support for an inclusive democratic transition. http://theelders.org/article/elders-begin-two-day-visit-egypt


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