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- The United States launched at least one airstrike against Islamic State militants near Baghdad on Monday, marking the expansion of the US military campaign against the extremist group. The airstrike was reportedly requested by Iraqi forces under attack.
- According to US officials cited by the Associated Press, the airstrike was authorized after Iraqi security forces requested air power support as they engaged Islamic State fighters south of Baghdad.
- An unnamed defense official meanwhile told NBC News that the most recent air attack near Baghdad was an “offensive” strike, as that there was no suggestion that militants were making headway towards the country’s capital.
- Previous airstrikes in Iraq were characterized by the US as “defensive” in nature, as they were used to protect American diplomatic sites as well as crucial Iraqi facilities like the Mosul Dam.
- The “Affordable Care Act” continues to prove that it is anything but affordable, as more and more families are struggling with rising premiums, deductibles, and co-pays.
- Stories of lost coverage and outrageous expenses associated with Obamacare have been flooding the news for a while now, but some are just downright heartbreaking…like that of Pattie Curran.
- Curran is the mother of two sons who were born with a rare bone marrow dysfunction syndrome called Shwachman-Diamond syndrome. The boys also have a secondary mitochondrial disease. They require the care of specialists, regular medical visits, and expensive treatments and medications.
- For the last nine years, Curran’s family has been covered under a private health insurance plan provided by her husband’s employer. That plan was affordable, and the family was never denied coverage for a claim.
- Obamacare changed everything.
- Costs for her sons’ life-saving medications more than doubled under the ACA, and as of today, their compounded medication will no longer be covered at all. Curran said her husband’s employer is being forced to seek further cuts to the company’s healthcare package in order to compensate for the expenses of the Obamacare mandates. Prior to their 2014 open enrollment, the family received a notice stating that, due to the additional mandates going into effect for 2014, the company’s healthcare costs were expected to increase by $7.4 million above the $64 million paid by the company in 2013.
- Curran fears that soon her family will lose their employer-provided health insurance completely, forcing them onto Obamacare exchanges under which they would be denied access to their current specialists.
- Her family went from having NO credit card debt to over $60,000 – all from medical expenses due to increases in their premiums, deductibles, and medication co-pays.
- Curran said that before Obamacare was implemented, it was evident that the mandates would create exactly the detrimental impacts that she is now experiencing.
- Like many of us, she believes that the ultimate goal of the legislators who adopted the Affordable Care Act was the extinction of private health insurance companies, with an eventual move to a single-payer system of substandard healthcare.
- Curran shared her family’s ordeal with Nicole Revels of The Daily Caller.
- Here is her heart-wrenching interview:
- Viewers have reached out to Revels to ask how to send a contribution to the Currans. Pattie has continuously stated that this is a long-term problem and the best way to help her is to “Stand up against the tyranny that is Obamacare. Get involved, contact your legislators and stand up with us.”
- A few of Pattie’s friends who are aware of the family’s struggle caused by the Obamacare mandates have decided to establish a fund to help the Currans get the medications their sons need.
- Monitors from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) came under artillery fire at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine on September 14, their report released on Monday said.
- It said “the patrol vehicles were damaged by artillery or mortar fire … the team left the area in the remaining useable vehicle and returned to Donetsk city”.
- In an earlier report, the OSCE said its monitors and representatives of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) had come under a mortar attack in Donetsk, with shells exploding some 100-200 metres away. The head of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine (SMM), Ambassador Ertugrul Apakan on Monday urged all parties to the conflict in Ukraine to allow monitors to carry out their duties and verification of the ceasefire regime safely.
- Refugees from war-torn east getting back home Austria to supply ten drones to Ukraine for use by OSCE monitors Ukraine PM speaks for Geneva format of talks to settle Donbass situation The statement followed a series of incidents which had put the OSCE monitors’ lives at risk.
- “We profoundly regret the fact that our teams were substantially endangered during the course of their agreed monitoring mission. This is entirely unacceptable,” Apakan said. On the evening of 14 September, vehicles of an SMM patrol monitoring the east of Donetsk were struck by artillery fragments. No one was injured in the incident. On Sunday, monitors came under fire at the MH17 crash site in eastern Ukraine.
- As we summarized late on Friday, while Europe has been banging the populist drums over ever-escalating Russian sanctions, it quietly and without much fanfare folded in the one place where Russia could have been truly hurt, the Free Trade (DFCTA) agreement between Ukraine and the EU. But while Europe would have loved for nobody to notice, some did, and not just on these pages: far more importantly, so did the citizens of Ukraine where as the WSJ reports, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko faces rising criticism for his decision to delay implementation of part of a European Union deal to avoid threatened Russian retaliation.
- And this is why neither side can afford to blink, because the moment one side folds, its domestic support collapses. And blinking is precisely what Ukraine just did and with that it set in motion the events that will likely terminate prematurely the brief, irrelevant presidency of Ukraine’s “Chocolate Baron” Poroshenko.
- From WSJ:
- A senior diplomat resigned in protest over the weekend, and pro-European politicians who are competing with Mr. Poroshenko’s party in parliamentary elections next month blasted the decision as caving to Russia, which wants Ukraine to give up the deal and remain in its orbit. The tensions highlight how difficult it will be for Mr. Poroshenko to manage the competing pressures of a Kremlin that isn’t backing down and a domestic electorate that wants closer ties to Europe and no concessions to Moscow.
- On Friday, Ukraine and the EU agreed to put off implementing a landmark trade deal, which is part of a broader pact aimed at strengthening their ties, after Moscow threatened trade restrictions that would have crippled Ukraine’s already limping economy.
- A cease-fire in the east, where Russia-backed rebels hold several towns and cities, is still largely holding despite scattered fighting. A government spokesman said Sunday that Ukrainian troops had repelled an assault on Donetsk airport by 200 pro-Russia rebels.
- In Kiev, pro-Western rivals of Mr. Poroshenko’s party railed against the president’s move to compromise at congresses to announce candidates for snap parliamentary elections scheduled for Oct. 26.
It got so bad over the weekend, that former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, who was the person least actively supported by the CIA and US state department in Ukraine’s less than peaceful transition in February, and thus lost a May presidential election to Mr. Poroshenko, said the delay in implementing the EU free-trade part of the pact until 2016 was “a betrayal of national interests.”
- “There can’t be a single day of applying the brakes on our path to Europe,” she told a party meeting. She also called a referendum on potential membership of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
So as the public mood suddenly and dramatically shifts in its impotent rage directed at Putin up until this point, into a domestic direction in general, and at the new president in particular, Poroshenko appears set to antagonize the public even more, following his disclosure moments ago that he proposes temporary self-governance in separatist-held areas in eastern regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, news service Ukrayinska Pravda reports, citing copy of draft law. Bloomberg has the details:
- Local elections would be held in those districts this yr on Nov. 9
Local authorities in special districts would have right to participate in appointment of local prosecutors, judges
People’s militia would be created from local citizens in special districts
Kiev authorities wouldn’t open criminal cases against participants of uprising in east
Kiev guarantees right to use, learn Russian language; grants it equal status in special areas, for all Ukrainian citizens
Ukraine to allocate annual budget spending to rebuild infrastructure, create jobs, back economical development of eastern regions
Ukraine to allow areas’ “good neighborly relations” w/ Russia to deepen and strengthen
Law, if approved, to remain in effect for 3 yrs from date of approval
Parliament may consider draft law among other issues on Sept. 16
Lawmakers have received copy of draft
And this is how the Ukraine people, at least those in the west and who care about such things, will interpret the move: Poroshenko is handing over East Ukraine to Russia which will now control not only Crimea but also the land corridor leading to it.
- The only question we have here is what the over/under is on number of days before Ukraine has yet another presidential crisis, and whether the next president will also be another US-backed puppet?
- The use of biometrics on children in various areas of the school setting, from swiping a finger to check out a library book or scanning a palm to purchase a lunch is sadly not new.
- What is new is what a headteacher recently told parents to justify the use of fingerprint scans in the lunchroom at Redhill School in Stourbridge, England.
- Via EAGNews.org:
We are aiming to have a cashless system throughout the school. The catering system is better for parents because they don’t have to provide children with lunch money every morning. From our perspective it is far more efficient as it reduces waiting times.
We will also be able to monitor what children are buying to make sure they are eating a healthy diet.
Wait. Back up a sec. Really?
- Tracking each child via fingerprint to database and examine their lunch choices and determine whether they can be considered part of a “healthy” diet, huh?
- How does that work? Based on whose opinion? And to what end?? For what consequences???
- As Daisy Luther over at The Organic Prepper reported last November, a mother in Manitoba, Canada was fined $10 when the school decided her child’s home-brought lunch lacked a “grain.” The lunch contained meat, potatoes, carrots, milk and an orange, but that simply was not deemed healthy enough, so the school supplemented the lunch with Ritz crackers for ten bucks. The miffed mom wrote:
[If the lunch contained] “microwave Kraft Dinner and a hot dog, a package of fruit twists, a Cheestring, and a juice box” those lunches would have sailed right through this idiocy. But her whole food, homemade lunches? They lacked Ritz Crackers. So what say you? Have you come across a more inane school lunch policy? Because I sure haven’t. (source)
It should go without saying, but Ritz crackers aren’t typically considered the height of nutrition. Luther continued:
Ritz Crackers, of $5 add-on fame, contain no fiber, no protein, and no vitamins, but this ticks the boxes required by the government of the province of Manitoba?
This leads to the question, “What do Ritz Crackers contain?” I’m glad you asked.
Wow – what parent could object to these GMO-laden “grains”? Loaded with High Fructose Corn Syrup (a GMO-sourced poison linked to obesity, diabetes, and containing unregulated toxic contaminants), partially hydrogenated oils (this is a trans fat and currently on the verge of becoming a banned ingredient in the US), sugar (because HFCS just doesn’t make it sweet enough), and chemicals, it’s a great addition to a healthy lunch…please note my sarcasm.
Aside from the creepy mark of the beast implications of normalizing young children who don’t know any better to these biometric programs, it’s a well-known fact that forcing children to adhere to a government-mandated diet does not automatically equal anything remotely considered healthy. Just consider the ramifications were a set up like this to be implemented here stateside with the government-subsidized food included in Michelle Obama’s “death row” school lunch program.
- Beyond that, though, who is monitoring these children’s diets? What gives that person the credentials? What happens if the child doesn’t pick the right foods? Does an alarm go off in the computer system? Does someone step in and force them to eat something else? Where does this end?
- The greater potential for the abuse of power is…unappetizing, to say the least.
- The manoeuvres will take place on the Yavoriv training ground in the Lviv region, western Ukraine, from September 15 to 26 with the participation of about 1,300 servicemen from 15 countries
- International military exercises, Rapid Trident 2014, have started in Ukraine, the head of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry’s western regional media centre, Alexander Poronyuk, told ITAR-TASS on Monday.
“The exercises have begun officially a few minutes ago. The flags of Ukraine and the United States, as the main long-time partner in exercises, have been raised. The weather is wonderful, as well as all the participants’ mood,” Poronyuk said.
The spokesman added exercises to provide humanitarian aid were planned for the end of the week.
The manoeuvres will take place on the Yavoriv training ground in the Lviv region, western Ukraine, from September 15 to 26 with the participation of about 1,300 servicemen from 15 countries.
According to the United States European Command, aside from Ukraine and the United States, Bulgaria, Canada, Georgia, Germany, Great Britain, Poland, Spain and other countries participate in the exercises.
The troops are planned to have a week of situational exercises, deactivate homemade explosive devices and conduct escorting and patrolling operations.
- The U.N. Security Council (UNSC), the only international body empowered to declare war and peace, continues to remain a silent witness to the widespread devastation and killings worldwide, including in Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Ukraine.
- A sharply divided UNSC has watched the slaughter of Palestinians by Israel, the genocide and war crimes in Syria, the Russian military intervention in Ukraine, the U.S. military attacks inside Iraq and now a virtual invasion of Syria – if U.S. President Barack Obama goes ahead with his threat to launch air strikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
- “As an instrument for preventing or restraining war, the United Nations has devolved into a plaintive institution, with its Security Council dominated by superpowers.” — Norman SolomonThe United States has refused to go before the UNSC for authorisation and legitimacy – even if it means suffering a veto by Russia or China or both.
- Still, ironically, Obama is scheduled to preside over a UNSC meeting when he is in New York in late September since the United States holds the presidency under geographical rotation among the 15 members in the Council.
- A head of state or a head of government chairing a meeting of the Security Council is a rare event, not a norm.
- But it does happen when a UNSC member presides over the Council in the month of September during the opening of a new General Assembly session, with over 150 world leaders in tow.
- In his address to the nation early this week, Obama said, “I will chair a meeting of the U.N. Security Council to further mobilise the international community around this effort” (“to degrade and destroy ISIS”, the rebel Islamic militant group inside Iraq and Syria).
- Still, the proposed strike inside Syria is not part of the Council’s agenda – and certainly not under the U.S. presidency.
- Obama also said intelligence agencies have not detected any specific ISIS plots against the United States.
- ISIS is still a regional threat that could ultimately reach out to the United States, he said, justifying the impending attacks.
- Norman Solomon, executive director of the Washington-based Institute for Public Accuracy and co-founder of RootsAction.org, told IPS, “As an instrument for preventing or restraining war, the United Nations has devolved into a plaintive institution, with its Security Council dominated by superpowers — most of all by the United States in tandem with its permanent-member allies.”
- He said it used to be that U.S. presidents at least went through the motions of seeking Security Council approval for going to war, but this is scarcely the case anymore.
- “When it lacks the capacity to get what it wants by way of a non-vetoed Security Council resolution for its war aims, the U.S. government simply proceeds as though the United Nations has no significant existence,” said Solomon, author of ‘War Made Easy: How Presidents and Pundits Keep Spinning Us to Death.’
- Internationally, he said, this is the case because there are no geopolitical leverage points or institutional U.N. frameworks sufficient to require the United States to actually take the Security Council seriously as anything much more than a platform for pontification.
- A Russian official was quoted as saying the Obama administration would need to get a UNSC resolution before it launches air attacks inside Syria — which, of course, the Russians did not do either before they intervened in Ukraine.
- Perhaps all this points only in one direction: the UNSC has time and again proved its unworthiness – and remains ineffective and politically impotent having outlived its usefulness, particularly in crisis situations.
- Humanitarian aid? Yes. Collective international action? No.
- The veto-wielding permanent members of the UNSC – the United States, Britain, France, China and Russia – are obviously not interested in fairness, justice or political integrity but only interested in protecting their own national interests.
- In an editorial Friday, the New York Times struck a cautious note when it said there will be no turning back once air strikes enter Syrian territory, unleashing events that simply cannot be foreseen.
- “Surely, that’s a lesson America has learned from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
- Stephen Zunes, professor of politics and international studies at the University of San Francisco where he serves as coordinator of the programme in Middle Eastern Studies, told IPS, “Regardless of whether it is justified or not, air strikes by the United States or other foreign powers in Iraq and Syria are clearly acts of war requiring U.N. authorisation.”
- If the threat from ISIS and the limited nature of the military response is what President Obama says it is, then the United States should have little trouble in receiving support from the Security Council, said Zunes, who has written extensively on the politics of the Security Council and serves as a senior policy analyst for Foreign Policy in Focus at the Institute for Policy Studies.
- “The refusal to come to the United Nations, then, serves as yet another example of the contempt Washington apparently has for the world body,” he said.
- Peter Yeo, executive director of Better World Campaign, a non-governmental organisation (NGO) dedicated to strengthening U.S.-U.N. relations, has called on the U.S. Congress to engage the United Nations in addressing the critical challenges in the Middle East, including Syria and Iraq.
- “Let Congress know the U.S. cannot go it alone in confronting this challenge, and that we should continue to utilise resources like the U.N. Security Council and the U.N.’s humanitarian response agencies to combat ongoing and future threats,” he said.
- More than ever, the U.S. needs the U.N. as a strategic partner to help facilitate the complex security and humanitarian response needs in the region, he said in a statement released Thursday.
- Solomon told IPS that the domestic politics of the U.S. have been sculpted in recent decades to relegate the U.N. to the role of afterthought or oratorical amphitheatre unless it can be coupled to the U.S. war train of the historic moment.
- “Deformed as it is as a representation of only the governments of some sectors of global power, the Security Council still has some potential for valid exercise of discourse – even diplomacy – if not legitimate decision-making per se.”
- But the Security Council ultimately represents the skewed agendas of its permanent members, and those agendas only include peace to the extent that permanent members are actually interested in peace and such interest, at best intermittent, depends on undependable willingness to look beyond narrow nationalistic and corporate interests, Solomon added.
- “Of course, the U.S. government has continued to engage in acts of war in several countries on an ongoing basis for more than a dozen years.”
- The military strikes now being planned by the White House will add Syria to the list of countries attacked by a Washington-based government that speaks loudly about international law at the same time that it violates international law at will, he argued.
- The U.S. government will decide whether to seek any authorisation or resolution from the U.N. Security Council primarily on the basis of gauging likely benefits of rhetorical grandstanding, Solomon predicted.
- The US government has declared that it is planning to provide training for 5000 Syrian opposition fighters annually in order to battle IS militants, Washington Times reports.
According to Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby, Saudi Arabia will support US government in its efforts and take an active part in the announced training program. “We think that, now that we’ve got a partner in the region to help us with the training, is that we could train more than 5,000 fighters over the course of one year,” said Kirby, adding that the training process is expected to be implemented phase-by-phase.
On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama announced the establishment of a broad international coalition, aimed at countering and destroying the Islamic State terrorist organization, TIME reports. He confirmed his intention to use hard-power measures if necessary and declared readiness to deploy additional 475 American troops in Iraq “to expand the advisory, training and surveillance missions”.
However, the efficiency of US counterterrorism policy is questioned by a number of political leaders, as it doesn’t address root causes of terrorism and is likely to cause waves of hatred in the region. For example, Iran holds US military involvement in Syria and Iraq is a violation of their state sovereignty and is strongly prohibited by international law.
- NATO member states have started supplying weapons to Ukraine, the country’s Defense Minister said on TV. His comments came a few days after a similar statement by a Ukrainian presidential aide sparked a diplomatic scandal and a rash of denials.
- In an interview with Channel 5, Ukrainian Defense Minister Valery Geletey said that he had held verbal consultations with the defense ministers of the “leading countries of the world, those that can help us, and they heard us. We have the supply of arms under way.”
- “This process has begun, and I feel that this is exactly the way we need to go,” the minister said.
- Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, who attended the Sept. 4-5 NATO summit in Wales, announced that he had negotiated direct modern weapons supplies with a number of NATO member states.
- Poroshenko claimed that some of the NATO member states said during bilateral consultations they are ready to supply Ukraine with lethal and non-lethal arms, including “high precision weapons,” as well as with medical equipment.
- NATO has had repeatedly said that the alliance is not going to supply any weapons or military equipment to Ukraine. At the same time, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said that the alliance would not interfere if member states made decisions of their own regarding arms supply to Ukraine.
- When Poroshenko’s aide Yury Lutsenko wrote on his Facebook page that the US, along with France, Italy, Poland and Norway, would supply modern weapons to Ukraine, the news prompted all the countries mentioned in Lutsenko’s post to say they had no information about supplies.
- Last Sunday, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was the first to deny the arms delivery, saying he was not aware of a secret deal to supply Ukraine with lethal weapons.
- Shortly afterward, Norway, Italy, and Poland also denied the report.
- Australia is set to deploy hundreds of troops against Islamic State militants in Iraq. The task force, which will include Special Forces military advisors and assault jets, will be stationed in UAE as part of a “humanitarian operation.”
- Five years after the complete withdrawal of Australian troops from Iraq in July 2009, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott announced that the country’s military would be returning to the Middle East, this time to help defeat militants from the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS / ISIL). The decision was preceded by a formal request for help from the government of new Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi, as well as from the United States, which has already “declared war” on Islamic State.
- “It is right for Australia to do what it prudently and proportionately can to support international efforts to prevent the spread of ISIL, roll back its gains and alleviate suffering in Iraq,” Abbott said in Darwin after meeting with the Cabinet and the National Security Committee earlier Sunday, where the decision on sending troops to the Middle East was taken.
- It was the beheading of British aid worker David Haines by an Islamic State militant that has finally compelled the Australian authorities to make the decision, said Australia’s PM. He added that this act of terror “should make all of us more resolved than ever to do whatever we reasonably can to disrupt, degrade and if possible destroy this movement.”
- Most of the personnel to be deployed to the United Arab Emirates will be servicemen of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF).
- The Australian task force to be deployed against the Islamic State will consist of eight F/A18 Super Hornet jets, one E-7A Wedgetail Airborne Early Warning and Control aircraft, one KC-30A multi-role aerial tanker and transport aircraft, 400 Air Force personnel to support air deployment and 200 military officers, including a Special Forces team to operate as “military advisers” to Kurdish Peshmerga self-defense fighters and other forces fighting the jihadists.
- The RAAF already has C-17 Globemaster and C130 Hercules transport aircraft deployed at al-Minhad Air Base south of Dubai, UAE, which have joined a multinational force providing airlift assistance with transportation of military equipment, arms and munitions to Iraqi forces, Abbott announced two weeks ago. The new force coming to the UAE is expected to be deployed at the same airfield.
- PM Abbott insisted that Australia is “not deploying combat troops but contributing to international efforts to prevent the humanitarian crisis from deepening.”
- “Again I stress that this is essentially a humanitarian operation
- Abbott said that at least 60 Australian citizens are believed to be fighting in the ranks of Islamic State and other terrorist groups, while about 100 others are supporting these extremists.
- “Australia is prepared to engage in international operations to disrupt and degrade ISIL because of the threat that this murderous death cult poses not just to the people of Iraq, not just to the people of the Middle East, but to the whole world, including to Australia,” he said.
- “Again I stress that this movement is neither Islamic nor a state. It is a death cult reaching out to countries such as Australia,” Abbott said, adding that presence of the country’s troops in the Middle East is about “taking prudent and proportionate action to protect our country and to protect the wider world against an unprecedented terrorist threat.”
- “There are obviously further decisions to be taken before Australian forces will be committed to combat operations in Iraq,” he said.
- The force being formed against the Islamic State is “not simply something that is an American-Australian operation,” Abbott said, stressing that the Australian military would be acting as part of an international coalition comprising “the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Jordan, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Australia.”
- Rather disturbingly, ISIS had just announced the execution of another captive:
- *ISLAMIC STATE RELEASES VIDEO SHOWING BEHEADING OF DAVID HAINES
As Bloomberg reports,
Video is similar to ones in which James Foley, Steve Sotloff were killed, SITE says Here is the video.
- Jihadist monitoring website comments on today’s beheading in statement on its website
- British captive David Haines, who SITE says is beheaded in video, addresses U.K. PM Cameron in video
- Video purportedly shows David Haines saying he holds David Cameron “entirely responsible” for his “execution” before being murdered
- “You entered voluntarily into a coalition with the United States against the Islamic State, just as your predecessor Tony Blair did, following a trend amongst our British prime minister who can’t find the courage to say no to the Americans,” SITE quotes Haines as saying
- SITE says executioner appears to be same as in previous videos.
- “IS Beheads Briton David Haines, Threatens to Execute Another Briton, Alan Henning,” SITE Intel Group says on Twitter.
- *ISLAMIC STATE THREATENS TO EXECUTE BRITISH HOSTAGE HENNING:SITE
- *SITE SAYS BEHEADING VIDEO ENTITLED `A MSG TO ALLIES OF AMERICA’
- *SITE SAYS VIDEO SIMILAR TO BEHEADINGS OF FOLEY, SOTLOFF
- *SITE COMMENTS ON TODAY’S BEHEADING IN STATEMENT ON ITS WEBSITE
- *HAINES ADDRESSES U.K.’S CAMERON IN VIDEO, SITE SAYS
- *SITE SAYS EXECUTIONER APPEARS TO BE SAME AS IN PREVIOUS VIDEOS
- * * *
- Link to video can be found here (warning: extremely graphic)
- * * *
- Isis photos appear to show murder of british hostage. Same Desert location. Masked man. Beheading. Disgusting.
- — Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 13, 2014
- Sounds like same british accented voice of masked militant in isis beheading video of british hostage.
- — Richard Engel (@RichardEngel) September 13, 2014
- As The Guardian reports,
- In London, the Foreign Office has said it is aware of the video and “working urgently to verify” its content.
- Haines, who was 44, was kidnapped last year. He had been in Syria for just three days when he was kidnapped and handed over to Isis militants.
- The murder comes one day after the Haines’ family released a statement urging his captors to contact them.
- The aid worker was taken while working for Acted in Syria in March 2013.
- * * *
- The 44-year-old Haines has a teenage daughter in Scotland from a previous marriage and a four-year-old daughter in Croatia from his present marriage.
- Educated at Perth Academy secondary school, he has worked for aid agencies in some of the world’s worst trouble spots.
- He was in Libya during its civil war in 2011, working as head of mission for Handicap International, which helps disabled people in poverty and conflict zones around the world.
- * * *
- British PM Cameron responds:
- *DAVID HAINES MURDER ’ACT OF PURE EVIL’: CAMERON ON TWITTER
- *’WE WILL DO EVERYTHING TO HUNT DOWN THESE MURDERERS’: CAMERON
- *U.K.’S CAMERON SAYS ACT WAS `DESPICABLE AND APPALLING MURDER’
- *CAMERON SAYS CABINET MEETING ON MATTER TO BE HELD SUNDAY
9.13.14 – ISIS HAS OVER 40 CELLS IN LEBANON
- Over 40 undercover ISIS cells now exist in Lebanon, according to the Daily Star in Lebanon. A Lebanese security organization asserts that each of the cells includes three or four members who come from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Iraq, or the Palestinian Arab areas.
- The members have apparently been trained in the Syrian areas of Aleppo and Deir al-Zor as well as Lebanon’s West Bekaa, Iqlim al-Kharroub, Akkar, and Naameh by soldiers who left the Syrian Army or came from Lebanon or the Palestinian Arab areas.
- Some other causes for concern are that the members obtained encrypted digital communication devices, pistols with silencers, and fake university identification. They have been told to wear normal everyday clothes and go to nightclubs and cafes.
- One rumor is that the cells might assassinate a Sunni leadership figure, precipitating calls that a rival party planned the execution. Recent fights between ISIS and the Nusra Front on one side and the Army on the other triggered the kidnapping of over 30 security personnel. Thus a suicide attack or car bomb would catalyze a plunge in security. 22 soldiers and policemen are still in captivity; two soldiers have already been beheaded by ISIS.
- On Thursday, the army Thursday exploded a car with 100 kilograms of explosives near Arsal.
- It isn’t just ISIS that is of grave concern; the security group said it had information that the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades was trying to use two suicide bombers on motorcycles to attack the Beirut embassy of an eastern European country.
- Lebanese government institutions were working on signing security collaboration protocols with Western and Arab countries. Those agreements would allow all sides to share information acquired relating to ISIS.
- A regional conference to address the ISIS crisis was held in Jeddah; Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil arrived there on Thursday.
- The U.S. embassy in Uganda has warned American citizens in the country to stay indoors overnight Saturday because Ugandan authorities have warned of a terrorist plot.
- The embassy in a message Saturday on its website said it is trying to assess the scope of a possible plot by the Somali militants of al-Shabab and whether members of the cell plotting the attack are still at large. It did not give details of steps being taken by Ugandan authorities or when or how the attack was to take place. The statement urged U.S. citizens to stay indoors to give authorities time to establish heightened security measures.
- Al-Shabab, an Islamic extremist group linked to Al-Qaida, has vowed to revenge the killing of its leader last week by a U.S. airstrike.
- The first group of 70 trucks from the Russian Emergencies Ministry’s convoy carrying humanitarian aid to civilians in Ukraine’s southeast crossed the Ukrainian border at midnight Moscow time and is in Krasnodon halfway to the final destination Lugansk 40 kilometres away.
- Russian humanitarian convoy ready to go to southeast of Ukraine
- A second group will follow shortly.
- No officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross are accompanying the cargos.
- “The ICRC had not been formally notified of the agreement between Russia and Ukraine they had settled technicalities regarding this convoy,” ICRC spokeswoman
- Earlier, Deputy Emergencies Minister Vladimis Stepanov said the convoy was carrying two thousand tonnes of supplies: foods, water cleaning equipment, power generators and other equipment for eliminating and easing the effects of the humanitarian disaster.
- A second convoy with relief supplies for the population in war-ravaged eastern regions of Ukraine was ready to leave for Ukraine three weeks ago, but Ukraine had to recognize the cargo humanitarian first.
- National poll backs Ukraine aid convoy decision
- On September 3 Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a crisis settlement plan for Ukraine, including cessation of all hostilities by the conflicting parties in the southeast of Ukraine, the withdrawal of all armed groups and forces to a safe distance from cities and villages, international control of the ceasefire, a moratorium on the use of combat aircraft against civilians, an “all-for-all” exchange of prisoners of war, creation of humanitarian corridors and the arrival of repair teams for restoring damaged and ruined infrastructures.
- Two days after the Contact Group for Ukraine met in session in Minsk with officials from Kiev, delegates from Ukraine’s south-eastern regions, the OSCE and Russia taking part to agree a peace settlement plan and produce a ceasefire agreement.
- The first consignment of humanitarian supplies from Russia – nearly 2,000 tonnes of food, water, babyfood and medical supplies was delivered to Lugansk on August 22.
- Rudderless and without a compass, the American ship of state continues to drift, guns blazing.
- - Andrew J. Bacevich, the Boston University political science professor and former Army colonel who lost his son in the Iraq war in 2007, in a recent Reuters article.
- I have spent the past several days outlining my deep concerns about the “ISIS crisis” and Obama’s willingness to employ extreme propaganda in order to once again embark on another poorly thought out military campaign here and here. What I have also come to realize is that his latest war plan is brazenly illegal and unconstitutional.
- While critics have been questioning the legality of U.S. military campaigns consistently since the end of World War II, one trend has become increasingly clear. With each new President and each new war, we have witnessed those who hold the office act more and more like dictators, and less and less like constitutional executives.
- One very important, and up until recently, overlooked point about Obama’s latest “war on ISIS” is that this is not at all just more of the same. This crosses yet another very important line of shadiness, and if we as as American public allow him to do so, we will suffer grave long-term consequences to our economic future as well as our liberties. This is very serious stuff.
- No one has outlined this point better than Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law and political science at Yale, in yesterday’s New York Times op-ed: Obama’s Betrayal of the Constitution. He writes:
- BERLIN — PRESIDENT OBAMA’s declaration of war against the terrorist group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria marks a decisive break in the American constitutional tradition. Nothing attempted by his predecessor, George W. Bush, remotely compares in imperial hubris.
- Mr. Bush gained explicit congressional consent for his invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. In contrast, the Obama administration has not even published a legal opinion attempting to justify the president’s assertion of unilateral war-making authority. This is because no serious opinion can be written.
- This became clear when White House officials briefed reporters before Mr. Obama’s speech to the nation on Wednesday evening. They said a war against ISIS was justified by Congress’s authorization of force against Al Qaeda after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, and that no new approval was needed.
- But the 2001 authorization for the use of military force does not apply here. That resolution — scaled back from what Mr. Bush initially wanted — extended only to nations and organizations that “planned, authorized, committed or aided” the 9/11 attacks.
- Not only was ISIS created long after 2001, but Al Qaeda publicly disavowed it earlier this year. It is Al Qaeda’s competitor, not its affiliate.
- Mr. Obama may rightly be frustrated by gridlock in Washington, but his assault on the rule of law is a devastating setback for our constitutional order. His refusal even to ask the Justice Department to provide a formal legal pretext for the war on ISIS is astonishing.
- Senators and representatives aren’t eager to step up to the plate in October when, however they decide, their votes will alienate some constituents in November’s midterm elections. They would prefer to let the president plunge ahead and blame him later if things go wrong. But this is precisely why the War Powers Resolution sets up its 60-day deadline: It rightly insists that unless Congress is willing to stand up and be counted, the war is not worth fighting in the name of the American people.
- But for now the president seems grimly determined to practice what Mr. Bush’s lawyers only preached. He is acting on the proposition that the president, in his capacity as commander in chief, has unilateral authority to declare war.
- In taking this step, Mr. Obama is not only betraying the electoral majorities who twice voted him into office on his promise to end Bush-era abuses of executive authority. He is also betraying the Constitution he swore to uphold.
- Think about this for a second. Barack Obama is using the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), which allowed for military action against “nations and organizations that planned, authorized, committed or aided the 9/11 attacks.” ISIS wasn’t even a twinkle in Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s eye back in September 2001. Even more stunning, ISIS and al-Qaeda more closely resemble enemies than allies. Yet this doesn’t seem to affect Nobel Peace Prize winning Barry Obama’s war planning. You can’t get much more insane and Orwellian than that.
- Who cares right? This won’t ever affect you. So what if some bombs fall on innocent Arab civilians? Wrong.
- One of the most terrifying aspects of this whole war push if Obama is able to pull it off, is that the reasoning (or lack thereof) could ultimately be applied to the detention of U.S. citizens indefinitely without a trial.
- Yes, what I am referring to is the National Defense Authorization Act, or NDAA, which allows for the indefinite detention of American citizens without a trial. I covered this frequently several years ago when Chris Hedges and others were suing the Obama Administration regarding the constitutionality of this law. In fact, one of my most popular posts ever was, NDAA: The Most Important Lawsuit in American History that No One is Talking About.
- One of the ways in which the U.S. government has defended the NDAA is by saying it can only be used against “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.” Glenn Greenwald noted in Salon in his, Three Myths About the Detention Bill, that:
- Section 1021 of the NDAA governs, as its title says, “Authority of the Armed Forces to Detain Covered Persons Pursuant to the AUMF.” The first provision — section (a) — explicitly “affirms that the authority of the President” under the AUMF ”includes the authority for the Armed Forces of the United States to detain covered persons.” The next section, (b), defines “covered persons” — i.e., those who can be detained by the U.S. military — as “a person who was a part of or substantially supported al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces that are engaged in hostilities against the United States or its coalition partners.”
- Notice that the above says “pursuant to the AUMF,” which is the exact law the Obama Administration is using to justify his latest war. If he is able to start a war with ISIS based on the AUMF, despite the fact that ISIS and al-Qaeda are not allies at all, he or a future President could similarly use the AUMF and the NDAA to imprison anyone, anywhere for an indefinite amount of time based on the same absurd non-claim.
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