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Ear to the Ground

U.N. Team Accuses Syria of Crimes Against Humanity

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Posted on Feb 23, 2012
DAPD / Clemens Bilan

A woman holds a sign condemning the killing in Syria.

It’s about time. A U.N. panel has concluded that members of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime are guilty of “gross human rights violations”—including the torture and killing of civilians—amounting to crimes against humanity. The group did not release the names of the officials accused in the report.

Meanwhile, two Western journalists—Marie Colvin of London’s Sunday Times and French photographer Rémi Ochlik—were killed in Homs on Wednesday during a 19th day of bombardment by Assad’s military. Their deaths brought the number of journalists killed in the region in the last four months to eight, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. Experts suspect officials may have targeted their makeshift media center by tracing satellite signals. —ARK

The New York Times:

The investigators said the report was based on 369 interviews with victims, witnesses, defectors and other people with “inside knowledge” of the situation in Syria. They also examined photographs, video recordings and satellite imagery to corroborate some witness accounts. The investigators said they were not allowed to enter Syria to conduct inquiries at first hand.

… “The commission received credible and consistent evidence identifying high- and mid-ranking members of the armed forces who ordered their subordinates to shoot at unarmed protesters, kill soldiers who refused to obey such orders, arrest persons without cause, mistreat detained persons and attack civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate tanks and machine gun fire,” the investigators said.

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By heterochromatic, February 26, 2012 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

vec——-perhaps you lived through the 1960s and remember the number of
Panthers who were killed by the pigs for no reason at all.

I don’t remember it as “many”.  I kinda remember that there were cops killed by
panthers for no reason at all as well.

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By vector56, February 26, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

During the turbulent 1960s at the height of the conflict between the Black Panther party and the US government there were those in the FBI who charged that the Panthers were Communist being secretly funded by the USSR or China!

Then (as now) being pulled over for DWB (Driving While Black) was the norm. Back then the Panther deployed bands of young Black Law students who would approach Black citizens pulled over by the Cops and inform them of there rights under the Law. Remember, this was the 60s; White Cops did not take to kindly to “Afro-wearing” young Black educated punks imposing themselves in their space! Many of these young people were gunned down by the Police.

The Panthers like most “red blooded” Americans where second amendment nuts; they cherished their right to bear arms. As this went on for awhile, many of the Panthers would show up when citizens were pulled over for DWB armed. I remember seeing with my own eyes (on TV) “rolling gun battles between the Panthers and the Police! Some Cops where killed, but many, many more Black Panthers where snuffed out and later assassinated in their homes by the FBI and Cops.

Now, consider this; what if the USSR and China had went to the UN Security counsel and asked permission to arm the Rebel group in America (Black Panthers) and send in Russian and Chinese “trainers ” to allow the Panthers a fighting chance? What if the UN allowed them to set up a “buffer zone” say in Cleavland or impose a “no-fly” zone over Detroit?

You see, this is what we have done in Libya, and are about to do in Syria. As bloody as both conflicts are/were they are still just as internal to those countries as the shoot outs between the Black Panthers and the Police were to America. During the riots we call out our military (National Guard) many times, in many cities to put down our own people.

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By heterochromatic, February 25, 2012 at 5:37 pm Link to this comment

vec—-”...falling in line and becoming nothing more
then “echo chambers” for the Democratic establishment.”

that’s tendency that recurs each time the possibility
of our being governed by one of the truly crazy-assed
Republicans rears its head.

as soon as Obama is re-elected, that’ll change
overnight.

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By diamond, February 25, 2012 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

“diamond: Your complexity surprises me!”

Why?

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By vector56, February 25, 2012 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

blogdog:

thanks for the link (vid); it is like a breath of fresh air to hear something other than the constant stream of pro-imperialism propaganda streaming out all of the corporate media; fake-liberal stations like MSNBC, NPR, and what now passes for Progressive talk radio (where is Mike Malloy)?

What worries me even more is I have notice many of the so-called Liberal web sites are falling in line and becoming nothing more then “echo chambers” for the Democratic establishment.

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By blogdog, February 25, 2012 at 12:59 am Link to this comment

analysis of the Tunisia Conference on Syria
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JILDg8okyp8#!

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By vector56, February 24, 2012 at 9:37 pm Link to this comment

“There is no more fierce opponent of democracy in the third world than America and they don’t like it happening at home much either.”

diamond: Your complexity surprises me!

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By blogdog, February 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm Link to this comment

RE: ...lack of credentialled journalists on the scene doing first-hand reports is just a mystery…

not so - no mystery - we learned that the Press Corps at the Rixos Hotel in Tripoli were mostly intelligence operatives, who not only were spinning out mendacious agitprop to the world 24/7, but were even using their smart phones to feed targeting coordinators to NATO HQ - in particular when taken on Gov.-led tours to show them the lack of evidence for so-called ‘atrocities’ that so-called ‘activists’ were reporting - on numerous occasions, NATO struck a site just after the so-called journos had left

Syrian Security learned a lot from Libya’s mistakes - particularly not to openly allow this sort of operation

in another thread, tic cited this: Q&A: Nir Rosen’s predictions for Syria http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2012/02/2012222101046608700.html

I read it and commented that his conclusion (Syria is crumbling before our eyes, and a thoroughly modern nation is likely to be set back many decades.) is correct and that it’s exactly what the global finance oligarchs want - by my estimation Rosen’s failure of analysis - certainly he too knows that Syrian’s enjoy more freedoms than any in the UAE (NATO’s accomplices in this mission to render Syria a failed state, in service to the oligarchs)

his failure to do so renders his commentary on the situation suspicious at best; complicit at worst - I have posted here another ‘in-depth’ report form the ground, wherein a Syrian is quoted:  “Don’t they realise our freedoms in Syria are the envy of other Arab countries – and impossible in Qatar?! If Bashar (Al Assad) goes, we will be lambs to the slaughter.” - http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3827746.html

What does that mean: Lambs to the slaughter? No mystery here either. One quick look at post-Gaddafi Libya answers it. A terrorist-dominated, no-man’s land and a puppet titular regime, ready to make any deal the globalists want.

I’ll say the same thing here I said to resident LEFT/LIB/PROGs about LIbya: You many not like Assad (as with Gaddafi), but what’s coming in the wake of NATO’s regime-change coup d’etat will be 10 times worse.

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By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 4:00 pm Link to this comment

balkas——-“remember the times when US MSM would show only rotund
russian women? and mostly older peasant or village women
wearing babushkas?”

no. Americans do not remember that.

what country were you in where they told you that about the US?


http://www.covershut.com/covers/From-Russia-With-Love-1963-RusianN-Front-
Cover-7002.jpg

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By diamond, February 24, 2012 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

“She brutally slaughtered 1.3 million Iraqi Men, Women and Children (“Operation Iraqi Freedom”); and yes, again she was not attacked!!!

Sounds like “the lady is a Tramp”?

She now (with the ground in Iraq still “soaked” with blood) licks her chops for the blood of Iran.

So, I agree with you diamond, allow this bitch to have her day in the World Court;  The Hague, anyone?”

Are you seriously suggesting that unless Bush and Cheney and for that matter Netanyahu are sent to the Hague (something I would love to see, but know will never happen) no one can say anything about the wholesale slaughter of civilians in Syria, carried out on the orders of its own government, not a foreign occupying force? Fortunately most people can walk and chew gum at the same time, something you don’t seem to know how to do.

You don’t have to tell me that America is a rogue nation and the biggest danger to democracy of all, I already know that. As Noam Chomsky wrote: ‘America’s terrorism is never discussed, by fiat’. That doesn’t mean we can look the other way and use weasel words to talk about Syria’s state terror against its own people. Or can pretend they’re such fools they don’t really want democracy, even though they’re getting their heads blown off trying to achieve it. America’s heart of darkness can never be an excuse for ignoring Assad’s heart of darkness. Politics is the art of the possible and while the American people believe the lies they’ve been fed since birth about their own history and their own government it won’t be possible to change America - and a lot of very rich people have a huge investment in making sure it never changes. Syria, however, can be changed and the more democracy there is in the world the less excuse America has to invade countries like Iraq and Afghanistan and kill millions of civilians. Every country in the Middle East should become a democracy and if they do, America will have to get its own house in order instead of kicking the door down in other people’s houses and shooting the occupants. There is no more fierce opponent of democracy in the third world than America and they don’t like it happening at home much either.

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By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 3:27 pm Link to this comment

vec, that other journalists have been killed does not make the deaths of these
people any less disturbing or excusable.


I’m the father of a journalist who covers conflict situations and t not someone
too keen on letting such shit slide.

http://www.indianexpress.com/news/french-journalist-hurt-in-syria-appeals-
for-evacuation/916369/


——-“A French reporter wounded in the Syrian government’s bombardment of
Homs made a video appeal late Thursday for a cease-fire and evacuation for
urgent medical attention.

“My leg is broken at the level of the femur, along its length and also
horizontally,” said the reporter, Edith Bouvier, in a video posted by
antigovernment activists. “I need to be operated upon as soon as possible.”

Bouvier, 31, on assignment for the French newspaper Le Figaro, was wounded
Wednesday in the same shelling attack that killed two Western journalists, Marie
Colvin of The Sunday Times and Rémi Ochlik, a French photographer.”

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By vector56, February 24, 2012 at 2:58 pm Link to this comment

“the blogdog was posting some silly quotation from some arse saying that all
the stories of the bloodshed were citations of “activists” .”

heterochromatic:

I almost feel guilty reaching for the obvious “low hanging fruit”, but here goes: the “Military-Insustrial-Corpoate-Media” (FOX, CNN, MSNBC, Current TV and it breaks my Liberal heart to say, even Democracy Now) all seem to pounce on the tragic killing of the journalist in Syria while the “monsters” who mocked their victims as they murdered them in cold blood (the pilots of Crazy Horse 18)in front of the world are still free:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rXPrfnU3G0

“Web site today released harrowing video of a U.S. Army Apache helicopter in Baghdad in 2007 repeatedly opening fire on a group of men that included a Reuters photographer and his driver—and then on a van that stopped to rescue one of the wounded men.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/04/05/wikileaks-exposes-video-o_n_525569.html

“Two crewmen share a laugh when a Bradley fighting vehicle runs over one of the corpses.

And after soldiers on the ground find two small children shot and bleeding in the van, one crewman can be heard saying: “Well, it’s their fault bringing their kids to a battle.”

The helicopter crew, which was patrolling an area that had been the scene of fierce fighting that morning, said they spotted weapons on members of the first group—although the video shows one gun, at most. The crew also mistook a telephoto lens for a rocket-propelled grenade.”

“The shooting, which killed Reuters photographer Namir Noor-Eldeen, 22, and driver Saeed Chmagh, 40, took place on July 12, 2007, in a southeastern neighborhood of Baghdad. “

During “Operation Iraqi Freedom”, more then a few of Al Jazeera’s reporters where killed by US Troops and their headquarters in Baghdad was targeted and blown up!

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By blogdog, February 24, 2012 at 10:53 am Link to this comment

RE: ...Assad…should go…

Syria’s ‘Arab Spring’: failed or hijacked?
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/3827746.html
by FIONA HILL (PhD Anthropology) - runs her own independent consultancy
assisting Australians’ interaction with the Arab region.

[...]


“What are your so-called Christian leaders in Australia thinking?” shrieked a
Christian woman in a candlelit Aleppo home. “Don’t they realise our freedoms
in Syria are the envy of other Arab countries – and impossible in Qatar?! If
Bashar (Al Assad) goes, we will be lambs to the slaughter.”


[...]

I have just returned from Syria. Like so many who care about what happens
there, I went because I wanted to see, listen, ask questions, overhear
conversations, watch dedicated 24-hour television propaganda channels (both
for and against the government), read graffiti, and experience what sort of
realities Syrians are now creating for themselves. There are daily flights out of
the UAE. My flight was full.

[...]

Syria’s National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change readily
joined other political and human rights activists in cooperating with the AL
Observer Mission, but they reject any contact with the expatriate Syrian
National Council or the Syrian Free Army of alleged defectors from the Syrian
security forces that is fed with arms via Lebanon and given refuge in Turkey.

Massive reform of the political process is non-controversial in Syrians’
conversation, but I could not find any Syrian with anything positive to say about
these two entities touted by the Western world as the best instruments for
political reform in Syria.

“Why would any country invite expatriates to form government?” Syrians kept
asking me with exasperation. “Why would any civilian population put their faith
in defected fighters with no discernible political platform?”

I spoke to Sunnis, Shias, and Christians, to Kurds, Arabs, Circassians, Assyrians
and Armenians. While many pointedly complimented the apparent good
character of the president (referred to at such times as ‘Dr Bashar Al Assad’) all
readily expressed in detail their disgust at poor governance for too long. In the
street, in shared taxi vans, in cafes, markets, and private homes the Syrians are
not afraid to talk politics any more. Indeed they seemed particularly anxious to
do so. But their mood is pessimistic. “Whatever revolution there was is now
destroyed by armed criminals and their masters,” sighed a Sunni man wearily.

[...]

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By heterochromatic, February 24, 2012 at 10:47 am Link to this comment

Asad WILL go, slowly or quickly. it all depends on how soon the neighboring
nations grow sick at watching Assad’s goon kill Syrians and anybody reporting
the killing.

http://www.truthdig.com/cartoon/item/candle_20120224/

the blogdog was posting some silly quotation from some arse saying that all
the stories of the bloodshed were citations of “activists” . 

I gues that the lack of credentialled journalists on the scene doing first-hand
reports is just a mystery to the dog.

Report this

By balkas, February 24, 2012 at 7:38 am Link to this comment

remember the times when US MSM would show only rotund
russian women? and mostly older peasant or village women
wearing babushkas?
and guess how so many american women looked then and now?
now imagine how much MSM lied and lies about libya, syria,
palestina, iraq, korea, s.e. asia, central america, chile, venezuela,
cuba, sudan, somalia….

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PatrickHenry's avatar

By PatrickHenry, February 23, 2012 at 7:51 pm Link to this comment

Assad is no Angel and deserves to go but violating UN rules regarding regime change is not the way to do it. 

Contrary to this article there are other news sources which offer a different story.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_og7vN61tMA

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By blogdog, February 23, 2012 at 6:44 pm Link to this comment

Syria: Seeking a Convenient Casus Belli
Alleged death of two Western journalists in Syria used to dance around UNSC
veto.
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/02/syria-convenient-casus-belli.html
commentary by Tony Cartalucci

February 22, 2012 - You are an embattled nation with the entire world
watching. Your allies Russia and China just made a major decision at the UN
Security Council in your favor with much of their reputation and future at stake.
Western propagandists have been relentlessly making up news stories
regarding your nation no matter what you do, for nearly a year, starting with
“Gay Girl in Damascus” who Syrian activists insisted was still real even after
doubts began to surface, and leading up to daily reports from “activists say”
coming out of London, England.

Your choices: continue a campaign to restore order in Homs which is admittedly
overrun by cross-border militants and foreign terrorists operating with NATO
support and arms, fighting under the banner of the “Free Syrian Army.” Or,
spend your time instead purposefully killing women and children in front of
British and French journalists before plotting over easily-intercepted radios
their spectacular deaths in front of a watching world?

Quite clearly there is something wrong with this narrative being given to us by
the West, who have established themselves by a comfortable margin as serial
liars. Iraq lost a million sons and daughters to these lies. Libya likewise was
portrayed as a nation “massacring civilians” when it is now clear these “civilians”
were US State Department-listed terrorists of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group
who are now conducting nationwide murder sprees.

[...]

continued
http://landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2012/02/syria-convenient-casus-belli.html

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By vector56, February 23, 2012 at 6:41 pm Link to this comment

“Assad’s move towards democracy? You must be joking. How can murdering children, journalists and unarmed civilians and torturing wounded dissidents in hospitals be a move towards anything but a Fascist dictatorship?”

diamond!

“Assad’s father murdered 30,000 of his own people when they previously rose up and demanded democracy so how many does his son have to murder before you admit he’s no more interested in democracy than his father was?”

diamond!!

“And the worst of it is, you know all this but you’re perfectly happy to lie for a serial killer and pretend he’s a democrat and that those who really want democracy and are prepared to die for it are criminals and can be killed by the state. “

DIAMOND!!!

Take it down a notch buddy! Basically, what you are saying is that after committing what we shall call “crimes against humanity” a government or country could forfeit it’s very right to exist?  I feel your pain brother/sister; and I agree.

America, the “not so beautiful:

She was born of Human Slavery and kept it going for about 200 years.

She forced “millions” of the Natives to “give up the ghost”; the small pox blankets for the children were a nice touch.

Odds are you are saying these events happen long ago and America has grown up and become a real “lady”; she does not do that “nasty” stuff any more!

She put 1.2 Koreans to death; a country that did not attack her.

She ended the lives of 3.5 million Vietnamese for daring to chose an economic system different from her own. Another country that did not attack her.

She just recently reached in (Operation Desert Storm) and snuffed out 800,000 Iraqi soldiers as an after thought; to reinstate rulers who did not allow their people to vote (Kuwait). Again she was not attacked.

She brutally slaughtered 1.3 million Iraqi Men, Women and Children (“Operation Iraqi Freedom”); and yes, again she was not attacked!!!

Sounds like “the lady is a Tramp”?

She now (with the ground in Iraq still “soaked” with blood) licks her chops for the blood of Iran.

So, I agree with you diamond, allow this bitch to have her day in the World Court;  The Hague, anyone?

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By Amon Drool, February 23, 2012 at 4:06 pm Link to this comment

well, i’m resigned.  this situation can only end in a
bloodbath.  the best i can hope for is that it stays
within syria.  just hope the rooskies don’t draw a line
here.  hope they save their power for defense of
iran..i’m not quite ready for a fuck-all WW3 yet

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By blogdog, February 23, 2012 at 3:17 pm Link to this comment

ARK delivers more agitprop - MORRIS (reports based directly from the ground, not empire-controlled propaganda organs AP, Reuters, CNN, NYT, et al)  posted this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_og7vN61tMA&feature=uploademail

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By diamond, February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm Link to this comment

“Here is Obama’s response to Assad’s move toward democracy: “It’s actually quite laughable–it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.”

Assad’s move towards democracy? You must be joking. How can murdering children, journalists and unarmed civilians and torturing wounded dissidents in hospitals be a move towards anything but a Fascist dictatorship? Assad’s father murdered 30,000 of his own people when they previously rose up and demanded democracy so how many does his son have to murder before you admit he’s no more interested in democracy than his father was? He will never move towards democracy: what he will do is make meaningless public gestures while his stormtroopers continue murdering their fellow countrymen on his orders. And the worst of it is, you know all this but you’re perfectly happy to lie for a serial killer and pretend he’s a democrat and that those who really want democracy and are prepared to die for it are criminals and can be killed by the state.

Report this

By FRTothus, February 23, 2012 at 12:49 pm Link to this comment

Washington’s Ministry of Truth
Silencing the Critics
by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

(excerpts)

...

What the Ministry of Truth calls “peaceful protesters brutalized by Assad’s military” are in fact rebels armed and financed by Washington.  Washington has fomented a civil war. Washington claims its intention is to rescue the oppressed and abused Syrian people from Assad, just as Washington rescued the oppressed and abused Libyan people from Gaddafi. Today “liberated” Libya is a shell of its former self terrorized by clashing militias. Thanks to Obama, another country has been destroyed.

Reports of atrocities committed against Syrian civilians by the military could be true, but the reports come from the rebels who desire Western intervention to put them into power. Moreover, how would these civilian casualties differ from the ones inflicted on Bahraini civilians by the US supported Bahraini government, the military of which was fortified by Saudi Arabian troops? There is no outcry in the western press about Washington’s blind eye to civilian atrocities committed by its puppet states.

How do the Syrian atrocities, if they are real, differ from Washington’s atrocities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo prison, and secret CIA prison sites?  Why is the american Ministry of Truth silent about these massive, unprecedented, violations of human rights?

...
Washington set its puppet Arab League upon Syria in order to establish Syria’s isolation among its own kind, the better to attack Syria. Assad forestalled Washington’s set-up of Syria for destruction by calling a nationwide referendum on February 26 to establish a new constitution that would extend the prospect of rule beyond the Ba’athists (Assad’s party).

One might think that, if Washington and its Ministry of Truth really wanted democracy in Syria, Washington would get behind this gesture of good will by the ruling party and endorse the referendum.  But Washington does not want a democratic Syrian government.  Washington wants a puppet state.  Washington’s response is that the dastardly Assad has outwitted Washington by taking steps toward Syrian democracy before Washington can obliterate Syria and install a puppet.

Here is Obama’s response to Assad’s move toward democracy: “It’s actually quite laughable–it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.

Obama, the neoconservatives, and Tel Aviv are really pissed. If Washington and Tel Aviv can figure out how to get around Russia and China and overthrow Assad, Washington and Tel Aviv will put Assad on trial as a war criminal for proposing a democratic referendum.

Washington and Tel Aviv have demonized Assad for refusing to be their puppet.  Another sore point is the Russian naval base at Tartus. Washington is desperate to evict the Russians from their only Mediterranean base in order to make the Mediterranean an american lake. Washington, inculcated with neocon visions of world empire, wants its own mare nostrum.

Russia and China are slow learners. However, when Washington and its NATO puppets abused the “no-fly” UN resolution concerning Libya and violated the UN resolution by turning it into armed military aggression against Libya’s armed forces, which had every right to put down a CIA sponsored rebellion, Russia and China finally got the message that Washington could not be trusted.

This time Russia and China did not fall into Washington’s trap. They vetoed the UN Security Council’s set-up of Syria for military attack.  Now Washington and Tel Aviv (it is not always clear which is the puppet and which is the puppet master) have to decide whether to proceed in the face of Russian and Chinese opposition.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2012/02/22/silencing-the-critics/

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