Jerry Jackson

Posts Tagged ‘Iran’

Russian Warships Enter Syrian Waters To Prevent NATO Attack

In Activism, Human Rights, Military, NATO, Russia, Syria, World News on November 18, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Moscow in aggressive move to stop another “humanitarian intervention”

Warships Enter Syrian water to prevent NATO-led attack

Russian Warship

Russian warships have entered Syrian territorial waters in an aggressive move designed to prevent any NATO-led attack on the country under the guise of a “humanitarian intervention”.

“Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest,” reports Haaretz.

Russia has stepped up efforts to defend Syria in recent days, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov keen to frame the violence in the country as a civil war in defiance of claims by western powers that President Bashar al-Assad has overseen a bloody crackdown on innocent protesters.

As we saw prior to the attack on Libya, which was also framed as a “humanitarian intervention,” NATO powers are keen to demonize Assad’s government by characterizing attacks by his forces as atrocities while largely ignoring similar attacks by opposition forces, such as this week’s raid on a Syrian air force intelligence complex that killed or wounded 20 security police.


U.S. State Department spokesman Mark Toner rejects Russia’s claim that Syria is in a civil war, stating, “We believe it’s very much the Assad regime carrying out a campaign of violence, intimidation, and repression against innocent protesters.”

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Of course, we heard similar rhetoric even as NATO-backed Al-Qaeda rebels were commandeerng fighter jets and firing rocket-propelled grenades in Libya, actions also undertaken by “innocent protesters,” we were told at the time.

As we have previously reported, despite overwhelming speculation that Iran will be the next target of a military assault, Syria is the likeliest target for the next salvo of NATO-backed regime change.

Continue reading article ‘Russian Warships Enter Syrian Waters To Prevent NATO Attack‘, at Global Freedom Technology Firm.


Why is Hillary Not Defending the Rights of Saudis to Protest?

In Activism, Human Rights, Society, World News on March 9, 2011 at 12:23 am


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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been exhaustively in front of cameras promoting the right for people to protest in Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Libya.  She’s been touting the freedom to use social networking sites as a way for Arab people to organize against their oppressive regimes.  Now, the Administration is even considering arming the opposition in Libya.

Clinton’s perpetual propaganda efforts exposed her blatant hypocrisy when a silent peaceful protester was violently removed from one of her recent speeches on the very subject. However, the hypocrisy now seems to go much deeper in her deafening silence over the prospect for protests in Saudi Arabia.

After Human Rights Watch revealed that a nationwide “Day of Rage” protest had been planned in Saudi Arabia for this week, March 11th, Bloomberg reported that the Saudi government claims that demonstrations and marches are “strictly” prohibited by law.  A Saudi Interior Ministry official said protests “contradict Islamic values” and “They harm public interest, infringe on the rights of others, spread chaos and lead to bloodshed.”

This prohibition of popular dissent proves beyond a shadow of doubt that Saudi Arabia is indeed the most tyrannical authoritarian regime in the Arab world.  Yet, U.S. Administration officials have been strangely silent about supporting the people’s uprising there.

Perhaps they think the protests won’t be large enough to warrant a response.  Well, that certainly did stop their best propaganda push to stoke the puny protests in Iran, so the size or ferocity of unrest shouldn’t matter to their exploits of supposedly backing human freedom.  And one would think that given what has happened to oil prices due to the unrest in Libya and Egypt, even a minor protest in the largest oil-producing dictatorship in the world would draw more public response from the White House.

Or perhaps the Administration believes that the hastily-crafted $35 billion social aid package ordered by King Abdullah will be enough to tamp down escalating tensions in Saudi Arabia.  So far, there have only been reports of small Shiite protests in Saudi Arabia, mostly demanding the release of political prisoners held by the Sunni monarchy.

These protests would seem to be very minor in comparison to the sea of people revolting in Cairo. However, the revolutionary whispers must clearly be getting louder as the Saudi stock market plummeted 11% in just two days of wild trading to its 7-year low on fears of civil unrest.  It’s noteworthy that the plunge was reportedly led by large banks and insurers.

If Clinton is to stand by her new-found rhetoric, certainly she’ll call for restraint on the part of the Saudi government should a protest erupt, right?  And surely she’ll demand that the kings of Internet censorship in the Arab world, Saudi Arabia, will open communication channels so the people can freely unite, right?  And if push comes to shove in Saudi Arabia, she’ll definitely support arming the people’s opposition to the royal family, right?  Eh hum . . . don’t count on it.

Regardless, many analysts believe the Saudi regime is the next to fall with or without the prodding of the U.S.

 


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The Fourth Amendment is Going Dark

In Internet Censorship on February 19, 2011 at 4:42 pm


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In 1994 the FBI decided it needed a surveillance system built into the telephone network to enable it to listen to any conversation with the flip of a switch. Congress obliged by passing the Communication Assistance to Law Enforcement Act (CALEA), forcing the telecoms to rebuild their networks to be “wiretap ready.” Seventeen years later, law enforcement is asking to expand CALEA to include the Internet, claiming that its investigative abilities are “going dark” because people are increasingly communicating online.

The parameters of this proposal are very unclear, but some scary ideas have been bandied around.

Expanding CALEA would force companies to re-engineer all of their communications software to have a surveillance back door that could be easily accessed by law enforcement. This back door would apply to every form of peer-to-peer communication; from email, to social networking, to video games. The government would have to get a search warrant to utilize the back door, but imagine a world where the government required every home to be built with cameras and microphones pre-installed. Even knowing they could only be “tapped” after probable cause was established, how comfortable would you be?
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Then there is the message this would send to the rest of the world. If this comes to pass, other governments — including repressive regimes like China and Iran — could follow suit, justifiably claiming they were just following our lead. We have seen the role the Internet can play in human rights movements, such as the Green Revolution and the recent demonstrations in Egypt. These would not have been possible if the Internet did not allow for private and anonymous communication.

Nor is it clear this is necessary. Current law provides more than sufficient means for law enforcement to demand assistance of anyone — from a landlord to an internet service provider — in executing a wiretap order. Any company that refused to comply could be held in contempt of court.

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Applying CALEA to online communications would be a sweeping expansion of law enforcement surveillance powers that is unnecessary and chills our First and Fourth Amendment rights. Many of the civil liberties benefits of the Internet — ability to read provocative materials, associate with non-mainstream groups, and voice dissenting opinions — are based on the assumption of practical anonymity. If a surveillance structure is built into the Internet, individuals will lose the freedom and openness that has allowed the Internet to thrive.

Tell Congress to oppose any effort to make the Internet wiretap ready.

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