outubro 30, 2007

"O rei saudita Abdullah voou para nos dar um palestra sobre terrorismo", in The Independent, 30 de Outubro de 2007

por Robert Fisk

In what world do these people live? True, there'll be no public executions outside Buckingham Palace when His Royal Highness rides in stately formation down The Mall. We gave up capital punishment about half a century ago. There won't even be a backhander – or will there? – which is the Saudi way of doing business. But for King Abdullah to tell the world, as he did in a BBC interview yesterday, that Britain is not doing enough to counter "terrorism", and that most countries are not taking it as seriously as his country is, is really pushing it. Weren't most of the 11 September 2001 hijackers from – er – Saudi Arabia? Is this the land that is really going to teach us lessons?

The sheer implausibility of the claim that Saudi intelligence could have prevented the ondon bombings if only the British Government had taken it seriously, seems to have passed the Saudi monarch by. "We have sent information to Great Britain before the terrorist attacks in Britain but unfortunately no action was taken. And it may have been able to maybe avert the tragedy," he told the BBC. This claim is frankly incredible.

The sad, awful truth is that we fete these people, we fawn on them, we supply them with fighter jets, whisky and whores. No, of course, there will be no visas for this reporter because Saudi Arabia is no democracy. Yet how many times have we been encouraged to think otherwise about a state that will not even allow its women to drive? Kim Howells, the Foreign Office minister, was telling us again yesterday that we should work more closely with the Saudis, because we "share values" with them. And what values precisely would they be, I might ask?

Saudi Arabia is a state which bankrolled – a definite no-no this for discussion today – Saddam's legions as they invaded Iran in 1980 (with our Western encouragement, let it be added). And which said nothing – a total and natural silence – when Saddam swamped the Iranians with gas. The Iraqi war communiqué made no bones about it. "The waves of insects are attacking the eastern gates of the Arab nation. But we have the pesticides to wipe them out."

Did the Saudi royal family protest? Was there any sympathy for those upon whom the pesticides would be used? No. The then Keeper of the Two Holy Places was perfectly happy to allow gas to be used because he was paying for it – components were supplied, of course, by the US – while the Iranians died in hell. And we Brits are supposed to be not keeping up with our Saudi friends when they are "cracking down on terrorism".

Like the Saudis were so brilliant in cracking down on terror in 1979 when hundreds of gunmen poured into the Great Mosque at Mecca, an event so mishandled by a certain commander of the Saudi National Guard called Prince Abdullah that they had to call in toughs from a French intervention force. And it was a former National Guard officer who led the siege.

Saudi Arabia's role in the 9/11 attacks has still not been fully explored. Senior members of the royal family expressed the shock and horror expected of them, but no attempt was made to examine the nature of Wahhabism, the state religion, and its inherent contempt for all representation of human activity or death. It was Saudi Muslim legal iconoclasm which led directly to the destruction of the Buddhas of Bamiyan by the Taliban, Saudi Arabia's friends. And only weeks after Kamal Salibi, a Lebanese history professor, suggested in the late 1990s that once-Jewish villages in what is now Saudi Arabia might have been locations in the Bible, the Saudis sent bulldozers to destroy the ancient buildings there.

In the name of Islam, Saudi organisations have destroyed hundreds of historic structures in Mecca and Medina and UN officials have condemned the destruction of Ottoman buildings in Bosnia by a Saudi aid agency, which decided they were "idolatrous". Were the twin towers in New York another piece of architecture which Wahhabis wanted to destroy?

Nine years ago a Saudi student at Harvard produced a remarkable thesis which argued that US forces had suffered casualties in bombing attacks in Saudi Arabia because American intelligence did not understand Wahhabism and had underestimated the extent of hostility to the US presence in the kingdom. Nawaf Obaid even quoted a Saudi National Guard officer as saying "the more visible the Americans became, the darker I saw the future of the country". The problem is that Wahhabi puritanism meant that Saudi Arabia would always throw up men who believe they had been chosen to "cleanse" their society from corruption, yet Abdul Wahhab also preached that royal rulers should not be overthrown. Thus the Saudis were unable to confront the duality, that protection-and-threat that Wahhabism represented for them.

Prince Bandar, formerly Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Washington, once characterised his country's religion as part of a "timeless culture" while a former British ambassador advised Westerners in Saudi Arabia to "adapt" and "to act with the grain of Saudi traditions and culture".

Amnesty International has appealed for hundreds of men – and occasionally women – to be spared the Saudi executioner's blade. They have all been beheaded, often after torture and grossly unfair trials. Women are shot.

The ritual of chopping off heads was graphically described by an Irish witness to a triple execution in Jeddah in 1997. "Standing to the left of the first prisoner, and a little behind him, the executioner focused on his quarry ... I watched as the sword was being drawn back with the right hand. A one-handed back swing of a golf club came to mind ... the down-swing begins ... the blade met the neck and cut through it like ... a heavy cleaver cutting through a melon ... a crisp moist smack. The head fell and rolled a little. The torso slumped neatly. I see now why they tied wrists to feet ... the brain had no time to tell the heart to stop, and the final beat bumped a gush of blood out of the headless torso on to the plinth."

And you can bet they won't be talking about this at Buckingham Palace today.
JPTF 2007/10/30

outubro 28, 2007

"Irá George W. Bush realmente bombardear o Irão?" in Times, 28 de Outubro de 2007

In the white desert sands of New Mexico, close to where the first atom bomb was detonated, America’s biggest conventional weapon was tested last spring. A 30,000lb massive ordnance penetrator, known as the Big Blu or the Mother of All Bombs, was placed inside a tunnel to test its explosive power against hard, deeply buried bunkers and tunnels designed to conceal weapons of mass destruction.

The monster bunker-buster was so heavy, it could not fly. But the blast was a huge success, rippling through the tunnels and destroying everything in its wake.

Today the Big Blu might as well have “Tehran” written on its side in the same way that the Iranians love to parade missiles marked “Tel Aviv”. Tucked away in an emergency defence spending request, the US air force has just asked Congress for $88m to equip B2 stealth bombers, the black warriors of the skies, with racks strong enough carry the huge bomb.

This was no casual request, but an “urgent operational need from theatre commanders”, according to the air force. Even a Republican congressman fretted: “This whole thing . . . reminds me of the movie Dr Strangelove.”

In the 1964 film starring Peter Sellers, a demented general launches a unilateral strike on the Soviet Union, convinced it is already stealthily undermining America. Global nuclear destruction ensues. THE end result might not be so grave, but are America’s B2s being readied for an attack on Iran? It would fit in neatly with President George W Bush’s recent warning about the dangers of a third world war, should Iran be allowed to obtain the “knowledge to make a nuclear weapon”.

Iran-watchers noted with interest the use of the word knowledge. Bush, it appeared, was determined to act well before the mullahs got anywhere close to an actual bomb.

Dick Cheney, the vice-president, piled on the pressure last week, calling Iran a “growing obstacle to peace in the Middle East” and vowing “serious consequences” if it persisted with its nuclear programme.

A senior Pentagon source, who remembers the growing drumbeat of war before the invasion of Iraq, believes Bush is preparing for military action before he leaves office in January 2009. “This is for real now. I think he is signalling he is going to do it,” he said.

But nobody is sure whether the president really will add a risky third front to the Afghan and Iraq wars that are already overstretching US forces.

“If you’d asked me a year ago, I’d have said yes,” said John Bolton, the hawkish former US ambassador to the United Nations. “Today I’d say, I don’t know.”

It is clear the military machinery for an attack is being put into place. More than 1,000 targets have been identified for a potential air blitz against Iran’s nuclear facilities, air defences and Revolutionary Guard bases, despite claims last week by Robert Gates, the defence secretary, that the planning was merely “routine”.

As for the urgent request for the Big Blu, it has “bombing Iran written all over it”, said John Pike, a defence expert at the think tank Globalsecurity.org.

Iran’s uranium enrichment halls at Natanz, about 150 miles south of Tehran, are buried 75ft deep, while there are believed to be nuclear sites buried under granite mountains in tunnels that are like the long roots of a tree. It is not enough to drop a smart bomb down a shaft – it has to have the capacity to blast sideways with massive force.

The question of timing is becoming ever more urgent, now that Bush has fewer than 15 months left in the White House. Confidants say he is determined not to bequeath the problem of a nuclear Iran to his successor and regards it as an important part of his legacy.

Although intelligence estimates vary as to when Iran will achieve the know-how for a bomb, the French government recently received a memo from the International Atomic Energy Agency stating that Iran will be ready to run almost 3,000 cen-trifuges in 18 cascades by the end of this month, in defiance of a UN ban on uranium enrichment. It is enough, say scientists, to produce one bomb within a year. If that is the case, the hour for action may soon be upon us.

Against this backdrop, the US public is growing acclimatised to the threat of war. As the saying in Washington goes, “Iran is the new Iraq”. While controversy over the Iraq war is fading in intensity – even for the 2008 presidential candidates – the problem of a nuclear Iran is rapidly moving up the political agenda.

David Miliband, the foreign secretary, was in Washington last week for talks with Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state. Shortly before heading back to Britain, he declared that, for the first time, Iraq was not “the top item” for discussion, a sign of the growing stability and success of the American troop surge.

According to a spokesman for US armed forces chiefs, there was not a single military casualty last week – Iraqi or American – in Anbar, formerly a hotbed of trouble.

In so far as Iraq is presented as a threat to international security, it is increasingly in connection to growing friction with Iran.

General David Petraeus, the US commander in Iraq, stated baldly last month that America was already fighting a proxy war with Iran, which is arming the sectarian militias and smuggling in weapons and sophisticated roadside bombs designed to kill American soldiers.

The US is building a forward base in Iraq called Combat Outpost Shocker just five miles from the Iranian border as a sign of its new aggressiveness against interference from President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s regime.

Bush’s decision to approve tough unilateral sanctions against Iran last week and to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard a terrorist organisation and proliferator of weapons of mass destruction marks a further escalation of the war of words and deeds with Tehran.

After Miliband was briefed on the move during his visit to Washington, Gordon Brown batted for America in the House of Commons by promising Britain would lead the effort to secure a tough sanctions resolution against Iran at the United Nations security council.

All the evidence appears to point in the direction of increasing diplomatic and military hostilities. As Robert Byrd, a Democrat member of the Senate armed services committee, put it, the action by the Bush administration “not only echoes the chest-pounding rhetoric” which preceded the invasion of Iraq in 2003, “but also raises the spectre of an intensified effort to make the case for an invasion of Iran”.

Yet a Downing street source said: “They are not at that stage.”

Could it all be an elaborate game of “chicken”, using the growing threat of an attack to force Ahmadinejad to back down on his nuclear ambitions?

Nick Burns, the State Department’s leading negotiator on Iran, said last week the imposition of new sanctions merely “supports the diplomacy and in no way, shape or form does it anticipate the use of force”.

Even the urgent request to fund the Big Blu may not be all that it seems. “We could be trying to turn up the volume to get the ayatollahs to pay attention,” said Pike. “It could be part of the diplomatic pressure to see if the Iranians will move voluntarily.”

If Ahmadinejad is to be believed, nothing will deter Iran from pursuing its nuclear programme, which he claims is for peaceful energy purposes while at the same time boasting that Israel will one day be wiped off the map.

In a surprise announcement, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, Ali Larijani, was replaced by Saeed Jalili, a hardliner close to the president. Confusingly, however, Larijani still appeared to lead last week’s talks in Rome with Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief.

“I found the same Larijani and he had the role of chief negotiator,” said Solana. It suggests a power struggle over the extent to which Iran can continue to thwart the West.

Until recently, most Iranians discounted the threat of an attack on the grounds that America had its hands full with Iraq, but their mood is altering. At gatherings in Tehran, the talk has turned to possible American bombing raids.

Ali Nazeri, 35, a shopkeeper in the Iranian capital, said: “The government says the Americans cannot do a damn thing, but they are also changing the leadership of the Revolutionary Guard and saying they will fire thousands of missiles at US targets within the first few minutes of a confrontation. I think it is a matter of putting two and two together and coming to the conclusion that war is very likely.”

In the wider Middle East, the conviction is growing that America is determined to launch an attack. Some well-placed Israeli and Palestinian sources suggest that next month’s Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, near Washington, could be the catapult for an ambitious plan to establish a Palestinian state and disarm Iran.

“The idea is to tie Palestine to Iran,” said an Israeli Middle East expert. “Israel will be obliged to accept the establishment of a Palestinian state within a short and firm timetable and the US administration will guarantee that the Iranian nuclear issue will be solved before Bush leaves office.”

If Israel is prepared to move towards the creation of a Palestinian state, the hope is that Sunni Arab regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt will not protest too loudly about a US attack on Iran, given their own private fears about the impact of a nuclear Iran on the balance of power in the region.

As with the Israeli bombing of a suspected Syrian nuclear site last month, they could simply stay mum. In theory, Bush could thus broker a settlement in the Middle East, while denuclearising Iran – a tempting legacy.

But such a “grand bargain” is far too delicate and complicated to be attempted, according to Washington sources, even if it provides a subtext for some of the negotiations. “We’re not smart enough for that,” Bolton said bluntly.

The most convincing explanation for the sabre-rattling is that Bush has embarked on a course of action that may lead to war, but there are many stages to pass, including the imposition of tougher sanctions, before he concludes a military strike on Iran is worth the risk. As his generals have warned, it could unleash a new round of terrorism, destabilise Iraq and send oil prices way above the $100-a-barrel mark.

If muscular diplomacy can stop the mullahs, so much the better. If it cannot, Bush may decide to launch an attack as one of the final acts of his presidency. The preparations are under way, but only he knows if he will make that fateful decision.

Additional reporting: Uzi Mahnaimi, Tel Aviv

The pros and cons of launching an attack on Iran

The arguments for

- Protects Israel from a potential nuclear holocaust. President Ahmadinejad has stated that Israel will be wiped off the map

- Reduces the risk to the West of a “dirty” bomb in big cities. Iran is a sponsor of terrorist groups such as Hezbollah

- Forestalls the development of Iranian long-range nuclear missiles aimed at Europe and America

- Prevents Iran from intimidating or attacking its Sunni Arab neighbours

- Creates the space for potential regime change and installation of a pro-western government in Tehran

The arguments against

- Sets back Iran’s nuclear ambitions by only a few years. US intelligence has not mapped out all the potential Iranian nuclear sites

- Unleashes a wave of attacks on Israel and the West by Hezbollah and other terrorist proxy groups Closes the Strait of Hormuz, sending oil prices soaring above $100 a barrel and possibly creating a global economic crisis

- Destabilises Iraq, plunging the country into a new round of terror, creating further regional instability

- Creates a global public relations disaster. Intensifies antiAmericanism which critics argue that President Bush has made worse. Fosters a new generation of fundamentalist militants and terrorists
JPTF 28/10/2007

outubro 27, 2007

Guy Hermet : "Uma liberdade falseada" in Le Monde, 25 de Outubro de 2007

Ancien directeur du Centre d'études et de recherches internationales (CERI) de Sciences Po, vous publiez L'Hiver de la démocratie ou le nouveau régime (Armand Colin, 230 p., 22,50 €). Un tableau sombre de l'état de nos "vieilles démocraties" où sévissent, selon vous, des formes insidieuses de contrôle des esprits...

Nous vivons dans une situation paradoxale. A priori, notre liberté est totale. Mais c'est une liberté faussée, soumise à une censure qui n'est pas extérieure, mais que nous avons tendance à intérioriser. Il y a des mots que l'on n'ose plus utiliser : voyez l'expression "souveraineté du peuple". Pourtant liée depuis toujours à l'idée de démocratie, elle fut d'abord placée en exergue du projet de Constitution européenne, avant d'être exclue de sa version finale. Il y a d'autres mots, à l'inverse, dont on use à tort et à travers au point de ne plus savoir de quoi on parle, comme "citoyen" ou "républicain". Notre liberté de parole est de plus en plus encadrée par une sorte de préservatif lexical qui garantit la "bonne" pensée. Nous ne nous en rendons pas forcément compte, d'ailleurs. Cela me fait penser à la "novlangue" évoquée par George Orwell dans 1984.

Orwell imaginait cette "novlangue" comme un instrument de propagande forgé par des Etats totalitaires. Le rapprochement n'est-il pas exagéré ?

La différence principale entre les démocraties et les totalitarismes est que cet endoctrinement par la langue ne vient plus d'en haut. Encore que... Prenez la France : depuis la loi Gayssot (1990), qui sanctionne la négation des crimes contre l'humanité commis durant la seconde guerre mondiale, on a adopté d'autres lois qui prétendent dire ce qu'est la vérité historique, sur l'esclavage ou le génocide arménien, par exemple. Je ne dis pas que ce qui est dit par la loi est historiquement faux. Je constate simplement qu'on assiste au retour de la notion de "vérité officielle". Mais admettons : il est vrai que, dans nos démocraties, l'Etat n'est plus le seul lieu où se décide ce que l'on doit penser ou non. Les instances qui dispensent le "politiquement correct" sont diverses : les hommes politiques, les hauts fonctionnaires, les syndicats, les Eglises, les intellectuels, les journalistes... Ce qui m'inquiète, c'est qu'il est très difficile, en raison même de cet éclatement, de lutter contre la prolifération du prêt-à-penser.

Vous parlez à ce propos de "nouvel ordre moral". En quoi est-ce dangereux pour la démocratie ?

Il ne faut pas oublier que logos, en grec, signifie à la fois la parole et la raison. Ainsi, quand on crée de la confusion dans les mots, on "désinstruit" les gens, on sape l'esprit critique. Par exemple, je suis frappé - moi qui suis pourtant très proeuropéen - par le vocabulaire que distillent les instances communautaires : on parle de "gouvernance" plutôt que de "gouvernement", ou encore d'"ajustements sociaux" pour euphémiser ce qui conduit en fait au démantèlement de l'Etat-providence. Bref, un lexique anesthésiant qui tend à dépolitiser les problèmes, à masquer le caractère conflictuel de la réalité. La conséquence, c'est un appauvrissement de la pensée. Or la vraie démocratie réside dans la capacité qu'a le peuple de faire des choix. Il doit pour cela y voir clair. L'important est de retrouver cette capacité de résistance qu'offrent les mots.
JPTF 2007/10/27

outubro 26, 2007

"Erdoğan: É a Turquia e não os EUA quem decide atacar o PKK" in Zaman, 26 de Outubro de 2007

Ankara will not be influenced by US concerns when deciding whether to launch an incursion into northern Iraq to destroy bases of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) there, Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Thursday in Bucharest.

Meanwhile, a senior US official in Ankara on the same day said that Washington is working with Turkish and Iraqi authorities to free eight Turkish soldiers held hostage by the PKK.

Responding to questions from reporters during a visit to the Romanian capital, Erdoğan said he wanted the United States to act with Turkey, a NATO ally, against the PKK, without elaborating whether this meant a joint military operation. “Right now, as a strategic ally, the US is in a position to support us. We have supported them in Afghanistan,” he said.

Erdoğan noted that US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was welcome to voice hopes that Turkey would not overstep its border in its fight against the PKK.

But he added, “But any decision on the necessity of such an incursion belongs to us,” underlining that Ankara would have no hesitation in launching an attack against PKK bases in northern Iraq if the situation demanded it.

The prime minister drew a comparison to the US-led military intervention in Iraq. “Are people not asking themselves what the Americans are doing in Iraq, 10,000 kilometers from home?”

“I’m bothered [by the PKK]. What are the Americans bothered about in Iraq?” Erdoğan questioned. “Our security forces are determined to move as soon as the need arises. Our target is the terrorist organization, the PKK, not civilians or the entire territory of Iraq, he told a joint news conference with Romanian Premier Calin Popescu-Tariceanu.

Erdoğan also stressed that he thought that the Iraqis “won’t continue to shelter this organization which has found refuge in northern Iraq.”

Turkish nationalist opposition parties have accused Erdoğan and his government of being too soft on terrorism and of being swayed by US pressure not to send troops into Iraq. Anti-US sentiment has soared in Turkey over the past few years due to Washington’s refusal to crack down on the PKK, which uses northern Iraq as a launching pad for attacks on Turkish targets, despite the fact that the PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the US capital and likewise a large majority of the international community.

In Washington, the US State Department said on Wednesday that Rice will visit Turkey next week in a new diplomatic push to reduce tensions between Turkey and Iraq over the PKK. Rice will be in Turkey on Nov. 2-3 for meetings with President Abdullah Gül and Erdoğan, said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

Rice told US legislators she had appealed for restraint from Turkey but stressed it was Iraq’s responsibility to prevent PKK terrorists from using northern Iraq as a springboard for attacks into Turkey. “We have said to the Turks that a major incursion into Iraq is only going to cause further instability. What we have encouraged is joint work [between Turkey and Iraq],” Rice said.

After her visit to Ankara for meetings with government leaders, Rice is set to travel to Istanbul for a ministerial conference on Iraq, attended by Iraq’s neighbors as well as major powers.

Turkey, which has NATO’s second biggest army, has amassed close to 100,000 troops along its mountainous border with Iraq, backed up by tanks, artillery, warplanes and helicopters, for a possible large-scale incursion.

Speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of NATO defense ministers on Wednesday, Pentagon chief Robert Gates has said he saw little sense in air strikes or major ground assaults by US, Turkish or other forces against the PKK in northern Iraq until more is known about their locations along the border.

“Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border [from Turkey] or dropping bombs doesn’t seem to make much sense to me,” Gates said, when asked to assess the prospects of the US military launching air strikes in support of Turkey’s efforts against the PKK. The defense secretary was questioned about whether his sense of the limitations on effective military action applied to the US as well as Turkish strikes. “For anybody,” he answered.

An Iraqi delegation led by Defense Minister Abdel Qader Mohammed Jassim arrived in Ankara on Thursday afternoon seeking to avert a Turkish military incursion. Turkish officials described the talks as “final chance” for a diplomatic solution. The eight-member delegation included Iraq’s intelligence chief and senior officials from the Iraqi interior and foreign ministries. It also included two representatives of the two major Iraqi Kurdish parties in northern Iraq. US ambassador in Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, said diplomats at the US Embassy also joined the Iraqi delegation but did not say which members of the embassy staff were dispatched to Ankara.

US says working to free hostage Turkish soldiers

In Ankara, a senior US official said on Thursday that the United States is “doing what it can” to obtain the release of eight Turkish troops captured Sunday by the PKK after an ambush in which 12 other soldiers were killed.

“My government is appalled by the recent attack. We are doing what we can, working with the Turkish government and the Iraqi government to make sure that the remaining hostages are freed,” Matthew Bryza, the deputy assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, said in a speech delivered at a top-level gathering of the 12-member Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation (BSEC) hosted in Ankara by term president Turkey.

“We’ve made a whole series of commitments on eliminating the PKK terrorist threat. We mean it. We’ll deliver on those promises. We are working on it ... with the Turkish government and the Iraqi government,” Bryza said. “We know we need to produce concrete results,” he added.
JPTF 2007/10/26

outubro 25, 2007

"Extremistas turcos semeiam a confusão em Bruxelas" in Courrier International, 25 de Outubro de 2007

Environ 600 Turcs, qui s'étaient passé le mot par SMS, ont violemment manifesté, le mercredi 24 octobre, dans les rues de Bruxelles. "Une manifestation pour laquelle aucune autorisation n'avait été demandée et qui s'inscrit dans le contexte du conflit entre la Turquie et l'Irak à propos du Parti des travailleurs du Kurdistan (PKK) ainsi que dans des relents de rejet à l'égard des Arméniens", rapporte La Libre Belgique, qui pointe l'activisme des Loups gris, la principale mouvance turque d'extrême droite. Des groupes, "très mobiles, attiraient les policiers dans telle rue, tel carrefour, devant un lieu arménien ou kurde, en incendiant un conteneur ou une voiture, puis refluaient à l'approche des pelotons, parfois sous les jets à haute pression des arroseuses", raconte le quotidien. Bilan : quelques blessés, dont des policiers, des dégradations et une centaine d'arrestations. Dimanche, déjà, plusieurs dizaines de manifestants s'en étaient pris à des lieux arméniens et kurdes, à l'ambassade des Etats-Unis et à un journaliste indépendant d'origine turque, Mehmet Koksal, qui est également le correspondant de Courrier international en Belgique. Il livre ici son témoignage.

Mehmet Koksal, que s'est-il passé dimanche ?

Dès la fin de la semaine dernière, il y eut une campagne en Turquie pour les soldats "martyrs", tués dans des combats avec le PKK. Cette campagne a été suivie par les médias turcs en Belgique. Les radios ont remplacé les émissions de divertissement par des émissions spéciales en hommage aux "martyrs", les sites internet ont lancé des appels à la mobilisation. Il serait naïf de croire que tout cela est spontané.

Dimanche, j'ai reçu un appel me prévenant d'une manifestation à Bruxelles, je suis allé voir. Comme je le raconte sur mon blog (allochtone.be), les manifestants ont arraché un drapeau devant l'ambassade américaine et certains se sont mis à crier : "Yak, yak !", ce qui veut dire "Brûle, brûle !" Et pendant que je prends des notes, un manifestant me reconnaît et m'insulte. Je suis connu comme quelqu'un qui n'aime pas les nationalistes turcs. Je suis considéré comme un traître, notamment parce que je me suis prononcé pour la reconnaissance du génocide arménien et que j'ai critiqué le double discours des élus d'origine turque en Belgique. Je collabore à plusieurs médias, La Tribune de Bruxelles, Point critique, une revue de l'Union des progressistes juifs de Belgique, Resistances.be, et mon blog est très lu par les journalistes et les politiques. Une vingtaine de personnes m'ont sauté dessus, m'ont frappé à coups de poing et à coups de pied. Un manifestant a fini par me tirer de là en me disant : "Casse-toi", puis des policiers m'ont mis dans une voiture banalisée et m'ont laissé devant le Parlement, un peu plus loin.

Quelles sont les réactions en Belgique ?

Pour ce qui est de la manifestation, la presse belge a fait des comptes rendus, et les manifestants ont continué leur campagne sur Internet. L'ambassadeur de Turquie a publié un communiqué appelant les jeunes à ne pas céder à la provocation. C'est bizarre, ce sont plutôt eux qui font de la provocation, c'est une autre lecture des faits. Mais je n'ai jamais entendu l'ambasssadeur condamner ce genre d'acte.

En ce qui me concerne, l'Association des journalistes professionnels (AJP) a publié un communiqué dénonçant la non-assistance à personne en danger de la part des services de police. Quand j'ai commencé à être agressé, j'ai demandé à des policiers de m'ouvrir la porte d'une de leurs voitures, mais ils ne l'ont pas fait. Plus par peur, je pense, que par manque de volonté. Aujourd'hui, Reporters sans frontières a également publié un communiqué. Je reçois des menaces, sur des sites Internet de Turcs de Belgique, sur mon e-mail aussi. Il y a des insultes et des commentaires agressifs sur mon blog. Ils font monter la pression, mais je ne suis pas du tout impressionné. Je suis plus inquiet pour mon entourage.
JPTF 2007/10/25

outubro 24, 2007

"Detidos em Burgos seis membros de uma célula islamista" in El Pais, 24 de Outubro de 2007

La Guardia Civil ha detenido hoy en la provincia de Burgos a seis integrantes de un grupo de extremistas islamistas que presuntamente colaboraba en el fomento de la "yihad" (guerra santa) en diferentes escenarios internacionales, especialmente en Irak.

Según informa el Ministerio del Interior, el grupo desarticulado desarrollaba reuniones clandestinas, recaudación de fondos que enviaban a terroristas encarcelados, proselitismo extremista y apología del terrorismo, la captación y adoctrinamiento de posibles "mujahidines" y la obtención y difusión de material audiovisual y propaganda yihadista.

Gran parte de esta actividad se llevaba a cabo a través de foros y charlas digitales restringidas de internet, lo que pone en evidencia que la célula desarticulada constituía la primera trama detectada y desarticulada en España seguidora e impulsora de yjihad mundial a través de la red.

En España, el grupo estaba liderado por el objetivo principal de la operación, Abdelkader Ayachine, de origen argelino, y su lugarteniente Wissan Lotfi, de origen marroquí, y cohesionado ideológicamente con los fundamentos del salafismo yihadista, tal y como admitían sus componentes, identificándose a sí mismos como Los Ansar, clara referencia a algunas de las organizaciones terroristas que operan en Irak.

A lo largo de la investigación han apareciendo diversas vinculaciones con países extranjeros, y se ha contado con la colaboración de Agencias de Seguridad e Inteligencia de diferentes países, entre ellos Suecia, Estados Unidos o Dinamarca.

En la operación, que continúa abierta, se están practicando seis registros domiciliarios, así como el de una carnicería regentada por miembros de la célula, en los que ya se ha intervenido numerosa documentación, varios ordenadores y material informático, el cual ya está siendo estudiado.
JPTF 2007/10/24

outubro 23, 2007

Jogos de Guerra 5 - Turquia: "Alá quer esta guerra" in Der Spiegel online, 23 de Outubro

The mood in Turkey is becoming increasingly jingoistic as thousands take to the streets, calling for war against the Kurdish rebel organization PKK and an invasion of northern Iraq. But Baghdad has promised to curb the Kurds.

Anger drives them on to the streets, anger provoked by the images of dead soldiers shown on Turkish television. Thousands of demonstrators walk along Istiklal Caddesi, or Independence Avenue, Istanbul's longest shopping street. They are calling for war: War against the Kurds, against the PKK, against Iraq. "We have waited long enough," reads one poster. "Allah wants this war," is the message on another.

People have been protesting throughout the country since Sunday evening, after it was revealed that rebels from the Kurdish separatist organization the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had killed 12 Turkish soldiers in eastern Turkey. It is mainly young people who take to the streets, with Turkish flags in their hands, whistles in their mouths and hatred in their eyes.
"We have waited long enough," says Erkan, a young car mechanic from Istanbul. "It's time to strike." His face is pale and his right hand is clenched in a fist. "We are all Turks, we are all soldiers!" he calls. Many of the demonstrators sympathize with the right-wing youth organization the Gray Wolves. Their message to the Kurds is clear: Admit you are Turkish, or die.

The PKK, which has bases in the mountains of northern Iraq, has been fighting for decades for an independent Kurdistan. But the attacks of recent weeks were the heaviest in a long time. Last Wednesday, the Turkish parliament approved -- by an overwhelming majority -- a measure (more...) which clears the way for a military incursion into northern Iraq.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still hesitating, though, not least after the personal intervention (more...) of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. But Erdogan said Tuesday that Turkey couldn't wait indefinitely for the Iraqi government to act against the PKK. "We cannot wait forever," he said during a visit to the UK for talks with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown. "We have to make our own decisions."

Brown said Britain was working with Turkey on "all efforts that are necessary so that terrorists cannot move from Iraq into Turkey." The UK, like the US, is keen to stop Turkey invading northern Iraq, fearing the destabilization of the region.
Artigo integral em http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,513071,00.html
JPTF 23/10/2007

Jogos de Guerra 4 - "Declínio abrupto da produção de petróleo aumenta o risco de guerra, diz estudo" in Guardian 23 de Outubro de 2007

World oil production has already peaked and will fall by half as soon as 2030, according to a report which also warns that extreme shortages of fossil fuels will lead to wars and social breakdown.

The German-based Energy Watch Group will release its study in London today saying that global oil production peaked in 2006 - much earlier than most experts had expected. The report, which predicts that production will now fall by 7% a year, comes after oil prices set new records almost every day last week, on Friday hitting more than $90 (£44) a barrel.

"The world soon will not be able to produce all the oil it needs as demand is rising while supply is falling. This is a huge problem for the world economy," said Hans-Josef Fell, EWG's founder and the German MP behind the country's successful support system for renewable energy.

The report's author, Joerg Schindler, said its most alarming finding was the steep decline in oil production after its peak, which he says is now behind us.

The results are in contrast to projections from the International Energy Agency, which says there is little reason to worry about oil supplies at the moment.

However, the EWG study relies more on actual oil production data which, it says, are more reliable than estimates of reserves still in the ground. The group says official industry estimates put global reserves at about 1.255 gigabarrels - equivalent to 42 years' supply at current consumption rates. But it thinks the figure is only about two thirds of that.

Global oil production is currently about 81m barrels a day - EWG expects that to fall to 39m by 2030. It also predicts significant falls in gas, coal and uranium production as those energy sources are used up.

Britain's oil production peaked in 1999 and has already dropped by half to about 1.6 million barrels a day.

The report presents a bleak view of the future unless a radically different approach is adopted. It quotes the British energy economist David Fleming as saying: "Anticipated supply shortages could lead easily to disturbing scenes of mass unrest as witnessed in Burma this month. For government, industry and the wider public, just muddling through is not an option any more as this situation could spin out of control and turn into a complete meltdown of society."

Mr Schindler comes to a similar conclusion. "The world is at the beginning of a structural change of its economic system. This change will be triggered by declining fossil fuel supplies and will influence almost all aspects of our daily life."

Jeremy Leggett, one of Britain's leading environmentalists and the author of Half Gone, a book about "peak oil" - defined as the moment when maximum production is reached, said that both the UK government and the energy industry were in "institutionalised denial" and that action should have been taken sooner.

"When I was an adviser to government, I proposed that we set up a taskforce to look at how fast the UK could mobilise alternative energy technologies in extremis, come the peak," he said. "Other industry advisers supported that. But the government prefers to sleep on without even doing a contingency study. For those of us who know that premature peak oil is a clear and present danger, it is impossible to understand such complacency."

Mr Fell said that the world had to move quickly towards the massive deployment of renewable energy and to a dramatic increase in energy efficiency, both as a way to combat climate change and to ensure that the lights stayed on. "If we did all this we may not have an energy crisis."

He accused the British government of hypocrisy. "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown have talked a lot about climate change but have not brought in proper policies to drive up the use of renewables," he said. "This is why they are left talking about nuclear and carbon capture and storage. "

Yesterday, a spokesman for the Department of Business and Enterprise said: "Over the next few years global oil production and refining capacity is expected to increase faster than demand. The world's oil resources are sufficient to sustain economic growth for the foreseeable future. The challenge will be to bring these resources to market in a way that ensures sustainable, timely, reliable and affordable supplies of energy."

The German policy, which guarantees above-market payments to producers of renewable power, is being adopted in many countries - but not Britain, where renewables generate about 4% of the country's electricity and 2% of its overall energy needs.
JPTF 23/10/2007

outubro 22, 2007

O ataque da União Europeia à soberania do Reino Unido e o contra-ataque do jornal "The Sun"

Jogos de Guerra 3 - "A Turquia ameça invadir Iraque para atacar o PKK" in Telegraph, 22 de Outubro de 2007

Turkey is threatening to invade Iraq after Kurdish separatists killed at least 17 of its soldiers in a series of co-ordinated attacks within Turkish territory.
As many as 100,000 troops have been deployed close to the border between the two countries as President Abdullah Gul's office vowed to pay "whatever price necessary" to defeat terrorism.

Militants from the Kurdish Workers Party, the PKK, claimed to have taken several Turkish soldiers alive during the fighting and Turkey is bracing itself for a drawn-out hostage crisis.

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan said that Condoleezza Rice, the US secretary of state, had urged Turkey to wait a few days pause before any potential response.

In a sign that Ankara still hopes for eleventh-hour assistance from Washington, Mr Erdogan said: "We expect the United States to take swift steps [against the PKK] befitting of our strategic partnership."
The United States, Turkey's staunch Nato ally, is anxious to avert any Turkish military strikes against the rebels, who attacked positions from hideouts in northern Iraq, fearing this could destabilise a relatively peaceful part of the country.

The attacks, the worst in more than a decade by the rebels, came just four days after Turkey's parliament overwhelmingly approved a motion to allow troops to enter northern Iraq to fight the guerrillas.

A statement from President Gul's office said: "While respecting the territorial integrity of Iraq, Turkey will not shy away from paying whatever price is necessary to protect its rights, its laws, its indivisible unity and its citizens."

When Vecdi Gonul, the defence minister, was asked directly if there would be a military response to the attacks, he said: "Not urgently. They [the Turkish troops] are planning a cross-border [incursion] ... We would like to do these things with the Americans."

Mr Erdogan, who is due in London this week to meet Gordon Brown, said in response to the attacks: "Our anger, our hatred is great."

The violence began when PKK militants blew up a bridge under cover of darkness on Saturday night as an army convoy was crossing it, killing at least a dozen soldiers and wounding sixteen more.

The Turkish army said it then launched a number of mopping up operations on what it believed to be PKK positions and by nightfall it claimed to have killed 32 "guerrillas".

In a separate incident a minibus carrying Kurdish civilians was hit by a roadside bomb, believed to have been planted by the PKK and seventeen people were injured, two of them seriously.

The incidents took place within a few miles of Daglica, a small Turkish town just north of the junction where Turkey's borders with Iran and Iraq meet.

The area is rugged and with high mountains providing cover for the insurgents who cross over the border from the semi-autonomous Kurdish region of Iraq where the ethnic Kurdish authorities tolerate PKK training camps and depots.

The remoteness of the site of the attack and tight Turkish security that blocks road access meant it was impossible for journalists or other sources to give independent confirmation of official accounts.

While Turkish authorities were adamant they had killed 32 PKK members, in past retaliatory operations by the army Kurdish civilians have often been caught in the cross fire.

There was also no immediate confirmation of the claims, made by a pro-Kurdish news agency based in Belgium, that several soldiers had been taken hostage.

The PKK has taken several soldiers and even a few journalists hostage since its military campaign for a Kurdish homeland in Turkey was launched in 1984 but all have been released unharmed.

Across the border in Iraq, the local authorities again denounced the PKK but, as has been seen many times in the past, they showed no sign of taking direct action against the group.

Iraq's president, Jalal Talabani, who is himself an ethnic Kurd and led a Kurdish separatist group for years in an armed struggle against Saddam Hussein, ordered the PKK to leave.

"We have appealed to the PKK to desist fighting and to transform themselves from military organisations into civilian and political ones," Mr Talabani said.

"But if they [the PKK] insist on the continuation of fighting, they should leave Kurdistan, Iraq, and not create problems here.”

The PKK appears determined to draw Turkey into cross border raids into Iraq in order to hurt Ankara's wider strategic interests.

Cross-border raids would seriously damage Ankara's links with Washington which is already struggling to stabilise Iraq post-Saddam Hussein.

And it would jeopardise Turkey's bid to join the European Union as stable borders are pre-requisite to accession.

outubro 21, 2007

Jogos de Guerra 2 - "Dick Cheney: 'Não vamos permitir armas nucleares ao Irão‘" in ABC News, 21 de Outubro de 2007

Vice President Dick Cheney today issued his sternest warning to date on Iran, saying the Persian nation will not be allowed to pursue its nuclear program.

Dismissing Iran's claims that it is seeking only nuclear energy and not a weapons program, Cheney accused Iranian leaders of pursuing a practice of "delay and deception in an obvious effort to buy time."

"Our country, and the entire international community, cannot stand by as a terror-supporting state fulfills its grandest ambitions," Cheney told the Washington Institute for Near East Studies. "The Iranian regime needs to know that if it stays on its present course the international community is prepared to impose serious consequences."

The rising rhetoric could signal that President Bush intends to take action -- possibly military action -- to halt Iran's nuclear program before the president leaves office on Jan. 20, 2009, some analysts said.

"That's pretty firm, clear language," Michael O'Hanlon, a military analyst for the Brookings Institution, told ABC News of Cheney's wording. "And it raises more clearly the specter of military action. That is much more than saying this isn't just an option that we've taken off the table."

Cheney's statement bore a striking resemblance to this warning before an audience of Republicans on Jan. 31, 2003, less than two months before the U.S. invasion of Iraq: "We will not permit a brutal dictator with ties to terror and a record of feckless aggression to dominate the Middle East and to threaten the United States."

A spokeswoman for the vice president said his statements today echoed his previous comments on Iran.

On March 7, 2006, for instance, he told the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, "And we join other nations in sending that regime a clear message: We will not allow Iran to have a nuclear weapon."

And on May 11, 2007, he said, "We'll stand with others to prevent Iran from gaining nuclear weapons and dominating this region."

But analysts said the administration's talk on Iran has taken on a tone of rising warning and aggressiveness, particularly on a week that included an unusually strongly worded admonition from President Bush earlier this week.

"We got a leader in Iran who has announced that he wants to destroy Israel," Bush told reporters at the White House. "So I've told people that if you're interested in avoiding World War III, it seems like you ought to be interested in preventing them from having the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon."
JPTF 2007/10/21

Jogos de Guerra 1 - "Irão: podemos disparar 11.000 misseis num minuto" in CBS News, 20 de Outubro de 2007

(AP) Iran is capable of firing 11,000 rockets into enemy bases within the first minute after any possible attack, state-run television quoted a top Revolutionary Guards Corps commander as saying Saturday.

Gen. Mahmoud Chaharbaghi, the missile commander of the Guards, said Iran has identified all enemy positions and was prepared to respond in less than a minute to any possible attack.

"Enemy bases and positions have been identified. ... The Guards ground force will fire 11,000 rockets into identified enemy positions within the first minute of any aggression against the Iranian territory," the television quoted Chaharbaghi as saying.

Chaharbaghi did not specifically identify the bases or the enemy and did not refer to arch foes Israel or the United States by name. But the U.S. has 40,000 troops on various U.S. bases in other Persian Gulf countries and 20,000 in Mideast waters. Another 160,000 U.S. troops are in neighboring Iraq and about 25,000 are in another one of Iran's neighbors, Afghanistan.

Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency also quoted Chaharbaghi as saying that Iran's radar-avoiding rockets cover the entire Persian Gulf and the entire Iran-Iraq border. Both on state-run TV and in Fars, he only used the word rocket, not missile. A rocket is normally an unguided weapon whereas missiles usually have guidance systems.

Chaharbaghi was quoted by Fars as saying that rockets with a range of 155 miles will be delivered to the Guards ground force soon. He didn't elaborate.

Iran has periodically raised alarms over the possibility of war, particularly when the West brings up talk of sanctions over Tehran's rejection of a U.N. Security Council demand that it halt uranium enrichment.

Tensions are high between Washington and Tehran over U.S. accusations that Iran is secretly trying to develop nuclear weapons and helping Shiite militias in Iraq that target U.S. troops. Iran denies the claims.

Washington has said it is addressing the Iran situation diplomatically, rather than militarily, but U.S. officials also say that all options are open.

Last month, a top Iranian air force general said Iran has drawn up contingency plans to bomb Israel should the Jewish state attack Iran. He made the comments days after French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said that the international community should prepare for the possibility of war in the event Iran obtains atomic weapons, although he later stressed the focus is still on diplomatic pressures.

Iran on Thursday denounced a warning by U.S. President George W. Bush that the Iran's nuclear activities could lead to World War III, saying the statement was warlike rhetoric geared at diverting U.S. attention from White House failures in Iraq.

The White House said Bush was simply making "a rhetorical point" when he suggested that if Iran could make nuclear weapons, it could lead to World War III.

Another top Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander warned last month that U.S. bases around Iran would be legitimate targets.

"Today, the United States is within Iran's sight and all around our country, but it doesn't mean we have been encircled. They are encircled themselves and are within our range," Gen. Mohammed Hasan Kousehchi told IRNA in September.

Last month, Iran showed off its military might during a parade that included torpedoes, surveillance drones and what Iran called its new domestically manufactured warplanes.

Iran also has upgraded its Shahab-3 missile to range of about 1,250 miles, capable of reaching Israel and carrying a nuclear warhead.

But last month, Adm. William Fallon, the top U.S. military commander in the Middle East, said he believes Iran is not as strong as it portrays itself. "Not militarily, economically or politically," he said.
JPTF 2007/10/21

outubro 19, 2007

"Estão a tomar-nos por estúpidos" in The Sun, 19 de Outubro de 2007

They are taking us for fools

Political Editor

GORDON Brown has been accused of treating us like fools.

It’s worse than that. They really DO think we’re stupid.

Never have so many porkies been told by government ministers than over this EU treaty.

French and Dutch voters overwhelmingly rejected the EU constitution two years ago.

So EU leaders did what they promised not to — they mounted a giant con-trick by rewriting it under a different title. That’s why we need a referendum.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband can trot out the same rubbish about the constitution being dumped until he’s blue in the face. But it’s nonsense.

Ministers would command more respect if they had the guts to be honest about this treaty.

Other EU leaders are happy to admit that it means a pretty seismic handover of power.

And that makes sense.

If you want a United States of Europe, you need members to pool power otherwise nothing would get done.

There’s only one reason to deny it — if you have something to hide.

'90% same' as dumped Constitution

HERE we set out the reasons other EU leaders insist the Treaty is virtually the same as the Constitution.

Ireland’s Bertie Ahern IS holding a national vote because he agrees it is 90 per cent the same.

Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel says the fundamentals “have been maintained in large part”, while Finland’s Europe Minister Astrid Thors says nothing has altered.

And last week the European Scrutiny Committee forecast that Gordon Brown’s ‘red lines’ will “leak like a sieve”.

MPs predict the European Court of Justice will start to make laws for

Britain based on the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

One red line — on tax and social security — is said to be totally bogus.

The EU will also have power under a ‘ratchet’ clause to dictate to future British governments.

The European Commission will be able able to impose new laws on all nations if a majority of member states agree.

The Treaty will force Britain to surrender extra oil reserves to EU states in emergencies — costing us an estimated £6billion.
JPTF 200/10/19

"Blair: A ameaça do terror é como o fascismo" in CNN 19 de Outubro de 2007

In his first major speech since leaving office in June, Blair told a charity dinner in New York: "Analogies with the past are never properly accurate and analogies especially with the rising fascism can be easily misleading but in pure chronology I sometimes wonder if we're not in the 1920s or 1930s again.

"This ideology now has a state, Iran, that is prepared to back and finance terror in the pursuit of destabilizing countries whose people wish to live in peace."

Blair's speech Thursday came days after U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates reiterated the Bush administration's stance that "all options" must be kept "on the table" in confronting the threats posed by Iran. This was a reference to the option of using military action against the long-time U.S. adversary.

Addressing the issue of terrorists, Blair continued: "There is a tendency even now, even in some of our own circles, to believe that they are as they are because we have provoked them and if we left them alone they would leave us alone," he said.

Blair, who gave strong personal backing to U.S. President George W. Bush after the September 11, 2001 attacks, added: "I fear this is mistaken. They have no intention of leaving us alone.

"They have made their choice and leave us with only one to make -- to be forced into retreat or to exhibit even greater determination and belief in standing up for our values than they do in standing up for their's."

Blair, who now represents the Quartet of the United States, Europe, Russia and the United Nations on the Middle East, said: "Unfortunately I tell you in all frankness that this struggle is far from over.

"Out there in the Middle East we've seen ... the ideology driving this extremism and terror is not exhausted. On the contrary it believes it can and will exhaust us first.

He added: "America and Europe should not be divided, we should stand up together.

"The values we share are as vital and true and, above all, needed today as they have been at any time in the last 100 years."
JPTF 2007/10/19

"Cimeira Europeia: fumo branco para o Tratado de Lisboa" in Público, 19 de Outubro de 2007

Os líderes dos Vinte e Sete chegaram a um acordo sobre o Tratado reformador da União Europeia que substitui a falhada Constituição Europeia. A luz verde ao documento, que vai chamar-se Tratado de Lisboa, só foi alcançada depois de ultrapassados os problemas levantados pela Polónia e pela Itália, entraves que a diplomacia portuguesa conseguiu transpor. O texto final vai ser assinado na capital portuguesa no dia 13 de Dezembro, às 11h00.

A decisão culmina um processo iniciado em Junho, quando os Vinte e Sete definiram os termos exactos do novo texto, mandatando a actual presidência portuguesa da UE para o traduzir juridicamente num novo Tratado.

Com estas balizas bem definidas, o processo de redacção do texto decorreu a uma velocidade inédita, deixando para a Cimeira de Lisboa os problemas de natureza política de maior dificuldade.

José Sócrates, primeiro-ministro português, avisou antes do início da cimeira que os líderes não sairiam do Pavilhão Atlântico do Parque das Nações antes de chegarem a acordo. “Estamos muito perto de ter um novo Tratado e esse Tratado vai chamar-se de Lisboa”, prognosticou.

Esta mensagem pretendeu constituir uma forma de pressão sobre a Itália e a Polónia, que chegaram a Lisboa com as suas reivindicações intactas.

Ao invés, a exigência da Áustria de limitar a livre circulação de estudantes estrangeiros candidatos às suas universidades, e a pretensão da Bulgária de poder utilizar a denominação “evro” no seu alfabeto cirílico para a moeda única, puderam ser resolvidas antes do arranque da cimeira, às 18h00.

Dois ossos duros de roer

Desta forma, os líderes puderam centrar-se inteiramente nos dois ossos mais duros de roer da Itália e Polónia.

Varsóvia obteve uma vitória sobretudo de apresentação ao conseguir a elevação do chamado compromisso de Ioannina – que permite a um pequeno grupo de países suspender uma decisão – de declaração política a protocolo anexo ao Tratado e com o mesmo valor jurídico. Este protocolo incluirá no entanto igualmente uma outra disposição do processo de decisão comunitário que permite ao presidente em exercício do conselho de ministros da UE pedir a todo o momento a passagem a uma votação.

A inclusão dos dois mecanismos no mesmo texto provoca a sua anulação mútua: os polacos – ou qualquer outro país – podem invocar Ioannina sempre que se perfile uma decisão desagradável, mas isso não impede o conselho de passar à votação sempre que achar que é tempo de encerrar a pausa para reflexão assim aberta.

Varsóvia obteve igualmente uma declaração garantindo-lhe um lugar permanente de advogado-geral no Tribunal de Justiça da UE em pé de igualdade com os restantes “grandes” estados. Esta concessão terá como contrapartida a atribuição de pelo menos mais um lugar rotativo entre os países mais pequenos.

Dos dois, o problema italiano foi o mais difícil de resolver. Romano Prodi, primeiro-ministro italiano entrou na cimeira mantendo a recusa da proposta avançada pelo Parlamento Europeu (PE) sobre a repartição dos seus futuros 750 membros.

A sua recusa resultava do facto de ter um número de deputados (72) inferior aos dos Reino Unido (73) e, sobretudo, da França (74), em resultado das diferenças de população. Esta quebra da tradicional paridade entre os três países não tem sentido, defendeu Prodi, pelo facto de os cálculos terem sido feitos com base na população, quando a referência deveria ser os cidadãos.

O problema acabou por ser resolvido com a decisão de aumentar o tecto dos deputados para 751, de modo a garantir um lugar adicional à Itália. Prodi tinha no entanto começado as discussões dos líderes afirmando que um deputado adicional não seria suficiente, deixando claro que o seu verdadeiro objectivo era a paridade com franceses e ingleses.

O risco inerente à sua reivindicação era uma reabertura das discussões sobre os lugares do PE, o que todos os líderes procuraram evitar a todo o custo, sabendo que nesse cenário, vários outros países – pelo menos a Espanha, Polónia, Irlanda e Eslováquia – exigiriam um aumento da sua quota. O chefe do governo italiano acabou por aceitar a solução proposta, depois de um encontro a sós com Sócrates e com o presidente francês, Nicolas Sarkozy.
JPTF 2007/10/19

outubro 18, 2007

"Uma esmagadora maioria da população nos cinco maiores países da UE pretende referendo ao Tratado" in Financial Times, 18 de Outubro de 2007

An overwhelming majority of people in the European Union’s five biggest member states want the bloc’s treaty on institutional reform to be submitted to national referendums, according to an opinion poll published on Thursday.

The FT/Harris poll will keep Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, on the defensive by strengthening the determination of his political opponents to secure a referendum on the treaty, which is due to be approved at an EU summit in Lisbon starting on Thursday.

The poll is likely to unsettle political leaders in other EU capitals who oppose holding referendums for fear of a repeat of the French and Dutch votes of 2005 that wrecked the EU’s ill-fated constitutional treaty.

The new document, known as the reform treaty, resembles the old in that it reshapes the EU’s institutions, changes its voting procedures, expands the role of the European parliament and national legislatures, and includes a charter of fundamental rights.

However, Mr Brown contends that Britain need not hold a referendum because it has secured enough opt-outs and brakes on EU action to render the new treaty different from the old.

According to the poll, 70 per cent of those questioned in France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK want a referendum, 20 per cent do not, and 10 per cent are unsure.

Some 76 per cent of Germans want a referendum, 75 per cent of Britons, 72 per cent of Italians, 65 per cent of Spaniards and 63 per cent of French.

Only the Irish Republic is constitutionally obliged to stage a referendum to ratify the treaty.

Other countries intend to submit it to their legislatures, with the aim of securing approval by all 27 EU countries before the June 2009 European parliament elections.

José Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, told reporters on Wednesday that a referendum was as valid as parliamentary ratification. “Both ways are equally legitimate. No democracy can argue against that,” he said.

Some politicians have warned that, by avoiding referendums and making the treaty a complicated document that amends earlier EU treaties, the EU “will reinforce the idea among European citizens that European construction is a mechanism organised behind their backs by jurists and diplomats”, as Valéry Giscard d’Estaing, a former French president, puts it.

The survey shows that, in spite of Britain’s opt-outs, public opinion in the UK is much more critical of the treaty than elsewhere. Overall, 38 per cent say the treaty will have a positive impact on the EU and 23 per cent a negative impact, with 14 per cent foreseeing no impact and 25 per cent unsure.

In Britain, however, 51 per cent foresee a negative impact on the EU and only 17 per cent a positive impact. The strongest support comes from Italy, where 49 per cent foresee a positive impact and 13 per cent a negative impact.

The poll reveals widespread ignorance about the treaty, with 61 per cent saying they are “not at all familiar” with it, 34 per cent claiming they are “somewhat familiar”, 3 per cent describing themselves as “very familiar” and 1 per cent “extremely familiar”.

The poll also showed that 25 per cent of respondents thought that the European parliament was the EU’s most powerful institution, with 22 per cent each for the Commission and national governments and 17 per cent for the European Court of Justice. The FT/Harris Poll was conducted online by Harris Interactive among a total of 5,604 adults in France, Germany, the UK, Spain and Italy between October 3 and 15.
JPTF 2007/10/18

Cartaz da campanha do Partido Conservador britânico para um referendo sobre o novo Tratado

Campanha do jornal britânico "The Sun" por um referendo ao Tratado Europeu

outubro 17, 2007

"Vladimir Putin compromete-se a concluir reactor nuclear iraniano" in Times, 17 de Outubro de 2007

President Putin forged an alliance with Iran yesterday against any military action by the West and pledged to complete the controversial Iranian nuclear power plant at Bushehr.
A summit of Caspian Sea nations in Tehran agreed to bar foreign states from using their territory for military strikes against a member country. Mr Putin, the first Kremlin leader to visit Iran since the Second World War, insisted that the use of force was unacceptable.
“It is important . . . that we not only not use any kind of force but also do not even think about the possibility of using force,” he told the leaders of Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
The declaration of the five states did not specify a particular threat. Rumours have long circulated, however, that the US is seeking Azerbaijan’s permission to use airfields for possible military action to stop Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.
Mr Putin arrived in Tehran for the summit amid tight security after warnings of a plot by suicide bombers to assassinate him. His visit is a propaganda coup for President Ahmadinejad as he faces American and European pressure for tougher United Nations sanctions to halt Iran’s nuclear programme.
Mr Putin and Mr Ahmadinejad met after the summit for private talks. State television in Tehran quoted Mr Putin as saying that Russia would continue to “assist Iran’s peaceful nuclear programme”.
Russia is building Iran’s first atomic power plant in the port city of Bushehr. A row over Iranian payments has slowed down the work, and Mr Putin emerged from yesterday’s meeting without setting a date for the $1 billion (£500 million) project.
However, Russian media later reported that Moscow had promised to complete the work on schedule. “The construction and the commission of Bushehr will be implemented in accordance with the agreed timetable,” the Russian news agency Ria reported, citing the two leaders’ joint statement. Mr Putin also invited Mr Ahmadinejad to Moscow.
Mr Putin said that the Bushehr contract would have to be reviewed to clarify legal matters and the financial obligations of each party. Moscow has delayed delivery of nuclear fuel for the station as part of the dispute.
The Tehran declaration strengthened Moscow’s hostility to any attempt at a military solution. It also offered support for Iran by asserting the right of any country that had signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to develop peaceful nuclear energy “without discrimination”. Tehran insists that its nuclear programme is purely for civil purposes to generate electricity.
The summit was called to try to settle the status of the Caspian among the five states that border the sea. Iran and the former Soviet Union shared it equally but there has been a 16-year dispute over mineral rights since the emergence the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The leaders failed to reach agreement on dividing the seabed, which is believed to hold the world’s third-largest reserves of oil and gas. They agreed to meet again in Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, next year.
Ties that bind
— Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy company, has invested $750 million (£370 million) in projects in Iran
— Russia exports $2 billion of metal and machinery to Iran a year
— Russia has supplied nuclear technology to Iran, including the $1 billion Bushehr reactor
— Russia is a key supplier of arms to Iran, including a $700 million air-defence system, MiG29 combat aircraft and T72 tanks
— Iran’s goodwill is useful for Russia’s attempts to control fractious Muslim minorities in Central Asia and the Caucasus
— Both countries oppose the eastward expansion of Nato
JPTF 2007/10/17

outubro 16, 2007

"Artista sueco Lars Vilks desenha cartoons de Maomé em nome da liberdade de expressão" in CNN, 16 de Outubro de 2007

Swedish artist Lars Vilks says all he's doing is taking a stand in the name of artistic expression. But because of that stand, on this afternoon he's lying low -- on the ground, in fact -- looking for bombs under his car.
Al Qaeda has put a $100,000 price on his head and offered an extra $50,000 for anyone who murders him by slitting his throat after the eccentric artist and sculptor drew a cartoon depicting the Prophet Mohammed as a dog.

"I don't think it should not be a problem to insult a religion, because it should be possible to insult all religions in a democratic way, " says Vilks from his home in rural Sweden.
"If you insult one, then you should insult the other ones."
His crude, sketched caricature shows the head of Prophet Mohammed on the body of a dog. Dogs are considered unclean by conservative Muslims, and any depiction of the prophet is strictly forbidden.
Vilks, who has been a controversial artist for more than three decades in Sweden, says his drawing was a calculated move, and he wanted it to elicit a reaction. Watch "I should slaughter you" »
"That's a way of expressing things. If you don't like it, don't look at it. And if you look at it, don't take it too seriously. No harm done, really," he says.
When it's suggested that might prove an arrogant -- if not insulting -- way to engage Muslims, he is unrelenting, even defiant.
"No one actually loves the truth, but someone has to say it," he says.
Vilks, a self-described atheist, points out he's an equal opportunity offender who in the past sketched a depiction of Jesus as a pedophile.
Still one could argue Vilks should have known better because of what happened in Denmark in 2005, when a cartoonist's depictions of the prophet sparked violent protests in the Muslim world and prompted death threats against that cartoonist's life.
Vilks' cartoon, which was published in August by the Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda, hasn't reached that level of global protests, although it has stoked plenty of outrage.
Muslims in Sweden demanded an apology from the newspaper, which has stood by Vilks on his freedom of expression stand. Pakistan and Iran also lodged formal protests with Sweden.
One Swedish Muslim woman who lives just an hour-and-a-half drive from Vilks said she hopes to make good on the al Qaeda threat and slaughter Vilks like a lamb.
"I can do this in the name of Allah, and I will not fail. I could slaughter him in the name of Allah," says the woman who identified herself only as Amatullah.
She adds, "If I get the opportunity."
Dressed in a black burqa from head to toe and uttering death threat after death threat, the woman -- a wife and mother -- says she is defending her religion and her prophet if she manages to kill Vilks.
Amatullah has already been fined for issuing death threats. Still, she claims she will never stop taunting him.
Swedish police, who declined CNN's request for an interview, have advised Vilks to abandon his home.
But the artist still works there by day and travels to a safe house by night. Vilks knows his defiance could get him killed, but he says his art is worth dying for.
As he sits at his computer, his phone buzzes with a text message. Another death threat has just come in, this one from Pakistan.
"I will kill you, you son a bitch," he reads.
There are hundreds of threats just like this one on his mobile phone, on his answering machine and in his e-mail inbox.
"You get used to it," he says. "It's a bit of hide and seek. It's like living in a film."
JPTF 2007/10/16

outubro 15, 2007

"Trinta islamistas que planeavam fazer explodir a Audiência Nacional de Espanha no banco dos réus" in ABC, 15 de Outubro de 2007

Treinta procesados de la «operación Nova», el primer golpe desde el 11-M al terrorismo islamista que en octubre de 2004 se saldó con medio centenar de detenciones, se sentarán desde hoy en el banquillo de los acusados de la Audiencia Nacional. Todos ellos serán juzgados, entre otros delitos, por el intento de atentado contra la Audiencia Nacional, para lo que iban a emplear un camión-bomba cargado con 500 kilos de Goma 2.
La Fiscalía pide para los acusados un total de 464 años de cárcel (penas de entre dos y medio y 46 años) por conspiración para cometer atentados terroristas, pertenencia a banda armada, falsificación de documentos oficiales y tenencia de útiles para la falsificación de tarjetas de crédito.
En sus conclusiones provisionales, el fiscal Pedro Rubira señala que el procesado Abderrahman Tahiri, alias «Mohamed Achraf», adoctrinó desde prisión a un grupo de personas en el pensamiento del «salafismo yihadista» predicado por Osama Bin Laden. El propósito, señala, era realizar ataques terroristas en territorio español, de forma que los procesados, internos de distintos centros penitenciarios, ya tenían fijados como objetivos la Audiencia Nacional -o en su defecto el Tribunal Supremo-, la estación ferroviaria de Príncipe Pío, el parque Tierno Galván o la sede del PP.
Captación de futuros suicidas
El adoctrinamiento que recibían los acusados era tanto religioso como paramilitar. El primero consistía en el estudio de la ley, historia y política islámica contemporánea; el segundo, en la instrucción para la ejecución de la acción terrorista.
Para la consecución de estos fines la red terrorista formada por «Mohamed Achraf» realizaba actividades como la falsificación de pasaportes, tarjetas de residencia, duplicación de tarjetas de crédito, reclutamiento y adoctrinamiento de personas, tanto en el ámbito penitenciario como fuera de él. La labor que se ejercía entre los internos de los centros consistía en el envío de dinero a los internos, remisión de cartas animándoles a perseverar en el pensamiento salafista para integrarse en la red terrorista cuando salieran en libertad, y reclutamiento y adoctrinamiento de futuros suicidas.
Fue en el año 2000 cuando Achraf ideó la formación de cuatro grupos perfectamente estructurados y encuadrados en la red terrorista «Mártires por Marruecos». El primero de ellos estaba formado por internos del centro penitenciario de Topas; el segundo se encontraba en A Lama (Pontevedra), el tercero en Almería y el cuarto en Levante. Los internos de los cuatro centros se comunicaban por carta y por telefonía móvil.
Vigilancias sobre el edificio
Achraf tenía practicamente ultimado el ataque terrorista contra la Audiencia Nacional. Siempre según el relato del fiscal, tras realizar varias vigilancias sobre el edificio, este procesado consideró que la mejor forma para llevar a cabo su propósito criminal era empleando un camión cargado de explosivo y lanzarlo a toda velocidad contra el edificio.
Así, en ejecución de su plan, en julio de 2004 se traladó a Almería, donde mantuvo una reunión con el también acusado Kamara Birahima para que adquiriera aproximadamente 1.000 kilos de Goma 2, de los que 500 iban a ser empleados en la Audiencia Nacional y el resto en otras acciones terroristas.
El grado de preparación del atentado había llegado hasta el extremo de que siete procesados habían manifestado su voluntad de suicidarse, junto con Achraf, en el ataque a la Audiencia Nacional. Según el fiscal, con este atentado no sólo se pretendía acabar con la vida de las cerca de mil personas que trabajan y visitan a diario el edificio (funcionarios, periodistas y público en general), sino también destruir los archivos que afectan a los procedimientos abiertos contra los terroristas islamistas.
Será la Sección Tercera de lo Penal de la Audiencia Nacional (presidida por Alfonso Guevara) la encargada de juzgar a los procesados de la «operación Nova». Durante los lunes, martes y miércoles de las próximas semanas desfilarán por este tribunal 65 testigos -56 de ellos policías nacionales- y 26 peritos de la Policía Científica.
JPTF 2007/10/15

outubro 13, 2007

Comentário: A Presidência Portuguesa da UE e a questão de Chipre

É um lugar comum, quando se fala da União Europeia (UE), qualificá-la como «gigante económico e anão político». Em causa está a sua escassa influência nas grandes questões internacionais e a dificuldade em projectar uma influência diplomática similar não só à das grandes potências mundiais, como os EUA, mas também da re-emergente Rússia e provavelmente até à das crescentemente importantes China e Índia, sobretudo da primeira. As razões apontadas são normalmente que, no domínio económico, há uma elevada integração e partilha de soberania, enquanto no domínio político funcionam mecanismos de cooperação intergovernamental ineficazes, os quais não permitem à UE «falar a uma só voz» na cena mundial. Foi aliás este um dos argumentos mais usados para justificar a necessidade de uma Constituição Europeia, surgindo agora para justificar o Tratado Europeu, actualmente em negociações sob a presidência portuguesa. Este ênfase usual no argumento institucional esconde, todavia, debilidades mais profundas da UE, que vão para além da questão da reforma Tratados. Talvez a situação mais evidenciadora essa debilidade seja a questão de Chipre que, desde 2004, é um Estado-membro da UE. No imaginário europeu parece inconcebível uma força de manutenção de paz das Nações Unidas para resolver um conflito dentro da União. Todavia, essa situação existe! Em território europeu encontra-se a mais antiga força de manutenção de paz das Nações Unidas, a UNFICYP, criada originalmente em 1964, pela Resolução nº 186 do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas. Uma interrogação ocorre: como ser um actor de primeira grandeza em questões internacionais importantes como, por exemplo, o programa nuclear iraniano, o conflito no Darfur ou a repressão na Birmânia, quando, «dentro de casa», se deixam transparecer óbvias dificuldades político-diplomáticas? Mais: aceitariam os EUA, a Rússia ou a China forças de manutenção de paz das Nações Unidas no seu território? (Imagine-se a sua credibilidade internacional no dia em que o fizerem...). Aparentemente, esta questão não preocupa a presidência portuguesa – está longe das nossas áreas tradicionais de interesse e é um problema espinhoso... –, que prefere ficar com o seu nome ligado a um Tratado (não referendável, claro) e alimentar sonhos de influência pós-colonial em África. Mas, independentemente das prioridades da agenda política, a persistência da divisão e presença militar turca do Norte de Chipre mostra os limites do soft power europeu. A República Turca do Norte de Chipre (RTNC) é um Estado não reconhecido a nível internacional (excepto pela Turquia), declarado ilegal pelas resoluções nº 541 (1983) e 550 (1984) do Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas. Só a República de Chipre é reconhecida a nível internacional e tem soberania legal sobre todo o território (de facto, não controla a parte Norte). A RTNC alberga entre 35.000 a 43.000 soldados da Turquia, numa área com cerca de 3.300 km2 e uma população de 200.000 a 250.000 habitantes (entre cipriotas turcos de origem e emigrantes/colonos turcos). Para o governo turco trata-se de uma «operação humanitária» e de um problema do foro das Nações Unidas. À UE convém acreditar pela sua incapacidade em lidar com o assunto. Mesmo aceitando esta qualificação inapropriada é notório que há um número desproporcionado de tropas. No caso da Bósnia-Herzegovina (com 51.129 Km2 e 4,5 milhões de habitantes), existe uma força humanitária – a SFOR – hoje com 12.000 efectivos. No caso do Afeganistão, um país com 647.500 km2 e 32 milhões de habitantes, a ISAF tem um total de 31.000 efectivos. Questão final: qual a credibilidade internacional da UE se, num território que é da República de Chipre e também europeu, um país candidato – a Turquia –, se sente «obrigada» a manter uma «força de manutenção de paz»? Será que isto se resolve com piedosas declarações de apoio à adesão da Turquia, como parece ser a panaceia da diplomacia portuguesa?
JPTF 2007/10/12

outubro 12, 2007

"Um reino de terror que a História escolheu esquecer" in The Independent, 12 de Outubro de 2007

por Robert Fisk

The story of the last century's first Holocaust – Winston Churchill used this very word about the Armenian genocide years before the Nazi murder of six million Jews – is well known, despite the refusal of modern-day Turkey to acknowledge the facts. Nor are the parallels with Nazi Germany's persecution of the Jews idle ones.

Turkey's reign of terror against the Armenian people was an attempt to destroy the Armenian race. While the Turks spoke publicly of the need to "resettle" their Armenian population – as the Germans were to speak later of the Jews of Europe – the true intentions of Enver Pasha's Committee of Union and Progress in Constantinople were quite clear.

On 15 September 1915, for example (and a carbon of this document exists), Talaat Pasha, the Turkish Interior minister, cabled an instruction to his prefect in Aleppo about what he should do with the tens of thousands of Armenians in his city. "You have already been informed that the government... has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons living in Turkey... Their existence must be terminated, however tragic the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to any scruples of conscience."

These words are almost identical to those used by Himmler to his SS killers in 1941.

Taner Akcam, a prominent – and extremely brave – Turkish scholar who has visited the Yerevan museum, has used original Ottoman Turkish documents to authenticate the act of genocide. Now under fierce attack for doing so from his own government, he discovered in Turkish archives that individual Turkish officers often wrote "doubles" of their mass death-sentence orders, telegrams sent at precisely the same time that asked their subordinates to ensure there was sufficient protection and food for the Armenians during their "resettlement". This weirdly parallels the bureaucracy of Nazi Germany, where officials were dispatching hundreds of thousands of Jews to the gas chambers while assuring International Red Cross officials in Geneva that they were being well cared for and well fed.

Ottoman Turkey's attempt to exterminate an entire Christian race in the Middle East – the Armenians, descended from the residents of ancient Urartu, became the first Christian nation when their king Drtad converted from paganism in AD301 – is a history of almost unrelieved horror at the hands of Turkish policemen and soldiers, and Kurdish tribesmen.

In 1915, Turkey claimed that its Armenian population was supporting Turkey's Christian enemies in Britain, France and Russia. Several historians – including Churchill, who was responsible for the doomed venture at Gallipoli – have asked whether the Turkish victory there did not give them the excuse to turn against the Christian Armenians of Asia Minor, a people of mixed Persian, Roman and Byzantine blood, with what Churchill called "merciless fury".

Armenian scholars have compiled a map of their people's persecution and deportation, a document that is as detailed as the maps of Europe that show the railway lines to Auschwitz and Treblinka; the Armenians of Erzerum, for example, were sent on their death march to Terjan and then to Erzinjan and on to Sivas province.

The men would be executed by firing squad or hacked to death with axes outside villages, the women and children then driven on into the desert to die of thirst or disease or exhaustion or gang-rape. In one mass grave I myself discovered on a hillside at Hurgada in present-day Syria, there were thousands of skeletons, mostly of young people – their teeth were perfect. I even found a 100-year-old Armenian woman who had escaped the slaughter there and identified the hillside for me.

There is debate in Yerevan today as to why the diaspora Armenians appear to care more about the genocide than the citizens of modern-day Armenia. Indeed, the Foreign minister of Armenia, Vardan Oskanian, actually told me that "days, weeks, even months go by" when he does not think of the genocide. One powerful argument put to me by an Armenian friend is that 70 years of Stalinism and official Soviet silence on the genocide deleted the historical memory in eastern Armenia – the present-day state of Armenia.

Another argument suggests that the survivors of western Armenia – in what is now Turkey – lost their families and lands and still seek acknowledgement and maybe even restitution, while eastern Armenians did not lose their lands.
JPTF 2007/10/12

outubro 11, 2007

Resolução 398 do Comité dos Negócios Estrangeiros da Câmara dos Representantes, apelando ao reconhecimento do genocídio arménio de 1915

106th CONGRESS 1st Session
H. RES. 398

Calling upon the President to provide for appropriate training and materials to all Foreign Service officers, United States Department of State officials, and any other executive branch employee involved in responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, and for other purposes.


November 18, 1999

Mr. RADANOVICH (for himself and Mr. BONIOR) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations


Calling upon the President to provide for appropriate training and materials to all Foreign Service officers, United States Department of State officials, and any other executive branch employee involved in responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide, and for other purposes.



This resolution may be cited as the `United States Training on and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution'.


The House of Representatives finds the following:

(1) The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.

(2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France, and Russia, jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time ever another government of committing `a crime against humanity'.

(3) This joint statement stated `[i]n view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres'.

(4) The post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the top leaders involved in the `organization and execution' of the Armenian Genocide and in the `massacre and destruction of the Armenians'.

(5) In a series of courts-martial, officials of the Young Turk Regime were tried and convicted, as charged, for organizing and executing massacres against the Armenian people.

(6) The chief organizers of the Armenian Genocide, Minister of War Enver, Minister of the Interior Talaat, and Minister of the Navy Jemal were all condemned to death for their crimes, however, the verdicts of the courts were not enforced.

(7) The Armenian Genocide and these domestic judicial failures are documented with overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many other countries, and this vast body of evidence attests to the same facts, the same events, and the same consequences.

(8) The United States National Archives and Record Administration holds extensive and thorough documentation on the Armenian Genocide, especially in its holdings under Record Group 59 of the United States Department of State, files 867.00 and 867.40, which are open and widely available to the public and interested institutions.

(9) The national archives of Turkey should also include all of the records pertaining to the indictment, trial, and conviction of the Ottoman authorities responsible for the Armenian Genocide.

(10) The Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized and led protests by officials of many countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman Empire, against the Armenian Genocide.

(11) Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly described to the United States Department of State the policy of the Young Turk government as `a campaign of race extermination', and was instructed on July 16, 1915, by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the `Department approves your procedure . . . to stop Armenian persecution'.

(12) Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of February 9, 1916, resolved that `the President of the United States be respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of this country may give expression to their sympathy by contributing funds now being raised for the relief of the Armenians', who at the time were enduring `starvation, disease, and untold suffering'.

(13) President Wilson concurred and also encouraged the formation of the organization known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, which contributed some $116,000,000 from 1915 to 1930 to aid the Armenian Genocide survivors, including 132,000 orphans who became foster children of the American people.

(14) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11, 1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered'.

(15) The resolution followed the April 13, 1920, report to the Senate of the American Military Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that stated `[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages'.

(16) Setting the stage for the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying `[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?'.

(17) Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term `genocide' in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the Genocide Convention, invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the 20th century.

(18) Raphael Lemkin described the crime as `the systematic destruction of whole national, racial or religious groups. The sort of thing Hitler did to the Jews and the Turks did to the Armenians'.

(19) The first resolution on genocide adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin's urging, the December 11, 1946, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) and the United Nations Genocide Convention itself recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to prevent by codifying existing standards.

(20) In 1948 the United Nations War Crimes Commission invoked the Armenian Genocide `precisely . . . one of the types of acts which the modern term `crimes against humanity' is intended to cover' as a precedent for the Nuremberg tribunals.

(21) The Commission stated that `[t]he provisions of Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of Sevres were obviously intended to cover, in conformity with the Allied note of 1915 . . ., offenses which had been committed on Turkish territory against persons of Turkish citizenship, though of Armenian or Greek race. This article constitutes therefore a precedent for Article 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters, and offers an example of one of the categories of `crimes against humanity' as understood by these enactments'.

(22) The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted in 1985 a report entitled `Study of the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide', which stated `[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the twentieth century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are . . . the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916'.

(23) This report also explained that `[a]t least 1 million, and possibly well over half of the Armenian population, are reliably estimated to have been killed or death marched by independent authorities and eye-witnesses. This is corroborated by reports in United States, German and British archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, including those of its ally Germany'.

(24) The tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Russia, the United Nations, the United States, and Uruguay.

(25) The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an independent Federal agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum would include the Armenian Genocide in the Museum and has since done so.

(26) President Reagan in proclamation number 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated in part `like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it--and like too many other persecutions of too many other people--the lessons of the holocaust must never be forgotten'.

(27) President Bush, in 1988, speaking of the Armenian Genocide, stated `we must consciously and conscientiously recognize the genocides of the past--the enormous tragedies that have darkened this century and that haunt us still. We must not only commemorate the courage of the victims and of their survivors, but we must also remind ourselves that civilization cannot be taken for granted. . . . We must all be vigilant against this most heinous crime against humanity'.

(28) President Bush, in 1988, stated further `[t]he United States must acknowledge the attempted genocide of the Armenian people in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, based on the testimony of survivors, scholars, and indeed our own representatives at the time, if we are to insure that such horrors are not repeated'.

(29) President Clinton, on August 13, 1992, stated `[t]he Genocide of 1915, years of communist dictatorship, and the devastating earthquake of 1988 have caused great suffering in Armenia during this century'.

(30) Reviewing an aberrant 1982 expression (later retracted) by the United States Department of State asserting that the facts of the Armenian Genocide may be ambiguous, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1993, after a review of documents pertaining to the policy record of the United States, noted that the assertion on ambiguity in the United States record about the Armenian Genocide `contradicted longstanding United States policy and was eventually retracted'.

(31) Despite the international recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a proper judicial and firm response, holding the guilty accountable and requiring the prompt enforcement of verdicts would have spared humanity needless suffering.

(32) In a commendable letter on April 9, 1999, Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, then Under Secretary of State for Economic, Business, and Agricultural Affairs, pledged that the administration would raise with the Republic of Turkey the issue of the recovery of Armenian assets from the genocide period held by the Imperial Ottoman Bank.

(33) It is important that all Foreign Service officers, officials of the United States Department of State, and any other executive branch employee involved in responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are made familiar with the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to enforce the judgments of the Turkish courts against the responsible officials.


The House of Representatives--

1) calls upon the President to provide for appropriate training and materials to all Foreign Service officers, officials of the United States Department of State, and any other executive branch employee involved in responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide by familiarizing them with the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to enforce the judgments of the Turkish courts against the responsible officials; and

2) calls upon the President in the President's annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide issued on or about April 24 to characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of United States intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.
JPTF 2007/10/11