Adonis Diaries

Archive for January 18th, 2014

US Presidents who expanded the 13 colonies territory…

Not before the 20th century, few people in Europe knew who was the President of the US, and much less the US citizens. Not before the advent of TV in the 1950’s did the world knew about the role of the US President and his newly acquired power…

1. George Washington (1789-97),  first elected executive chief, expanded the territory in the North-West by opening up Ohio for colonization in 1794. He dispatched 3 incursions deep 240 km inland to tame Indian resistance, without declaring war or asking approval of Congress. Waging war was a prime prerogative of Congress.

2. Thomas Jefferson (1801-09), third President, purchased the Louisiana Territory from Napoleon Bonaparte in 1803. This territory included all the States where the Mississippi River passes through. The mischievous story is that England extended the loan to the US for the purchase in order to get the French out of the American continent. Napoleon was preparing to invade England and needed funding…

That loan came with a heavy price: Alexander Hamilton convinced Jefferson to sign on the monopoly of the Rothschild family of England to print US paper money and eventually have control the expansion of the internal US market.

The second calamity attached to this monopoly is that England invaded the US in 1814 in order to pressure Congress to extend this license for 24 years…

The third catastrophe was that England (through the Bank Of US) cut-off credits to the settlers in Ohio and the North-West Territory and plunged the US in a deep financial crisis in 1819.

Jefferson was the first president to engage militarily outside the American continent: He ordered his “navy” to bombard Alger (current capital of Algeria)  in order to punish its Pasha from attacking US commercial ships, taking the few women as concubine and selling the prettier ones to the Ottoman Sultan..

3.  Andrew Jackson during President James Madison (1809-17) is elected militia chief of Tennessee and became a national hero during the 1812 war against England. The British troops entered the Capital of Washington DC and burned it.

He defeated the Indian Creeks before saving New Orleans from the British siege in January 1815.

Jackson confronted the Indian Seminole and colonized Spanish Florida. This non-declared offensive war, not approved by Congress, expanded the US territories to the east of Mississippi.

Jackson becomes governor of Florida in 1821. By 1823, he is a federal senator.

4. James Polk (1845-49) ran his election campaign under the need to annex Texas and Oregon. He ordered General Zachary Taylor to deploy the troops to the Rio Grande, 200 km south inside the Mexican borders. The treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo of 1848 gives the USA an additional 1.4 million square meters in the south-west, from Texas to the Pacific Ocean

5. Andrew Johnson (1865-69) purchased Alaska for US$ 7.2 million ($116 million in 2012 dollars)

The Alaska Purchase was the acquisition of Russian America by the United States from the Russian Empire in the year 1867 by a treaty ratified by the U.S. Senate.

Russia, fearing a war with Britain that would allow the British to seize Alaska, wanted to sell. Russia’s major role had been getting Native Alaskans to hunt for furs, and missionary work to convert them to Christianity.

The United States added 586,412 square miles (1,518,800 km2) of new territory.

Reactions to the purchase in the United States were mixed, with opponents calling it “Seward’s Folly”, feeling that U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward, the primary American negotiator, got the worst of the bargain.  George Pomutz was also involved in the Alaska purchase.

Originally organized as the Department of Alaska, the area was successively the District of Alaska and the Alaska Territory before becoming the modern state of Alaska upon being admitted to the Union as a state in 1959.

(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)

6. Benjamin Harrison (1889-93) overthrow of the Kingdom of Hawaii  (a coup d’état) on January 17, 1893), Anti-monarchical insurgents within the Kingdom of Hawaii, composed largely of United States citizens, engineered the overthrow of its native monarch, Queen Lili’uokalani.

Hawaii was initially reconstituted as an independent republic, but the ultimate goal of the revolutionaries was the annexation of the islands to the United States, which was finally accomplished in 1898. (Read note 1)

7. William McKinley (1897-1901). On April 25, 1898 President McKinley declare war against Spain for lame excuses and conquer Cuba, the Philippines, Porto Rico, Guam…

8. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) participated in the war in Cuba against colonialist Spain in 1898, leading his “Rough Riders” cavalry regiment.  When he became president, his conquered Panama, which was part of Columbia in Latin America, in order to open up the Panama Canal.  Theodore Roosevelt was the first president who crossed the borders during his tenure and inaugurated the Panama Canal https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2012/02/10/the-panama-canal-challenges-glory-and-infamies/

He was also the first president to mediate between powerful nations such as when Japan totally destroyed the Russian Pacific fleet in 1905.

Note 1:  Timeline of US military operations https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/09/19/timeline-of-united-states-military-operations-since-1775/

Note 2: On July 6, 1846, U.S. Secretary of State John C. Calhoun, on behalf of President Tyler, afforded formal recognition of Hawaiian independence.  The Hawaiian Kingdom entered into treaties with the major nations of the world and established over 90 legations and consulates in multiple seaports and cities.[4] On the signing of the Bayonet Constitution in 1887 the threat began to be realized.

Note 3: Manifest Destiny of the USA? https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2008/09/21/the-manifest-destiny-of-america-and-its-long-term-consequences/

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Sieges in Syria: Babies starving to death

Israa al-Masri was still a toddler when she lost her battle to cling to life. But the image of her face, pictured just minutes before she finally succumbed to starvation, is becoming the symbol of a wider nightmare.

For Israa, tongue swollen, wearing a chunky sweater and woolen hat that seem more substantial than she is, was just one of thousands of Palestinian refugees trapped and starving in Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus.

FERNANDE VAN TETS published in The Independent this Jan. 16, 2014:

Innocent, starving, close to death: One victim of the siege that shames Syria

 
Months of encirclement by the Syrian army has cut off the 18,000 people in Damascus’s Yarmouk refugee camp from supplies and medical aid, reducing them to subsisting on a diet of animal food, water with salt and instant noodles and leaves

Beirut: Once Syria’s largest Palestinian camp, Yarmouk has been under siege for almost a year. Most of its 160,000 population fled following violent clashes in December 2012, but at least 18,000 have remained, and months of encirclement by the Syrian army, cut off from supplies and medical aid, have reduced them to subsisting on a diet of animal food, water with salt and and leaves.

Women are shot at by snipers as they try to gather plants to feed their children. Israa is one of at least 50 to have died from hunger-related causes since October.

“The people are now eating grass and have started to eat cat and dog meat as a routine meal,” says Qais Saed, 26, whose last meal was 3 days ago and consisted of water with some spices. He cannot recall the last time he was not hungry.

Pro-Assad Palestinian factions blame the presence of 2,500 rebel fighters in the camp for the length of the siege.

Sheikh Mohamed Abu Khair, the imam of the camp’s Palestine mosque, sanctioned the eating of cats, donkeys and dogs in a fatwa in October after four people had died from malnutrition. That number has now risen to at least 50, says the Action Group for Palestine.

According to our figures somebody is dying daily now,” says Neil Sammonds, Syria researcher at Amnesty International.

A funeral for a resident of Yarmouk

A funeral for a resident of Yarmouk (AP)

A local nurse told the organisation that since mid-November last year, when government forces took control of an area near the camp, several civilians, mainly women, have been killed by snipers while foraging for food in nearby fields.

“Every day we receive around 4 people who were shot by snipers while they were picking plants in the fields. The women say they prefer to risk their own lives to spare the children.

“On one occasion, we received a teenager, probably aged 16 or 17, who was shot dead. His father started talking to him and said: ‘You died for the sake of bringing hibiscus leaves for your siblings.’ It was heartbreaking,” she said.

Residents have recounted a scene of devastation and desperation inside the camp, which was originally built in 1957 to house thousands of Palestinians displaced by the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.

Over time it turned into a bustling residential area, with Syrian as well as Palestinian inhabitants. But today it’s a far cry from the packed restaurants of downtown Damascus, just five miles away.

“There are no more people in Yarmouk, only skeletons with yellow skin,” Umm Hassan, a 27-year-old resident and the mother of two toddlers, told the Associated Press on Monday.

Videos uploaded to YouTube show angry and desperate residents venting their frustration. “We are tired; there is no food,” says one woman. Another holds up a bag full of leaves which is the only food she has to feed her four children.

“Residents including infants and children are subsisting for long periods on diets of stale vegetables, herbs, powdered tomato paste, animal feed and cooking spices dissolved in water,” says Chris Gunness, spokesperson for the UN Palestinian agency UNRWA.

People are so desperate that some are reportedly shedding family members in order to conserve resources. “One father threw his daughter on the street; we found the baby in the street,” says Abu Muhamed, 24 and an activist, who took the child to hospital. “People feel that psychologically they can do nothing.”

The emaciated body of Awad al-Saidi, who, according to locals, died of hunger and sickness there

The emaciated body of Awad al-Saidi, who, according to locals, died of hunger and sickness there (AP)

Reports of robbery, primarily of food, are rife. Contacting people inside the camp is difficult, as sustained electricity cuts have been plaguing the camp for nine months. There is also little water or heating.

“Residents are having to rely on going out on to terraces and burning furniture and branches to warm themselves in the open because wood fires cannot be resorted to indoors. There is a very infrequent supply of tap water – reportedly available for four hours only at intervals of three days,” says Mr Gunness.

The lack of electricity in the camp is also affecting the single hospital that is still in operation, which has in addition run out of supplies. The absence of medical care has led to several women dying in childbirth.

As a result of severe malnutrition, residents, especially children, are now affected by diseases such as anaemia, rickets, and kwashiorkor [a disease of malnutrition related to protein deficiency]. The camp has also not been able to receive vaccines, most notably for polio. That disease has returned to Syria after having been eradicated more than a decade ago.

An UNRWA aid convoy carrying 10,000 polio vaccines and food for 6,000 people was forced to turn back as it tried to enter the camp on Monday, after its Syrian army security detail was repeatedly shot at.

Despite the north area of the camp being easier to enter – as it is held by the regime – the Syrian government withheld permission, citing security fears. This forced the convoy to use the southern entrance and pass through some 10 miles of contested territory.

Residents suspect that opposition fighters viewed the presence of regime troops, including a bulldozer clearing the road for the 6-truck convoy, as a provocation. On Monday, the Foreign Secretary William Hague said the deliberate obstruction of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people is “utterly unacceptable”.

The Foreign Office added that it will be pushing for the “lifting of sieges and access for humanitarian organisations and the immediate end to attacks on civilian areas and medical facilities and respect for international humanitarian law”.

Adding to Yarmouk’s misery, at least four  people were killed in a barrel bomb attack. “The people were saying, if they can’t enter with food, maybe they can send it by plane. But what [Assad] sent was a bomb,” said Qais Saed.

Activists say around 1,000 people descended on the northern gate following the attack, but were stopped by sniper fire, in which one person died. The Independent couldn’t independently verify this claim.

More than 100,000 people have died in Syria’s bitter civil war since 2011 and millions more have fled the country.

The Syrian government is due to sit down with the opposition in Geneva on 22 January  in what would be the first face-to-face peace talks between the two sides. Many have questioned how effective the talks will be, however, with many opposition groups boycotting them.

The agreement to allow the aid convoys to enter the areas was announced in Paris by the US Secretary of State John Kerry and the Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who are working to broker an end to the bloody civil war.

There is no sign, however, that help is close to arriving in Yarmouk.

“Why don’t they kill us with chemicals? It would be done in a few minutes. It’s better than this way,” said Abu Muhamed, an activist.

Syria images of starvation: Verifying the truth

The factors preventing food and medical aid from getting into the Yarmouk camp also make it unusually hard to verify reports and pictures coming out of it.

The UN Relief and Works Agency has spoken of “profound civilian suffering in Yarmouk, with widespread incidence of malnutrition and the absence of medical care”, and numerous sources confirm the severity of conditions in the camp.

But the only visual evidence of these conditions comes from within the camp – from videos posted on YouTube to images posted on Twitter or, in some cases, photographs sent directly to journalists. The suppliers are usually activists.

The image of Israa al-Masri (above), and of a funeral for other victims of the siege, were provided to an Associated Press (AP) reporter by the activist group Palestinians of Syria.

The Independent spoke to the AP reporter, who said they had spoken to the person in the activist group who supplied a number of pictures from within Yarmouk camp, including the picture of Israa, whose image also appears in a separate YouTube video, which The Independent has seen.

Medical advice received by The Independent supports the view that the child identified as Israa does show signs of being “severely malnourished”.

Given the weight of evidence of extreme hunger within Yarmouk, there is no particular reason to doubt the authenticity of other images such as the one above, which is also taken from footage supplied by an activist group, and featured by Al Jazeera.

But despite rigorous checks, there is still no sure way of verifying them.

Who is Daniel Ellsberg? Predecessor of the whistle-blowers…

Submitted by ellsbergd Plantiff

“Hi Reddit,

I am Daniel Ellsberg, the former State and Defense Department official who leaked 7,000 pages of Top Secret documents on the Vietnam War to the New York Times and 19 other papers in 1971.

Recently, I co-founded the Freedom of the Press Foundation.

Yesterday, we announced Edward Snowden, NSA whistleblower, will be joining our board of directors!

Here’s our website: https://pressfreedomfoundation.org

I believe that Edward Snowden has done more to support and defend the Constitution—in particular, the First and Fourth Amendments—than any member of Congress or any other employee or official of the Executive branch, up to the president: every one of whom took that same oath, which many of them have violated.

Ask me anything.

Here’s proof it’s me: https://twitter.com/DanielEllsberg/status/423520429676826624

Andrew Bossone posted on FB:
Reddit conversation with “Daniel Ellsberg, the former State and Defense Department official who leaked 7,000 pages of Top Secret documents on the Vietnam War to the New York Times and 19 other papers in 1971.”
On recent events: “About the public’s reaction to the Pentagon Papers today. I think it would be about the same, generally favorable, because people are about as disillusioned with Iraq and Afghanistan (and Libya) as they were about Vietnam in 1971.
We still await the Pentagon Papers of these recent wars, and I hope someone will leak them. I think they would be welcomed, and I hope used, by the public.
But I think Obama’s reaction to me today would also be the same as Nixon’s to me in 1971: Lock Ellsberg up for life.
Obama wouldn’t have to do what Nixon ordered done to me in May, 1972, when I was exposing and attacking his policies while out on bail during my prosecution: order a team of ex-CIA “assets” under direction of “former” CIA and FBI agents “to incapacitate Ellsberg totally.
Obama wouldn’t have to do that because I wouldn’t be out on bail; I’d be in isolation, incommunicado, like Manning was and Snowden would be….
I don’t believe [Snowden] be out on bail or bond while awaiting trial.
Like Chelsea Manning, he’d be in an isolation cell, incommunicado (Manning hasn’t been spoken to by a journalist for the more than three years since she was arrested in Kuwait), probably for the rest of his life.
The Constitution hasn’t changed–the laws he is charged under, and I faced in 1971-73, would at that time very likely have been held to be unconstitutional in that application (to leakers: I was the first to be prosecuted for a leak, under the Espionage Act or any law).
But with the new courts, that’s much less likely. I don’t think anything or anyone would be served by his suffering that fate.”
http://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/comments/1vahsi/i_am_pentagon_papers_leaker_daniel_ellsberg/

adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

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