Presstv: Obama could be assassinated, Israel not attack Iran, Chas Freeman interview
Israel will not attack Iran, Biden says
US Vice President Joe Biden
Wed, 08 Apr 2009 02:00:31 GMT
The US vice president has cautioned Israel against launching a military attack against Iran, saying such a move would be an ill-advised decision.
“I don’t believe that Prime Minister Netanyahu would do that. I think he would be ill-advised to do that,” Joe Biden said on Tuesday in an interview with CNN when asked about possible Israeli strikes on Iranian nuclear sites.
“The Israeli government may ultimately see itself so threatened by the prospect of an Iranian nuclear weapon that it would take preemptive military action to derail or delay it,” Petraeus said last Wednesday.
Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi says US President Barack Obama could be assassinated like former presidents John F. Kennedy and Abraham Lincoln.
Tue, 07 Apr 2009 22:50:02 GMT
“There is a fear that they would liquidate him [Obama] as they liquidated Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Abraham Lincoln,” Qadhafi said on Tuesday.
The African Union chairman did not mention who might want to kill the US president.
Praising Obama at a university gathering in Sirte, Qadhafi said, “Obama is a flicker of hope in the middle of the imperialist darkness.”
However, he expressed concern that the powers that be would not allow Obama to implement his plans.
“I fear that they could liquidate this young man or force him to submit to their imperialist policies.”
“He (Obama) speaks logically. Arrogance no longer exists in the American approach, which was previously based on dictating to the rest of the world in order to meet its own conditions,” Libyan state media quoted Qadhafi as saying.
President Obama, who used his signature “change” slogan throughout the presidential campaign, is now expected to fulfill his promise as he faces a number of foreign and domestic policy challenges.
Chas Freeman Interview on PressTV -Transcript
Fri, 03 Apr 2009 17:11:32 GMT
By Susan Moddares
The following is a Press TV interview with former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia Charles W. Freeman on the controversy surrounding his nomination and subsequent withdrawal form chairing the US National Intelligence Council.
Freeman: Well, I do not think that they are working on behalf of a foreign government, but that they are working on behalf of a faction in a foreign country, which is even worst.
What is it that they objected to about me? Well I am critical of the Israeli policy. I believe Israel’s policies are destructive to American interests and also to Israeli interests.
I do not see how Israel can continue to survive in the long term as a state in the Middle East if it is not prepared to deal with respect and consideration with its Arab neighbors, especially the Palestinians.
I think it is not an act of hostility to Israel to be critical but an act of friendship, and the failure to observe that, see that and agree with that is what I think is most detestable about this group of people.
Press TV: This “particular group of people” probably would not agree with you when you say that being critical of them is an act of friendship, because it seems that criticizing Israeli policies abroad is much easier than criticizing them here in the United States, almost a taboo among Washington policy makers.
Freeman: Well it is very much a taboo and it has been employed in the kind of tactics that were applied to me and the great irony is that the Israelis themselves are far more critical and in much harsher terms of their government’s policies than I have ever been.
It is a strange thing that Israelis can criticize these things and somehow Americans are not allowed to.
Press TV: Why?
Freeman: Well, I think the interest of this group on the right-wing of the Israel lobby is to ensure that there is no debate; that Israel receives a blanket support for whatever it does; that it is not subject to criticism and that it is protected from the majority of the international communities’ anger over its actions.
The United States repeatedly exercises vetoes to in the United Nation’s Security Council to prevent criticism of Israel. All of this is seen somehow seen by this group of people as helpful to Israel. I think it is actually very destructive and unhelpful to Israel, because, it prevents Israel from having to make the sorts of choices that has to make if it is to survive as a state in the Middle East.
Press TV: And how destructive is this for American’s national interests. Americans say “For the people, by the people” and they mean Americans. Touching upon the patriotic issue, do you think that this is harming America’s image abroad in anyway?
Freeman: well my critics were themselves Americans but they are Americans with what George Washington called passionate attachment for a foreign country. He argues that such passionate attachments are destructive and should be avoided. So I believe that considerable damage has been done to the United States, and our image and our interests by and unreasoning support of whatever it is that is decided in Israel.
I believe the resulting atmosphere in the Arab world, and indeed the broader Muslim world, is conducive to the recruitment of terrorists who attack us, to hostility to the American interests, and efforts to undermine those interests in the broads swath of the Dar al Islam.
Press TV: at the beginning of the interview you said that you wanted to use this opportunity to bring change to the US intelligence? What kind of change would have brought to the council and what kind of change does this council need at this point in time?
Freeman: There have been grave issues with both the quality and the credibility of the United State intelligence in recent years. Not only was there the infamous slicing, dicing and stir-frying of intelligence that went on in preparation for the invasion of Iraq, but there have been other controversies and the political abuse of intelligence.
In many ways it has come to be seen that some people in Washington see intelligence as ammunition for political argument or polemics rather than a guide for policy making.
So, the object, what I wanted to do, was to restore realism and objectivity to the process and not by imposing my own views which may be wrong but by asking hard questions before people release a conclusion; I want to know why is it that you are saying this, is it because everybody else is saying this? Or is it because you have some evidence to back your saying; why do you come to the conclusion that you do, if it is at odds with the conclusion of others who have studied the same subject?
I would have like to have opened up the process and built some checks and balances to protect it against politicization. The irony is that of course I was accused of intending, myself, to politicize it. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Press TV: Your critics were basically saying that because you have very strong feelings for the Middle East and China, and American policies regarding these regions that you might not have the objectivity to really lead this council. What is your response?
Freeman: I think that what they actually said is that the only conclusions of intelligence analysis are those that are politically correct, and if you are to come with a conclusion that politically unwelcome or inconvenient, we do not want to hear them.
To this I would say that if in fact the only acceptable outcome of analysis is conclusions that are stipulated before the analysis has even been done, why bother with the analysis at all? Why not just make a political statement and be done with it?
Press TV: Is that what has been happening?