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Implications of Pro-War Susan Rice as VP Nominee

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Various media outlets are reporting that former Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice is on Joe Biden’s “short list” to be his running mate.

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu, @SZunes
Zunes is a professor of politics and coordinator of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco. He said today: “Should Susan Rice be chosen as Biden’s running mate, it would serve as yet another signal that the likely next Democratic administration would embrace a foreign policy similar to that of Bush and Cheney. Rice’s decision to repeat the lies of the Bush administration regarding the supposed threat from Iraq in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of that oil-rich country in order to undermine the anti-war movement, her support for autocratic Middle Eastern and African leaders, her attacks against the United Nations, her support for the Israeli occupation, and her defense of Israeli violations of international humanitarian law will result in further alienating the progressive Democratic base from the national ticket. Already troubled over Biden’s hawkish foreign policy views, his lies about Iraq, and his successful insistence on including center-right foreign policy planks in the Democratic platform, his possible choice of a vice-president with a record of stating demonstrable falsehoods to defend actions by the United States and its allies that violate international norms could end up suppressing turnout and enhance the appeal of leftist third parties.”

In 2013, Zunes wrote the piece “Troubling Implications of Susan Rice’s Appointment as National Security Adviser,” noting that during the buildup to the Iraq invasion, she rose to the Bush administration’s “defense by insisting that, ‘It’s clear that Iraq poses a major threat.’ This claim came despite the fact that Iraq had disarmed itself of its chemical and biological weapons and eliminated its nuclear program at least eight years earlier. Moreover, despite the success of the UN’s disarmament program, Rice asserted that Iraq’s ‘weapons of mass destruction need to be dealt with forcefully, and that’s the path we’re on.'” [Audio and video clips of Rice’s statements cited by Zunes are here and here.]

Nobel Prize for OPCW: Examining Both Organizations

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https://www.accuracy.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/OPCW_logo.jpg

JOHN Y. JONES, jones at networkers.org
Jones is with Networkers SouthNorth. He said today: “If you think that 500 bureaucrats deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for doing their decent job, you are in line with the Norwegian Nobel Peace Prize Committee and its chair Torbjorn Jagland. But the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize for OPCW is a prize that kicks in open doors. No one is against the idea of a Chemical Weapons free world. A few superpowers are dragging their feet, though. Sadly, this event will not challenge them.” See: “U.N. Chief Urges Full Chemical Disarmament by 2018,” which notes: “The United States presently intends to wrap up destruction of its chemical arms by 2023.”

Jones adds: “The fight against the atrocious life and resource destructing mega wars in Iraq, Libya and Afghanistan seems far beyond the radar of the Nobel Committee.”

FREDRIK HEFFERMEHL, fredpax at online.no
Author of The Nobel Peace Prize: What Nobel Really Wanted, Heffermehl, said today: “The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for 2013. This is a halfhearted step in the right direction. The Nobel Committee is correct in stating that disarmament figures prominently in Alfred Nobel´s testament, but why does it always hide that what Nobel wished to support was a great plan for how to create a durable peace? Nobel’s vision was to abolish not only certain weapons, like the chemical, but all weapons in all countries. Demilitarize international relations — not only civilize war but abolish it.”

RICHARD SILVERSTEIN, richards1052 at comcast.net, @richards1052, Skype: richards1052
Silverstein has written on security and other issues for a number of outlets and blogs at Tikun Olam. He said today: “Following the unwarranted award to Barack Obama, and now the OPCW, the Nobel Committee has shown its increasing irrelevance by not picking someone like Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden. It seems to want to stay away from controversy, but how else could you really push for peace?”

Silverstein recently wrote the piece “Chemical Weapons and Moral Hypocrisy,” which states: “The U.S. and Russia both have chemical weapons programs. … Many analysts believe that Syria and Egypt developed their own chemical weapons capability as a form of insurance and deterrence against Israel’s nuclear weapons cache.”

GEORGE MONBIOT, george at monbiot.info
In 2002, Monbiot wrote critical pieces about how the U.S. government was ousting Jose Bustani, who was then the head of the OPCW, because of his efforts to inspect alleged chemical weapons in Iraq and thus prevent war. Monbiot was featured on an IPA news release at the time: “Chemical Weapons Agency ‘Coup’?” Later, more revelations came out; see AP story in 2005: “Bolton Said to Orchestrate Unlawful Firing.” Bustani later prevailed in a legal case against the OPCW,

STEPHEN ZUNES, zunes at usfca.edu
Professor of politics and chair of Middle Eastern Studies at the University of San Francisco, wrote the piece “The U.S. and Chemical Weapons: No Leg to Stand On.”

He said today: “Under the Bush administration, the OPCW and its leadership was attacked and undermined because it dared to use inspections rather than unsubstantiated claims to determine the existence of these dangerous arsenals and peaceful means rather than war to eliminate them. Under the five years of tireless leadership under Jose Bustani, a Brazilian diplomat, the number of signatories of the treaty grew from 87 to 145 nations, the fastest growth rate of any international organization in recent decades, and his inspectors oversaw the destruction of two million chemical weapons, constituting two-thirds of the world’s chemical weapons facilities. However, because he insisted that the OPCW inspect U.S. chemical weapons facilities with the same vigor it did for other countries and his efforts to get Saddam Hussein’s Iraq to sign the Chemical Weapons Convention and open their facilities to surprise inspections would undermine U.S. claims that Iraq was still developing them, the Bush administration successfully forced his removal. …

“The subsequent OPCW leadership has been far weaker and more averse to challenging great power prerogatives, as indicated by the fact that they are currently in the process of eliminating Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal while the vast stockpiles belonging to U.S. allies Israel and Egypt remain intact. Nevertheless, the fact that the OPCW exists made it possible to avoid a U.S. attack on Syria and the likely disastrous consequences that would have resulted.”