Calls on citizens to stop ‘example of state socialism’
A famous U.S. televangelist is urging Americans to take an example from Egyptians who ousted former President Mohamed Morsi and “rise up” to stop Obamacare.
“You know they revolted in Egypt against the oppressive actions of the Muslim Brotherhood, and this example of state socialism is something that Americans should rise up against,” Pat Robertson said Wednesday on the “700 Club,” referring to President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
He added, “They snuck that thing by us.”
April 28, 2013
The White House says that United States President Barack Obama may approve of using military force against the Syrian government.
Early afternoon on Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the administration has a number of options in regards to handling reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has used chemical weapons, and those routes include but are not exclusive to using military force.
Fielding a question from the media during the afternoon presser, Carney said that he could not speculate on what action if any Pres. Obama will pursue against Assad, but said “as a general principal the United States retains the ability to act unilaterally.”
Pres. Obama spoke to reporters hours later about the allegations during a meeting with Jordan’s King Abdullah in the Oval Office, calling the developments a “game changer” in terms of how the US might respond.
“Horrific as it is when mortars are being fired on civilians and people are being indiscriminately killed, to use potential weapons of mass destruction on civilian populations crosses another line with respect to international norms and international law,” Obama said.
“That is going to be a game changer. We have to act prudently. We have to make these assessments deliberately. But I think all of us … recognize how we cannot stand by and permit the systematic use of weapons like chemical weapons on civilian populations.”
Just one day earlier, US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said that the US intelligence community determined “with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons.” The White House sent a letter to members of the US Senate that morning informing lawmakers that Pres. Assad is believed to have used the odorless liquid sarin on at least two occasions.
“Thus far, we believe that the Assad regime maintains custody of these weapons, and has demonstrated a willingness to escalate its horrific use of violence against the Syrian people,” the letter read in part.
Following up on Friday, Carney said, “We still believe based on the information that we have that the stockpiles of chemical weapons in Syria are under control of the Syrian regime.”
“Because of that, Assad is responsible for the disposition of those chemical weapons and it is his responsibility first and foremost not to use them or to transport them to terrorist groups, but to secure them and make sure they aren’t used by anyone else.”
“That’s all I can really say about it. That’s our assessment at this time,” said Carney, adding that the Obama administration is working with allies and partners, including the United Nations and Sthe yrian opposition, to gather credible facts to corroborate earlier reports.
This article was posted: Sunday, April 28, 2013 at 6:11 am
North Korea warns of nuke test, more rocket launches
www.xfinity.comcast.net – By HYUNG-JIN KIM, AP
SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea’s top governing body warned Thursday that the regime will conduct its third nuclear test in defiance of U.N. punishment, and made clear that its long-range rockets are designed to carry not only satellites but also warheads aimed at striking the United States.
The National Defense Commission, headed by the country’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, denounced Tuesday’s U.N. Security Council resolution condemning North Korea’s long-range rocket launch in December as a banned missile activity and expanding sanctions against the regime. The commission reaffirmed in its declaration that the launch was a peaceful bid to send a satellite into space, but also clearly indicated the country’s rocket launches have a military purpose: to strike and attack the United States.
While experts say North Korea doesn’t have the capability to hit the U.S. with its missiles, recent tests and rhetoric indicate the country is feverishly working toward that goal.
The commission pledged to keep launching satellites and rockets and to conduct a nuclear test as part of a “new phase” of combat with the United States, which it blames for leading the U.N. bid to punish Pyongyang. It said a nuclear test was part of “upcoming” action but did not say exactly when or where it would take place.
“We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people,” the commission said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
“Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words, as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival,” the commission said.
It was a rare declaration by the powerful commission once led by late leader Kim Jong Il and now commanded by his son. The statement made clear Kim Jong Un’s commitment to continue developing the country’s nuclear and missile programs in defiance of the Security Council, even at risk of further international isolation.
North Korea’s allusion to a “higher level” nuclear test most likely refers to a device made from highly enriched uranium, which is easier to miniaturize than the plutonium bombs it tested in 2006 and 2009, said Cheong Seong-chang, an analyst at the private Sejong Institute in South Korea. Experts say the North Koreans must conduct further tests of its atomic devices and master the technique for making them smaller before they can be mounted as nuclear warheads onto long-range missiles.
The U.S. State Department had no immediate response to Thursday’s statement. Shortly before the commission issued its declaration, U.S. envoy on North Korea Glyn Davies urged Pyongyang not to explode an atomic device.
“Whether North Korea tests or not, it’s up to North Korea. We hope they don’t do it. We call on them not to do it,” he told reporters in Seoul after meeting with South Korean officials. “It will be a mistake and a missed opportunity if they were to do it.”
Davies was in Seoul on a trip that includes his stops in China and Japan for talks on how to move forward on North Korea relations.
South Korea’s top official on relations with the North said Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile development is a “cataclysm for the Korean people,” and poses a fundamental threat to regional and world peace. “The North Korean behavior is very disappointing,” Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said in a lecture in Seoul, according to his office.
North Korea claims the right to build nuclear weapons as a defense against the United States, its Korean War foe.
The bitter three-year war ended in a truce, not a peace treaty, in 1953, and left the Korean Peninsula divided by the world’s most heavily fortified demilitarized zone. The U.S. leads the U.N. Command that governs the truce and stations more than 28,000 troops in ally South Korea, a presence that North Korea cites as a key reason for its drive to build nuclear weapons.
For years, North Korea’s neighbors had been negotiating with Pyongyang on providing aid in return for disarmament. North Korea walked away from those talks in 2009 and on Wednesday reiterated that disarmament talks were out of the question.
North Korea is estimated to have stored up enough weaponized plutonium for four to eight bombs, according to scientist Siegfried Hecker, who visited the North’s Nyongbyon nuclear complex in 2010.
In 2009, Pyongyang declared that it would begin enriching uranium, which would give North Korea a second way to make atomic weapons.
North Korea carried out underground nuclear tests in 2006 and 2009, both times just weeks after being punished with U.N. sanctions for launching long-range rockets.
In October, an unidentified spokesman at the National Defense Commission claimed that the U.S. mainland was within missile range. And at a military parade last April, North Korea showed off what appeared to be an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Satellite photos taken last month at a nuclear test site in Punggye-ri, in far northeast North Korea, showed continued activity that suggested a state of readiness even in winter, according to analysis by 38 North, a North Korea website affiliated with the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies.
Another nuclear test would bring North Korea a step closer to being able to launch a long-range missile tipped with a nuclear warhead, said Daniel Pinkston, an analyst with the International Crisis Group.
“Their behavior indicates they want to acquire those capabilities,” he said. “The ultimate goal is to have a robust nuclear deterrent.”