A Message to George W. Bush and Dick Cheney From a Dying Veteran

Tomas Young, disabled veteran and outspoken critic of the Iraq War died today at the age of 34. Here is his letter to Bush and Cheney.


Tomas Young

To: George W. Bush and Dick Cheney
From: Tomas Young

I write this letter on the 10th anniversary of the Iraq War on behalf of my fellow Iraq War veterans. I write this letter on behalf of the 4,488 soldiers and Marines who died in Iraq. I write this letter on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of veterans who have been wounded and on behalf of those whose wounds, physical and psychological, have destroyed their lives. I am one of those gravely wounded. I was paralyzed in an insurgent ambush in 2004 in Sadr City. My life is coming to an end. I am living under hospice care.

I write this letter on behalf of husbands and wives who have lost spouses, on behalf of children who have lost a parent, on behalf of the fathers and mothers who have lost sons and daughters and on behalf of those who care for the many thousands of my fellow veterans who have brain injuries. I write this letter on behalf of those veterans whose trauma and self-revulsion for what they have witnessed, endured and done in Iraq have led to suicide and on behalf of the active-duty soldiers and Marines who commit, on average, a suicide a day. I write this letter on behalf of the some 1 million Iraqi dead and on behalf of the countless Iraqi wounded. I write this letter on behalf of us all—the human detritus your war has left behind, those who will spend their lives in unending pain and grief.

You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

I write this letter, my last letter, to you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney. I write not because I think you grasp the terrible human and moral consequences of your lies, manipulation and thirst for wealth and power. I write this letter because, before my own death, I want to make it clear that I, and hundreds of thousands of my fellow veterans, along with millions of my fellow citizens, along with hundreds of millions more in Iraq and the Middle East, know fully who you are and what you have done. You may evade justice but in our eyes you are each guilty of egregious war crimes, of plunder and, finally, of murder, including the murder of thousands of young Americans—my fellow veterans—whose future you stole.

Your positions of authority, your millions of dollars of personal wealth, your public relations consultants, your privilege and your power cannot mask the hollowness of your character. You sent us to fight and die in Iraq after you, Mr. Cheney, dodged the draft in Vietnam, and you, Mr. Bush, went AWOL from your National Guard unit. Your cowardice and selfishness were established decades ago. You were not willing to risk yourselves for our nation but you sent hundreds of thousands of young men and women to be sacrificed in a senseless war with no more thought than it takes to put out the garbage.

I joined the Army two days after the 9/11 attacks. I joined the Army because our country had been attacked. I wanted to strike back at those who had killed some 3,000 of my fellow citizens. I did not join the Army to go to Iraq, a country that had no part in the September 2001 attacks and did not pose a threat to its neighbors, much less to the United States. I did not join the Army to “liberate” Iraqis or to shut down mythical weapons-of-mass-destruction facilities or to implant what you cynically called “democracy” in Baghdad and the Middle East. I did not join the Army to rebuild Iraq, which at the time you told us could be paid for by Iraq’s oil revenues. Instead, this war has cost the United States over $3 trillion. I especially did not join the Army to carry out pre-emptive war. Pre-emptive war is illegal under international law. And as a soldier in Iraq I was, I now know, abetting your idiocy and your crimes. The Iraq War is the largest strategic blunder in U.S. history. It obliterated the balance of power in the Middle East. It installed a corrupt and brutal pro-Iranian government in Baghdad, one cemented in power through the use of torture, death squads and terror. And it has left Iran as the dominant force in the region. On every level—moral, strategic, military and economic—Iraq was a failure. And it was you, Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney, who started this war. It is you who should pay the consequences.

To read Chris Hedges’ recent interview with Tomas Young, click here.

I would not be writing this letter if I had been wounded fighting in Afghanistan against those forces that carried out the attacks of 9/11. Had I been wounded there I would still be miserable because of my physical deterioration and imminent death, but I would at least have the comfort of knowing that my injuries were a consequence of my own decision to defend the country I love. I would not have to lie in my bed, my body filled with painkillers, my life ebbing away, and deal with the fact that hundreds of thousands of human beings, including children, including myself, were sacrificed by you for little more than the greed of oil companies, for your alliance with the oil sheiks in Saudi Arabia, and your insane visions of empire.

I have, like many other disabled veterans, suffered from the inadequate and often inept care provided by the Veterans Administration. I have, like many other disabled veterans, come to realize that our mental and physical wounds are of no interest to you, perhaps of no interest to any politician. We were used. We were betrayed. And we have been abandoned. You, Mr. Bush, make much pretense of being a Christian. But isn’t lying a sin? Isn’t murder a sin? Aren’t theft and selfish ambition sins? I am not a Christian. But I believe in the Christian ideal. I believe that what you do to the least of your brothers you finally do to yourself, to your own soul.

My day of reckoning is upon me. Yours will come. I hope you will be put on trial. But mostly I hope, for your sakes, that you find the moral courage to face what you have done to me and to many, many others who deserved to live. I hope that before your time on earth ends, as mine is now ending, you will find the strength of character to stand before the American public and the world, and in particular the Iraqi people, and beg for forgiveness.

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Russia, Iran sign nuclear construction deal for 8 units

What’s your take on this? Will nuclear power plants in Iran prevent bombings? Why are two oil-rich countries pursuing nuclear power?


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Russia is to build eight nuclear power units in Iran, as a new partnership agreement, guaranteed by the IAEA, was signed in Moscow on Tuesday.

The head of the Rosatom, Sergey Kirienko, and the chief of the Atomic Energy Agency of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, signed a series of documents, promoting the links in the field of peaceful application of atomic energy between the countries, RIA Novosti reports.

According to the agreement, Russia is to construct eight units with pressurized water reactors “turn-key ready” in Iran. Four of them will be built at the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant, also completed by Russia a year ago.

Besides, nuclear fuel for the future reactors will be provided by Russia during the whole life cycle of the new reactors. Spent fuel will be returned for processing and storage.

“It is the turning point in the relations between our countries,” Salehi said. “These friendly actions, taken by Russia will be well-remembered.” He added that now Russia and Iran “have become even closer to each other.”

The partners didn’t touch upon the subject of possible shipment of enriched uranium to Iran.

“We didn’t discuss this question today,” Kirienko told journalists after the signing of the protocol.

Sergey Kiriyenko (R), head of the Russian state nuclear monopoly Rosatom, and head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi shake hands during a signing ceremony in Moscow, November 11, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

Sergey Kiriyenko (R), head of the Russian state nuclear monopoly Rosatom, and head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation Ali Akbar Salehi shake hands during a signing ceremony in Moscow, November 11, 2014 (Reuters / Maxim Shemetov)

The new document has been a protocol to the intergovernmental partnership agreement, signed on August 25, 1992. It marked the decision to continue building a nuclear power plant 18km from Bushehr, on the coast of the Persian Gulf in Iran.

The project will be guaranteed by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), as the first unit of the Bushehr has been. It also will fully comply with the non-proliferation regime.

As reported earlier, the Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant – with construction started in 1974 by a German company – was completed by Russia in 2013.

Back then it was decided that Moscow would guarantee its operation for two years, and Russian experts would stay on hand to advise personnel and provide technical support.

Iran is currently facing a November 24 deadline to reach an agreement on its nuclear program, within the frame of year-long diplomatic talks. On Monday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and US Secretary of State John Kerry tried to overcome the problems, and, according to the US State Department, the talks had proven “tough, direct and serious,” yet “there is still time” for progress, AFP reported.

Veterans Sue Banks For Funding Terrorist Attacks on US Soldiers

Now here’s a Remembrance Day (Veterans Day) news story you probably won’t see on mainstream media, even though it is about seeking justice for soldiers. -LW


Susanne Posel, Chief Editor Occupy Corporatism | The US Independent
November 11, 2014

Vets Sue Banks For Funding Terrorist Attacks on US Soldiers - Top US & World News | Susanne Posel

An unprecedented 200 plus American service men and women (including family members of soldiers killed in Iraq) filed a lawsuit in Brooklyn, in a federal court, citing that banks financed more than 50 attacks on Americans stationed or working in Iraq during the war.

The banks named in the suit are:

  • HSBC
  • Barclays
  • Standard Chartered
  • Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)
  • Credit Suisse
  • Bank Saderat Iran, UK-based subsidiary of Iranian bank

The lawsuit states that these banks transferred “billions of dollars on behalf of Iran; even after sanctions were placed on the country because of their suspected financing of terrorist organizations.

Court papers filed reveal: “The defendants provided Iran with the means by which it could transfer more than $150 million to the I.R.G.C.-Q.F., Hezbollah and Special Groups, which were actively engaged in planning and perpetrating the murder and maiming of hundreds of Americans in Iraq.”

In fact, the lawsuit explains how the banks cited just happened “to do business with Iranian financial institutions that have separately financed Hezbollah, the Shiite militant group and political party suspected of aiding attacks in Iraq, as well as Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps-Qods Force and other instruments of Iranian state-sponsored terrorism.”

This litigation focuses on how the banks “finance illegal activity” and played a role in handling “tainted transactions” by using the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) to show the bank’s hand in providing “material support” to terrorists.

Gary Osen, one attorney for the plaintiffs, pointed out: “Does it matter whether a particular bank was the physical conduit of the transfers to the terror apparatus, or is it enough that they were in a conspiracy which made that possible, and that they were, as a legal matter, deliberately indifferent to that result?”

In order to move money, according to the lawsuit, banks “ conspired with Iranian banks to mask wire transactions in order to evade US sanctions.”

It is estimated that at least $100 million was funneled to terrorist groups operating in Iraq under the control of Iran:

  • a Shi’ite militia in Iraq
  • Kataib Hezbollah
  • Quds Force, the overseas arm of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

This lawsuit alleges that these banks “indirectly facilitated the attacks by entering into agreements with Iranian banks to mask US dollar wire transactions sent through the United States.”

Osen said: “Each defendant understood that their conduct was part of a larger scheme engineered by Iran.”

HSBC has a history of financing terrorist clients from countries such as Mexico, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Syria.”

Back in 2012, in Mexico, HSBC allowed massive amounts of monies to be funneled to drug cartels while simultaneously servicing clients in Saudi Arabian and Bangladesh banks to finance many terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda.

At the time, it was revealed that “HSBC officials working closely with Saudi Arabian banks linked to terrorist organizations.”

In a news article about the lawsuit: “… the four-count criminal information filed in the court charged HSBC with failure to maintain an effective anti-money laundering program, to conduct due diligence on its foreign correspondent affiliates and for violating sanctions and the Trading With the Enemy Act.”

It is clear that “if [the banks] do business with terrorists, [they] can be held liable.”

 

Source.

Canadian Secret Services Issued Warning Two Weeks Before Shooting

Canada’s Research Centre for Globalization’s Julie Levesque calls-out Prime Minister Harper as Canada’s #1 terrorist. She examines who is really behind “terrorism” and further declares “The Coalition” in Iraq/Syria as illegal bombing. An excellent interview! -LW


Ottawa shootings have already been linked to Islamist threat. How come the connection is made without even waiting for investigation results? Radio VR is discussing it with Julie Lévesque, Canadian journalist and Researcher.

A gunman attacked Canada’s parliament on Wednesday, firing several shots near where Prime Minister Stephen Harper was speaking.  The PM was safe, but a Canadian soldier at a nearby war memorial was killed.

Mr. Harper was quick to link the shooting to Islamist threat. He said the attack would prompt Canada to redouble its efforts to fight against “terrorist organizations” abroad. Canada has recently announced it was joining the anti-ISIS coalition.

The CNN quoted US sources as saying “The suspect in Wednesday’s shootings in Ottawa had “connections” to jihadists in Canada who shared a radical Islamist ideology, including at least one who went overseas to fight in Syria, multiple U.S. sources told CNN on Thursday”.

However, why the PM and the media would be so quick in drawing the connection without waiting for the investigation results?

Radio VR is talking about Ottawa shootings and the global war on terror with Julie Lévesque, Canadian journalist and Researcher at the Centre for Research on Globalization in Canada:

I think that right now it is really too early to say anything about the motives of the shooters. We don’t really know. What we are being told by the media, and I think that is important, because from the beginning the media…and I have to remind your listeners that prior to the shooting at Ottawa yesterday, there was another shooting two days before in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, in Quebec, which is where there is a big military base. One military killed. He was ran over by some guy, who, we are being told, was radicalized Muslim – someone who had converted to Islam a year ago. And I think, I’m not sure, I would have to verify that, but the shooter in Ottawa, apparently, was also a converted Muslim. And he also happens to be the French Canadian.

Like I said, it is too early to tell what the motives were, but the media was very quick to point to self-radicalization over the Internet, Islamic terrorism. That’s what they were saying immediately. So, what the consequences of those two attacks are is that people are calling for increased security measures. Some people are even calling for the restrictions of liberties. They are saying – oh, these people should not have access to the Internet. Some people should not have access to Facebook.

I was told that there was sort of a study that is kind of being established in Canada right now. Some people are being told by the police that they have to remain vigilant. And that’s what the media and the authorities have been saying for the past few months as well, that the Canadian citizens need to remain vigilant and we need to be suspicious of any suspicious activity. Clearly, what they are saying is that you need to be suspicious of Muslims. That’s not what they are saying, but that’s what it implies, because we keep talking about radical Islam and things like that.

So, I think the effects are that we are seeing increased security measures, there is a fear campaign going on and we are asking the citizens to be suspicious of one another, especially suspicious regarding the Muslim community.

This situation is not exactly typical for Canada. I mean, we are kind of accustomed to random shootings in the US, but Canada was different, wasn’t it?

Julie Lévesque: Yes, and that’s the thing. And what I find suspicious in those two attacks is that for months now we are being told by the authorities that – oh, there is a very real threat of a homegrown terrorism. Two weeks ago the RCMP (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police) and the CSIS (the Canadian Security Intelligence Service) were in the Parliament and they were saying that – yes, we have like 63 inquiries about 90 people that we think might be plotting terrorist attacks. That was two weeks ago.

And in the summer there was also a report in the National Post about a study by the intelligence services in Canada, where they were saying that they were expecting attacks in Ottawa, because it is the place where you have federal institutions, you have a lot of embassies and they were expecting small-scale attacks, lone shooters and things like that.

And what we were being told by the RCMP yesterday, was that – oh, the attack took them by surprise. I find that very surprising, since they had a study saying that they were expecting that kind of attack. So, it is very foggy as we speak. We don’t know. It could be a false flag. I’m not saying that that’s what it is, but it could very well be.

In the past the Canadian security services have been issuing threats against the Canadian citizens. They had informants who were infiltrated into the Muslim community and they were issuing threats against the Canadian citizens, saying that – yes, there were going to be terrorist attacks. And these people were working with the Canadian security services.

And I think we have to ask at this moment – who benefits from these attacks. It is not the Muslim community, it is not ISIS or some kind of terrorist organization that’s benefitting from this, it is the Canadian Government, which is very militaristic and it is right-wing, and their allies in the ME. We know that the Canadian Government is very pro-Israeli. And I have to say that the number one terrorist right now in Canada is Stephen Harper, because Mr. Harper has no respect whatsoever for the international law.

Mr. Harper supports the illegal occupation in Israel, its colonial regime. They support the neo-Nazi unelected Government in Ukraine. Like I said, with no respect whatsoever to the international law they have been bombing Libya. And we are asking people in the media, we are asking experts where does the ISIS come from. And then, some of them will say – well, you know, it is a byproduct of an illegal occupation in Iraq, you know, when the Americans left, they created a mess.

And yes, the Americans are responsible for that and they have supported clandestine operations in the ME as well. For a long time they’ve been supporting that. We’ve been helping terrorists in Libya, the revolt in Libya or the so-called popular uprising that began in Benghazi. And there was a study in 2007 from the West Point Military Academy in the US, which was saying that Benghazi was the haven in the ME for terrorists, for jihadists.

And we ended up helping these people take control of Libya. And what is happening is that the weapons that were in Libya have been flowing to some terrorist organizations. And we’ve also been helping the jihadists and terrorists in Syria; we’ve been helping them for a long time. Like I said, we – it is mostly the US and their allies in the ME, but Canada has been supporting that all along. So, if there is one person in Canada who should be arrested right now, it is Mr. Harper.

But if we come to look at that over the past years, as soon as the global antiterrorist campaign was launched, the situation with the global terrorism started to deteriorate.

Julie Lévesque: Absolutely! And this is what is crazy about this whole situation. It is that we are trying to find out how we can eradicate terrorism. Well, first of all, if we stopped intervening militarily everywhere in the world, if NATO and the US and their allies stopped intervening everywhere in the world militarily, without regards to the international law – that would help, because the studies have shown… and there is a really interesting study that I would refer your listeners to. I don’t have the title with me, but I’ll just read one sentence to you. “The new research provides strong evidence that suicide terrorism, such as that of 9/11, is particularly sensitive to foreign military occupation and not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology.”

And now we are being told that the reason for the shooting in Ottawa and the attack in Saint-Jean are due to radicalized individuals, and it is due to the Islamic extremism and Islamic terrorism, and the fundamentalist ideology. It is not true! The cause of terrorism is occupation and the war on terrorism itself has proven to increase terrorism. So, we are trying to solve a problem by its cause. We shouldn’t be intervening militarily to stop terrorism, because that’s what breeds terrorism. It is completely crazy!

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What do we do? Is there anything we could do about that?

Julie Lévesque: First of all, this US-led coalition that is attacking Iraq and Syria at the moment, to which Canada participates, this is illegal. It is an illegal bombing. So, that should stop. And the first thing we should do is stop supporting terrorism, because that’s what’s been happening in past few years: we’ve been supporting radical jihadists in the ME and now we are complaining that there are organizations like ISIS that are emerging. It makes no sense!

Moreover, saying that ISIS in fact emerged as a strong organization in Iraq, it is not exactly true: it was created in Iraq, but then it moved to Syria. And it was in Syria, where it got most of its resources, because the West was indiscriminately arming and supporting those anti-Assad forces. 

Julie Lévesque: Absolutely! And the goal of the military intervention right now, so-called against ISIS, it is not against ISIS. The goal is to remove Bashar al-Assad. And even the Saudi Prince said so. He said – I hope that this is the first step to the removal of Assad. That’s clearly the goal. They are not fighting against ISIS. I mean, if we look at the facts, they are bombing grain silos and killing civilians, and bombing even empty buildings. Right at the beginning of the bombings, they were bombing empty buildings. So, the ISIS, they have been tipped off. They knew where it was going to be bombed.

And once again, it does resemble the 9/11, because 9/11, willingly or not,  was used as a pretext. At that time there was Al Qaeda, now it’s ISIS…

Julie Lévesque: Absolutely! Yes, but Al Qaeda was the creation of the US and they admitted – yes, we created AL Qaeda. Even Hilary Clinton said it, that they created Al Qaeda. I mean, it is a pattern. If you look at the history, how many times did the US use terrorist organizations, death squads in Latin America? So many death squads were used. If you think of the contras, for example, in Nicaragua – these people were armed and financed, and trained by the US. I mean, it is a pattern.

“National Interest” has run a story, saying the US foreign policy has been incompetent and the two presidents – Mr. Obama and Mr. Bush – are misguided.

Julie Lévesque: No, it is intended to be this way. I mean, if you look at just this document from the Project for a New American Century, where they are saying that to keep its global domination the US needs to be implicated in multiple theatre wars in the ME. What is happening right now, it is exactly that. And also, one thing that we have to keep in mind is the Yinon Plan for Greater Israel, the goal of which is to destabilize all the opposing Arab countries, such as Iraq. The goal is to destabilize these countries and Balkanise the ME, so that Israel can emerge as the regional dominant country.

So, the US policy in the ME and the Canadian policy in the ME, it is not misguided, these people are not stupid. They would like us to think that they are stupid, but it is intended to be this way, it is planned this way. This is what they want.

True! But it backfires.

Julie Lévesque: I’m not into that backfiring theory. Yes, it can, sometimes we need to be cautious with these backfiring things. Like we were told shortly after 9/11 that – oh, Osama Bin Laden, yeah, he turned against us. Yes, he was the CIA asset, but he turned against us. And then, we learnt shortly after that, well, actually, Osama Bin Laden was working for the US until the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Like I said, the experts are saying – oh, well, in Iraq the ISIS came out of bad US policy, an unjustified war in Iraq, that’s the result of that. And what they are proposing for an answer to that and to solve the problem is the problem itself. They are suggesting that we go back with the military. It makes no sense!

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Stew Webb of VeteransToday on PressTV Discussing ISIS

I haven’t paid attention to Stew Webb in a long time. I had no idea that he was now reporting for Veteran’s Today. This interview with PressTV was a pleasant surprise. To hear Stew tell it, the Global Coalition we’ve been hearing about is actually part of the effort to finally shut down the the Bush-Clinton crime family–a HUGE part of “the cabal.” In case you haven’t been keeping up, there were 104+ countries who committed themselves to helping Iraq get rid of the Bush-funded terrorists at the United Nations in the past two weeks.

This being the case, I highly recommend paying attention to President Obama and what is happening at the UN Security Council and General Assembly meetings betwen now and Tuesday, September 30th. Watch President Obama’s mannerisms in front of the camera, as well as the things he is talking about in-front of the camera. He has been coerced by the Bush family for so long… We may actually see him performing his job, unencumbered. -LW

Stew Webb blasting away the lies of the mainstream media concerning ISIS which is being run by the US and Israel! It’s all about taking over more countries! It’s sad to see how far the US has fallen when you must go Iranian media to get any truth about what’s really going on. US media is all lies, all time time!

World Leaders Are Flooding Into New York This Week For A Crucial Meeting – Business Insider

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon speaks at a news conference ahead of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters in New York

Wouldn’t you just love to know what else they are discussing at the UN, this week? -LW

UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – World leaders gather in New York this week to tackle a host of crises: the violence Islamic State militants are wreaking in Iraq and Syria, the exponential spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Africa and deadlocked negotiations on Iran’s nuclear program.

There is little hope the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly will achieve much in the annual five-day marathon of speeches. But on the sidelines, U.S. officials plan to lobby allies for pledges of concrete military assistance to help defeat Islamic State, whose hardline Sunni Islamist fighters have taken over swaths of Syrian and Iraqi territory.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said more than 140 heads of state or government will attend the assembly’s annual “general debate”, which begins on Wednesday and ends Sept. 30. He noted an unusually large number of serious conflicts: in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine.

“The world is facing multiple crises,” Ban told reporters.

“All have featured atrocious attacks on civilians, including children,” he said. “All have dangerous sectarian, ethnic or tribal dimensions. And many have seen sharp divisions within the international community itself over the response.”

U.N. officials and delegates say the top issue for Western and Arab leaders is the rampage of Islamic State militants, who are blamed for a wave of sectarian violence, beheadings and massacres of civilians.

“Together, we will address the horrendous violence in Syria and Iraq, where conflict and governance failures have provided a breeding ground for extremist groups,” Ban said.

U.S. President Barack Obama is expected to use the U.N. podium on Wednesday to call for more countries to join his coalition of more than 40 nations to prevent IS from expanding its territory. The United States has been bombing IS targets in Iraq for the past month but has yet to bomb Syria.

The White House said it was unlikely that Obama would meet with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani while both are in New York this week. But Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to meet with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif at which they are expected to discuss Iran’s atomic program and IS.

On Friday, Kerry told a special meeting of the Security Council that Iran could play a role in helping tackle IS, an apparent shift in the U.S. position. Both Iran and the United States have ruled out military cooperation.

EBOLA OUTBREAK

In addition to speeches by Obama, Rouhani and other high-profile leaders, other important attendees making their U.N. General Assembly debut this week include Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

On Wednesday, Obama will chair a rare summit meeting of the U.N. Security Council on the problem of foreign fighters. He last chaired a council summit in 2009 on eradicating nuclear weapons.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the council plans to adopt a resolution demanding countries “prevent and suppress” recruitment and travel of foreign fighters to join extremist militant groups like IS by ensuring it is a serious criminal offence under domestic laws. Foreign fighters in IS are believed to be the group’s cruelest.

U.N. member states will also tackle the Ebola crisis in West Africa. Obama and other leaders will also attend a high-level meeting on the exponentially worsening hemorrhagic fever outbreak that has devastated Liberia, Sierra Leone and other countries in the region.

The meeting comes just after the Security Council declared Ebola a “threat to international peace and security” and established the first-ever U.N. mission dedicated to tackling a public-health threat.

Since the current outbreak was first detected in March, Ebola has infected at least 5,357 people, according to the World Health Organization, mostly in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. It has also spread to Senegal and Nigeria. The virus has killed an estimated 2,630 people.

Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf had been due to speak at the General Assembly this week but canceled her trip to New York because of the Ebola crisis.

While the General Assembly speeches are going on, senior foreign ministry officials from the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are meeting in New York with Iranian officials. They will try to break a deadlock in talks aimed at ending sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. Foreign ministers from the six powers may join the talks in the course of the week.

Even though a Nov. 24 deadline for a long-term deal is a mere two months away, diplomats close to the talks say a deal in New York is unlikely.

Just ahead of the General Assembly on Tuesday, U.N. chief Ban will convene a global summit meeting on climate change that aims to set the stage for a major environmental conference in Paris next year. Obama is expected to use the session to highlight strides the United States has made on climate change.

There will also be high-level side meetings on conflicts in Syria, Libya, South Sudan, Ukraine, the Central African Republic, Mali, the Israeli-Palestinian problem, and the U.N. war on poverty.

(Editing by David Gregorio)

Source.