Banning people is wrong, but killing them is even worse; “What’s refusing a visa to a Libyan compared to bombing him?”; immigration is forced by U.S./EU rampages

In their anti-Trump crusade, some ‘progressives’ appear perfectly happy to link arms and sing ‘Kumbaya’ with the serial warmongers who unleashed the carnage which caused the refugee crisis in the first place.

The Nuremberg judgment of 1946 rightly held that to initiate a war of aggression was the “supreme international crime,” but that seems to have been forgotten today.

From RT

By Neil Clark
February 1, 2017

Banning people is wrong, but killing them is even worse
Which is more morally reprehensible: (1) Introducing a ban on refugees and immigrants from a small number of countries for a temporary period or (2) Killing people and destroying their countries through illegal regime change wars?

A bit of a no-brainer, eh? It has to be the second answer, surely.

Well, you’d think so, but for some it seems, the first option is far worse than the latter.

How else to explain that large sections of the Western liberal-left seem to be more incensed by Donald Trump’s ban on visitors from some Muslim countries (unjust though it is) than they were by the war which destroyed Libya, a country that had the highest living standards in Africa.

In their anti-Trump crusade, some ‘progressives’ appear perfectly happy to link arms and sing ‘Kumbaya’ with the serial warmongers who unleashed the carnage which caused the refugee crisis in the first place?

Placing visa restrictions on certain Muslim majority countries seems to have caused a greater moral outrage than bombing them.

Trump’s executive order has caused a furious liberal backlash which Obama’s backing of jihadist death squads in Syria never did. It has led to widespread protests in the US and UK. Over 1.7 million people have signed a petition calling for the State visit of the American president to the UK to be called off. In the House of Commons on Monday, Trump was called a fascist and likened to Hitler and Mussolini, while outside Downing Street angry demonstrators shouted ‘Donald Trump has got to go!’ Parliamentary sketch writer Quentin Letts said the eyes of politician Yvette Cooper were “bulging so much she could have gone to a fancy dress party as Marty Feldman.”

“If the Olympic Games ever goes in for synchronized crossness, we’ll be dead certs for a medal position,” Letts observed.

If you can’t remember this level of ‘synchronized crossness’ during Barack Obama’s bombing of Libya, then it’s not surprising. Similar protests did not occur. There was no talk of a Hollywood strike. Yvette Cooper’s eyes did not bulge; she supported the refugee-making bombing of Libya as she did the refugee-making Iraq war.

You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to acknowledge that ‘Barack O’Bomber’ and his predecessors in the White House have got off very lightly. Deportations? The ‘liberal’ Obama deported more than 2.5 million undocumented migrants between 2009-2015 and a record 438,421 people in 2013.

To the best of my knowledge, Owen Jones organized no protests.

Trump’s executive order didn’t just appear out of thin air, the list of ‘countries of concern’ was, as Seth Frantzman has pointed out, already compiled by the Obama administration. “The media should also be truthful with the public and instead of claiming Trump singled out seven countries, it should note that the US Congress and Obama’s Department of Homeland Security had singled out these countries,” Frantzan says.

The hypocrisy doesn’t end there.

We’ve heard a lot these last few days about how Trump’s ban is an “assault on American values” (Obama himself has said ‘American values’ are at stake) conjuring up an image of the pre-Trump USA whose doors were opened wide for migrants and refugees from all over the world.

The truth is that for a long time it’s been pretty tough to get into the US if you’re in possession of the ‘wrong’ kind of passport, and sometimes even if you have the ‘right’ one.

“Americans seem to think it’s alright to subject everyone else to the pointless rigmarole of passing through their Homeland Security but when they travel they expect to be allowed through other countries’ immigration without fuss,” writes Peter Hill in the Daily Express.

We all know someone who’s been turned back at US immigration as they failed one entry requirement or another, and has been sent straight back home on the next flight. The son of Hungarian friends of ours always dreamed of going to the US, and hoped to work there, but he was turned back on arrival as the authorities didn’t believe he had enough money to support himself.

Fair enough, it’s the US authorities’ call; America is a sovereign country, and they set their own rules of entry. This tough approach at the borders didn’t just start on Friday when Dr. Evil aka Donald Trump formally became president.

That said, there are legitimate grounds to object to what the new president has ordered.

Even though he wasn’t responsible for the regime change wars which caused the migrant crisis, and has promised a less meddlesome foreign policy, Trump should at least acknowledge that the US has a moral obligation to take in refugees from countries that the US, under previous administrations, has set out to destabilize.

We can also question why some countries are affected by the temporary ban, and others not. If national security is the issue, why wasn’t Saudi Arabia, the home country of 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers, on the list? I’m not suggesting Saudi nationals should be banned from the US, only pointing out the omission.

Many of those sanctimoniously moralizing about Trump’s abusive & hateful policies TODAY were alright with humanitarian bombs YESTERDAY https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/825828947527102464 

But unfair as it undoubtedly is, the reaction to Trump’s executive order has been overblown, if we compare it to the non-reaction to far worse things US governments have done. As Bertolt Brecht might have said if he was still around: What’s refusing a visa to a Libyan, compared to bombing him? The Nuremberg judgment of 1946 rightly held that to initiate a war of aggression was the “supreme international crime,” but that seems to have been forgotten today.

Prioritising free movement over the right to life is the height of white privilege. https://twitter.com/NeilClark66/status/825828947527102464 

Such is the ‘Sorosification‘ of the Western liberal-left that to impose controls on immigration is now regarded as a more heinous crime than launching brutal, imperialist wars of aggression, which are a prime cause of the significant level of migration from the Middle East. At the same time, the people who create and propagandize for destructive wars for economic gain against countries of the global south, are regarded as less reprehensible than those who advocate visa restrictions, especially if they come out and condemn visa restrictions.

Liberals, for instance, fawned over the former Secretary of State Madeline Albright when she said she “stands ready” to “register as Muslim” in “solidarity” against Trump. The very same Madeline Albright once declared that the death of half a million (predominantly Muslim) children in Iraq due to sanctions was a price that was “worth it.”

<iframe width=”560″ height=”315″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/RM0uvgHKZe8&#8243; frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen><!–iframe>

Will Albright be met with large-scale protests next time she comes to the UK for defending infanticide in Iraq? Don’t hold your breath. She’s against ‘The Donald’ so must be a good ‘un.

Serial warmonger John McCain has also come out to blast Trump’s executive order. He’s the man who, when asked what he was going to do about Iran if elected president, sang “Bomb, bomb, bomb Iran,” to the Beach Boys tune Barbara Ann.

How many Muslims would have been killed if McCain had bombed Iran? But hey, he opposes Trump’s visa ban, so he must be a pretty cool dude. Let’s invite the wannabe bomber of Teheran on the next ’Solidarity with Muslims’ protest, shall we?

In 2015, a report called Body Count, the Physicians for Social Responsibility, Physicians for Global Survival and International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, revealed that at least 1.3 million people had lost their lives in the US-led ‘war on terror’ in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.’ As I wrote at the time: As awful as that sounds, the total of 1.3 million deaths does not take into account casualties in other war zones, such as Yemen – and the authors stress that the figure is a “conservative estimate.”

The vast majority of these deaths will have been Muslims. What a pity their deaths, and the deaths of countless others in US-led regime change ops and “liberal interventions,” did not lead to the same level of ‘synchronized crossness’ that Trump’s executive order has.

Follow Neil Clark on Twitter

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. He has written for many newspapers and magazines in the UK and other countries including The Guardian, Morning Star, Daily and Sunday Express, Mail on Sunday, Daily Mail, Daily Telegraph, New Statesman, The Spectator, The Week, and The American Conservative. He is a regular pundit on RT and has also appeared on BBC TV and radio, Sky News, Press TV and the Voice of Russia. He is the co-founder of the Campaign For Public Ownership @PublicOwnership. His award winning blog can be found at http://www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/375894-banning-people-regime-change-muslims/

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U.S. blocks Moscow’s statement at UNSC on shelling of Russian Embassy in Syria

Global Research, October 05, 2016
Sputnik 5 October 2016

The United States blocked at the United Nations Security Council Russia’s statement on the shelling of its embassy in Damascus, Syria that took place on Monday, the representative of Russia’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations told RIA Novosti.

“[The statement] was actually blocked by the US delegation, which tried to add extraneous elements in a standard in such cases text,” the permanent mission statement said.

“The British and Ukrainians clumsily played up to the Americans. It demonstrates their blatant disrespect for the Vienna Convention of Diplomatic Relations,” the statement added.

On October 4, the Russian Foreign Ministry reported the shelling of the Russian embassy in Damascus on Monday. One of the mines exploded near a residential complex on the territory of the embassy but none of its staff was hurt.

According to the ministry statement, the embassy was shelled from the Jobar municipality controlled by Jabhat Fateh al-Sham (formerly known as al-Nusra Front) and Faylaq al-Rahman militant groups.

On October 3, US State Department announced in a press release that Washington was cutting off participation in bilateral channels with Russia on sustaining a ceasefire agreement in Syria, which was reached by the two countries in September.

B-52 used to bomb Yugoslavia deployed to Russia’s borders

From Fort Russ

Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
5th June, 2016
 
The exercises that are currently being held in the Baltic States will involve two US air force B-52 bombers. This bomber participated in the operation against Yugoslavia in 1999.
US bombers were deployed to Europe to participate in NATO exercises Baltops 2016 and Saber Strike 2016 in the Baltic. It was originally intended to send three aircraft, however, one of them flew to Estonia because of a breakdown, said a source to “Interfax”.
The bombers with the tail numbers 60-0037 and 60-0044 were deployed to the Fairford airbase in the UK in 1999, where they were used in combat missions against targets in the former Yugoslavia.
Recall that in history there is an unpleasant fact. During the bombing of Belgrade, the US military wrote a message on the bombs: “Happy Easter!” These bombs then destroyed Orthodox churches.
It is worth noting that in response to the activation of the NATO exercises, Russia’s Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu announced large-scale events for the preparation of the Russian army. This summer it is planned to hold more than 2000 different drills.

The U.S. bombing of Germany continues today

From David Swanson.org

The US just bombed Germany
by David Swanson
May 3, 2016

If the bombing occurs when the bombs that have been dropped from U.S. airplanes explode, then the United States just bombed Germany and has been bombing Germany every year for over 70 years.

There are still over 100,000 yet-to-explode U.S. and British bombs from World War II lying hidden in the ground in Germany. Notes the Smithsonian Magazine:

“Before any construction project begins in Germany, from the extension of a home to track-laying by the national railroad authority, the ground must be certified as cleared of unexploded ordnance. Still, last May, some 20,000 people were cleared from an area of Cologne while authorities removed a one-ton bomb that had been discovered during construction work. In November 2013, another 20,000 people in Dortmund were evacuated while experts defused a 4,000-pound ‘Blockbuster’ bomb that could destroy most of a city block. In 2011, 45,000 people—the largest evacuation in Germany since World War II—were forced to leave their homes when a drought revealed a similar device lying on the bed of the Rhine in the middle of Koblenz. Although the country has been at peace for three generations, German bomb-disposal squads are among the busiest in the world. Eleven bomb technicians have been killed in Germany since 2000, including three who died in a single explosion while trying to defuse a 1,000-pound bomb on the site of a popular flea market in Göttingen in 2010.”

A new film called The Bomb Hunters focuses on the town of Oranienburg, where a huge concentration of bombs keeps up a constant menace. In particular the film focuses on one man whose house blew up in 2013. He lost everything. Oranienburg, now known as the city of bombs, was a center of nuclear research that the U.S. government did not want the advancing Soviets to acquire. At least that’s one reason offered for the massive bombing of Oranienburg. Rather than possibly speed up the Soviet acquisition of nukes by a handful of years, Oranienburg had to be rained on with blankets of enormous bombs — to explode for decades to come.

They weren’t just bombs. They were delayed-fuse bombs, all of them. Delayed-fuse bombs were usually included along with non-delaying bombs in order to terrorize a population further and hinder humanitarian rescue operations after a bombing, similar to how cluster bombs have been used in recent U.S. wars to extend the terrorizing of a population by blowing up children for months to come, and similar to “double taps” in the business of drone murder — the first missile or “tap” to kill, the second to kill any rescuer bringing aid. Delayed-fuse bombs go off some hours or days after landing, but only if they land the right way up. Otherwise they can go off some hours or days or weeks or months or years or decades or god-knows-when later.

Presumably this was understood at the time and intended.

So, that intention perhaps adds to the logic of my headline above. Perhaps the United States didn’t just intend to bomb Germany, but it intended 70 years ago to bomb Germany this year.

A bomb or two goes off every year, but the greatest concentration is in Oranienburg where thousands and thousands of bombs were dropped. The town has been making a concerted effort to find and eliminate the bombs. Hundreds may remain. When bombs are found, neighborhoods are evacuated. The bomb is disabled, or it is detonated. Even during the search for bombs, the government must damage houses as it drills test holes into the ground at evenly spaced intervals. Sometimes the government even tears down a house in order to conduct the search for bombs beneath it.

A U.S. pilot involved in this madness way back when says in the film that he thought about those under the bombs, but believed the war to be for the salvation of humanity, thus justifying anything. Now, he says, he can see no justification for war.

Also in the film, a U.S. veteran writes to the Mayor of Oranienburg and sends $100 to apologize. But the Mayor says there’s nothing to be sorry for, that the United States was only doing what it had to. Well, thanks for the codependency, Mr. Mayor. I’d love to get you on a talk show with Kurt Vonnegut’s ghost. Seriously, Germany’s guilt is immensely admirable and worthy of emulation in the guilt-free United States, which grotesquely imagines itself forever sinless. But these two extremes build on each other in a toxic relationship.

When imagining that you’ve justified a war involves imagining that you’ve thereby justified any and every atrocity in that war, the results are things like nuclear bombings and bombings so intense that a country remains covered with unexploded bombs at a time when almost nobody involved in the war is alive anymore. Germany should strengthen its peace-identity by shaking off its guilt-ridden subservience to the United States and putting an end to U.S. warmaking from bases on German soil. It should ask the U.S. military to get out and to take all of its bombs with it.

http://davidswanson.org/node/5134

Obama the “reluctant warrior”? Syria is the 7th country he’s bombed

Global Research, September 25, 2014
FAIR 23 September 2014

The trope of Obama as “reluctant warrior” has crossed the Atlantic–where it is greeted with a little more cynicism (Peter Brookes, London Times)

If there’s one thing elite media seem to know for sure, it’s that Barack Obama doesn’t like war. One phrase in particular seems to stand out:

It was a remarkable moment for a reluctant warrior.

–Jonathan Karl (ABC Nightline, 9/10/14)

He’s a very reluctant warrior, didn’t want to do this. But you have to say, it is good he recognized reality.

–David Gergen (CNN, 9/10/14)

Is he going to become a warrior, and not a reluctant warrior, when he is taking such a strong stance that he will do anything to defeat ISIS, except for if it involves American troops?

–Erin Burnett (CNN, 9/10/14)

He’s a reluctant warrior.

–David Brooks (PBS NewsHour,9/10/14)

You have a reluctant warrior in President Obama, and the press saying, “Do something.”

–Lauren Ashburn (Fox News, 9/12/14)

He is, as you know, the standard phrase, the reluctant warrior. And I think he’s played that long before this decision.

–David Bergen (CNN, 9/14/14)

But now with weekly beheadings by ISIS, the reluctant warrior must wage war, but not total war–tepid war.

–Bill O’Reilly (Fox News, 9/15/14)

Last night came the announcement that US had begun conducting airstrikes on Syria. Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept posted a story (9/23/14) with this headline:

It does make one wonder: What would an enthusiastic warrior look like to the corporate media? Would bombing eight countries in six years be enough?

David Cameron wants to bomb and “reconstruct” Syria with billions to enrich UK contractors

Global Research, December 05, 2015
The Canary 3 December 2015
rubble syria bombing us

David Cameron has announced that at least one billion pounds from UK taxpayers will go to fund the ‘reconstruction’ of Syria after it has been pummeled by British bombs. The lunacy of pledging to rob the public purse to repair the damage Cameron is so hell-bent on creating is breathtaking. That is until you examine who the plan makes sense for: Cameron’s much loved British companies.

On 26 November, Cameron made a statement on his proposals for bombing Syria to the House of Commons. In his statement he addressed the following:

The House is rightly also asking more questions about whether there will be a proper post conflict reconstruction effort to support a new Syrian government when it emerges, and Britain’s answer to that qusetion is absolutely yes. I can tell the House that Britain will be prepared to contribute at least another billion pounds for this task.

This is, of course, a direct insult to the British population, who have been forced to endure a crippling amount of cuts to public services in the name of ‘essential’ austerity. However, it is glaringly obvious by now that the Tory party’s austerity program is nothing more than an ideological instrument to re-order society.

 

Part of this ideology resides in bringing about a British business boom, and Cameron is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that happens. It is why corporation tax has been consistently lowered by his government – leading to companies loving these little isles as they pay next to nothing to trade here.

It’s also why Cameron sees opportunity in the tragedy of Syria. For all his fire and brimstone talk of destroying jihadi “monsters”, he is counting on benefits for the British contractors carrying out the extensive work necessary to rebuild Syria after RAF bombers, and those of numerous other countries, have decimated it.

There is a precedent for this: the Iraq war. Multiple companies profited from the illegal invasion of Iraq, many of them British. An article in Business Pundit details the most vicious of these profiteers, here’s a selection of the UK’s beneficiaries:

Aegis

A security and risk management company who landed a £250 million contract to coordinate all of Iraq’s private security operations, which led to them being rejected for membership of trade organisation International Peace Operations Association.

The bank bought a 70% controlling stake in Dar es Salaam Investment Bank, which had gathered $91 million worth of assets by 2008. Daesh (ISIS) is already known to have seized control of banks in the areas they maintain, which would open up a lucrative opportunity for western banks should they be defeated.

Erinys

A London-based private security company who landed a $90 million contract to secure Iraq’s oil fields. Daesh has huge reserves of oil that power it financially, and which would need protecting once wrestled from its control.

Armor Holdings

Not a UK-based company, but it was acquired by BAE Systems in 2007 – a subsidiary of BAE Systems plc, based in the UK. Armor Holdings provided military and personnel safety equipment for the Iraq war, and saw its profits increase by over 2,000% between 2001 and 2008.

Aside from the businesses set to reap the benefits of a Syria in ashes, there are those who will benefit from creating those ashes – namely defence companies. BAE Systems  is one of the military manufacturers that will see a rise in profits from any decision to continue along the western warpath. In fact, BAE announced this year that its profits were up £500 million in 2013, having gained contracts worth over £10bn from the US and UK governments for three consecutive years, according to the BBC.

That corporate behemoths like BAE Systems benefit from the ‘war on terror’ is no accident, and it’s a result Cameron is banking on. As investigative reporter James Risen lays out so well in his book Pay Any Price, many have recognised the opportunities this never-ending war has created, both in the battles abroad, and the enhanced security measures we find on our own doorsteps:

As trillions of dollars have poured into the nation’s new homeland security-industrial complex, the corporate leaders at its vanguard can rightly be considered the true winners of the war on terror.

The first step in tackling this, is to recognise it. If we face the true motivation of our government’s actions, we are able to challenge it.

Cameron’s claims about why he wants to bomb Syria have already been widely debunked, even by members of his own party. His position on who he is doing it for should also be challenged. It is not the Syrian people. They will undoubtedly suffer from further bombing. It is not UK citizens, who will see the threat of terrorism at home further increase. Is it these giant industries, with their lobbyists and political donations, that Cameron actually holds closest to his heart?

US-led bombing raids target Syrian civilians in an area which has “never been in the hands of ISIS”; on Oct. 11, coalition destroys Syrian power plant

Global Research, October 17, 2015
Tass 16 October 2015

This territory has never been in the hands of the Islamic State, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Andrey Kartapolov points out

Traces of airstrikes against household buildings have been found at the Syria-Jordan border, where Russian warplanes have performed no missions, deputy chief of the Russian General Staff Andrey Kartapolov said on Friday.

“We have spotted ruins of household buildings destroyed by bombing near the settlement of Kherbet Ghazala at the Syrian-Jordan border,” he told a briefing for foreign military attaches and journalists.

“Russian warplanes have never performed any missions there and, as far as we know, the Syrian aviation has not been used there either,” he stressed. “This territory has never been in the hands of the Islamic State. Moreover, this area has been controlled by the Free Syrian Army since 2013.”

He demonstrated photos of the area featuring bomb-destroyed buildings. “You can see on these photos that there are no signs of military activity around these cottages, there are no military hardware, not even signs of military hardware. These are regular gardens and fields with buildings to keep farming tools,” he said.

“Why destroy these buildings? It looks like somebody’s pilots were just training their skills or dropped bombs to report to their command about completed mission,” Kartapolov said.

Airstrikes by US-led coalition in Syria increase refugee flow to Europe

Airstrikes of US-led coalition on civilian facilities o the Syrian territory lead to increasing refugee flows to the European Union, Kartapolov went on to say.

“Over the last two weeks, we have provided enough video materials confirming the precision of [Russian] airstrikes. Our jets deliver airstrikes at facilities located outside of settlements,” Kartapolov said.

“It is not in our rules to advise colleagues on where to deliver their airstrikes. However, on October 11, near the settlement of Tel-Alam, the coalition’s jets destroyed by airstrikes a thermal power plant and transformer substation,” he added. As a result, hospitals and schools in Aleppo were left without electricity. Water pumping stations and sewage also stopped working which can be very harmful in the conditions of high temperatures.

“I think that it is unlikely that our partners did not know that the thermal power plant worked only eight hours per day. Airstrikes were delivered for several days, and on October 11, the power station was completely destroyed. One might het an impression that someone is deliberately destroying infrastructure in settlements, thus making the life of local population impossible. Because of that, civilians leave these settlements after losing living conditions and increase the refugee flow to Europe,” Kartapolov noted.