26 years ago, 1991 Iraq Gulf War: The massacre at the “highways of death”

From Global Research

April 4th, 2016
by Joyce Chediac

The indiscriminate bombing of tens of thousands of Iraqi troops and civilians retreating from Kuwait is one of the most heinous war crimes in history.

I want to give testimony on what are called the “highways of death.” These are the two Kuwaiti roadways, littered with remains of 2,000 mangled Iraqi military vehicles, and the charred and dismembered bodies of tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers, who were withdrawing from Kuwait on February 26th and 27th 1991 in compliance with UN resolutions.

US planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting traffic jams for hours. “It was like shooting fish in a barrel,” said one US pilot. The horror is still there to see.

On the inland highway to Basra is mile after mile of burned, smashed, shattered vehicles of every description – tanks, armored cars, trucks, autos, fire trucks, according to the March 18, 1991, Time magazine. On the sixty miles of coastal highway, Iraqi military units sit in gruesome repose, scorched skeletons of vehicles and men alike, black and awful under the sun, says the Los Angeles Times of March 11, 1991. While 450 people survived the inland road bombing to surrender, this was not the case with the 60 miles of the coastal road. There for 60 miles every vehicle was strafed or bombed, every windshield is shattered, every tank is burned, every truck is riddled with shell fragments. No survivors are known or likely. The cabs of trucks were bombed so much that they were pushed into the ground, and it’s impossible to see if they contain drivers or not. Windshields were melted away, and huge tanks were reduced to shrapnel.

“Even in Vietnam I didn’t see anything like this. It’s pathetic,” said Major Bob Nugent, an Army intelligence officer. This one-sided carnage, this racist mass murder of Arab people, occurred while White House spokesman Marlin Fitzwater promised that the US and its coalition partners would not attack Iraqi forces leaving Kuwait. This is surely one of the most heinous war crimes in contemporary history.

The Iraqi troops were not being driven out of Kuwait by US troops as the Bush administration maintains. They were not retreating in order to regroup and fight again. In fact, they were withdrawing, they were going home, responding to orders issued by Baghdad, announcing that it was complying with Resolution 660 and leaving Kuwait. At 5:35 p.m. (Eastern standard Time) Baghdad radio announced that Iraq’s Foreign Minister had accepted the Soviet cease-fire proposal and had issued the order for all Iraqi troops to withdraw to positions held before August 2, 1990 in compliance with UN Resolution 660. President Bush responded immediately from the White House saying (through spokesman Marlin Fitzwater) that “there was no evidence to suggest the Iraqi army is withdrawing. In fact, Iraqi units are continuing to fight. . . We continue to prosecute the war.” On the next day, February 26, 1991, Saddam Hussein announced on Baghdad radio that Iraqi troops had, indeed, begun to withdraw from Kuwait and that the withdrawal would be complete that day. Again, Bush reacted, calling Hussein’s announcement “an outrage” and “a cruel hoax.”

Eyewitness Kuwaitis attest that the withdrawal began the afternoon of February 26, 1991 and Baghdad radio announced at 2:00 AM (local time) that morning that the government had ordered all troops to withdraw.

The massacre of withdrawing Iraqi soldiers violates the Geneva Conventions of 1949, Common Article III, which outlaws the killing of soldiers who are out of combat. The point of contention involves the Bush administration’s claim that the Iraqi troops were retreating to regroup and fight again. Such a claim is the only way that the massacre which occurred could be considered legal under international law. But in fact the claim is false and obviously so. The troops were withdrawing and removing themselves from combat under direct orders from Baghdad that the war was over and that Iraq had quit and would fully comply with UN resolutions. To attack the soldiers returning home under these circumstances is a war crime.

Iraq accepted UN Resolution 660 and offered to withdraw from Kuwait through Soviet mediation on February 21, 1991. A statement made by George Bush on February 27, 1991, that no quarter would be given to remaining Iraqi soldiers violates even the US Field Manual of 1956. The 1907 Hague Convention governing land warfare also makes it illegal to declare that no quarter will be given to withdrawing soldiers. On February 26,199 I, the following dispatch was filed from the deck of the USS. Ranger, under the byline of Randall Richard of the Providence Journal:

Air strikes against Iraqi troops retreating from Kuwait were being launched so feverishly from this carrier today that pilots said they took whatever bombs happened to be closest to the flight deck. The crews, working to the strains of the Lone Ranger theme, often passed up the projectile of choice . . . because it took too long to load.

New York Times reporter Maureen Dowd wrote, “With the Iraqi leader facing military defeat, Mr. Bush decided that he would rather gamble on a violent and potentially unpopular ground war than risk the alternative: an imperfect settlement hammered out by the Soviets and Iraqis that world opinion might accept as tolerable.” In short, rather than accept the offer of Iraq to surrender and leave the field of battle, Bush and the US military strategists decided simply to kill as many Iraqis as they possibly could while the chance lasted. A Newsweek article on Norman Schwarzkopt, titled “A Soldier of Conscience” (March 11,1991), remarked that before the ground war the general was only worried about “How long the world would stand by and watch the United States pound the living hell out of Iraq without saying, ‘Wait a minute – enough is enough.’ He [Schwarzkopf] itched to send ground troops to finish the job.” The pretext for massive extermination of Iraqi soldiers was the desire of the US to destroy Iraqi equipment. But in reality the plan was to prevent Iraqi soldiers from retreating at all. Powell remarked even before the start of the war that Iraqi soldiers knew that they had been sent to Kuwait to die. Rick Atkinson of the Washington Post reasoned that “the noose has been tightened” around Iraqi forces so effectively that “escape is impossible” (February 27, 1991). What all of this amounts to is not a war but a massacre.

There are also indications that some of those bombed during the withdrawal were Palestinians and Iraqi civilians. According to Time magazine of March 18, 1991, not just military vehicles, but cars, buses and trucks were also hit. In many cases, cars were loaded with Palestinian families and all their possessions. US press accounts tried to make the discovery of burned and bombed household goods appear as if Iraqi troops were even at this late moment looting Kuwait. Attacks on civilians are specifically prohibited by the Geneva Accords and the 1977 Conventions.

How did it really happen? On February 26, 1991 Iraq had announced it was complying with the Soviet proposal, and its troops would withdraw from Kuwait. According to Kuwaiti eyewitnesses, quoted in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, the withdrawal began on the two highways, and was in full swing by evening. Near midnight, the first US bombing started. Hundreds of Iraqis jumped from their cars and their trucks, looking for shelter. US pilots took whatever bombs happened to be close to the flight deck, from cluster bombs to 500 pound bombs. Can you imagine that on a car or truck? US forces continued to drop bombs on the convoys until all humans were killed. So many jets swarmed over the inland road that it created an aerial traffic jam, and combat air controllers feared midair collisions.

The victims were not offering resistance. They weren’t being driven back in fierce battle, or trying to regroup to join another battle. They were just sitting ducks, according to Commander Frank Swiggert, the Ranger Bomb Squadron leader. According to an article in the March 11, 1991 Washington Post, headlined “US Scrambles to Shape View of Highway of Death,” the US government then conspired and in fact did all it could to hide this war crime from the people of this country and the world. What the US government did became the focus of the public relations campaign managed by the US Central Command in Riyad, according to that same issue of the Washington Post. The typical line has been that the convoys were engaged in “classic tank battles,” as if to suggest that Iraqi troops tried to fight back or even had a chance of fighting back. The truth is that it was simply a one-sided massacre of tens of thousands of people who had no ability to fight back or defend themselves.

The Washington Post says that senior officers with the US Central Command in Riyad became worried that what they saw was a growing public perception that Iraqi forces were leaving Kuwait voluntarily, and that the US pilots were bombing them mercilessly, which was the truth. So the US government, says the Post, played down the evidence that Iraqi troops were actually leaving Kuwait.

US field commanders gave the media a carefully drawn and inaccurate picture of the fast-changing events. The idea was to portray Iraq’s claimed withdrawal as a fighting retreat made necessary by heavy allied military pressure. Remember when Bush came to the Rose Garden and said that he would not accept Saddam Hussein’s withdrawal? That was part of it, too, and Bush was involved in this cover up. Bush’s statement was followed quickly by a televised military briefing from Saudi Arabia to explain that Iraqi forces were not withdrawing but were being pushed from the battlefield. In fact, tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers around Kuwait had begun to pull away more than thirty-six hours before allied forces reached the capital, Kuwait City. They did not move under any immediate pressure from allied tanks and infantry, which were still miles from Kuwait City.

This deliberate campaign of disinformation regarding this military action and the war crime that it really was, this manipulation of press briefings to deceive the public and keep the massacre from the world is also a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution, the right of the people to know.

Joyce Chediac is a Lebanese-American journalist who has traveled in the Middle East and writes on Middle East issues. Her report was presented at the New York Commission hearing, May 11, 1991.

http://www.globalresearch.ca/twenty-five-years-ago-the-1991-iraq-gulf-war-america-bombs-the-highway-of-death/5518407

North Korea: The Grand Deception revealed. The people of the DPRK want peace

Global Research, March 15, 2017
New Eastern Outlook 13 March 2017

In 2003 I had, along with some American lawyers, members of the National Lawyers Guild, the good fortune to be able to travel to North Korea, that is the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, in order to experience first hand that nation, its socialist system and its people.

The joint report issued on our return was titled “The Grand Deception Revealed.” [1] That title was chosen because we discovered that the negative western propaganda myth about North Korea is a grand deception designed to blind the peoples of the world to the accomplishments of the Korean people in the north who have successfully created their own circumstances, their own independent socio-economic system, based on socialist principles, free of the domination of the western powers.

At one of our first dinners in Pyongyang our host, Ri Myong Kuk, a lawyer, stated, on behalf of the government, and in passionate terms, that the DPRK’s Nuclear Deterrent Force was necessary in light of US world actions and threats against the DPRK. He stated, and this was repeated to me in a high level meeting with DPRK government officials later on in the trip, that if the Americans would sign a peace treaty and non-aggression agreement with the DPRK, it would de-legitimize the American occupation and lead to reunification. Consequently there would be no need for nuclear weapons.

He stated sincerely that,

“It’s important that lawyers are gathering to talk about this as lawyers regulate the social interactions within society and within the world,”

and added just as sincerely that, “the path to peace requires an open heart.”

It appeared to us then and it is apparent now, in absolute contradiction to the claims of the western media, that the people of the DPRK want peace more than anything else so they can get on with their lives and endeavours without the constant threat of nuclear annihilation by the United States. But annihilation is what they in fact face and whose fault is that? Not theirs.

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We were shown American documents captured in the Korean War that are compelling evidence that the US planned an attack on North Korea in 1950. The attack was carried out using American and south Korean forces with the assistance of Japanese Army officers who had invaded and occupied Korea decades before. The North Korean defence and counter-attack was then claimed by the US to be “aggression” which the United States manipulated in the media to get the UN to support a “police operation,” the euphemism they chose to use to carry on what was in fact their war of aggression against North Korea. Three years of war and 3.5 million Korean deaths followed and the US has threatened them with imminent war and annihilation ever since.

The UN vote in favour of a “police action” in 1950 was itself illegal since Russia was absent for the vote in the Security Council. The quorum required for the Security Council under its Rules of Procedure, is all member delegations so that all members must be present or a session cannot proceed. The Americans used a Russian boycott of the Security Council as their opportunity. The Russian boycott took place in defence of the position of the Peoples Republic of China that it should have the China seat at the Security Council table, not the defeated Kuomintang government. The Americans refused to do the right thing, so the Russians refused to sit at the table until the legitimate Chinese government could.

The Americans used this opportunity to carry out a type of coup in the UN, to take over its machinery for its own interests by arranging with the British, French and Kuomintang Chinese to back their actions in Korea by a vote in the absence of the Russians. The allies did as the Americans asked and voted for war with Korea, but the vote was invalid, and the “police action” was not a peace-keeping operation nor justified under Chapter VII of the UN Charter, since article 51states that all nations have the right of self defence against an armed attack, which is what the North Koreans faced and had reacted to. But the Americans have never cared much about legalities and they did not then for the American plan in its entirety was to conquer and occupy North Korea as a step towards the invasions of Manchuria and Siberia and the law was not going to get in their way.

Many in the west have little idea of the destruction carried out in Korea by the Americans and their allies; that Pyongyang was carpet bombed into oblivion, that civilians fleeing the carnage were strafed by American planes. The New York Times stated at the time that 17,000,000 pounds of napalm were used in Korea just in the first 20 months of the war. More bomb tonnage was dropped on Korea by the US than the US dropped on Japan in World War Two.

American forces hunted down and murdered not only communist party members but also their families. At Sinchon we saw the evidence that American soldiers forced 500 civilians into a ditch, doused them with gasoline and set them on fire. We stood in an air raid shelter with walls still blackened with the burnt flesh of 900 civilians, including women and children who had sought safety during an American attack. American soldiers were seen pouring gasoline down the air vents of the shelter and burning them all to death. This is the reality of the American occupation for Koreans. This is the reality they fear still and never want to repeat. Can we blame them?

But even with this history, Koreans are willing to open their hearts to former enemies. Major Kim Myong Hwan, who was then the main negotiator at Panmunjom on the DMZ line, told us that his dream was to be a writer, a poet, a journalist, but said in sombre tones, that he and his five brothers “walk the line” at the DMZ as soldiers because of what happened to his family. He said their struggle was not against the American people but their government. He was lonely for his family lost at Sinchon; his grandfather strung up a pole and tortured, his grandmother bayoneted in the stomach and left to die. He said,

“You see, we have to do it. We have to defend ourselves. We do not oppose the American people. We oppose the American policy of hostility and its efforts to exercise control over the whole world and inflict calamity on people.”

It was the opinion of the delegation that by maintaining instability in Asia, the U.S. can maintain a massive military presence and keep China at bay in its relations with South and North Korea and Japan and use it as a lever against China and Russia. 

With the continuing pressure within Japan to remove the U.S. bases in Okinawa, the Korean military operations and war exercises remain a central point of American efforts to dominate the region

The question is not whether the DPRK has nuclear weapons which it is legally entitled to have, but whether the United States, which has nuclear arms capability on the Korean peninsula, and which is now installing its THADD missile defence system there, a system that threatens the security of Russia and China, is willing to work with the North toward a peace treaty. We found North Koreans avid for peace and not attached to having nuclear weapons if peace can be established. But the American position remains as arrogant, aggressive threatening and dangerous as ever.

In this age of American “regime change,” “pre-emptive war” doctrines, and American efforts to develop low yield nuclear weapons as well as their abandonment and manipulation of international law it was not surprising that the DPRK plays the nuclear card. What choice do the Koreans have since United States threatens nuclear war on a daily basis and the two countries that logic dictates would support them against American aggression, Russia and China, join with the Americans in condemning the Koreans for arming themselves with the only weapon that can act as a deterrent against attack.

The reason for this is unclear since the Russians and Chinese have nuclear weapons and built them to act as a deterrent to an attack by the United States just as North Korea is doing. Some of their government statements indicate that they fear not being in control of the situation and that if North Korea’s acts of defence draw a US attack, they will be attacked as well. One can understand that anxiety. But it begs the question why they cannot support North Korea’s right to self-defence and put more pressure on the Americans to conclude a peace treaty, a non-aggression agreement, and to withdraw their nuclear and armed forces from the Korean peninsula. But the great tragedy is the clear inability of the American people to think for themselves, in the face of continual deceptions, and to demand that their leaders exhaust all avenues of dialogue and peacemaking before even contemplating aggression on the Korean Peninsula.

The fundamental foundation of North Korean policy is to achieve a non-aggression pact and peace treaty with the United States. The North Koreans repeatedly stated that they did not want to attack anyone, hurt anyone or be at war with anyone. But they have seen what has happened to Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and countless other countries and they have no intention of having that happen to them. It is clear that any U.S. invasion would be defended vigorously and that the nation can endure a long, arduous struggle.

At another location on the DMZ we met a Colonel who set up field glasses through which we could see across the divide between north and south. We could see a concrete wall built on the South side, a violation of truce agreements. The major described such a permanent structure as a “disgrace for the Korean people who are a homogenous people.” A loud speaker continuously blared propaganda and music from speakers on the south side. The irritating noise goes on for 22 hours a day, he said. Suddenly, in another surreal moment, the bunker’s loudspeakers began belting out the William Tell overture, better known in America as the theme from the Lone Ranger. The Colonel urged us to help people see what is really going on in the DPRK, instead of basing their opinions on misinformation. He told us “We know that like us the peace loving people in America have children, parents and families.” We told him of our mission to return with a message for peace and that we hope to return someday and “walk with him together freely in these beautiful hills.” He paused and said, “I too believe it is possible.”

So while the people of the DPRK hope for peace and security the United States and its puppet regime in the south of the Korean peninsular wage war, carrying out for the next three months the largest war games ever conducted there, involving air craft carriers, nuclear armed submarines and stealth bombers, aircraft and large numbers of troops, artillery and armour.

The propaganda campaign has been taken to dangerous levels in the media with accusations that the North murdered a relative of the leader of the DPRK in Malaysia, though there is no proof of this, and no motive for the north to do it. The only ones to benefit from the murder are the Americans and their controlled media using it to whip up hysteria about the North and now allegations of the North having chemical weapons of mass destruction. Yes, friends, they think we were all born yesterday and that we haven’t learned a thing or two about the character of the American leadership and the nature of their propaganda. Is it any wonder that the North Koreans fear that any day these on going war “games” can be switched to the real thing, that these “games” are just a cover for an attack, and in the meantime to create an atmosphere of terror for the Korean people?

There is a lot that can be said about the real nature of the DPRK, its people and socio-economic system, its culture. But there is no space for that here. I hope people can visit as our group did and experience for themselves what we experienced. Instead I will close with the concluding paragraph of the joint report made on our return from the DPRK and hope that people take it in, think about it, and act to bring on its call for peace.

The people of the world have to be told the complete story about Korea and our government’s role in fostering imbalance and conflict. Action must be taken by lawyers, community groups, peace activists, and all citizens of the planet, to prevent the U.S. government from successfully generating a propaganda campaign to support aggression in North Korea. The American people have been subjected to a grand deception. There is too much at stake to get fooled again. This peace delegation learned in the DPRK a significant piece of truth essential in international relations. It’s how broader communication, negotiation followed by maintained promises, and a deep commitment to peace can save the world – literally – from a dark nuclear future. Experience and truth free us from the threat of war. Our foray into North Korea, this report and our on-going project are small efforts to make and set us free.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto. He is known for a number of high-profile war crimes cases and recently published his novel “Beneath the Clouds. He writes essays on international law, politics and world events, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook.”

‘Insane blackmail’ or ‘historical responsibility’? Greece demands WW2 reparations from Germany

From RT

August 18, 2016

Does Germany still owe Greece billions of euros in compensation for Nazi crimes in World War Two, or should bygones be bygones since Berlin has anyway given Athens billions as part of benefits and bailout measures?

“Greece and its people will not forget the slaughter and war crimes of the Nazi army and demand tangible recognition by the German government. Greece will do whatever is necessary, mainly at a diplomatic level, and if necessary, at a legal [level],” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said earlier this week, during a visit to Kommeno to commemorate the victims of the 1943 massacre in the northwestern village, where Nazi troops killed 317 civilians.

RT sat down with political theorist Marina Prentoulis, member of Syriza, and Eike Hamer, a political commentator from Germany, to discuss whether Greece can really claim the money 70 years after the war.

Marina Prentoulis agrees it’s been a long time, but insists that one has to remember that “crimes against humanity never expire.”

Reparation – Germany’s historical responsibility for Nazi occupation 

“The people of Greece will always have to live with the memories of the Nazi occupation. I would like to say that [on August 17] in 1944 we had a very dark anniversary for Greece – the anniversary of Kokkinia, a place in the western Athens, where the same day many years ago 20,000 people were gathered at the local square – 350 of them were executed, and 800 of them were taken hostages, and they were tortured by the Nazi army and the Gestapo,” she said.

Eike Hamer argues, though, that the issue of fairness here is not the point, as “there is hardly any other country that has got as much money from Germany as Greece.”  He recalled that back in 1960, West Germany paid 115 million deutsche marks to Greece as compensation for Nazi war crimes. Now the main point is to “live together again in peace and with respect to each other,” he says.

That won’t be possible if one side “comes with old stories [over and over] again to blackmail the other one and to demand any money or whatever from them,” Hamer says. “We’re comrades in the EU, and this is insane to make a break through the population, by demanding such insane things.”

Prentoulis agrees that living in peace is crucial, but, she insists, “this is why we have a historical responsibility to the people of Europe to recognize how Greece was devastated by the Nazi occupation.”

As for the 1960 payment, she said, “it was only a fraction of the money that they were supposed to give to Greece.”

“And now it is time to recognize that as comrades and for the good of the whole of Europe in order to be able to put this story in history and remember the horrific things that happened to Greece with not wanting to do anything like that again in the future; for peace and prosperity of Europe,” said Prentoulis.

No other country in the world pays Greece as much as Germany 

Since the 1960 compensation, Hamer argues, Greece has enjoyed advantages worth “a couple of hundred billion” euros. He referred to low interest rates, European – “mainly German” – aid and other indirect payments, including advantages Greece received because of having “many contracts” with Germany.

“There is no other country in the world paying Greece that much as Germany through the EU, through other things,” he said.

“It is funny that you can pay Greece as much money as you want and the elites divide this money amongst each other, take the money away, move to London, or whatever. Now, when the people are left behind from their own elites, they are demanding more money from Germany,” Hamer said, adding that “this is not fair.”

Prentoulis insists that it’s Greece that is being treated unfairly.

“Greece is getting one of the worst treatments across the Eurozone,” she said adding that economic issues and war reparation payment should be differentiated.

“But if you want to talk about the situation in Greece now, I have to remind you again about the 1953 London Debt Agreement, when a lot of countries, including Greece, decided to cut the debt of the German state by half and connect their repayment with a prosperity of the German state. This was an act of good will from the people of Europe,” she said.

Greece, however, is being treated differently now, says Prentoulis.

“The Greek people have been totally brought to the knees, once again because of austerity, because of the decisions of the conservative government of the EU, including the German one, and they are going on suffering since the crisis of 2008. You remember what happened with the Greek negotiations, and the whole Europe has been witnessing that,” she said.

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/356398-greece-reparations-eu-germany-ww2/

Regime change in the U.S.– Proposal from a concerned citizen

Global Research, May 15, 2016
Global Research 2 October 2002

Global Research Editor’s Note

This article from our archives was first published in October 2002, six months prior to the March 2003 US led invasion and occupation of Iraq.

As we recall, the justification to wage war on Iraq was the nonexistent weapons of mass destruction (WMD). At the time, the US and its indefectible British ally were calling for regime change in Iraq. 

The author of this article is calling for an entirely different course of action which consists in implementing regime change in the US and the establishment of a sanctions regime against the US.

This text written in 2002 predicts with foresight what is happening today: the contours of a global military agenda which seeks to enforce US hegemony Worldwide.

While the proposal contained in this article may sound total unrealistic under present circumstances, it should nonetheless be addressed  by those committed to reversing the tide of global warfare, destruction and economic destabilization.  

It is of particular relevance in relation to the CIA covert support of terrorists in the Middle East, the soft coup in Brazil against president Dilma Rousseff, also supported by US intelligence, not to mention the installation of a Ne0-Nazi regime in Ukraine.

The author proposes sanctions against Washington rather than sanctions against Washington’s target countries.

The World is at a dangerous crossroads. The real “Axis of Evil” is the US-NATO war machine, which must be dismantled.

Michel Chossudovsky, GR Editor, May 15, 2016. 

*       *      *

What the United Nations Must Do

Rather than adopting the suggested regime change in Iraq through military force, the United Nations must instead consider an entirely different course of action. This new course is based upon the facts alone, rather than political pressure. A regime change is indeed necessary, but not in Iraq. The primary regime which needs to be changed, is the one found in Washington DC.

The greatest tyrant and true threat to world peace who needs to be ousted, is George W. Bush. The facts which clearly show the need for such a resolution against the U.S. are self evident…they demonstrate a “clear and present danger” to the world community. America is clearly a nation which aspires to global domination, through the use of the most expensive and high tech military the world has ever known. 

In demonstration of the above assertions, let us be very clear about America’s” 300+ billion dollar a year expense, for weapons of mass destruction. These include;

1) Atomic and hydrogen bombs.

2) The “Star Wars” weaponry of space satellites, and laser devices.

3) A host of biological weapons including anthrax, which it has used on its own citizenry and manufactured in its own laboratories.

4) Guided missile cruisers, Stealth bombers and aircraft carriers conveying the most advanced air-based offensives, ever to be used in the history of mankind.

5) Depleted uranium munitions, used repeatedly upon countries such as Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, causing birth defects and lingering mutilation of civilian populations.

6) The use of spies, covert CIA operatives and other agents, as well as a barrage of propaganda, which seeks to weaken, overthrow and exploit the sovereign nations of the world, primarily for the sake of installing pro-U.S.-corporate puppets who will do Washington’s bidding. (The fact that it has staged countless internal rebellions and coups within dozens of countries in the last five decades, is well documented and known. The U.S. constantly interferes with, and attempts to coerce, the mandates of foreign governments for the sake of its own special interests, and in the name of “democracy”. The real reason for this behavior is, of course, unfair economic advantage and bottomless greed.)

7) Nerve gas, tear gas, blistering agents, neurotoxins and poisonous compounds of all kinds.

8) “Smart” bombs”, “Bunker Buster” bombs, “Daisy Cutter” bombs, mines and laser or satellite guided munitions.

9) Teams of special forces troops, whose missions are designed for assassination, covert mass-murder and maximized destruction.

The United States possesses, and has openly discussed using, such weapons of mass destruction upon a great number of  countries. Among these nations are those in George Bush’s so-called “axis of evil” list, as well as many others which it says, “harbor terrorists”.

The so-called “War on Terror” [as formulated in 2001] targets Libya, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Colombia, Nicaragua and many others. Upon these nations,  the U.S. has repeatedly issued a series of very aggressive and threatening statements to the effect of; “You are either with us or against us”, implying dire consequences of economic, diplomatic and military measures in the case of non-compliance.

The US has openly discussed the possibility of a “first strike” use of conventional nuclear warheads, and “tactical nukes” on the battlefield. Washington’s  military agenda consists in “winning  no matter what the cost of truth or human lives”, as a surrogate for sane foreign relations, has earned the wrath of the world.

U.S. belligerency has been a major contributor to international hostilities, instability, war and the creation of reactionary terrorist groups, as well as the oppression of peoples worldwide. Its irrational posture threatens to catapult the world into another, and probably final, world war.

The United States has repeatedly shown its willingness to target civilian populations with weapons of mass destruction, especially via the carpet-bombing of cities and infrastructures. It is the only nation to have ever used nuclear devices in war, and upon civilian targets.

Among the structures bombed have been desalinization plants, water treatment facilities, police stations, electrical substations and generators, radar and communications stations, hospitals, highway, railway and other transportation facilities, factories for the manufacture of metal, plastic and wood products, and numerous other civilian centers.

Countless examples of this behavior have been witnessed in both Iraq [since the 1991 Gulf War under the US-UK no-fly zone] and Afghanistan. The result has been millions of Iraqi and Afghan children dying of unnecessary diseases and malnutrition, due to a severe lack of food and safe drinking water. U.S. allies such as Israel, (whose military it literally makes possible) have also exhibited such behavior, as has Great Britain, through constant urging toward mindless, mutually accomplished war frenzies.

A primary export of the United States is weaponry of mass destruction, including so-called “conventional” weapons such as guided missile cruisers, bombers, small arms, mortars, rockets, tactical advisors, self guided missiles, attack helicopters, high tech surveillance and imaging systems, tanks, explosives and various other tools design primarily for the sake of destroying human life.

Added to this list of exports are multi-lingual propaganda, biological agents, tear and nerve gas, atomic weapons and their constituents, as well as technical advice regarding their construction, maintenance and use. The U.S. has frequently urged countries to use these weapons against each other so long as it benefitted its political interests, while simultaneously criticizing those who use them without American sanction.

Permanent State of War

The U.S. has repeatedly told its own citizenry to expect involvement in what amounts to a  Permanent State of War, due to the “War on Terror”. A large and increasing number of foreign nationals are being held in American prisons unlawfully, often without charges, legal due process or access to legal counsel. These persons are often subjected to psychological and physical torture due to their nationality or religious beliefs. Its’ Afghan prisoners of war in Cuba are treated without dignity, in violation of the Geneva Convention. At the same time, the U.S. has insisted that its military personnel must be held exempt from war crimes charges by the international community, regardless of their actions.

The United States repeatedly defies the resolutions and authority of the United Nations, making it clear that it views this body as merely a tool which can be occasionally used to achieve its special interests, rather than those of humanity in general.

America has also made it quite clear that if its demands are not met by the international community/United Nations, that it will act on its own regardless of their wishes, and in whatever manner it sees fit. This includes pre-emptive military invasion of any country which dares to oppose its policies, and for whatever flimsy, baseless justification it gives to the world as an excuse for such actions.

The international community must seriously ask itself, “Who’s next?” in this series of American invasions of sovereign lands. “Who will die next…by the thousands, tens of thousands or millions…” at the bloody hands of American imperialism?

For these reasons and others, it is hereby proposed that:

A United Nations resolution be created for the purpose of disarming and otherwise rendering harmless, the major threat to world peace which the United States has become. Toward this end the necessity of ousting its current dictator, George W. Bush, and the legislative bodies of that government which currently parrot him without serious debate, is self evident.

The functional means necessary to achieve this goal are hereby suggested. They include;

1) Economic sanctions and trade tariffs, aimed at undermining the U.S. economy, thereby depriving its monstrous military apparatus of the necessary life blood to function.

2) The insistence of a complete withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from wherever they may be stationed around the world. This includes U.S. occupation forces already in conquered countries, (such as Afghanistan).

3) The elimination of world petroleum exports to the United States, as well as the necessary raw materials which make it’s industrial-military apparatus possible.

4) The withdrawal of foreign investment in U.S. companies, and their various enterprises. This includes the canceling of existing contracts with U.S. companies, especially those involved with the extraction of petroleum, the mining of precious metals, deforestation, sweat shop industries of clothing, plastics, electronics and other manufacture, as well as other vital resources from lands not within their territorial domain.

5) That U.S. military and civil leaders, especially George W. Bush and his entire cabinet, be brought to justice for their heinous participations in war crimes and crimes against humanity the world over, by the international courts. World leaders must understand that no one country can both make the rules and break them, when it comes to international justice.

6) The use of joint military force if necessary, to curb, restrict and otherwise prevent the American advance toward world domination. America must be deprived of what it most desires, which are the resources of others to fuel an extravagant lifestyle, and the support of bribed or bullied foreign leaders to accomplish a singularly selfish, unilateral agenda.

In effect, the United States must feel the full pressure of the  ”community of nations”,  as it expresses its refusal of US imperialism around the globe.

The United States must also understand that its anti-humanitarian, corporate-minded, industrial-military schemes for global dominance are nothing short of those employed by Hitler, and other fascist dictators and governments, throughout the course of history. [Constantly declaring war and occupying one country after the next demonstrates this.]

The international community, and indeed the peoples of the entire world, find this attitude and behavior of the US administration unacceptable. They will no longer be coerced or made to feel insecure in their own places of residence and worship, at the behest of Washington’s whims.

French lawyer asks every MP to impeach Hollande for war crimes in Donetsk, Syria

Why not President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Senator John McCain?

From Fort Russ

Deposition of Anna Touve

  Egalité-Reconciliation, December 11, 2015
  Translated from French by Tom Winter, December 18, 2015

Original title: Impeachment procedure, François Hollande, President of the Republic:
Communiqué of Master Viguier and testimony of victims

Here is the press release of Damien Viguier, Esq. 
Criminal policy in Syria and Donbass: Hollande impeachment Paris, December 11, 2015 – 

Two women, victims in Syria and in Donbass, speaking through their lawyer, have addressed a request to each French parliamentarian to bring François Hollande before the High Court. 

One of these two women, the one from Syria, was raped in front of her husband, the other, a resident of Donbass, saw her house blown up in a bombing that killed her husband and two of her children, and wounded her two other children, and made her lose an arm. 

These criminal acts are the direct consequences of the actions of François Hollande. One tenth of parliamentarians either House may take the initiative for impeachment proceedings against François Hollande by filing a Motion for a resolution calling for a session of the High Court.

MPI TV broadcast Mr. Viguier’s the call to impeach Francois Hollande: 

Video
Master Damien Viguier interrogates a young Syrian woman who was kidnapped, beaten, and raped by “moderate rebels,” supported and armed by France:
Master Damien Viguier interrogates a young mother from Ukrainian Donbass whose family was decimated by the shells of the “loyalist” army supported by France:
Master Damien Viguier sent the following letter to MPs: 
Sir, 
I appeal to the representative of the nation, in the name of Madame Anna Touve, a Ukrainian national, civilian residing in Donetsk, and in the name of a young woman, also a civilian, residing in Damascus (Syria), who, for understandable reasons, remains anonymous. On May 26, 2015 in Gorlovka (Donbass) Touve, Anna lost her husband and two of her children in the explosion of shells fired by the militias of the Kiev regime.

Seriously injured, she lost her left arm. As for the young Syrian woman, she was assaulted in 2013, at her home, raped and tortured in the presence of her husband by so-called rebels against the Syrian regime.

My two clients are the victims of a certain conception of international relations. In accordance with the principles of law, it is the senior military or political officials who must be punished, and by the State to which they belong.

Regarding Donbass, François Hollande has supported and encouraged a de facto regime that took power illegally, by violence, in Kiev. And therefore he bludgeoned any attempt at liberation on the part of the eastern regions of Ukraine. He does not cease encouraging abuses against the people of Donbass.

Regarding Syria, this same François Hollande, since taking office, has unceasingly kept up the offensive against the Syrian state. He has acknowledged arms shipments to the “rebels.” 

And the statements of his foreign minister, including “the Al-Nusra Front did a good job,” statement, were said by the administrative courts, to note the foreign policy of France.

These facts correspond to the definition that is given of crimes against peace, and of a crime of war. And there is certainly a case of complicity in the crimes committed. The question arises, before history, of our responsibility to all, confronted as we are with the atrocities committed by those who clearly abuse their position and turn aside from the mission that has been entrusted to them.

According to Article 68 of the Constitution, and the Organic Law of November 24, 2014, in the case of breach of the duties of a President of the Republic, manifestly incompatible with the exercise of a mandate, a High Court may order the dismissal of the head of state. The initiative for this procedure is yours: one tenth of the parliamentarians of one or the other chamber deposit on the desk of their assembly a reasoned resolution for impeachment and calling the High Court to a meeting.

Therefore Anna Touve and the young Syrian woman appeal to you and urge you, Mr Deputy, kindly take the initiative. For them, yes, but for all the civilians, the wounded, the prisoners, the women, the children, the elderly, who are suffering in their flesh because of a criminal policy of boundless cynicism and utter unscupulousness that certain politicians are conducting.

I stand at your entire dispositon, to provide you with all clarifications and any details that you consider useful. I beg you to accept, Sir, the assurances of my highest consideration. 

                                        — Damien Viguier

Translator note: There are many applauding comments, e.g. “Nixon got dumped for 100 times less”

http://www.fortruss.blogspot.com/2015/12/french-lawyer-asks-every-mp-to-impeach.html

Fallujah is being slaughtered silently

Global Research, December 13, 2015
Middle East Monitor 7 December 2015

The daughter of Anbar, the Baghdadian city that rests on the banks of the Euphrates, barricaded itself every morning and learned to survive the abrasive nature of war and bombings. The Americans believed that their repeated shelling would extinguish the city’s flame but they were wrong. The beginning of a major liberation movement swept Iraq and ended with the expulsion of its twenty-first century invaders. They left with their tails between their legs in disappointment, reminding them of the failures they experienced in Vietnam, and perhaps even more.

Fallujah: what is unknown about this city is that it differs from the majority of other Iraqi cities and that it is located approximately 40 kilometres west of Baghdad. The mosques have found their place among the houses of the city and they are so great in number that Fallujah is now known as the “mother of mosques”, being home to more than 100 mosques; the perimeter of the city does not exceed 30 kilometres.

When the Americans invaded Baghdad in the spring of 2003 the shock was intense for all, whether it was the Iraqis who set eyes on a tank headed for their capital for the first time, or even the rest of the Arab and Islamic world as they saw the occupation of one of the region’s most influential capitals. While it is true that Iraqi resistance was quick to form in the face of the new invaders — many have called it the fasted growing resistance in history —it was still not enough to revive and protect the dignity of the Iraqi and Arab peoples when American tanks entered Baghdad on 9 April 2003.

The people of Fallujah protested against the occupation of Iraq for nearly a year in an effort to regain the balance of everyday life and the dignity of the city. At the time of the invasion of Iraq, the plan to divide the country was already on the invader’s table. Nothing was missing, not even the means to implement the project. Twenty-five million Iraqis were subsequently divided into Sunni, Shia, Kurds and other minorities. Even so, Fallujah stood as a reminder to all Iraqis that the path to resistance was ongoing and that national unity remained a goal. In the spring of 2004, Fallujah was the first Iraqi city to free itself from the US occupation after a battle that lasted 33 days. American forces used all of their energy to try to reclaim the city and failed.

On that day, men were truly men as America was forced to sit down at the negotiating table with the rest of the city’s inhabitants. All the US wanted to do was break Fallujah’s will but on that day Iraq was united behind the city. Songs praising Fallujah were broadcast from north to south of Iraq. There was no disagreement among any of the Iraqis as to what Fallujah stood for. The city was a thorn in the side of anyone who wanted to swallow Iraq whole.

Months went by and Fallujah became a liberated city within an occupied country. It became a bubble that governed itself. It frustrated all of the invaders who stood beyond the city boundary, subjecting them to humiliation and shame. The US used all of its forces and brought Tony Blair’s forces with it, including those who were trained in Iran. All of them wanted to take revenge on the city by testing out weapons that had never been used before. The results left the bodies of the victims completely destroyed or melted; not even their bones remained.[see NOTE]

Today, years later, Fallujah finds itself, once again, the prey of evil beings who wish to retaliate for its steadfastness. They continue to use the same argument time and again; that the city is harbouring terrorists. This has been the excuse for everything since 2004 when it was believed that Fallujah was harbouring Al-Qaeda leader Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Since the beginning of 2014, Fallujah has been transformed into the city of death. Every day it is bombarded under the pretext of fighting Daesh. What the media and the international community continue to ignore is the fact that the city is home to 150,000 civilians who refuse to leave the city out of fear that they will be subject to government blackmail in Baghdad.

Despite today’s constant violence in the city, many of the inhabitants of the neighbouring city of Ramadi have sought refuge in Fallujah. From the perspective of those fleeing, it is more dignified to go to Fallujah then to stand on the bridge to Baghdad awaiting mercy. Today Fallujah is being bombed and the world continues to see only what it wants to see. It is important for us to remind the people across the Arab and Islamic world that this city, which is bombed every day, was once a symbol of honour and resistance. It is in need of more than a prayer or a loaf of bread because the people of Fallujah are fighting for their lives and paying the price with the blood of their children. That is the dearest thing that can be offered to this steadfast city.

Translated from Al-Araby Al-Jadid, 1 December, 2015

U.S. is blockading Syria — a war crime

Global Research, September 25, 2015
New Eastern Outlook 24 September 2015

The news that the United States asked both Greece and Bulgaria to block Russian flights over their air space headed for Syria is a logical extension of the criminality of the aggression against Syria being conducted by the NATO powers and their allies in the region. The NATO alliance has been conducting a war of aggression against Syria since 2011 when it succeeded in destroying Libya and it was responsible for the waves of humanity who fled the NATO bombing and who now flee the Takfiri militants NATO used as their auxiliaries.

These actions are clearly war crimes of the highest order, contemptuous violations of the UN Charter, international law and of all morality. The resulting misery of the peoples of the countries under attack, who are forced to flee and become refugees in the heart of the very alliance that is attacking them, is beyond words. The images bombard us daily. But the images are not placed in the western media to create a call for peace in the region. Instead, as we see from the recent statements of the British, French and American leaders, they are used to manipulate the emotions of the citizens of the NATO countries to justify a call for more military aggression against Syria which will create more misery, more death and more refugees.

That the flood of stories in the western press about the Syrian refugees is being used as a propaganda tool to is easy to see when we compare the situation regarding refugees from Libya and Ukraine. The Libyan people have been fleeing the hell that NATO created for four years now, with thousands of people arriving in Europe, mostly on the shores of Italy. But there has been no call to attack the vicious thugs that NATO installed in place of the progressive socialist Libyan Republic, no call to bring back the civilized society that existed before Gaddafi was brutally murdered by the same forces, no call for regime change in Tripoli. Instead, chaos and gangsterism prevail, and all is well.

In Ukraine over a million people have fled the Kiev junta’s massive armed attacks on its own people, the type of attacks that NATO countries alleged Gaddafi had used on his own people to justify their attack on Libya. The US puppets in Kiev have used bombing raids on civilians, white phosphorus shells, cluster bombs and other banned weapons and they have used them not on military targets of the peoples resistance forces but on civilian houses, shops, schools, hospitals, power stations and other civilian infrastructure. Food and medical supplies are blockaded. The people of the Donbas are under siege. All these actions are war crimes and crimes against humanity. Yet the western media says not a single word about them. There is no call from Washington or London or Paris or Ottawa to bomb Kiev and remove Poroshenko. Instead they supply him and his Nazi friends with weapons, supplies and money and send in their own forces to assist in these criminal attacks. The double standards applied and the deep hypocrisy and cynicism displayed by the NATO governments and the western news media that provide the information flow to the people, must shake anyone’s belief in the viability of western civilization.

In stark contrast, Russia has taken in over a million refugees so far from Ukraine without complaint while the EU countries argue bitterly amongst themselves as to who should take the refugees they have created and while they fan the flames of xenophobia among their own populations. But then the motivations are completely different. The Russians want to help the people being attacked by NATO and its puppet regime in Kiev. The Europeans only want to use the refugees as a means of creating hysteria in Europe so that their people will support a combined NATO attack on Syria.

Since these EU countries in one way or another support the forces attacking Syria they are responsible under international law for receiving and caring for the refugees they have created. They must follow certain humane standards in the treatment of them, but instead we see images of them being fed like animals or being kicked and tripped up by the very media sent to report on the crisis.

But now the situation has escalated further with the United States demanding that Greece and Bulgaria block relief supplies from Russia from using their air space, an attempt to completely block these supplies. Greece has found the courage to refuse the request. Bulgaria to its shame has decided to lick their boots.

The Americans try to justify their demand by claiming that some of those flights are used to deliver military supplies to Syria. Yes, and so what? Russia has every right to support the Syrian government in its fight against the Nato-Saudi, Israeli auxiliaries who are fighting in Syria under the acronyms ISIS or ISIL or Al Qaeda and has been openly doing so since the beginning. There is no UN approved arms embargo against Syria and the United States and its allies are daily dropping supplies to these same groups and have let it be known that their special forces are operating on the ground alongside those forces. Just the other day another story broke of the Israeli Army airlifting wounded from these groups for treatment in Israeli occupied zones and one must wonder if those selectively helped are not indeed Israeli special forces themselves. The Americans and Bulgarians are not just worried about more Russian military supplies from being delivered. They also want the Syrian people to experience the maximum state of misery and despair to punish them for their support of their government and to try to force them to turn against it.

Indeed, the Russian and Syrian governments affirm that many of those flights are delivering much needed humanitarian relief including medical supplies, generators for hospitals, food, tents for internal refugees, and related supplies to relieve the distress of the Syrian people in the face of the American provoked attacks on them. One has to ask, where are the American and European relief supplies for the Syrian people? Where are the ships and planes that should be carrying the same supplies the Russians are delivering? If they had delivered them and if they had insisted that the attacks on Syria stop there would not be any refugees. But they want the refugees to generate war propaganda and so they do not want relief supplies to get through.

The attempt to blockade the delivery of humanitarian assistance amounts to a war crime under international law, including the the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremburg Principles and the Statute of Rome that sets out the definitions of war crimes under the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court. The attempted blockade of humanitarian assistance constitutes murder, inhuman treatment, collective punishment, an action designed to bring about the physical destruction of the population and the nation, and other related crimes committed against the Syrian civilian population. Every European leader who takes part in this criminal conspiracy should be charged with war crimes. The American president should be Number One in the dock. But international criminal law continues to be administered by criminals and we watch with disbelief the complete silence of the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court who sits in her office in The Hague and twiddles her thumbs while Damascus, Aleppo and Donetsk burn.

The cartloads of the dead overflow the cemeteries. The misery of the living mounts. The hope that is left for peace and security, even for a little kindness in this life, drips out of our veins with every drop of blood shed by the victims of these NATO wars. It is very easy to despair. I despair. But we must resist. We must demand these wars stop, We must stop sitting around face booking and surfing the internet, get out of these artificial worlds they have built to turn us into zombies of the living and get back on the streets where we still count, where they still fear us and where we can shout our demands so loud they will shake the walls of the state itself.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

“Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines”: the U.S. aids and abets war crimes in the Philippines

The jury in the tribunal found defendant Aquino and defendant Government of the United States of America, represented by Obama guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
Global Research, July 23, 2015
truthdig 22 July 2015

After Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush declared the Philippines a second front in the war on terror (“Operation Enduring Freedom-Philippines”). The Philippine government used this as an opportunity to escalate its war against Muslim separatists and other individuals and organizations opposing the policies of the government. The egregious human rights violations committed by the Philippine military and paramilitary forces are some of the most underreported atrocities in the media today.

The International Peoples’ Tribunal on Crimes Against the Filipino People, held July 16-18 in Washington, D.C., drew upward of 300 people. An international panel of seven jurors heard two days of testimony from 32 witnesses, many of whom had been tortured, arbitrarily detained and forcibly evicted from their land. Some testified to being present when their loved ones, including children, were gunned down by the Philippine military or paramilitary. I testified as an expert witness on international human rights violations in the Philippines, many of which were aided and abetted by the U.S. government.

Thirty-one-year-old Melissa Roxas was a community health adviser who went to the Philippines in 2009 to conduct health surveys in central Luzon, where people were dying from cholera and diarrhea. In May of that year, 15 men in civilian clothes with high-powered rifles and wearing bonnets and ski masks forced her into a van and handcuffed and blindfolded her. They beat her, suffocated her and used other forms of torture on her until releasing her six days later. Roxas was continually interrogated and even threatened with death during her horrific torture. She was likely released because she is a U.S. citizen (she has dual citizenship).

But WikiLeaks revealed that although the U.S. Embassy was aware of Roxas’ torture and abduction, it did nothing to secure her release. Roxas convinced the Philippines Court of Appeals to grant her petition for writ of amparo, which confirmed she had been abducted and tortured. Nevertheless, the Philippine government refuses to mount an investigation into her ordeal. And although she lives in the United States, Roxas remains under surveillance.

“Whenever you work with communities,” Roxas testified, “[the Philippine government] vilifies you as a member of the New Peoples Army [NPA].” Ironically, the Philippine military claimed it was the NPA, the armed wing of the Philippine Communist Party, that abducted Roxas. Her physical and emotional scars remain. But, Roxas told the tribunal, “I have the privilege of being in the United States,” unlike many other Filipino victims of human rights violations.

People and groups have been labeled “terrorists” by the Philippine government, the U.S. government and other countries at the behest of the U.S. government. The Philippine government engages in “red tagging”—political vilification. Targets are frequently human rights activists and advocates, political opponents, community organizers or groups struggling for national liberation. Those targeted for assassination are placed on the “order of battle” list.

The tribunal documented 262 cases of extrajudicial killings, 27 cases of forced disappearances, 125 cases of torture, 1,016 cases of illegal arrest, and 60,155 incidents of forced evacuation—many to make way for extraction by mining companies—from July 2010 to June 30 of this year by Philippine police, military, paramilitary or other state agents operating within the chain of command.

As part of the U.S. war on terror, in 2002 the Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo government created the Oplan Bantay Laya, a counterinsurgency program modeled on U.S. strategies, ostensibly to fight communist guerrillas. After 9/11, the Bush administration gave Arroyo $100 million to fund the campaign in the Philippines.

The government of Benigno Aquino III continued the program in 2011 under the name Oplan Bayanihan. It does not distinguish between civilians and combatants,  which is considered a war crime under the Rome Statute and the Geneva Conventions.

Oplan Bayanihan has led to tremendous repression, including large numbers of extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture and cruel treatment. Many civilians, including children, have been killed. Hundreds of members of progressive organizations were murdered by Philippine military and paramilitary death squads. Communities and leaders opposed to large-scale and invasive mining have been targeted. Even ordinary people with no political affiliation have not escaped the government’s campaign of terror.

Continue reading

Ray McGovern: College of William & Mary honors a war criminal

By Ray McGovern
Posted on War is a Crime, May 18, 2015

Exclusive: Condoleezza Rice has crossed the threshold into esteemed celebrity – a welcomed speaker at this year’s College of William and Mary commencement – despite her record as the liar who sold the illegal war in Iraq and choreographed the torture techniques for use at CIA “black sites.”

By Ray McGovern

Nothing better illustrates the extent to which the United States has turned its back on the rule of law than when the likes of Condoleezza Rice are asked to address graduates and receive doctoral degrees honoris causa at university commencements. Ms. Rice – in my view a war criminal – was accorded those honors Saturday by the College of William and Mary, the second-oldest college in the U.S.

Unlike Rice’s other university appearances in recent years, there was not the slightest sign of unhappiness, let alone protest. Most of the graduating seniors were not yet ten years old in 2003 when Rice played a key role helping President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney launch a war of aggression against Iraq. So, the graduates’ ignorance may perhaps be understandable, but it does not speak well for their grasp of recent history.

It is far less excusable for the patrician leadership of William and Mary to have bestowed this honor on Rice. Did the news not penetrate their ivory tower that last year Ms. Rice was prevented from being accorded similar honors by irate students at Rutgers University, who were sickened at the thought that their commencement would be sullied by Rice’s presence?

One of the leaders of the “No Rice” campaign at Rutgers last year (a senior at the time), Carmelo Cintrón Vivas, told Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! that the “students felt that war criminals shouldn’t be honored. … Someone who has such a tainted record as a public servant in this country should not … get an honorary law degree for trying to circumvent the law. … That’s not fair to any student graduating or not graduating at Rutgers University.”

He found “ludicrous” the familiar argument that Rice’s academic achievements outweigh her political positions: “If we look into a lot of international criminals and just bad people in history, a lot of them had great academic careers or great medical careers. … Your career is one thing, and the way you act as a person, as a human being, is another one. And that’s why we make this an issue about human rights.”

How to explain the contrast between the apathy prevailing at William and Mary and the awareness and activism at Rutgers? Perhaps one clue is the marked difference between the costs of attending. Tuition and fees are significantly higher at William and Mary, located in Williamsburg, Virginia. Another clue might be seen in the remarkable “tradition” of asking predominantly conservative Republican speakers to do the honors, and to get the honors, at commencement.

In contrast to the scene at William and Mary, this year’s commencement at Rutgers awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters to Frances Fox Piven, a highly respected scholar and advocate for poor working people. Piven’s recent books include The War at Home: The Domestic Costs of Bush’s Militarism. Piven also won the Shirley Chisholm Award for “leadership toward social and economic justice.”

Looking at the assembled graduates at William and Mary, I could not help but mourn the fact that they were being sent off into life by Rice instead of Piven. I would expect Piven to address the pressing challenges facing the “99 percent” – and the injustices behind the growing unrest in Baltimore, St. Louis and other troubled cities. Rice did not mention any of that on Saturday. It was all about her – a reflection, perhaps, of the fact that, although black in Birmingham, Alabama, she nonetheless grew up relatively privileged.

Worse Still: War Crimes

Rather than some profile in courage or a person of steadfast principles, Condoleezza Rice represents malleability in the face of criminality and evil. She is a profile in cowardice and expediency, the opposite sort of lesson in how to live one’s life than Piven or many other worthy commencement speakers would be expected to present.

When President George W. Bush told Ms. Rice to scarf up any and all “evidence,” no matter how sketchy or deceptive, to prove that Iraq had “weapons of mass destruction” (WMD), she led the fraudulent campaign to present the “intelligence” needed to deceive Congress into supporting a war that fits the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal’s definition of a “war of aggression as the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains the accumulated evil of the whole.”

Rice played her role as drum majorette for war with exceptional enthusiasm – conjuring up the danger of “mushroom clouds” from Iraq’s (nonexistent) nukes; “yellowcake” uranium from darkest Africa (based on crudely forged documents); and aluminum tubes (that turned out to be standard Iraqi artillery tubes) but she said were for refining uranium.

Rice led the parade, with Dick Cheney’s indispensable help, promoting the various manufactured “evidence” against Iraq. The fraudulent nature of those spurious claims was laid bare in a July, 23, 2002 British document, The Downing Street Memorandum, published by The London Times on May 1, 2005. Established as authentic, the memo exposed the unconscionable attempt to “fix” the intelligence to justify a U.S./U.K. attack for “regime change” in Iraq.

For the rest of the article:
http://warisacrime.org/content/tis-season-fete-war-criminals

Comments: McGovern states later in the article: 

“The William and Mary experience on Saturday is hardly the first time a university has succumbed to the “prestige virus” and given some powerful celebrity high honors at a commencement despite the person’s deplorable actions. There are, sad to say, numerous examples, including an earlier one involving Ms. Rice.

 …’Thus compromised,’ warned [Daniel] Berrigan, ‘the Christian tradition of nonviolence, as well as the secular boast of disinterested pursuit of truth — these are reduced to bombast, hauled out for formal occasions, believed by no one, practiced by no one.’”

It is not just Catholic colleges that have invited Rice. In 2011, she was invited to speak at Westmont College, a Protestant Christian college in California, at the annual President’s Breakfast and later to students.
http://blogs.westmont.edu/magazine/2011/04/26/an-extraordinary-ordinary-woman/
An Extraordinary, Ordinary Woman

Westmont followed this by hosting Robert Gates in 2012, Colin Powell in March 2013, and stunningly, Henry Kissinger in a special event on October 2013. The Kissinger event took place one month after the release of declassified documents detailing Kissinger’s role in the US-backed Pinochet coup in Chile, which overthrew Salvador Allende.
http://www.twnside.org.sg/title2/resurgence/2013/276-277/world3.htm

Clearly, this brand of Christianity and these institutions have difficulty with the values of peace, justice, truth, love, wisdom, or that over-used word though under-used value, righteousness.

 

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He served as an Army Infantry/Intelligence officer and then a CIA analyst for 30 years, and is now on the Steering Group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

This article appeared first on Consortiumnews.com

 

Ukrainian neo-nazis from Azov battalion burned alive a Novorossia resistance fighter on a cross (video 18+)

Disclaimer: I have not watched this video.
Azov Battalion is working with the US military and undergoing training starting this month.

April 24, 2015
TVZvezda.ru
Translated from Russian by Kristina Rus

Ukrainian fighters from a nationalist voluntary regiment “Azov” sent a video of an execution of a Novorossia fighter to militia fighters and hackers from “Cyberberkut”.

“According to the authors of this video, the footage was filmed near the village of Shirokino, and “all the separatists, traitors of Ukraine and militia fighters will be treated the same“, –  “Cyberberkut” quoted the message from “Azov”.

The footage shows how several punishers tied their victim to the cross, stuck the cross into the ground, and set fire to the wooden structure.

“This will not add fear neither to us nor the Armed Forces of Novorossia: we have already experienced too much in this life! But after this hardly anyone will capture “Azov” members alive” – responded the hackers to the atrocities of the security forces.

The authenticity of the video is not yet reliably confirmed. No official statements were made by the authorities of DPR.

“Azov” is one of the most infamous units of the Ukrainian National Guard, was formed as a battalion, in the fall expanded to a regiment. The unit consists of staunch nationalists – Ukrainian and mercenaries from other countries. The regiment uses the symbols of SS of Nazi Germany on its flag. Atrocities, harassment and war crimes of “Azov” fighters against the civilian population were repeatedly reported. Based in Mariupol.