One Inity

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Posts Tagged ‘War Crimes

ZCommunications | Drones, US Propaganda and Imperial Hubris by Sarah Waheed | ZNet Article

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The US thinks that Pakistanis need help to understand why they should support the use of drones to murder their countrymen:

The truth is that the majority of Pakistanis do not support having the sovereignty of Pakistan violated. Even the Pakistani government objects. Maybe that is because, to borrow Obama’s words, “There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on its citizens from outside its borders.” Without even once trying to explain why the use of drones in Pakistan is necessary, the Atlantic article basically claims that Pakistanis want drone attacks, but that not enough Pakistanis want them badly enough.”

Read the full article: ZCommunications | Drones, US Propaganda and Imperial Hubris by Sarah Waheed | ZNet Article


Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 29, 2013 at 11:15

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Chomsky on Iran and International Law

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International law you can forget about. The United States just violates international law with impunity. Nobody even notices it. Every time any political figure opens his mouth about Iran and they say “all options are on the table,” meaning “if we want to bomb you we will.” There happens to be something called the UN Charter which is the foundation of modern international law. The US was very proud to have helped implement it. Take a look at Article II; you don’t have to go very far. It bans the threat or use of force in international affairs. The threat!  So, if you say “We are going to bomb you,” that itself is a violation of international law, let alone sending around assassination teams all over the place to kill people. They happen to come from the sky, but they are still assassination teams. Just suppose that Iran was assassinating people at random in the United States because they are standing on street corners and they think “they can harm us some day,” so what would the reaction be?

In fact, the Iran case is extremely interesting, especially when you talk about nuclear war. Take a look at the presidential debates, or the press. [They say] the greatest threat to world peace is Iran’s nuclear capability, which maybe they don’t have, but nevertheless that is the greatest threat to world peace. “Capability,” notice, not bombs. That is uniform, across the board.

It does raise some questions for a person who can break out of the propaganda system for thirty seconds. First of all, who thinks so?  Well, it turns out to be a Western obsession. Most of the world doesn’t think so. The Arab world, which is sitting right there, they don’t like Iran, hostilities go back a long time, they don’t regard Iran as a threat. There are good polls of Arab public opinion. They don’t like Iran, but they don’t think of it as much of a threat. The threat they see is Israel and the United States. That is the threat and it is pretty realistic. Now that is not what is reported here. What is reported is that the Arabs support us in Iran. What that means is that the dictators support us. So, maybe the dictators support us. But, if the dictators support us, and the populations are all against us, that means “they support us,” because [U.S. power’s] hatred of democracy is so profound that it just doesn’t matter what people think. As long as the dictators support us and they can keep the populations under control we’re fine. That is deep and it is again elite opinion, and not, you know, so called “rednecks.”

So first, the non-aligned movement, which is most of the world, they don’t regard Iran as much of a threat. It is a US and to some extent a European obsession. OK, let’s say it is a real danger, let’s agree. How do you deal with it?  There happens to be a very simple way which could be implemented tomorrow, literally tomorrow. What you do is move towards a nuclear weapons free zone in the region. Just move towards it. That alone would begin to mitigate the threat. If you can implement it, that eliminates the threat such as it is. It happens to be supported by the whole world. It is not hard to implement.

At the last meeting of the non-aligned movement, they again called for it. The non-aligned countries are pressing for it very hard. Egypt has been in the lead for years in trying to move towards a nuclear weapons free zone. The support is so strong that Obama had to verbally say “Yea, it is a good idea,” although they added “not now, and it has to exclude Israel.”   OK, so no nuclear weapons free zone.

Can you implement it?  Sure. This month, December, there was supposed to be an international conference in Helsinki, Finland, to move toward establishing the framework for a nuclear weapons free zone. Well, Obama was quiet about it for awhile, until Iran said they would attend. As soon as Iran said they would attend, in early November, within days Obama canceled it. So, the meeting is canceled. We can’t allow Iran to attend a conference supported by virtually the whole world which would end the alleged Iran threat.

That didn’t end the story. The Arab states and the non-aligned movement continued to press for it, even after Obama cancelled it. Right after that the United States announced a nuclear weapons test, which much of the world regards as a violation of the non-proliferation treaty…we’re supposed to be getting rid of nuclear weapons.

Well, all of this happened just in the last couple of weeks and nobody is protesting and there is a very simple reason why nobody is protesting. Nobody knows!  Who knows about any of this? Unless you are a kind of fanatic who carries out your own private research projects, or unless you read some of the very-marginalized left press, I mean I’ve written about it, you can’t know. You can’t know because it hasn’t been reported.

It is kind of amazing, here is “the greatest threat to peace in the world,” and you cannot report the fact that there are ways to deal with it and the United States is blocking them. That is a degree of subordination to power that I don’t think could be achieved in a totalitarian state. And it is totally internalized. If you ask an editor they won’t know what you are talking about. There is no force; nobody’s got a gun to your head. There is no threat if you don’t report it.

You do find a couple of words here and there, maybe sometimes. The Washington Post reported a couple of lines from a Reuters wire service report. I think that is about it. Nothing happens to you. It is just internalized. You subordinate yourself to power, period. It doesn’t matter how significant the issues are. So, we’re moving on.

In fact, there was a meeting just a couple of days ago; it was organized by WINEP, “The Washington Institute for Near East Policy” which the press constantly turns to as a neutral source for analysis on the Middle East. It is an offshoot of AIPAC. They know it. But that is the “neutral” source. They just had a conference a couple of days ago in which Dennis Ross and a couple of these guys sounded off.  They say they know, I don’t know how they know, or whether they know, in the Obama Administration they are planning a few months of negotiations and if that doesn’t work then we bomb them.

OK, so you asked about international law?  Forget it. In fact, even technically the United States is self-immunized to international law. One of the things everybody ought to learn in elementary school is that when the United States agreed to join the World Court in 1946 (which the U.S. helped set up) it added a reservation — the U.S. cannot be charged under any international treaty. So it cannot be charged with any violations of the UN Charter, the Organization of American States, or any serious international treaty. So sure, we are immune to international law.

In fact, we are immune to trial under the “Genocide Convention.”  That was a reservation. Sure, we’ll sign it after forty years, but it doesn’t apply to the United States. All of this, incidentally, has come up in the “World Court,” in the international tribunals, and the U.S. position has been accepted. “Yes, you guys are free to violate laws as much as you want,” because the structure of the international tribunals is that both sides have to agree, unless you are trying some African, then you can do whatever you like, but among people who are considered human both sides have to agree, somebody has to agree to be subject to the jurisdiction. And so the U.S. is human, so therefore we are not subject to it. So even raising the question of international law is kind of beside the point in the United States.

[From ZCommunications | Hitting Society With A Sledgehammer by Noam Chomsky | ZNet Article]

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

January 25, 2013 at 13:45

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The U.S. Kill List: Panama, Iraq… Everywhere – Infoshop News

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“Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

For those who volunteered to be paid as part of any branch of U.S. military or law enforcement and regularly evoke the “only doing my job” alibi, here’s another crucial excerpt from the Nuremberg Tribunal:

“The fact that a person acted pursuant to order of his government or of a superior does not relieve him from responsibility under international law provided a moral choice was in fact possible to him.”

Let’s re-cap:

  • The United States government has a long, sordid, and brutal history — and it’s our job to see past the media and educational conditioning.

  • Both major U.S. political parties have been equal partners in this catalogue of crime — so it’s been left to us to create the urgent change needed.

  • International law does not protect the guilty U.S. soldiers and cops — but international law does demand our intervention.

  • Despite all this, the vast majority of Americans remain willfully uninformed and silent.

Read More:  The U.S. Kill List: Panama, Iraq… Everywhere – Infoshop News

(Via Infoshop News)

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 19, 2012 at 12:16

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An Inconvenient Truth: Israeli Apartheid |

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The world is slowly waking up to the atrocities committed by the Israeli regime. Their indefensible violation of UN mandates and continuing war crimes cannot be glossed over for ever. With Palestine being granted Observer status at the UN allowing them access to the International Criminal Court, Israel has reacted in character by announcing many thousands of new settlement dwellings in the occupied territories.

An Inconvenient Truth: Israeli Apartheid

Read More from Global Research here: An Inconvenient Truth: Israeli Apartheid.

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 19, 2012 at 11:30

US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture – World Socialist Web Site

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US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture

By Naomi Spencer 
15 December 2012

The US military trial of five Guantanamo Bay detainees will censor testimony describing torture at the hands of military and intelligence personnel, the judge overseeing the case has ruled.

Citing “national security,” Army Colonel James Pohl ordered that all details surrounding the capture, rendition, detention, and interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four others accused of involvement in the September 11, 2001 attacks will be kept secret from the public and the media.

In his ruling, quietly issued December 6 and made public late December 12, Pohl stated that “enhanced interrogation techniques that were applied to the accused … including descriptions of the techniques as applied, the duration, frequency, sequencing and limitations of those techniques” are to be classified. This includes, “without limitation, observations and experiences of the accused.” Pohl also ruled that no mention of those issues could be made in legal papers presented to the court.

In an April filing, prosecutors representing the Obama administration had pressed for all information regarding events at CIA black sites as well as at Guantanamo to remain classified. The administration hailed the ruling.

The order epitomizes the complete illegality, and absurdity, of the military commissions. While evidence obtained through torture may be introduced into the courtroom, no evidence of the torture itself is permitted. The only material that the US government deems suitable for the public is that which was admitted, or fabricated, under extreme pain and threats of death. While trying the accused of war crimes, the government is concerned that its own war crimes will be exposed.

Beyond the immediate issue of torture, moreover, the White House is no doubt sensitive to the fact that testimony may expose links between the activities of al-Qaeda and the US intelligence agencies.

Pohl also approved the continued use of a 40-second audio delay in the transmission of the court proceedings. This will prevent any unexpected mention of the abuse from reaching either spectators seated behind soundproof glass at the US Naval base in Cuba or reporters in the press room at Fort Meade, Maryland. “The broadcast may be suspended whenever it is reasonably believed that any person in the courtroom has made or is about to make a statement or offer testimony disclosing classified information,” the order reads.

Read More:

US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture – World Socialist Web Site: “US military trial to censor testimony on CIA torture By Naomi Spencer 15 December 2012

(Via WSWS.)

Written by Sean Bozkewycz

December 17, 2012 at 15:08

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