Tag Archives: brutality

Brothers in Arms – Saudis and Israelis

On July 10th  2017  the U.K. High  Court rejected a bid by  the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) that ‘Britain’s multi-billion-pound arms sales to Saudi Arabia should be halted because they were being used in Yemen in violation of international humanitarian law. ‘

The British  High  Court judges claimed that the Saudis had “sought positively to address concerns about International Humanitarian Law”…..”Saudi Arabia has been, and remains, genuinely committed to compliance with International Humanitarian Law; and there was no ‘real risk’ that there might be ‘serious violations’ of International Humanitarian Law (in its various manifestations) such that UK arm sales to Saudi Arabia should be suspended or cancelled,” the court said. “

One wonders whether judges can be indicted for perjury? Those judges would have known  full  well  that  their legal  judgement  was a total  and outright lie. The Saudis have in  fact  done everything possible to  exacerbate the suffering  of the Yemen population over the past two years,  with  massive starvation and typhoid outbreaks the consequence of  Saudi bombing of civilian  infrastructure and a blockade of aid and food to Yemen (using British  and U.S. aircraft  ordinance, guidance and coordination) .

One might put this ruling alongside the  eagerness of the U.K. to   continue to  pour millions into  the Israeli  military, which  has for the past 60  years engaged in  a war of not-so- slow motion genocide of the Palestinian  people, for whom  it has  legal  responsibilty as the occupying entity . One has only to  read John Pilger’s account  of the horrendous ordeal  of the Palestinian  people, to be shamed  by  our complicity in  Israeli  war crimes. What  do  these two  delightful  pariah  states have in  common?-  firstly an overweaning desire for  expansion and power; secondly the destruction of the Iranian state,  and thirdly the use of religion to  justify  their  expansionist  goals; with  the Saudis using  their  Wahhabist dogma  to  promote sectarian violence against those who  do  not subscribe to  their bizarre version of  the muslim faith,  while the Zionists use the Jewish  religion as a weapon  against  all  those who  defy  their expansionist  policies and  appropriation of other people’s lands.   As the Boycott,  Divestment Sanctions  (BDS) movement gathers steam  against  the  Israeli  entity, having at least some friends  Israel  can  rely on, may prove rather useful…

It is no  wonder then that  the long-standing secret  alliance between the Saudis and Israel  is now becoming visible, as  political  and moral  pressure  continues to  escalate against  both of them. The Saudi ‘princes’ have continued to  publicly preach  their opposition to  Israeli  occupation of Palestinian  lands , whilst  clandestinely supporting Israel. As the article in Investigaction notes: With some exceptions, support for the Palestinian cause in the Arab world is overwhelming. And regimes like Saudi Arabia have happily betrayed the Palestinian cause over and over again because they are aware that key to their survival is subservience to the United States, and that an alliance with Israel may boost their regional hegemony prospects. But because their legitimacy to rule is incredibly thin to say the least, royals and officials need to keep pretending in public that they are defending and fighting for the Palestinians.

As the economic and military  power of Iran continues to grow,  (despite the best efforts of most of the Western world; with sanctions and  attempted coups and assassinations and wars), the  anti-Iran hysteria within  the ruling classes in these two  regimes continues to  escalate. For the Saudis,  Iran , a largely Shi-ite theocracy ( i.e.  decidely more democratic than  the Saudis,  but  with brutal  political  oversight by  its religious governing bodies) is  a complete anathema to  Saudi Wahhabist  Sunni  ideology,  which holds that all  non-Sunni  muslims are in  fact not muslim  at  all.  In addition  Iran’s rapid development of an internal  arms industry (particularly in  missile development) totally unreliant on  Western imports, along with an economic  structure largely  independent  from  the West ( largely as a result of Western  sanctions based on  fraudulent claims of its  development of nuclear weapons) has allowed it to pursue a totally independent foreign policy line-  unlike the Saudis who  remain completely reliant on  U.K.  and U.S.  weaponry  and therefore required to  be  largely compliant  to U.S.  and U.K military   and political  objectives in  the Middle East.

For the Israelis,  Iran  remains the one  major threat   to its goals of a larger and all-powerful  Israel;  the Middle East  country with the largest  military (courtesy  of the United States)  and  a nuclear arsenal . Iran continues to  support fund and train  Hezbollah  in Lebanon,  and to some degree Hamas  in  the Occupied Territories of Palestine itself. Both Hezbollah,  with its devastating victory over the Israeli  Army in  Lebanon in 2006, and to  a smaller degree Hamas, with its ongoing resistance to  Israel’s brutal military incursions into  the West  Bank, have been  a thorn in  the side of Israeli  expansionism, and hence have been deemed ‘terrorist  organisations’  by the West.  Hezbollah  has again  played a significant role  against  Al Qaeda (Al Nusra) and ISIS ( funded and armed by  the Saudis and to  some degree by  Turkey, Qatar   and Israel in  the Syrian  war, with coordination and logistics provided by  British and United States intelligence agencies).  And while Israel  knows that  Iran is not going to  acquire nuclear weapons,  it is fearful  of the increasingly advanced home-grown missile technology  that Iran  posseses which now poses a significant deterrant to Israeli  expansion.

Thus  Israel  and  the Saudi  regimes; both rapidly becoming pariah states,  have  increasingly cosied up to each other, (just  as Israel  did with  apartheid South  Africa in  the 1960s) with Israel  providing overt  support to  the Saudi  war  in Yemen,  along with the British and Americans,  on the premise that somehow/somewhere  the Iranians must  be supporting the Yemenese Houthi forces there.  This most un-holy of alliances will  inevitably be the undoing of both  regimes…


Links

https://www.caat.org.uk/campaigns/stop-arming-saudi/judicial-review

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-saudi-arms-idUKKBN19V0YR

http://johnpilger.com/articles/palestine-is-still-the-issue

http://wolvestuc.org.uk/index.php/local-campaigns/wolves-palestine-solidarity/256-wolverhampton-link-to-arms-exports-to-israel

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Israel and Saudi Arabia: a match made in heaven (or in Washington)

 

 

Yemen: The War That Isn’t Happening Even as It’s Happening

Qatari questions…

As Donald Trump  has announced: ‘Qatar has  been funding terrorism  at a very high level”. Trump is of course correct;  Qatar has been funding training and arming  jihadists across the Middle East  and the Western world for many years. However, funding  terrorists is not Qatar’s sin  for the Saudis ,  the Americans and the British.  Qatar’s crime is that they not only support Hamas to    respond to Israeli  terror against  the  Palestinians ,  but they also have a  distant alliance with  Iran promarily via  their shared Pars field gas resource; and,  to cap  it all  off, are  now agreeing to sell some gas  in non-US dollars!

The reality is that   a few  deaths on  London  Bridge  or somewhere else in  Europe are simply collateral  damage;  worth it,  in  the bigger interest of huge kickbacks  from  the Saudis,  and Israel’s backers in  the States  and the U.K. .. This is purely and simply about money. The  festering cesspool  of  British/American  mainstream  politics and their respective ‘intelligence’  units , is all  about money- what’s a few blown-up  innocent citizens compared to  the billions that  can be made through arms deals,   oil  deals and kickbacks?-with  the added benefit of  de-stabilising the one final   disruptor  to  Israel’s’ plans  to  once and for good  ‘solve’  the Palestinian question-  by removing Iran  and their allies Hezbollah and to some degree Hamas.

As Angry Arab notes:  If Western media want to really serve their readers in their (lousy) coverage of the Gulf crisis, they would adhere to those two basic standards of professional journalism:
1) they would tell their readers while interviewing academics, journalists, or “citizens” in UAE or Saudi Arabia or Qatar that opposition the government or disagreeing with the government in tweets or in retweets would land you in jail for up to 15 years with a hefty fine. They would tell them people in those countries are not free to express views different form the government.
2) they would tell readers when they cite “experts” at DC think thanks that those think tanks are all funded by UAE and/or Saudi Arabia (except Brookings which is funded by Qatar).  These are basics.’

 


Links

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/qatar-linked-terror-list-issued-saudi-arabia-allies/

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13960320000109

https://www.rt.com/op-edge/391853-qatar-riyadh-plan-backfires/

https://wikileaks.org/saudi-cables/buying-silence

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/iraq-reinforces-border-saudi-arabia-amid-deepening-qatari-saudi-rift-video/

http://angryarab.blogspot.co.nz/

 

The Rogue State that is the United States of America

As  one more US aircraft  carrier  steams  off to  confront the North Koreans and threaten nuclear war once again , it is timely to  recall  that  60  years ago  the United States and its allies (including a very  compliant New Zealand) began  a genocidal  bombing of every  town  and city in  the north of Korea.  Millions of Koreans died. Since that  war ended,  the largest and nuclear superpower in  the world has refused to  sign  a peace treaty  with  North Korea,  has stationed thousands of troops  and weapons along its South Korean border and has regularly  threatened to nuke North  Korea,  applied  annual  large scale attack  manoeuvres along the border with North Korea, as well  as  implementing  sanctions that in  several years since the war,  caused mass starvation in  the north.   Small  wonder that the North  Korean  regime might be considered  paranoid and unstable!
Ironically, the United States has absolutely no  interest  in  the Korean peninsula and its peoples;  its sole rationale for  maintaining the ongoing conflict  with North Korea is to justify  maintaining the extensive military  bases encircling China, with the support of the Japanese. China has recently  proposed “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” but  this eminently reasonable offer has been  once again  refused by  the United States because it would reduce the threat to  China.
While the latest  American  President is  also  considered unstable and unreliable, it is  important to  recognise that every American president’s  foreign  policy  since the 1900s   has almost entirely consisted of  a psychopathic policy of violence and war and repeated acts of genocide:-  in  the Philippines,   at  Hiroshima and Nagasaki,  in  Korea, Vietnam and Laos,   in Iraq,   and Libya,  as well  as support for unspeakable acts of murder and  terror in South  America .  Its  full logistical and weaponry  support for the starvation of millions of Yemen ‘s children by  Saudi Arabia  because they do  not share the Saudi regime’s  extremist  and sectarian Wahhabist views,  (ably supported in  this war of terror by  its sycophantic ally, the United Kingdon),  tells you exactly where the United States’ current moral  and ethical  foreign policy stands.
The old fiction of the “Shining City Upon  a Hill”  –  an American beacon of hope, democracy,  liberty and freedom ,  has been ceaselessly trotted out by American  Presidents  over the years and regurgitated by  the American mainstream  media. Now the facade of that  shining city is falling away;-exposing the house of horrors within.
United States  foreign policy  does not recognise the international  rules of war or human rights obligations;   it stands above any necessity for humanity or compassion or  peaceful  solution to  conflicts.  It is in fact,  a rogue state.

Links

The Syrian Propaganda War: (Stage Two)

Now that Eastern Aleppo has been  finally retaken by  Syrian government troops and their allies  after 4 years of war there, we see a curious phenomenon in  the Western press. Rather than applauding the  return to  peace for the millions of civilians  in Western  Aleppo  and a  potential  return to  some normalcy   for the few remaining in Eastern  Alleppo,  we are instead  treated to   ongoing accusations  from ‘rebel’  sources  of massacres; statements that  cannot be verified in  any way because  the reporters  are not on the ground in  Syria, and statements which  are intended to  undermine the Assad victory. We are also told in  each of these mainstream  reports that ‘the war will  go  on regardless’-  one might be forgiven for thinking that those journalists and media  outlets  are actually wanting the war to continue?
We know that  Western  governments  and the Gulf State dictatorships have poured  millions of dollars,  not only into arming and training the ‘rebels’ of any affiliation  in Syria over the past five years-  but also  poured millions into  a  huge propaganda network designed to  convince the Western  public that  Al Qaeda  in Syria is in  fact moderate and cuddly and that  only the Syrian  government forces do  terrible things.
This is a brutal  war   without question. Both sides have committed atrocities  and enormous devastation: to pretend otherwise is to  be blind to the costs of war.
But  it is absolutely clear that without the ongoing  Western  government resourcing of salafist extremists in Syria this war would have been long over.
This war was not inevitable; it was a deliberate decision by  Western governments to overthrow Assad;  firstly ,  because the Syrian  government opposes the ongoing  Israeli  occupation of Palestine and the Syrian  Golan  Heights  heights  and secondly because their allies; the Gulf dictatorships of  Saudi Arabia , Qatar and UAE  see a secular Syria  under Assad as a threat  to  their support for the  Wahhabist sunni  extremist  doctrine espoused by  Al Qaeda and ISIS, and thereby  alters their power  play against shi-ite Iran.
I for one,  hope that peace will  prevail over the dogs of war.
Postscript
As of 15th December, mainstream media are  now reporting that Chinese green buses are now transporting some of the remaining  East  Aleppo  rebels and their families to Idlib province  and possibly Turkey. This is going to make the ongoing reporting of massacres and  pictures of carefully  cement dust covered babies, that much harder for Western PR  agencies to make plausible for the western public. The ruthless evil  dictator Assad granting amnesty to  the poor defenceless rebels?- that doesnt  quite add up…? hmmm

Obama and the Baseball Cards

Obama’s legacy; and  this may  well be his prime legacy- and  one he may  remember in his  older years as he stands before the International War Crimes Tribunal, (once its decisions are no  longer controlled by  the U.S.  State Department), was his omnipotent capacity to  decide who shall  live and who  shall   die by  drone anywhere in  the world,  based on  limited pieces of information  provided on baseball  cards. (a kind of  Roman Emperor  type role: – thumbs- up  or down at  the Coliseum)

Baseball Card Kill List DEPICTION
Lawfareblog.com notes ‘This is a mock-up/depiction of what an actual kill-list baseball card looks like. It is not a real baseball card and is not based on any classified information.’

 

Taken together, the secret documents lead to the conclusion that Washington’s 14-year high-value targeting campaign suffers from an over-reliance on signals intelligence, an apparently incalculable civilian toll, and — due to a preference for assassination rather than capture — an inability to extract potentially valuable intelligence from terror suspects. They also highlight the futility of the war in Afghanistan by showing how the U.S. has poured vast resources into killing local insurgents, in the process exacerbating the very threat the U.S. is seeking to confront. The Intercept 

One might almost be forgiven therefore  for coming to  the conclusion that  the intent of the U.S. targeted killing process is  not to  eliminate the sources of terror, but to  exacerbate them.

drone operator
Drone operator cabin- Daily Mail Australia

As we have seen in many a colonial  war, those who  ‘hand in’ terrorists to  the colonial  power inevitably have their own  agendas;  feuding families and clans, or perhaps financial   or property interests, but rarely because they  are in  fact  ‘terrorists”.  In addition we  can be certain  that  US military  and State Dept claims of minimal   ‘collateral  damage’ (accidental  killing of civilians who  get in the way  of a  drone  missile’s large detonation area)  are complete fabrications. And we can be certain too  that drone operators have less than minimal  knowledge of foreign cultural  issues- e.g. the difference between a  wedding party celebrating by firing automatic weapons into  the air and a  terrorist  group in weapons training , let alone  their drone “eyes” having sufficient  definition to  pick  up  who  is who  on the ground.

So,  when  dear President Obama  gives the thumbs down  on that particular baseball  card, he really has no  idea what  he is agreeing  to; other than that  his decision will  kill  someone or more likely , quite a few  people, out there . But of course, if  that Hellfire  missile with  its 9kg warhead  just  happens to  kill a few other  ‘military-age males’  in the vicinity of the explosion,  all  to the good.  By  using  remote killing mechanisms  the US president can appear to  take a Herod-like hands-off approach  to  the art of murder, with  the added benefit of limited  capacity of verifying what  carnage has  actually occurred on the ground.

In addition the United States’  penchant for targeting  supposed ‘leaders’ of terrorist  groups, rather than  their supply lines, infrastructure or financial  backers, means that  drones can be used over and over to  kill  the next leader who  takes the deceased’s  place in  the leadership line; or as in  many cases , the United States simply ‘kills’ the same person  over and over again; such  is the usefulness of remote unverified killing.

United States government lawyers have in  the past contorted themselves in  all  sorts of unusual  positions to justify  remote murder by  executive order,  much as their  contracted psychiatrists  managed to  create a lofty argument that  putting  prisoners through  ‘stress positions’  was not in  fact  totally illegal,  inhumane  torture and contravened  international  human  rights on  a grand scale.

President Obama has even been known  to joke publicly about his life and death  decision-making powers, not too  dissimilar from his psychopathic Secretary  of State ,  Hilary Clinton.

I hope I will  be around to  see  them  stand before the International  tribunal.


Links

https://theintercept.com/drone-papers/the-assassination-complex/

http://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/the-presidents-kill-list

https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/uploads/2013.05.23_fact_sheet_on_ppg.pdf

https://www.aclu.org/news/aclu-comment-presidents-national-security-speech

https://www.aclu.org/issues/national-security/targeted-killing

https://www.aclu.org/foia-collection/targeted-killing-foia-database

https://www.aclu.org/foia-document/joint-targeting-cycle-and-collateral-damage-estimation-methodology

https://theintercept.com/document/2015/10/14/geolocation-watchlist/

https://www.lawfareblog.com/kill-list-baseball-cards-and-targeting-paper-trail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2249252/Brandon-Bryant-Drone-operator-followed-orders-shoot-child–decided-quit.html

Kill Anything That Moves: Vietnam and beyond

Peter van Buren of the Huffington  Post  reviews Nick Turse’s latest book Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam

Sadly, van  Buren’s parting lines are not about the  millions of tortured, raped,  and murdered civilians of that trail of “dark skinned’ countries the US has invaded over the past 50 years; it is commiseration for those few hundred thousand US soldiers who have been put  in “impossible”  environments  by those in the “highest seats of power”.

As van Buren notes: The issue is not so much how/when/should we assign blame and punishment to an individual soldier, but to raise the stakes and ask: why have we not assigned blame and demanded punishment for the leaders who put those 19-year-old soldiers into the impossible situations they faced? Before we throw away the life of a kid who shot when he should not have done so, why don’t we demand justice for those in the highest seats of power for creating wars that create such fertile ground for atrocity? The chain of responsibility for the legacy left behind in our wars runs high.

Every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to refuse to fight; every one of those soldiers had the opportunity to  refuse to commit atrocities- but failed to do so. The responsibilities for murder and massacre run at all levels of our white-skinned colonial  societies. The assumptions of superiority, of “rightness” and ultimately simply pure racism, are endemic at every level of  Western society.  They  are our sins which  cannot be absolved, and  for which we are likely to pay dearly once the tables are turned in  another decade or two, when  western economies will no longer rule the world and determine the ‘game’.

Even now, almost forty years after the end of the Vietnam war, the US government and most of  it’s  citizens,  refuse to  acknowledge the massive war crimes of at  least  a million Vietnamese deaths carried out by  the US in the name of rolling back  a fictional  red tide of asian dominos, through carpet bombing, chemical  warfare and systemic atrocity after atrocity.

It is time for all  countries to acknowledge that  for us all to live peaceful fulfilled  lives on  a sustainable  planet, that  we have no rights to control other human beings to behave in the way  we think they  “should” behave through force-nor indeed any  rights of force over any  other species on this planet.

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Postscript:

40 years on, Laotians tell of US war legacy  By MATTHEW PENNINGTON | Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty years after the secret U.S. bombing that devastated Laos, heirs to the war’s deadly legacy of undetonated explosives are touring America to prod the conscience of the world’s most powerful nation for more help to clear up the mess.

Note the casual throwaway  line ” The U.S. dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos over a nine-year period up to 1973 — more than on Germany and Japan during World War II.”

World’s Most Evil and Lawless Institution? The Executive Branch of the U.S. Government- Alternet by  Fred Branfman

http://www.alternet.org/investigations/executive-branch-evil-and-lawless

Executive Branch leaders have killed, wounded and made homeless well over 20 million human beings in the last 50 years, mostly civilians.

June 26, 2013  |

America has a secret. It is not discussed in polite company or at the dinner tables of the powerful, rich and famous.