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How 94,000 U.S. Air-Strikes Created ISIS and a Global Crisis

Thirteen years ago, a draft dodger from Texas stood on a pile of rubble in New York City and promised: "the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon."  Of course, the people who flew the planes into the World Trade Center could not hear anybody, as their remains were buried in the rubble beneath Bush's feet.  And our government's extraordinary relationship with one of the world's last and most brutal absolute monarchies ensured that any accomplices still in the U.S. were quickly flown home to Saudi Arabia before the crime could be investigated.  In 2003, Bush meekly complied with Al-Qaeda's most concrete demand, that he withdraw U.S. forces from military bases in Saudi Arabia.

A month after September 11th, Donald Rumsfeld stood at a podium in front of a $2 billion B-2 bomber at Whiteman AFB in Missouri and addressed the aircrews of the 509th Bomber Wing, before they took off across the world to wreak misdirected vengeance on the people of Afghanistan.  Rumsfeld told them, "We have two choices.  Either we change the way we live, or we must change the way they live.  We choose the latter.  And you are the ones who will help achieve that goal."

Since then, the United States has launched more than 94,000 air strikes, mostly on Afghanistan and Iraq, but also on Libya, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia.  Rumsfeld's plan has undoubtedly achieved his goal of changing the way people live in those countries, killing a million of them and reducing tens of millions more to lives of disability, disfigurement, dislocation, grief and poverty.

The Tragic History of U.S. Military Supremacy

by Nicolas J S Davies

The idea of U.S. "national security" seems inextricably entangled with the notion of "military supremacy."  Over the past 15 years, this has served to rationalize  the most expensive unilateral military build-up in history.  But there is no evidence that having the most expensive and destructive military forces makes Americans safer than people in other countries, nor that restoring a more balanced military posture would leave us vulnerable to dangers we are currently protected from.  Many countries with smaller military forces do a better job of protecting their people by avoiding the hostility that is generated by U.S. imperialism, aggression and other war crimes.
 
Now, successful diplomacy over Syria's chemical weapons has demonstrated that diplomacy within the framework of international law can be a more effective way of dealing with problems than the illegal threat or use of military force.  Our government claims that its threat of force led to the success of diplomacy in Syria, but that's not really what happened.  It was only when the sleeping giant of American democracy awoke from its long slumber and pried the cruise missiles from our leaders' trigger fingers that they grudgingly accepted "diplomacy as a last resort."  For once in a very long while, our political system worked the way it's supposed to: the public made its views clear to our representatives in Congress, and  they listened.  We saved our leaders from the consequences of their own criminality, and their efforts to sell a propaganda narrative that turns that on its head is a sad reflection on their disdain for democracy and the rule of law.
 
For most of our history, Americans never dreamt of global military supremacy.  At the turn of the 20th century, even as the U.S. waged  a genocidal war that probably killed a million Filipinos, American diplomats played key roles in the Hague Peace Conferences and the establishment of international courts, eager to adapt American concepts of democracy and justice to the international arena to develop alternatives to war and militarism.  
 
In response to the horrors of the First World War, an international social movement demanded the abolition of war.  In 1928, the U.S. government responded by negotiating  the Kellogg-Briand Pact, named for U.S. Secretary of State Frank Kellogg, in which all major powers renounced "war as an instrument of national policy."  The treaty failed to prevent the Second World War, but it provided the legal basis for the convictions of German leaders at Nuremberg for the crime of aggression.  And it is still in force, supported by subsequent treaties like the UN Charter and conventions against genocide, torture and other war crimes, under which senior U.S. officials must also eventually face justice.
 
The allied defeat of Germany and Japan in the Second World War was not the result of American military supremacy, but of an alliance across ideological lines with imperial Britain and the communist Soviet Union, based on mutual trust, vigorous diplomacy and the recognition of a common existential threat.  Most Americans believed at the time that the war would lead to a renewed international commitment to peace and disarmament, not to an American bid for military supremacy.
 
American, British and Soviet leaders agreed that their common interests required what Roosevelt called  "a permanent structure of peace" after the war, through the United Nations and continued great power diplomacy.  The  prohibition against the threat or use of force is a key provision of the UN Charter.  But Roosevelt's death deprived America of his vision and personal diplomatic skills just as the complexities of the post-war world began to rear their head.  
 
Truman mistrusted the Soviets and never shared Roosevelt's commitment to work with them in a spirit of mutual respect.  He quickly fell under the influence of hawkish advisers like his Chief of Staff Admiral Leahy, Ambassador Harriman and Navy Secretary Forrestal, and he condemned the Russians harshly at every turn during negotiations on the contours of the post-war world.  Truman embraced Churchill's self-fulfilling declaration of  an "iron curtain" across Europe and his dark view of America's wartime ally as a potential aggressor in the mold of Nazi Germany.
 
What emboldened the former Senator from Missouri to squander the fruits of Roosevelt's astute diplomacy?  In great part, it was "the bomb."  The U.S. monopoly on atomic weapons in the late 1940s gave rise to a newly aggressive posture in U.S. foreign policy, including desperate calls to destroy the Soviet Union in a massive nuclear holocaust before it could develop its own nuclear deterrent.
 
Fortunately for all of us, wiser heads prevailed and a nuclear war was avoided. The  Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and wartime American and British military leaders warned that attacking the U.S.S.R. would unleash an even more terrible war than the one the world had just survived.  U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Eisenhower made an early venture into politics with  a speech in St. Louis, saying, "I decry loose and sometimes gloating talk about the high degree of security implicit in a weapon that might destroy millions overnight… Those who measure security solely in terms of offensive capacity distort its meaning and mislead those who pay them heed."
 
Many Americans accepted their government's claims that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki had shortened the war with Japan and saved American lives, but the U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey concluded that, "Japan would have surrendered, even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."  In fact, Japan's vital supply lines were cut and it was already suing for peace.  The main sticking point was the continued rule of Emperor Hirohito, which the allies eventually conceded in any case.  American leaders from former President Hoover to future President Eisenhower to military intelligence chief General Carter Clarke all opposed using the bomb as  barbaric and unnecessary.
 
But America's monopoly on nuclear weapons transformed U.S. foreign policy after the war.  Even though our leaders have never found any practical way to realize the mirage of omnipotence conjured up by these weapons, they gave them a false sense of ultimate power in a fluid and uncertain post-war world.  Cooperation with the Soviets was no longer imperative, because, in the last resort, we had the bomb and they did not.  
 
The U.S. and U.K. could not prevent most of the countries of Eastern Europe from falling into the Soviet political and economic orbit once they were liberated by the Red Army and communist resistance forces, any more than the Russians could bring their communist allies to power in Western-occupied France, Italy or Greece.  But the U.S. nuclear monopoly encouraged Truman to take a hard line.  The Truman Doctrine committed the U.S. to militarily oppose Soviet influence across the globe in a long ideological struggle.
 
As the Soviets developed their own nuclear arsenal, the U.S. invested trillions of dollars and vast human resources in an unrestrained technological arms race.  American warplanes and tanks generally proved superior to Soviet ones in proxy wars around the world, but this was irrelevant to the outcome of guerrilla wars, where the AK-47 became the weapon of choice and a symbol of popular resistance to Western imperialism.  Meanwhile Germany and Japan, excluded and freed from the tyranny of military production, invested all their resources in civilian technology and soon produced better cars and home electronics than either of the "superpowers."
 
The almost unbelievable record of American militarism since 1945 is that, despite the most sustained and expensive military build-up in the history of the world and the tragic annihilation of millions of people, the United States has not won a single major war.  After overreaching in Korea, bringing China into the war and devastating North and South Korea, it was forced to settle for a ceasefire on the original border.  At least 3 million Vietnamese and 57,000 Americans paid with their lives for the folly of the American War in Vietnam.  Proxy and covert wars in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and other parts of South-East Asia have been just as bloody but no more successful.  America's only real military successes have been limited campaigns to restore friendly regimes in three small strategic outposts: Grenada; Panama; and Kuwait.
 
Surveying the ruins of U.S. policy at the end of the American War in Vietnam, Richard Barnet put his finger on the irony of America's unique place in world history.  He wrote, "at the very moment the number one nation has perfected the science of killing, it has become an impractical instrument of political domination."
 
But the lessons of Vietnam were gradually eroded by a revival of U.S. militarism.  George Bush Senior played a critical role as Director of the CIA (1976-7) and the Council on Foreign Relations (1977-9) and then as Vice President and President.  After covert wars in Angola, Afghanistan and Central America, and invasions of Grenada and Panama, Bush refused Iraq's offers to withdraw peacefully from Kuwait in 1991 and instead ordered the massacre of at least 25,000 Iraqi soldiers and civilians.  Bush rejoiced, "By God,  we've kicked the Vietnam Syndrome once and for all!"
 
The fall of the U.S.S.R. was a critical factor in U.S. military expansion in the Middle East.  As Pentagon adviser  Michael Mandelbaum said in 1991, "For the first time in 40 years we can conduct military operations in the Middle East without worrying about triggering World War III."  The "peace dividend" Americans expected at the end of the Cold War was trumped by a "power dividend," as policy-makers exploited the fall of the Soviet Union to project U.S. military power around the world.  New interventionist doctrines of " reassurance", " humanitarian intervention", " responsibility to protect", " information warfare" and " preemption" have served as political cover for violating the UN Charter's prohibition on the threat or use of force, culminating in the travesty of  Barack Obama's speech justifying war as he accepted the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.
 
Since Vietnam, we have spent  at least another $17 trillion on war and preparations for war - our entire national debt - and killed millions more of our fellow human beings.  Watching  General Giap's funeral in Hanoi as I write this today, I have to ask, "What have we learned?"  Our generals have learned how to wage war in other countries with fewer American casualties by using disproportionate violence that kills more civilians than combatants.  This has made war less painful for Americans, but it only underlines its futility and barbarism.  No American general of this generation will be buried with the outpouring of genuine public gratitude and grief we just saw in Hanoi.
 
Now we have spent 12 years at war in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Syria, Yemen and Somalia (along with covert operations across the entire globe, from Sweden to the Philippines to Colombia).  We have brought death, injury, devastation and chaos to hundreds of millions more people, with no end in sight as the "Long War" keeps spreading from country to country.  Nowhere have our leaders achieved their original stated intentions to reduce terrorism, prevent weapons proliferation or establish democracy. Their increasingly desperate rationalizations for a murderous, out-of-control policy, repeated ad nauseam by a craven corporate propaganda system, can barely disguise their humiliation.
 
Like Americans in the late 1940s who were desperate to destroy the U.S.S.R. in a "preemptive" nuclear war, some Americans today may still not understand why our military supremacy cannot bring us political power over enemies with fewer resources and inferior weapons.  But, as Eisenhower and other American war leaders understood only too well, the use of force is a blunt and brutal instrument, and more powerful weapons are only more powerful, not magical.  The use of force is always destructive, not constructive, and being killed or maimed by shrapnel and high explosives is no cleaner or kinder because missiles are more expensive or more sophisticated.  Political power is something quite different, requiring popular support and legitimacy and policies that actually solve problems.
 
So military supremacy is not a trump card to achieve political objectives; the use of force is inherently destructive; and war nearly always causes more problems than it solves.  Killing people to save them from an oppressive government is an absurdity, and "regime change" is generally a euphemism for "regime destruction," with no ability to ensure that what comes after will be better, especially once the violence and chaos of war are added to the problems that led to it in the first place.
 
Norwegian General Robert Mood led the UN monitors sent to Syria to oversee the failed ceasefire in 2012.  A year later, amid calls for Western military intervention,  he reflected, "It is fairly easy to use the military tool, because, when you launch the military tool in classical interventions, something will happen and there will be results.  The problem is that the results are almost all the time different than the political results you were aiming for when you decided to launch it.  So the other position, arguing that it is not the role of the international community, neither coalitions of the willing nor the UN Security Council for that matter, to change governments inside a country, is also a position that should be respected…"   
 
Threatening the use of force while hoping not to have to use it may seem like a less painful way for our leaders to impose their will on other countries, but in practice this doesn't work very well either.  It forces both sides into positions from which neither can afford to back down,  putting the credibility of our military supremacy on the line over every crisis around the world.  This has turned manufactured disputes over non-existent weapons into a choice between war and political humiliation for American leaders, as we saw with Iraq and, incredibly, are now going through all over again with Iran.  There is great wisdom in the UN Charter's prohibition on the threat as well as on the use of force, because the one leads so predictably to the other.
 
Despite nearly bankrupting our country, military supremacy remains an expensive national ego-trip in search of a constructive purpose.  Countries that are not cursed with military supremacy have to settle their differences by other means, notably by diplomacy within the rule of international law.  As we have found out over Syria, this is not by any means a worse option, and it offers us a way forward to life after militarism.
 
The victory of democracy in America's debate over Syria is a small but significant step in the right direction.  Organizing and public outrage transformed formerly passive public opposition to war and militarism into effective action to prevent U.S. aggression.  Now we must tap into the same combination of public sentiment and effective political organizing to actually bring peace to Syria, to restore civilized relations with Iran and to finally turn the tide on the largest, most wasteful and dangerous unilateral military build-up in the history of the world.  This could be an important turning point, but that will be up to us.
First published on Alternet: http://www.alternet.org/world/tragic-history-us-military-supremacy

Nicolas J. S. Davies is author of Blood On Our Hands: The American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He wrote the chapter on "Obama At War" for the 2012 book, Grading the 44th President: A Report Card on Barack Obama's First Term as a Progressive Leader.

Syria's NCB: "The Americans Have Cheated."

 

Haytham Manna is the Paris-based foreign spokesman for the National Coordinating Body for Democratic Change in Syria.  The NCB was formed in June 2011 by 15 opposition groups and several independent figures who were leading anti-government protests in Syria. They have consistently agreed on three basic principles: non-violence, non-sectarianism and opposition to foreign intervention.

 

Syria: Where the Obama Doctrine of Covert War Spectacularly Backfired

 http://www.alternet.org/world/obama-doctrine-covert-war-spectacularly-backfired-syria

Barack Obama's rise to power in 2008 raised fundamental questions about the duty of a newly-elected government in a country that has been engaged in war crimes, from aggression against other countries to systematic violations of the Geneva Conventions and human rights laws.

War Crimes as Policy

http://www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/31/war-crimes-as-policy-2/

The CIA: Keepers of the Hit Lists

War Crimes as Policy

by DOUGLAS VALENTINE and NICOLAS J.S. DAVIES

In February the Guardian and BBC Arabic unveiled a documentary exploring the role of retired Colonel James Steele in the recruitment, training and initial deployments of the CIA advised and funded Special Police Commandos in Iraq.

The documentary tells how the Commandos tortured and murdered tens of thousands of Iraqi men and boys.  But the Commandos were only one of America’s many weapons of mass destruction in Iraq.   Along with US military forces – which murdered indiscriminately – and various CIA funded death squads – which murdered selectively – and the CIA’s rampaging palace guard – the 5,000 man strong Iraq Special Operations Forces – the Commandos were part of a genocidal campaign that killed about 10% of the Sunni Arabs of Iraq by 2008, and drove about half of all Sunnis from their homes.

10 Years After the Invasion, US War Crimes Remain Unacknowledged and Unpunished

http://www.alternet.org/world/10-years-after-invasion-america-destroyed-iraq-our-war-crimes-remain-unacknowledged-and

 

The evil unleashed on the people of Iraq has been painstakingly obscured behind a tapestry of lies.

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld with President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney
Photo Credit: Cherle A. Thuriby/Dept. of Defense

 
 
 
 

Since the end of the Second World War, American political leaders and opinion-makers have led the public to believe that the aggressive use of overt and covert military force are essential tools of US foreign policy.  As we reel from one military disaster to the next, sending our loved ones off to war, killing millions of innocent people and destabilizing one region after another, each new administration assures us that it has learned the lessons of the past and deserves our support and sacrifice for its latest military strategy.

Bomber in Chief: 20,000 Airstrikes in the President's First Term Cause Death and Destruction from Iraq to Somalia

http://www.alternet.org/world/bomber-chief-20000-airstrikes-presidents-first-term-cause-death-and-destruction-iraq-somalia

Many people around the world are disturbed by U.S. drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and elsewhere. The illusion that American drones can strike without warning anywhere in the world without placing Americans in harm's way makes drones dangerously attractive to U.S. officials, even as they fuel the cycle of violence that the "war on terror" falsely promised to end but has instead escalated and sought to normalize. But drone strikes are only the tip of an iceberg, making up less than 10 percent of at least 20,130 air strikes the U.S. has conducted in other countries since President Obama's inauguration in 2009.

Killing peace in Syria: the U.S. role

http://www.alternet.org/world/armed-rebels-and-middle-eastern-power-plays-how-us-helping-kill-peace-syria?paging=off  As President Obama confirmed in an interview with theAtlantic on March 2, 2012, one of the strategic goals of U.S. policy in Syria has been to weaken and isolate Iran by removing or helping to remove its strongest Arab ally. Asked what the U.S.

Homer Simpson and the WMDs in Iraq...(doh)...I mean Iran

"Saddam Hussein and his regime have made no effort to disarm as required by the international community...

Congressional Research Service document on legal basis for drone strikes

http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/target.pdf   This document by CRS Legislative Attorney Jennifer Elsea makes it clear that the US Government's drone program is based on the ancient legal principle of "shoot first, ask (legal) questions later".  Her analysis demonstrates that these killings run afoul of almost every legal principle regarding the use of lethal force outside of a declared war between nations, from the Caroline principle to the UN Charter to the specific provisions of the 2001 AUMF.  And of course it speaks volumes that the CRS has to speculate on the U.S. government's justification for killing people in the first place - this is the extent of our democracy, that Congress employs people to parse speeches by administration officials to find out what the policy of our country is regarding our right to not be killed in cold blood.

 

Obama's America: Waiting For Blowback

The United States has suffered three widely acknowledged military disasters since the end of the Second World War: in Korea, Vietnam and Iraq. The American public responded to each crisis by electing new leaders with a mandate to end the wars and avoid new ones. But in each case, our new leaders failed to make the genuine recommitment to peace and diplomacy that was called for.

Iraq: Britain's War Against Truth

http://dissidentvoice.org/2012/08/iraq-britains-war-against-truth/#more-45399

   Iraq: Britain’s War Against Truth

I think most people who have dealt with me think I am a pretty straight sort of guy, and I am.

— Tony Blair, November 2007

In the last several days, the shreds of Britain’s threadbare claim to democracy have been ripped away.

The refusal by the current Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government to disclose documents integral to the decision to join the US in invading, occupying, destroying and dismantling the entire civil authority and infrastructure of the very State of Iraq, follows their Labour predecessors, the invasion’s co-architects.

The Iraq Inquiry findings under Sir John Chilcot’s Chairmanship will now be delayed for over another year.

German press reports FSA probably conducted Houla massacre

 http://www.moonofalabama.org/2012/06/new-faz-piece-on-houla-massacre-the-extermination.html#more    

One of Germany's most respected newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, is reporting that an anti-government militia, under the umbrella of the Free Syrian Army, probably conducted the Houla massacre.  This is a critical challenge to the Western narrative of the civil war, as the Houla massacre is being widely held up as a pretext for arming the FSA and for Western military intervention.  

  

      

On War Crimes and Regime Change

   The mass killing of 108 people at Houla in Syria, including 34 women and 49 children, has provoked universal condemnation by U.S. leaders and media commentators.  The thrust of the outrage is that a government that allegedly massacres civilians like this must be stopped by any means possible and has lost its authority to govern.  
 
Pakistanis feel the same outrage over the Chenagai massacre in October 2006, in which 82 people were killed, including 69 children.  Chenagai is in the Bajaur province of Pakistan, and this was the seventh and most deadly strike in the U.S. "drone" campaign in that country.

On Military Spending and Spiritual Death

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nicolas-j-s-davies/military-spending_b_1540376.html   

As Martin Luther King told us 45 years ago, "A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death."

The record military budget that was rubber-stamped by the U.S. House of Representatives last week surely proves Dr. King's point. In inflation-adjusted dollars, this budget is at least 25% higher than the one he assailed at the height of the Vietnam War. At about 60% of discretionary spending, our military budget outstrips not just programs of social uplift, but the entire non-military federal budget.

"Spiritual death" implies a failure of the human spirit: a death of both humanity and imagination. When President Bush launched a "global war on terror" and a massive military build-up following the crimes of September 11th, few Americans questioned his response. Congressperson Barbara Lee was a lonely voice and the sole vote against the Authorization for the Use of Military Force. Last Thursday, Barbara Lee no longer stood alone, as 112 of her colleagues voted for her amendment to immediately and safely withdraw U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The Crown family: investing in weapons, war ...and Obama

 http://www.zcommunications.org/investing-in-weapons-war-and-obama-by-nicolas-j-s-davies   


Americans who went to the polls in 2008 believing that a vote for Barack Obama was a vote for peace, now face the prospect of a presidential election in which both major party candidates will be openly wedded to endless war, cold-blooded “targeted killings,” record military budgets, and the systematic violation of U.S. and international law.

Mohammed ElBaradei's The Age of Deception calls for war crimes trials and reparations.

"ElBaradei is so morally outraged by the blatant pulverization of a sovereign Middle East country by a Western superpower and its allies that he also advises the Iraqis to demand war reparations..."  

Kaveh Afrasiabi of Asia Times reviews Mohammed ElBaradei's passionate last-ditch plea for global sanity, which includes new revelations about the U.S.'s failure to provide the IAEA with confirming evidence that Iran has ever had a nuclear weapons program: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/ND14Ak04.html

George Galloway is back in UK parliament!

After defeating the second-placed Labour candidate by more than 2-to-1, George Galloway had this to say about his former party:

"They have to stop supporting illegal, bloody, costly foreign wars because one of the reasons why they were so decisively defeated this evening is that the public don't believe that they have atoned for their role in the invasion and occupation of other people's countries and the drowning of those countries in blood." 

  

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17549388        

 

  

  

How Avaaz is sponsoring fake war reports from Syria

FROM http://moonofalabama.org

There are fake video reports coming out of Syria and we have good reason to believe that these are at least sponsored by the U.S. Avaaz foundation.

Crooke: Beware Western info warfare on Syria

 http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/NC09Ak03.html   

America's Death Squads

When the Obama administration took office in 2009, it was confronted with an extraordinary problem: what to do about the crimes of the previous administration, in particular its illegal global campaign of kidnapping, torture, and indefinite detention without trial of mostly innocent terrorism suspects. On taking office, President Obama announced that he would close the U.S. concentration camp at Guantanamo Bay within a year and he formally recommitted the U.S. military to legal prohibitions against torture and abuse of prisoners. But he rejected any effort to investigate his predecessor’s crimes, claiming that he wanted to “look forward.” 

The Arab League Observers' Mission report from Syria (excerpts and link to full text)

These excerpts from the Arab League observers' report on Syria make it clear that there is widespread violence on both sides, but that the opposition and the Western media have exaggerated the violence and casualties inflicted by government forces.  The UN has stopped accepting casualty figures claimed by the opposition, and has frozen its "official" estimate of civilian deaths at 5,400, without acknowledging that this may already be highly exaggerated.  This is not yet a bloodbath on the scale of Libya, where even the new government admits that at least 25,000 people died in the NATO-led war.  Syria could follow the Libya model though, if NATO and the GCC keep providing weapons and military training to the Free Syrian Army and are prepared to beef it up with special forces on the ground, and as long as the UN approves a no-fly zone to provide cover for another 9,700 air strikes.  How could Russia and China dare to nip this humanitarian crusade in the bud?

Obama to "cut" either 6% or 0% from military budget

In yesterday's speech, President Obama publicly unveiled elements of the strategy that his administration has quietly been pursuing for some time: 

 

- Shifting its #1 priority to threatening China, including a major naval build-up (the Navy got the lion's share of extra procurement funds in recent years) and new bases; 

 

- JSOC's global "targeted killing" program (under JSOC command in Afghanistan and Somalia, and CIA command in at least 13 more countries); 

The Victory of Popular Resistance in Occupied Iraq

Under the influence of U.S. military propaganda, Western accounts of occupation and resistance in Iraq have tended to characterize the occupation forces and their Kurdish and formerly exiled Iraqi allies as representing legitimate authority, stability and security in Iraq, and popular resistance forces as "insurgents" or "terrorists".  An ever-changing official narrative in which US forces must be held blameless for the violence of the invasion and occupation has required the demonization of the Iraqi Resistance and fueled an endless quest for the roots of violence in caricatures of Iraqi history that have gained wide acceptance in Western popular culture.   


Killing voices of peace: Dag Hammarskjold

Dag Hammarskjold: Was his death a crash or a conspiracy?

Robert Fisk asks (and answers) the "one real question" about 9/11 - Why?

Robert Fisk: For 10 years, we've lied to ourselves to avoid asking the one real question

Saturday, 3 September 2011

TNC-NATO siege of Sirte is a war crime.

NATO and the Transitional National Council in Libya (or Paris or Qatar or wherever it is) have reportedly given the people of Sirte ten days to surrender or face a full military onslaught.  This is not a cease-fire.  While they await their fate, they will still be subject to shelling by artillery and British warships and NATO bombing, and food, water and electricity have already been cut off.

This closely resembles the tactics adopted toward resistance-held towns in Iraq by U.S. occupation forces.  On October 14th 2004, the Washington Post reported that water and electricity supplies to Falluja had been cut off, one day before the start of Ramadan.  Its population was then starved and bombarded for 3 weeks before the final assault by U.S. Marines that killed 4,000 to 6,000 civilians.

Amnesty International on Libya: There are dozens of cases of soldiers murdered

An interview with Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International's chief investigator for the Middle East and Africa, who has just spent three months in Libya, in the French newspaper Liberation on June 22nd 2011. See also Patrick Cockburn's report on Amnesty's and other human rights groups' investigations of Western claims about Libya at:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/africa/amnesty-questions-claim-t...

Q: There have been serious war crimes by forces loyal to Kadhafi, we know less about what has happened in zones controlled by the opposition...

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