Posts Tagged ‘war crimes’

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A symbol of America’s contempt for international law.

[Photo from the sleuthjournal.com]

By David William Pear

We’re going to take out seven countries in five years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran.”
-US General Wesley Clark, former Supreme Commander of NATO

 

Contemptuous of international law, the US makes no secret of its plots to overthrow the leaders of internationally recognized governments that reject the neoliberal New World Order. Iran is at the top of the US enemies list. The US has been at it since the 1979 Iran Revolution, when the Iranian people overthrew the US’s “our boy”, the Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The Shah had become the US’s “our boy” as CIA agent Kermit Roosevelt referred to him in 1953, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower overthrew the popular democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh. Overthrowing governments is illegal according to US law and international law. It is also immoral if one believes in democracy, self-determination, and the sovereignty of nations, respect for human life, and the rule of law.

The Weaponization of Human Rights

The crushing economic sanctions now unilaterally imposed by the US on Iran are causing massive suffering and the deaths of thousands of Iranian civilians. The US response is glee that the sanctions are “working”. This is nothing short of barbaric siege warfare to starve the Iranians out. Under international law the Iran sanctions may be illegal, since they are not authorized by the United Nations. The collective punishment of economic warfare is immoral, economic terrorism and a weapon of mass destruction. Secondary sanctions that impose sanctions on non-US and non-Iranian financial institutions that transact business with Iran amounts to blackmail, especially since it is the US that violated the Iran Nuclear Deal, and not Iran.

Weaponizing human rights is a most cynical tool of US imperialism, especially since the US has a very poor record on human rights at home. While holding itself out in biblical terms as a “city on a hill” (Matthew 5:14-16), the US is not a model of John Winthrop’s Christian Charity, as politicians such as Ronald Reagan have opined. The US is the only developed country that does not consider healthcare a universal human right, and it has been steadily cutting FDR’s New Deal social benefits, while the rich get richer from tax cuts. In 2008 the US bailed out the banks, while millions of homeowners lost their homes. Over 20% of US children live in poverty. Basic human services that are the responsibility of government have been turned into cash machines by privatizing.

George H. W. Bush’s New World Order neoliberals and neocons despise any country that closes its doors to US corporate exploitation, and instead uses its own natural resources for the benefit of its own people. The US uses “human rights” to attack countries such as Venezuela, Libya, and Iran that consider economic freedom from need a human right.

One of the main reasons that Iran’s moderate President Hassan Rouhani negotiated the Iran Nuclear Deal was so that the lifting of UN Security Council economic sanctions would give Iran the much needed ability to increase social spending for the Iranian people. Instead, the imposition of even harsher US unilateral sanctions by the Trump neocon stacked administration has dashed Rouhani’s hopes, and makes the economic situation direr for the Iranian people. The nefarious purpose of sanctions is to make the Iranian people suffer so that they will become disgruntled and rebellious.

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracy (FDD) is a right wing neocon funded and infested think thank that has been particular rapacious in attacking Iran. FDD executive director Mark Dubowitz has been previously hailed as “the architect of many of the Iran sanctions”, as reported by The Nation magazine, How the Anti-Iran Lobby Machine Dominates Capitol Hill.

As Robert Fantina has written in Counterpunch, the Foundation for the Defense of Democracy is intensively lobbying for the US to sanction Iran’s “The Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order” (EIKO). One of EIKO’s subsidiaries is the Barakat Foundation, which is a charitable foundation that is concerned with social programs for the people. The Ayatollah Khomeini has described it by saying,

I’m concerned about solving problems of the deprived classes of the society. For instance, solve problems of 1000 villages completely. How good would it be if 1000 points of the country are solved or 1000 schools are built in the country.”… The Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order.

Targeting human rights organization to “promote human rights” is a cruel oxymoron. It is weaponizing human rights at its worst, and attacks the most vulnerable people in a society.

Liberals often consider economic sanctions an acceptable, even humane, alternative to force. Nothing could be further from the truth, and progressive people everywhere need to recognize it. Economic sanctions are violence. The Geneva Conventions recognize that siege warfare and collective punishment against civilians are war crimes. How could something that is illegal in wartime be legal in peacetime? The International Committee of the Red Cross has often raised concerns about economic sanctions, including UN authorized economic sanctions.

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On Trump Administration’s Action in Yemen

 

 

WASHINGTONJuly 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Ralph Nader today sent a letter to President Trump criticizing the administration’s actions in Yemen. Text of the letter follows:

President Donald Trump

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW

Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Trump:

It has become overwhelmingly clear that your Administration has supported with arms sales, refueling, daily operational logistics and other ways and means the governmental actors opposing the rebels in the Yemeni Civil war.

The bombing raids and blockades combine to produce what international relief organizations are calling the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. With an estimated 8 million people on the brink of starvation, with the largest cholera epidemic in the world, Yemen is suffering daily deliberate war crimes affecting civilians, children, homes, schools, hospitals, drinking water installations, food supplies, and other critical infrastructures. These war crimes violate our Constitution, federal statutes, and international treaties, including the Geneva Conventions.

As President, you know full well what is going on and yet you keep getting our country deeper into this deadly quagmire. By any standard of international law, you are a knowing aider and abettor of these war crimes at a level of complicity that approximates being a backroom partner in the broad range of military operations against millions of innocent Yemeni families.

Have you no compassion? Have you no desire to put a stop to this war on civilians, a deliberate war to destroy the life-sustaining goods and services that keep millions of Yemenis alive. Just this week, your allies blew up a new Doctors Without Borders clinic that was about to open. Some of the doctors are Americans. Have you no decency left even to protect American relief workers who display immense courage and love for their fellow human beings? In its July 2018 three part on the ground series about the War in Yemen, the PBS News Hour showed unexploded bombs with the label, “Made in Garland, Texas,” as just one concrete indication of U.S. involvement.

What are the specific legal authorizations? Has Congress appropriated funds for and authorized military intervention in Yemen? Did you not swear to uphold the Constitution when you took office after being selected by the Electoral College in 2016?

History will judge you harshly for not even seeking to be a serious peacemaker, using the major levers you have in this conflict.

What is your response to the American people?

Sincerely, 

Ralph Nader

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US/Saudi “coalition” of evil is killing civilians and aid workers.

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Syria – US Moves To Protect Al-Qaeda And ISIS in Daraa

The United States is concerned by reports of an impending Assad regime operation in southwest Syria within the boundaries of the de-escalation zone negotiated between the United States, Jordan, and the Russian Federation last year and reaffirmed between Presidents Trump and Putin in Da Nang, Vietnam in November. The United States remains committed to maintaining the stability of the southwest de-escalation zone and to the ceasefire underpinning it. We also caution the Syrian regime against any actions that risk broadening the conflict or jeopardize the ceasefire. As a guarantor of this de-escalation area with Russia and Jordan, the United States will take firm and appropriate measures in response to Assad regime violations.

PS.

There’s no such thing as a “de-escalation zone.” It does not exist. This is a fiction created in the Pentagon to give their illegal invasion of the sovereign territory of Syria a veil of legitimacy. It has no legal basis whatsoever.

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As I have argued in anti-CIA cases here in the United States, the CIA is an organized criminal conspiracy like the SS and the Gestapo.

-Francis Boyle

Haspel Could Be Subject to Arrest Abroad Under Universal Jurisdiction

Last fall the ICC prosecutor, Fatou Bensouda, said she is going to open up an investigation into the entire CIA extraordinary rendition program for violating the Rome Statute. Although the United States is not a party to the Rome Statute, these actions took place on the territorial sovereignty of Rome Statute states, and therefore the ICC does have jurisdiction. In my opinion, Gina Haspel is a presumptive war criminal and torturer. [We now] have a torturer and war criminal as head of the CIA.