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Israeli Border Police Executed Bedouin at Um al Hiran, Doctored Video Footage

By Richard Silverstein | Tikun Olam | January 20, 2017

I wrote a post about the killing of Musa Abu Qilyan in which I presented both the claim of the Border Police that he killed a policeman in a deliberate terror attack; and also presented video which, as I wrote, failed to support the police claims (though it didn’t refute them). Now, Ronnie Barkan has provided a close video analysis of two separate versions of the video, one distributed by the police and another slightly longer one which surfaced on Facebook. Ronnie shows (be patient in watching the various iterations of the video clips he presents) incontrovertibly that the Police video was subtly and slightly edited, both removing the first shot a Border Policeman fired at the car, and also speeding up the video to make the vehicle appear to be going faster than it was. You may read an alternate version, which essentially agrees with Ronnie’s work, at 972.

What does all this mean?  First, that when Abu Alqilyan’s vehicle drove along the road it presented no threat whatsoever to the police personnel. It was driving slowly and deliberately. As it proceeds, a police officer runs toward it firing. Three or four shots are fired. The first shot is fired while the car is driving quite slowly and seemingly under the driver’s control. Only after those shots are fired does the vehicle speed up, lose control and hit another police officer standing near the road. Clearly, the driver had been fatally struck by these bullets before he killed the officer.

In other words, the police acted recklessly and with total disregard even for their own safety. They essentially murdered the Bedouin driver when he posed no threat. After he was incapacitated, his vehicle struck and killed the other officer. He was not intending to harm anyone. Ergo, he was not a terrorist.  It’s certainly possible he was a supporter of the Islamic Movement, but certainly not of ISIS as Israeli Jewish politicians have claimed. Further, being an Islamist is not the same as being a terrorist.

The only possibility I can think of to support the police version is perhaps an officer had tried to stop him at some point before the drone footage began. He may have seemed to defy an order to stop and proceeded on his path, which led the officer to fire. But you can be sure that if such a thing happened, the drone footage authenticating it would’ve been released.

Further, how can a major police action at which physical altercations and protest is expected not secure the perimeter of vehicle and pedestrian traffic? How could the police have allowed any vehicles to approach them as this man did?  Why weren’t there roadblocks preventing access? To me, this appears to be a botched Border Police operation for which they have only themselves to blame.

Finally, this is yet another example of fraud and mendacity on the part of the Israel’s most vicious, brutal and violent police authorities. Not only are Border Police the most racist, they are also the mostly likely to lie and cover up their errors, as they have here. It’s a shameful episode which should be met with skepticism and derision by the Israeli media and the Israeli public. However, Israeli Jews are all too quick to swallow the lies fed to them by authorities. Once they have drunk the Koolaid, counter-evidence like this threatens their equanimity and is usually ignored or dismissed.

In my earlier post I debated the meaning of “terrorism” in the Israeli context and argued that dispossessing the Bedouin as Israel is doing, along with deadly violence like this constitutes state terror. This new evidence confirms there was no terror on the part of the Bedouin at all. The only terror was that of the forces of the State. If I were Israeli, I would hang my head in shame.

January 20, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, False Flag Terrorism, Subjugation - Torture, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

There Is No Anti Semitism in Britain

By Gilad Atzmon – January 17, 2017

In the end of October (2016) we learned from the British Jewish media that Police were called to University College London (UCL)  amid claims of common assault and verbal intimidation by “pro-Palestinian protestors” at an event with an Israeli speaker.

We had to wait another three months for a single honest Jew (Jerry Lewis of Hampstead Synagogue) to admit in front of the notorious ultra Zionist BOD, that the event at UCL was actually provoked by Jewish groups  that have nothing to do with the Jewish students community. At least one of those Jewish groups is funded by Israel according to Lewis. These groups invoke ‘hatred’ against Jews because this is how they justify their existence and sustain their funding.

Following the recent Al Jazeera expose,  the foreign office must expel the Israeli Ambassador Mark Regev. The police and the MI5 better look into Lewis’ claims.

For the full video: https://youtu.be/mBjprfGGJg4

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video, Deception, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

‘Trump: Kremlin Candidate?’: BBC doc becomes MSM manual to ‘verified’ journalism

RT | January 17, 2017

The BBC’s flagship current affairs programme has aired an edition on the alleged financial ties between U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin. It also reports on whether Russia played a key role in Trump’s election success. Making its assumptions very clear, the BBC called the programme ‘The ‘Kremlin Candidate’. RT’s Ilya Petrenko explains how pulling-in the viewers often means rolling with the rumours.

January 17, 2017 Posted by | Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Video | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lobby P4: The Takedown

January 14, 2017

In part four of The Lobby, the senior political officer at the Israeli Embassy in London discusses a potential plot to ‘take down’ British politicians – including a Minster of State at the Foreign office who supports Palestinian civil rights.

January 15, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

‘EU’s new tool against political opponents is to link them to Russia’ – targeted Danish journalist

RT | January 14, 2017

Danish Journalist Iben Thranholm, who was branded as a Russian propagandist and included on an EU blacklist for comments she made on migrant policy, tells RT that such character assassinations have become the new go-to tactic of Western governments.

Thranholm is a Danish current events columnist who penned an opinion piece for Russia Insider in 2016, in which she explained her reservations about the EU’s current migrant policy and its inability to properly integrate Muslim migrants into European society.

She had also written a piece for RT earlier in which she explained how the “spiritual vacuum” created by Western cultural nihilism is the core factor behind growing Muslim radicalization within the EU.

She also criticized the EU’s unwillingness to recognize religion as a factor at all as just one indicator of this trend.

These and other comments earned the Danish journalist a spot on the EU’s East StratCom Task Force black list – a body set up in 2015 with the purpose of “collecting examples of pro-Kremlin disinformation articles” – not unlike American Senator McCarthy’s communist witch-hunt of the 1950s.

“Today, it is me who is on the list,” Thranholm says. “Tomorrow it could be a different journalist who has similar views. They claim that I’m damaging – doing harm – to the EU just for criticizing them. I criticized them for their immigration policy,” she says, adding that many people in Europe agree with her.

The Danish journalist argues that the EU’s mechanism for dealing with such dissenters “is to link the person with Russia, or claim that there are close ties between this person and Russia. And then, this person is just not trustworthy anymore – it’s a kind of character assassination.”

“It’s hard to believe that modern democratic Europe has ended up in some kind of totalitarian or semi-totalitarian democracy where our leaders have a special definition of what is democracy – and if you don’t agree with it, you will be put on the list. I think it’s very, very alarming and very disturbing,” she said.

Thronhalm has gone to great pains to explain that her views are not anti-Islamic. As she wrote for RT in 2015, “Secularism, relativism of values, materialism and democracy as a new religion (idolatry devoid of a deity) constantly prove their feeble inadequacy when facing Islamism.”

Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen has recently defended her inclusion on the EU task force’s blacklist, saying she was promoting a “Kremlin narrative,” when prodded by Marie Krarup, who heads Denmark’s People’s Party and shares views similar to Thranholm’s. Thranholm later wrote that she was “appalled” at the minister’s conclusion that her inclusion on the list was justified, comparing the decision to one that would be taken by a “totalitarian Soviet state.”

Read more:

Europe’s moral and spiritual vacuum invites acts of terrorism

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Video | , | Leave a comment

The Lobby P3: An Anti-Semitic Trope

January 12, 2017

In part three of The Lobby, our undercover reporter travels to the Labour Party Conference, revealing how accusations of anti-Semitism by group within Labour targeted Israel critics and saw some investigated.

January 14, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

The Lobby P2: The Training Session

January 11, 2017

In part two of The Lobby, our undercover reporter joins a delegation from the Israeli Embassy at last year’s Labour Party Conference. The programme reveals how accusations of anti-Semitism were made against key Labour Party members – and how a former official at the Israeli Embassy was upset when her background was revealed.

January 13, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

The Lobby P1: Young Friends of Israel

January 10, 2017

In the first of a four-part series, Al Jazeera goes undercover inside the Israel Lobby in Britain. We expose a campaign to infiltrate and influence youth groups, including the National Union of Students, whose president faces a smear campaign coordinated by her own deputy and supported by the Israel Embassy.

CORRECTION: At timecode 25:16 of this programme, the phrase “range of shareholders” appears with respect to We Believe in Israel and who it works with. The correct wording is “range of stakeholders.”

January 12, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | 1 Comment

FBI Director James Comey admits that the FBI was refused access to DNC servers, “multiple times”

By Alex Christoforou | The Duran | January 11, 2017

FBI Director James Comey sat in the hot seat to testify to congress about the “fake news” Russian hacks.

In his testimony Comey had to admit that “Russian hackers” did not break into the servers of the Trump campaign or the RNC.

Comey then said that when the FBI wanted to check DNC servers (Hillary Clinton campaign servers) regarding “Russia hacking”, the FBI was denied access, not once, but multiple times.

Comey testified that the FBI had to rely on a “private company” to decide whether the DNC servers where hacked. That private company is Crowdstrike

It should be noted that Crowdstrike had three funders:  1) Warburg Pincus. Tim Geithner, is president of Warburg Pincus, former Secretary of Treasury under Obama, and formerly worked in the Clinton administration… Uh-oh. Warburg Pincus was a contributor to the DNC and Clinton campaign. 2) Accel Partners is also a Crowdstrike funder. According to the Clinton Foundation website, Accel is a venture capitalist partner in the Endeavor Investor Network created by the Foundation. Uh-oh. 3) And the last funder of Crowdstrike is Google Capital, now CapitalG, managed under David Drummond of Google who was instrumental in ‘realigning’ Google search engines to favor Hillary’s campaign. Big uh-oh!

So what we actually have is the authority of one company, Crowdstrike, which derived all of its funding from venture capitalists linked to Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. Funny, they didn’t hide their tracks very well for a high powered security breach company.

Why would the DNC not allow the FBI to investigate their servers?

We wonder what the DNC and Hillary Clinton could possibly be hiding?

How could the FBI conclude that Russia (and Putin) ordered the hacking of the DNC servers when the FBI never even got a look at the servers (first hand)?

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Corruption, Deception, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

When the blood is a lie

By BlackCatte | Off Guardian | January 11, 2107

If we told you this child was covered in blood would you dare to tell us we were lying?

If we told you this child was covered in blood would you dare to tell us we were lying?

On December 26 the UK Independent revealed that five people had been arrested in Egypt for faking footage of civilian suffering in east Aleppo. The Indy commented:

Five people in Port Said allegedly making fake videos purporting to show the wreckage of air strikes in the Syrian city of Aleppo have been arrested, the Egyptian Interior Ministry has said.

The videographer, his assistants and the parents of two children who appear in the footage were detained after police managed to trail the would-be camera crew to a building site awaiting demolition, a statement on Monday said.

The team reportedly admitted they had planned to distribute their work on social media, pretending it showed scenes of the injured and destruction in Aleppo, the embattled northern Syrian city which has just fallen back under government control after four years of fighting between the regime and Sunni rebels.

The footage in question was widely discussed in non-western outlets. According to Sputnik :

According to the Ministry, the police witnessed the shooting process, which was taking place near the vestiges of a building destroyed as illegal under the decision of the local authorities. A girl standing in a white dress covered in “blood” that later proved to be paint drew attention of a police officer driving by. The girl held a teddy bear covered in the same “blood” and had her arm “bandaged”.

The images are indeed excruciatingly amateurish. The “blood” is too clearly paint. The teddy bear is mawkish overkill. The location too clearly a building site or something similar.

If we told you this child was covered in blood would you dare to tell us we were lying?

It couldn’t fool us for a moment. Could it?

But more on that later.

Fakery is, of course, a very zeitgeisty issue, because “fake news” has been discovered by the corporate media. The EU is very worried about it apparently. Germany is so concerned it’s setting up a “specialist centre” to combat all the untrue things being said by people like us.

That’s a “specialist centre” you understand – not (and we have to make this very clear) a Ministry of Enlightenment & Propaganda, or anything at all resembling anything Goebbels may have created back in the bad old days. Goebbels was just doing propaganda. Merkel is doing truth. Big diff there.

Curious that the state and corporate media’s new dread of fake news doesn’t extend to self-policing or questioning the news feeds issued by their own patrons is it not?

No, of course it isn’t. And anyone who is surprised has really not been paying attention. Endless promo reels of official-narrative-endorsement is now a majority of mass media output, and not just on news outlets but in movies and fiction. Since Obama took office and the “Left” stopped even pretending to offer a reality check, an entirely fake recent history has been created, and a degree of estrangement from truth exists within the heart of our media and intelligentsia not seen since the days of Stalinism. The entirety of the class that traditionally offers limited critique of the power structure is now subsumed in a cultist and delusional thinking that makes them the slaves and endorsers of that power structure.

Meryl Streep’s speech at the Golden Globes embodies this institutional malaise perfectly. Listen to it and despair. In her rictus-smiling circle the war criminals Obama and Clinton are angels of peace and progress, the foreign wars and dronings aren’t happening, the murders and brutalisation aren’t happening, the dangerous persecution of Russia and concomitant risk of nuclear war isn’t happening, the fragmentation of American society through poverty isn’t happening. In her circle only Trump is happening; the single threat to the Progressive Utopia they believe they are inhabiting.

The Hollywood and media elites really believe this and view those of us who don’t as dangerous heretics who need to be controlled. Screaming “fake news” at any fact they can’t bear to believe is just Donald Sutherland pointing and howling in the closing shot of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.

In recent weeks the sense of desperate fantasy is increasing exponentially as this cultist belief system is colliding more and more forcibly with the evidence for its own falseness. The “news” is now little more than a roll-out of sketchy dreamscapes, so poorly developed and internally inconsistent they collapse at the slightest interrogation only to be replaced by more of the same. Official “reality” is becoming no more than a thin mesh of words designed to remain cohesive for the lifetime of a hashtag.

The solution to the crumbling of their credibility is to up the pace. Just keep the rollout fast and furious so your audience has no time to question or adjust. Look over here… sad pictures of sad people in some place of strategic importance to neocon interests. Look over there … horrifying images of the latest “terror attack!” Look this way… nasty people being mean to nice people. That’s dreadful, right? Share it. Deplore it. Be shocked. Be upset. Look at the pain. Look at the blood. LOOK AT THE BLOOD!

When the entire fabric of our official reality is based on lies… why should we assume the blood is always true?

Let’s take another look at this picture:

screen-shot-2017-01-11-at-10-36-08

Suppose instead of being presented to us as a proven and clumsy fake this image had been in the Indy or on our Facebook feed as a genuine example of child-suffering? How would that red paint look then? And even if we felt a tinge of doubt about that, how many of us would have the courage/crassness to see this on FB and comment “nah – that’s not blood, kid’s just an actor”?

And how would we react to anyone who did have that courage/crassness?

I wonder how many times a day we unwittingly or inattentively endorse some sort of fakery? If the image presented to us appeals to our sense of justice or just seems too heartbreaking to question we’ll probably look no further, share it, add an outraged comment and pass it on. We’ve just been manipulated and won’t even know.

In a fake narrative fake blood might be better than real blood because it can appear wherever you want it to and be wiped away without consequence when its fifteen minutes are over. Disasters and death that can be manufactured in a make-up trailer might be a better option than the real thing, with no inconvenient victims hating and suing you.

Can we assume every image of a bleeding and dusty child is the real deal simply because the Indy didn’t tell us otherwise? And if we refuse to volunteer that act of faith, what do we do?

January 11, 2017 Posted by | "Hope and Change", Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

‘DNC emails could have come from internal leak – not Russia hackers’

RT | January 10, 2017

There is no sourced information in the US intel report alleging Russian involvement in hacking DNC offices, says retired CIA official Larry Johnson. Former CIA director James Woolsey, and MI5 officer turned whistleblower Annie Machon, also joined.

In live debates hosted by RT on Monday, Woolsey, Johnson and Machon gave their expert opinions on the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) report entitled “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections,” which was released on January 6.

The unclassified ODNI report was anticipated to reveal the full scope of Russian involvement in the DNC leaks and provide evidence supporting serious claims made by the US intelligence community.

Instead, the report has proven to be wanting in content, with WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange saying it has “zero evidentiary weight.”

RT: Mr. Woolsey, throughout this damning report we see the words ‘high confidence’. But it also says “high confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments may be wrong.” So does this report, in fact, prove anything at all?

James Woolsey: Not to prove a certainty can still be very useful. As far as I am concerned, there is no certainly in most intelligence. So I think it is really a kind of debating trick to say that since it is not certain it is worthless.

RT:The most notorious example of US intelligence using the word ‘high confidence’ was back in 2003 with Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction – as we remember it all ended up in an invasion, however, no weapons of mass destruction were found. Could we be seeing the same thing all over again?

JW: Actually, weapons of mass destruction of two of the three kinds were found. The chemical weapons, the three kinds of weapons of mass destruction in our terminology, which I think was originally a Soviet agitprop phrase: chemical, bacteriological and nuclear. Chemical weapons were absolutely found – Saddam [Hussein] used them against the Kurds. Biological weapons were well-known – their location, because Saddam’s brother-in-law was the head of the biological weapons program and he defected to us. The ones that were not there were nuclear. But any parsing of the language would make clear what I have said.

RT: Annie, what do you make of the claims presented in this report?

Annie Machon: Well, it seems very ‘intelligence-light,’ shall we say. They are going to claim that they need to cut out the actual smoking gun, the evidence from this report. I don’t think anyone would be surprised at the depth of the penetration of the internet, the gathering of information that is done across the internet. As the former technical director of the NSA [William Binney] the whistleblower has said publically many times: if indeed there had been hacking, there would be traces that could be found. The fact that those traces have not been found – have not been reported without any particular scientific methodology behind it – does make the report very evidence light. Also, there has been a lot of other information coming out as well, which does indicate this could be a leak inside, rather than an external attack from outside.

RT: On the other hand, American Intelligence services have vast resources and experience – surely, staff must care about their reputations enough not to make claims that they believe to be wrong?

Larry Johnson: I would just encourage all of your viewers to go back and pull the 2002 white paper that was produced based upon the National Intelligence estimate. Read through that – you will see from an intelligence standpoint, how evidence is presented. And while Director Woolsey is correct that you don’t want to divulge sources and methods, there are a variety of ways that you can identify or at least phrase a source. You say, for example, “according to multiple, reliable sources with known access”… There is a way to phrase it, but you can at least look that the 2002 document and see that there is page, upon page, upon page of evidence. It turned out that most of it was either misleading or misunderstood. So just the fact that you can just source evidence doesn’t make something right.

What is striking about this report that was issued on Friday: not one shred of evidence. As a former analyst, and if I were detailed to the cyber account, I would have been following every day the information that would come out in intelligence reports – wherever it was from the NSA, or from a human source, or from DIA, or from State Department reporting. And at some point in that process, we should have seen either an electronic or human source that said: “Vladimir Putin or someone in his government had directed the cyber-command in Russia to start a program or a plan to collect.” We never saw any of that. There is not one sourced information in that report. That is what makes it ridiculous.

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | Leave a comment

Veterans warn young people about ‘traumatic’ army training

16 or 17 and want to be a soldier? Watch this first.

Child Soldiers International | January 8, 2017

Army training is ‘traumatic’ for young recruits and damages the adolescent mind, according to British infantry veteran Wayne Sharrocks, who features in a series of short films released today by Child Soldiers International (child-soldiers.org/dontenlistat16). The films offer young people and their parents a frank alternative to army recruitment materials which, say many veterans, present a sanitised and unrealistic impression of military life. In particular, Wayne wants young people to know that the psychological effects of training can be harmful and permanent.

The films describe Wayne’s journey through the army, from training to deployment and his struggle to adjust to civilian life afterwards. They present a picture of army life that is unrecognisable from recruitment brochures: of routine bullying; ‘traumatic’ training that indoctrinated him as ‘a mindless, robotic killer’; and the often ‘really, really, dull and boring’ life on operations. He recalls seeing his colleagues maimed and killed right in front of him, and talks about his own injury from an IED explosion.

Other British armed forces veterans share Wayne’s concern. Today, Veterans for Peace[i] will deliver a letter to the Ministry of Defence appealing for an end to recruiting from age 16. The letter argues that adolescents should not be put through training whose central goal is to make them capable of killing on demand and without hesitation. In Wayne’s experience, this psychological conditioning produces ‘an insane amount of aggression’ and is ‘massively psychologically damaging’ after leaving the army as it cannot simply be ‘switched off’.

In the films, Wayne describes the lead-up to bayonet drill, which begins with sleep deprivation:

‘So they keep you up all night and make you really angry, then you’ll [have to] run and be put through physical punishments. You’re crawling through mud and [are] screamed at, kicked, punched while you’re on the floor, anything to get you angry… enough to stab another man on the flick of a switch. For a young person at 16 that’s pretty traumatic.’

The army makes use of a gang mentality to force recruits to conform, he says:

‘You either conform, or you don’t and you’re separated from the pack and you’re going to be preyed on. So you can either be the person that’s preying on people or the person that’s preyed on, it’s like survival of the fittest, basically. So these people that aren’t the fittest or mentally the fittest, they’re going to get preyed on and people are going to take advantage of that.’

Wayne’s testimony echoes statistics which show younger recruits are at higher risk of bullying and harassment in the army. In 2015, recruits at the Army training centre for minors (AFC Harrogate) filed 20 formal complaints of inappropriate conduct by army staff, up from ten cases in 2014, ten in 2013, and five in 2012. 15 cases remain unresolved to date.[ii]

‘Before deciding to enlist, young people and their parents deserve the full picture, but the army’s brochures only tell one side of the story. These films give another side, including the frightening and the mundane,’ said Rachel Taylor, Programme Manager at Child Soldiers International. ‘People need to know that basic training involves intense psychological conditioning which doesn’t switch off when you leave the army. Adolescents, whose brains are still developing, are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of this.’

Ben Griffin, a former SAS soldier who served in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now Coordinator for Veterans for Peace UK, agrees. ‘The purpose of infantry training is to fundamentally alter the way your mind works, leaving the army in control of what you value and how you react. These values and reactions are very difficult to switch off and cause all sorts of problems in civilian life. No other country in Europe subjects 16 year olds to this process, it’s time this country caught up.’

The four Children’s Commissioners for the UK also believe that raising the enlistment age would be in the best interests of young people,[iii] as do the major child rights groups,[iv] health professionals,[v] teachers,[vi] faith groups,[vii] parliamentarians,[viii] the Equality and Human Rights Commission,[ix] and three-quarters of the British public, according to a 2014 poll.[x] The British army’s arrangements for gaining the informed consent of recruits and their parents are ‘insufficient’, the UN has said.[xi]

An article in last month’s RUSI Journal argues that the army could enlist only adults and still fill the ranks, since 16 year olds are more expensive than adults to train and one-third are discharged before they finish the course (child-soldiers.org/shop/is-it-counterproductive-to). Despite the growing controversy around the British army’s recruitment age, last year it increased its intake of minors, who account for a quarter of new recruits, recent figures reveal.[xii]

Editor’s notes:

  • Wayne Sharrocks enlisted into the British infantry in 2006, aged 17, and left seven years later. He was deployed to Afghanistan twice. The second time he was deployed he was injured by an IED. The same explosion blew the legs off a colleague in front of him.  He is now making a full length film about the difficulties veterans face in returning to civilian life: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1236839879/life-after-war.
  • Child Soldiers International is an international human rights research and advocacy organisation seeking to end the military recruitment of any person under the age of 18.  Our research on child recruits in the British armed forces is available at https://www.child-soldiers.org/uk.
  • The large majority of countries worldwide now recruit only from age 18 or above. The UK is the only permanent member of the UN Security Council or EU member state still recruiting 16-year-olds. In the United States the minimum recruitment age is 17 years, but minors only account for around 6 per cent of annual intake; in the UK, they account for one-quarter of the British army’s intake. (Full figures available on request).
  • The Defence Select Committee (2005, 2013, 2014), the Joint Committee on Human Rights (2009, 2010) and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (2002, 2008, 2016) have all called on the MoD to review the minimum recruitment age with a view to raising it to 18 years.
  • Supporters of the campaign to raise the UK enlistment age to 18 include: the Children’s Commissioners for the four jurisdictions of the UK, Child Soldiers International, Veterans for Peace, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Medact, Liberty, ForcesWatch, Amnesty International UK, British Institute of Human Rights, The Who Cares? Trust, Plaid Cymru, the Green Party, Plaid Youth, SNP Youth, Children in Scotland, Together (Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights), Children in Wales, Wales UNCRC Monitoring Group, Wales Observatory on Human Rights of Children and Young People, Children England, Children’s Rights Alliance England (CRAE), Northern Ireland Children’s Law Centre, the Church of Scotland, the Church in Wales, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Methodist Peace Fellowship, Baptist Peace Fellowship, Quaker Peace and Social Witness, and Pax Christi.
  • Army policy ensures that 16 and 17 year olds who enlist are drawn into the infantry in particular, as Wayne was.[xiii] [xiv] The infantry carries the highest risks once recruits turn 18 and can be sent to war. In 2015/16, 41 per cent of minors joining the army were enlisted for the infantry, versus 32 per cent of their adult counterparts.[xv]. The British infantry’s fatality rate in Afghanistan was six times that in the rest of the army.[xvi]
  • In November the health professionals charity Medact argued that underage enlistment is a public health problem carrying a range of risks to young people.[xvii]
  • Films produced by Global Stories,https://globalstoriesalsomakefilms.wordpress.com, contact: info@globalstories.org.

References

[i] For details of today’s letter hand-in, see http://vfpuk.org/2017/end-the-brutalisation-of-children/ or contact coord@vfpuk.org.

[ii] 2015 is the most recent full year for which figures are available. House of Commons, Written answers to questions: Army Foundation College (no. 56008), 13 December 2016, http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/written-questions-answers-statements/written-question/Commons/2016-12-02/56008.

[iii] For references, see Child Soldiers International, Press release: Stop recruiting children, rights groups tell MoD, 2016, http://www.child-soldiers.org/News/press-release-stop-recruiting-children-rights-groups-tell-ministry-of-defence.

[iv] For example, see UNICEF, Ending the recruitment and use of children in armed conflict, 2016, p. 10, http://www.unicef.org.uk/Documents/UnicefChildSoldiersbriefing_UKweb.pdf. See also Children’s Rights Alliance for England, www.crae.org.uk, and Together: Scottish Alliance for Children’s Rights, http://www.togetherscotland.org.uk.

[v] Medact, The recruitment of children by the UK armed forces: A critique from health professionals, 2016, http://s234523623453.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/medact_childrecruitment_17-oct_WEB.pdf.

[vi] The National Union Teachers has communicated its support for raising the enlistment age to 18 directly to Child Soldiers International.

[vii] Refer to Child Soldiers International, Bishops attack army on recruitment of minors; teen enlistment figures plummet, 2013, https://www.child-soldiers.org/Shop/bishops-attach-army-on-recruitment-of-minor-while-teen-enlistment-figures-plummet-1.

[viii] Joint Committee on Human Rights, Children’s Rights (Twenty-fifth Report of Session 2008-09), 2009.

[ix] Equality and Human Rights Commission, UK Government UPR Mid-term Report: Report from the Equality and Human Rights Commission, 2010, p. 5, http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/sites/default/files/documents/humanrights/hrc13_midterm_report.pdf

[x] Ipsos MORI, Nationwide poll conducted in July 2014 by Ipsos MORI on behalf of the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd, http://forceswatch.net//sites/default/files/IPSOSsurvey2014-Forces_age.pdf. Poll question: ‘In your opinion, what should be the minimum age to join the British army? Please answer regardless of whatever you believe the minimum age is at the moment.’

[xi] Committee on the Rights of the Child, Concluding observations on the fifth periodic report of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (CRC/C/GBR/CO/5), 2016, pp. 23-24, https://documents-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/G16/149/88/PDF/G1614988.pdf.

[xii] For sources and detail, see Child Soldiers International, Press Release: Army defies child rights campaigners, intensifies intake of 16-year-olds for riskiest roles, November 2016, https://www.child-soldiers.org/news/army-defies-child-rights-campaigners-intensifies-intake-of-16-year-olds-for-riskiest-roles.

[xiii] According to the MoD, Junior Entry recruitment (aged 16-17.5 years) ‘presents an opportunity to mitigate Standard Entry (SE) shortfalls, particularly for the Infantry’. ‘SE’ refers to recruits aged 17.5 years and above. MoD, Policy on recruiting Under-18s (U18), 2013, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Ref. FOI2015/00618, 12 February 2015, p. 2, https://www.child-soldiers.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=5328771a-5ff2-4b15-89ab-ff454339c782.

[xiv] Recruiters’ instructions state that recruits aged between 16 and 16½ must be given jobs in combat roles (or join as drivers in the logistics corps) and that those under 16¼ must only be given combat roles. British army (Recruiting Group), Eligibility Quick Reference Guide, 2015, p. 8, http://www.child-soldiers.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=5e0a7b26-2af3-4d29-b26d-f21aefeede97.

[xv] In 2015-16, 41 per cent (730) of army recruits aged under 18 were enlisted for the infantry, versus 32 per cent (1,960) of adult recruits. House of Commons, Written questions: Armed Forces: Young People, 25 May 2016, no. 38550; MoD, UK armed forces biannual diversity statistics, 1 April 2016 (Table 8a), 2016, https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-armed-forces-biannual-diversity-statistics-2016.

[xvi] Refer to D Gee, The Last Ambush: Aspects of mental health in the British armed forces, 2013 (London: ForcesWatch), p. 57-58, http://www.forceswatch.net/sites/default/files/The_Last_Ambush_web.pdf.

[xvii] Medact, The recruitment of children by the UK armed forces: A critique from health professionals, 2016, http://s234523623453.medact.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/medact_childrecruitment_17-oct_WEB.pdf.

January 9, 2017 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, Video | , | 1 Comment