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Saudi cluster bombs continue to endanger Yemeni kids’ lives

Press TV – February 13, 2018

Thousands of innocent children continue to fall victim to Saudi Arabia’s use of cluster bombs in aerial attacks on residential areas across the Yemen, corroborating assertions of violation of international law in the impoverished Arab country.

Derhim al-Tuheiti was playing in a farming field in an area in Yemen’s western coastal province of Hudaydah, located 150 kilometers southwest of the capital Sana’a, less than a week ago when he found an unexploded cluster bomb.

He took it home, believing it was a toy or a piece of scrap metal. All at once, like deafening firecrackers, explosions ripped through the building, seriously injuring Derhim, his mother and siblings.

“I was working outside my house to earn money and feed my family. I was in shock when I returned home. People told me all my family members, including my wife, had been transferred to hospital. Now my wife has a back injury, and has gone insane due to the shock,” Ahmed, father of the family, told Press TV.

Derhim was taken to the intensive care unit at al-Thawra Hospital, and had to undergo numerous surgeries. He had both lower legs amputated after the horrific incident.

“Doctors amputated his legs as they had grave shrapnel wounds. The cluster bomb had also seriously injured his head, and paralyzed the right side of his body,” Doctor Khlowd M Doublah stated.

Cluster munitions, which are banned by more than 100 countries, present an enormous danger to civilians.

Dropped from the air or fired from the ground, they are designed to break open in mid-air, releasing the sub-munitions over a wide area in a way that cannot discriminate between civilians and military targets.

Many of the sub-munitions fail to explode on impact and effectively become anti-personnel mines. Unexploded sub-munitions have the potential to remain lethal for years, posing a high risk to the civilian population, both during and after the conflict.

Cluster bombs are banned under the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), an international treaty that addresses the humanitarian consequences and unacceptable harm caused to civilians by cluster munitions through a categorical prohibition and a framework for action.

At least 13,600 people have been killed since the onset of Saudi Arabia’s military campaign against Yemen in 2015. Much of the country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble due to the war.

The Saudi-led war has also triggered a deadly cholera epidemic across Yemen.
A picture taken on February 5, 2018, shows a man standing next to the Yemeni criminal investigations unit in the capital Sana’a, a day after it was hit in a Saudi air raid. (Photo by AFP)

According to the World Health Organization’s latest tally, the cholera outbreak has killed 2,167 people since the end of April 2017 and is suspected to have infected 841,906.

In November 2017, the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, said more than 11 million children in Yemen were in acute need of aid, stressing that it was estimated that every 10 minutes a child died of a preventable disease there.

Additionally, the UN has described the current level of hunger in Yemen as “unprecedented,” emphasizing that 17 million people were food insecure in the country.

The world body says that 6.8 million, meaning almost one in four people, do not have enough food and rely entirely on external assistance.

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

The depopulation of the Chagos Islands, 1965-73

By Mark Curtis – February 12, 2007

An edited extract from Web of Deceit: Britain’s Real Role in the World

During the decolonisation process in the 1960s Britain created a new colony – the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT). This included the Chagos island group which was detached from Mauritius, and other islands detached from the Seychelles. Mauritius had been granted independence by Britain in 1965 on the barely concealed condition that London be allowed to buy the Chagos island group from it – Britain gave Mauritius £3m. “The object of the exercise was to get some rocks which will remain ours”, the Permanent Under Secretary at the Foreign Office, its chief civil servant, said in a secret file of 1966. The Colonial Office similarly noted that the “prime object of BIOT exercise was that the islands… hived off into the new territory should be under the greatest possible degree of UK control [sic]”.

In December 1966 the Wilson government signed a military agreement with the US leasing the BIOT to it for military purposes for fifty years with the option of a further twenty years. Britain thus ignored UN Resolution 2066XX passed by the General Assembly in December 1965 which called on the UK “to take no action which would dismember the territory of Mauritius and to violate its territorial integrity”. Higher matters were at stake: Diego Garcia, the largest island in the Chagos group, was well situated as a military base. Britain allowed the US to build up Diego Garcia as a nuclear base and as the launch pad for intervention in the Middle East, notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Diego Garcia’s role “has become increasingly important over the last decade in supporting peace and stability in the region”, a Foreign Office spokesman managed to say with a straight face in 1997.

To militarise Diego Garcia, Britain removed the 1,500 indigenous inhabitants of the Chagos islands – “the compulsory and unlawful removal of a small and unique population, Citizens of the UK and Colonies, from islands that had formed their home, and also the home of the parents, grand-parents and very possibly earlier ancestors”, as the Chagossians’ defence lawyers put it. The islanders were to be “evacuated as and when defence interests require this”, against which there should be “no insurmountable obstacle”, the Foreign Office had noted.

The Chagossians were removed from Diego Garcia by 1971 and from the outlying islands of Salomen and Peros Banhos by 1973. The secret files show that the US wanted Diego Garcia to be cleared “to reduce to a minimum the possibilities of trouble between their forces and any ‘natives’”. This removal of the population “was made virtually a condition of the agreement when we negotiated it in 1965”, in the words of one British official. Foreign Office officials recognised that they were open to “charges of dishonesty” and needed to “minimise adverse reaction” to US plans to establish the base. In secret, they referred to plans to “cook the books” and “old fashioned” concerns about “whopping fibs”.

The Chagossians were described by a Foreign Office official in a secret file: “unfortunately along with birds go some few Tarzans or man Fridays whose origins are obscure”. Another official wrote, referring to a UN body on women’s issues: “There will be no indigenous population except seagulls who have not yet got a committee (the status of women committee does not cover the rights of birds)”. According to the Foreign Office, “these people have little aptitude for anything other than growing coconuts”. The Governor of the Seychelles noted that it was “important to remember what type of people” the islanders are: “extremely unsophisticated, illiterate, untrainable and unsuitable for any work other than the simplest labour tasks of a copra plantation”.

Contrary to the racist indifference of British planners, the Chagossians had constructed a well-functioning society on the islands by the mid-1960s. They earned their living by fishing, and rearing their own vegetables and poultry. Copra industry had been developed. The society was matriarchal, with Illois women having the major say over the bringing up of the children. The main religion was Roman Catholic and by the first world war the Illois had developed a distinct culture and identity together with a specific variation of the Creole language. There was a small hospital and a school. Life on the Chagos islands was certainly hard, but also settled. By the 1960s the community was enjoying a period of prosperity with the copra industry thriving as never before. The islanders were also exporting guano, used for phosphate, and there was talk of developing the tourist industry.

Then British foreign policy intervened. One of the victims recalled: “We were assembled in front of the manager’s house and informed that we could no longer stay on the island because the Americans were coming for good. We didn’t want to go. We were born here. So were our fathers and forefathers who were buried in that land”.

Britain expelled the islanders to Mauritius without any workable resettlement scheme, gave them a tiny amount of compensation and later offered more on condition that the islanders renounced their rights ever to return home. Most were given little time to pack their possessions and some were allowed to take with them only a minimum of personal belongings packed into a small crate. They were also deceived into believing what awaited them. Olivier Bancoult said that the islanders “had been told they would have a house, a portion of land, animals and a sum of money, but when they arrived [in Mauritius] nothing had been done”. Britain also deliberately closed down the copra plantations to increase the pressure to leave. A Foreign Office note from 1972 states that “when BIOT formed, decided as a matter of policy not to put any new investment into plantations” [sic], but to let them run down. And the colonial authorities even cut off food imports to the Chagos islands; it appears that after 1968 food ships did not sail to the islands.

Not all the islanders were physically expelled. Some, after visiting Mauritius, were simply – and suddenly – told they were not allowed back, meaning they were stranded, turned into exiles overnight. Many of the islanders later testified to having been tricked into leaving Diego Garcia by being offered a free trip.

Most of the islanders ended up living in the slums of the Mauritian capital, Port Louis, in gross poverty; many were housed in shacks, most of them lacked enough food, and some died of starvation and disease. Many committed suicide. A report commissioned by the Mauritian government in the early 1980s found that only 65 of the 94 Illois householders were owners of land and houses; and 40 per cent of adults had no job. Today, most Chagossians continue to live in poverty, with unemployment especially high.

British officials were completely aware of the poverty and hardships likely to be faced by those they had removed from their homeland. When some of the last of the Chagossians were removed in 1973 and arrived in Mauritius, the High Commission noted that the Chagossians at first refused to disembark, having “nowhere to go, no money, no employment”. Britain offered a miniscule £650,000 in compensation, which only arrived in 1978, too late to offset the hardship of the islanders. The Foreign Office stated in a secret file that “we must be satisfied that we could not discharge our obligation… more cheaply”. As the Chagossians’ defence lawyers argue, “the UK government knew at the time that the sum given [in compensation] would in no way be adequate for resettlement.”

Ever since their removal, the islanders have campaigned for proper compensation and for the right to return. In 1975, for example, the islanders presented a petition to the British High Commission in Mauritius. It said: “We, the inhabitants of the Chagos islands – Diego Garcia, Peros Banhos and Salomen – have been uprooted from these islands because the Mauritius government sold the islands to the British government to build a base. Our ancestors were slaves on those islands but we know that we are the heirs of those islands. Although we were poor we were not dying of hunger. We were living free… Here in Mauritius… we, being mini-slaves, don’t get anybody to help us. We are at a loss not knowing what to do.”

The response of the British was to tell the islanders to address their petition to the Mauritian government. The British High Commission in Mauritius responded to a petition in 1974 saying that “High Commission cannot intervene between yourselves as Mauritians and government of Mauritius, who assumed responsibility for your resettlement”. This, as the British government well knew, was a complete lie, as many of the Chagossians could claim nationality “of the UK and the colonies” (see below). In 1981, a group of Illois women went on hunger strike for 21 days and several hundred women demonstrated in vain in front of the British High Commission in Mauritius.

The Whitehall conspiracy

The British response was: after removing the islanders from their home, to remove them from history, in the manner of Winston Smith. In 1972 the US Defence Department could tell Congress that “the islands are virtually uninhabited and the erection of the base would thus cause no indigenous political problems”. In December 1974 a joint UK-US memorandum in question-and-answer form asked “Is there any native population on the islands?”; its reply was “no”. A British Ministry of Defence spokesman denied this was a deliberate misrepresentation of the situation by saying “there is nothing in our files about inhabitants or about an evacuation”, thus confirming that the Chagossians were official Unpeople.

Formerly secret planning documents revealed in the court case show the lengths to which Labour and Conservative governments have gone to conceal the truth. Whitehall officials’ strategy is revealed to have been “to present to the outside world a scenario in which there were no permanent inhabitants on the archipelago”. This was essential “because to recognise that there are permanent inhabitants will imply that there is a population whose democratic rights will have to be safeguarded”. One official noted that British strategy towards the Chagossians should be to “grant as few rights with as little formality as possible”. In particular, Britain wanted to avoid fulfilling its obligations to the islanders under the UN charter.

From 1965, memoranda issued by the Foreign Office and then Commonwealth Relations Office to British embassies around the world mentioned the need to avoid all reference to any “permanent inhabitants”. Various memos noted that: “best wicket… to bat on… that these people are Mauritians and Seychellois [sic]”; “best to avoid all references to permanent inhabitants”; and need to “present a reasonable argument based on the proposition that the inhabitants… are merely a floating population”. The Foreign Office legal adviser noted in 1968 that “we are able to make up the rules as we go along and treat inhabitants of BIOT as not ‘belonging’ to it in any sense”.

Then Labour Foreign Secretary Michael Stewart wrote to prime Minister Harold Wilson in a secret note in 1969 that “we could continue to refer to the inhabitants generally as essentially migrant contract labourers and their families”. It would be helpful “if we can present any move as a change of employment for contract workers… rather than as a population resettlement”. The purpose of the Foreign Secretary’s memo was to secure Wilson’s approval to clear the whole of the Chagos islands of their inhabitants. This, the prime minister did, five days later on 26 April. By the time of this formal decision, however, the removal had already effectively started – Britain had in 1968 started refusing to return Chagossians who were visiting Mauritius or the Seychelles.

A Foreign Office memo of 1970 outlined the Whitehall conspiracy: “We would not wish it to become general knowledge that some of the inhabitants have lived on Diego Garcia for at least two generations and could, therefore, be regarded as ‘belongers’. We shall therefore advise ministers in handling supplementary questions about whether Diego Garcia is inhabited to say there is only a small number of contract labourers from the Seychelles and Mauritius engaged in work on the copra plantations on the island. That is being economical with the truth.”

It continued: “Should a member [of the House of Commons] ask about what should happen to these contract labourers in the event of a base being set up on the island, we hope that, for the present, this can be brushed aside as a hypothetical question at least until any decision to go ahead with the Diego Garcia facility becomes public”.

Detailed guidance notes were issued to Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence press officers telling them to mislead the media if asked.

The reality that was being concealed was clearly understood. A secret document signed by Michael Stewart in 1968, said: “By any stretch of the English language, there was an indigenous population, and the Foreign Office knew it”. A Foreign Office minute from 1965 recognises policy as “to certify [the Chagossians], more or less fraudulently, as belonging somewhere else”. Another Whitehall document was entitled: “Maintaining the Fiction”. The Foreign Office legal adviser wrote in January 1970 that it was important “to maintain the fiction that the inhabitants of Chagos are not a permanent or semi-permanent population”.

Yet all subsequent ministers peddled this lie in public, hitting on the formula to designate the Chagossians merely as “former plantation workers”, while knowing this was palpably untrue. For example, Margaret Thatcher told the House of Commons in 1990 that: “Those concerned worked on the former copra plantations in the Chagos archipelago. After the plantations closed between 1971 and 1973 they and their families were resettled in Mauritius and given considerable financial assistance. Their future now lies in Mauritius”.

Foreign Office minister William Waldegrade said in 1989 that he recently met “a delegation of former plantation workers from the Chagos Islands”, before falsely asserting that they “are increasingly integrated into the Mauritian community”. Aid minister Baroness Chalker also told the House that “the former plantation workers (Illois) are now largely integrated into Mauritian and Seychellese society”.

New Labour continued the lie into the twenty-first century, continuing to peddle the official line in the court case that the islanders were “contract labourers”. As I write this, the Foreign Office website contains a country profile of the British Indian Ocean Territory that states there are “no indigenous inhabitants”.

Another issue that the British government went to great lengths to conceal was the fact that many of the Chagossians were “citizens of the UK and the colonies”. Britain preferred to designate them Mauritians so they could be dumped there and left to the Mauritian authorities to deal with. The Foreign Secretary warned in 1968 of the “possibility… [that] some of them might one day claim a right to remain in the BIOT by virtue of their citizenship of the UK and the Colonies”. A Ministry of Defence note in the same year states that it was “of cardinal importance that no American official… should inadvertently divulge” that the islanders have dual nationality.

Britain’s High Commission in Mauritius noted in January 1971, before a meeting with the Mauritian prime minister, that: “Naturally, I shall not suggest to him that some of these have also UK nationality …always possible that they may spot this point, in which case, presumably, we shall have to come clean [sic]”. In 1971 the Foreign Office was saying that it was “not at present HMG’s policy to advise ‘contract workers’ of their dual citizenship” nor to inform the Mauritian government, referring to “this policy of concealment”.

Ministers also lied in public about the British role in the removal of the Chagossians. For example, Foreign Office minister Richard Luce wrote to an MP in 1981, in response to a letter from one of his constituents, that the islanders had been “given the choice of either returning [to Mauritius or the Seychelles] or going to plantations on other islands in BIOT” [sic]. According to this revised history, the “majority chose to return to Mauritius and their employers… made the arrangements for them to be transferred”.

Ministers in the 1960s also lied about the terms under which Britain offered the Diego Garcia base to the US. The US paid Britain £5 million for the island, an amount deducted from the price Britain paid the US for buying the Polaris nuclear weapons. The US asked for this deal to be kept secret and Prime Minister Harold Wilson complied, lying in public. A Foreign Office memo to the US of 1967 said that “ultimately, under extreme pressure, we should have to deny the existence of a US contribution in any form, and to advise ministers to do so in [parliament] if necessary”.

A Foreign Office memo of 1980 recommended to then Foreign Secretary that “no journalists should be allowed to visit Diego Garcia” and that visits by MPs be kept to a minimum to keep out those “who deliberately stir up unwelcome questions”. The defence lawyers for the Chagossians, who unearthed the secret files, note that: “Concealment is a theme which runs through the official documents, concealment of the existence of a permanent population, of BIOT itself, concealment of the status of the Chagossians, concealment of the full extent of the responsibility of the United Kingdom government…, concealment of the fact that many of the Chagossians were Citizens of the UK and Colonies… This concealment was compounded by a continuing refusal to accept that those who were removed from the islands in 1971-3 had not exercised a voluntary decision to leave the islands”.

Indeed, the lawyers argue, “for practical purposes, it may well be that the deceit of the world at large, in particular the United Nations, was the critical part” of the government’s policy.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Book Review, Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | 3 Comments

Moscow Concerned With Escalation of Tensions as ‘Israel’ Attacks Syria

Al-Manar | February 10, 2018

The Russian Foreign Ministry has called to respect Syria’s sovereignty and the territorial integrity of the countries in the Middle East following the aerial attacks of Israeli Occupation Forces against the targets in central Syria.

“Moscow is deeply concerned with the latest developments and attacks on Syria. The danger of the escalation of tensions within and around the de-escalation zones, which has become an important factor in reducing violence in Syria is of particular concern,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on its website.

The statement reads that the Syrian government forces “are complying with the existing arrangements to provide the consistent functioning of the de-escalation zone in the south-west of the country.”

“We urge all the involved parties to exercise restraint and avoid any steps that could lead to aggravation of the situation. We consider it necessary to unconditionally respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria and other countries of the region.”

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | 4 Comments

Ex-Egypt envoy: Evacuation of Sinai serves ‘deal of the century’

MEMO | February 8, 2018

A former Egyptian ambassador said that the current displacement of residents of the Sinai Peninsula sets the stage for the implementation of “the deal of the century”, adding that the Egyptian authorities are spreading “lies” by saying that the displacement is being carried out in the context of the fight against  Daesh.

Abdallah Al-Ashaal told Al-Resalah that there is no explanation for the displacement operations except that there is a conspiracy taking place at the hands of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.

The conspiracy, according to Al-Ashaal, aims at establishing an entity and not a state for Palestinians under the pretext of expanding the Gaza Strip.

A Saudi-backed developmental plan seeks to establish infrastructure projects in Northern Sinai, such as the King Salman University and desalination and power plants, he added. These projects are “definitely not being worked on for those who are being displaced in the Sinai.”

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is part of the deal, Al-Ashaal said. “If this was not the case, there would be a search for another person who would accept it, and [dismissed Palestinian Liberation Organisation member] Dahlan is related to … this deal.”

In Al-Ashaal’s view, the plan also includes the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi handed over to Saudi Arabia in 2016.

The developmental plan that Sisi talks about includes expanding the Gaza Strip, Ashaal said. “Why the expansion and how can it be useful for Gaza that its borders stretch to the border of Arish [the Sinai city]?” Ashaal asked.

Using “security concerns”, Egypt has been emptying Sinai of its residents beginning with the border town of Rafah near the besieged Gaza Strip.

Local media reported yesterday that the Egyptian Ministry of Defence has asked the Ministry of Health to be ready for a state of emergency and for all hospitals in Ismailiyah to be prepared for a wide-scale military operation in northern Sinai.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Remembering Fallujah: The War Crimes Committed under Command of Jim Molan and Jim Mattis

Defending Australian Values in Iraq

By David Macilwain | American Herald tribune | February 8, 2018

Ross Caputi, a former Marine who was “witness and accomplice to the atrocities” committed in Fallujah in November 2004 during “Operation Phantom Fury”, wrote this about his unit’s entry into the city:

Perhaps it was just too painful of a realization for many of us to make, because we saw ourselves as the liberators, the good guys, and to admit that we were hurting innocent people would have contradicted everything that we claimed to stand for. I can only speculate about what the motives were for the people who dreamed up that mission and decided to make the people of Fallujah flee into the desert. Was it also too painful for the decision makers to admit to themselves that we were hurting innocent people? Or were they so evil that they just did not care who we were hurting? Whatever their reasons for doing it were, the fact of the matter is that our entire command was aware that we had forced the majority of the city’s population, about 200,000 people, into refugee status, but nobody took responsibility for their wellbeing, as international law required of us.

Central to that command was Major General Andrew “Jim” Molan, an Australian who was seconded to the US military in 2004 and took overall command of US coalition forces in Iraq, alongside the current US defence secretary Jim Mattis.

What happened in the so-called “second battle of Falluja” however, went far beyond a failure to attend to the needs of the civilian population who were able to flee the city before the US assault. Those who remained found themselves imprisoned in a “free-fire zone” for 10,500 US troops and 850 UK special forces, along with 2000 Iraqis loyal to the Occupation government in Baghdad.

While the “Battle for Falluja” has been glorified and celebrated as the most destructive and significant US battle since Vietnam, intended to be a final stand against insurgents who had become concentrated there, it has also been recognised as one of the worst war crimes committed by US coalition forces during the whole occupation of Iraq.

Although the insurgents included the progenitors of those now fighting in Syria, – AQI and Ansar al Sunna, there was significant popular backing for them amongst the local Sunni population, who saw US forces as oppressors rather than liberators. In the “first battle of Falluja” eight months earlier, when legitimate public protests against oppressive actions by US forces drew a lethal response and the deaths of 17 innocent civilians, this popular resistance solidified. As Ross Caputi describes it:

After the resistance movement in Fallujah successfully repelled the first U.S. led siege of their city in April of 2004, Fallujah became a symbol of heroism and resistance to Iraqis. In the United States Fallujah was made into a symbol of terrorism. The U.S. mainstream media described Fallujah as a “hotbed of anti-Americanism” and an “insurgent stronghold”, and gave little mention of the 300,000 civilians that lived there. In November of 2004, the U.S. launched a massive siege on Fallujah that killed anywhere between 800 and 6,000 civilians, forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes, and left much of the city in ruins. From that point on Fallujah became a symbol to much of the world of cruelty, devastation, and occupation.

The suffering inflicted on Fallujah did not end in 2004. Life for the people who chose to return to their city never improved. The U.S. imposed security measures and curfews that made living a normal life in Fallujah impossible. Residents already had to struggle to make ends meet in their dilapidated city, but the constant security check-points, ID card scans, and arrests only made life harder. Food and Medicine were scarce, and they remain scarce to this day.

It is impossible to read these accounts, both of what happened to Fallujah in 2004 and of the way it was portrayed by US leaders and US media, without comparing it with the current “battles” in both Iraq and Syria – Mosul, Raqqa, Aleppo and Idlib. Looking at the gaping chasm between the current reality perceived by Syrians and their allies, and that presented in Western media one can only lament for the lessons unlearned, and be incensed at the depth of deception that marks today’s battles.

But one question remains as hard to answer. As Caputi asked:

Was it also too painful for the decision makers to admit to themselves that we were hurting innocent people? Or were they so evil that they just did not care who we were hurting? Whatever their reasons for doing it were, the fact of the matter is that our entire command was aware… (of the refugees’ plight)

A similar question was asked in the Australian Parliament this week of the now former General Jim Molan, who has just entered the parliament as a Liberal party senator. Greens leader Richard Di Natale was reacting to Molan’s apparent sympathy for anti-Muslim and anti-immigration groups, but chose to draw attention to Molan’s questionable record in Iraq, and in the battle of Falluja.

Di Natale said the attack on Fallujah was a disaster for civilians, and Senator Molan had to bear responsibility:

“At the time of the assault on Fallujah under the command of now-Senator Molan, a UN special rapporteur said coalition forces used hunger and deprivation as a weapon of war against the civilian population — a flagrant violation of international law,” Senator Di Natale said.

“Minister, given Senator Molan’s extreme views, do you have a concern these views influenced the decisions he made while executing the military campaign in Fallujah?”

The defence minister Maurice Payne, who also has a military background avoided addressing Di Natale’s legitimate demands altogether – hardly surprising given her own defence of the indefensible over Australian actions in Syria. Di Natale doesn’t know “what it takes to lead your nation in a uniform”, she said, while PM Turnbull echoed with his own paean to the defence of “Australian values”:

I want to remind the honourable member that in this parliament, on both sides, there are men and women who have served Australia in our uniform, putting their lives on the line, to defend those values. They haven’t just defended them, they’ve fought for them.

Should we assume that those Australian values are represented by Molan’s actions in Fallujah, which appear to have not merely condoned atrocities but to have contributed to them? Molan himself went on the front foot in his maiden speech to the Senate this week, including this claim:

I spent one year in Iraq when I ran the war in Iraq. I fought for Muslims in Iraq, and many Iraqis were alive when I left because of the actions that I took—not racist, not anti-Islam. Linking me to Britain First is absolutely absurd.

No doubt many similar statements could be found in Molan’s book about his year in Iraq, published in 2008 – “Running the War in Iraq”. The truth of what happened however, and Molan’s apparent shared responsibility for the crimes, is revealed in an article from the time by an Australian academic, Chris Doran. (An abbreviated version was posted more recently here)

Doran details the many parts of the US coalition’s brutal and vindictive assault on Fallujah, which led to the deaths of up to 6000 trapped civilians, as well as the most devastating ongoing health problems from the use of chemical weapons including White Phosphorus and Depleted or undepleted Uranium. The terrible effects of the latter have been investigated at length by Dr Chris Busby, but fourteen years later remain unacknowledged and unanswered crimes of the Empire.

While providing as much evidence as might be necessary for an accusation of criminal complicity in these crimes, Chris Doran also finishes with a generous statement:

Under the international legal doctrine of command responsibility, a commander can be held liable if they knew, or should have known, that anyone under their command was committing war crimes and they failed to prevent them. The consistency and similarity of the attacks at Najaf, Samarra, and Fallujah display a deliberate disregard for civilian casualties in the planning and implementation of those military assaults. By Molan’s own admission, he was responsible for not only planning, but also directing, these attacks. It is not conceivable that Molan was unaware of the serious and well documented accusations of atrocities being committed under his command.

While admirable that General Molan is so quick to admit responsibility for Fallujah, it is disconcerting that he does not seem to feel that he has done anything wrong, or should in any way be held accountable, for his actions. It is this utter hubris that most accurately characterises his writing. Sanitised as it is though, Molan has written an excellent brief regarding why it is crucial we start holding our political and military leaders accountable for their actions in Iraq. He would be an excellent place to start.

Sadly we can now say that not only have our political and military leaders still not been held to account for their actions in Iraq, but in the ten years since this was written, they have gone on to commit crimes in both Iraq and Syria which are not even recognised, yet in total threaten to exceed all those of the previous decade.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Maldives crisis: US-Indian strategic alliance forming

By M.K. BHADRAKUMAR | Asia Times | February 7, 2018

Developments in Maldives have begun unfolding according to script. India, the United States and Britain are spearheading the demand that Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen comply with the order by his country’s Supreme Court to release his political opponents from prison and reinstate 12 former lawmakers as members of Parliament.

The script has a striking resemblance to what happened in Sri Lanka in 2014, with some minor variations on the fundamental theme – regime change. Thus, as in Sri Lanka, sworn enemies who had been at each other’s throats for decades suddenly made strange bedfellows to oust the strongman in the presidential palace, and as dawn broke one fine day, the ground beneath the regime shifted dramatically.

In the earlier case, a defecting faction of the ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party aligned with its sworn enemy, the United National Party, undermining thereby the towering incumbent president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s grip on power. Now a similar realignment has happened in Maldives, which now threatens President Yameen’s continuance in power.

This latest unholy alliance is between two former presidents, Maumoon Abdul Gayoom (a cousin of the incumbent president) and a man who once overthrew Gayoom, Mohamed Nasheed. Gayoom and Nasheed have been sworn enemies. What adds to the intrigue is the mysterious role by the chief justice of the Supreme Court, Abdullah Saeed – who was, incidentally, appointed to the top court in 2009 by Nasheed when he was in power.

To what extent external powers promoted this opportunistic alliance to dethrone Yameen is a moot point. The US ambassador (based in Colombo) has been working closely with New Delhi to “promote” democracy. Nasheed and Saeed have visited Delhi in recent months at India’s invitation. Nasheed even addressed a panel at Brookings India to present his case for regime change in his country. Nasheed is a cult figure in London and Washington.

In sum, there is close coordination between New Delhi and Washington to get rid of Yameeen, who is branded as “pro-China.” Indeed, geopolitics is at the root of the current crisis in Maldives.

The missing link has been the secret move by the administration of US president Barack Obama in early 2013 to negotiate with Maldives about a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would have led to increased military cooperation between the two countries, possibly including US bases there. But someone leaked a draft of the agreement to the press, and the US was forced to concede that such talks were indeed going on.

The negotiations got derailed when Yameen was elected president in November 2013 by narrowly defeating Nasheed. If Nasheed returns to power, the negotiations for the conclusion of the SOFA would be back on the table. Despite China’s firm and repeated denials that it has any intention of setting up a military base in Maldives, the China bogey has been whipped up by India.

The real US-Indian game plan is to create a “second island chain” (similar to the one in the Western Pacific) connecting Maldives with Diego Garcia (and Seychelles, where India has a base on one of the islands and has just concluded an agreement to build an airstrip and a sophisticated “monitoring station” at a cost of US$45 million) to curb the presence of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean and to control the sea lanes through which China conducts the bulk of its foreign trade. By the way, the US and India closely cooperate in monitoring the presence of Chinese submarines in the Indian Ocean.

As part of the overall US-Indian strategy, New Delhi signed a Bilateral Agreement for Navy Cooperation with Singapore last November that provides Indian Navy ships temporary deployment facilities and logistics support at Singapore’s Changi naval base, which is near the disputed South China Sea, enabling India to engage in more activity in the Strait of Malacca through which China’s oil and natural-gas imports pass.

India also maintains a big naval base in the Bay of Bengal in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands near the Strait of Malacca. Clearly, institutionalized mechanisms are being put in place to monitor Chinese naval activities in both the Strait of Malacca and the Arabian Sea – and to develop “chokepoints” to strangulate the Chinese economy in the event of a confrontation.

Suffice to say, control of the Maldivian atolls is a crucial template of the overall US-Indian strategy to counter China’s rapidly growing blue-water navy and its capacity to project power in the Indian Ocean.

The big question is whether India will intervene in Maldives and chase the recalcitrant Yameen out of power and put some amiable face like Nasheed in power, who can be trusted to act as “our man in the Arabian Sea.” Of course, any such intervention would constitute a violation of international law and the UN Charter.

Traditionally, India has taken a pragmatic approach toward “democracy deficits” in its neighborhood – in Myanmar and Bangladesh, for instance – or its extended neighborhood of West Asia or Central Asia. But the US has been encouraging India to shed its shyness and become assertive, worthy of a great power in the making.

To be sure, if India intervenes in Maldives, no matter its legality or legitimacy, New Delhi can be 100% certain of Anglo-American backing.

In Washington’s calculus, a unilateral Indian intervention in Maldives would signify a leap of faith on New Delhi’s part in the direction of a strategic alliance with the US. The Donald Trump administration has identified India as a key partner in its Asian strategies, but has found that getting India to shed its “strategic autonomy” and “independent foreign policies” has been an exasperating experience so far. An intervention in Maldives would signify that India is willing to cross the Rubicon, finally, and act shoulder-to-shoulder as America’s ally in Asia. To be sure, Maldives presents a defining moment for Indian foreign policy.

However, this is India’s Haiti moment, too. Simply put, the mulattoes and blacks of the Arabian Sea have locked horns and are seeking foreign intervention. The US Navy sent ships to Haiti 19 times between 1857 and 1913 to “protect American lives and property” and finally occupied Haiti in 1915 – until, ultimately, Haitians united in resistance of the US occupation and American forces had to leave in 1934. A repressive dictatorship took over from that point.

February 8, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

US-led coalition conducts ‘defensive’ airstrikes against Syrian forces

RT | February 7, 2018

The US-led coalition has carried out several “defensive” airstrikes on Syrian forces in retaliation for what they called an “unprovoked” attack on the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and foreign military “advisers.”

“In defense of Coalition and partner forces, the Coalition conducted strikes against attacking forces to repel the act of aggression against partners engaged in the Global Coalition’s defeat-Daesh (Islamic State, IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) mission,” the Central Command said in a press release.

The retaliatory attack was carried out after Syrian “pro-regime forces initiated an unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters,” the coalition claimed.

The US-led coalition has also firmly stressed its “non-negotiable right to act in self-defense,” since its service members are embedded with the “partners” on ground in Syria.

The confrontation reportedly took place some eight kilometers east of the Euphrates River “deconfliction line.” There were no immediate reports of casualties on either side.

Wednesday’s incident is the latest of its kind involving the US-supported rebels and Syrian government forces. Washington remains under the impression that the coalition air force and its “partners” are allowed to operate east of the Euphrates, while the Syrian forces should remain west of the imaginary demarcation line.

Damascus has repeatedly stated that the US coalition presence on its soil is an act of aggression and a violation of the country’s sovereignty. The Russian and Syrian air forces are the only ones officially allowed to operate in Syria. In fact, the government of Syria has repeatedly asked the United Nations to urge the US to leave, particularly following the virtual defeat of Islamic State terrorist group. However, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has instead promised that US troops will remain in Syria indefinitely to counter Syrian President Bashar Assad and Iran’s influence in the region.

The US-led coalition also mulled creating a 30,000-strong border force to secure control of the territory held by their partners in Syria. Since the force would include the Kurdish-dominated SDF alliance, the idea triggered a strong backlash from Turkey, forcing Ankara to initiate ‘Operation Olive Branch’ to secure a buffer “safe zone” in Syria.

Washington seems to have departed from its publicly stated goal of fighting Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and is ready to partition Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned earlier on Wednesday.

“It’s very likely that the Americans have taken a course of dividing the country. They just gave up their assurances, given to us, that the only goal of their presence in Syria – without an invitation of the legitimate government – was to defeat Islamic State and the terrorists,” Lavrov said.

“Now they are saying that they will keep their presence till they make sure a steady process of a political settlement in Syria starts, which will result in regime change,” the minister said during a conference in Sochi.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , | 7 Comments

Vanessa Beeley Exposes the White Helmets

Corbett Report Extras | February 7, 2018

For the past two years, Vanessa Beeley has been doing on-the-ground reporting in Syria exposing the lies of the NATO powers and their terrorist proxies. Her work on the White Helmets in particular has drawn the ire of the warmongers and their media mouthpieces. Today we talk to Beeley about the true nature of the White Helmets and the well-funded PR campaign that seeks to defend them.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Fake News, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

British court acquits campaigners against arms trade

MEMO | February 7, 2018

A British court today threw out charges against campaigners protesting against a London arms fair.

In the fourth in a series of trials at Stratford Magistrates Court involving demonstrations against Defence & Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair in London last year, the judge threw out the charges, describing the protestors’ actions as “reasonable”.

In a decision that is seen as a boost to the right to peaceful protest against the arms fair, District Judge Hamilton acquitted all four defendants of charges of obstructing the highway.

The decision marks a significant u-turn from last month’s decision by judges at the Stratford Magistrates Court who sentenced five protesters from the same group for demonstrating against the 2017 arms fair.

Following their victory, Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors said in their press release that all of the defendants had accepted that they had “locked on” in the middle of the road that leads to the arms fair. Describing the moment prior to their arrest, the solicitors said that the protest was “symbolic” and the group, who were all “committed Christians wanted to turn a road that was carrying weapons of destruction into a safe space for prayer for a short time. However, all were arrested after a matter of minutes by the police”.

Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors confirmed that more than 100 people were arrested in September 2017 outside the Excel Centre in east London during the DSEI arms fair which takes place every two years. It’s thought to be the largest event in the world attracting international arms dealers from countries including Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and the UAE.

Charges against most of the protestors were dropped but the remaining 46 activists have faced trial throughout January and February.

In further defence of their clients, the solicitors mentioned that opponents to the arms fair have accused the exhibitors of promoting unlawful weapons, specifically in 2007 and 2011. These breaches were discovered by external bodies such as Amnesty International and other NGOs. Since 2015, DSEI has banned such organisations from the fair.

Denouncing the arms fair, the solicitors said: “[The] world’s most repressive regimes buy weapons at DSEI. Saudi Arabia, for example, is accused of committing breaches of international humanitarian law and crimes against humanity in Yemen, with the aid of weapons purchased from UK companies.  Arms sales to Saudi Arabia have increased by nearly 500 per cent since the start of the war in Yemen, with more than £4.6bn worth of arms sold within the first two years of bombings.”

Read also:

Do British courts really need to protect the world’s most corrupt industry?

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Solidarity and Activism, War Crimes | , , , | 2 Comments

Lebanon accepts lawsuit against Saudi minister over sowing discord

Press TV – February 7, 2018

A Lebanese judge has accepted to look into a lawsuit against Saudi Minister of State for Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan, who was in charge of the Lebanon file during Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s shock resignation late last year.

Lebanon’s state-owned National News Agency (NNA) reported on Wednesday that Beirut First Examining Magistrate Ghassan Oueidat had decided to accept the court proceedings against the 50-year-old Saudi politician on charges of “sowing discord among various strata of the Lebanese society, provoking communal violence and disrupting Lebanon’s ties with a foreign state.”

The report added that veteran Lebanese inmate Nabih Awada ,who has served time in Israeli prisons and is close to Hezbollah, filed the lawsuit on January 31 through his lawyer Hassan Bazzi, stressing that Judge Oueidat will soon set a date for Sabhan’s questioning.

On October 30, Sabhan issued threats against Lebanon’s government as well as Iran and the resistance movement of Hezbollah via Twitter, stating that the movement needs to be “toppled” in Lebanon.

The Saudi minister also warned in an interview with Lebanese MTV television station that there would be “astonishing” developments to “oust” Hezbollah.

He also said that Saudi Arabia would deal with Lebanon’s government as a hostile administration because of Hezbollah’s power-sharing role in it.

Hariri announced his resignation in a televised statement from Saudi Arabia on November 4 last year, citing many reasons, including the security situation in Lebanon, for his sudden decision. He also said that he sensed a plot being hatched against his life.

He returned to Beirut on November 21. All political factions in Lebanon had called on him to return back home.

Top Lebanese officials and senior politicians close to Hariri had earlier said that he had been forced to resign, and that Saudi authorities were holding him captive.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun had also refused to accept Hariri’s resignation.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | Leave a comment

How Al-Qaeda Ended Up With Anti-Aircraft Missiles: Here Is The Congressional Authorization

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge | February 6, 2018

After the terrorist group Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a rebrand of Jabhat al-Nusra, which is the Syrian al-Qaeda affiliate, claimed responsibility for the dramatic downing of a Russian Su-25 fighter jet over Idlib in northwest Syria on Saturday – the first Russian plane downed in Syria since 2015 – a number of analysts have published articles asking the obvious million dollar question: where did al-Qaeda get the portable anti-aircraft missile system used in the attack?

Once such article in Al Monitor speculates on the following: “The three immediate questions that arose from the attack were how the downing was made possible, how the militants acquired the arms and whether there was a bigger-level player behind the attack.”

MANPADS are heat seeking shoulder fired missiles capable of hitting targets flying at anywhere between 10,000 and 15,000 feet.

And Al Monitor seems to answer its own question in the following when listing the array of allied groups now operating under the leadership of al-Qaeda (HTS) – among them groups previously “vetted” and approved to receive advanced weaponry by the CIA (specifically the TOW anti-tank missile):

Dozens of miles of Idlib province are contested among an array of groups, including the terrorist Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a rebrand of Jabhat al-Nusra, which was affiliated with al-Qaeda; the Free Syrian Army; and its affiliate Jaish al-Nasr, which is considered a “moderate opposition group” that received weapons from the United States. Minutes after the downing of the Su-25, Alaa al-Hamwi, the military commander of Jaish al-Nasr’s aid defense battalion, claimed responsibility for the attack. Alaa argued that Jaish al-Nasr’s command supplied weapons to protect against the Russian air assault.

Later, however, HTS claimed responsibility for downing the plane.

Though US intelligence and defense officials have long denied that so-called “vetted” groups in Syria were recipients of anti-aircraft systems, rumors to the contrary have been persistent for years. The latest denial came immediately on the heels of Saturday’s Russian jet shoot down, which resulted in the death of the pilot on the ground as he came under fire by jihadists. Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway told Russia’s TASS: “The United States have not provided any of its allied forces in Syria with anti-aircraft weapons.”

The Pentagon spokesman further said, according to RT, that the US-led coalition is currently not engaged in any operations in the area where the jet was downed Saturday, indicating the coalition’s combat efforts are “geographically orientated on the current fight with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS, ISIL) in eastern Syria.” Yet the statement clearly avoided any reference to past US programs to arm so-called “moderates” – whether through the secretive CIA program or DoD program. And this is to say nothing of allies like Saudi Arabia who worked closely with US intelligence for years in supplying weapons to anti-Assad militants.

But does anyone remember this? …from The Wall Street Journal all the way back in February of 2014, headlined Saudis Agree to Provide Syrian Rebels With Mobile Antiaircraft Missiles – U.S. Also Giving Fighters Millions of Dollars for Salaries

Washington’s Arab allies, disappointed with Syria peace talks, have agreed to provide rebels there with more sophisticated weaponry, including shoulder-fired missiles that can take down jets, according to Western and Arab diplomats and opposition figures.

Saudi Arabia has offered to give the opposition for the first time Chinese man-portable air defense systems, or Manpads, and antitank guided missiles from Russia, according to an Arab diplomat and several opposition figures with knowledge of the efforts. Saudi officials couldn’t be reached to comment.

The U.S. has long opposed arming rebels with antiaircraft missiles for fear they could fall into the hands of extremists who might use them against the West or commercial airlines. The Saudis have held off supplying them in the past because of U.S. opposition.

And also this March 2014 report from US government-funded Voice of America news:

Saudi Arabia reportedly is offering to provide Syrian rebels more sophisticated weapons, including shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles that can take down fighter planes and helicopter gunships. They could be a game changer in the Syrian civil war. Known as MANPADS or man-portable air defense systems, the shoulder-fired missiles are a highly-effective weapon.

Now, Saudi Arabia is offering to supply moderate rebels with these weapons. That could tip the balance on the battlefield.

… President Barack Obama is said to be rethinking U.S. strategy toward Syria. No doubt arming the Syrian rebels will be on the agenda when Obama travels to Saudi Arabia in late March.

Meanwhile, in February 2018 there’s this to consider…

Al-Qaeda controls a strip of land (Idlib province) not far from the Mediterranean coast, and has now clearly demonstrated the capability of shooting down aircraft. 


In 2014 a historical first was reached: al-Qaeda established a foothold on the Mediterranean coast after it took the Syrian town of Kessab, but has since been pushed back into Idlib.

However, al-Qaeda still remains a very short drive to the Mediterranean coast, with Syrian government territory in between. 

MANPADS (“man-portable air-defense system”) have appeared on the Syrian battlefield in recent years in the hands armed opposition groups supported by the West and Gulf states, including various FSA and Islamist factions – some of which, as Al Monitor confirms, operate today in Idlib.

These groups have at various times filmed and demonstrated themselves to be in possession of these externally supplied MANPADS long before last weekend’s Russian jet downing. The portable systems are believed by analysts to have entered Syria in multiple waves via different routes and external sponsors, including old Soviet models shipped out of Libya, Chinese FN-6’s provided by Qatar, and through NATO member Turkey’s porous border with Syria. Some supplies were also likely gained through opposition takeovers of Syrian government storehouses as well as ISIS seizures of Iraqi government bases and equipment.

Most likely, United States intelligence operatives simply allowed its close allies like the Saudis and Turks to introduce MANPADS early on in the conflict to the Syrian battlefield. In this way the US could maintain “plausible deniability” as it is likely doing now after last weekend’s attack.

But a detail which has gone largely unnoticed since the Russian fighter downing is that Congress had already quietly laid the legal framework for US transfer of MANPADS to groups in Syria over a year ago as part of the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (the NDAA passed the House and Senate in the opening weeks of December 2016). The leading military news site SOFREP reported the authorization at the end of 2016, and described at the time that “Congress for the first time authorized the Department of Defense to provide vetted-Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles.”

Concerning procedural rules, the NDAA requires that the Secretaries of Defense and State submit a formal request to Congress requesting the transfer of the anti-aircraft missiles systems to Syria, which must include the following according to the SOFREP report:

  • A detailed description of each element of the vetted Syrian opposition receiving MANPADS
  • The justification for providing those elements with MANPADS
  • The number and type of MANPADS provided
  • The logistics plan for resupplying approved elements with MANPADS
  • The duration of support

And SOFREP included the following observation:

The inclusion of the provision represents a departure from previous versions of the NDAA. The original House bill specifically prohibited the transfer of MANPADS to “any entity” in Syria, while the Senate bill did not address it.

Though there was an attempt in March 2017 to roll back the authorization, nothing appears to have changed regarding MANPADS and Syria in the 2018 NDAA, which was signed into law by President Trump.

Here’s the law authorizing US transfer of MANPADS to Syria as contained in the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA):

However, long before this formal NDAA legal framework was put into effect, it appears anti-aircraft systems were already being handed out among Syrian militant groups – again, likely through the Saudis or a third party US ally. In May 2016 we featured the following commentary:

Dr. Christina Lin, a leading scholar on jihadist groups, opens her April 8th commentary at Asia Times: “In a blunder reeking of the fallout caused by supplying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to 1980s mujahideen in Afghanistan, civilian airline passengers are now under threat from Syrian jihadists armed with portable surface-to-air missiles (MANPADS).

Reports say some American-backed jihadi groups are being equipped with US-made MANPADS. Indications are they’re obtaining these advanced weapons either directly or indirectly from the US or its Mideast allies in connection with a recent escalation in the fighting in Syria.”

And further:

Dr. Lin quotes a Saudi official as saying (in Germany’s Spiegel), “We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground… just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there.” He was referring there to this in 1979, where Obama’s friend Zbigniew Brzezinski explained why the Americans and the Saudis were supplying SAMs to the mujahideen who became al-Qaeda, and he was also referring to this in 1998, where Brzezinski, when asked whether he thought that arming those fundamentalist Sunnis had been a mistake, said that it certainly was not.

And an unpleasant reminder which bears repeating…

The threat of MANPADS taking out civilian passenger jets is very real, as history proves. The US Department of State counted that 40 civilian aircraft have been hit by MANPADS since the 1970s, which includes the complete downing of 28 civilian airliners resulting in over 800 fatalities. The State Department’s official report on MANPADS and civilian aircraft provides the following partial list of attacks on civilian aviation:

  • March 12, 1975: A Douglas C-54D-5-DC passenger airliner, operated by Air Vietnam, crashed into Vietnamese territory after being hit by a MANPADS. All six crew members and 20 passengers were killed in the crash.
  • September 3, 1978: An Air Rhodesia Vickers 782D Viscount passenger airliner crash landed after being hit by a MANPADS fired by forces from the Zimbabwe Peoples Revolution Army. Four crew members and 34 of the 56 passengers were killed in the crash.
  • December 19, 1988: Two Douglas DC-7 spray aircraft en route from Senegal to Morocco, chartered by the U.S. Agency for International Development to eradicate locusts, were struck by MANPADS fired by POLISARIO militants in the Western Sahara. One DC-7 crashed killing all 5 crew members. The other DC-7 landed safely in Morocco.
  • September 22, 1993: A Tupolev 154B aircraft operated by Transair Georgia was shot down by Abkhazian separatist forces, crashed onto the runway and caught fire, killing 108.
  • April 6, 1994: A Dassault Mystère-Falcon 50 executive jet carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi and its French flight crew was shot down over Kigali, killing all aboard and sparking massive ethnic violence and regional conflict.
  • October 10, 1998: A Boeing 727-30 Lignes Aeriennes Congolaises airliner was downed over the Democratic Republic of the Congo jungle by Tutsi militia, killing 41.
  • December 26, 1998: A United Nations-chartered Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport was shot down over Angola by UNITA forces, killing 14.
  • January 2, 1999: A United Nations Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules transport was shot down by UNITA forces in Angola, killing 9.
  • November 28, 2002: Terrorists fired two MANPADS at an Arkia Airlines Boeing 757-3E7 with 271 passengers and crew as it took off from Mombasa, Kenya. Both missiles missed.
  • November 22, 2003: A DHL Airbus A300B4-203F cargo jet transporting mail in Iraq was struck and damaged by a MANPADS. Though hit in the left fuel tank, the plane was able to return to the Baghdad airport and land safely.
  • March 23, 2007: A Transaviaexport Ilyushin 76TD cargo plane was shot down over Mogadishu, Somalia, killing the entire crew of 11.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , , | 5 Comments

Ohio Gov. Candidate Dennis Kucinich Calls Out The Deep State, MSM Can’t Handle It

By Brandon Turbeville | Activist Post | February 7, 2018

Dennis Kucinich, who recently launched his campaign for Governor of Ohio, has never been afraid to go against the grain and speak out with an unpopular opinion and an unpopular time. This was the case when he was mayor of Cleveland and throughout his tenure as a Congressman. It was also the case when, after the election of Donald Trump, Kucinich spoke out against an obvious attempt by the Deep State to control and steer the new Trump administration in a direction of their own using internal leaks, scandals, and other forms of pressure against the President.

Unfortunately for Kucinich, in Democratic party circles as well as in the mainstream media, it’s become a law that, before you can speak a word, you must first condemn Donald Trump. Anything short of disagreement on every aspect of Trump’s administration and raving attacks on his every move is considered treason.

Still, as the CIA leak controversy was at its height, Kucinich appeared on FOX News and stated:

You have to look at the institution of the Presidency. This isn’t just about one President. It’s about the Presidency which belongs to the American people. And when you look at the leaks, the anonymous sources, coming from intelligence agencies like the CIA and the FBI, they’re aimed at upending the Presidency, not just the President, and it’s a form of a coup. This is very dangerous for our country. We’re all Americans. We have to stand for our country. We cannot let faceless, anonymous people try to upend our government, it’s a totally un-American approach that is occurring.

. . . . .

I don’t want to characterize a particular agency. I can give you an example. You can look at October, 2016, when President Obama and Secretary Kerry essentially negotiated an agreement with Russia to set the stage for a ceasefire in Syria, the CIA and the Pentagon objected and wouldn’t you know it, after the deal was made, it was upended by a missile attack on a Syrian army base. Now, this was done with the knowledge of the CIA. And so you have to ask, “Who died and put them in charge of America?” We’ve got to protect the Presidency and we’ve got to stop these agencies who are trying to upend it with rumors and innuendo. It’s totally un-American the approach that’s being taken what’s happening and Americans of every political party need to resist it, to stand up and speak out against it and say “Stop it! Stop this attack!”

. . . . .

There was no accountability and you just have to understand that, when these agencies become politicized, it is deadly for our country. It destroys the very nature of a republic. It deprives people of their choice in an election. It sets the stage for something that’s profoundly anti-Democratic. So that’s why I’m speaking out. Look, I’ve been around politics a long time. I don’t have any problems getting in debates and challenging the President for a stand on healthcare and immigration and a whole range of things. But this goes way beyond politics. This is trying to sabotage the very nature of our government. And we’ve got to see this. We’ve got to put a stop to it.

Personally, I think there’s got to be a cleaning out from top to bottom of these agencies. I wouldn’t tolerate it for a second. I wouldn’t let anybody be involved in the leaks. I’d call them all in to a room and say, “Look, someone in here is leaking and I want to know who it is by the end of the day or you’re all gone.” The President of the United States was elected to lead the country. We may not like the direction he’s taking the country but whether we do or not, he’s the President. We didn’t elect people in the agencies to run the country. They’re not elected and they’re not accountable either.

What was happening at the time was clearly an act of Deep State sabotage against the Trump administration. However, Kucinich ran afoul of the one-party rule book and, ever since he has launched his campaign for governor, this (and other interviews he gave on the same topic) have been used to smear him as a “conspiracy theorist” and, of course, a Trump supporter (which is tantamount to being called a witch in 1690s Salem).

As is always the case, anyone who steps even slightly away from the narrative peddled by intelligence agencies and mainstream media is labeled a conspiracy theorist, even when the evidence for their claim is in plain sight. But, as is also typical, Dennis Kucinich has refused to back down on his claims, even inviting a debate on the issue.

In fact, when confronted with a question about his “theory” and “support” of Donald Trump during his campaign announcement, Kucinich exposed an incident in which the same intelligence agencies surveilled and wiretapped him. During his tenure as Congressman from Ohio, he was heavily involved with trying to stop the American war in Libya. Kucinich even sponsored a resolution in the House that would have stopped the war. As a result, Saif al-Islam Ghaddafi called him to discuss the resolution. Later, Kucinich was asked about the conversation and was not only shown a transcript but was played the tape of the conversation with Ghaddafi by a staff member of the Washington Times who had obtained the tape via a leak which appears to have been from the office of the Director of National Intelligence.

From The Hill :

“I had a resolution in the House to try to stop the war and [Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, a high-ranking official in Libya’s government and son of President Moammar Gadhafi] called me to talk about it,” Kucinich said.

“I cleared the discussion with House attorneys, and a member of Congress is not supposed to be listened to by the executive branch,” he continued. “The director of national intelligence under President Obama was tracking my resolution, and I didn’t find out until two years after I had left Congress.”

. . . . .

Kucinich revealed in a Friday FoxNews.com column that investigative reporters from the Washington Times contacted him after obtaining the tape to verify his voice on the recording.

“When I met them at a Chinese restaurant in Washington, they played back audio of a call I had taken in my D.C. congressional office four years earlier,” he told O’Reilly.

Kucinich said because of that experience, he doesn’t dismiss Trump’s claim that he was bugged.

“I heard a lot of people laughing about it, but I had something happen to me. If a member of Congress can have his phone tapped, this can happen to anybody.”

Naturally, the mainstream media both in the United States and the state of Ohio, refer to his claims as “conspiracy theories” and suggest that he “believes” he was surveilled and monitored, despite his having undeniable proof that he was indeed, wiretapped.

One such interaction took place shortly after he announced his gubernatorial run, when a reporter asked him, “You went on Sean Hannity’s show last year on FOX News where you’re a paid contributor . . . . and you said government leaks, government employees’ leaks, to the press were part of a Deep State conspiracy to bring down President Trump. How is this going to stop the free flow of information in a free society? And how is saying this in this form particularly going to play among the democratic electorate?

Kucinich responded,

Well, there are two questions you asked there. First thing you need to remember is I spent sixteen years in Congress. I’m not a rookie about this stuff. I’ve seen us go into wars based on lies. Yes, actually. People in Washington have lied to take us into wars. I put forth articles of impeachment against the President and the Vice President for lying to take us into war. There’s no question that intelligence agencies are used to be able to promote war. Period. This isn’t like, you know, I didn’t fall off a Christmas tree here. You have to realize

[Interrupted by reporter] You said it was a conspiracy to bring down President Trump.

Kucinich: Let me continue. The Pentagon, the State Department, and the Central Intelligence Agency have people making policy. You don’t know who they are. Very often none of us know who they are. But they want to run the government and usurp whoever is in office. I’ll give you an example. It wasn’t just about President Trump. President Obama, during his Presidency, there was an attempt – not an attempt there was an attack that was launched by U.S. military assets that actually went against his policies. Presidents don’t always have control. And that’s the point I was making. And no one, particularly in the media, should get the vapors about this kind of a statement. I was stating a fact. Now, my interest is in the United States of America. Whoever the President is, the President will change from time to time. But I defend the Constitution of the United States which says that elected officials and those that take the oath of office are supposed to be making the decisions, not backroom, anonymous, faceless bureaucrats in the CIA, in the State Department, and in the Pentagon.

Kucinich is likely to face more questions about his refusal to irrationally oppose Trump for the sake of collective politics, but it’s an issue, along with his reputation in the Congress, that Kucinich welcomes discussing. “There’s no democrat in the country who has that record in defending the interests of the American people,” Kucinich said. “So I’m happy, you know, if someone wants to discuss that in this race, they came to the right place. Because I actually know more about it than anybody.”

Given the persuasion of the mainstream media and the democratic political machine, we expect that Kucinich will be discussing it quite a lot over the next several months.

February 7, 2018 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Video, War Crimes | , | 2 Comments