13.7.06

NO QUARTER: U.S. Policy in Lebanon

NO QUARTER: U.S. Policy in Lebanon:

One of the definitions of madness is the repetition countless times of the same action, always expecting a different result. For more than half a century, the Israelis have been applying the tactic of massively disproportionate retaliation to every provocative act of resistance attempted by the Palestinians, expecting every time that this would bring peace and security to all the people of the Holy Land. Every single time they have done this this, it has backfired. Every single time. The national philosophy (it is really deeper and more significant that just a military tactic) that underlies this devotion to massive over-reaction, and particularly its corollary, collective punishment, is obviously and demonstrably foolish and futile. It does not intimidate or deter the Palestinians, and it never will. It hardens their determination to resist and to defy. I don’t care whether you consider the Palestinians to be terrorists or common criminals or freedom fighters or national resistance heroes. If you are an intelligent and sensitive human being, you learn from your past mistakes and you make a rational decision to try something different. The Israeli leadership for all these many generations has been incapable of performing that really rather simple mental and moral exercise.

Nor does it matter who “started it”. If you take land and houses and personal freedoms away from individuals, and if you systematically deprive a whole people of dignity and national identity, they do not forgive or forget their deep sense of injury, deprivation and injustice. Giving them a thorough beating at regular intervals, or endlessly frustrating their hopes of enjoying the benefits of political self-determination and economic prosperity, does not diminish their personal bitterness of alleviate their collective hunger for revenge and restitution. That point should be beyond debate, in my opinion.

Aggression Under False Pretenses

Aggression Under False Pretenses:

America's complacency in the face of these war crimes is, as usual, embedded in the coded rhetorical green light: 'Israel has a right to defend itself.' Was Israel defending itself when it killed eight family members on a Gaza beach last month or three members of the Hajjaj family on Saturday, among them 6-year-old Rawan? I refuse to believe that such inhumanity sits well with the American public.

We present this clear message: If Israel will not allow Palestinians to live in peace, dignity and national integrity, Israelis themselves will not be able to enjoy those same rights. Meanwhile, our right to defend ourselves from occupying soldiers and aggression is a matter of law, as settled in the Fourth Geneva Convention. If Israel is prepared to negotiate seriously and fairly, and resolve the core 1948 issues, rather than the secondary ones from 1967, a fair and permanent peace is possible. Based on a hudna (comprehensive cessation of hostilities for an agreed time), the Holy Land still has an opportunity to be a peaceful and stable economic powerhouse for all the Semitic people of the region. If Americans only knew the truth, possibility might become reality.

11.7.06

Rethinking Embattled Tactics in Terror War

Rethinking Embattled Tactics in Terror War:

Five years after the attacks on the United States, the Bush administration faces the prospect of reworking key elements of its anti-terrorism effort in light of challenges from the courts, Congress and European allies crucial to counterterrorism operations.

The Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee and other members of Congress have complained about not being briefed on classified surveillance programs and huge unprecedented databases used to monitor domestic and international phone calls, faxes, e-mails and bank transfers.

European governments and three international bodies are investigating secret prisons run by the CIA, and some countries have pledged not to allow the transport of terrorism suspects through their airports.

Six European allies have demanded that President Bush shut down the prison for terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, citing violations of international law and mistreatment of detainees.

And the Supreme Court recently issued a rebuke of the military commissions created by the administration to try detainees, declaring that they violated the Geneva Conventions and were never properly authorized by Congress.

Accustomed to having its way on matters related to the nation's security, the administration is being forced to respond to criticism that it once brushed aside. The high court ruling rejected the White House's assertion that the president has nearly unlimited executive powers during a time of war, and now executive branch lawyers are reviewing whether other rules adopted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon will have to be revised, especially those concerning the Geneva Conventions.

10.7.06

US soldiers/rapist/murderer's mutilated bodies on video

Aljazeera.Net - US soldiers' mutilated bodies on video:

The Iraqi branch of Al-Qaeda has put on the Internet a video showing the mutilated bodies of two US soldiers kidnapped in June and executed to 'avenge' an Iraqi woman raped near Mahmudiyah south of Baghdad.

'Here is a film on the remains of the bodies of the two American soldiers kidnapped near Yussufiyah (south of Baghdad). We are showing it to avenge our sister who was raped by a soldier belonging to the same division as these two soldiers,' said a preamble by the Mujahedeen Al-Shura Council, an Al-Qaeda dominated alliance of armed Sunni groups in Iraq.

When guerrillas learned of the rape, 'they repressed their sighs to avoid news of the affair spreading but they swore to avenge their sister,' the council said on its usual website.

'Praise God, they captured two soldiers from the same division as this vile crusader. Here are the remains ... to rejoice the hearts of the faithful,' the statement said.

The nearly five-minute film shows the horribly mutilated bodies of the two soldiers, who had had their throats cut. The head of one of them was held high by an armed man, like a trophy. The head of the other was being stamped on by another armed man.

Bush War-Crimes in Somalia

Top News | Reuters.co.za:

The hardline leader of newly powerful Islamists said all of Somalia must be ruled by sharia law and U.S. President George W. Bush should be prosecuted for bankrolling defeated secular warlords.

'There is no Muslim nation that is safe from his (Bush's) oppression. He should stop his wrong leadership,' Sheikh Hassan Dahir Aweys, told Reuters by telephone from his rural base. 'He used the warlords to kill people. If it's possible for him to be charged, he deserves to be brought to justice,' Aweys, an army colonel turned cleric, said.

'It's compulsory to rule Somalia by sharia law,' added Aweys, military mastermind of a campaign that has given the Islamists control of Mogadishu and a large part of the country. The Islamists say U.S. officials supplied suitcases full of cash to warlords grouped in a self-styled anti-terror coalition, an accusation widely believed by analysts, regional diplomats and people in Mogadishu.

...

'The American views cannot be trusted. Whatever they say is mostly lies, nobody can take their word anymore.'"

Bush-sanctioned Israeli War-Crimes

Middle East Online:

The 1949 Geneva Conventions state, in article 54 of its second additional protocol: 'Starvation of civilians as a method of combat is prohibited.' It is also 'prohibited to attack, destroy, remove or render useless objects indispensable to the survival of the civilian population.' That means that the Israeli army's latest offensive in the occupied territories amounts to nothing less than a war crime. It includes the blockade of the civilian population and their collective suffering; bombing Gaza's $150m power station, depriving 750,000 Palestinians of electricity in the intense summer heat; and, the West Bank kidnapping of 64 members of the political wing of Hamas, including eight cabinet ministers and 22 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council. And on 5 July, the Israeli government said it would expand its military operation in Gaza.

Victim was just 14 when she was raped and killed by US soldiers

Victim was just 14 when she was raped and killed by US soldiers | The World | The Australian:

The young Iraqi woman who five US soldiers are accused of raping and killing on March 12 was 14 years old, not over 20, as US officials have said.

US court documents described Abeer Qasim Hamza al-Janabi, who was shot dead along with her sister and parents, as an 'adult female' and estimated her age as 25. Local officials and relatives had said she was 15 or 16, but her identity card and a copy of her death certificate show she was born on August 19, 1991 in Baghdad.

Her identity card, issued in 1993, features a photograph of her at 18 months, wide-eyed and with a lick of dark hair over her brow.

A copy of her death certificate gives the same birth date.

9.7.06

Aljazeera.Net - Yemen acquits 19 in 'al-Qaeda plot'

Aljazeera.Net - Yemen acquits 19 in 'al-Qaeda plot':

it is shameful that the united states doesn't follow the standards of the yemeni court system: is there evidence of a crime? no. then the charges are dropped.

A Yemeni court has acquitted 19 men, charged with planning attacks against US interests in the country, due to lack of evidence.

The men, including five Saudis, had been accused of plotting to carry out attacks to avenge the CIA's killing in Yemen of a top al-Qaeda operative in 2002 with the help of a drone.

Prosecutors had said the 19 travelled to Iraq and then returned to Yemen to carry out their 'mission' on the orders of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the al-Qaeda leader in Iraq who was killed in a US air raid a month ago.

'The court decided to acquit the accused due to lack of evidence,' the judge said."

In Cold Blood: Iraqi Tells of Massacre at Farmhouse

In Cold Blood: Iraqi Tells of Massacre at Farmhouse - Los Angeles Times:

'Never in my mind could I have imagined such a gruesome sight,' Abu Firas Janabi said of the day in March when his cousin, Fakhriya Taha Muhsen; her husband, Kasim Hamza Rasheed; and their two daughters were slain and their farmhouse set ablaze.

'Kasim's corpse was in the corner of the room, and his head was smashed into pieces,' he said. The 5-year-old daughter, Hadel, was beside her father, and Janabi said he could see that Fakhriya's arms had been broken.

In another room, he found 15-year-old Abeer, naked and burned, with her head smashed in 'by a concrete block or a piece of iron.'

'There were burns from the bottom of her stomach to the end of her body, except for her feet,' he said.

'I did not believe what I was seeing. I tried to fool myself into believing I was in a dream. But the problem was that we were not dreaming. We put a piece of cloth over her body. Then I left the house together with my wife.'