The U.S. has some war criminals of its own. From Jacob G. Hornberger at fff.org:
Referring to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, an editorial in Saturday’s Washington Post exclaims that Ukraine’s “struggle is also a crucible for Europe and an assault against the most basic precept on which the Western system rests: the impermissibility of unprovoked wars of aggression.”
In a follow-up editorial today, the Post calls for an international tribunal to try Vladimir Putin and his “henchmen” for waging a “war of aggression” against Ukraine. The Post quotes the Nuremberg tribunal: “To initiate a war of aggression … is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”
What befuddles me, however, is why the Post doesn’t also condemn President George W. Bush and his “henchmen” for their unprovoked invasion of Iraq and, further, why the Post doesn’t call for a Nuremberg-type tribunal for Bush and his “henchman.” After all, there is no statute of limitations on war crimes of this nature. Is it only Russia, Germany, and other nations that are to be condemned and put on trial for unprovoked wars of aggression? Why should U.S. officials be exempt from the Nuremberg principle?
It is an undisputed fact that Iraq never attacked the United States. The United States was the aggressor in this conflict from the start. Bush and his henchmen were upset that his father, President George H.W. Bush, had not ousted Saddam Hussein from power in the Persian Gulf War. They were intent on correcting what they considered was a grave mistake on the part of the elder Bush.
The hypocrisy is staggering. From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
In what his lawyers have described as a “brief but significant moment in the case,” a British magistrates’ court has signed off on Julian Assange’s extradition to the United States, bringing the WikiLeaks founder one step closer to a US trial under the Espionage Act which threatens press freedoms worldwide.
The extradition case now goes to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel for approval, which will likely be forthcoming as Patel is a reliably loyal empire manager. After that point, Assange’s legal team will be able to launch an appeal.
This is happening at the same time the United States and the United Kingdom are loudly demanding accountability for alleged war crimes by the Russian military in Ukraine, which is interesting because attempting to bring accountability for war crimes is precisely why Julian Assange is in prison.
If a country shields its weaponry behind civilians and civilian structures and the enemy attacks those civilians and structures, who has committed the war crime? From Scott Ritter at consortiumnews.com:
Scott Ritter, in the second and final part of this series, lays out what the law says about war crimes and how it applies to the conflict in Ukraine.
Biden’s speech in Warsaw. (Office of the President)
During his recent four-day European tour, U.S. President Joe Biden made headlines when, during a meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, he described Russian President Vladimir Putin as “a man who I quite frankly think is a war criminal,” adding “I think it will meet the legal definition of that as well.”
Putin’s spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, condemned Biden’s comment as “unacceptable and unforgivable rhetoric on the part of the head of a state whose bombs have killed hundreds of thousands of people around the world.”
Biden made his remarks following a statement issued by Secretary of State Antony Blinken in which Blinken announced that the State Department had made a formal assessment that the Russian military had committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Based on information currently available,” Blinken said, “the U.S. government assesses that members of Russia’s forces have committed war crimes in Ukraine. “Our assessment,” Blinken added, “is based on a careful review of available information from public and intelligence sources.”
The Biden administration continues the U.S. government’s long string of war crimes. From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
The Biden Administration’s Crimes Against Humanity
As a former CIA operations officer, I departed government service in 2002 in part due to the impending invasion of Iraq, which I knew was completely unjustified by the web of largely fabricated information that was flowing out of the Pentagon to justify the attack. In the years since I have been appalled by the Obama era attacks on Syria and Libya as well as by the assassinations and cruise missile strikes carried out under Donald Trump. But all of that was a Sunday in the park compared to the hideous nonsense being pursued by Biden and his crew of reprobates. Trifling with the use of force as part of negotiations intended to go nowhere over Ukraine could well by misstep, false flag or even design escalate into nuclear war ending much of the life on this planet as we know it, and we are now also witnessing the cold, calculated slaughter of possibly hundreds of thousands of civilians just because we have the tools at hand and believe that we can get away with it. What we are seeing unfold right in front of us goes beyond appalling and it is time to demand a change of course on the part of a runaway federal government that is drunk on its own self-assumed unbridled right to exercise total executive authority over vital issues of war and peace.
How fake news works. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:
Many years too late, it appears The New York Times has suddenly discovered that the United States has been committing war crimes in Syria, coming long after it was clear Washington was pursuing regime change in Damascus. With Assad still in control of most of the country, US efforts have turned to far-reach sanctions of late, which have greatly increased the sufferings of common Syrians. Like with Bush’s disastrous invasion of Iraq before, the Times was the foremost cheerleader for that war, laundering Pentagon and admin propaganda, and only many years later admitting the truth that it was all based on lies… so now it seems to be going with Syria.
In its latest reporting, the NY Times has “uncovered” that an elite US military unit intentionally targeted and destroyed a large dam which was vital to the daily life and survival of tens of thousands of people near a vital Euphrates River reservoir. When the 2017 bombing of the Tabqa Dam (or al-Thawra Dam as it’s also called) was first reported, a top American general labeled those accusing the US of being behind it as “crazy”. Like much mainstream media reporting on Syria, those who had it right in real time – many from independent and alternative media – were dismissed as “conspiracy theorists” and loons, but now this…
Are those who push for and implement disastrous wars that kill thousands or millions ever called to account? Do they ever bear consequences, or do they just end up on the board of directors of some defense contractor? From Philip Giraldi at unz.com:
How about some accountability for Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen?
Posted in Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, Governments, History, Military, Politics, Propaganda, War
Tagged Afghanistan war disaster, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, War crimes
Americans should be asking the same question as Australians: is Afghanistan really worth the price of our souls? From Caitlin Johnstone at caitlinjohnstone.com:
The much-anticipated report on potential war crimes by the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in Afghanistan has been released, recommending 19 current or former soldiers be investigated for up to 39 murders.
Not combat kills. Not accidental kills. Not non-combatants killed by disputable decisions made in the heat of battle. Not civilians killed due to recklessness or carelessness on the part of Australian forces. Murders. Of non-combatants who died for no other reason than happening to live in a region the US power alliance has seen geostrategic value in keeping militarily occupied for 19 years.
The information about atrocities perpetrated by Australian forces in Afghanistan has taken many years to emerge, was fought tooth and claw with attacks on whistleblowers and journalists, and surely only touches on a tiny fraction of the war crimes which have been perpetrated and covered up with the investigation finding that “the criminal behaviour of a few was commenced, committed, continued and concealed at the patrol commander level”.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, ADF Chief Angus Campbell describes a “self-centred warrior culture” in Australia’s Special Air Service which “was embraced and amplified by some experienced, charismatic and influential non-commissioned officers and their proteges, who sought to fuse military excellence with ego, elitism and entitlement,” leading to acts of horrific brutality.
“In this context it is alleged that some patrols took the law into their own hands: rules were broken, stories concocted, lies told and prisoners killed,” says Campbell.
“The Brereton report also found evidence that junior soldiers were required by their patrol commanders to shoot a prisoner to achieve their first kill, in a practice known as ‘blooding’,” SMH reports.
Troops “carried ‘throwdowns’ – foreign weapons and equipment such as pistols, small hand-held radios and grenades to be placed with the bodies of enemies killed in action for the purpose of taking photos,” reports SMH. “This practice eventually was used for the purpose of concealing deliberate unlawful killings.”
Helping one of the most corrupt governments on the planet wage a war on one of the poorest countries on the planet is a war crime for which US officials must be called to account. From Doug Bandow at theamericanconservative.com:
That includes prominent American officials. Punishing the perpetrators is the only way to restore our credibility.
Workers search through debris at a warehouse, after it was reportedly hit in an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition, in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on July, 2, 2020. (Photo by MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP via Getty Images)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia recently announced that it was providing $204 million in aid for the impoverished and war-ravaged country of Yemen. That sounds generous, but it’s the Saudi royals themselves who are responsible for most of the death, destruction, starvation, and disease in Yemen, in which 80 percent of the population, some 24 million, need outside assistance.
Riyadh has spent more than five years conducting a brutal air campaign intended to restore a pliant regime to power. The claim that the Kingdom is generously helping the needy is a bit like a man murdering his parents only to throw himself on the court’s mercy since he is an orphan. If Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman wanted to help the Yemeni people, he would simply end the war.
But he won’t, at least in part because the Trump administration is underwriting the Saudi government’s murderous campaign. Why is the president forcing Americans to assist the Saudi royals, who respect no political or religious liberty and kidnap, imprison, and murder their critics? President Donald Trump appears to be almost bewitched by the licentious and corrupt Saudis.
Washington sold Saudi Arabia planes and munitions used to kill thousands of Yemeni civilians. American personnel serviced and refueled the same planes, as well as providing intelligence to assist in targeting Saudi strikes. That makes U.S. officials complicit in war crimes committed day in and day out for more than five years.
Posted in Crime, Foreign Policy, Geopolitics, History, Military, Morality, Politics, Propaganda, War
Tagged Saudi Arabia, Trump administration, War crimes, Yemen
Let’s see, if the US invades your country, perhaps to change the regime, and you fight the invading force, you’re a terrorist. It makes perfect sense. From Philip Giraldi at strategicculture.com:
There is something unique about how the United States manipulates the “terrorism” label to avoid being accused of carrying out war crimes. When an indigenous militia or an armed insurgency like the Taliban in a country like Iraq or Afghanistan attacks American soldiers subsequent to a U.S. invasion which overthrew the country’s government, it is considered by Washington to be an act of “terrorism.” Terror attacks de facto permit a carte blanche response, allowing virtually anything as retaliation against the parties involved or countries that support them, including the assassination of foreign government officials. But for the attacker, whose perspective is quite different, the incident often could reasonably be described as legitimate resistance to a foreign occupier and much of the world might agree with that assessment.
So, it all comes down to definitions. The United States covers its version of reality through liberal use of the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) which more-or-less gives a blanket approval to attack and kill “terrorists” anywhere at any time. And how does one become a terrorist? By being included on the U.S. government’s heavily politicized annual list of terrorist groups and material supporters of terrorism. That was the argument that was used by the United States when it killed Iranian General Qassem Soleimani in January, that his organization, the Qods Force, was on the “terrorist” lists maintained by State and the Treasury Department and he was therefore held to be guilty of any and all attacks on U.S. military carried out by Qods or by presumed Iranian surrogate militias.
A substantial portion of the American public, including the president, believes that anything goes when it comes to war. They shouldn’t be surprised at the blowback, notably terrorism. From Danny Sjursen at antiwar.com:
Donald Trump loves him some bluster, worships machismo, and always has. Spectacle over substance has long been the name of his game. Decades before his successful presidential run, back when he was still a cartoon billionaire playboy, Trump took out a full-page newspaper advertisement that argued that New York state should bring back the death penalty for five adolescents arrested in 1989 for allegedly beating and raping a jogger – even though the boys hadn’t yet been convicted. Turns out that the infamous Central Park Five were later exonerated by DNA evidence. To this day, Trump refuses to apologize, even though his suggestion would have resulted in the execution of five innocent kids. But regret isn’t part of The Donald’s playbook.
Neither is adherence to facts, or recognition of history. Trump illustrated this point on the 2016 campaign trail, when he repeated a demonstrably false story about how then-Capt. John J. Pershing (future commanding general for all U.S. forces in World War I) – “a rough, rough guy” – had, during the brutal American counterinsurgency in the Philippines (1899-1913), once captured 50 Muslim “terrorists,” dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood, shot 49, and set the sole survivor loose to spread the tale to his rebel comrades. The outcome, or moral of the story, according to Trump, was that “for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem, OK?” Well, no, actually, the Philippine insurgency dragged on for another decade, and a Muslim-separatist rebellion continues in the islands to this day.