How The US Backed The ISIS Takeover And Destruction Of Palmyra

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As explosions from detonated mines continued in the background a Syrian general confirmed in some detail an ugly truth: Washington and its close allies Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel backed the ISIS takeover and destruction of Palmyra.

Most of the weapons ISIS used were from the US , with some ammunition from Israel . ISIS had US Hummers, spinning explosive projectiles and military rations from the US , Turkey and Saudi Arabia .

That should not have been a surprise. US officials admitted in 2014 that their allies Turkey , the Saudis and Qatar were backing every single armed group in Syria , in an attempt to overthrow the Syrian Government led by President Bashar al Assad.

Our group of 30 journalists visited liberated Palmyra on 14 April, 18 days after the Syrian Army freed the historic city from a ten month reign of terror. Syrian bulldozers were cleaning debris while Russian sappers continued exploding mines. Three thousand had been cleared and another 30 exploded in the two hours we were there.

We saw the damaged buildings, bomb and mine craters along the roads, and the bizarre steel and wire structure where ‘infidels’ and pro-government people were publicly crucified and beheaded, their bodies drained of blood into what had been a pleasant fountain next to the entrance to the historic sites. We saw the extensive vandalism to the museum, with all human or animal statues beheaded or damaged.

More than 1,600 ISIS terrorists – many from Chechnya , Saudi Arabia , Tunisia and other countries, as well as some Syrians – had converged on Palmyra in May 2015, just as Jabhat al Nusra (al Qaeda in Syria ) led an invasion of NATO-backed Islamists from Turkey into Northern Syria . The ISIS groups invading Palmyra came from the east: from Raqqa, Deir eZorr and Abu Kamal, but also a group from the west.

The US, which since 2014 claimed to be conducting a war against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, and which had air power and sophisticated surveillance of the region, did nothing to stop the huge ISIS advance on Palmyra.

Again, this should have been unsurprising. Eight months earlier General Martin Dempsey, head of the US military, admitted that his ‘major Arab allies’ were funding ISIS . In response, Senator Lindsay Graham, chair of the US Armed Forces Committee, defended the sponsors of ISIS , saying ‘they fund them because the Free Syrian Army couldn’t fight Assad, they were trying to beat Assad’.

The following month, in October 2014, US Vice President Joe Biden explained that Turkey , Qatar , the UAE and Saudi Arabia ‘were so determined to take down Assad … they poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad … [including] al Nusra and al Qaeda and … this outfit called ISIL’. Biden pretended that Washington was not responsible for the terrorism of his subordinate allies.

US support for terrorist groups forming an ‘Islamic State’ was not an afterthought. It was they key idea from the beginning.

In August 2012, before ISIS came across to Syria from Iraq, US intelligence (DIA) reported that ‘The Salafist, the Muslim Brotherhood and AQI [al Qaeda in Iraq, later ISI and then ISIS] are the major forces driving the insurgency in Syria … there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality [an ‘Islamic State’] in eastern Syria … and this is exactly what the supporting powers [the US, other western countries, the Gulf monarchies and Turkey] to the [Syrian] opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime.’

More than 200 Syrian soldiers died defending Palmyra in May 2015, and another 150 died retaking that historic and strategic city, in March 2016.  They lost their lives defending their country.

The water supply in Palmyra was destroyed, historic sites and treasures damaged, and soldiers and many other innocents were slaughtered, all by US-backed terrorists.

Whatever else people may or may not understand about the Syrian conflict, they should be clear that the US ‘war on terrorism’ in Syria and Iraq is a fraud. Directly or indirectly, Washington remains the key supporter of ISIS, al Nusra and the rest.


By Prof. Tim Anderson

The “Extrajudicial” Assassination Of Slobodan Milosevic In 2006

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On March 11, 2006, President Slobodan Milosevic died in a NATO prison.

No one has been held accountable for his death. In the 10 years since the end of his lonely struggle to defend himself and his country against the false charges invented by the NATO powers, the only country to demand a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death came from Russia when Foreign Minister, Serge Lavrov, stated that Russia did not accept the Hague tribunal’s denial of responsibility and demanded that an impartial and international investigation be conducted. Instead, The NATO tribunal made its own investigation, known as the Parker Report, and as expected, exonerated itself from all blame.

But his death cannot lie unexamined, the many questions unanswered, those responsible unpunished. The world cannot continue to accept the substitution of war and brutality for peace and diplomacy. It cannot continue to tolerate governments that have contempt for peace, for humanity, the sovereignty of nations, the self-determination of peoples, and the rule of law.

The death of Slobodan Milosevic was clearly the only way out of the dilemma the NATO powers had put themselves in by charging him before the Hague tribunal. The propaganda against him was of an unprecedented scale. The trial was played in the press as one of the world’s great dramas, as world theatre in which an evil man would be made to answer for his crimes. But of course, there had been no crimes, except those of the NATO alliance, and the attempt to fabricate a case against him collapsed into farce.

The trial was necessary from NATO’s point of view in order to justify the aggression against Yugoslavia and the putsch by the DOS forces in Belgrade supported by NATO, by which democracy in Yugoslavia was finally destroyed and Serbia reduced to a NATO protectorate under a Quisling regime. His illegal arrest, by NATO forces in Belgrade, his illegal detention in Belgrade Central Prison, his illegal rendition to the former Gestapo prison at Scheveningen, near The Hague, and the show trial that followed, were all part of the drama played out for the world public, and it could only have one of two endings, the conviction, or the death, of President Milosevic.

Since the conviction of President Milosevic was clearly not possible after all the evidence was heard, his death became the only way out for the NATO powers. His acquittal would have brought down the entire structure of the propaganda framework of the NATO war machine and the western interests that use it as their armed fist.

NATO clearly did not expect President Milosevic to defend himself, nor with such courage and determination. The media coverage of the beginning of the trial was constant and front page. It was promised that it would be the trial of the century. Yet soon after it began the media coverage stopped and the trial was buried in the back pages. Things had gone terribly wrong for Nato right at the start. The key to the problem is the following statement of President Milosevic made to the judges of the Tribunal during the trial:

“This is a political trial. What is at issue here is not at all whether I committed a crime. What is at issue is that certain intentions are ascribed to me from which consequences are later derived that are beyond the expertise of any conceivable lawyer. The point here is that the truth about the events in the former Yugoslavia has to be told here. It is that which is at issue, not the procedural questions, because I’m not sitting here because I was accused of a specific crime. I’m sitting here because I am accused of conducting a policy against the interests of this or another party.”

The prosecution, that is the United States and its allies, had not expected a real defence of any kind. This is clear from the inept indictments, confused charges, and the complete failure to bring any evidence that could withstand even basic scrutiny. The prosecution case fell apart as soon as it began. But once started, it had to continue. Nato was locked into a box of its own making. If they dropped the charges, or if he was acquitted, the political and geostrategic ramifications were enormous. Nato would have to explain the real reasons for the aggression against Yugoslavia. Its leaders themselves would face war crimes charges. The loss of prestige cannot be calculated. President Milosevic would once again be a popular political figure in the Balkans. The only way out for NATO was to end the trial but without releasing Milosevic or admitting the truth about the war. This logic required his death in prison and the abandonment of the trial.

The Parker Report contains facts indicating that, at a minimum, the Nato Tribunal engaged in conduct that was criminal regarding his treatment and that conduct resulted in his death. The Tribunal was told time and again that he was gravely ill with heart problems that needed proper investigation, treatment and complete rest before engaging in a trial. However, the Tribunal continually ignored the advice of the doctors and pushed him to keep going with the trial, knowing full well that the stress of the trial would certainly kill him.

The Tribunal refused prescribed medical treatment in Russia seemingly for political reasons and once again put the Tribunal’s interests, whatever they are, ahead of Milosevic’s health. In other words they deliberately withheld necessary medical treatment that could have lead to his death. This is a form of homicide and is manslaughter in the common law jurisdictions.

However, there are several unexplained facts contained in the Parker Report that need further investigation before ruling out poison or drugs designed to harm his health: the presence of the drugs rifampicin and droperidol in his system being the two key ones. No proper investigation was conducted as to how these drugs could have been introduced into his body. No consideration was given to their effect. Their presence combined with the unexplained long delay in getting his body to a medical facility for tests raises serious questions that need to be answered but which until today remain unanswered.

The Parker Report, despite its illogical conclusions, exonerating the Nato tribunal from blame, provides the basis for a call for a public inquiry into the death of President Milosevic. This is reinforced by the fact that the Commandant of the UN prison where President Milosevic was held, a Mr. McFadden, was, according to documents exposed by Wikileaks, supplying information to the US authorities about Milosevic throughout his detention and trial, and is further reinforced by the fact that Milosevic wrote a letter to the Russian Embassy a few days before his death stating that he believed he was being poisoned. Unfortunately he died before the letter could be delivered in time for a response.

All these facts taken together demand that a public international inquiry be held into the entirety of the circumstances of the death of President Milosevic, not only for his sake and the sake of his widow Mira Markovic and his son, but for the sake of all of us who face the constant aggressive actions and propaganda of the NATO powers. Justice requires it. International peace and security demand it.


By Christopher Black

International Injustice: The Conviction Of Radovan Karadzic

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Last Thursday, news reports were largely devoted to the March 22 Brussels terror bombings and the US primary campaigns. And so little attention was paid to the verdict of the International Criminal Tribunal for (former) Yugoslavia (ICTY) finding Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic guilty of every crime it could come up with, including “genocide”.  It was a “ho-hum” bit of news.  Karadzic had already been convicted by the media of every possible crime, and nobody ever imagined that he would be declared innocent by the single-issue court set up in The Hague essentially to judge the Serb side in the 1990s civil wars that tore apart the once independent country of Yugoslavia.

Although it bears the UN stamp of approval, thanks to the influence of the Western powers, ICTY is essentially a NATO tribunal, with proceedings in English according to a jurisprudence invented as it goes along.  Its international judges are vetted by Washington officials.  The presiding judge in the Karadzic case was a South Korean, O-Gon Kwon, selected surely less for his grasp of ethnic subtleties in the Balkans than for the fact that he holds a degree from Harvard Law School. Of the other two judges on the panel, one was British and the other was a retired judge from Trinidad and Tobago.

As is the habit with the ICTY, the non-jury trial dragged on for years – seven and a half years to be precise.  Horror stories heavily laced with hearsay, denials, more or less far fetched interpretations end up “drowning the fish” as the saying goes. A proper trial would narrow the charges to facts which can clearly be proved or not proved, but these sprawling proceedings defy any notion of relevance. Nobody who has not devoted a lifetime to following these proceedings can tell what real evidence supports the final judgment. The media stayed away from the marathon, and only showed up to report the inevitable “guilty” verdict condemning the bad guy. The verdict reads a bit like, “they said, he said, and we believe them not him.”

There was a civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina from April 1992 to December 1995. Wars are terrible things, civil wars especially.  Let us agree with David Swanson that “War is a crime”.  But this was a civil war, with three armed parties to the conflict, plus outside interference.  The “crime” was not one-sided.

Muslim False Flags

The most amazing passage in the rambling verdict by Judge O-Gon Kwan consists of these throw-away lines:

“With respect to the Accused’s argument that the Bosnian Muslim side targeted its own civilians, the Chamber accepts that the Bosnian Muslim side was intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf and, as a result, at times, engaged in targeting UN personnel in the city or opening fire on territory under its control in order to lay blame on the Bosnian Serbs.”

This is quite extraordinary. The ICTY judges are actually acknowledging that the Bosnian Muslim siJohnstone-Queen-Cover-ak800--291x450de engaged in “false flag” operations, not only targeting UN personnel but actually “opening fire on territory under its control”.  Except that that should read, “opening fire on civilians under its control”. UN peace keeping officers have insisted for years that the notorious Sarajevo “marketplace massacres”, which were blamed on the Serbs and used to gain condemnation of the Serbs in the United Nations, were actually carried out by the Muslim side in order to gain international support.

This is extremely treacherous behavior.  The Muslim side was, as stated, “intent on provoking the international community to act on its behalf”, and it succeeded!  The ICTY is living proof of that success: a tribunal set up to punish Serbs. But there has been no move to expose and put on trial Muslim leaders responsible for their false flag operations.

The Judge quickly brushed this off: “However, the evidence indicates that the occasions on which this happened pale in significance when compared to the evidence relating to [Bosnian Serb] fire on the city” (Sarajevo).

How can such deceitful attacks “pale in significance” when they cast doubt precisely on the extent of Bosnian Serb “fire on the city”?

The “Joint Criminal Enterprise” Label

ICTY’s main judicial trick is to have imported from US criminal justice the concept of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise (JCE)”, used originally as a means to indict gangsters.  The trick is to identify the side we are against as a JCE, which makes it possible to accuse anyone on that side of being a member of the JCE. The JCE institutionalizes guilt by association. Note that in Yugoslavia, there was never any law against Joint Criminal Enterprises, and so the application is purely retroactive.

Bosnia-Herzegovina was a state (called “republic”) within Yugoslavia based on joint rule by three official peoples: Muslims, Serbs and Croats.  Any major decision was supposed to have the consent of all three.  After Slovenia and Croatia broke away from Yugoslavia, the Muslims and Croats of Bosnia voted to secede from Yugoslavia, but this was opposed by Bosnian Serbs who claimed it was unconstitutional.  The European Union devised a compromise that would allow each of the three people self-rule in its own territory. However, the Muslim leader, Alija Izetbegovic, was encouraged by the United States to renege on the compromise deal, in the hope that Muslims, as the largest group, could control the whole territory. War thus broke out in April 1992.

Now, if you asked the Bosnian Serbs what their war aims were, they would answer that they wanted to preserve the independence of Serb territory within Bosnia rather than become a minority in a State ruled by the Muslim majority. Psychiatrist Radovan Karadzic was the elected President of the Bosnian Serb territory, “Republika Srpska”. However, according to ICTY the objective of the Serbian mini-republic was to “permanently remove Bosnian Muslims and Bosnian Croats from Serb-claimed territory … through the crimes charged”, described as the “Overarching Joint Criminal Enterprise”, leading to several subsidiary JCEs.  Certainly, such expulsions took place, but they were rather the means to the end of securing the Bosnian Serb State rather than its overarching objective. The problem here is not that such crimes did not take place – they did – but that they were part of an “overarching civil war” with crimes committed by the forces of all three sides.

If anything is a “joint criminal enterprise”, I should think that plotting and carrying out false flag operations should qualify.  ICTY does not seem interested in that.  The Muslims are the good guys, even though some of the Muslim fighters were quite ruthless foreign Islamists, with ties to Osama bin Laden.

One of the subsidiary JCEs attributed to Karadzic was the fact that between late May and mid-June of 1995, Bosnian Serb troops fended off threatened NATO air strikes by taking some 200 UN peacekeepers and military observers hostage.  It is hard to see why this temporary defensive move, which caused no physical harm, is more of a “Joint Criminal Enterprise” than the fact of having “targeted UN personnel”, as the Muslim side did.

The final JCE in the Karadzic verdict was of course the July 1995 massacre of prisoners by Bosnian forces after capturing the town of Srebrenica.  That is basis of conviction for “genocide”. The Karadzic conviction rests essentially on two other ICTY trials: the currently ongoing ICTY trial of Bosnian Serb military commander General Ratko Mladic, who led the capture of Srebrenica, and the twelve-year-old judgment in the trial of Bosnian Serb General Radislav Krstic.

The Karadzic verdict pretty much summarizes the case against General Mladic, leaving little doubt where that trial is heading.  Karadzic was a political, not a military leader, who persistently claims that he neither ordered nor approved the massacres and indeed knew nothing about them. Many well informed Western and Muslim witnesses testify to the fact that the Serb takeover was the unexpected result of finding the town undefended. This makes the claim that this was a well planned crime highly doubtful. The conclusion that Karadzic was aware of what was happening is inferred from telephone calls. In the final stages of the war, it seems unlikely that the Bosnian Serb political leader would compromise his cause by calling on his troops to massacre prisoners. One can only speculate as to what “a jury of peers” would have concluded.  ICTY’s constant bias (it refused to investigate NATO bombing of civilian targets in Serbia in 1999, and acquitted notorious anti-Serb Bosnian and Kosovo Albanian killers) drastically reduces its credibility.

What exactly happened around Srebrenica in 1995 remains disputed.  But the major remaining controversy does not concern the numbers of victims or who is responsible.  The major remaining controversy is whether or not Srebrenica truly qualifies as “genocide”.  That claim owes its legal basis solely to the 2004 ICTY judgment in the Krstic case, subsequently echoed (but never investigated) by the International Court of Justice.

“Procreative Implications”

That judgment was very strange.  The conclusion of “genocide” depended solely on the “expert” opinion of a sociologist. It was echoed again in the Karadzic case. ICTY reiterated its earlier judgment that the “killings demonstrate a clear intent to kill every able-bodied Bosnian Muslim male from Srebrenica. Noting that killing every able-bodied male of a group results in severe procreative implications that may lead to the group’s extinction, the Chamber finds that the only reasonable inference is that members of the Bosnian Serb Forces orchestrating this operation intended to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica as such.”

al-nusra-frontIn other words, even though women and children were spared, Srebrenica was a unique genocide, due to the “severe procreative implications” of a lack of men.  The ICTY concluded that “the members of the Srebrenica JCE… intended to kill all the able-bodied Bosnian Muslim males, which intent in the circumstances is tantamount to the intent to destroy the Bosnian Muslims in Srebrenica.” Thus genocide in one small town.

This judgment is widely accepted without being critically examined.  Since wars have traditionally involved deliberately killing men on the enemy side, with this definition, “genocide” comes close to being synonymous with war.

In fact, not all Srebrenica men were massacred; some have lived to be witnesses blaming the Bosnian Muslim leadership for luring the Serbs into a moral trap.  Moreover, there were many Muslim soldiers temporarily stationed in Srebrenica who were not natives of the town, and thus their tragic fate had nothing to do with destroying the future of the town.

Never mind.  ICTY did its job.  Karadzic, aged 70, was sentenced to 40 years in prison.  As if to make a point, the verdict was announced on the 17th anniversary of the start of NATO bombing of what was left of Yugoslavia, in order to detach Kosovo from Serbia.  Just a reminder that it’s not enough for the Serbs to lose the war, they must be criminalized as well.

The verdict is political and its effects are political.  First of all, it helps dim the prospects of future peace and reconciliation in the Balkans.  Serbs readily admit that war crimes were committed when Bosnian Serb forces killed prisoners in Srebrenica.  If Muslims had to face the fact that crimes were also committed by men fighting on their side, this could be a basis for the two peoples to deplore the past and seek a better future together. As it is, the Muslims are encouraged to see themselves as pure victims, while the Serbs feel resentment at the constant double standards.  Muslim groups constantly stress that no verdict can possibly assuage their suffering – an attitude that actually feeds international anti-Western sentiment among Muslims, even though the immediate result is to maintain the Yugoslav successor states as mutually hostile satellites of NATO.

The other political result is to remind the world that if you get into a fight with the United States and NATO, you will not only lose, but will be treated as a common criminal.  The US-led NATO war machine is always innocent, its adversaries are always guilty.  The Roman Empire led the leaders it defeated into slavery.  The United States Empire puts them in jail.


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Human Rights Day: Sobering Truths About America’s Imperialist Crimes Against Humanity

Mark Twain

Today, December 10, 2016 is Human Rights Day. We bring to the attention of our readers the powerful message of the late Harold Pinter regarding US Imperial Crimes against Humanity, with an introduction by Gary Kohls. First published in December 2014.

“We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’. – Harold Pinter

British playwright Harold Pinter won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2005. His powerful acceptance speech exposed the United States for its fascist, imperialist policies since World War II. His speech (delivered three years before he died in 2008) was an important glimpse into – and a reasonable summary of — the innumerable documentable US imperialistic crimes that have been secretly facilitated by our multinational corporations, our national security apparatus, our military leaders, our wealthy elites and the craven politicians who are beholden to those four realities that have shaped American foreign policy over the past 60 years.

True American patriots, if they really love the United States, must be honest about the dishonorable, dark side of their nation’s history, a history that the rest of the world, especially Pinter, sees so clearly. Understanding that history will clear up any mystery about why the rest of the world fears and hates us.

Real patriots are courageous enough to hear painful truths.

Therefore I present below an extended excerpt from Harold Pinter’s acceptance speech. It was videotaped and posted at: http://www.nobelprize.org/mediaplayer/index.php?id=620. For the sake of the future of our children and the planet, please listen to it in its entirety, and then wonder out loud why none of our so-called leaders will ever bring themselves to utter such truths: 

“As every single person here knows, the justification for the invasion of Iraq was that Saddam Hussein possessed a highly dangerous body of weapons of mass destruction, some of which could be fired in 45 minutes, bringing about appalling devastation. We were assured that was true.

“It was not true. We were told that Iraq had a relationship with Al Quaeda and shared responsibility for the atrocity in New York of September 11th 2001. We were assured that this was true.

“It was not true. We were told that Iraq threatened the security of the world. We were assured it was true, and it was not true.

“The truth is something entirely different. The truth has to do with how the United States understands its role in the world and how it chooses to embody it.

“I would like to look at the recent past, by which I mean United States foreign policy since the end of the Second World War. I believe it is obligatory for us to subject this period to at least some kind of even limited scrutiny, which is all that time will allow here.

“Everyone knows what happened in the Soviet Union and throughout Eastern Europe during the post-war period: the systematic brutality, the widespread atrocities, the ruthless suppression of independent thought. All this has been fully documented and verified.

“My contention here is that the US crimes in the same period have only been superficially recorded, let alone documented, let alone acknowledged, let alone recognised as crimes at all. I believe this must be addressed and that the truth has considerable bearing on where the world stands now. Although constrained, to a certain extent, by the existence of the Soviet Union, the United States’ actions throughout the world made it clear that it had concluded that it had carte blanche to do what it liked.”

“Low Intensity Conflict” in Central America

“Direct invasion of a sovereign state has never in fact been America’s favoured method. In the main, it has preferred what it has described as ‘low intensity conflict’. Low intensity conflict means that thousands of people die but slower than if you dropped a bomb on them in one fell swoop. It means that you infect the heart of the country, that you establish a malignant growth and watch the gangrene bloom. When the populace has been subdued or beaten to death … the military and the great corporations sit comfortably in power, and they go before the camera and say that democracy has prevailed.

“The tragedy of Nicaragua was a highly significant case. I choose to offer it here as a potent example of America’s view of its role in the world, both then and now.

“I was present at a meeting at the US embassy in London in the late 1980s.

“The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: ‘Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.’

In War, the Innocent People are the Ones Who Suffer the Most

“Ambassador Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. ‘Father,’ he said, ‘let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.’ There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.

“Innocent people, indeed, always suffer.

“Finally somebody said: ‘But in this case “innocent people” were the victims of a gruesome atrocity subsidised by your government, one among many. If Congress allows the Contras more money further atrocities of this kind will take place. Is this not the case? Is your government not therefore guilty of supporting acts of murder and destruction upon the citizens of a sovereign state?’

“Seitz was imperturbable. ‘I don’t agree that the facts as presented support your assertions,’ he said.

“As we were leaving the embassy a US aide told me that he enjoyed my plays. I did not reply.

“I should remind you that at the time President Reagan made the following statement: ‘The Contras are the moral equivalent of our Founding Fathers.’

“The United States supported the brutal Somoza dictatorship in Nicaragua for over 40 years. The Nicaraguan people, led by the Sandinistas, overthrew this regime in 1979, a breathtaking popular revolution.

“The death penalty was abolished by the Sandinistas. Hundreds of thousands of poverty-stricken peasants were brought back from the dead. Over 100,000 families were given title to land. Two thousand schools were built. A quite remarkable literacy campaign reduced illiteracy in the country to less than one seventh. Free education was established and a free health service. Infant mortality was reduced by a third. Polio was eradicated.

“The United States denounced these achievements as Marxist/Leninist subversion. In the view of the US government, a dangerous example was being set. If Nicaragua was allowed to establish basic norms of social and economic justice, if it was allowed to raise the standards of health care and education and achieve social unity and national self-respect, neighbouring countries would ask the same questions and do the same things. There was of course at the time fierce resistance to the status quo in El Salvador.”

Reagan’s Tapestry of lies Covered up Gruesome Atrocities

“I spoke earlier about ‘a tapestry of lies’ which surrounds us. President Reagan commonly described Nicaragua as a ‘totalitarian dungeon’. But there was no record of death squads under the Sandinista government. There was no record of torture. There was no record of systematic or official military brutality. No priests were ever murdered in Nicaragua. There were in fact three priests in the government, two Jesuits and a Maryknoll missionary. The ’totalitarian dungeons’ were actually next door, in El Salvador and Guatemala. The United States had brought down the democratically elected government of Guatemala in 1954 and it is estimated that over 200,000 people had been victims of successive military dictatorships.

“Six of the most distinguished Jesuits in the world were viciously murdered at the Central American University in San Salvador in 1989 by a battalion of the Alcatl regiment trained at Fort Benning, Georgia, USA. That extremely brave man Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated while saying mass. It is estimated that 75,000 people died.

“Why were they killed? They were killed because they believed a better life was possible and should be achieved. That belief immediately qualified them as communists. They died because they dared to question the status quo, the endless plateau of poverty, disease, degradation and oppression, which had been their birthright.

“The United States finally brought down the Sandinista government. It took some years and considerable resistance but relentless economic persecution and 30,000 dead finally undermined the spirit of the Nicaraguan people. They were exhausted and poverty stricken once again. The casinos moved back into the country. Free health and free education were over. Big business returned with a vengeance. ‘Democracy’ had prevailed.

“But this ‘policy’ was by no means restricted to Central America. It was conducted throughout the world. It was never-ending. And it is as if it never happened.

Perennial US Support for Right-wing, Anti-democratic, Military Dictatorships

“The United States supported – and in many cases engendered – every right wing military dictatorship in the world after the end of the Second World War. I refer to Indonesia, Greece, Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay, Haiti, Turkey, the Philippines, Guatemala, El Salvador, and, of course, Chile. The horror the United States inflicted upon Chile in 1973 can never be purged and can never be forgiven.

“Hundreds of thousands of deaths took place throughout these countries. Did they take place? And are they in all cases attributable to US foreign policy? The answer is yes they did take place and they are attributable to American foreign policy. But you wouldn’t know it because ‘it never happened.’

“Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis.

“The United States no longer bothers about low intensity conflict. It no longer sees any point in being reticent or even devious. It puts its cards on the table without fear or favour. It quite simply doesn’t give a damn about the United Nations, international law or critical dissent, which it regards as impotent and irrelevant. It also has its own bleating little lamb tagging behind it on a leash, the pathetic and supine Great Britain.”

The Invasion of Iraq was an act of Blatant State Terrorism

“The invasion of Iraq was a bandit act, an act of blatant state terrorism, demonstrating absolute contempt for the concept of international law. The invasion was an arbitrary military action inspired by a series of lies upon lies and gross manipulation of the media and therefore of the public; an act intended to consolidate American military and economic control of the Middle East masquerading – all other justifications having failed to justify themselves – as liberation. A formidable assertion of military force responsible for the death and mutilation of thousands and thousands of innocent people.

“We have brought torture, cluster bombs, depleted uranium, innumerable acts of random murder, misery, degradation and death to the Iraqi people and call it ‘bringing freedom and democracy to the Middle East’.

“How many people do you have to kill before you qualify as a mass murderer and a war criminal? One hundred thousand? More than enough, I would have thought. Therefore it is right and just that Bush and Blair be arraigned before the International Criminal Court of Justice. But Bush has been clever. He has not ratified the International Criminal Court of Justice. Therefore if any American soldier finds himself in the dock, Bush has warned that he will send in the marines. But Tony Blair has ratified the Court and is therefore available for prosecution. We can let the Court have his address if they’re interested. It is Number 10, Downing Street, London.

“Death in this context is irrelevant. Both Bush and Blair place death well away on the back burner. At least 100,000 Iraqis were killed by American bombs and missiles before the Iraq insurgency began. These people are of no moment. Their deaths don’t exist. They are blank. They are not even recorded as being dead. ‘We don’t do body counts,’ said the American general Tommy Franks.

Full Spectrum Domination is the New American Foreign Policy

“I have said earlier that the United States is now totally frank about putting its cards on the table. That is the case. Its official declared policy is now defined as ‘full spectrum dominance’. That is not my term, it is theirs. ‘Full spectrum dominance’ means control of land, sea, air and space and all attendant resources.

“The United States now occupies 702 military installations throughout the world in 132 countries, with the honourable exception of Sweden, of course. We don’t quite know how they got there but they are there all right.

“The United States possesses 8,000 active and operational nuclear warheads. Two thousand are on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched with 15 minutes warning. It is developing new systems of nuclear force, known as bunker busters. The British, ever cooperative, are intending to replace their own nuclear missile, Trident. Who, I wonder, are they aiming at? Who knows? What we do know is that this infantile insanity – the possession and threatened use of nuclear weapons – is at the heart of present American political philosophy. We must remind ourselves that the United States is on a permanent military footing and shows no sign of relaxing it.

“Many thousands, if not millions, of people in the United States itself are demonstrably sickened, ashamed and angered by their government’s actions, but as things stand they are not a coherent political force – yet. But the anxiety, uncertainty and fear which we can see growing daily in the United States is unlikely to diminish.”


2016-12-10

By Harold Pinter & Dr. Gary G. Kohls

United States War Crimes

clinton-syria-destruction

Human Rights Day, December 10, 2016, we bring to the attention of our readers an important article published in 2002 on the record of US war crimes.

The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference, but it was not until the end of World War II that a more comprehensive definition of what constitutes war crimes was developed. First among new international conventions addressing war crimes was the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Its fundamental premise was that the conduct of war in violation of international treaties was a crime against peace. Ill treatment of prisoners of war, killing hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages was a war crime. Crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, deportation, and prosecution based on political, racial or religious grounds.

The 1949 Geneva Convention gave recognition to the development of new technologies which exposed civilian life to greater threats of destruction. A 1977 addendum further emphasized the right of civilians to be protected against military operations. This included the protection of civilians against starvation as a method of warfare. Article II of the Geneva Convention addressed the issue of genocide, defined as killing or causing serious bodily harm to individuals based on their nationality, ethnic, racial or religious group and with the intent to destroy that group.

Since the Geneva Convention, a number of other significant international treaties addressing war and human rights have been drafted, but the United States has rejected almost all of them. Among the treaties that the United States has refused to sign are the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (1966); the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (1966), and the American Convention on Human Rights (1965).

The United States has been particularly reluctant to sign treaties addressing the “laws of war”. It has refused to sign The Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Thermo-Nuclear Weapons (1961); The Resolution on the Non-Use of Force in International Relations and Permanent Ban on the Use of Nuclear Weapons (1972); The Resolution on the Definition of Aggression (1974); Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Convention (1977); and the Declaration on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(1989).1

Equally disturbing was the U.S. refusal to sign the Convention on Rights of the Child, introduced into the United Nations General assembly on November 20, 1989 and subsequently ratified by 191 countries.

The first use of atomic weapons against human beings occurred on August 6-9 1945, when the United States incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, killing an estimated 110,000 Japanese citizens and injuring another 130,000. By 1950 another 230,000 died from injuries and radiation. Earlier in 1945 two fire bombing raids on Tokyo killed 140,000 citizens and injured a million more.

Since World War II the US has bombed twenty-three nations. [2001 figures] Author William Blum notes:

“It is sobering to reflect that in our era of instant world wide communications, the United States has, on many occasions, been able to mount a large or small scale military operation or undertake other equally blatant forms of intervention without the American public being aware of it until years later if ever.”2

The growing primacy or aerial bombardment in the conduct of war has inevitably defined non-combatants as the preferred target of war. Indeed, the combination of American air power and occupation ground forces has resulted in massive civilian casualties around the world.

Korea: (1943-1953)

On August 15,1945, the Korean people, devastated and impoverished by years of brutality from Japanese occupation forces, openly celebrated their liberation and immediately formed the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CKPI). By August 28, 1945, all Korean provinces on the entire Peninsula had established local people’s democratic committees, and on September 6, delegates from throughout Korea, north and south, created the Korean People’s Republic (KPR). On September 7, the day after the creation of the KPR, General Douglas MacArthur (image left), commander of the victorious Allied powers in the Pacific, formally issued a proclamation addressed “To the People of Korea.” The proclamation announced that forces under his command “will today occupy the Territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude.”

The first advance party of U.S. units, the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, actually began arriving at Inchon on September 5th, two days before MacArthur’s occupation declaration. The bulk of the US occupation forces began unloading from twenty-one Navy ships (including five destroyers) on September 8 through the port at Inchon under the command of Lieutenant General John Reed Hodge. Hundreds of black-coated armed Japanese police on horseback, still under the direction of Japanese Governor-General Abe Noabuyki, kept angry Korean crowds away from the disembarking US soldiers.

On the morning of September 9, General Hodge announced that Governor-General Abe would continue to function with all his Japanese and Korean personnel. Within a few weeks there were 25,000 American troops and members of “civil service teams” in the country. Ultimately the number of US troops in southern Korea reached 72,000. Though the Koreans were officially characterized as a “semi-friendly, liberated” people, General Hodge regrettably instructed his own officers that Korea “was an enemy of the United States…subject to the provisions and the terms of the surrender.”

Tragically and ironically, the Korean people, citizens of the victim-nation, had become enemies, while the defeated Japanese, who had been the illegal aggressors, served as occupiers in alliance with the United States. Indeed, Korea was burdened with the very occupation originally intended for Japan, which became the recipient of massive U.S. aid and reconstruction in the post-war period. Japan remains, to this day, America=s forward military base affording protection and intelligence for its “interests” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Seventy-three-year-old Syngman Rhee was elected President of ASouth Korea@ on May 10,1948 in an election boycotted by virtually all Koreans except the elite KDP and Rhee’s own right -wing political groups. This event, historically sealing a politically divided Korea, provoked what became known at the Cheju massacre, in which as many as 70,000 residents of the southern island of Cheju were ruthlessly murdered during a single year by Rhee’s paramilitary forces under the oversight of U.S. officers. Rhee took office as President on August 15 and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was formally declared. In response, three-and -a-half weeks later (on September 9, 1948), the people of northern Korea grudgingly created their own separate government, the Democratic People’s’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Kim II Sung as its premier.

Korea was now clearly and tragically split in two. Kim Il Sung had survived as a guerrilla fighter against the Japanese occupation in both China and Korea since 1932 when he was twenty years old. He was thirty-three when he returned to Pyongyang in October 1945 to begin the hoped-for era of rebuilding a united Korea free of foreign domination, and three years later, on September 9, 1948, he became North Korea’s first premier. The Rhee/U.S. forces escalated their ruthless campaign of cleansing the south of dissidents, identifying as a suspected “communist” anyone who opposed the Rhee regime, publicly or privately. In reality, most participants or believers in the popular movement in the south were socialists unaffiliated with outside “communist” organizations.

As the repression intensified, however, alliances with popular movements in the north, including communist organizations, increased. The Cheju insurgency was crushed by August 1949, but on the mainland, guerrilla warfare continued in most provinces until 1959-51. In the eyes of the commander of US military forces in Korea, General Hodge, and new “President” Syngman Rhee, (left) virtually any Korean who had not publicly professed his allegiance to Rhee was considered a “communist” traitor. As a result, massive numbers of farmers, villagers and urban residents were systematically rounded up in rural areas, villages and cities throughout South Korea. Captives were regularly tortured to extract names of others. Thousands were imprisoned and even more thousands forced to dig mass graves before being ordered into them and shot by fellow Koreans, often under the watch of U.S. troops.

The introduction of U.S./UN military forces on June 26,1950 occurred with no American understanding (except by a few astute observers such as journalist I.F Stone) that in fact they were entering an ongoing revolutionary civil war waged by indigenous Koreans seeking genuine independence after five years of U.S. interference. The American occupation simply fueled Korean passions even more while creating further divisions among them.

In the Autumn of 1950, when U.S. forces were in retreat in North Korea, General Douglas MacArthur offered all air forces under his command to destroy “every means of communication, every installation, factory, city and village ” from the Yalu River, forming the border between North Korea and China, south to the battle line. The massive saturation bombing conducted throughout the war, including napalm, incendiary, and fragmentation bombs, left scorched cities and villages in total ruins. As in World War II, the U.S. strategic bombing campaign brought mass destruction and shockingly heavy civilian casualties. Such tactics were in clear violation of the Nuremburg Charter, which had, ironically, been created after World War II, largely due to pressure from the U.S. The Nuremburg Tribunal defined “the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages” to be a war crime and declared that Ainhumane acts against any civilian population” were a crime against humanity.

From that fateful day on September 8, 1945 to the present, a period of 56 years, U.S. military forces (currently numbering 37,000 positioned at 100 installations) have maintained a continuous occupation in the south supporting de facto U.S. rule over the political, economic and military life of a needlessly divided Korea. This often brutal occupation and the persistent U.S. support for the repressive policies of dictatorial puppets continues to be the single greatest obstacle to peace in Korea, preventing the inevitable reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Until 1994, all of the hundreds of thousands of South Korean defense forces operated under direct U.S. command. Even today, although integrated into the Combined Forces Command (CFC), these forces automatically revert to direct US control when the US military commander in Korea determines that there is a state of war.

Indonesia: (1958-1965)

After 350 years of colonialism, President Sukarno, with the cooperation of the communist party (PKI), sought to make Indonesia an independent socialist democracy. Sukarno’s working relationship with the PKI would not be tolerated by Washington. Under the direction of the CIA, rebels in the Indonesian army were armed, trained and equipped in preparation for a military coup. The Indonesian army=s campaign against the PKI in 1965-66 brought the dictator Suharto to power. Under his rule, teachers, students, civil servants and peasants were systematically executed. In Central and East Java alone, 60,000 were killed. In Bali, some 50,000 people were executed, and thousands more died in remote Indonesian villages. In some areas citizens were confined in Navy vessels which were then sunk to the bottom of the sea.

The most extensive killing were committed against suspected PKI supporters identified by U.S. intelligence. Historian Gabriel Kollo states that the slaughter in Indonesia “ranks as a crime of the same type as the Nazi perpetrated.”3

Recent revealed documents at George Washington University’s National Security Achive confirmed how effectively the Indonesian army used the U.S.-prepared hit list against the Indonesian communist party in 1965-66. Among the documents cited is a 1966 airgram to Washington sent by U.S. ambassador Marshall Green stating that a list from the Embassy identifying top communist leaders was being used by the Indonesian security authorities in their extermination campaign.

For example, the US Embassy reported on November 13,1965 that information sent to Suharto resulted in the killing of between 50 to 100 PKI members every night in East and Central Java. The Embassy admitted in an April 15, 1966 airgram to Washington: “We frankly do not know whether the real figure for the PKI killed is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000.”4

The Indonesian military became the instrument of another counter revolutionary offensive in 1975 when it invaded East Timor. On September 7,1975, just 24 hours after the highest officials of the United States government, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had been in Djakarta on a state visit, 30,000 Indonesian troops landed in East Timor. Napalm, phosphorus bombs and chemical defoliants were delivered from US supplied planes and helicopters, resulting in the killing of tens of thousands of people, and the conflict continues to simmer.5

Vietnam: (1954-1965)

President Harry Truman began granting material aid to the French colonial forces in Indochina as early s 1946, and the aid was dramatically increased after the successful Chinese revolution in 1949 and the start of the “hot” Korean War in June 1950. By the time of the French army was defeated in 1954, the U.S. was paying nearly 80 percent of the French military expenditures and providing extensive air and logistical support.

The unilateral U.S. military intervention in Vietnam began in 1954, immediately following the humiliating French defeat in early May 1954. The July 21, 1954 Geneva Agreement concluded the French war against the Vietnamese and promised them a unifying election, mandated for July 1956. The U.S. government knew that fair elections would, in effect, ensure a genuine democratic victory for revered Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. This was unacceptable. In June 1954, prior to the signing of the historic Geneva agreement, the U.S. began CIA-directed internal sabotage operations against the Vietnamese while setting up the puppet Ngo Dinh Diem (brought to Vietnam from the U.S.) as “our” political leader. No electrons were ever held. This set the stage for yet another war for Vietnamese independence — this time against U.S. forces and their South Vietnamese puppets.

16

The significance of U.S. intentions to interfere with independence movements in Asia cannot be underestimated. U.S. National Security Council documents from 1956 declared that our national security would be endangered by communist domination of mainland Southeast Asia. Secret military plans stated that nuclear weapons will be used in general war and even in military operations short of general war. By March 1961, the Pentagon brass had recommended sending 60,000 soldiers to western Laos supported by air power that would include, if necessary, nuclear weapons, to assure that the Royal Laotian government would prevail against the popular insurgency being waged against it. For the next ten years the U.S. unleashed forces that caused (and continue to cause ) an incomprehensible amount of devastation in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Eight million tons of bombs (four times the amount used by the U.S. in all of World War II) were dropped indiscriminately, leaving destruction which, if laid crater to crater, would cover an area the size of the state of Maine. Eighty percent of the bombs fell on rural areas rather than military targets, leaving ten million craters. Nearly 400,000 tons of napalm was dropped on Vietnamese villages. There was no pretense of distinguishing between combatants and civilians.

The callous designation of as much as three-fourths of South Vietnam as a “free fire zone” justified the murder of virtually anyone in thousands of villages in those vast areas. At the time, Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara cited a 1967 memo in which he estimated the number of Vietnamese civilians killed or seriously injured by U.S. forces at 1000 per week. The CIA=s Phoenix program alone killed as many as 70,000 civilians who were suspected of being part of the political leadership of the Viet Cong in the south.

There was a historically unprecedented level of chemical warfare in Vietnam, including the indiscriminate spraying of nearly 20 million gallons of defoliants on one-seventh the area of South Vietnam. The vestigial effects of chemical warfare poisoning continue to plague the health of adult Vietnamese (and ex-GIs) while causing escalated birth defects. Samples of soil, water, food and body fat of Vietnamese citizens continue to reveal dangerously elevated levels of dioxin to the present day.

Today, Vietnamese officials estimate the continued dangerous presence of 3.5 million landmines left from the war as well as 300,000 tons of unexploded ordnance. Tragically, these hidden remnants of war continue to explode when farmers plow their fields or children play in their neighborhoods, killing thousands each year. The Vietnamese report 40,000 people killed since 1975 by landmines and buried bombs. That means that each day, 4 or 5 Vietnamese civilians are killed day by U.S. ordnance.

The U.S. and its allies killed as many as 5 million Southeast Asian citizens during the active war years. The numbers of dead in Laos and Cambodia remain uncounted, but as of 1971, a congressional Research Service report prepared for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee indicated that over one million Laotians had been killed, wounded, or turned into refugees, with the figure for Cambodia estimated two million. More than a half million “secret” US bombing missions over Laos, begun in late 1964, devastated populations of ancient cultures there. Estimates indicate that around 230,000 tons of bombs were dropped over northern Laos in 1968 and 1969 alone. Increasing numbers of U.S. military personnel were added to the ground forces in Laos during 1961, preparing for major military operations to come.

The “secret” bombing of Cambodia began in March 1969, and an outright land invasion of Cambodia was conducted from late April 1970 through the end of June, causing thousand of casualties. These raging U.S. covert wars did not cease until August 14, 1973, by which time countless additional casualties were inflicted. When the bombing in Cambodia finally ceased, the U.S. Air Force had officially recorded the use of nearly 260,000 tons of bombs there. The total tonnage of bombs dropped in Laos over eight and a half years exceeded two million.

The consensus today is that more than 3 million Vietnamese were killed, with 300,000 additional missing in action and presumed dead. In the process the U.S. lost nearly 59,000 of her own men and women, with about 2,000 additional missing, while combatants from four U.S. allies lost over 6,000 more. The South Vietnamese military accounted for nearly 225,000 dead. All of this carnage was justified in order to destroy the basic rights and capacity of the Vietnamese to construct their own independent, sovereign society. None of the victims deserved to die in such a war. Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, and U.S. military “grunts” were all victims.

All of these corpses were created to perpetuate an incredible lie and to serve a “cause” that had been concocted by white male plutocrats in Washington, many of whom possessed Ph.Ds from prestigious universities. Like most of their predecessors throughout U.S. history, these politicians and their appointees, along with their profit-hungry arms makers/dealers, desired to assure the destruction of people’s democratic movements in East Asia that threatened the virtually unlimited American hegemony over markets, resources, and the profits to be derived therefrom. But never did a small country suffer so much from an imperial nation as the Vietnamese did from the United States.

Iraq: (1991-2001)

The royal family in Kuwait was used by the United States government to justify a massive assault on Iraq in order to establish permanent dominion over the Gulf. The Gulf War was begun not to protect Kuwait but to establish US power over the region and its oil.6 In 1990, General Schwarzkopf had testified before the Senate that it was essential for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Gulf in order to protect Saudi Arabia. However, satellite photos showed no Iraqi troops near the Saudi Border.

After Iraq announced that it was going to annex Kuwait, the United States began its air attacks on Iraq. For 42 days the US sent in 2000 sorties a day. By February 13,1991, 1,500 Iraqi citizens had been killed. President George Bush ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production.

The Red Crescent Society of Jordan announced at the end of the war that 113,00 civilians were dead and sixty percent were women and children. Some of the worst devastation was wrought by the US military’s use of Depleted Uranium (DU) on battlefields and in towns and cities across Iraq. It left a legacy of radioactive debris which has resulted in serious environmental contamination and health problems, particularly among Iraqi children. Child mortality rates have risen by 380 percent. Between August 1990 and August 1997 some 1.2 million children in Iraq died due to environmental devastation and the harsh economic sanctions imposed in 1991. Not satisfied with such havoc, the U.S. and Britain have recently sought to tighten the blockade against Iraq by imposing so-called :”smart sanctions.” This would continue the aggression against northern and southern Iraq and lead to the deaths of more women, children and elderly.

Yugoslavia: (1991-1999)

The United States and Germany prepared plans for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the late 1980′s and have since reconfigured Yugoslavia into mini-states, with only Serbia and Montenegro remaining in the Yugoslav federation, a situation which has opened the way to the re-colonization of the Balkans.

In 1991, the European Community, with US involvement, organized a conference on Yugoslavia that called for the separation, sovereignty and independence of the republics of Yugoslavia. President George Bush’s administration passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Act, which provided aid to the individual republics, but cut off all aid to Belgrade, the capitol of Yugoslavia. This stimulated the eventual secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. With secession came civil wars. Ethnic Serbs living in Croatia had been loyal to that Yugoslav republic, but great power meddling now forced them to defend their region in Croatia known as Krajina. The U.S. covertly provided arms, training, advisors, satellite intelligence and air power to the Croats in “Operation Storm” directed against the helpless Serbs in Krajina. When the bombing began, the Krajina Serbs fled to Belgrade and Bosnia. Approximately 250,000 Serbs were thus ethnically cleansed from the Krajina and all evidence of Serb habitation was systematically destroyed. Civilians were executed, livestock slaughtered and houses were burnt to the ground.7

To avoid a similar human catastrophe in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bosnian Serbs consolidated Serb-owned lands, an area constituting about two thirds of Bosnia/Herzegovina. Germany and the U.S. quickly aided the military alliance of Bosnian Muslims and Croats against the Serbs, and , supported by American bombing and regular army forces from Croatia, the Muslim/Croat alliance soon swept the Serbs from the majority of Bosnia/Herzegovina. As in the Krajina, the conflict forced ethnic Serbs off of their lands, creating one hundred thousand Serb refugees.

Under the U.S.-brokered Dayton Agreement, Bosnia/Herzegovina was divided into two parts, a Muslim-Croat Federation and Republica Srpska. The central government today is controlled by US/NATO forces, the IMF, and international NGOs. With no history of independence, Bosnia/Herzegovina=s economic assets have been taken over by foreign investors who now own their energy facilities, water, telecommunication, media and transportation.

The effects of the Bosnian civil war on the city of Srebrenica were reported extensively in the western media. Reports claimed that 7,414 Bosnian Muslims were executed by the Serbian army. After years of searching, digging and extensive investigations, only seventy bodies were found, but the original charges of genocide are still circulated in the media.

Kosovo, an autonomous region of Serbia, is the site of the most recent, and perhaps most disastrous, U.S. military intervention. Kosovo=s problems began after World War II when immigrants from Albania flooded into the region, sparking political confrontation between Albanians and Serbs. escalated into military conflict. The “Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian terrorist/separatist group, escalated tensions by directing their violence against not only Serbian civilians, but Albanian who refused to join their cause. As the war intensified, a United Nations team of observers in the Kosovo village of Racak found 44 Albanian bodies. The Serbs identified them as KLA fighters killed during one of the now frequent gun battles with police. William Walker, a US diplomat, who had earlier acted as an apologist for the death squads in El Salvador, led a group of journalists to view the bodies, and their subsequent claims of Serb war crimes made world-wide headlines.8

President Clinton used this event to bring delegates form the contending forces in Bosnia to Rambouillet, and the proposed Ramboullet Accords served as a prelude to U.S. intervention in Kosovo. The accords, if accepted, would have allowed NATO forces complete access to all of Yugoslavia, a virtual foreign occupation, with all associated costs to be borne by the Yugoslav government. As the Ramboullet negotiations began to stall, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright ordered the bombing of Yugoslavia to begin.

On March 16, 1999, twenty three thousand missiles and bombs were dropped on a country of eleven million people. Thirty five thousand cluster bombs, graphite bombs and 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons were used, the latter scattering radioactive waste throughout the Yugoslav countryside.

The 78 day bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia targeted schools, hospitals, farms, bridges, roads communication centers, and waterways. Because a large number of chemical plants and oil refineries bombed by US/NATO planes were located on the banks of the Danube river, the bombing of these industrial sites polluted the Danube, a source of drinking water for ten million people in the region. The environmental damage done to the soil, water and air of Yugoslavia soon spread to Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Greece and Italy. Countries like Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, which border on the Black Sea, into which the Danube empties, also continue to face health hazards.

Afghanistan: (1979-2001)

“The Bush-Afghan war calls up memories of the Vietnam War in both actions and rhetoric, the massive use of superior arms heavily impacting civilians, deliberate food deprivation, wholesale terror allegedly combating ‘terrorism’, but always sincere regrets for collateral damages.”9

The U.S. war in Afghanistan began in 1979, ostensibly as a campaign to oust the ruling Taliban and apprehend the alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden, who was assumed to be hiding in Afghanistan. Ironically, the Taliban had received billions of dollars worth of weapons from the CIA to help it overthrow a progressive socialist government in Afghanistan, and Bin Laden regarded himself as an important CIA asset. Indeed, the CIA had been deeply involved in Afghanistan even before the Soviet Union intervened there in 1979 to defend the revolutionary government.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the U.S. has waged a merciless war against the Afghan people, using chemical, biological and depleted uranium (DU) weapons. The use of DU continues to spread radiation throughout large parts of Afghanistan and will affect tens of thousands of people in generations to come, causing lung cancer, leukemia and birth defects. DU was also used against Iraq and Yugoslavia, where the frequency of cancer has tripled.

The bombing of the Afghan population has forced thousands of civilians to flee to Pakistan and Iran, and seven to eight million civilians are facing starvation. UNICEF spokesman Eric Larlcke has stated, “As many as 100,000 more children will die in Afghanistan this winter unless food reaches them in sufficient quantities in the next six weeks.”10

The racist underpinnings of the American world-view allows the American press and its political leaders to be silent on the mass killing of Third World children. Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, has stated that the U.S. is not looking to negotiate peace with the Taliban and Al-Quida in Afghanistan. There is a clear indifference to the daily carnage in Afghanistan, where sixty percent of the casualties are women and children. Human rights organizations have expressed concern over reports of large-scale executions of would-be Taliban defectors in the city of Kunduz, and the United Nations has echoed human rights groups in demanding an investigation into the slaughter of prisoners at the Qala-i-Jhangi fort near Mazar-i-Sharif. With more than 500 people dead and the fort littered with bodies, allegations of war crimes against the U.S. and UK for ignoring the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war have led the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to call for an urgent inquiry.

“Once we recognize the pattern of activity designed to simultaneously consolidate control over Middle Eastern and South Asian oil and contain and colonize the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan is exactly where they need to go to pursue that agenda.”11

In his book The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brezezinski writes that the Eurasian Balkans are a potential economic prize which hold an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil and important minerals as well as gold.

Brezezinski declares that the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are “known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.”12 Afghanistan will serve as a base of operations to begin the control over the South Asian Republic in order to build a pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to deliver petroleum to the Asian market. This pipeline will serve as a bonanza of wealth for the US oil companies.

Conclusion

An examination of the American conduct of its wars since World War II shows the US to be in violation of the Nuremberg Principles, the 1949 Geneva Convention relating to protection of civilian prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and the amended Nuremberg Principles as formulated by the International Law Commission in 1950 proscribing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The massive murder and destruction of civilian infrastructure through the use of biological, chemical and depleted uranium weapons violates not only international laws but the moral and humanitarian standards expected in modern civilization.

Notes

1. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1942 to the Present. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1977, p. 371.

2. William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II, Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995, p. 17.

3. Gabriel Kollo, AWar Crimes and the Nature of the Vietnam War, Bertrand Russell Foundation, http:www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/littleton/br7006gk.htm

4. George Washington University’s National Security Archive, July 27, 2001, www.Narchives.org

5. Deirdre Griswold, Indonesia: the Second Greatest Crime of the Century, 2d edition. New York: World View Publishers, 1979, p. vii.

6. Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992, p. 3.

7. Scott Taylor, INAT: Images of Serbia and the Kosovo Conflict. OttAwa, Canada: Espirit de Corps Books, 2000, p. 15.

8. Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. New York: Verso, 2000, p. 106.

9. Edward Herman, A Genocide as Collateral Damage, but with Sincere Regrets, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca , 2001

10. 100,000 Afghan Children Could Die This Winter, The Times of India, October 16, 2001.

11. Stan Goff, A September 11th Analysis, October 27, 2001, www.maisonneuvepress.com .

12. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative, New York: Harper


2002-01-26

About the authors:

Lenora Foerstel is author of War, Lies & Videotape: How media monopoly stifles truth

Brian Willson is a Vietnam war veteran, peace activist and author. Brian Willson has carefully documented the balance sheet of US government war crimes in Vietnam and Korea