The United States government is guilty of war crimes. This is the stark conclusion reached by the independent international commission of inquiry established by the United Nations in 2011 to investigate human rights violations stemming from the protracted US-backed war for regime change in Syria.
The Pentagon’s relentless bombing campaign in and around the northern Syrian city of Raqqa, the so-called “capital” of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), has inflicted a “staggering loss of civilian life,” while forcing over 160,000 civilians to flee their homes, Paulo Pinheiro, chairman of the UN’s commission of inquiry, said on Wednesday.
US warplanes have dropped tens of thousands of munitions on Raqqa and the surrounding area, killing and maiming thousands of Syrian men, women and children. US Marines units, which have steadily swelled the ground forces illegally deployed on Syrian soil, have unleashed further lethal firepower, firing 155mm howitzers into crowded urban neighborhoods and flying Apache attack helicopters to provide close air support to the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces. This proxy force of Washington is dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia and “advised” by US Special Operations troops.
The bloody siege of Raqqa is unfolding even as the Pentagon is carrying out a similar slaughter, begun last October, in Mosul, an Iraqi city 232 miles to the east that once boasted a population of over 2 million. Most of Mosul has been pulverized by US bombs, rockets and shells. Thousands have been killed and wounded, while many remain still buried under the rubble.
The scope of the war crimes being carried out by the Pentagon comes more sharply into focus with the verified reports that US artillery units are firing white phosphorus shells into both Raqqa and Mosul. These incendiary chemical weapons, banned under international law for use in populated areas, ignite human flesh on contact, burning it to the bone, while those who breathe the gases released by the shells suffocate and burn from the inside out. The horrific wounds caused by these weapons reopen when exposed to air. White phosphorus is used to strike terror among those under attack.
Another murderous weapon being employed against the populations of Raqqa and Mosul is the MGM-140B rocket. Fired from a mobile rocket launcher, the weapon detonates in midair, scattering some 274 anti-personnel grenades, each of which is capable of killing anyone within a 15-meter radius.
Last month, US Defense Secretary James Mattis told the media that the Pentagon was adopting
“annihilation tactics” in its anti-ISIS campaign, adding, “Civilian casualties are a fact of life in this sort of situation.”
Mattis, a recently retired Marine general whom the military nicknamed “Mad Dog,” knows whereof he speaks. In 2004, he led the two murderous sieges of Fallujah that claimed the lives of thousands of Iraqis, and, as in the latest US atrocities, made use of white phosphorus shells against a civilian population.
The US military interventions in Iraq and Syria are not aimed at “annihilating” ISIS, itself the product of the 2003 US invasion and occupation of Iraq, followed by Washington’s utilization of Islamist fighters as proxy ground forces in the regime-change wars in both Libya and Syria. While Raqqa has been surrounded by US-backed forces from the north, east and west, an escape route for ISIS fighters has been opened up to the southeast in order to funnel them into the province of Deir al-Zour, so they can fight the Syrian army there. Similarly, large numbers of ISIS fighters were allowed to flee Mosul, crossing the border into Syria for the same purpose.
Washington’s strategic objectives in Iraq and Syria are not those of “fighting terrorism,” but rather consolidating US hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East and preparing for war against the principal obstacles to this objective, Iran and Russia. For US imperialism, undisputed control over both the Persian Gulf and Central Asia would provide the means to cut off energy supplies to its global rival, China.
These predatory aims are the source of war crimes, and not only in Iraq and Syria. In Yemen, Washington is backing a near-genocidal war led by the Saudi monarchy with the objective of weakening Iran’s influence in the Persian Gulf. During his visit to Riyadh last month, President Donald Trump announced a $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom, which will, in the first instance, replenish the bombs and missiles it is raining on the population of the most impoverished nation in the Arab world.
President Donald Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia sign a Joint Strategic Vision Statement for the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, during ceremonies, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the Royal Court Palace in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo Shealah Craighead)
This arms package follows similar deals signed by the Obama administration, which also supplied the Saudis with logistical and intelligence aid for the Yemen war, including mid-air refueling for its warplanes and US naval backing for a blockade that is starving the population and denying it medical supplies. In addition to killing 12,000 people outright, the US-Saudi war has left at least 7 million Yemenis on the brink of famine, while cholera is threatening to kill thousands more. Save the Children reports that, on average, one Yemeni child is contracting the disease every 35 seconds.
Meanwhile, Washington is preparing to once again escalate the protracted slaughter in Afghanistan. US officials reported Tuesday that Trump has authorized Mattis to set troop levels in the country, which the US has occupied since 2001. Thousands more soldiers are expected to be deployed, with the aim of carrying out the “annihilation tactics” favored by the defense secretary. A taste of what is to come was seen Monday when US troops whose convoy hit a roadside bomb opened fire indiscriminately on civilians, killing a brick kiln laborer and his two sons, ages eight and 10.
As these atrocities play out across an ever-expanding global battlefield, what is striking is the absence of any organized opposition to US war crimes. The continuous wars are not even a subject of debate in Congress and are supported by both Democrats and Republicans. The media, a faithful propaganda arm of the Pentagon and the CIA, has shown a complete disinterest in US war crimes, paying attention only when allegations are made against Russia or the Syrian government.
Moreover, while masses of working people in the US and around the world are opposed to war, the pseudo-left groups that got their start in the middle class antiwar protests of the 1960s and 1970s have abandoned even verbal opposition to US military aggression. Reflecting the interests of privileged middle-class layers, groups like the International Socialist Organization in the US, the Left Party in Germany and the New Anti-capitalist Party in France have articulated the politics of this new constituency for imperialism, justifying neo-colonial interventions in the name of “human rights” and portraying CIA regime-change operations as in Libya and Syria as “revolutions.”
The emergence of a genuine antiwar movement is today a matter of life and death, as the war crimes being carried out by Washington across the globe threaten to coalesce into a global conflict involving the major nuclear powers. Such a movement can be built only in the fight to mobilize the working class independently on the basis of a socialist program to put an end to capitalism, the source of war.
Originally published on 2017-06-15
Author: Bill Van Auken
Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.
Germany joined the war against Yugoslavia under the pretense of fabricated facts. Sensational confession of German policeman Henning Hentz who served in the OSCE in Kosovo in the 90s confirmed that.The reason here is that photographs taken by Hentz in late January 1999 were used by then German Defence Minister Rudolf Scharping to justify the immediate interference of NATO in the Kosovo conflict. He presented the photographs of the militants killed in Rugovo as photos of innocent Albanian victims.What did really happen in Kosovo in late January of 1999, several months before NATO launched its operation against Yugoslavia?According to Serbian ...
On March 24th, 1999, NATO launched its 78-day round the clock aerial assault on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Over a thousand NATO warplanes delivered over 2,000 airstrikes in nearly 40,000 sorties, dropping over 20,000 bombs over the former Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilian men, women, and children, as well as upwards of a thousand Yugoslav soldiers and police.   NATO employed weapons considered criminal by international law such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs.   
The popular narrative is that is that the Western powers dropped these bombs ...
Imagine – the European Union were to collapse tomorrow – or any day soon for that matter. Europeans would dance in the streets. The EU has become a sheer pothole of fear and terror: Economic sanctions – punishment, mounting militarization, the abolition of civil rights for most Europeans. A group of unelected technocrats, representing 28 countries, many of them unfit to serve in their own countries’ political system, but connected well enough to get a plum job in Brussels – are deciding the future of Europe. In small groups and often in secret chambers they decide the future of Europe.Take ...
What do you think of when you hear the name Colonel Gaddafi? Tyrant? Dictator? Terrorist? Well, a national citizen of Libya may disagree but we want you to decide.
For 41 years until his demise in October 2011, Muammar Gaddafi did some truly amazing things for his country and repeatedly tried to unite and empower the whole of Africa.
So despite what you’ve heard on the radio, seen in the media or on the TV, Gaddafi did some powerful things that are not characteristic of a “vicious dictator” as portrayed by the western media.
Here are ten things Gaddafi did for Libya that you may not know about…
1. In Libya a home is ...
Peace TV, an enterprise directed from India, Saudi Arabia, and Dubai by a fundamentalist Islamist preacher, Zakir Naik, has established a 12-hour daily program in Kosovo, a country 90% Muslim.
The entry into Kosovo of Naik’s Peace TV, broadcasting each day in Albanian from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., appears to be an element in a novel campaign by South Asian Islamists to establish a foothold among Europe’s indigenous Balkan Muslims. Peace TV’s message is hard-line Wahhabism, which insults, in aggressive terms, spiritual Sufis, Shia Muslims, non-fundamentalist Sunnis, Jews, Christians, and Hindus, among others. Radical Islamist interlopers and their financiers, mainly ...
Washington has never made any effort to conceal its contempt for North Korea. In the 64 years since the war ended, the US has done everything in its power to punish, humiliate and inflict pain on the Communist country. Washington has subjected the DPRK to starvation, prevented its government from accessing foreign capital and markets, strangled its economy with crippling economic sanctions, and installed lethal missile systems and military bases on their doorstep.
Negotiations aren’t possible because Washington refuses to sit down with a country which it sees as its inferior. Instead, the US has strong-armed China to do its bidding by using their diplomats as interlocutors who are expected to convey Washington’s ultimatums as threateningly as possible. The ...
Was Serbia attacked in 1999? To answer that question, Milica-Hänsel Radojkovic draws on period documents (including Willy Wimmer’s letter to Chancellor Gerhard Schröder). He highlights the unacceptability of the Rambouillet proposals, designed to justify a war that had already started.
Fourteen years ago, after the negotiation conferences in Rambouillet and Paris between 6th and 23rd February 1999, the global media informed the general public that “the Serbian delegation did not accept the offered agreement and rather qualified it as null and void”, while indicating that allegedly the so-called Contact Group for Yugoslavia stood behind the agreement. This body consisted of ...
Unless Syria will simply hand its most heavily pro-jihadist province, Idlib, to adjoining Turkey, which claims to have 30,000 troops there and is planning to add 20,000 more, World War III will probably happen soon, and here is why:
Russia’s troops are in Syria at the invitation of Syria’s Government and they have provided crucial assistance to restore the Government’s control over areas that the jihadists (sometimes called “Radical Islamic Terrorists” or otherwise) had seized. Consequently, unlike the Turks and the Americans, who are invaders of Syria, Russia is instead a defender of Syria, and is committed to doing there only ...
Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV, Part V
A follow-up of Professor Vladimir Kozin’s comments on NATO’s Fact Sheet about relations with Russia published in December 2014. The topics to be covered in this part:
NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure;
The NATO-led mission in Afghanistan failed to stop the Afghan drugs trade;
NATO’s operation over Libya was illegitimate;
NATO’s operation over Kosovo was illegitimate;
The cases of Kosovo and Crimea are identical;
Russia’s annexation of Crimea was justified;
The Ukrainian authorities are illegitimate.
NATO’s operation in Afghanistan was a failure
NATO claim: NATO took over the command of the ...
A photo documentation of the destruction of (Serbian) Christianity in Kosovo from June 1999 up today.
The Western colony of Kosovo is the main stronghold of radical Albanian jihad Islam at the Balkans, transformed into the first independent Balkan ISIL state protected by the Western gangsters of the USA, the NATO and the EU.
Presented photo evidence is just an iceberg of the real destruction of Euro-Christianity in Kosovo by the barbaric Muslim Albanians who are also fighting in the Middle East as the jihad soldiers of ISIL - a creation of the US administration.
Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!
Donate to Support Us
We would ...
The New York Times loves NATO, but should you?Judging by comments in social media and the real world, millions of people in the United States have gone from having little or no opinion on NATO, or from opposing NATO as the world’s biggest military force responsible for disastrous wars in places like Afghanistan (for Democrats) or Libya (for Republicans), to believing NATO to be a tremendous force for good in the world.I believe this notion to be propped up by a series of misconceptions that stand in dire need of correction.1. NATO is not a war-legalizing body, quite the opposite. NATO, like the United ...
What is wrong with the American people? After several years of horrific policy toward the waking world, democracy’s standard bearers seem to be drowning in a lake of selfishness. Distracted, apathetic, or simply dumbed and numbed by unrelenting propaganda, the most admired society on Earth has turned to a wriggling mush of diverging ideals. I fear that American have become what we ultimately deplored, just another despicable cultural hegemony. Here’s a short brief on the matter.
A recent article by James Carden at The Nation prompted me to discuss this unsavory truth today. The title of the piece, “Trump’s Syria Policy: ...
Friday, a Russian SU-27 did a barrel roll over a U.S. RC-135 over the Baltic, the second time in two weeks.
Also in April, the U.S. destroyer Donald Cook, off Russia’s Baltic enclave of Kaliningrad, was twice buzzed by Russian planes.
Vladimir Putin’s message: Keep your spy planes and ships a respectable distance away from us. Apparently, we have not received it.
Friday, Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work announced that 4,000 NATO troops, including two U.S. battalions, will be moved into Poland and the Baltic States, right on Russia’s border.
“The Russians have been doing a lot of snap exercises right up against ...
From the onset of NATO’s aggression from March 24 to June 11, 1999, the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance (NATO) flew over 35,000 combat missions over the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Over 1,000 warplanes (among others F-15, F-16, F-117) and 206 helicopters were used in the air strikes. More than 20,000 laser or satellite-guided weapons were launched and over 79,000 tons of explosives were dropped, including 152 containers with 35,450 cluster bombs, thermo-visual and graphite bombs, which are prohibited under international conventions.1
The NATO forces justified the bombing of civilian targets as either “mistakes” or essential to the destruction of Milosevic and ...
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 ...
Is Vladimir Putin the most popular Russian leader of all time?
It certainly looks like it. In a recent survey conducted by the All-Russia Public Opinion Research Center, Putin’s public approval rating soared to an eye-popping 86 percent, which is twice that of Obama’s when he left office in 2016. And what’s more surprising is that Putin’s popularity has held up through a severe economic slump and nearly two decades in office. Unlike most politicians, whose shelf-life is somewhere between 4 to 8 years, the public’s admiration for Putin has only grown stronger over time.
And the phenom is not limited to Russia either. According to a recent survey by the pollster YouGov, “Putin is the third most admired man in Egypt, the fourth in China, ...
As the Second World War advanced from its early stages, the United States was assessing which sections of the earth it would hold conquest over. American planners had to remain patient, however. A seemingly endless string of conquests for the Nazis had astonished the world – particularly those in the US – and led to Adolf Hitler being crowned as “the new Napoleon”.
In the summer of 1942, under Hitler’s domineering command of the military, the Germans controlled vast swathes of Europe – from Warsaw to Oslo to Paris, and eastwards onto Athens, Kiev and Sevastopol. It was one major victory ...
Unlike a regular corporation, the corporations that manufacture and sell weapons to their government are virtually 100% dependent upon their government and its military allies, for their own success; their markets are only those governments, not individuals (such as is the case for normal corporations). Consequently, either their government will control them, and those firms won’t have any effective control over their own markets, or else those firms will, themselves, control their government, and thereby effectively control their markets, via the government’s foreign policies — not only via expanding its military alliances (those firms’ foreign markets), but via its designating ...
Media narrative: Hateful protestors stormed the Macedonian parliament after an ethnic Albanian Talat Xhaferi was elected speaker for the first time.
Truth: Protestors stormed the parliament because Xhaferi was declared speaker in an illegal, unconstitutional manner as part of an ongoing coup d'état. It had nothing whatsoever to do with his ethnicity.
Even though Xhaferi was "elected" in an irregular manner, the US and EU have already stated they recognize his appointment. This now paves the way for ethnic Albanian parties and the smaller of two main Macedonian parties (Social Democrats) to proclaim a government without the constitutionally required go-ahead from the President of the Republic.
The latter has defied ...
It is hardly a coincidence that the Declaration of Independence, Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations, and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach’s On the Natural Variety of Mankind were all published within a year of one another, for each supports a necessary aspect of a larger, integrated project. Not only was the rationale for seizing political power (provided by the Declaration) supported by Smith’s popular text (which justified rule by the wealthy business class). Because this wealth and power was contingent on slavery, and territories seized by conquest, Blumenbach’s theory that the “Caucasian race” (a designation he coined, by the way) was the supreme race was ...
NATO’s War against Yugoslavia was Based on Lies
NATO & the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia
The Collapse of the European Union: Return to National Sovereignty and to Happy Europeans?
Libya: Ten Things about Gaddafi They don’t want You to Know
Islamic Extremists Establish Foothold in Kosovo and the Balkans
The Problem is Washington, not North Korea
The Nato-Aggression Against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1999
Countering NATO Propaganda on Russia: NATO Intervention in Afghanistan, Kosovo, Libya, Ukraine
Kosovo ISIL – A Photo Documentation
Top 10 Reasons not to Love NATO
The Problem is America: The Malignant Cultural Hegemony
Civilian Casualties of NATO’s War on Yugoslavia
Human Rights Day: Sobering Truths About America’s Imperialist Crimes Against Humanity
The Forgotten Postwar US-Nazi Alliance
‘Humanitarian’ Concerns Increase Wars, Benefit only Arms-Producers
The Media Is Lying to You on Macedonia. US Is Backing an Illegal Coup D’état
Pseudo-Democracy, Reparations, and Actual Democracy