Category Archives: war-crimes

EU and UN bureaucrats shrug, whilst Israel’s IDF murders Palestinian civilians


If ever there was a need for a clear example of the double standards and gross hypocrisy that is far to often displayed by the United Nation’s and European Union when it comes to the Palestinians, one need look no further than their response to Israel’s latest military onslaught against the population of the Gaza Strip. In a mealy mouthed manner the spokesperson’s for these two powerful organizations said that Israel’s response to Hamas firing rockets into Israel is disproportionate. In other words in the warped minds of the EU/UN bureaucrats, who accept Israel’s right to kill Palestinians, it would have been more helpful if the Israelis had not killed quite so many Palestinians. To kill the odd man, woman or child is fine, but 60 in one day is over the top, as it makes it difficult for the EU/UN to explain away their refusal to act against Israeli aggression and come to the defense of the Palestinians.

The UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband is equally complicit in Israel’s crimes when he said, “Israel’s right to security and self defense is clear and must be reiterated and supported,” that he then had the effrontery to talk about international law shows what a moral sewer he lives in. Israeli occupation of the West Bank and its onslaught on Gaza breaks just about every international law in the book plus countless UN and EU resolutions.

It was bad enough that this wretched mountebank of a British Foreign Secretary attempted to dress murder and mayhem in the coat of the rule of Law, but that was not all; Miliband denies the right of self defense to the Palestinians, the only people in this equation who have the absolute right under international law to defend themselves by all means at their disposal. As is the way these days, white becomes black, fact fiction and the most basic of human rights, the right to resist and oppose aggression and occupation is turned on its head, in support of the occupier and aggressor.

Those Palestinians who refuse to bend the knee are blanketed as terrorists and the ordinary people who voted them into office become fair game. In Gaza over 96 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds injured over the last four days of the Israeli Defense Force onslaught, the majority civilians. Yet still the UN and EU defend Israel’s right to attack the Palestinian people who live within Gaza. Is it any wonder countless Israeli governments have refused to negotiate seriously a withdrawal from the Palestinian lands they occupy.

To get an idea of the suffering the IDF is inflicting on the Palestinian people who live in Gaza, read Rory McCarthy report in the Guardian here,

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/03/israelandthepalestinians.usa1

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under EU, Gaza strip, Israel, Organized Rage, UN-Palestinians, war-crimes

Turkish Army launches ground offensive in northern Iraq against Kurdish PKK.



Yet another unwelcome spin off from GW Bush and Tony Blair’s disastrous decision to invade and occupy Iraq began last night, when the Turkish Armed Forces began to move into northern Iraq in large numbers in search and destroy operations against the Kurdish PKK, who have been engaged in an armed insurgency against the Turkish State since 1984.

A military spokesman issued a statement on behalf of the Turkish General Staff, “A ground operation backed by the Air Force was launched at 1900, [1700 GMT on Thursday] the offensive began on Thursday evening, following shelling and aerial assaults against PKK targets in the region. After the successful bombing, a cross-border ground incursion backed by the Air Force started at 1900” (1700 GMT). The spokesman went on to say, “Two divisions of the Turkish Army, 10,000 troops had been sent into northern Iraq overnight as part of the land operation.

With this invasion of northern Iraq it seems the will of the Turkish military has finally prevailed over that of the AK Party led democratically elected government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who were hoping to avoid a military incursion with land forces across the Iraqi border. The rank and file of the AK Party along with many Turks have been taken by surprise by the General Staffs decision to invade northern Iraq at this time, as earlier this week Government Ministers were telling the media that due to the weather there would be no invasion until the early spring. Which they hoped would give Erdoğan enough time to reach and agreement with the PKK to come down from the mountains.

It is not the first time the Turkish military have launched a major land-force into northern Iraq with the aim of destroying the PKK, seven divisions of the Turkish army were sent into northern Iraq in 1995 and six in 1997, neither were successful in destroying the PKK. Most military analysts doubt the Turkish military will be any more successful this time, at best they can hope to disrupt the PKK chain of command and supply.

Not least because it is thought following recent Turkish military air strikes the PKK has withdrawn its fighters from their bases in northern Iraq’s Kandil Mountains and moved them across the eastern Iraqi border into Iran, whilst setting up small bases in the Sincar Mountains in northern Iraq. Unless the Turkish military has made some sort of agreement with their Iranian counterparts to expel the PKK fighters back across the Iraqi border, it is difficult to see how the current invasion will be any more successful than the previous two I mention above. Indeed for the Turkish Government it can only make a bad situation worse as past history has shown that any military incursion to attack the PKK in Iraq has acted as a recruiting sergeant for that organization.*

Photos above are of
1/ Map of where the Kurds live in the region.
2/PKK fighters
3/ Turkish troops in northern Iraq.

11 Comments

Filed under Democracy/Elections/democratic accountability/Turkey/Is, equality, GWBush, Northern-Iraq, PKK, Turkey, Turkish-army, war-crimes

Other peoples sons to be sacrificed on the Afghan plains, mountains and deserts




Of late it has become common practice for those politicians and media pundits who supported the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, to claim that if only before the invasion the Bush Administration had factored in plans for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan after the US military had defeated Saddam Hussein and the Afghan Talaban, then all would have been well. Whether they be pro war newspaper Columnists, Bloggers, Government Ministers or minor members of the British royal family, these people are still making 2+2 come out as 5 when it comes to understanding the situation in these two abused nations. This is hardly surprising given their past history for they are all totally unable or unwilling to accept a single pertinent fact, that the current desperate problems the people of Iraq and Afghanistan face all stem from a single event, to put it in Clintonese, “Its the occupation Stupid!”

From George W. Bush downward this single pertinent fact just does not seem to have entered the heads of these sorry excuses for politicians and pundits. I know not whether this is because were they to accept the aforementioned analyzes, they would also have to accept their share of responsibility for the chaos, hopelessness and bloodshed these two countries are now experiencing.

The largest army of occupation the world has ever seen was that which the Allies sent into Germany at the end of WW2, Yet despite its overwhelmingly superior firepower over those they occupied, all leading Allied politicians and military planners of the day understood clearly that any occupation must be kept to as short a time as was humanly possible. Whilst foreign troops were to remain in Germany for decades, the actual in your face occupation by US, British and French armies was ended by the early 1950s and to be fair something somewhat similar happened in the eastern sector of Germany where the writ of the Red Army ran.

That is four years in all and then the military army of occupation either returned to their barracks or caught the boat home, leaving the policing of Germany to the local administration in Bonn. In Iraq the coalition are soon to start their fifth year of occupation and in Afghanistan it is into it’s seventh; and in truth as far as winning the hearts and minds of the locals they are no further forward than they were in their first year, if anything the reverse is true and the occupying forces are more hated today than they ever were.

Whilst an Iraqi Army and police force of sorts has been created its command structure is not secure, thus it is not fit for purpose as it cannot be relied upon to act in a non sectarian manner. Even within northern Iraq, the one area of the country where a type of normality prevails, there is not a centralized command and control structure, whether it is the military, police or the economy, peoples loyalties are to the Kurdish administration in Erbil, not the US/UK supported Government in Baghdad.

Despite all the media created optimism and hype around the ‘Petraeus Surge’ in Iraq, anyone who has any understanding or experience of insurgencies will know that its success will almost certainly be short lived. As the US military is unable to keep the current troop levels on the streets of Iraq indefinitely and because the Iraqi military Resistance have repeated what insurgent forces have done throughout the ages when faced with a large influx of enemy forces who possess superior fire power. They have withdrawn from all avoidable combat situations and either melted into the civilian population or temporarily moved outside of their home areas into communities where there are lower levels of US troops. Where Iraqi resistance forces will be taking a spot of R@R and in all probability will be using the lull in the fighting to hone up on their military skills.

We saw this in Ireland when the British army launched ‘Operation Motorman in 1972* which was designed to crush the PIRA by taking back the ‘no go’ areas in Belfast and Derry, which had allowed the Provos to have a free reign to operate and attack the British army. However the PIRA made no attempt to hold this ground, as they lacked the necessary armaments and numbers for a direct confrontation with the army. The British Army employed an overwhelming force of troops (roughly 4% of the whole British Army). By the end of the day there were no more no-go urban areas in the north of Ireland, but nor was there a defeated PIRA; and more to the point the war was to continue with increased ferocity for another thirty plus years and no go areas were to reappear in South Armagh. Looking back, all that Operation Motorman achieved was to antagonize the vast majority of the nationalist population of Derry and Belfast and to such an extent that many of them became active supporters of the PRM and the rest silently acquiesced in their presence within their communities.

However the British government and opposition seem to have learnt none of this, as instead of awaiting the outcome of the ‘Petraeus Surge’ before deciding on future tactics, they have decided to rush a British military force with extra firepower to Afghanistan, it will be made up of all three battalions of the Parachute Regiment who will provide the backbone of 16 Air Assault Brigade. With these three regiments all of whom played an important role in prolonging the conflict in the north of Ireland, due to the way they brutalized both civilians and prisoners, there is not a hope of bringing the Afghani people alongside.

I’m not criticizing the Paras, they are a hard, harsh, fighting machine and that is what they do, and do well,
they are not into winning hearts and minds, and to send such regiments on peace keeping missions is a contradiction of terms. Thus it is obvious the UK government is responding to a decision made by the US administration after they have concluded that the only way Afghanistan can be subdued is to kill the Talaban and terrorize the Afghani people. Indeed Condoleezza Rice the US Secretary of State all but said this, when she said in London this week that the war in Afghanistan is no longer about winning the hearts and minds of the Afghani people.

As the Soviet Red Army have already tried a similar senseless tactic when they attempted to cower the Afghani people, we can expect over the next few years nothing but blood and heartbreak from that poor begotten nation, but as sure as night follows day the US military occupation and anyone who is fool enough to join them will eventually leave Afghanistan exhausted. Tragically in the meantime another generation of callous, dim witted and greedy politicians will have sacrificed other peoples sons on the Afghan plains, mountains and deserts; and for what? What the west desperately needs is a Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev, who recognizes the reality on the ground in both Afghanistan and Iraq and acts upon it.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Motorman

* http://www.guardian.co.uk/afghanistan/story/0,,2253152,00.html

3 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, Iraq, iraqi-resistance, occupation-of iraq, occupation-of-afghanistan, talaban, UK-government, US-government, war-crimes

Ross Kemp in Afghanistan: Ex Eastenders actor’s film tells us more about the evils of the Afghan occupation than all the News Bulletins put together.



I came across the TV program Ross Kemp in Afghanistan when I was aimlessly surfing trying to find something to watch beyond the pointless Big Brother types offerings. Whilst I never thought I would say this about a program fronted by the actor Ross Kemp, I found this programing both interesting and informative. Indeed if one wishes to understand just what a hopeless predicament the UK and its NATO allies have got themselves into in Afghanistan, then Ross Kemp and his director John Conroy’s program would not be a bad place to start.

Kemp comes across as an average, fair minded chap who goes with the flow, but whose political understanding is pretty basic and conservative with a small c, He has an easy going manner and clearly likes people, which is an advantage if you find your self under attack in the Afghan desert with a group of people you hardly know. He has little class pretense and appears to be at ease with both Squadies and officers. The basic idea behind the program is that Kemp would do some basic training with a Regiment of the British army and join up with a company of the regiment in Afghanistan.

Unlike in the past when this type of program has been made, Kemp has not been embedded with a prestigious regiment like the Guards, Artillery, or a rough house unit like the Paras and Marines. Instead he has been inserted into a bog standard British army regiment, the Royal Anglians. Whether this was because Ross Kemp is an Essex boy and that county is one of the main areas from which the Royal Anglians recruit, or it was due to the so called prestigious regiments being unwilling to have an ex East Ender actor tagging along with them I know not. What ever the reasoning behind Kemp being embedded with the Royal Anglians the program is all the better for it, as the Regiment mainly draws its recruits from the youth of Essex, Suffolk and the surrounding areas and it is not a regiment known for its Hooray Henry’s and high flyers.

The first episode is familiar stuff as previous TV programs have dealt with training and Barrack life and it is not untill Ross Kemp reaches Afghanistan that the program picks up a pace. The first thing one notices is just how isolated the British troops in Afghanistan are from the local Afghani population. As in Iraq the British army is corralled into massive heavily fortified bases. Although the bases in Afghanistan appear to be nothing like Baghdad’s Green Zone, as creature comforts are few. One cannot but notice the similarity between these bases and the type of ‘Forts’ the US army created in the Nineteenth-Century in what became known as the American west.

When the Royal Anglians leave their fortified compound they do so in a large, heavily armed convoy which is covered by air support. For his first journey out side the compound Kemp had clearly been restricted within an armored personnel carrier, nevertheless as it passes through Afghan villages and small towns the programs director John Conroy videos the locals through the armored vehicles front window; and his camera manages to capture the look of pure hate on the faces of the local population when they are looking in the direction of the convoy.

There is a telling moment as they pass through an empty village when a non commissioned officer who is traveling in the same vehicle as Kemp tells him, “ The reason for its [the village]emptiness is that the Talaban is probably about to mount an attack and they will have forewarned the villagers to make themselves scarce.” Which in itself makes a nonsense of the claims that are often made by US and British politicians that the ‘Talaban’ are callouss; and do not give a fig for ordinary Afghanis, for it proves that unlike the NATO forces when they launch an attack the ‘Talaban’ warn the locals when they are due to attack NATO forces? So it proved as a short while later the convoy is halted and the information leaks back down the line that a Royal Anglian has been killed and others injured when a mine exploded under their vehicle.

After yet another bloody confrontation between the Anglians and the ‘Talaban’ a group of Afghani locals approach the Regiments new fortified position. They asked the senior officer present if they could go and bury the dead which had resulted from the Anglians having called in an air-strike on a group of people who had been defined as ‘Talaban’ after being spotted on a near by mountainside. The Captain agreed to their request and whilst he did not say so, it must have been obvious to him that the real purpose of the locals was to go and bury their own dead, who probably had been part of the group who were bracketed as ‘Talaban’ before the air-strike was called in. Which again highlighted the fact that the local population is totally hostile to the British and NATO forces and if history is anything to go by always will be?

Finally in this episode we see a clip of Kemp in which it is clear he is suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome, he is having a confrontation with a group of men from the local Afghan town. He attempts to lecture them about supporting the British Army and the NATO led International Security Assistance Force Mission.(ISAF) After doing so one of the Afghans looks at him with withering contempt and basically tips him bollocks and tells Kemp it is for the occupiers to bring law and order if that is what they wish not those they have occupied.

What I found astonishing was that this confrontation was filmed on the edge of a number of large opium poppy fields, from which in all probability the aforementioned Afghani gets his and his families livelihood; and it cannot but have crossed his mind that whilst he may not like the ‘Talaban’ they have not declared to the world they will destroy these poppy fields and with them the poor fellows means of support. Thus the last thing he would want would be the ISAF type of law enforcement Kemp was advocating for. Yet this went completely over Ross Kemp’s head and it seems also over the heads of most British and US politicians.

When watching this program it is well to remember that Ross Kemp is an actor, not a seasoned journalist, soldier or politician. So by putting him into the surreal, ridiculous and deadly world of the occupying forces in Afghanistan, he behaved much as any EU worker might, i e he was out of his depth, but there was no shame in that. I’m sure that having watched this program few viewers will disagree with those squadies who appeared in it and told Ross Kemp that nothing can be gained by British troops remaining in Afghanistan.

4 Comments

Filed under Afghanistan, east-enders, Ireland/Politics/The media/press./FF/EU/The left/social, ross-kemp, UK/US-forces of occupation, war-crimes

Israeli State perpetrating grave crimes in Gaza.


It is high time the world woke up to the crimes the Israeli government is committing against the people who live in the blockaded Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank. When those who are party to these crimes are eventually brought to book, none us will be able to say we new nothing about the crimes the Israeli government are perpetrating in Gaza, as they have filled our TV screens nightly and make no mistake crimes they are, as to cut off vital supplies of electricity and fuel (and therefore water, since the pumps cannot work), as well as essential foodstuffs, medicines and other humanitarian supplies amounts to a collective punishment, which under the Fourth Geneva Convention constitutes a clear and unequivocal war crime.*

This situation is made far worse by the fact that the government of the USA has actively encourage Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and those governments who make up the EU Nations have acquiesced to this war crime, which the Israeli administration has taken as being given a green light.

That some Jewish people are participating in what amounts to having created a massive ghetto for the Palestinians who live in the Gaza Strip cannot but break your heart, for the Jews themselves know more than most the suffering that is inflicted by corralling and containing people by force of arms within a small confined geographical space.** It is time the whole world demanded that this abominable injustice and crime is brought to an end. No matter how small we all have a part we can play in ending a blockade and occupation that shames us all.

Below are three URL’s
1/ The Fourth Geneva Convention that sets out in law that collective punishment is a crime.
2/ A call by a group of Israelis for Urgent Action to be taken to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip.
3/ An article by Karen Koning AbuZayd, commissioner general of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, in which she writes about the desperate plight of the people of the Gaza Strip and clearly states that they are victims of a war crime.

2 Comments

Filed under civil-society., fourth-Geneva-convention, Gaza strip, Israel, justice, Palestine, public-opinion, UK, USA, war-crimes