Rights group catalogues many unaccounted casualties in North Waziristan.
… Amnesty International’s report on US drone strikes in Pakistan is duly titled “Will I Be Next?” The report, to be released today (Tuesday), does not claim to be a comprehensive report; but it is a qualitative assessment based on detailed field research into nine of the 45 reported strikes in North Waziristan between January 2012 and August 2013.
The report focuses on the arbitrary deprivation of life, categorically stating – and proving with its case studies, survey and fact-finding – that the “United States has carried out unlawful killing in Pakistan through drone attacks, some of which could even amount to war crimes.”
The punishment, considered unprecedented in modern Marine Corps history, came after an insurgent attack in Afghanistan in 2012 killed two Marines and destroyed six fighter jets.
America’s Afghan Victims
New comprehensive study reveals that up to 6,800 civilians [i.e., not counting “military combatants”] have died in Afghanistan as a result of war-related actions by the United States, its allies and Afghan government forces, from the invasion in October of 2001 through the end of 2012.
That’s the equivalent of over three 9/11-size catastrophes that the US government has wrought upon innocent civilians who just happen to live in a part of the world that the US has decided to bomb mercilessly and continuously for over a decade straight.
Overwhelming public opposition to bombing Syria has been repeatedly attributed to the Iraq war by various media outlets. They’ve even come up with clever terms, like “Iraq fatigue” and “Iraq syndrome”, to describe the supposed illness that afflicts an overwhelming majority of the American public—because, it turns out, not wanting to drop bombs on people is a horrific affliction that must be eradicated.
William Galston of the Brookings Institute took to the Wall Street Journal to scold the illness for getting in the way of saving the Syrian people. ”Little more than a decade after the Vietnam syndrome was laid to rest, an Iraq syndrome has replaced it,” writes Galston. “The question is whether this new sentiment will dominate policy—whether acting for the wrong reasons in Iraq will prevent us from acting for the right reasons in Syria.”
Obama giving a speech on the legacy of MLK even as he prepares for war with Syria might actually be more galling than when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize just days before he announced a massive expansion of the war on Afghanistan.
This is almost surreally disgusting.
On June 10, 2013, 30-year-old Iraq War veteran Daniel Somers killed himself after writing a powerful letter to his family explaining his reasons for doing so.
During my first deployment, I was made to participate in things, the enormity of which is hard to describe. War crimes, crimes against humanity. Though I did not participate willingly, and made what I thought was my best effort to stop these events, there are some things that a person simply can not come back from. I take some pride in that, actually, as to move on in life after being part of such a thing would be the mark of a sociopath in my mind. These things go far beyond what most are even aware of.
… Is it any wonder then that the latest figures show 22 veterans killing themselves each day? That is more veterans than children killed at Sandy Hook, every single day. Where are the huge policy initiatives? Why isn’t the president standing with those families at the state of the union? Perhaps because we were not killed by a single lunatic, but rather by his own system of dehumanization, neglect, and indifference.
It leaves us to where all we have to look forward to is constant pain, misery, poverty, and dishonor. I assure you that, when the numbers do finally drop, it will merely be because those who were pushed the farthest are all already dead.
And for what? Bush’s religious lunacy? Cheney’s ever growing fortune and that of his corporate friends? Is this what we destroy lives for
Yet it’s okay for the Turkish government to use chemical weapons against protesters — 5,000 of whom have been injured by tear gas canisters and toxins — because those chemical weapons are sold to Turkey by US-based manufacturers …
Also, why is “chemical weapons” the line? The U.S. killed hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis, and tens of thousands of Afghan people, with “regular old” weapons. Their deaths are no less unjust and criminal …
President Barack Obama has authorized sending weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, U.S. officials said Thursday, after the White House disclosed that the United States has conclusive evidence President Bashar Assad’s government used chemical weapons against opposition forces trying to overthrow him.
Obama has repeatedly said the use of chemical weapons would cross a ‘‘red line,’’ suggesting it would trigger greater American intervention in the two-year crisis.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the strongest proponents of U.S. military action in Syria, said he was told Thursday that Obama had decided to ‘‘provide arms to the rebels,’’ a decision confirmed by three U.S. officials. The officials cautioned that decisions on the specific type of weaponry were still being finalized, though the CIA was expected to be tasked with teaching the rebels how to use the arms the White House had agreed to supply.
Still, the White House signaled that Obama did plan to step up U.S. involvement in the Syrian crisis in response to the chemical weapons disclosure.
I’ve heard NPR do countless features on political prisoners in China in which the reporters breathlessly recount the harrowing persecution of the victims and unabashedly empathize with them against the government. But I have yet to hear NPR do anything even remotely comparable in their coverage (or rather, complete lack thereof) of the U.S. political prisoner, Bradley Manning, who the UN has identified as a victim of torture at the hands of the U.S. government.
Video: I Am Bradley Manning. Featuring an impressive list of actors, musicians & writers.
If you witnessed war crimes, what would you do? More coming soon…
http://iam.bradleymanning.org | #iambradleymanning
British government officials claim it diminishes Lee Rigby’s life to talk about why he was the target of a horrific attack.explains why the opposite is true.
"THE ONLY reasons we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth…I apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our land, our women have to see the same…Tell your government to bring our troops back so you can all live in peace."
"Your" Government. "Our" troops. This was a man apparently doubtful about his British identity, and who made a distinction between the British people and their government.
A week on, the image of Michael Adebolajo, right hand dripping with blood, left hand gripping the meat cleaver he had used to hack Fusilier Lee Rigby to death, is etched into memories everywhere.
He hadn’t fled the scene, but stood his ground, inviting passersby to film him, seemingly anxious to explain why he and Michael Adebowale had carried out the atrocity. Neither man made any threatening move toward Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, who, just as steadily as himself, had stood her ground no more than a yard in front of him.
Loyau-Kennett told the Daily Telegraph: “He was not high, he was not on drugs, he was not an alcoholic or drunk, he was just distressed, upset. He was in full control of his decisions and ready to do everything he wanted to do.”
The butchery of Fusilier Rigby may have been horrible, sickening, unjustifiable. But it wasn’t irrational: Adebolajo and Adebowale had been making a political point.
Virtually every mainstream commentator shrinks from this perspective. Many seem angered that any explanation is offered other than the psychopathology of the perpetrators and the presumed evil of their ideology.
Alternatively, it’s argued that even if the killers’ motivation had a rational element, this is not the time to discuss it. Not the time to ask what truth there might be in the claim that “in our land, our women have to see the same.” The wrong circumstances in which to mention torture and murder by Western troops in Iraq, or the killing by drones of Afghan or Pakistani villagers standing too close to a supposed fighter selected for death by Barack Obama.
It dishonors the memory of Fusilier Rigby, it’s implied, to argue that there was more to his death than an ambush by homicidal cutthroats.
This is the direct opposite of the truth. We diminish the life of Fusilier Rigby and belittle the grief of those left behind if we refuse to identify the reasons he was done to death. The reasons include the fact that “Muslims are dying every day” at the hands of Western forces.
The U.S. is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.
KABUL, Afghanistan — The footless corpse of an Afghan man missing since November was found on Tuesday near the former American Special Forces base to which he was last seen being taken, according to Afghan officials and victims’ representatives.
Afghan investigators said that after his disappearance, the man, Sayid Mohammad, was seen in a video undergoing torture at the hands of an Afghan-American named Zakaria Kandahari, who was the chief translator for an American Army Special Forces A Team stationed at the base, in Nerkh district of Wardak Province. The American military denies that Mr. Kandahari is an American citizen, and said he was no longer working for the A Team when the video was made.
Mr. Mohammad’s body was found about 200 yards outside the perimeter of the Nerkh base, which is now occupied by Afghan special forces after the American unit was removed following protests by Afghan officials, including President Hamid Karzai. Mohammad Hanif Hanafi, the Nerkh District governor, said it was found by laborers digging a water ditch when they unearthed what appeared to be a military-style black body bag.
Relatives of Mr. Mohammad said his corpse was largely complete, except both of his feet had been cut off. They took his remains to the Nerkh district government center in protest. The partial remains and clothing of another missing person were earlier found near the base, family members and Afghan officials have said.
Afghan officials are seeking Mr. Kandahari’s arrest on murder, torture and abuse of prisoner charges, and accuse the American military of shielding him from capture.