Socialism Art Nature

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 …

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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.


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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. 
Manning’s alleged crime? Releasing footage to Wikileaks showing war crimes committed by US military forces in Iraq.

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.

Manning’s alleged crime? Releasing footage to Wikileaks showing war crimes committed by US military forces in Iraq.


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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


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British government officials claim it diminishes Lee Rigby’s life to talk about why he was the target of a horrific attack. Eamonn McCann 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.


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The U.S. is guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Afghanistan.

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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.


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gravesofgrass:

paxamericana:

Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002 - Steve McCurry

It’s a white thing…you wouldn’t understand.

Game over, hipsters. This is the single-most ironic instance of tee-shirt-wearing ever.

gravesofgrass:

paxamericana:

Kunduz, Afghanistan, 2002 - Steve McCurry

It’s a white thing…you wouldn’t understand.

Game over, hipsters. This is the single-most ironic instance of tee-shirt-wearing ever.


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Thomas Gibbons-Neff, a sergeant in the Marines, is president of the Georgetown University Student Veterans Association. He served as a rifleman in the 1st battalion, 6th Marines in Afghanistan in 2008 and 2010.

 … The images of the Boston bombing reminded me of things I saw in southern Helmand province, not the streets where I usually do my Christmas shopping. Many witnesses described the marathon carnage as “a war zone,” and indeed it was: mangled flesh, shocked faces, splattered blood.

 … I deployed to Afghanistan believing my presence in that country would help stop attacks such as Boston’s from happening. But instead, my war has spilled over, striking the city where my 22-year-old brother goes to school and where my mom, until recently, felt perfectly safe eating lunch outdoors.


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THE SPRING fighting season in Afghanistan began this month with explosions of violence all over the country.

Taliban suicide bombers dressed as Afghan soldiers attacked a courthouse in Farah Province and killed 53 people. A NATO convoy carrying five Americans was blown up by suicide bombers in Zabul province. Among the dead was a U.S. diplomat. On April 7, a joing Afghan-NATO airstrike in Kunar Province killed 12 children and one woman, and injured six other women.

The civilian deaths triggered a by-now familiar response from the U.S. military, the mainstream media and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. A spokesperson for the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) released a statement saying, “ISAF takes all reports of civilian casualties seriously, and we are currently assessing the incident.” But much later, coalition forces will quietly, with little media attention, take responsibility for the slaughter, offer apologies to the families and offer cash payments.

In an attempt to justify the killing of civilians, the U.S. military claimed that the women and children were family members of senior Taliban commanders—guilty by association. And once again, the press reminded us that the Taliban and other anti-government groups are responsible for 81 percent of all civilian deaths—another way to minimize the death and destruction that NATO is responsible for. Never acknowledged, though, is that there wouldn’t be civilian deaths caused by an insurgency if there wasn’t a war and occupation by the U.S.

Per usual, President Karzai talked out of both sides of his mouth and accused the Taliban of using civilians as human shields and then condemned ISAF for killing innocent women and children. Two months ago, Karzai ordered a complete ban on Afghan security forces calling in NATO airstrikes in residential areas. But NATO doesn’t answer to the president of Afghanistan. According to political analyst Habib Hakimi, airstrikes will continue when it’s “tactically necessary.” Which is often.

In the war on Afghanistan, civilian deaths are nameless and faceless collateral damage. There won’t be heartfelt stories about 12 children’s lives tragically cut short by a U.S. air strike.

In this recent round of casualties, the mainstream media focused on 25-year-old Ann Smedinghoff, who worked for the State Department as a public diplomacy officer. She was killed on a trip to deliver books to a new school in Qalat. Secretary of State John Kerry said she was “a brave American determined to brighten the light of learning through books written in the native tongue of the students that she had never met, but whom she felt compelled to help. And she was met by cowardly terrorists determined to bring darkness and death to total strangers.”

As if the mission of the U.S. State Department is to deliver books to Afghan children. In fact, it is the U.S. war machine that has brought darkness and death to the people of Afghanistan for over 11 years.


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The alleged Boston bomber has been officially charged with “using a weapon of mass destruction to kill, injure and cause widespread damage.” That may be true, but the U.S. government commits this crime every single day in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, etc., etc….


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The sad thing is, while we (rightly) condemn the actions of the 19 year-old who detonated a bomb at the Boston Marathon, we send 19 year-olds overseas to drop bombs on people in situations that all-too-frequently lead to the deaths of innocent children, women, and men. Far from facing condemnation for their actions, however, this latter group of youths are either given immunity or outright praise for their violence.

This is an incongruity and contradiction which America cannot sustain if it ever wants to see peace, at home or abroad.


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[TW: Violence, photo of dead body]

Don’t hold your breath waiting for these massacres committed by the US military in Afghanistan to be remotely treated in the same way as the Boston violence. No one will question the religious background of these soldiers, nor whether their terrorism indicts military culture itself. There will be no moments of silence held for their victims, nor will most Americans even know that this tragedy had taken place.

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Three years ago, the U.S. was stunned by a horrific story that emerged from the front lines of the war in Afghanistan: Several members of an Army platoon had killed at least three unarmed Afghan civilians, apparently for sport. The soldiers referred to themselves as ‘the Kill Team”—a nickname that seemed tailor-made for television news, which devoted hours of coverage to the case.


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Yesterday, at 7:05pm Eastern Time, Boston Police received a report that suspected terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in Watertown. At 7:15pm, a drone was heard overheard. Seconds later, an enormous explosion destroyed the boat, as well as 10 nearby homes.  Sources say 46 Watertown residents were casualties of the missile strike, including 7 children.  … Wouldn’t that be an unconscionable end to this ordeal? If so, then why are we okay with us doing this in Pakistan? And if you’re not okay with us doing that, then you don’t get to wave an American flag and chant “USA USA!” when we catch a terrorist. Why? Because that same flag is painted on the side of the missiles we use to commit our own acts of terror.

Yesterday, at 7:05pm Eastern Time, Boston Police received a report that suspected terrorist Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was hiding in a boat in Watertown.

At 7:15pm, a drone was heard overheard. Seconds later, an enormous explosion destroyed the boat, as well as 10 nearby homes.

Sources say 46 Watertown residents were casualties of the missile strike, including 7 children.



Wouldn’t that be an unconscionable end to this ordeal?

If so, then why are we okay with us doing this in Pakistan?

And if you’re not okay with us doing that, then you don’t get to wave an American flag and chant “USA USA!” when we catch a terrorist.

Why? Because that same flag is painted on the side of the missiles we use to commit our own acts of terror.


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Now what are we gonna do about this?

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Civilians ‘killed when an air strike hit their houses’

At least ten children are among the dead in eastern Afghanistan, according to officials in the country, following a NATO bombing overnight.

"Eleven children and a woman were killed when an air strike hit their houses," said Wasefullah Wasefi, a spokeperson for the governor of Kunar province, where the attack took place.

In total, reporting on Sunday indicated that more than two dozen people were killed in the latest example of civilian casualties in the ongoing US war in Afghanistan.


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This is a photo taken in Watertown, MA, as cops and soldiers go door-to-door looking for terrorists 
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From Iraq and Afghanistan to your front door.

This is a photo taken in Watertown, MA, as cops and soldiers go door-to-door looking for terrorists

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From Iraq and Afghanistan to your front door.


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Right now in Watertown, Massachusetts.
What the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have lived with for ten years.

Right now in Watertown, Massachusetts.

What the people of Iraq and Afghanistan have lived with for ten years.


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