A ‘Terrorist’ in New Zealand

On 3rd September 2021, a Sri Lankan refugee,  Ahamed Aathill Mohamed Samsudeen, 32, living in Auckland New Zealand , stabbed 6 people with a knife he had just picked up from a supermarket shelf.

According to later reports the man had been once again seeking asylum in New Zealand for some years, but had been denied because of previous violent actions and an interest in ISIS literature, and had been released from a New Zealand prison 3 years before the attacks.

During the subsequent years from Ahamed’s release, he had been constantly followed by Police when out and about in Auckland, to monitor his actions and keep others safe.

Auckland was in lockdown 4 at the time of the supermarket attack- masks required and no less than 2 metres between people in places like supermarkets. Within hours the New Zealand prime minister was announcing that this was a ‘terrorist attack’, and that the man was known to her. However Ahamed Aathill Mohamed made no known statements about allegiance to ISIS immediately before his death, and no terrorist organization attributed the stabbings to themselves.

The terror, trauma and physical danger to those he attacked is beyond question, and this blog does not in any way endorse his or any other person’s violent behaviour to others.

With 60 seconds of his knifing of 6 people in the supermarket, he was fatally shot 7 times by Police with semi automatic weapons, who had been following him.

We might contrast his fatal shooting with the response of the Police to a knife attack by a New Zealand European in Dunedin some 4 months before, when at least 4 people were injured. The man was apprehended without injury, and is now in gaol, and has been described as having a mental health issue.

Or again the horrendous Mosque shootings in Christchurch in March 2019 where 51 people were killed and 40 injured, by a white supremacist using automatic rifles, the white male was subdued, unharmed, heroically by a police officer.

While we acknowledge that every violent incident is different and must necessarily be handled differently by Police, it does seem strange that a man in an enclosed supermarket aisle with a kitchen knife, could not be subdued without fatal consequences, by a number of police officers who were presumably wearing protective clothing.

Police subsequently noted that their policy is to shoot for the largest body surface area (i.e. the torso) so that they don’t miss the target, but clearly other options than shooting the attacker were possible, or alternatively those seven shots could have immobilised him in that enclosed space, without causing his death.

We know that Ahamed’s life history before his arrival in New Zealand as a young man was incredibly traumatic- witnessing his father being kidnapped and almost killed, and himself being tortured by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

The Spinoff notes that Ahamed ‘had been in New Zealand since 2011 when he arrived on a student visa. He made a claim for refugee status soon after, but was declined. He appealed, and was granted the status the following year. The prime minister said on Friday that his claim was based on a fraudulent document’

We also know that Ahamed had been on remand (i.e. charged with an offence but not convicted in court) in New Zealand for threatening activities for some years before his conviction – during which time he was held in prison, but was not able to access any supports that might have reduced his risk to himself or others because he had at that stage not been convicted and the government was attempting to deport him. Additionally once released from gaol after his conviction, he was constantly tailed by armed Police; actions which would not have helped his fear and paranoia.

It is clear that Ahamed was acutely distressed because of his trauma, but did not receive the necessary supports by New Zealand authorities to reduce the impacts of that trauma and distress. Instead, he was immediately labelled a ‘terrorist’ by the New Zealand prime minister and the New Zealand media after his death, and there was no call for an independent review into his death.

Is it coincidental that 3 violent attacks were handled so very differently by Police; that a dark skinned man could so easily be deemed a terrorist and shot dead, but two white males, despite the acute violence of their attacks, be subdued without fatality?

We are informed that the New Zealand government, in a knee-jerk reaction to this attack, now wants to ‘tighten’ the responses around ‘terrorist activities’. Andrew Geddis has noted that the draft legislation’s proposal, allowing for people to be prosecuted for planning an activity, but not actually executing that plan , is currently an unheard of judicial procedure in New Zealand.

Listen to the University of Otago Peace and Conflict studies debate about the ‘terrorist attack’ below.

We need to acknowledge too, that no act of violence is acceptable; whether it be in a persons’ home, a random attack in public, a terrorist attack, or violence by the state.

The terror of those 2997 killed, and the trauma experienced by those many bereaved and the first responders to the 9/11 attacks in New York in 2001, are very real and still raw. However the barbaric responses to those attacks by the United States and their ‘Coalition of the Willing’, defies both logic and humanity. Millions of people in Arab nations killed, economies and environments ravaged, and thousands tortured or drone murdered, with the rationale being suppression of terrorism, rather than the reality of more arms sales and theft of foreign resources, and the resultant creation of more angry terrorists.

As Chris Hedges notes, those responses are the work of evil killers. The fact that ex President George W Bush can stand up on the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and be applauded in Western media for his demonic destruction of Iraq, and Afghanistan, defies belief.

In any sane and just society, such a man ( along with the deranged Tony Blair and their other neoliberal cronies)

Tony Blair shaking hands with Mike Pompeo (ex U.S. Secretary of State)

would have long ago been locked away for their lifetimes – for the common good.

What we desperately need now is for ex-colonial states like New Zealand, to show global leadership in addressing terror threats, in the absence of leadership from the larger powers.

We need to undertake more research to explore opportunities to better respond to threats of violence, to implement strategies that reduce group and individual threats of terror; through acknowledging the genuine basis of the anger, trauma and fear that created those threats, acknowledging that often our state responses to ‘terror’ threats by ‘others with dark skins’ is a relic of our racist and colonial history, (as witnessed by New Zealand Police’s infamous ‘anti-terrorist’ raids into the Ureweras in 2007); and beginning to treat responses to terror threats as a normal and just and equitable part of our range of enforcement and judicial responses to violence, which respects everyone’s human rights, rather than something that needs to be responded to beyond the normal rule of law.

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Links

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/300384815/man-shot-dead-by-police-six-injured-after-terror-attack-at-aucklands-lynnmall-countdown

https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/new-zealand/2021/09/auckland-terror-attack-new-zealand-reacts-in-shock-to-new-lynn-stabbing.html

https://www.dw.com/en/new-zealand-man-stabs-5-in-supermarket-knife-attack/a-57479834

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christchurch_mosque_shootings

https://www.police.govt.nz/major-events/new-lynn-incident-operation-rally

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/sep/05/new-zealand-stabbings-officials-tried-for-years-to-deport-terrorist-prior-to-auckland-attack-jacinda-adern-says

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/341457/ten-years-on-from-the-urewera-raids

‘Highly Likely’ in Afghanistan

The last United States and its ‘partners” troops have now left Afghanistan after almost 20 years of futile war with the Taliban.

The chaotic tragedy over the last week of desperate Afghans wanting to leave Afghanistan via Kabul Airport for a better and safer life, is now also over.

In the final few days of the exodus, the Taliban apparently informed United States forces of a likely threat from ISIS Khorasan forces at Kabul Airport. A suicide bomber duly arrived at one of the U.S. entry points to the airport and blew himself up, killing himself, an indeterminate number of Afghans (in the 100s), and 12 U.S. force personnel.

It would appear from Afghan accounts on the ground that the U.S. soldiers in the surrounding watchtowers then panicked and opened fire with automatic fire on the Afghans below- killing at least another 100 people.

Subsequent to the ISIS attack, the U.S. president stated in the usual petulant child-like way of American presidents that, ‘vengeance shall be ours’; rather than a thoughtful and lawful approach to such acts of premeditated murder which act to limit the risks of further attacks.

 “To those who carried out this attack … we will not forgive, we will not forget, we will hunt you down and make you pay.”-Joe Biden

(Interesting to note that President Jo Biden also noted the ‘droned’ Iranian General Suleimani as a terrorist threat they had ‘eliminated’ in the past. Suleimani has been well vindicated as the key person managing the destruction of the ISIS threat in Iraq

Miraculously U.S. forces already knew the location of the planners of the ISIS attack and duly dispatched a drone to kill the planners and further attackers. (why the attackers weren’t arrested or killed before the attack is not explained)

The U.S. subsequently reported (as per usual) that it was ‘highly likely’ that the ISIS K planners and bombers had been killed in the drone attack. Given the history of U.S. drone attacks it is also ‘highly likely’ that those killed were guilty of owning several goats that were coveted by a neighbour who had then reported them as ISIS K combatants to the authorities.

One notes that the images of the vehicle supposedly hit by the subsequent U.S. drone attack show a somewhat burnt out vehicle-not a vehicle with a bomb on board, as claimed by the Americans , which would have disintegrated with the explosion of the ISIS bomb, after the drone missile impact.

Unsurprisingly the ruling Taliban have objected to the U.S. launching drone attacks on sovereign Afghan territory, but any objections by the Taliban will be ignored as the U.S. continues to bomb and drone Afghans that it believes are ‘highly likely’ to be terrorists. Only once the Taliban acquire anti-air missiles ( as the Mujahedeen before them did ) will the scourge of drone warfare be over.

With the elimination of U.S. forces on the ground in Afghanistan, the Taliban are now free to follow up in every corner of the country, the threat that their mortal enemy ISIS, poses to Afghan security.

We know for certain that the United States did indeed facilitate the rise of extremist Wahhabist movements including Al Qaeda across the Middle East-in collaboration with U.K. ‘special’ forces, the Saudis, Turkey and some of the Gulf ministates; initially to confront the Russian forces in Afghanistan in the 1990s, and later to attack any secular government that the American and their ‘partners’ saw as a threat to their control of local resources.

We also know that the Iranians, Syrians and Russians have long complained about the U.S. facilitating the rise and ongoing support of ISIS groups in the Middle East, including the transport by helicopter of ISIS remnants from Syria into Afghanistan, and training and support by the Israelis of ISIS Syrian teams. How true are those statements from the Russians Syrians and Iranians? However we do know that the American’s definition of what they have traditionally called ‘moderate’ jihadists in the Middle East, is not one shared by many.

Despite the calls for an end to the drone murders, it is ‘highly likely’ that the Americans will continue to provide any excuse to continue to “precision’ bomb, drone and assassinate anyone they believe is not in their best economic interests and will support a new Mujahideen to confront the now more moderate ruling Afghan Taliban.

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Other Links

https://richardfalk.org/2021/08/29/crime-and-punishment-in-afghanistan/

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/blowback-taliban-target-us-intels-shadow-army/

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09592318.2020.1777618

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201802211061871761-us-helicopters-transporting-daesh/

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/31/c_1310158468.htm

https://realalexrubi.substack.com/p/did-the-us-support-the-growth-of

http://www.news.cn/english/2021-08/31/c_1310158157.htm

Western Hypocrisy on Afghanistan

As Hollywood has noted, and later U. S. records confirm, the predecessors to the Taliban, the U.S. funded and armed brutal Afghan Mujahideen or jihadist freedom fighters were instrumental in securing the withdrawal of Soviet troops from Afghanistan in the 1980s and 90s , who were supporting the communist secular Afghan government in Kabul. A government it should be noted, who fully supported the rights of Afghan women to be educated, to work and live a life equal to men.

After several years of extreme violence and turmoil across Afghanistan, the Taliban came to power in the late 1990s,

As Consortium News notes: The triumphant Taliban imposed harsh Islamic law on Afghanistan. Their rule was especially cruel to women who had made gains toward equal rights under the communists, but were forced by the Taliban to live under highly restrictive rules, to cover themselves when in public, and to forgo schooling.

The Taliban also granted refuge to Saudi exile Osama bin Laden, who had fought with the Afghan mujahedeen against the Soviets in the 1980s. Bin Laden then used Afghanistan as the base of operations for his terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, setting the stage for the next Afghan War in 2001.

After the 9/11 attacks in New York by Al Qaeda, the Taliban agreed to hand over Osama bin Laden to the United States. However their offer was refused, and instead President Bush launched a war to remove the Taliban from power beginning with a brutal bombing campaign in October 2001

If the purpose of Bush’s Afghan war was not to trap Osama bin Laden – what was the purpose?

The United States had been negotiating with the Taliban for an oil pipeline to traverse Afghanistan from Central Asian oil fields, and appeared to be on relatively good terms with them.

It was only much later that the hype about a humanitarian intervention for women’s rights etc came to the fore in Western media. However this supposed human rights agenda by the United States and the United Kingdom is contradicted by their wholehearted support for the brutal Mujahideen the Saudi regime, and their unconditional support for the Israeli genocidal actions against Palestinians (amongst many other brutal regimes supported and armed by Western governments)

This was simply one more racist colonial invasion; putting more money into the pockets of U.S. war profiteers.

See below, John Pilger’s video ‘Breaking the Silence’ from 10 years ago in Afghanistan

http://johnpilger.com/videos/breaking-the-silence-truth-and-lies-in-the-war-on-terror

As a Western person I oppose discrimination against any person of any gender or race- however I also oppose the barbaric use of violence to impose one’s will on others we do not agree with- something my country New Zealand has been complicit in along with other Western white countries.

Setting up an indigenous Afghan army funded and trained and managed by foreigners to oppose local people who they may in fact know by tribe or family, and who are trying to defend their country from invasion, was always a recipe for failure. Such troops’ only motivation could be their paycheck, not patriotism for their country: so when the occupation force goes in the dead of night, the money goes with them and the local funded military disintegrate- they have nothing to fight for.

Similarly a ‘democracy’ funded and approved and beholden to an occupying power is not a democracy -it is a mockery of ‘democracy’.- and an extraordinarily corrupt one at that– why else would you pretend to lead your country whilst under an occupying power?

As Marshall Auerback and Patrick Lawrence note in ‘The Scrum’: Ashraf Ghani, (the last of the U.S. appointed Afghan ‘Presidents’) was among the more preposterous creations of the Obama administration, a man who personified our American presumption that we can go around the world making all others in our image without reference to histories, cultures, or political traditions. 

We know the colonial occupation forces killed many thousands of civilians (through bombing campaigns, drone murders, the brutal occupation and destruction of villages and people’s homes and the use of torture at Bagram airbase and other locations in Afghanistan- civilian losses that the occupying forces continue to largely deny.

New Zealand’s ex-prime minister Helen Clark’s commentary on the resurgence of the Taliban might be interpreted as disingenuous, were it not for the fact that she is a United Nations employee and knows full well the extent of the indiscriminate murder, torture and destruction, let alone the phenomenal levels of corruption by NGOs supposedly ‘re-building Afghanistan’ committed by the occupying powers in their 20 year presence in Afghanistan.

We might also note the opium and heroin rat lines from the Afghan poppy
fields which miraculously came into full bloom (Afghanistan  now supplies by  far the largest  share of opium in  the world), after the American occupation
and which will now , once again, be shut down by the Taliban. Mysteriously drug trafficking explodes in volume in those areas where Western intelligence
operatives, and particularly the CIA, are heavily involved: Colombia,
Afghanistan, Laos….

The New Zealand presence in Afghanistan is one more shameful example of our complicity in the United States’ war crimes..

While there will be many in Kabul and other major Afghan cities who have come to enjoy Western values, comforts and the easy money that came with the occupiers, there will be many many more Afghans who are thankful that the brutality and systematic racism of the Western occupying powers is finally at an end.

The lessons other vulnerable countries have learnt from Western occupying powers’ brutal occupation of Afghanistan will not be soon forgotten..

Nor will the boys coming home from that 20 year war be immune to its effects on the psyche..

“One man cannot hold another man down in the ditch without remaining down in the ditch with him.”
– Booker T. Washington

That is not to say Afghanistan is going to become some liberal, rights respecting country any time soon: traditional rigid views about women’s rights and other ethnicities and belief systems -particularly in rural areas, are gong to prevail for some time to come. And Sharia law is not exactly a very forgiving dogma; but there are signs that the new Taliban leadership recognise that they will have to adapt to the modern world if they are to be accepted by the wider international community, especially investment from Chinese and  other neighbouring countries. Certainly, as of 17th August 2021, the Taliban command have so far largely behaved with honour and discipline for the defeated.

It should also be noted that the Taliban are not ‘terrorists’ and in no way resemble ISIS or the earlier Mujahideen . While they may have sheltered Al Qaeda in the past, they have no record and no stated intent of terrorist actions outside (or within) Afghanistan.

And it should also be remembered that the Taliban’s astonishing victory in the past week has been at minimal cost of human life and suffering; a victory, as Pepe Escobar notes, contrived by ” lots of persuasion, tribal deals, zero columns of tanks (and) minimal loss of blood”.

It is  time now for the new Afghan  government to  demand reparations from all those Western  occupation governments for the deaths,  torture,  trauma and misery;  and land and property losses of the last 20  years.

Perhaps Westerners could also remember, for the future, that the way for outsiders to encourage change in any other society, is to demonstrate your positive values: your generosity, your honesty, your capacity to forgive and your willingness to listen…

Postscript

As Richard Falks  and others note, what follows next in Afghanistan  will  depend not only on how the Taliban keep  their promises of greater tolerance , but also  on  the United States and its Western  occupying allies respond to the Taliban in power.  To  date Western media is hyping up  the threat  and supposed savagery of the Taliban  to extraordinary  degrees  (my local  New Zealand  TV news channel  interspersed commentary of the Taliban  with video of ISIS troops marching in uniform) and the  U.S.  withholding of Afghan federal  reserve money  and aid by  other Western countries . Without the  Western aid that  Afghanistan infrastructure has come to  rely on  over the last 20  years,  severe hardship  and starvation will  be the lot of Afghans already  brutalised by  this pointless war.

It is now likely that  further Western brutal  adventures, such  as the Afghan occupation , will not be viable options , as China particularly expands its  somewhat  more benign influence in  the region.

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Links

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/aug/16/20-years-invasion-afghanistan-unnecessary-post-imperial-fantasy

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/126081418/utterly-surreal-and-devastating-former-pm-helen-clark-shellshocked-to-be-back-where-we-were-in-afghanistan-as-taliban-take-over

https://smoothiex12.blogspot.com/

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/08/16/diplomacy-not-bombs-anti-war-voices-say-afghanistan-shows-need-stop-any-further?

https://www.unz.com/pescobar/the-islamic-emirate-of-afghanistan-back-with-a-bang/

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/08/16/afghanistan-history-taliban-collapse-504977

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2021/08/afghanistan-taliban-press-conference-notes.html#more

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/08/16/hollywoods-dangerous-afghan-illusion-2/

https://thescrum.substack.com/p/and-now?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/17/the-u-s-government-lied-for-two-decades-about-afghanistan/

https://scheerpost.com/2021/08/16/what-the-classroom-didnt-teach-me-about-the-american-empire/

https://taibbi.substack.com/p/we-failed-afghanistan-not-the-other?

https://www.sigar.mil/interactive-reports/corruption-in-conflict/lessons.html

As Kabul Is Retaken, Papers Look Back in Erasure

https://annebonnypirate.org/2021/08/17/afghanistan-the-end-of-the-occupation/

https://wikileaks.org/wiki/CIA_report_into_shoring_up_Afghan_war_support_in_Western_Europe,_11_Mar_2010

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232167.shtml

https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202108/1232142.shtml

https://richardfalk.org/2021/08/23/everything-went-wrong-in-afghanistan/

John Pilger: The Great Game of Smashing Nations

https://www.greenleft.org.au/content/wests-meddling-has-caused-calamity-afghanistan

The United Nations & ‘Human Rights’

The recent article in the Guardian which notes that the world has the “worst cascade of human rights setbacks in our lifetimes’, focuses on a rather selective set of human rights abuses. While no-one in the West at least, can argue that Russia is a ‘selective’ democracy and the Chinese Communist Party (while supported by the vast majority of mainland Chinese) rules the country with a strong and often repressive hand, those excesses pale into insignificance when we look at the human rights abuses perpetrated by many Western states across the globe.

Wars of aggression in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Iraq and Yemen (let alone their unconditional support for Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian people), by the West are indisputably gross human rights transgressions which require the U.N. to demand , on behalf of those populations, compensation from the aggressor. The U.N. is silent….

And let us not forget the Guantanamo Bay torture centre, nor the genocide against indigenous populations by Canada, the United States and Australia.

While Uighur ‘re-education’ camps, which significantly impact on some Uighurs’ human rights, certainly exist in Xinyang (China says these are to reduce the risk of Uighur Muslim extremism and terrorism promoted by Turkey, the Saudis and Western intelligence groups); current evidence tends to suggest that statements about genocide are a fabrication by those very groups.

The Uighur genocide stories can perhaps be likened to the U.S. state political propaganda theatre of American POWs captured by the Koreans and Vietnamese in the United States’ genocidal colonial wars against those two countries. No solid evidence exists of genocide of Uighurs, but we can make up a really good story with ‘anecdotal evidence’ and ‘statistics’ and newspaper headlines …..

In response to U.N. criticisms of Navalny’s political party in Russia being forcibly disbanded, and Hong Kong protesters and their Western funded protests militantly arguing for separatism from mainland China, we may yet have to see how Western countries respond to foreign countries funding political parties advocating separatism and sanctions of their own countrymen, on their own patch….

Indeed the continuing and increasing use of sanctions by Western countries against those countries they wish to destabilise is surely another key example of breaches of human rights of those populations. Cutting off access to food, energy and medical supplies and ‘withholding’ ( i.e stealing) money in state bank accounts from countries like Iran, Venezuela and Cuba are blatant abuses of those populations ‘ human rights.

As Telesure notes about Nicaragua: Human Rights Watch… has been notorious for taking a pro-State Department line on Latin America and even contains former State Department personnel on its board of directors. The former (the Bianca Jagger Human Rights Foundation ) , meanwhile, is led by an anti-government partisan who supports imperialist sanctions on her own country. As The Canary reported in December 2018, Jagger has not only expressed support for the crippling US sanctions already in place but even called for the European Union, Canada, and other Latin American nations to issue their own set of sanctions as well.

And perhaps we could look at the multiple and gross human rights violations committed by the West’s ‘colonial’ troops in Africa in the past decade, or the ongoing catastrophe in South and Central America caused by the United States’ brutal Monroe Doctrine tactics.

Western led statements supporting greater freedom and democracy in Russia and China and other autocratic states that don’t kneel to Western business interests, should indeed be a wonderful ideal and a catalyst for freedom for all, were it not for that fact that those very Western governments- particularly the U.S., the U.K., Canada, Australia and some other Western European countries, are also the countries that have waged savage wars across the third world to promote their own ‘interests’ ( i.e. money).

For some unknown reason, those countless wars of aggression by Western and predominantly ‘white’ countries; along with indiscriminant sanctions, torture, drone murders and the promotion of extremism in other countries, do not appear on the list by the U.N. advocate for human rights- one might wonder why that is?

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Links

https://www.qiaocollective.com/en/education/xinjiang

https://covertactionmagazine.com/2021/06/21/new-evidence-reveals-that-senator-john-mccain-and-other-high-ranking-vietnam-war-pows-may-have-lied-to-the-american-public-about-being-tortured-in-order-to-bolster-support-for-an-imperialist-war-that/

https://www.rt.com/news/527292-us-seizes-iran-presstv-websites/

https://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2021/06/22/660640/Yemen-Saudi-aggression-Saudi-Arabia-United-Nations-Children-Antonio-Guterres

https://www.telesurenglish.net/opinion/What-Media-Dont-Want-To-Tell-About-Arrests-in-Nicaragua-20210619-0011.html?

Justice & the International Criminal Court (ICC)

Field of sunflowers
Field of sunflowers

On 11th  June 2020, the United States reacted  with outrage that  the International  Criminal  Court (ICC) intends to  investigate the United States and Israel  for crimes against humanity. How dare they?  Surely the exceptional  nation and its closest  ally have every  right to  conduct  mass-murder and  torture with impunity?

ASP President O-Gon Kwon described it thus:These measures are unprecedented. They undermine our common endeavor to fight impunity and to ensure accountability for mass atrocities. I deeply regret measures targeting Court officials, staff and their families.

While the ICC has rightly been  accused in  the past  of prosecuting third world  ( dark  skinned) countries since its implementation in  2001, (as you can  clearly  see from  this list  of people indicted by  the ICC)  whilst ignoring the far greater human  rights abuses of first  world countries , its current chief prosecutor now apparently has some balls,  and is prepared  to  incur the wrath of the “greatest  nation on  earth’  to  bring to  court  the gargantuan  levels of   international  crimes by  the United States.

By  2012, U.S. Congress had threatened that it would use military force to rescue any US citizens that were somehow called to account by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, and has signed agreements with more than 100 governments pledging them not to hand over US citizens to the ICC.   U.S. Secretary of State, Texan,  Mike Pompeo ;  the epitome of the “exceptional  nation”  in  all  its bravado,  bullying and sheer brutality ,  has also recently threatened the families of ICC justices with  ‘consequences’  should any  indictments proceed.

Impact  of sanctions

Korea, Indonesia, Vietnam,  Libya,  Yemen,  Venezuela, Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Eritrea,   Palestine, and hundred other little hidden  wars were American  troops are engaged in  “counter-terrorism” and ‘black sites’ of torture.

Only when it becomes the international  norm  that  any war fought by an  aggressor shall  require full  reparations to  the victim state,  will  wars be finally deemed not to be financially advantageous. That  day  is coming;  the United States should be aware that  its leaders are likely to  be prosecuted and condemned  for the litany of war  crimes they have committed since the most heinous of all-  their merciless slaughter of Koreans  in the Korean War,  and that  the reparations for their  endless wars will  be in  the many  trillions of dollars.

The United States  and its allies will  one day soon, no  longer be able to  inflict  its  savagery on the world.


Links

https://www.icc-cpi.int

https://www.icc-cpi.int/Pages/item.aspx?name=pr1527

https://news.yahoo.com/international-criminal-court-goes-too-223130026.html?

https://www.globalpolicy.org/international-justice/the-international-criminal-court/us-opposition-to-the-icc.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_people_indicted_in_the_International_Criminal_Court

All Lives Matter

Don't spit on the floor
Don’t spit on the floor

George Floyd was killed by  Minneapolis police officers on  May 25th  2020.  Preliminary  autopsy  reports showed that  George’s air supply was cut off at  the neck  by  external  ongoing pressure.

The videos of the event clearly shows police officer Derek  Chauvin  kneeling on  George’s neck  while George gasps that  he can’t breathe.  Derek  seems to   looking for approval  from  the 3 other police officers  nearby.

The Wikipedia graph  below shows the number of  deaths  probably caused by  Police officers in  the U.S. over the past 11  years https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lists_of_killings_by_law_enforcement_officers_in_the_United_States 

Year (Total) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Pre-2009 (170) Click here for the lists
2009 (72) List not separated by month (click here for the full year)
2010 (297) 14 29 36 25 28 26 31 17 22 27 13 29
2011 (172) List not separated by month (click here for the full year)
2012 (608) 32 27 24 40 41 66 92 90 67 48 43 38
2013 (344) 49 20 36 15 33 21 19 31 41 33 36 10
2014 (635) 56 17 23 20 27 45 27 106 78 57 92 87
2015 (849) 98 84 110 100 88 77 127 47 28 31 25 34
2016 (200) 13 19 18 12 11 7 22 8 15 15 48 12
2017 (138) 9 16 15 16 9 8 10 9 6 6 7 27
2018 (403) 108 78 82 88 2 10 6 11 5 3 5 5
2019 (133) 17 24 30 20 9 17 3 4 1 4 0 4
2020 (16) 0 6 4 0 5 1

The U.S : a society founded on violence and where violence is repeatedly touted as the  complete solution to  both  external  (usually imagined ) and internal  threats.

A showdown  shoot ’em up on Main Street  with the bad guy  will restore all  things to  rights.

The U.S. , a country  that,  unlike most other countries,  glorifies its constitutional  guarantees of its citizens to  carry guns  as  the right to  “freedom”.  A country  where individual  ‘freedoms’  (usually for the more wealthy and  ‘productive”) are prioritised  above the right of collective safety and wellbeing.

In addition , when  we consider that of the  “40% of the two million armed (U.S.) forces deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq. Twenty-five to forty percent of them develop PTSD, clinical depression, sleep disturbances, or suicidal thoughts”  and 50% of those  do  not receive the help  and support they  need, we can  understand  that there is a vast  pool of fucked-up  and  extreme violence socialised  men in that  society. War does not destroy the victim alone.  As Muhammed Ali,  the great  black  boxer said about being conscripted for the genocicdal  war against Vietnam:one. “Why should they ask me to put on a uniform and go ten thousand miles from home and drop bombs and bullets on brown people in Vietnam while so-called Negro people in Louisville are treated like dogs and denied simple human rights?” he said. “No, I am not going ten thousand miles from home to help murder and burn another poor nation simply to continue the domination of white slave masters of the darker people the world over. This is the day when such evils must come to an end.”

President Trump is undoubtedly one of the most incompetent,  ignorant and  bigoted of U.S.  presidents,  and his actions  both  during the ongoing pandemic, and  his  response to  the  sometimes violent demonstrations that have occurred in response to  George Floyd’s murder, have been  extraordinarily counter-productive and dangerous. However it is clear that his actions are applauded by  a large proportion of the United States’  population.  Donald Trump  is a symptom,  not a cause,  of America’s dysfunction.

America is a country  where lying and cheating, cheap  exploitation and  unmitigated violence  at  all  levels of society are projected  as  capitalism  unfettered – an  Ayn Rand society where anything goes, and to hell  with  anyone  and anything  else. Such  a society (despite the country’s enormous wealth  from its natural  resources) is destined for  disaster.  Former President Obama was a master at saying all  the right things,  while continuing to  lie, cheat,  steal  and murder  on behalf of the “exceptional  nation”.

It is a  society and culture that has pursued the propaganda of selling “product” , no  matter the cost  to  vulnerable workers or the environment, or the lies required to make that sale, with  religious zealotry for over a hundred years. And as a consequence, where those who  are not wealthy are not worthy. Adam Shatz ,in “America Explodes’  describes the phenomenon of systemic racism in America  with great  clarity.

The disjunct between  those in power staying “all  the right things”  about  prejudice poverty and violence,  and the reality on  the ground has in the past 20  years,  grown to become an enormous  sink-hole of hypocrisy. It is vital  that  all  people recognise that actions and good conduct  alone determine whether we are a force for good or evil in  this world. Words are cheap.

And we have seen  this commodification of “terror’  creep  all  across the globe  in  the last decade like a virus. Police  officers around the world now dress in  absurd black  clothing or camouflage outfits  armed with   sub-machine guns. Such  foolish  role-playing  dress-ups encourages  police (often with minimal training in  de-escalation and  risk  assessment) to behave like  frightened ‘warriors’ in  a war setting,  where no  such  threat exist.

And again,  while the U.S.  leads the world in  its violent persecution of coloured people (both  deaths and incarcerations) it is by no means alone. Here in New Zealand  (with  a population of 5 million people)  there are  often 2 or 3 deaths a year by  Police of  usually  rangatahi  tane (young Maori men), along with a vastly disproportionate number of men in  gaols ( with  a global   imprisonment ranking up  there with the United States )  who are Maori.

A  supreme irony then  that  one of the bigger earlier demonstrations for “Black  Lives Matter’  outside of the U.S. , was in  Auckland, New Zealand.

However the lead  global agency for systematic violence,  brutality and torture must  surely go  to Israeli  ‘security ‘ forces operating day  and night against  largely defenseless Palestinians for the past 70  years (with unequivocal and unquestioning support by  the United States  and its Western  allies for this brutality) . And not because Palestinians are a threat  to  the huge Israeli  military  juggernaut,  but because they have land that  Israeli  settlers covet.

What  is needed therefore,  is not simply righteous indignation and protestations  at  police brutality, but a systematic global  assessment of where the fault lines that  lead to  to  violence and exploitation of  the vulnerable members of   all of our societies, occur. Once those systemic and sociological  drivers of  violence  and exploitation are identified  – (and named-and they  are  both  complex and  many)-  have been identified,  then  a complete overhaul of   global societal  values  and systems is required.

Footnote:The current simplistic motions in the United States to “defund  the Police”  will  create ever more divisions in  an  already  fractured society  and the potential   for vigilante groups on  the “right”  and “left’  to  determine ‘justice for others.

An  impartial government  policing system  ( one federal  system)  with  regulations that  underscore that  no  police-person  is immune from  prosecution for  violence; that  recognizes but does not excuse,  the roles that  colonialism,  slavery, discrimination, poverty and  historical  injustice have played in creating communities which  tend to be more dangerous,  and addresses those needs;  that  ensures that  every  police officer is extensively  trained in  de-escalation,  conflict  management,  and only uses force as a very  last resort (which can be prosecutable) and that   the endemic U.S.  culture of violence  and gun  use is recognised  and addressed.

And on  the issue of of pulling down memorials (or books, songs or movies  etc)  to past victories of white supremacists, it is well  to remember our past; to  acknowledge  the impact of  our society’s past  prejudices, evils and cruelties,  as well as  the joy, peace  and equality we have created. If we are to  be civilized. And, as Lea Ypi  so  eloquently notes, in  her lessons from  the pulling  down of the symbols of  the Albanian  Communist Party in 1991,  ‘If we scratch the surface, we may discover that since capitalism has historically relied on colonial structures to survive, it may be difficult to demand the end of one without demanding the end of the other’. 

It may  be useful  to  note that most of the statues and monuments  about important people ( almost exclusively men) are of people who  lives were dominated by  the need for power,  fame and/or  money. These were damaged people often  exposed to  early trauma in  their lives, and a determination to  succeed at  all and any cost.

To  know where we have come from  is to empower us.  It is well  to remember where  other societies’ book  burnings and erasure of history  have led us in  the past.


Links

LEE CAMP: Nineteen Facts About American Policing That Will Blow Your Mind

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Killing_of_George_Floyd

Black Owner of Yaya’s BBQ Killed by Louisville Police Often Gave Them Free Meals

Racist Killing and Impunity

Dispatches From Kansas City: The ‘Insurrection’ That Wasn’t (May 30-31, 2020)

https://www.middleeasteye.net/opinion/america-and-amnesia-violence-

otherhttps://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/251999/police-apologise-to-tuhoe-over-raids

https://www.unz.com/jcook/as-us-protests-show-the-challenge-is-how-to-rise-above-the-violence-inherent-in-state-power/

https://www.sott.net/article/435889-The-failed-states-of-America

https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/418694/maori-account-for-more-than-half-of-arrests-by-armed-response-teams-in-trial

https://www.lrb.co.uk/the-paper/v42/n12/adam-shatz/america-explodes

Lieutenant-General Soleimani & the Red Flag of Qom

 

Sardar Qasem Soleimani
Sardar Qasem Soleimani

Lieutenant-General  Soleimani; leader of Iran’s   Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Qods Force,  was, as Soleimani  himself expected, assassinated by  United States drone or helicopter rockets on the morning of Friday 3rd January  2020,  while leaving Baghdad Airport by car after a civilian flight in to Baghdad from  Tehran to  meet  with  the Iraqi  prime minister.

Soleimani was revered  by  many Shiite Muslims around the world for his  military successes in helping  Shiite Hezbollah  protect  and defeat  an Israeli  invasion  of Lebanon (part of Israel’s  ‘grand’  strategy  of building a mythic “Greater Israel”),  but more importantly,  for his work in  both  Iraq and Syria coordinating the largely successful battle against  Al Qaeda  in Syria (or HTS)  and ISIS (otherwise known as Daesh).

As Iran has consistently and publicly stated,  and the evidence confirms,  both Al Qaeda and ISIS, were  not only funded and supported by  the lunatic Wahhabist Saudis, but also  by  the United States and other Western  countries,  particularly the U.K.  (long a mercenary   supporter of the Wahhabist Saudi  tribe since Lawrence of Arabia in  the First  World War.  Also note the very  apt comment from  UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson  that  Soleimani was a ‘threat  to  our interests”.

The Wahhabist Muslim  sect  believes that  all  non Sunni Muslims are ‘heretics’ and should either be forcibly converted or killed . General  Soleimani was therefore following the lineage of the great Shiite Imams of medieval  times,  in  protecting all  Shiites -this time from  the scourge of Wahhabism.

In collaboration with the Russians, a  revitalized Syrian Arab Army (Assad’s forces), a re-armed Iraqi Army, and Shi-ite militias under his command, Soleimani  had at  the time of his death  largely succeeded in  defeating ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The jaws are rapidly closing in on the remnants of Al Qaeda, HTS, ISIS and other Saudi and Western backed jihadists in Idlib in Northern Syria and Iraq. There is real  fear in Washington “intelligence” circles that mainstream media will finally be forced to expose the direct linkage between Washington and the head-chopping jihadists.

The recent death in Ankara of James Le Mesurier, leader of the White Helmets, supposedly humanitarian aid workers in Syria, but in reality well funded propaganda units for the jihadist groups and their backers, is likely to be directly linked to the  imminent exposure of the White Helmets as fakes, and the revelation of Western governments’ manipulation and likely bribery of senior staff at the OPCW to create a ‘scientific finding” that the Assad government had gassed civilians. Western  governments will consequently be finally forced to acknowledge their appalling collaboration and support of pyschopathic jihadist killers in the Middle East- all in  the name of oil and support for the Israeli entity.

American  intelligence agencies consequently panicked  and reasoned that a decisive provocation against Iran, would ensure that Iran would ‘over-react”,  and could thus be seen by the world as the crazed religious pariah state that the United States has always tried to  portray  Iran  as being since the Islamic revolution.

It might be useful  at  this point to  list just  some of  the legitimate grievances Iran  has against the United States.

  1. The deposing of Iran’s democratic government under Prime Minister Mohammad Mosaddegh in 1953 by the United States’ Central Intelligence Agency and the United Kingdom’s MI6,  and the installation of the brutal Shah.
  2. The arming and support for Saddam Hussein’s attempted invasion of Iran which cost at least  a million Iranian lives (and in which ferocious war, Soleimani learnt his battle skills)
  3. The provision of poison gas and equipment to Iraq, which resulted in further Iranian deaths and injury  in that war.
  4. The shooting down of a civilian Iranian Airbus A300 by a US warship in the Persian Gulf , with  290 resultant deaths. There was no official apology  from the  United States although  some compensation was paid out belatedly.
  5. Ongoing promotion of Iran as a pariah state at the UN and with other Western governments, which resulted in severe sanctions and the deaths of many innocent Iranians because of Iran’s non existent nuclear weapons programme.
  6. Unconditional support by the United States of the Wahhabist Saudi clan who have funded and managed Sunni jihadist groups, killing many Shi-ite across the world, but particularly in Iraq, Syria and Yemen.
  7. United States unconditional  support for the Israeli entity, in their desire to create a “Greater Israel” by the theft and extremely brutal occupation of land from (largely Sunni) Palestinians, Shi-ite Lebanese and Syrians.

Perhaps it might therefore be understandable why Iran’s leadership calls the United States, the “Great Satan”.

Iran is, unlike many of the United States’ allies in the Middle East, a democracy of sorts. However the rules for democracy are managed and controlled at a central level by its Shi-ite  Islamist leaders, and democratic choice is very limited (not too dissimilar in fact to the U.S. presidential election process).

While there are undoubtedly many in Iran who long for what Western democracy  appears to promise, most are also fiercely patriotic;  proud of their many thousands of year’s history as Persians. Faced with ‘existential” external threats, as Iranians have been since the Islamist revolution in 1979, few Iranians would support an overthrow of their current government.

Soleimani’s death was mourned by  hundreds of thousands of  Shiites in  Iraq and Iran. Memorials in Tehran  had to  be postponed because of the size of the crowds mourning  him  in other cities in Iran,  but the most crucial  memorial  was held for him  in the  Iranian  city of Qom .   “Qom is considered holy by Shiʿa Islam, as it is the site of the shrine of Fatimah bint Musa, sister of Imam Ali ibn Musa Rida[6] (Persian Imam Reza, 789–816 CE). The city is the largest center for Shiʿa scholarship in the world, and is a significant destination of pilgrimage, with around twenty million pilgrims visiting the city every year..” -Wikipedia.

The  red  Shi-ite flag of the blood of the martyrs and revenge, was raised in Qom at  his funeral  procession. According to local reports it is the first time in the Qom mosque’s history – a holy site since the Middle Ages – that the red flag has been raised over the building.

It should be noted that  the raising  of the red-flag over Qom  is not simply an Iranian government contrivance,  but a religious appeal  to  all  Shi-ite believers  around the world to  avenge Soleimani’s death -one who  battled with  the forces of evil  to  save Shi-ites.

Albawaba .com  notes that ‘Last night Khamanei and Rouhani consoled Soleimani’s family.

‘Who is going to avenge my father’s blood?’ One of the commander’s daughters asked.

In response, Rouhani promised her that ‘everyone will take revenge’ and assured her as she wept, ‘we will, we will avenge his blood, you don’t worry.’ 

‘The Americans did not realize what a grave mistake they have made. They will suffer the consequences of such criminal measure not only today, but also throughout the years to come,’ Rouhani said.

‘This crime committed by the US will go down in history as one of their unforgettable crimes against the Iranian nation.’  

Iranian  government news sources also  quote IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami  as saying that: The assassination of martyred General Qassem Soleimani will be followed by a strategic revenge which will definitely put an end to the US presence in the region…” 

Is it possible that United States intelligence  officials were unaware of the paramount importance of Soleimani to  the 112 million people in  the Shiite world?  Did they  not understand that   his killing would provoke a desire for revenge against  the United States which  would be  unstoppable?

As the Shi-ite Hezbollah  leader in  Lebanon,  Nasrallah stated on the Sunday  following his killing; ‘When the coffins of American soldiers and officers begin to be transported … to the United States, (President Donald) Trump and his administration will realize that they have really lost the region and will lose the elections…” 

No  matter whether  President Trump  carries out his threats to  bomb 52 targets in Iran including “cultural  sites”. (which  would of course be a war crime,  but nothing new to  the United States,  which  has been  guilty of horrendous war crimes and genocide  in  so  many parts of the world  since  the U.S began:  see our  blog article;  America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars) or whether the United States might lose its residual  sanity and nuke Tehran, the revenge would continue .

The United State’s only option now is to  seek  forgiveness from the Iranians and negotiate  a deal  which  allows their soldiers  to  leave safely from  their many many bases circling Iran.


In just one example, the United State’s main  military  base  in the Persian Gulf  is located on the island of Bahrain. Bahrain is ruled by  an  autocratic and brutal  Sunni ‘prince” over a population which is 62% Shi-ite. It would not require any intervention on  the part of the Iranians for a rebellion to  once again  boil  over to  depose   the  Bahrain Al Khalifa royal family and for Shi-ites in   Bahrain to   destroy  the U.S.  base there and its occupants.

While Western  media choose to portray  any actions by  Shi-ite groups  around the world as being  by “Iranian proxies”, Shi-ite groups, whether military of otherwise,  will  seek  to  avenge the death  of Soleimani; they have  now been called to  do  so.

It would be timely for someone  in Washington who  is sane,  and with more than  the level of intelligence  currently displayed,  to  seek the mediation skills of someone with  credibility to  both  sides,  like Russian Federation Foreign Minister Lavrov-  who  may be able to help  forestall what  currently looks like the inevitable tragedy  for the 60,000  plus United States soldiers stationed in  the Middle East, as a result of General Soleimani’s killing.


Links

https://www.albawaba.com/news/iran-raises-flag-revenge-qom-city-after-us-killing-qassem-soleimani-1330888

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/05/615439/US-soldiers-coffins-Soleimani-Hezbollah

Fragmentation in the Axis of Resistance led to Soleimani’s death

https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/01/03/615247/Qassem-Soleimani

https://www.arabnews.com/node/1365976/middle-east

https://www.opednews.com/articles/US-Kick-Starts-Raging-20s-by-Pepe-Escobar-Assassination_Iran_Iran-Versus-Israel_Iranian-Foreign-Minister-Javad-Zarif-200105-814.html

Lies, the Bethlehem Doctrine, and the Illegal Murder of Soleimani

https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/russia-highlights-qassem-soleimanis-role-in-fight-against-isis/

The Donald Is Now America First’s Own Assassin

Yemen, Saudi Arabia & War

The September 19th precision  attacks on  the  oil processing facility  at  Abqaiq  in Eastern  Saudi  Arabia  have raised many questions for the Saudis and their allies in  UAE, the United States and Israel. How did the attackers ( whether they be  Houthi, Iranian or  Saudi  dissidents or a combination of any of those),manage to  breach  what  should have a very  well protected  site from  air borne attack.

The attacks should not have come as a surprise however.  The  Houthi  “rebels’ in Yemen  (against  which  the Saudis  and their British, U.S. , Al Qaeda and UAE allies  have been conducting a barbaric  war of attrition for the past  4 years ) have both  threatened and carried out increasingly  ambitious attacks on Saudi  infrastructure  in  the past year with  drones and missiles to  varying effect. (note the map below showing earlier Houthi  drone  attacks on the oil pipeline leading to  Abqaiq.)

Drone attacks on Saudi Pipeline

Recent  news releases from  the Houthi  indicate major military  successes against  the  Saudi  mercenaries on  the front line.;  and the latest  report of 500  Saudi  mercenaries  killed and  2000  captured  in  ongoing  Houthi/Yemen  Army raids into  Saudi  territory  is  outlined here.

The U.K., France and Germany have all joined the chorus of condemnation of Iran  from  the Saudis and United States  for the  Abqaiq attacks, despite any evidence. As noted in  previous blogs here ,  the ability of the Iranians to  ship   quantities of large missiles and drone components to  Yemen  through  a very  tight naval  blockade of its ports and coastline  is problematic to  say  the least. That  blockade  is part of the deliberate  humanitarian  disaster  that  the Saudis and their allies have inflicted for 4 years  against   the population of Yemen. That genocide  is compounded by the deliberate  bombing of civilian  infrastructure  with  active  military support  and coordination by  the British  and the Americans. Those actions are war crimes on a  massive scale.

Going back  to how the Abqaiq could have possibly happened; given the massive investment the Saudi  clan have put into  war  machinery  from the U.S.  and U.K. , Craig Murray  notes: Saudi Arabia’s entire weapons capacity is massively focused on Iran, as are the manifold detection devices of the numerous US bases. Besides modern air defence systems are omnidirectional

Saudi oil refinery drone hit
Note the precision of the holes in the distillery tanks from the South -West (not from from Iran in the East)

 The Patriot missile defence system is not the best in the world, though it is the most expensive; however you cannot just creep up behind it and shout “boo!” Not even the Saudis would pay billions of dollars for that.

So  if by  some absurd chance , what  Western  governments are saying is true;  how did the Iranians fly drones and missiles  at  Abqaq from  across the Persian  Gulf directly in  the face of large  batteries of Saudi  and American  air defenses? The analysis by “Juliet Guy Oscar” clearly shows that  Houthi   manufactured Quds1 cruise missiles have both  the capacity and range to  have attacked Abqaiq and beyond.

The Americans, using brutal  sanctions, theft of Iranian  assets  and threats, want to   bludgeon  Iran into  both  pulling back  on its extensive and very  effective missile programme,  and its support for   its local  allies in Syria, Lebanon, Yemen  and Palestine above all. As E.J. Magnier notes- pulling back  on  either of those two  programmes is simply not an option for the Iranians.

For  U.S. Secretary of State  Pompeo  to  state  that “the foreign minister of Iran is threatening all-out war and to fight to the last American,(and) we’re here to build out a coalition aimed at achieving peace and a peaceful resolution to this,” is of course pure nonsense and lies. America wants to  make Iran once again a client state like the Saudis , Egypt  or Jordan,  which  can bend to  the expansionist  whims of the Israelis.

While its very  likely that  the Houthis have  been using and adapting Iranian  missile and drone technology, the evidence suggests that  the Yemen military,  supported by  the Houthis,  have also been  making their own or adapting  military  equipment salvaged from  the Saudi/UAE conflict – with  perhaps technological advice from Iran.

The Saudis,  amusingly enough,  cannot believe that   Houthi  “savages” could  develop  and  deliver such  weapons. ( the  same kind of sad racist  mistake that  the Americans have continuously made against  the Russians, Chinese,  North Koreans and many other nations. (“If they   have such  weapons then  they must  have stolen the technology  from us”.)

The Yemen ‘rebel’  commentary on  the attacks is however interesting,  noting that “various kinds of combat drones were used in the Second Deterrent Balance Operation, noting that they were launched from three different locations according to their flight endurance and designated targets.   He underlined that the third generation of domestically-designed and -manufactured Qasef (Striker) combat drones, long-endurance Sammad-3 (Invincible-3) drones – which have an operational range of 1,500 kilometers to 1,700 kilometers and newly-developed drones equipped with jet engines.

 

Houthi drone
Houthi drone

 Each of the new drones can carry four precision-guided bombs with fissionable heads every time, and can monitor and hit their targets from several angles.“Other aircraft were also used so the main combat drones could hide in their shadow without being detected, and signal jamming devices effectively disabled the enemy’s air missile defense systems.” 

Like the Iranians,  the Houthi  and the Yemen military are fighting for their survival  against  much better equipped and financed  opponents. Opponents whose  ruthlessness and  commitment to  war crimes on  a grand scale is known to  all.

This will  not end well  for all  sides…but the writing is on th wall  for the Saudi  clan if Pepe Escobar’s analysis is anything to  go  by


Links

https://sputniknews.com/middleeast/201909201076843665-saudi-coalition-initiates-operations-yemen/

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/sep/19/us-dials-back-iran-rhetoric-and-seeks-peaceful-resolution-over-saudi-attack

Why Evidence of Iran’s Role in Attack Doesn’t Matter

 

http://www.unz.com/pcockburn/the-saudi-arabia-drone-attacks-have-changed-global-warfare/

Who Really Benefits From ‘Iranian Attack’ On Saudi Arabia?

 


New Antarctica  Relevant Links

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

The Saudi created hell in Yemen

America’s Exceptional Interest in Wars

We have often heard that  it is in  America’s “interests”  to  start this or that  war, to   “defend democracy and human  rights”  or some other  envisioning of the United States as that  Shining City on the Hill  of freedom  and light.  However when  we come to  examine what  particular Interests  are at  stake for the United States in  these  aggressions,  we somehow fail  to  note that  those interest  are solely business interests-  –  and not just  any businesses-  but big business-  large powerful corporations  with  tentacles in  many countries  whose financial  interests  may  either be jeopardized or opportunities   lost  if this or that  country  is not subjugated  once again  by  the U.S.  military  for  the profit margins of United States’ businesses.

Pity the poor country  that  dares to not bend its knee to  U.S.  corporate interest…it will be  sanctioned,  ridiculed,  its minority  groups funded and trained to  create  instability,  (or worse),  and if that  doesn’t succeed in  bringing that  recalcitrant country  to  the ‘negotiating’  table-  then  a little genocidal  war might help.

As U.S Major-General  Smedley  Butler has often been  quoted:

War is just a racket. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of people. Only a small inside group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the masses. (1933)…

It may seem odd for me, a military man to adopt such a comparison. Truthfulness compels me to. I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country’s most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism….

Supporting big business in  any way the U.S.  military  can ( regardless of international  conventions,  human  rights, human  lives,  human  decency  or any other ‘soft’  issue) is and always has been,  therefore the complete and total  sum  of United States international  relations-  it has no  other purpose.

We may  wonder who  profits from  the apparently senseless endless war  waged by  the United States in  Afghanistan-  could it be that  the CIA is once again filling its coffers with  the blood of  the drug-addicted? -or who  profits  from  supporting Israel’s slow genocide of the Palestinian  people,  or who  profits from  the human  catastrophe that  is the Saudi  war on Yemen?

“Foolish”  and soft issues like  the global  emergency ( maybe more like global  ‘catastrophe’?) are therefore a complete irrelevance. American exceptionalism  is seen in its true form-  red in  tooth  and claw as Alfred Lord Tennyson  wrote about nature. No  morality,  no ethics,  pure barbarism  and pure profit.

It is small  wonder that those poor American  soldiers coming back  from  America’s pointless and endless wars  of total  barbarism,  struggle  to  come to  terms with their “moral  injury” to  the propaganda they  have been  force-fed from  an  early age,  of the United States being a civilizing  and enlightened country in  a world of barbarism.

U.S.  bases surrounding Iran
U.S. bases surrounding Iran

Peculiar to  those  pink-skinned Americans who  front for big business in  the military  and  in Washington, is a deeply entrenched racism  of those who  are “other” and darker skinned:-   whether they  be  Plains Indians,   Filipinos,  Japanese,  Koreans, Vietnamese, Iraqi’s, Libyans, Syrians-  even  the Slavic Russian  and Serbian nations ..  the list  goes on  and on  and on….

It is time for the world to  recognise the savagery  and brutality of United States’  international  relations.  It is time to press for reparations for the  environmental  destruction,   the war destruction,  war crimes,  loss of life,  the torture  and the  murders  that  the United States has inflicted on  the world in  the fictitious name of “democracy  and freedom” in  the past  100  years. It is time to  end this  barbarism  and stupidity.

The United States is indeed ‘exceptional’,  but not quite in the way  that  their propagandists planned it. The American  state is  exceptional  in  it being a war  machine;  the government’s role is largely to  fund and plan  wars which  will  assist  the American  armament industry to  sell more weapons at  home abroad.


Links

https://original.antiwar.com/andy_corbley/2019/07/01/how-does-the-war-on-terror-stack-up-to-some-of-historys-most-infamous-genocides/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-united-states-of-genocide-putting-the-us-on-trial-for-genocide-against-the-peoples-of-korea-laos-viet-nam-cambodia-iraq-and-elsewhere/5352227

https://www.thenation.com/article/naming-americas-own-genocide/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/united-states-war-crimes/5561468

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/meet-american-empires-dr-death/

Democracy & the Power of Persuasion

Patient dummy
The dummy in the hospital bed

That  racist old warmonger, Winston Churchill,  has often been  quoted as saying,  “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.”…

Is it true now?-  and was it ever true?

The capacity of taxpayer funded government institutions to  manipulate public opinion has grown over the past 100  years as the theories of propaganda and  the power to  influence  individuals’  beliefs with  media, particularly electronic media, has grown   exponentially.

Modern  government bureaucracies  have always constructed ‘stories’  for their publics about how the world is:  who  is our ‘enemy’ – what  is ‘safe’ and what  is  ‘appropriate’ etc;  and the major medium  in  the past has been  via  status quo  newspapers ( the vast majority of modern newspaper and visual  media publishers are  active mouthpieces of  state propaganda  ( as in  the U.K.  with the BBC and The Guardian)  perhaps because of the enormous  costs of printing and distribution which  requires substantial  funding from  status quo funders.

Solely online social  media however;  blogs and online newspapers require far less input and resources, and their legitimacy  and media sources can  be easily hidden. They are easily accessible at minimum  cost  to  every  member of society, and the public can be ‘fed’  the official line-subtly and invisibly through  advertising   and other online  preference algorithms. The one small  downside of the electronic medium  world for  governments however,  is that  ‘rogue’  alternative media outlets also have access to  this cheap  media distribution process  (hence the desperate measures by  ‘respectable’  news outlets and governments to  promote the ‘fake news’  narrative and the need for  major  search  engine algorithms  to  be tightly controlled by  ‘respectable governments.

To  foster  and maintain the government narrative therefore requires more and more input to  feed the official  media line. As Craig Murray  notes, in the U.K. there are very large amounts of tax payer money  going into   manipulating public opinion for the benefit of those currently in  power.  The 77th Brigade of the British Army, the Integrity InitiativeMI5 and MI6 and GCHQ all run major programmes of covert online propaganda. These information warriors operate on twitter, facebook, and in comments sections across the internet. 

We can  be sure that  those U.K. manipulation agencies also exist everywhere across the world where there is sufficient taxpayer money, and sufficient need to  maintain  the status quo.

We could accurately call  these individuals and agencies,  the ‘Secret  Thought Police’.

Perhaps, if those agencies had some access to  a higher truth;  a global  need for a better life for all, saving the planet  or simply creating a more equitable world,  we might be able to  possibly argue that  those secret agencies are to  our mutual  benefit. But the reality is far from  that. Those agencies are designed to  entrench  those in  power with more power,  and with more money,  and to  negate,   satirize  and destroy by  whatever means available, alternative arguments, alternative strategies  that  might benefit and save ourselves and the planet. They  are in  consequence,  administered by  humans with limited understanding of their world,  with vast  prejudices  and with limited ethics and morality.

With  those huge resources  of thought engineering at  their disposal,  ‘governments’ which   across the world,  have  demonstrated their blindness and  total incapacity to  respond to  the catastrophes of global   heating and species loss facing us now, have instead steadfastly maintained their incestuous linkages with  the very corporations and  industries which  have created the nightmare unfolding day  by  day  in front of us.

When  many Western  governments,  but especially the U.K.  and U.S.,  have  knowingly and actively collaborated with states,  individuals and agencies over many years in  many countries   that   create  public fear  through  violence (the anatomy of terrorism), then  we have a sick  and debauched set of governments who  have no  moral right to  govern. Certainly  the current  leaders of Britain  and United States will,  in  the future, be key defendants  in  the dock  for war  crimes in Yemen  and other countries.

The Colour revolutions of the  past  10  years , (harnessing local  discontents with   resources from  foreign  governments and NGOs  and businesses such  as Soros) which have destabilized both  authoritarian  and socialist  governments alike across the globe,  have also, perhaps inadvertently , cast into question the authority of ‘democratic’ governments. Election results  are  more easily able to be questioned and invalidated in  their eyes of their voting publics.  Even  those  governments who  have destabilised   other foreign  governments with  such  tools for many years;  particularly the U.K.  and the U.S. , now find  themselves the victims of such  anti-establishment processes.

We have the somewhat  unique situation of the U.K.s Brexit poll  being questioned by  many in  the U.K.;  not because  the voting was flawed,  but  simply because it was not the result that  the powers that  be ,  wanted. The U.K.   may therefore  hold further Brexit votes until  they  get  the answer they  want;  a process which naturally underlines the key premises of the democratic system-  that  you vote for a party or issue  at  a certain  moment in  time  to  make longer term changes which  you may  or may  not disagree with later.

The recent Hong Kong riots  are an  example of the complexity of the issues where governments are actively destabilised by internal groups. The fears that  the proposed new extradition laws from  semi-autonomous Hong Kong to  mainland authoritarian  China will  create opportunities for Hong Kong dissidents to be controlled or  imprisoned in  China are  likely correct. As a former British  colony , ceded by  the  Qing dynasty of China  to  the British after the  First Opium War,  a brutal  and ethically bankrupt  war raged by  the British  to  ensure  a good supply of Chinese opium addicts, British  Hong Kong was  governed by  a British  Governor appointed by  the British “Crown”  and who  had  significant powers of authority up  to  1997 . The current dissidents therefore hancor for a non existent time when  there was in  fact a democratic Hong Kong not controlled by  ‘foreigners”. It is very  likely that , in the current anti-Chinese climate being rapidly developed by  U/S.  intelligence agencies,  that  their British  underlings are supporting the dissidents in  Hong Kong to put further pressure on Communist China,  along with  the  National  Endowment for “Democracy”,  an  NGO front for the U.S.  government destabilization agenda.

We are in  desperate need of change. Our ‘democratic’  system  is deeply flawed,  easily manipulated by  the powerful, and does not benefit in  the  longer term or even,  in  many cases,  the short term ,  its constituent publics.

 


Links

https://www.army.mod.uk/who-we-are/formations-divisions-brigades/force-troops-command/77-brigade/ 

How To Spot A Twitter Troll

https://williamblum.org/chapters/rogue-state/trojan-horse-the-national-endowment-for-democracy

 

 

 

 


Links

http://www.twainquotes.com/19100424b.html