Saturday, February 14, 2009

Israel's And America's War Crimes From Iraq to Afghanistan to Lebanon to Gaza

Israel's War Crimes in Lebanon & Gaza
America's War Crimes in Afghanistan & Iraq

Obama defends Israel ignores allegations and evidence of War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity- we had expected a little more honest and even handedness on the part of Obama in the conflict between Israel and Gaza.

Obama and his crew of pro-Israeli Hawks will do all they can to make it difficult for the UN or the Hague or any foreign country to take any sort of real legal action against Israel.He too buys into the myth that only deranged anti-Semites and Neo-Nazis would ever dare to criticize Israel. And he seems now to agree with the Republicans and the Conservative movement in America that only deranged individuals would raise the issue of War Crimes committed by a US administration or by US troops .
Remember Americans do not torture except when they do .

They also do not flatten whole cities as retaliation in a disproportionate response except as they did in Fallujah and other cities in Iraq.

We also know from veterans of the Iraq war that much of Iraq was a free-fire zone and soldiers did and still do as they please. But the American public still wants to believe that their armed forces would never commit atrocities but they have.

Meanwhile some 30,000 Iraqis are in medieval style prisons because the American troops and the American public doesn't believe that Arabs or Muslims should be treated fairly and justly.

Besides the War Crimes alleged to have been committed by Israel in Gaza are very similar to how the US forces have operated in Iraq and Afghanistan

Gaza War Crimes Anne Wright

Chronic shortages in Gaza fuels black market-Feb. 12, 2009 Al jazeera

While the gates remain closed, much needed aid is piling up on the Israeli side of the border.

Inside the Strip, one million Gazans rely on food hand-outs to survive.

But they're also desperate for other every day items - and it's leading to a thriving black market.

Al Jazeera's Mike Kirsch reports from Gaza city.

For more details on the wounded in Gaza see: Global Research Gaza: Inside The World's Biggest PrisonFeb. 13, 2009

and so much of Gaza has been reduced to rubble as the Siege on Gaza continues: as for Gaza the Israelis have destroyed thousands of homes, apartment buildings, schools hospitals , civilian industrial sites from chicken farms to concrete factories - meanwhile Israel and Egypt have closed the borders once again.

If this doesn't count as a War Crime then what would - will the UN and especially the United States keep blaming Hamas and ignore the crimes of the Israeli government - surely merely a rhetorical question the People of Gaza the Palestinians are on their own and if Israel decided to starve all of them to death or drop Nukes on Gaza we can expect more lame rationalizations from Obama who is surrounded by Pro-Israeli hawks such as Hillary Clinton who see defending Israel as part of their Spiritual Mission and part of God's Mission for America .

From the point of view of millions of American Evangelical Christians the more war and suffering in the Middle East the better for to them it only hastens the Apocalypse and the Second Coming. So the deaths of a few thousand or hundreds of thousands mean nothing in this global Spiritual War because those who are among the chosen it appears will rise from the dead at some future date so not to worry. One wonders if President Obama who is also an Evangelical Christian also is waiting for the Second Coming and merely sees these troubles as Condoleeza Rice put it a few years ago quoting the Bible as "The Birth Pangs" but the birth of what a new Middle East with Israel completely dominant and extending its borders as far the Israelis see fit ? Does it mean an Israel containing no Muslims or Arabs ? Or is the next stage a limited nuclear war engineered and overseen by Israel and the United States? Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld and John McCain all have argued over and over again that in the so called War On Terror all options are still on the table including pre-emptive Nuclear attacks.

Ann Wright who is a retired Colonel of the US Reserves writes about the devastation she saw in her recent short visit to Gaza. The trip was cut short because the Egyptians and Israelis were once again shutting down the borders. As she says Gaza has become a prison for one and a half people . There is almost no employment since everything is at a stand-still. Few supplies are getting in . Most supplies are going into Gaza by way of hundreds of supposedly illegal tunnels which lead from Gaza to Egypt. Humanitarian aid groups including foreign medical personnel are only allowed in for short periods of time. The situation is desperate for the majority of the people yet the world turns away . The US of course is not interested in doing anything to help the Palestinians because they see such help as a betrayal of their ally Israel . The US is also not interested in helping to investigate allegations of War Crimes committed by Israeli forces because the allegations might turn out to be true and this for Obama might prove embarrassing. So Obama would prefer not to know otherwise he might have to reconsider his unwavering unconditional support of Israel. The US one had hoped under the Obama Administration would be more even handed in dealing with Israel and the Palestinians but this is but a faint hope.

Another problem with the allegations made against Israel for alleged War Crimes is that what Israel has bee accused of doing in Gaza the US has been doing the same things in Iraq and Afghanistan . The American forces have also used disproportionate response to insurgent and terrorists attacks and have shown little regard for noncombatants, and American have also been accused of using illegal weapons such as White Phosphorus, cluster bombs etc. and have also fired upon humanitarian aid personnel and medics and ambulances and have targeted journalists and have destroyed whole neighborhoods , villages, towns and cities because insurgents were suspected to be in the area or just to take revenge for American soldiers killed, the Americans also destroyed civilian infrastructure; roads, highways, bridges and factories , schools , hospitals , water and sewage treatment plants and Electrical Power Stations and the lists goes on. So if Obama agrees to investigate Israel's alleged War Crimes then he might feel inclined to investigate America's alleged War Crimes and that he nor most of the people in his administration would want to do that.

" Under Siege Again, But Gaza Will Not Die " by Ann Wright at MWC Feb. 12, 2009

The Israeli Smashing of Gaza and International Silence by Ann Wright Feb. 13, 2009

SILENCE from the International Community

The sights we saw in Gaza were tragic-a Goliath Israel pounding a small Gaza David with international silence and complicity in the 22 day military attack on Gaza and on the 16 month siege of Gaza. 1330 Palestinians have died, 5400 have been wounded and hundreds of thousands with memories of the bombings and invasion and occupation. Over $2 billion will be spent on rebuilding destroyed homes, businesses and factories. And there is SILENCE!!

Smashing of Gaza is a War Crime

I deplore the use of rockets against Israeli towns by Hamas and other groups in Gaza which have killed approximately 20 Israelis.

But, as a military officer who taught the Geneva Conventions and the Law of Land Warfare in US military schools, I fully believe the disproportionate response by the Israeli government and military in the smashing of Gaza is a violation of international law and a war crime.

Gaza being used to test new weapons ie. DIMEs

Gaza: Death's Laboratory by Conn Hallinan at Foreign Policy In Focus Feb. 12, 2009(CommonDreams & SabbahBlog)

The specific weapon is called a Dense Inert Metal Explosive (DIME). In 2000, the U.S. Air Force teamed up with the University of California's Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The weapon wraps high explosives with a tungsten alloy and other metals like cobalt, nickel, or iron in a carbon fiber/epoxy container. When the bomb explodes the container evaporates, and the tungsten turns into micro-shrapnel that is extremely lethal within a 13-foot radius. Tungsten is inert, so it doesn't react chemically with the explosive. While a non-inert metal like aluminum would increase the blast, tungsten actually contains the explosion to a limited area.

Within the weapon's range, however, it's inordinately lethal. According to Norwegian doctor Mad Gilbert, the blast results in multiple amputations and "very severe fractures. The muscles are sort of split from the bones, hanging loose, and you also have quite severe burns." Most of those who survive the initial blast quickly succumb to septicemia and organ collapse. "Initially, everything seems in order...but it turns out on operation that dozens of miniature particles can be found in all their organs," says Dr. Jam Brommundt, a German doctor working in Kham Younis, a city in southern Gaza. "It seems to be some sort of explosive or shell that disperses tiny particles...that penetrate all organs, these miniature injuries, you are not able to attack them surgically." According to Brommundt, the particles cause multiple organ failures.

If by some miracle victims resist those conditions, they are almost certain to develop rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS), a particularly deadly cancer that deeply embeds itself into tissue and is almost impossible to treat. A 2005 U.S. Department of health study found that tungsten stimulated RMS cancers even in very low doses. All of the 92 rats tested developed the cancer.

...The Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) also made generous use of white phosphorus, a chemical that burns with intense heat and inflicts terrible burns on victims. In its vapor form it also damages breathing passages. International law prohibits the weapon's use near population areas and requires that "all reasonable precautions" be taken to avoid civilians.

...Donatella Rovera of Amnesty International said: "Such extensive use of this weapon in Gaza's densely-populated residential neighborhoods...and its toll on civilians is a war crime."

Israel is also accused of using depleted uranium ammunition (DUA), which a UN sub-commission in 2002 found in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Charter, the Geneva Conventions, the International Convention Against Torture, the Conventional Weapons Convention, and the Hague Conventions against the use of poison weapons.

War Crimes?

Other human-rights groups, including B'Tselem, Gisha, and Physicians for Human Rights, charge that the IDF intentionally targeted medical personal, killing over a dozen, including paramedics and ambulance drivers.

The International Federation for Human Rights called on the UN Security Council to refer Israel to the International Criminal Court for possible war crimes.

...The Geneva Conventions require belligerents to at "all times" distinguish between combatants and civilians and to avoid "disproportionate force" in seeking military gains.

Hamas' use of unguided missiles fired at Israel would also be a war crime under the Conventions.

"The one-sidedness of casualty figures is one measure of disproportion," says Richard Falk, the UN's human rights envoy for the occupied territories. A total of 14 Israelis have been killed in the fighting, three of them civilians killed by rockets, 11 of them soldiers, four of the latter by "friendly fire." Some 50 IDF soldiers were also wounded.

In contrast, 1,330 Palestinians have died and 5,450 were injured, the overwhelming bulk of them civilians.

"This kind of fighting constitutes a blatant violation of the laws of warfare, which we ask to be investigated by the Commission of War Crimes," a coalition of Israeli human rights groups and Amnesty International said in a joint statement. "The responsibility of the state of Israel is beyond doubt.

...Enter the Hague?

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann would coordinate the defense of any soldier or commander charged with a war crime. In any case, the United States would veto any effort by the UN Security Council to refer Israelis to the International Court at The Hague.

But, as the Financial Times points out, "all countries have an obligation to search out those accused of 'grave' breaches of the rules of war and to put them on trial or extradite them to a country that will."

That was the basis under which the British police arrested Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1998.

Also see: Palestine: Peace through devolution not evolution " by Ben Tanosborn at Media With Conscience News (MWC) Feb. 12, 2009

also see: Universal Declaration of Human Rights & Palestinians by Gideon Polya, MWC ,Jan. 24, 2009

Israel’s Lose-Lose Election by William Pfaff,,Feb.12,2009

The continuing reality will be that the Palestinians remain the segregated military prisoners of the now-militarized state of Israel, which has no basis in international law to hold them prisoners.

and concludes thus:

The Israelis have done pretty much what they pleased with the Palestinians, taking their land for their own, and for immigrant American religious fanatics; annexing Palestinian farms and destroying their crops; seizing control of the water resources of the West Bank; building “separation walls”; and sequestering Islamic and Christian places of worship. These actions have shamed millions of their American supporters, and inspired others to form vigilante bands to silence Israel’s critics and persecute Arab professors at American universities.

This has won Israel nothing but hatred. What actually is happening is that the Palestinian occupation is driving numbers of Israelis and their supporters toward moral and political suicide, so that one may ask if in a hundred years, or a thousand years, there will any longer be an Israel where Jewish worshipers will recall the psalm “God is a Righteous Judge, strong and patient; and God is provoked every day.”

Also see article calling on President Obama to end the US ongoing disastrous policies towards Israel and the Palestinians.

"Obama Will Need All of His 'Out-of-The-Box' Thinking to Tackle Israel "by Anne Penketh, The Independent UK, Feb. 12,2009

and so it goes,

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