Thursday, June 30, 2011

Israeli flotilla probe 'a sham' As Is Bahrain's Reconciliation Commission & Deja Vu: US Backs Honduran "Death Squads"

The Israeli probe into the events of the attack on the Gaza Flotilla a year ago once again shows Israel's contempt for the rule of law and for International Laws. According to the Israeli government Israel like its main ally the United States is a special case and is therefore not bound by International Laws or standards of human rights or the accepted rules of engagement.

Israel like the United States is only answerable to God's Law and not the laws of men.

So Israel therefore is justified and further should not have to explain its actions such as using deadly force against activists on a ship in international waters. Under International law the attack on the Flotilla was a criminal act of piracy on the High Seas.

What is hypocritical of this stance is if any other nation committed a similar act of piracy against an Israeli or American ship there would be hell to pay.

Israeli flotilla probe 'a sham' | Al Jazeera Blogs

..Every step of the way it was obvious that this commission, which was tasked with determining whether Israel is in breach of international law in blockading Gaza, had made up their minds long before they stepped into the Rabin Guest House.

But put all that aside, here are five simple reasons why this Commission is a sham.

1) The average age of the five original panelists is 84. They have all spent their careers defending the state of Israel and between them have very little expertise in international law...

2) ...Except for one of the panelists – Proff Rosenne - but sadly he died a few weeks ago. He was 93-years-old and he was not replaced, so the panel has now gone down to four.

3) The panelists were all hand picked by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Ehud Barak, the defence minister. The two token international observers on the panel are also widely known as sympathetic to Israel.

4) The coverage of the Turkel Commission in the Israeli papers is virtually non existent. Apart from a local TV channel, Al Jazeera English was the only channel broadcasting from outside the proceedings the last two days.

5) Turkel said two weeks ago, during proceedings, that "the people of Gaza have brought this hardship on themselves". Another panelist stated, despite the mass of data provided to the Commission by Israeli human rights groups on the situation in Gaza, "there is no humanitarian crisis in Gaza".

Case closed.

Freedom of the Press per usual is not respected by the right wing Israeli government or its military.
Israel intimidates and threatens journalists in the flotilla covering the story . Journalists who are on board ships in the Flotilla might be shot or killed by Israeli forces stopping the flotilla but otherwise such journalists are also warned they will be banned from Israel for 10 years.

Israel to stop Flotilla "without physical contact"

Uploaded by TheRealNews on Jun 27, 2011
Israeli government tells its plan to stop Flotilla and warns journalists - being on board can result in 10 year ban from Israel.

And another US ally Bahrain like Israel will investigate whether or not the government committed human rights violations including summary executions , torture and so on.
The leaders or spokespersons for the Reform Movement in Bahrain along with a number Human Rights organizations consider the probe or inquiry or even the notion of reconciliation as a lot of empty rhetoric and window dressing to placate its Western allies.

For instance in the article below the government claims that much of what has been reported about the brutal crackdown by Bahrain's and Saudi Arabia's security forces is merely a matter of unfounded rumors.
The Royal Family of Bahrain are still hoping to convince the world that all the negative reports coming out of Bahrain are merely propaganda by the reformers and the secret agents of the Iranian government.

President Obama and Hillary Clinton may buy into this nonsense but hopefully the rest of the international community is more skeptical and better informed on the situation in Bahrain.

America once again is not on the side of the people but rather on the side of another brutal anti-democratic regime. Meanwhile the Mainstream Media in the US plays its role of defending the US government and US interests and buys into whatever nonsense the US government tells them.

One has to remember that there are still millions of Americans who erroneously believe Saddam was involved with the 9/11 attacks and that Saddam had WMDs which it appears are still hidden.
But then again they also believe that the world is only 10,000 years old and that humans and dinosaurs lived at the same time and they believe that America is God's chosen nation which will fight on the side of the Messiah against the anti-Christ as the End-times come about in the next decade or so.

Bahrain king orders 'fact-finding' committee
King says independent committee of international human rights activists will probe protests that began in February. AlJazeera June 29, 2011

Bahrain's king has ordered that an independent fact-finding team be formed to investigate the weeks of protests that hit the tiny Gulf island country earlier this year, the state news agency has reported.

The announcement from King Hamid bin Isa al-Khalifa comes ahead of a national dialogue process, due to begin on Saturday, which the government says is a chance for reforms to be tabled and reconciliation between political and sectarian forces.

Opposition leaders did not immediately respond to the announcement from the king and have yet to signal whether they will attend the national dialogue on Saturday.

Click here for more of Al Jazeera's special coverage
"We still need to look at what happened to know all the details of February and March and evaluate those events as they really were," al-Khalifa said, speaking at an extraordinary cabinet session on Wednesday.

The king said that the decision had been taken after consultations with the UN High Commissioner of Human Rights, and that the committee would "be formed from internationally reputable figures well-versed in international human rights law".

He said that no member of the Bahraini government or anyone who was part of the "domestic political arena" would be a part of the committee.

"The committee will carry out its tasks and responsibilities, as defined after consultation with the members themselves in absolute independence without any intervention of any form, to present its report to me to take the actions necessary," he said.

"For there were victims of violence whom we cannot forget ... A lack of confidence has prevailed and vision has been blurred by rumours."

Bahrain's Sunni rulers have accused the pro-democracy protesters in the country of having a sectarian agenda, accusing regional power Iran of supporting them materially.

Nabil Rajab, a leading activist and head of the Manama-based Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, however, rejected out of hand the king's announcement.

"I don't think the king himself is capable of forming an independent and transparent committee [as] the person who declared the state of emergency, which is responsible for most of the crimes against humanity committed in our country," he told Al Jazeera.

Rajab alleged that the government's intention was to "bypass the committee that is supposed to be formed by the United Nations".

"I don't trust ... the intention of the government in forming this committee. I think we need an independent committee, hosted or sponsored by an international organisation like Human Rights Watch or Amnesty International.

"We're going to deal with this committee as a fact, but we don't think it is an independent [body]."

Regarding the dialogue process, Rajab said that the fact that the government itself was not taking part, preferring instead to set the process up as a forum for groups to talk to one another, was indicative of its stance of projecting the issue as a sectarian, and not political, one.

"[The people's concerns are] about power, about politics, about participation, about constitution, about will, and the problem is with the government, represented by the king [and] prime minister, not with the people of Bahrain. This dialogue ... if the government is not represented in it, it's not a dialogue," he said.

Tribunal adjourns

Meanwhile, a special security tribunal that is handling the appeals of 21 opposition leaders who have been convicted of plotting against the state adjourned proceedings on Wednesday until September.

The next appeals hearing is now set for September 11, but it appears unclear whether this will have an effect on Al-Wefaq, the main opposition bloc, in terms of participating in the planned reconciliation talks.

The United States has encouraged a process of dialogue in the country, which is home to the US Navy's Fifth Fleet.

While the US condemns Qaddafi for his brutal authoritarian Regime the US supports brutal authoritarian Regimes such as its ally Honduras . In Honduras the US does not object to the lack of freedom permitted to its citizens or even the use of "Death Squads" to silence any and all critics of the Honduran US backed military Junta.

And as mentioned above the US backs Israel's blockade of Gaza and Israel's claim that it alone can decide the fate of the people of Gaza to put it simply Israel is permitted to decide if the people of Gaza will eat or not .

We cannot expect the US or its allies to defend the people of Gaza since the US is itself guilty of similar inhumane blockades of other countries such as Iraq in the 1990s in which some 500,000 Iraqi children died unnecessarily because of America's actions.

Proof that the Honduran coup was made in America and the human rights violations killings and torture continue despite Hillary Clinton & Obama's lies about the situation improving in Honduras. There is no freedom of speech or freedom of assembly or of the press in Honduras.
America's government not in favor of human rights or democracy or economic justice if it cuts into the profits of US corporations or US investments in Honduras.

Honduras - Journalists, Activists Targeted as Repression Grows - Democracy NOW!

Uploaded by ThisBoyTV on Apr 13, 2011

Democracy NOW! DN! - Workers, students and activists have held a month-long general strike in Honduras to protest repression by the government of President Porfirio Lobo. Lobo came to power following elections under the regime of Roberto Micheletti, who seized power in a violent military coup against democratically elected President Manuel Zelaya in June 2009. Honduras is one of the world's most violent countries, with a homicide rate of four times higher than in Mexico, according to national statistics. We speak to Gerardo Torres, an independent journalist and a leading member of the National Front of Popular Resistance in Honduras. Published with written permission from Provided to you under Democracy NOW creative commons license. Democracy NOW!, an independent non-profit user funded news media, recognized and broadcast world wide.

And so once again we see the Ugly American unmasked stripped of empty rhetoric about peace, freedom and democratic rights. Coup d'etats and assassinations and the use of "Death Squads" to crush popular dissent is as it were America's calling card of good old fashioned Gun Boat Diplomacy to crush the will of the people.

US backs Honduran governments Murder of Journalist
It appears that like Israel and the USA the Honduran US backed regime does not like journalists who report the truth. Their solution like Israel's is intimidation, threats, imprisonment or murder .
In the US case they embedded journalists in iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere so that the US military and government can control the news so that very little news is released in the US which is seen as critical of the US military and government-those who report the truth are characterized by the government and media as traitors who are giving aid and comfort to the Terrorists.

Uploaded by AlJazeeraEnglish on May 24, 2010
At least eight journalists have been murdered in Honduras in less than three months.

The killings have raised concerns over the safety of reporters, especially those working on stories about human rights abuses.

From the capital Tegucigalpa, Kimberly Halkett reports.

And if America's actions lead to future blow-back Americans will act surprised and wonder why the people of Honduras or Iraq, or Afghanistan or Iran and so on hate America . They hate America in large part because America no matter who is president does respect the sovereignty of other nations.

US Supports Bloody Regime in Honduras Tuesday 28 June 2011
by: Andrew Kennis, Truthout | News Analysis, June 28, 2011

It was a typically balmy and rainy Sunday on June 5 in the Finca San Isidro farming lands of the fertile Bajo Aguán area in Honduras. José Recinos, Genaro Cuestas and Joel Santamaría were off to an early start to buy some farming materials with some other campesinos. None of them ever arrived at their destination: they were ambushed by a sea of bullets resulting in the deaths of Recinos, Cuestas and Santamaría and severe injuries to three of their companions.

"All three of my compañeros were soft-spoken and modest farmers, dedicated to the social struggle here in Aguán and beyond," said Cesar Rodriguez, a close friend and, like his fallen comrades, a member of the Autonomous Farmers Movement to Reclaim Aguán (MARCA). The three farmers were young, aged between 25 and 35 years old.

Killings such as these are far from unusual in Honduras, which has been described by leading human rights organizations as a country besieged by state-sponsored violence and repression. Further, many critics have pointed fingers at flawed US policies for exacerbating the deteriorating situation in a Central American nation long plagued by poverty and foreign resource extraction.

The three campesinos have backgrounds similar to many other victims, as not only farmers, but also teachers, journalists and activists in the opposition movement have been frequent targets of abuse. Politically motivated state-sponsored assassinations, however, are only one of many types of human rights violations occurring since the Honduran military executed a coup d'état in June 2009. Plaguing Honduras since that time has been a litany of abuses: excessive use of police and military force, individuals' disappearances with governmental culpability, death threats at gunpoint against judges and sexual violence, especially against the LGBT community. These abuses have attracted condemnations from both Honduran-based and leading international organizations, including Amnesty International, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, the Foodfirst Information and Action Network (FIAN) and a number of popular organizations based in Aguán.

and so it goes,

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