Mirror, Mirror, who is the Victim?

Zeinab Daher

While the entire world sympathized with the death of the three year-old Aylan al-Kurdi off the Mediterranean, the exact same world remained silent towards the martyrdom of the 12 year-old Yemeni girl Ishraq al-Muafha whose life was taken last week in a Saudi massacre at the al-Falah Primary School in the District of Nihm.

Mirror, Mirror, who is the Victim?

A schoolbag, a severed limb and an innocent body lying on the desert, is what was left from the young Ishraq. The little girl was a victim of one of the many Saudi massacres that do not receive much condemnation – or at least attention – of the global media, the international public opinion and the world leaders’ ‘sympathy’.

The dominant hypocrisy of the mainstream media, the biggest liar influencing public reactions to ongoing developments, is the main cause of injustice practiced against people of Yemen. While militants in Syria are referred to as rebels, the resistance in Yemen conduct ‘attacks’ according to media outlets.

The media blackout surrounding the humanitarian situation in Yemen is evidence that children there are the number one victim of the ongoing aggression. Only in the impoverished war-torn Yemen do six children die every hour due to various preventable diseases.

Meanwhile, 9.6 million children are in need of humanitarian and health care and 2.2 million children are suffering from malnutrition, almost all of severe cases.

Besides, 1.8 million of the Yemeni children are, unfortunately, out of school. But wait, perhaps those out of school are luckier than the others. Maybe those deprived from education are likely to be martyred next to their families instead of dying alone on the way back home from school or vice versa, just like the case of Ishraq.

An image of a soulless body, sadly, didn’t touch the ‘hearts’ of those who claim to defend human rights, and the rights of children and their childhood in particular.

In this regard, Professor of Media in the Faculty of Media and Documentation at the Lebanese University Dr. Abbas Mzannar said to Al-Ahed News in an exclusive interview that “On the level of hiding the news of the Yemeni children, it is a sort of bedimming propaganda in such media war. Such blacking out aims at hiding the humanitarian image that was pretty much activated with media globalization. Media globalization originated at the beginning of the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The humane speech during war there emerged and was being used by NATO, stressing the humanitarian role of power.”

Dr. Mzannar further explained that: “The image proved in the wars of the so-called Arab Spring its major role, especially in the presence of the multimedia devices that can reveal the image but can also fake it. As for Yemen, even the very simple images were not circulated; we have always seen destruction but we haven’t seen victims and images didn’t reflect this flagrant aggression.”

The expert in media stressed that Yemen represented a symbolic icon of perseverance and not surrendering to the so-called Arab deterrence, which is in fact American deterrence with Arab coalition and sponsorship.

“The Yemeni example, frankly speaking, is legendary and miraculous. What is going on in Yemen, resisting this flagrant aggression for almost two years, is a giant persistence. The Yemeni people offered enormous patience and persistence and revealed the historic image of the revolutionary Yemen which doesn’t surrender. They are trying to break this exemplary image,” Dr. Mzannar noted.

He went on to say that in modern history, such a destructive war on infrastructure, children and schools is unprecedented. This blackout of the humanitarian side is to continue the war and destroy this example and try to deter all those who belong to the axis of resistance. They didn’t exclude any means to achieve their futile goal in settling their deterrence power. The Yemeni resistance continues, and all what belongs to the humanitarian face, ending the war and the civilians, will remain undercover.

Making clear how much pressure image circulation can exert on the level of stopping a war, or at least reaching a ceasefire agreement, the media professor used the July 2006 ‘Israeli’ war on Lebanon as an example: “This had previously happened in the July 2006 war on Lebanon. When the Qana Massacre 2006 came to the surface, a ceasefire immediately took place and the ‘Israelis’ were confused. This makes clear how serious the humanitarian side is and the role it plays.”

“Even in the Vietnam War, when the images of the American soldiers killed were published, the American people and public opinion moved on the spot, and deterred the war,” the man added.

As for now, people, who can play major roles, are being totally misled by globalized media that is controlled by a coalition hostile to the real Islam and all that belongs to the axis of resistance.

“Frankly speaking, there is a lot of images published by the Guardian, the BBC, western and French media, for children supposedly from Syria that turned out to be fake. The images rather belonged to kids from Iraq and Palestine.”

Dr. Mzannar stressed that there is deliberate misleading [of public opinion] and an attempt to humanize a war like that in Aleppo, where the humanitarian face is very significant; at the same time, there are counter attempts to totally make absent the aspects of the war on Yemen in favor of continuing the aggression.

Almost two years have passed since the first day of the brutal Saudi aggression, yet the Yemenis are still showing unprecedented resistance, defending their nation and defeating the cruel attacker.

Until then, few are the mirrors that can eye the victim wherever he/she happens to fall, and so many are one-eyed [and] fabricating news, hiding many innocent martyrs, and trumpeting the aggressors’ propaganda by showering public opinion with a lot of fake news.

May the souls of all children rest in peace, the victims of terrorism, media bias, hypocrisy and the polishing of the monster’s image in the eyes of the world.

Source: Al-Ahed News

16-01-2017 | 09:54

وماذبحت ان ذبحت .. ولكن باراك ذبح

 وماذبحت ان ذبحت .. ولكن باراك ذبح

هدية وتذكار أخير في الأيام المعدودة لرجل الأيام المعدودة .. عهد الذبح …..نارام سرجون

 ربما سيحار المؤرخون في الطريقة التي سيعبرون بها عن عهد باراك اوباما.. فلكل رئيس اميريكي انجاز يلتصق به ويصبح صفة ملازمة ترافقه في كتب التاريخ .. وبعضهم صارت له رسوم تلازم أي اشارة اليه .. بعضها على العملة الامريكية وبعضها في المتاحف وبعضهم منحوت في الجبال ..

ولكل نظرتها المتأملة أو الهادئة .. ولكن كيف سينصف المؤرخون باراك اوباما؟؟ وماهو الوصف الذي سيختصره؟؟ هل يليق به لقب “صاحب الربيع العربي”؟؟ أم صديق الاسلاميين الأكبر؟؟ أم الرئيس الذي نشر الذبّيحة في العالم؟؟ وماهي الصورة التي ستعبر عنه وعن عهده الرهيب .. ؟؟ بحيث أن من يراها لايشك أبدا في أن أهم انجاز لهذا الرجل قد لخصته لوحة واحدة ونظرة واحدة .. الرئيس الذي يذبح مبتسما ..

من بين كل اللوحات التي رسمت لأوباما وهو ضاحك أو حائر أو حزين فان هذه اللوحة التي تصوره يهم بذبح الطفل الفلسطيني في حلب على يد ذبيحة (نور الدين زنكي) مع شركائه الاسلاميين الذين تقاسم معهم المذابح والقتل والرعب والسبايا .. هذه اللوحة تعد الأقرب الى الواقع والحقيقة وتلخص كل عهده .. وأعتقد انه يجب أن ترسل له في بطاقة بريدية وان يصنع منها طابع تذكاري يخلده على أهم انجازات تجمعها الصورة .. فهو عهد الذبح .. وعهد ذبح الأطفال تحديدا الذي سيجلب عليه العار في كل كلمة تكتب عنه في كتب التاريخ ..

ففي عهده تم ذبح اكبر عدد من البشر في التاريخ الحديث بحد السكين .. وفي عده تم ذبح أكبر عدد من الأطفال بحد السكين في التاريخ الحديث .. وفي عهده الميمون تدحرج أكبر عدد من رؤوس البشر أمام الكاميرات .. وفي عهده قام التحالف بين نموذج الحرية وايقونة الديمقراطية الغربية وبين داعش والقاعدة والاخوان المسلمين ..

تخيلوا ان ألمانيا النازية وكل قوتها لم تصمد امام انزال النورماندي الذي قاده الامريكيون ووصلت دباباتهم الى برلين في زمن قياسي .. وتخيلوا ان جيش صدام حسين الي كان يعد الجيش الرابع في العالم لم يصمد امام الغزو الاميريكي الا ثلاثة اسابيع .. وحده فقط ابو بكر البغدادي صمد كل هذه السنوات بل وكان يتمدد .. ولايزال الخبراء الامريكيون حائرين في تحديد الزمن اللازم للقضاء عليه .. بين بضع سنوات الى حد ثلاثين سنة .. ولكن الحقيقة هي ان الدواعش هم شركاء أوباما ..

هذه الصورة وهذا الطابع هما ماأحب أن أهدي لباراك أوباما في الايام المعدودات الباقية على رئيس الايام المعدودات .. وان اضعهما في بريده الذي سيفتحه هذا الرجل ذو السجل الأسود في أول صباح خارج البيت الأبيض .. انهما حقا يلخصان زمن أوباما .. زمن ذبح فيه الأطفال بالسكاكين تحت رعايته .. بل ان يده هي التي ذبحت .. وكان الأجدر بكل ذباحي الاسلاميين أن يقولوا قبل كل ذبح عظيم: وماذبحت ان ذبحت .. ولكن باراك ذبح ..

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UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

Designed by: Nour Fakih

UK Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

International Criminal Court Gets Slammed; Russia, Other Countries, Withdraw from Body

iccartoon

By Richard Edmondson

The International Criminal Court, based in The Hague, Netherlands, seems to feel that the only people capable of committing war crimes are Africans.

You can go here to view a list of 32 people indicted by the ICC since the year 2005. All of them are from Africa. The list includes such notable U.S. enemies as Muammar Gaddafi and his son, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi.

Some African nations have said ‘enough is enough’ and ended their membership in the court, and just last week Russia announced that it too will follow suit.

The International Criminal Court, or ICC, was set up with the passage of the Rome Statute, an international treaty adopted in Rome in 1998. The treaty formally went into effect in 2002, and the ICC began operations that same year. States which have either ratified or become signatories to the treaty become, in turn, members of the ICC. Currently 124 countries, at least officially, hold such membership. These are each allowed one voting representative on the Assembly of State Parties. The ASP is a legislative body set up to provide “management oversight” of the ICC, but usually it only meets once a year.

The court was given a mandate to investigate and prosecute crimes of genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression. There’s lots of that going on in the world, you know. Crimes against humanity for instance entail large-scale attacks against civilian populations. Just off the top of our heads we might think of, oh, say, Israel’s attacks against Gaza and its deliberate targeting of hospitals, UN schools, and residential buildings.

ustortureiraq

Or take the category “war crimes”–crimes falling under this classification include the torture of prisoners, oh, such as occurred in US-run torture facilities.  Heck, we even have Obama admitting, “We tortured some folks.”

But up until January of this year, just about the only armed conflict venues the ICC had ever launched formal investigations into were in… Africa.

Ah! But on January 27, 2016, in a rare departure, the ICC announced it wouldlook into some alleged crimes committed outside of Africa.

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Umm…to be sure, the scope of this new investigation will not cover US officials such as, say, Alberto Gonzales, or the US treatment of prisoners in Iraq; and…well…neither is the ICC investigating Israel for its firing of white phosphorus shells into a UN compound in Gaza City on January 15, 2008, or the Jewish state’s use of the controversial “Hannibal Directive” during its 2014 war on Gaza, a measure which resulted in the deaths of 190 civilians in the town of Rafah on August 1, 2014–the date Palestinians have since come to refer to as “Black Friday.”

No.

Specifically the ICC has begun, or found itself compelled to begin, an investigation into the Russia-Georgia war over South Ossetia that occurred in 2008. And just to make sure the world understands it is being fair and impartial, the court has announced it has “gathered information on alleged crimes attributed to the three parties involved in the armed conflict – the Georgian armed forces, the South Ossetian forces, and the Russian armed forces.”

So yes, the court is now investigating Russia.

But as I say, the only indictments so far have been of Africans.

Perhaps it should come as no surprise, then, that last month three African countries announced their withdrawal from the court. The three countries are: South Africa, Burundi, and Gambia. The Parliament of Kenya has also voted to leave the ICC. And in 2015, the African National Congress issued a public statement in which it asserted that the “ICC is no longer useful for the purposes for which it was intended.”

But perhaps the real blockbuster came last week when Russia announced it, too, will be withdrawing from the Rome Statute and the ICC. This took place via an announcement posted on the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry on November 16.

Interestingly, on that same day, November 16, University of Illinois Law Professor Francis A. Boyle sent out an email containing a scathing indictment of the ICC, the legal scholar denouncing the court as “a joke and a fraud.”

The comments of both Boyle, who has an extensive background in international law, and the Russian government, were prompted by a recently-released ICC report blandly entitled, “Report on Preliminary Examination Activities 2016,” that was  published on the ICC’s website on November 14.

The report (available here in PDF) offers the results of a “preliminary investigation” into nine different conflict areas in the world. The ICC views a preliminary investigation as a necessary step in order to determine “whether a situation meets the legal criteria” needed to warrant a full investigation. In other words, the ICC is investigating whether or not to do an investigation.

Of the nine different conflict areas, two are of particular interest: Palestine and Ukraine. Russia’s main concern, as you might expect, would be the findings pertaining to the latter. The concerns expressed by Boyle, on the other hand, were focused on the section of the report dealing with Palestine. Let’s take Palestine first.

The ICC on Palestine

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ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

The report is a declaration of activities undertaken by the branch of the ICC known as the Office of the Prosecutor, referred to in the document as “OPT”, or simply “the Office.” The OPT’s main area of inquiry is the 2014 Gaza conflict, known as Operation Protective Edge. By contrast, Operation Cast Lead, the bloody conflict which took place in 2008-09, goes completely unmentioned, and the term “white phosphorus” does not appear anywhere in the report.

While the report does supply a “contextual background” to the Israel-Palestine conflict–in the course of which the Six-Day War is mentioned, as are Israel’s “unilateral withdrawal” from Gaza in 2005 and the election of Hamas the following year–most of the section on Palestine, as I say, deals with the events of 2014.

“All parties are alleged to have committed crimes during the 51-day conflict,” the report states, and the words “alleged” or “allegedly” are employed repeatedly throughout.

Alleged crimes said to have been committed by Palestinians include “attacks against civilians,” “use of protected persons as shields” and “ill-treatment of persons accused of being collaborators.” A single paragraph is devoted to each category, following which the report moves on to “Acts allegedly committed by the IDF,” and here the “alleged” crimes include “attacks against residential buildings and civilians,” “attacks against medical facilities and personnel,” “attacks against UNRWA schools,” and “attacks against other civilian objects and infrastructure.” Once again, a single paragraph is devoted to each alleged crime.

The ICC says it has reviewed “over 320 reports as well as related documentation and supporting material” in the course of conducting its preliminary investigation. The report also mentions a trip to Israel by the OPT that took place October 5 to 10, 2016. The visit is said to have been facilitated by “Israeli and Palestinian authorities,” but apparently did not include a visit to Gaza. At least none is mentioned. One place they did visit, however, is Hebrew University in Jerusalem, where supposedly the OPC staff “engaged with the law faculty.” Why there was need for such an engagement is not clear, although the report does say the trip to Israel as a whole was undertaken for purpose of “raising awareness about the ICC” as well as to “address any misperceptions” about the judicial body.

Boyle’s comments about the ICC report, or at least his “alleged” comments, we might say, were posted at the Al-Awda Yahoo group (Yahoo login required), and were also sent out by email.

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In addition to branding the ICC “a joke and a fraud” the comment also makes reference to the visit to Hebrew University, which indeed is described on page 32 of the report.

The ICC’s “conclusion and next steps” in regard to its investigation on Palestine will be aimed at “continuing to engage in a thorough factual and legal assessment of the information available, in order to establish whether there is a reasonable basis to proceed with an investigation.” It will also “assess information on potentially relevant national proceedings, as necessary and appropriate.”

The ICC on Ukraine

Like Boyle’s posted comment, Russia’s announced withdrawal from the ICC also came on November 16–in a statement posted on the website of the nation’s Foreign Ministry. The statement does not single out Ukraine or the ICC report specifically. Its criticisms of the court are generalized. But the timing, just two days after the report’s publication, would strongly suggest that the one was prompted by the other.

The ICC report portrays the Maidan protests largely as a spontaneous popular uprising, making no mention of the US role in the overthrow of the Yanukovych government. Reference to the leaked phone conversation between the State Department’s Victoria Nuland and Jeffry Pyatt, the US ambassador to Ukraine, in which the two discussed who would become the new Ukrainian head of state, is completely omitted. “The protest movement continued to grow in strength and reportedly diversified to include individuals and groups who were generally dissatisfied with the Yanukovych Government and demanded his removal from office,” says the report, and the narrative adhered to is primarily that of the US:

On 21 February 2014, under European Union mediation, President Yanukovych and opposition representatives agreed on a new government and fixed Presidential elections for May 2014. However, on 22 February 2014, the Ukrainian Parliament voted to remove President Yanukovych, and he left the country that day to the Russian Federation.

In other words, it was all legal and on the up-and-up.

The relaying of events in Crimea and in Eastern Ukraine also follows a similar pattern. The Crimean referendum of March 16, 2014, in which 96.77% of voters chose to rejoin Russia, is referred to as “the alleged decision of residents of Crimea to join the Russian Federation,” with the report mentioning that the referendum “was declared invalid by the interim Ukrainian Government.” The “interim Ukrainian Government” means, of course, the government installed by the US, though the report doesn’t say so.

While occasional reference is made to crimes committed by “all sides” or “both sides” in the Ukrainian conflict, clearly the main focus is on the alleged transgressions of Russia and, to a lesser extent, those of armed opposition groups in Donbass that are allied to Russia. The crimes cited include:

  • Harassment of Crimean Tatar population
  • Killing and abduction
  • “Ill treatment”
  • Detention
  • Disappearance
  • Torture

The report also talks about destruction of property, including homes and schools, asserting that this has occurred “in both government-controlled territory and in areas controlled by armed groups.” But its fundamental conclusion is that the situation in Ukraine is legally classified as an “armed conflict.” As such, “the situation within the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol factually amounts to an on-going state of occupation.” Occupation by Russia, that is. Furthermore, “a determination of whether or not the initial intervention which led to the occupation is considered lawful or not is not required.” Or in other words, while Russia conceivably may have had some valid concerns (though the report leaves it entirely up to the reader’s imagination to guess what these might be), none of these will be taken into consideration by the ICC.

As noted above, the statement put out by the Russia Foreign Ministry makes no direct reference to the November 14 report, and its criticisms of the ICC are of a mostly generalized nature:

The ICC as the first permanent body of international criminal justice inspired high hopes of the international community in the fight against impunity in the context of common efforts to maintain international peace and security, to settle ongoing conflicts and to prevent new tensions.

Unfortunately the Court failed to meet the expectations to become a truly independent, authoritative international tribunal. The work of the Court is characterized in a principled way as ineffective and one-sided in different fora, including the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council. It is worth noting that during the 14 years of the Court’s work it passed only four sentences having spent over a billion dollars.

And while Ukraine isn’t specifically mentioned, the 2008 conflict between Russia and Georgia is:

The Russian Federation cannot be indifferent to the Court’s attitude vis-a-vis the situation of August 2008. The Saakashvili regime’s attack on peaceful Tshinval, the assassination of the Russian peacekeepers resulted in the Court’s accusations against South-ossetian militia and Russian soldiers. Eventual investigation of actions and orders of Georgian officials was left to the discretion of the Georgian justice and remains outside of the focus of the ICC Prosecutor’s office attention. This development speaks for itself. We can hardly trust the ICC in such a situation.

The statement also acknowledges the widespread dissatisfaction with the ICC by countries in Africa:

In this regard the demarche of the African Union which has decided to develop measures on a coordinated withdrawal of African States from the Rome Statute is understandable. Some of these States are already conducting such procedures.

Conclusions

While some of those indicted over the years by the ICC may well have deserved it, at the same time, it’s hard not to draw the conclusion that the court has been used as a tool by powerful countries. Yes, it’s true, the ICC is conducting an ongoing “preliminary investigation” into the conflict in Afghanistan. The November 14 report in fact includes a section on Afghanistan which addresses crimes committed by the three main parties to the conflict: the Taliban, Afghan government forces, and the US-led international forces. With regard to the latter, the ICC states it has “a reasonable basis to believe” that the US “resorted to techniques amounting to the commission of the war crimes of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity and rape.”

Yet elsewhere in the same section, a somewhat contradictory view is offered:

Having reviewed information on a large number of incidents attributed to the international forces, the Office has determined that, although these operations resulted in incidental loss of civilian life and harm to civilians, in most incidents the information available does not provide a reasonable basis to believe that the military forces intended the civilian population as such or individual civilians not taking direct part in hostilities to be the object of attack.

The report goes on to discuss “a few other incidents,” said to involve international forces, though without offering much hope of a prosecution due to “a paucity of the information” concerning them.

The chances of the ICC prosecuting any US official for war crimes seems slim, and indeed as the New York Times put it in a report published on November 14, the court’s prosecutor “has been considering whether to begin a full-fledged investigation into potential war crimes [committed by the US] in Afghanistan for years.”

Or to be more precise, for years the prosecutor has been “investigating whether to investigate” the US.

Interestingly, the Times article goes on to note as well that the court has been “under great pressure to show that it is unbiased in its targets for investigation.”

I have yet to point it out, but I will do so here: the ICC report of November 14 also contains no mention of Saudi war crimes in Yemen.

In the wake of Moscow’s announcement of its withdrawal from the ICC, two Russian writers, Dmitry Rodionov and Sergey Aksenov, published a commentaryon the issue, noting, as did the Foreign Ministry, that the judicial body had spent more than $1 billion over the 14 years of its existence and in the process had handed down only four sentences. They comment:

…The Hague prosecutor called the Crimean referendum “illegal” and the situation on the peninsula “occupation.” The fact that Russian troops were present on the peninsula according to agreements with Ukraine is ignored by the report.

For all of next year and perhaps even longer, the ICC will gather evidence on Crimea. Hague investigations are usually dragged on for years. For example, the court’s prosecutor received permission to investigate the events in South Ossetia from 2008 only this year….

According to lawyer Ilya Novikov, the court’s negative decision on Crimea could potentially result in formal charges and ICC arrest warrants. This will enable the countries complying with the Rome Statue to arrest Russian citizens and send them to the Hague court.

Assistant professor of political theory at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Kirill Koktysh, has pointed out that the ICC’s legal position is incorrect. It was not an annexation that took place in Crimea like the Hague asserts, but a secession: first Crimea seceded from Ukraine and only then joined Russia. According to Koktysh, the ICC’s initiative resembles a PR action rather than a strict legal procedure.

Whether the ICC is engaging in a “PR action,” as the Russians comment, or whether the court is a “joke and a fraud,” as Boyle would seem to have it, the upshot is that for the entire 14 years since the court came into existence, the biggest war criminals in the world have skated away scot-free.

War Crimes Alert: U.S. regime is preparing for invasion of Yemen

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Because their Saudis and mercenaries-terrorists tools are not able to do their dirty work, the United States regime is now directly involved to complete its imperial agenda

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Image released by the US Navy shows a guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG 87) preparing to conduct a replenishment-at-sea at an undisclosed location on August 3, 2016. (Photo by AFP)


In a televised speech on Thursday, Abdul Malik Badreddin al-Houthi slammed Washington’s recent missile attacks against three mobile radar sites on Yemen’s Red Sea coast, saying the nation and armed forces should stay vigilant and stand fully ready to face the invaders.

The US is after laying the groundwork for making an invasive move against [western coastal] Hudaydah Province”, the statement said, adding, “Through this measure, the US is after building up pressure on and harassing the people of Yemen”.

“The Yemeni nation will defend its territory, freedom and independence, seeing it as its right to use any legitimate means against violent invasions,” the Houthi leader said.

He made the comments on the anniversary of the October 14, 1963 onset of an armed struggle, which forced the British into withdrawal from southern Yemen.

Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement

Abdul Malik al-Houthi

Lead-up

The US on Wednesday hit Yemen’s radar sites after claiming that the USS Mason, a guided-missile destroyer, had come under the Yemeni attack for the second time in four days.

Yemeni officials have rejected the allegations as “unfounded” aimed at providing a pretext for the intelligence and logistics support which the US has provided to Saudi Arabia in its military campaign.

US accusations came in the wake of a Saudi aerial attack on a funeral which killed more than 140 people attending a wake for the father of Yemen’s interior minister in the capital Sana’a on Saturday.

Ansarullah on Thursday “expressed readiness to work with any United Nations or international body to investigate these allegations and to punish those behind this, regardless who they may be,” the Saba Net news agency reported.

Spokesman for Yemeni forces Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman denounced US missile strikes, saying Yemen reserves the right to defend itself in the face of such threats.

Pentagon on warpath

The Pentagon, however, said it was preparing for possible new strikes in Yemen.

“This is about protecting our people, period,” Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said even though he acknowledged that the US has yet to determine who was responsible for the alleged launch of missiles.

“We don’t know who was pulling the trigger,” but the missiles were launched from “Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen,” Cook claimed.

Many observers believe US allegations of Yemeni attacks on its warships are aimed at turning away attention from the Sana’a carnage and reducing pressure on Washington over its aid to the Saudis.

They say the Yemeni army and its allies are unlikely to have opted for opening a new front, which would only undermine their position in the battle against Saudi Arabia.

Washington, along with the UK, has been a major arms provider to Saudi Arabia, which has been at war against its southern neighbor since March 2015.

The US has supported the Saudi military and its allies with aerial refueling and targeting assistance during the war on Yemen.


SOURCES: PressTV Submitted by Cem Ertür War Press Info Network at : https://syrianfreepress.wordpress.com/2016/10/16/usa-invade-yemen/ ~

 

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WATCHING THE HAWKS, WITH SEAN STONE: “EVA BARTLETT CHALLENGES THE CORRUPT WESTERN MEDIA’S VISION OF SYRIA”

IN GAZA

Aug 25, 2016, Watching the Hawks RT

Eva Bartlett, independent journalist and blogger at “INGAZA,” joins Sean Stone from Beirut to discuss the time she spent in Syria and how what she has seen and heard directly challenges the western media’s narrative of the war in that country.

*

*Also shared here: Eva Bartlett: ‘It’s not a civil war – This is a war ON Syria’ AUGUST 26, 2016 BY 21WIRE

21st Century Wire says…

Beyond its violent and damaging effects on the ground, the Syrian Conflict is a PR war mounted by the western powers and their surrogates.

Regarding the Syrian Conflict, here is an informative interview by RT America’s Watching the Hawks co-host Sean Stone and independent journalist Eva Bartlett, explaining the real dynamics on the ground in Syria and also the western media lies and manipulations on Syria, especially with the current Battle for Aleppo.

READ MORE SYRIA NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Syria Files

USA Okay With Surgical Strikes on Yemen Hospitals

Source

By William Boardman | Reader Supported News | August 24, 2016

Nuremberg: “a war of aggression … is the supreme international crime”

Waging genocidal war on a defenseless country was never so baldly and honestly put on any agenda for talks among US secretary of state John Kerry, representatives of Saudi Arabia’s dictatorship, and their mutual allies, even though they are all engaged in an endless genocidal war on Yemen. 

This war is a war of aggression, started by Saudi Arabia in March 2015, with crucial US blessing, participation, personnel, and ordnance. The US has been a willing, guilty partner and enabler in 18 months of military atrocities in a one-sided war that everyone involved knew – or should have known – was a pure war crime based on a paranoid delusion.

American participation in this war of aggression was a war declared by press release from the National Security Council on March 25, 2015, another example of the imperial presidency’s ability to act by fiat without fear of serious objection from the public, the media, or even Congress:

President Obama has authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support to GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council]-led military operations. [emphasis added]

The fundamental crime in Yemen is waging a war of aggression, which encompasses all the subsequent war crimes including bombing civilians, using cluster bombs, bombing hospitals, bombing food supplies, and trying to starve a population to submission or death. Yemen, with a population of 26 million people, was the poorest country in the region even before it was attacked. What the US supports and sanctions against Yemen makes any US complaint about Russian actions in Crimea sound like howling hypocrisy.

For all that the Saudis frame their war on Yemen as a defense against a threat from Iran, there has never been any credible evidence of any credible threat to Saudi Arabia from any element of the miniscule Iranian presence in Yemen. Yemen is fighting a civil war, a new version of the same old civil war Yemenis have been fighting for decades, both before and after Yemen was two separate countries. The Iran “threat” is the paranoid delusion supposedly justifying a merciless war on a civil population already beset by a four-sided civil war. There is no way that those who decided to wage this war of aggression could not have known the reality in Yemen if they had wanted to know it. Presumably they knew it all full well and chose a war of aggression anyway, recklessly, perhaps even thoughtlessly, but criminally all the same.

The Saudi goal was always to get rid of a longstanding threat on its southwestern border, where the tribal land of the Houthis lay both in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. When the long-oppressed Houthis, a Shia minority in a Sunni world, drove out the Sunni government of Yemen in 2015, the Saudis, without saying in so many words, decided on a course of action that could lead to a final solution. And everyone knew, at the time, and no one objected, according to this account by the highly reliable Andrew Cockburn on Democracy NOW! (whose piece in Harper’s Magazine for September 2016, ironically titled “Acceptable Losses,” provides an excellent exegesis of the war on Yemen, but with a more elegiac tone):

I was told, very early on in the war, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken went to Riyadh to ask the—this is two weeks—yeah, it was two weeks into the war [mid-April 2015], when they had already been bombing away, using the U.S. bombs, U.S.-supplied bombs, using U.S. weapons, killing already dozens, if not certainly, you know, hundreds of civilians, destroying factories. And finally, Blinken turns up in Riyadh and asks, “By the way, what are you trying to accomplish here?” And the Saudis effectively said, or at least the Americans understood them to say, “Well, we basically want to wipe out the Houthis.” Well, they termed it as “end all Iranian influence in Yemen.” So, the Americans—Blinken was a bit shocked by that, so I’m told, and said, “Well, you know, that’s going a bit far. But it’s—you should certainly stop the Houthis taking over the country.” And that, effectively, gave the Saudis carte blanche to continue this kind of mindless carpet bombing….

By 2015, American hands were already bloody with the US drone assassination program that had killed not only innocent civilians, but American citizens, without a trace of due process of law. In effect, already enmeshed in its own nexus of war crimes in Yemen, the US green-lighted the Saudi-led war of aggression that would make American crimes pale by comparison. As American policy over the years would have it, American weapons have been dispersed all over Yemen since 2006.

Kerry to consult on terrorism, but not US or Saudi terrorism

Terror bombing, an example of which is Saudi pilots flying American planes dropping American bombs on defenseless Yemeni civilian targets, is probably not the terrorism Secretary Kerry wants to discuss – ever – with the Saudis and their allies, never mind other weapons suppliers like France and the United Kingdom. As the official State Department notice put it in deadly opaque prose:

Secretary Kerry will travel to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for a series of meetings with senior Saudi leaders, his counterparts from the Gulf Cooperation Council, the United Kingdom, and the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen. His discussion will focus on the ongoing conflict in Yemen and efforts to restore peace and stability….

Those “efforts to restore peace and stability” notably include the destruction of two schools, another hospital, and a potato chip factory, along with the associated men, women, and children, especially at the schools. Perhaps the latest great military “victory” achieved by the war criminals known as the Saudi-led coalition is to drive the world’s leading medical crisis-zone organization out of Yemen by targeting its hospitals over and over and over and over since March 2015. Of course, America the Exceptional does not stand for this betrayal of human decency, and our presidential candidates of all parties have railed ceaselessly against this indiscriminate murder of patients, their families, their doctors and other medical personnel, forcing the White House to take action to bring to an end 17 months of aggressive war and other war crimes and crimes against humanity – no, wait, that’s not happening, is it?

Actually, if any presidential candidate of any political party has expressed the slightest objection to the Saudi-coalition’s genocidal war on Yemen, such evidence is so hard to come by that it may as well not exist. (In August 2015, Jill Stein of the Green Party mentioned in passing that the Saudis “are committing war crimes right now in Yemen,” and more recently she called for an end to US funding for Saudi Arabia and Israel because of their violations of human rights laws. She does not tend to make a point of the US support for a war of aggression in Yemen, but she’s better than any other candidate on Yemen.) At this point, a year and a half into our shared war of aggression, every candidate is complicit in this horrendous, unjustified war promoted and pursued with smug disdain for anything like peace by our peace prize winning President Obama. The blood drips from all their hands, their feet, their tongues and eyelashes, but most of all from every pore of our Nobel Laureate in the White House. (As the book Double Down reported in 2012: “Turns out I’m really good at killing people,” Obama said quietly, “Didn’t know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine.”)

With the US at war, Congress has nothing to say about any of it

The US is at war with Yemen, in support of the Saudi-led coalition that launched its undeclared war of aggression on March 26, 2015. US war-making includes, but is not limited to: US intelligence services providing intelligence to the aggressor nations; US military personnel participating in daily target planning and attack assessment; US tanker aircraft re-fueling aggressor nation aircraft bombing Yemen (46,500 acknowledged sorties in the first 11 months of war); US drones targeting and attacking under US control; US military contractors servicing the Saudi F-15s that bomb Yemen; US personnel training Saudi military; US military personnel operating in Yemen; and the US Navy reinforcing the Saudi blockade intent on starving Yemen into submission.

The US Congress has never debated, never authorized US participation in a war of aggression against Yemen. The US president has never asked Congress for such authorization of a war of aggression against Yemen. Neither house of Congress has acted on any bill that directly addresses the war of aggression against Yemen. More than a year after the war started, two Democratic members of Congress (joined by two Republicans) introduced identical bills intended to respond to the war. California congressman Ted Lieu (joined by Florida congressman Ted Yoho) and Connecticut senator Christopher Murphy (joined by Kentucky senator Rand Paul) asked their colleagues to address the horrors of the war (briefly enumerated in the bill), not by ending the war, but only by temporarily limiting US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. That’s it. They did not mention US participation in the war. Both their bills were referred to committee. At the time there was a spotty ceasefire in Yemen while peace talks proceeded in Kuwait (the talks were suspended in early August, leading to the Saudi escalation currently killing more civilians).

Incredibly, this non-response response to war crimes in Yemen has gotten Rep. Lieu some recent positive press coverage, in The Intercept of August 22 and elsewhere, even though his bill is designed to have no immediate impact on the carnage. Rep. Lieu is a colonel in the US Air Force Reserve. When he was on active duty he taught the law of war to other Air Force officers. His interview rhetoric, like most of his public action, is soft-edged even though he knows perfectly well his country is committing war crimes. He almost said as much in an August 15 statement objecting to the Saudi attack on a school in Haydan, Yemen, that killed 10 children:

The indiscriminate civilian killings by Saudi Arabia look like war crimes to me. In this case, children as young as 8 were killed by Saudi Arabian air strikes. By assisting Saudi Arabia, the United States is aiding and abetting what appears to be war crimes in Yemen. The Administration must stop enabling this madness now. [emphasis in original]

Rep. Lieu and others have also objected to the State Department’s certification of another arms sale to Saudi Arabia: this one is $1.15 billion for 153 tanks, hundreds of machine guns, and other war materiel. This is in addition to the record $100 billion in arms sales to the Saudis already made by the Obama administration. The latest arms deal suggested to Rep. Lieu “that the administration is, at best, callously indifferent to the mass amount of civilians dying as a result of the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing.” He did not openly consider whether 153 Abrams Main Battle Tanks and other weaponry might open the way for the air war of aggression to be matched by an escalation of the ground war of aggression as well. Twenty of those new US tanks are specifically designated as replacements for tanks lost in combat, some of them in Yemen. On the other hand, the official State Department notice of the Abrams Tank sale assures Congress: “The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region.” That’s hardly reassuring in a region where wars of attrition and military quagmires are killing not only thousands of Yemenis, but Palestinians, Israelis, Lebanese, Syrians, Saudis, Turks, Kurds, Iraqis, Afghans, and god knows who else, more often than not with Made-in-USA weapons and munitions.

The proposed US tank sale has drawn the attention of several NGOs (non-governmental organizations) looking to wash American hands of the war on Yemen by blocking the sale, or at least having a debate about it in Congress. Human Rights Watch (HRW) wrote a letter to Secretary Kerry August 19, with temperate language of concern about several countries, including Yemen. HRW asked Secretary Kerry “to emphasize the potential consequences if Saudi Arabia fails to improve its conduct.” But it did not suggest what those consequences might be in light of the reality that the US has coordinated and condones all Saudi conduct to date. CODEPINK is supporting a petition to support the Congressional letter that urges President Obama to postpone the US tank sale to the Saudis.

Even The New York Times is expressing something shy of anguish over “American complicity” and “carnage” and targets that are not “legitimate” under international law as it supports efforts to block the tank sale in Congress. The Times doesn’t mention that this is the same Congress that in June – supporting a White House request – refused to block the sale of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia for fear of “stigmatizing” cluster bombs. That’s a reflection of the American version of reality, since cluster bombs are already stigmatized by most countries of the world and using them on civilians, as US-Saudi forces do in Yemen, is widely understood to be a war crime. The solution, according to the Times :

Congress should put the arms sales on hold and President Obama should quietly inform Riyadh that the United States will withdraw crucial assistance if the Saudis do not stop targeting civilians and agree to negotiate peace.

That can’t happen in the real world, where the president and the Saudis all know they are war criminals and are, like Macbeth, so steeped in blood “that should I wade no more,/Returning were as tedious as go o’er.”

There is no reason to expect any good to come to Yemen until a whole lot more Americans face the reality of their country’s support for a genocidal war of aggression. When enough Americans recognize that, then they will have to do a lot more about it than stop selling tanks to the aggressors. Until then the US-sponsored atrocity of ethnic cleansing in a poverty-stricken country that threatens no one will continue unabated.

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