Trump’s First Hundred Days of War Crimes

Photo by Mark Taylor | CC BY 2.0

MAY 19, 2017

President Donald J. Trump closed out his first hundred days in office on April 29.  Not marked by any notable achievements, Trump’s first hundred days did yield an impressive and ever-lengthening list of scandals.

And war crimes.  During his short time in office, Trump has racked up an impressive list of war crimes.  Congratulations, Mr. President!

Where to begin?  Nine days after Trump’s Inauguration, US Navy SEALs together with elite troops from the United Arab Emirates descended on the village of Yaklaa in the Yemeni governorate of Bayda.  At the time, the White House said that the mission’s objective was to enter a compound controlled by Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and gather intelligence by grabbing computers and cell phones.  It was not until a week later that US military officials stated that the prime objective of the raid was to capture or kill AQAP emir Qassim al-Rimi.

The January 29 raid was executed with the same meticulous care President Trump brings to all facets of his administration.  What was conceived as a swift there-and-gone operation descended into an hour-long firefight with AQAP, bodies everywhere, and the loss of a $70 million MV-22 Osprey aircraft.

Two deaths stand out.  One was the Trump Administration’s first combat fatality: 36- year old Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens.

The second was an 8-year old American citizen, Nawar Al-Awlaki.  Nawar’s father was the US-born cleric and Al-Qaeda recruiter and propagandist, Anwar Al-Awlaki.  Al-Awlaki was assassinated in a US drone strike in Yemen on September 30, 2011.  Shortly afterwards, Nawar’s 16-year old brother Abdulrahman was also killed by a US drone, probably inadvertently.

Thanks to the US, the Awlakis—father, son, and daughter—are together again.  It’s too bad the Awlakis can’t thank the Pentagon themselves.

Civilian Fatalities

Trump has killed enormous numbers of civilians in drone strikes, attacks by manned aircraft, and ground assaults.  Many of these attacks have taken place far from any battlefield, in places such as Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia.  International humanitarian law (IHL), however, restricts the use of military force to areas of “armed conflict.”[1] Jeanne Mirer, President of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and co-chair of the International Committee of the National Lawyers Guild, observes that the United States is not involved in an armed conflict with Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia.[2]  Nor has any of these countries attacked the United States.  If any of them had, that would have triggered the United States’ right to self-defense under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter.

President George W. Bush maintained that the “armed conflict” against terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda extended over the entire world.  That would have allowed Bush to launch attacks anywhere he pleased.  The World Is a Battlefield, the subtitle of investigative journalist Jeremy Scahill’s 2013 book Dirty Wars, encapsulates this notion.[3]  Barack Obama and Donald Trump, have likewise believed that there are no limits to their power to project force anywhere in the world.

But even when an armed conflict does exist, such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, other principles of IHL must be observed.

Under the principle of discernment, civilians are not to be deliberately targeted. (There is an exception for civilians who “directly participate in hostilities.”)  Precautions must be taken to minimize civilian casualties.

The principle of proportionality prohibits using excessive force in achieving a legitimate military objective.  To simplify greatly, you cannot kill one hundred innocents in order to kill one terrorist.

Large numbers of civilians have been killed in US attacks.  Fourteen militants died in Trump’s January 29 raid in Yemen, but US forces also killed twenty-five civilians, including women and nine children under the age of 13—these figures from the independent Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Not killed was AQAP leader Qassim al-Rimi, the object of the raid.  Al-Rimi got away, later mocking Trump on video as a “fool.”

Trump’s worst slaughter of civilians is the March 17, 2017 US airstrike on west Mosul in Iraq which killed 200+ civilians.  The Iraqi government had told the residents of Mosul, then under occupation by ISIS, to remain indoors.  The US knew or ought to have known west Mosul’s residents were in harm’s way.

War Crimes by Remote Control: Targeted Assassinations by Drone

President Barack Obama had launched ten times as many killer drone strikes as President George W. Bush.  Donald Trump looks set to top Obama’s record.

Micah Zenko is an expert on drone strikes at the Council on Foreign Relations.  In a March 2 tweet, Zenko calculated that Obama conducted a drone strike every 5.4 days; Trump has upped the rate to a drone strike every 1.6 days.

Again, apart from Iraq and Afghanistan, US drone strikes take place outside areas of armed conflict.  Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, who teaches law and conflict resolution at the University of Notre Dame, writes:  “[T]he law absolutely prohibits … targeted killing beyond armed conflict zones.”

There are some differences between how Obama and Trump have used drones.  President Obama took most drone strikes out of the CIA’s hands.  Instead, Obama left most drone strikes to the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC).  Trump has brought the CIA back into the picture.

Obama set certain restrictions on drone strikes outside war zones, such as requiring “near certainty” that civilians will not be injured or killed.  Trump’s National Security Council is considering abandoning the Obama era restrictions.

Still, Obama was not over-scrupulous in who qualified as a civilian.  Any military-age male in an area where terrorists were active was presumed to be a terrorist himself.  Many victims, under Obama as well as Trump, have been children: “fun-size terrorists” as some drone pilots call them. US drones have attacked weddings and funerals. “Double-tap” strikes fire on first responders hurrying to aid people wounded in a drone’s initial strike.

In a just world, Bush, Obama, and Trump would share a cell at The Hague.  Obama largely escaped criticism from the liberal left for his drone strikes because, as Mike Whitney observes:  “[L]iberals always sleep while their man is in office.”  Whitney might have added that liberals will go back to sleep once the Republicans are out of the White House.

Escalating the Illegal US War in Syria

On April 4, a suspected sarin gas attack killed more than 70 people in the rebel-held town of Khan Sheikhun.  Who launched the attack—rebels or the Syrian government—still hasn’t been proven.  Does it matter?  Those 70 people are just as dead no matter who killed them.  All of the belligerents in Syria have committed war crimes, including the United States.  The antiwar movement holds firm to its demand that the US withdraw from Syria now.

Donald Trump, not a man plagued by doubt, was certain that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was the culprit.  On April 7, 59 US Tomahawk cruise missiles pounded a government airfield in Syria while Trump was eating chocolate cake at Mar-a-Lago with the President of China.  Whether the US attack accomplished anything is unclear; Syrian military aircraft were taking off from the field a few days later.  At nearly $1.59 million for each Tomahawk missile, Trump would have achieved the same end result if he had burned $93 million on the White House lawn.

It suddenly occurred to the American public that the US was at war in Syria.  It seems to have escaped Americans’ notice that the US has been bombing ISIS in Syria since September 23, 2014 and in Iraq since August 8, 2014.  According to Airwars.org, which monitors Coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, 3,530 civilians have been killed as of May 16.  Also overlooked was the fact that Obama had sent Special Operations Forces to both countries to fight ISIS.  So has Trump.  According to Professor Marjorie Cohn, as of April 5 there were close to a thousand US Special Ops forces, Marines, and Rangers in northern Syria.  The Trump Administration plans to up that number.

The Syrian government, needless to say, has refused consent to both US bombing and the presence of US troops within its borders.  (In sharp contrast, Russian military forces are in Syria at the invitation of the Syrian government.)  US military involvement in Syria is, thus, prima facie a violation of international law.  Article 2(4) of the United Nations Charter requires states to “refrain … from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state.”  Article 51 provides an exception for self-defense “if an armed attack occurs” (and then only “until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security”).  Syria has not attacked the United States.  Not even the Trump Administration has claimed that the April 7 attack was made defensively.  Instead, the Trump Administration said that the purpose of the US attack was to deter future uses of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad’s regime.  That makes the April 7 attack a reprisal.  Reprisals are forbidden under international law.  Professor Mary Ellen O’Connell, one of the foremost authorities on the use of force under international law, quotes the 1970 UN Declaration on Friendly Relations which says: “States have a duty to refrain from acts of reprisal involving the use of force.”

In theory, US attacks on Syria expose Obama and Trump to prosecution for “waging aggressive war,” the principal charge against the Nazis at Nuremberg.  George W. Bush, of course, would face the same charge for his 2003 invasion of Iraq.

I say “in theory” because what court would try them?  President George W. Bush “unsigned” the treaty that created the International Criminal Court.  (And we thought Bush was stupid.)  In the 1990s, the UN Security Council created ad hoc criminal tribunals for Rwanda and Yugoslavia.  The US would veto any attempt to create an ad hoc tribunal empowered to try US leaders for war crimes in Syria.

There have been no prosecutions under the federal War Crimes Act which criminalizes “grave breaches” of the Geneva Conventions.  In fact, President Barack Obama expressly ruled out prosecuting officials from the George W. Bush Administration.

Trump’s actions are by no means a sharp break with the past.  War crimes are how the Pentagon rolls.  Noam Chomsky has stated that if the standards of the Nuremberg Trials were applied, every American president since World War Two would have been hanged as a war criminal.  Something to think about.

Notes.

[1]  IHL is the branch of international law which “prescribes rules for the conduct of war.”  The sources for IHL are primarily the four Geneva Conventions of 1949 together with their two Additional Protocols.  The central concern of IHL is protection of civilians.  Jeanne Mirer, US Policy of Targeted Killing with Drones:  Unsafe at Any Speed, in DRONES AND TARGETED KILLING: LEGAL, MORAL, AND GEOPOLITICAL ISSUES (Marjorie Cohn, ed. 2015) at pages 136, 138.

[2]  Mirer at pages 136, 139.

[3]  JEREMY SCAHILL, DIRTY WARS: THE WORLD IS A BATTLEFIELD (2013), at page 78.

Killing Your Own People

Global Research, May 02, 2017

The American government often claims that its incursions into countries in the Middle East and elsewhere are carried out in order to protect the lives of Americans. Apparently people believe it; I have not heard anyone attempt to confute it.

But consider this scenario: A person in a public place in Erie, Pa. starts shooting at people randomly. A police officer kills him before anyone else is injured. That officer can be said to have protected the lives of the other people in the area, but he cannot be said to have protected the lives of people in San Francisco. Likewise, a soldier in Iraq who kills an enemy combatant can be said to have protected the lives of his comrades but cannot be said to have protected the lives of Americans living thousands of miles away. It’s simply not possible.

But the claim that the soldier is protecting the lives of Americans in general can be made. People in general are not real however. Making sense of that claim is difficult. But suppose that this claim makes sense and consider some of the groups of Americans whose lives would be protected by those incursions.

Consider the undernourished children who go to bed hungry every night. Consider the elderly who can’t afford both food and medicine. Consider the homeless, those who lack access to medical care, the unemployed whose benefits have expired. These are America’s neglected. They die prematurely. So if their lives are being protected by the soldier in Iraq, he’s protecting those the government is neglecting. The government, by not providing their basic needs, is slowly killing them, and they are the American government’s own people. The claim that America’s incursions in other countries protects Americans amounts to claiming that the lives of those being killed by neglect are being protected by the killing of enemy combatants in far off nations. That claim is patently absurd.

But killing people by neglect is not the same as killing people with saran gas. Well perhaps, but the difference is not great.

USA Today recently reported that London’s toxic air pollution is killing thousands every year. Is Great Britain gassing its own people to death? Isn’t polluted air a poisonous gas? Isn’t it just like saran? And isn’t Great Britain, by neglecting to provide its people with clean air, deliberately killing them? Isn’t governmental neglect a deliberate act?

Numerous ways of killing people exist. Are some more acceptable than others? Imagine asking a person killed by a bullet rather than gas if he is grateful to his killer for having done that. Do you suppose that he would thank his killer for having been humane? Would he say, “Thanks for killing me with a gun rather than with gas?” Get serious people! To the dead, no way of killing is more abhorrent than another.

I doubt that any society has ever existed that didn’t kill its own people in some way or other. None will ever exist as long as people are viewed as means to some non human end. War has never been fought to protect anyone’s life. When considered as fodder–factory, farm, or cannon–people’s lives will continue to be “harvester” for God, country, profit, or even pleasure. Such is the nature of mankind as we have known it.

John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

Emirati air defense system downed a Saudi helicopter over the Yemeni city of Marib

Saudi military helicopter bombing Yemen

April 18, 2017

Emirati air defense system downed by mistake a Saudi helicopter over  the Yemeni city of Marib, according to Local sources.

The sources added that 12 Saudi officers and three staffers on board were killed after a rocket struck the helicopter, branded Black Hawk.

Yemen has been since March 26, 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition.

Thousands have been martyred and injured in the attack, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

Riyadh launched the attack on Yemen in a bid to restore power to fugitive ex-president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is a close ally to Saudi Arabia.

Source: Al-Manar Website

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US Imposed Syria Sanctions Hit Children’s Cancer Treatment at Damascus Children’s Hospital

Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse

Global Research, March 25, 2017
Gulf News 25 March 2017
syrian children cancer

Damascus: In the cancer ward at Damascus Children’s Hospital, doctors are struggling with a critical shortage of specialist drugs to treat their young patients — and it’s not just due to the general chaos of the Syrian civil war.

Local and World Health Organisation (WHO) officials also blame Western sanctions for severely restricting pharmaceutical imports, even though medical supplies are largely exempt from measures imposed by the United States and European Union.

Six years of conflict have brought the Syrian health service, once one of the best in the Middle East, close to collapse. Fewer than half of the country’s hospitals are fully functioning and numbers of doctors have dived.

The result is tumbling life expectancy — even after accounting for the hundreds of thousands directly killed in the fighting — and soaring deaths in pregnancy and childbirth.

On top of this, cuts in health spending by the government that is fighting a hugely expensive war, a drastic fall in the Syrian currency and indirect effects of the sanctions are all deepening the misery of patients who need foreign-made drugs.

Copy of 2017-03-16T180355Z_1713427651_RC1BBD31B430_RTRMADP_3_MIDEAST-CRISIS-SYRIA-SANCTIONS

Children suffering from cancer at Damascus Children’s Hospital. Image credit: Reuters

For families with sick children, the situation is dire.

At the children’s hospital in government-held Damascus, the waiting room outside the cancer ward was crowded with relatives, many of whom had brought clothes, mattresses and blankets in case they had to spend long periods far from their homes outside the city.

One of them was Naim Der Moussa, 55, who has been living in Damascus for a year to secure regular treatment for his 10-year-old daughter Wa’ad. They left his wife and six other children behind in the eastern city of Deir Al Zor, where government forces are besieged by Daesh.

“My daughter was first diagnosed with kidney cancer and treated,” he said. “Now cancer has been found also in her lungs.”

Before the conflict, Syria produced 90 per cent of the medicines it needed but anti-cancer drugs were among those where it traditionally relied on imports.

Elizabeth Hoff, the WHO representative in Syria, said medicine imports have been hit by significant cuts in the government’s health budget since the war began in 2011 plus a 90 per cent drop in the value of the Syrian pound, which has made some pharmaceuticals prohibitively expensive.

However, a lack of cash is not the only reason why supplies of cancer drugs are falling far short of increasing demand.

“The impact of economic sanctions imposed on Syria heavily affected the procurement of some specific medicine including anti-cancer medicines,” said Hoff. The sanctions were preventing many international pharmaceutical companies from dealing with the Syrian authorities as well as hindering foreign banks in handling payments for imported drugs, she added.

The United States and EU have imposed a range of measures targeted both at the government and some of the many armed groups operating in the country.

Washington has banned the export or sale of goods and services to Syria from the United States or by US citizens.

The EU has imposed travel bans, asset freezes and an arms embargo, with sanctions also targeting financial ties with Syrian institutions, buying oil and gas from the country or investing in its energy industry.

President Bashar Al Assad has partly blamed the sanctions for turning many Syrians into refugees, often heading to Europe.

Both the US and EU regimes include exemptions for medicines and other humanitarian supplies. However, by clamping down on financial transactions and barring much business with the Syrian government, the sanctions are indirectly affecting trade in pharmaceuticals.

Many drugs companies have erred on the side of caution, avoiding any business with Syria for fear of inadvertently falling foul of the sanctions.

The US State Department said the Treasury had authorised services in support of humanitarian activities in Syria, adding that there were legal ways to bring medicine into the country.

The EU also rejected criticism of its sanctions.

“Such measures are not aimed at the civilian population,” an EU spokeswoman said. “EU sanctions do not apply to key sectors of the Syrian economy such as food and medicine.”

She acknowledged firms had increasingly pulled out of business with Syria but said this was also due to other reasons, including “security, reputation, commercial motivation, anti-money laundering measures” and the presence of militant groups.

The WHO brings essential medicines and medical supplies into Syria, procuring generic drugs from approved sources in Europe, North Africa and Asia. Branded US products cannot be imported due to the sanctions situation, Hoff said.

With funds from Kuwait, the WHO has delivered life-saving medicine to more than 16,000 cancer patients, of whom thousands are children with leukaemia.

Damascus2

Syrian girl Rahma sits on a bed as she receives treatment for cancer at Damascus Children’s Hospital. Image Credit:Reuters

But this does not meet demand. Besides cancer medication, there are critical shortages of insulin, anaesthetics, specific antibiotics needed for intensive care, serums, intravenous fluids and other blood products and vaccines, Hoff said.

The overall collapse in Syrian health care has contributed to a drop in life expectancy to 60 years for men and 70 for women in 2014, from 72 and 75 respectively in 2009. Only 44 per cent of hospitals are now fully functioning and more than a quarter aren’t working at all, the WHO said.

By 2014, the number of doctors in Syria had dropped to 1.3 per 1,000 people, less than half the level in neighbouring Jordan and Lebanon.

Against this deterioration, Damascus Children’s Hospital has also come under increasing pressure. Cancer units in the provincial cities of Aleppo and Latakia were both put out of service in fighting earlier in the war.

Now about 200 children visit the Damascus hospital every week, with more than 70 per cent from outside the capital, according to its head, Maher Haddad.

The weight of demand has delayed treatment for dozens of sick children by 15-20 days, affecting their prospects, overall health and response to medication, he added.

Haddad also singled out the sanctions. Pharmex, the state-owned company that buys drugs for government-funded hospitals across Syria, was able to provide only 5-10 per cent of the cancer medication that is required, he told Reuters.

“Most of the cancer medicines are imported. Pharmex used to import the stock of medicines that public hospitals need. But it has not been able to do so largely because of the economic sanctions, I believe,” he said.

His hospital has only 36 free beds, with 17 of those allocated to children with cancer.

In the waiting room, a woman who identified herself only by her first name Nawal, said she travels from the Qalamoun area north of Damascus every fortnight with her 14-year-old daughter who requires chemotherapy treatment for leukaemia.

“We don’t have hospitals or charities in Qalamoun. Free treatment is offered only at the Children’s Hospital in Damascus,” Nawal said.

One private charity, Basma, is trying to help out by funding cancer drugs for poor families. The proportion of patients who need assistance has risen from about 30 per cent to nearly 80 per cent since the war began, executive manager Rima Salem said.

Salem finds the delays in treatment worrying.

“A child with cancer might die waiting for his turn to get treatment,” she said.

Yemeni protesters mark 2nd anniversary of Saudi war

 

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Russia delivers humanitarian aid to Yemen, USA/Saudi delivers more bombs

Russian humanitarian aid arrives in Yemen

A Russian NGO has delivered lifesaving aid to the desperate population of war-torn Yemen, where over 18 million people now urgently require some form of humanitarian assistance.

The first delivery of humanitarian aid from the Russian Humanitarian Mission, which cares for the needy in conflict zones, began arriving at the Darawan refugee camp, in the western Yemeni province of Amran on Thursday.

Filled with life essential supplies for the internally displaced people who are temporarily residing in the camp, the first batch of aid comprised basic foodstuff, medicines, tents and blankets.

The largely forgotten crisis in Yemen has been raging for nearly two deadly years with no end in sight. Over 18 million people in Yemen now require some form of urgent humanitarian intervention in a conflict classified by the United Nations as a Level 3 emergency or as a most severe, large-scale humanitarian crisis.

To help alleviate the human suffering in Yemen, the Russian Humanitarian Mission initiated an aid drive, where anyone willing to contribute donated anything that they could to help their fellow beings. Little by little, the mission gathered enough supplies to fill the aid convoy.

Yemen, already the poorest country in the Arabian Peninsula even before the conflict, has seen the humanitarian situation further aggravated by fighting, forced displacement, and shortages of basic commodities.

Deadly diseases, most notably cholera, and the destruction of medical facilities on the ground by the continued Saudi-led bombing campaign are exacerbating the humanitarian suffering there.

According to UN estimates, some 10.3 million people are in “acute need” of immediate, lifesaving assistance. As of January 2017, at least 2 million people remained displaced by the brutal fighting. Another 1 million have returned to living in difficult conditions with limited access to food, water and healthcare.

The UN estimates that 14.8 million people lack access to basic healthcare. Only 45 per cent of health facilities are functioning, and as of October 2016, at least 274 health facilities had been damaged or destroyed, largely due to Saudi-led air strikes.

This development is especially impacting the women and children. About 3.3 million children and pregnant or lactating women are malnourished.

The war, which has so far claimed at least 10,000 lives, started in March 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its coalition of Arab countries began bombing Yemen to reinstall its ousted Sunni president.

Over the two-year military assault, Saudi warplanes have reportedly been bombing schools, hospitals, marketplaces, and other non-military targets. Leading rights groups say such indiscriminate attacks should be considered war crimes.

The most prominent human rights groups have made repeated appeals to the UK and the US — the biggest arms suppliers to Riyadh — to stop providing weapons.

During Barack Obama’s two terms as president, the US sold Saudi Arabia $115 billion worth of arms in 42 separate deals, the Center for International Policy, a US-based anti-war think tank reported in September.

It estimated that US arms offers to Saudi Arabia were more than any US administration in the history of US-Saudi relations. Meanwhile, according to Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), Britain licensed £3.3 billion (US$4.1 billion) of arms sales to Riyadh during the first 12 months of the Yemen war.

 

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

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