Foreign Policy magazine: A UN report confirms the failure of the Saudi alliance in Yemen

 

For almost two and a half years, Saudi Arabia and its allies, equipped with US-made aircraft and precision guided missiles, have launched one of the most advanced air force campaigns against one of the world’s poorest countries.

But the military supremacy of the Saudi-led coalition has brought no victory in Yemen. Instead, it has strengthened Yemen’s political disintegration and deepened a humanitarian crisis that has plunged the country to the brink of famine and fueled widespread public discontent in response to major human losses, according to a confidential UN report.

“The impact of the Saudi-led and tactical air campaign is minimal on the ground and only increases and intensifies civilian resistance,” the UN Security Council panel said. It also helps to “consolidate” the military alliance between the Houthis and former Yemeni leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, who controls 13 of the country’s provinces, including the capital, Sanaa.

The chaos has created fertile ground for extremists, including the organization of the Islamic state and al Qaeda, and the Security Council’s panel of experts believes it “looks forward to terrorist attacks against targets in the West.”

The report notes that al-Qaeda has enhanced its capability and has been able to launch attacks on navalships. The Commission noted the seizure by al Qaeda of explosive devices and a radar survey from the port of Mukalla last year. Al Qaeda’s local leader Qasem al-Rimi recently released a video encouraging his supporters to launch “individual wolves” attacks against targets in the West.

As Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, his authority has become at stake. Its power has been undermined by militias financed and controlled by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and the countries fighting to bring him back to power.

Many of Hadi’s senior ministers split and formed a separate transitional council with a vision of southern Yemen. According to the UN Council of Experts, the council has enough support within the Yemeni army (pro-coalition) “to pose a major threat to President Hadi’s ability to govern in the south.”

“The authority of the legitimate government, weak or absent in many parts of the country, has already eroded significantly this year,” the report said. “The ability of the legitimate government to effectively manage the eight provinces it controls is in question,” the UN report said.

In an interview with former US diplomats in Riyadh last month, Saudi officials claimed the alliance was “continuing modest progress in several areas” and claimed that Sanaa was within the range of artillery and that they would launch an attack to seize the city and port of Hodeidah.

However, UN experts seem concerned that if the alliance and its supporters launch a military offensive against Hodeidah and Sanaa, it could destroy the international effort to provide humanitarian aid and lead to a bloodbath in Yemen’s largest city.

The experts’ report also said that the influence of the Houthis and Saleh coalition is gradually diminishing. But they expected the coalition to remain intact in the absence of a major shift in the balance of power in Yemen.

Despite Saudi Arabia’s takeover of the Mukhaba, the Houthi-Saleh alliance still retains its pre-eminence a year ago and controls 80% of the Yemeni population.

The Houthis and their allies have also intensified their attacks on coalition naval vessels, including the March attack on a Saudi Royal Navy frigate by a rocket full of explosives. They may have attacked an Emirati naval vessel with an anti-tank missile in June.

According to the UN report, a strong example of the rupture of Hadi’s power is the failure of his military commander to take control of Aden airport. On April 27, Brig. Gen. Mahran al-Qubati, commander of the fourth presidential brigade, failed to deploy his roster at the airport in order to ensure the security of the Mahdi and his disunity from Emiratis.

Another example was Abu al-Abbas, a Salafist militia leader in Taiz who received direct financial and financial support from the United Arab Emirates, and his forces under the command of the army’s chief of staff, Maj. Gen. Muhammad Ali al-Maqdisi, loyal to Hadi. Other Salafist leaders have established their own armed militia groups and are financially and militarily supported by members of the Saudi alliance.

At the same time, the United Arab Emirates has funded and trained many local security forces, including the elite al-Hadramiya forces, which were established to counter al-Qaeda in Yemen.

“The authority of the legitimate government is challenged by the proliferation of militia groups, many of which receive direct funding and assistance from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates,” the UN panel said.

“The use of proxy forces, operating outside a government hierarchy, creates a gap in accountability for gross violations that could constitute war crimes,” the commission said.

The committee also confirmed press reports and Human Rights Watch that the UAE and its agents in Yemen, according to the committee, had set up a network of secret prisons in Yemen. The UN committee says it has “credible information that the United Arab Emirates has forcibly hid two people in Aden for eight months” and mistreated detainees in Mukalla.

“The team has launched investigations into a civilian site used as a detention facility where a group of civilians, including an activist and a doctor, are being detained,” the UN report said..

 

UK, US Play ’Crucial Role’ In Creating Conditions for Spread of Cholera in Yemen

Local Editor

Britain and the US played “a crucial role” in creating conditions conducive to the catastrophic spread of cholera in Yemen, according to authors of a letter published in The Lancet.

 

Yemen Cholera Outbreak


An analysis by the researchers at London’s Queen Mary University found that the two-year military campaign by a Saudi-led coalition has received logistical and political support from the UK and the US. British companies have continued to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia despite growing concern about civilian casualties.

In this respect, researchers Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy wrote that: “Saudi-led airstrikes have destroyed vital infrastructure, including hospitals and public water systems, hit civilian areas, and displaced people into crowded and insanitary conditions. A Saudi-enforced blockade of imports has caused shortages of, among other things, food, medical supplies, fuel and chlorine, and restricted humanitarian access.”

Kennedy said in an additional statement: “Saudi Arabia is an ally of the UK and USA. American and British companies supply Saudi Arabia with huge amounts of military equipment and their armed forces provide logistical support and intelligence.

“This backing has made the Saudi-led airstrikes and blockade possible, and therefore the UK and USA have played a crucial role in creating conditions conducive to the spread of cholera.”

In June, UNICEF and the WHO released a statement saying that Yemen was “facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world”.

Earlier this week, the WHO said more than half a million people in Yemen had been infected with cholera since the epidemic broke out in April, as the country struggled to cope with 5,000 new cases a day.

It said at least 1,975 people have now died from the acute diarrheal infection caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Last month, the organization estimated that around half of cases and a quarter of the dead were children under the age of 15.

Last week, a draft UN report accused the Saudi military coalition of killing hundreds of children in Yemen.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

21-08-2017 | 14:03
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Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?

Zeinab Daher

As if is not enough for the people of Awamia to be under continuous heavy bombings, that the Saudi regime started forcing them out of their homes. But what if a person has nowhere to go to?

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


Some three months earlier, the restive town enjoyed a peaceful atmosphere. However, once upon a thought, the Saudi regime decided to raze the historical neighborhood of Awamia, in the Qatif eastern province. Under the alleged pretext of ‘developing’ the area, which is indeed to chase wanted activists, the regime is starving the Shia population there, blocking their access to phone and electricity services, and lately displacing them to nowhere.

It was before three months that the government summoned the neighborhood’s residents to pay them undue compensations so they would leave their houses. The majority of people neither accepted the measure, nor did they go to take their money. Their rejection was because the government warned them that in case anybody was killed in the area, the regime won’t be responsible!

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


Facing a popular resistance to give up on residential areas, the Saudi government started tightening its grip on Awami people. Its escalatory measures ranged between blocking electricity service, phone and internet services, besieging the town and blocking entrances and exits with cement blocks, and most lately bombing houses over their residents.

As part of the worst tragedies in modern history, the Saudi regime troops forced locals to leave Awamia and raise white flags on their way out, then proceed to harass them and loot their homes.

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


However, those same people are not only being attacked by their own government, but by their nationals as well. Many of property owners are trying to abuse the situation and are refusing to offer them a paid shelter unless they pay for three months in advance.

Although many others are offering them houses for free, the previous behavior makes any person feel as if he/she is a stranger in their homeland. Until Friday, Awamia citizens were calling for necessary aid such as bread, milk and diapers for their babies.

 

Awamia Declares State of Emergency, But Who Really Cares?


By sacrificing several lives of its youth, Awamia has become one of the most heartbreaking scenes in the oil-rich dictatorship. Awamia however is never seen, never heard and never felt by the entire world! We still haven’t heard the voices of those kindhearted ‘people of good will’ who always express their concerns and solidarity with the smallest of human rights violations all over the globe.

As if Awamia, and the entire eastern province are not part of this planet to grab the attention of the free people to stand up for its support…

Al-Ahed

29-07-2017 | 13:49

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RT Editor, in Speech Before Leaders, Discusses Role Played By ‘Powerful Press Artillery’ in West’s Wars

[ Ed. note – During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Moscow, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan delivered a speech in which she discussed the role of the Western media in fomenting wars. Specifically, the media serve as a “press artillery,” effectively engaging in “precision bombing,” she said, remarking also that “not a single war in recent years started” without propagandistic barrages of this sort.

The media not only can change people’s attitudes toward a leader or a country, but they can even alter “the values of entire societies.” My own comment here is that this has certainly been the case in the United States–a country which has seen a dramatic evolution of its values over the past three, four, and five decades.

Simonyan’s speech is good as far as it goes, although sadly she makes no mention of the fact that media owners in the west are predominantly Jewish, nor either does she allow for the possibility that a Jewish tribal agenda may be (and most likely is) a driving factor behind the deceitful reporting. Both Presidents Putin and Jinping were present during her speech, however, and she invited the Chinese to join Russia in its efforts to “fight information terrorism.”  ]

***

RT

There has not been a war in recent times that began without “a powerful press artillery” and “precision bombing” by media, RT Editor-in-Chief Margarita Simonyan said, speaking in front of President Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Simonyan expressed her concern over the media’s growing, and often boundless, influence and the way it changes the world around us, during Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Moscow.

“We live in unique times, when media – the so-called fourth estate – in many countries is trying to become, and sometimes becomes, the first: sets the rules of the game, controls public opinion, doesn’t just change people’s attitude towards a leader or a state, but alters the values of entire societies,” RT’s editor-in-chief said.

The media has become a weapon and a life-changing tool at the same time, Simonyan said.

“Not a single war in recent years started without a powerful world press ‘artillery,’ not a single battle happened without previous precision bombing by TV, radio, newspapers, and online resources,” she said.

 photo medialies_zpsefpioihs.gif

The media can also change people’s perceptions of public figures, like “making an unheard-of, ordinary person, like, for instance, Barack Obama, the hero of a generation overnight; or vice versa, making a generation’s hero, like Julian Assange, into an outcast and a misfit.”

Even more than that, “the media can change the fates of entire nations, their leaders, and sometimes even shift the borders: for instance, Kosovo wouldn’t ever have been possible without one-sided and biased coverage by all the world media, by the so-called mainstream, with no exception,” Simonyan added.

The media’s impact can be, and often is, purposefully damaging and detrimental, she said.

“This power of the press, sometimes boundless, can be used for the good – when we save the innocent, fight injustice, tyranny, corruption – or to do damage, when the media provides for the aggressive foreign policy of a country, illustrating it with convenient pictures.”

Simonyan also provided a striking example of media adjusting the narrative to fit in with their agenda.

“Everyone remembers the boy Omran, who became a symbol of Assad’s so-called ‘atrocities.’ This photo was on the front covers of all world media, spread by all of the mainstream. Of course, who wouldn’t feel sorry for a boy dug up from under the rubble, covered in blood and soot? We found the boy’s family a month ago. His father supports Assad, and he told us this really scary story about how an infamous humanitarian organization basically snatched the boy out of his father’s hands, not letting him perform first aid, to take the photos and give them to the journalists. And he is not being heard.”

Sometimes it seems that some media may resort to any means to ensure their agenda stays in place, and here’s where fake news comes in handy, Simonyan said. When it comes to that, few countries are under attack as often and as consistently as China and Russia, she added.

“Fake news has become a trap, snaring millions of people used to trusting major media names, who shouldn’t be trusted for a long time now. Blatant lies that used to be reserved for tabloids are now doing the rounds in the world media, and from their pages, those lies are put into the mouths of the newly-minted leaders.”

Continued here

Israeli Rabbi Asks West Bank Settlers to Poison Palestinian Water

Inspired by such incitement, Jewish settlers killed several Palestinians in West Bank

Global Research, July 04, 2017
Days of Palestine 20 June 2016

Featured image: Rabbi Shlomo Mlma (Source: Days of Palestine)

Days of Palestine, West Bank -Israeli Jewish Rabbi Shlomo Mlma asked on Sunday Israeli Jewish settlers to poison Palestinian water resources in order to kill them.

Mlma, the chairman of the Council of Rabbis in the West Bank settlements, asked the settlers to do so in order to cleanse the Palestinians from the West Bank cities and villages.

According to Israeli anti-occupation organisation “Breaking the Silence,” the rabbi wanted the Israeli Jewish settlers to push the Palestinians to leave their villages and pave the way for settlers to take over their lands.

Dozens of similar orders were made by rabbis that called for killing Palestinians, robbing their lands and farmlands and destroying their property.

International law views the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement building on the land to be illegal.

About 800,000 Jewish settlers currently live on more than 100 Jewish-only settlements built since Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

Inspired by such incitement, Israeli Jewish settlers several times killed Palestinians and destroyed their properties in the occupied West Bank.

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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