Bahraini Activist Najah Yusuf Details Her Imprisonment for Facebook Posts Protesting Bahrain Formula 1 Race

By Phillip Bupp – Awful Announcing

Najah Yusuf is an activist from Bahrain and is currently serving a three-year sentence for what the Bahrain government claimed was “defaming the state, hurting its interests and distorting the image of the kingdom abroad.”

In reality, Yusuf was jailed over Facebook posts advocating for the cancellation of Formula 1’s Bahrain Grand Prix, calling it a form of propaganda by the country and a tool to mask Bahrain’s brutal human rights record. In a special piece for the Guardian, Yusuf claimed that criticizing Formula 1 is considered a “threat to national security” in Bahrain.

In her report, Yusuf detailed some of the terrible things she has had to go through since she was arrested in 2017. Before being coerced into signing a confession, Yusuf claimed she was threatened, beaten and raped, eventually signing the confession after five days of abuse.

“For four days, I was relentlessly interrogated because of Facebook posts, including those that called for the race to be cancelled and for the release of others imprisoned for criticizing Formula One. I was lured to the Muharraq police station, under the pretense of signing a statement on behalf of my son.”

“When I arrived, the questions began. They forcibly took my phone away from me, threatening to kill my son when I refused to unlock it. They asked me about my relationships with various human rights defenders, activists and opposition groups.”

“They threatened to kill me, they tried to bribe me, they beat me. But worst of all, officers tore off my hijab and attempted to strip me of my clothes, before an officer sexually assaulted me in custody. The pain and humiliation of that week will haunt me for the rest of my life. All this because I took a stand against state repression and the grand prix.”

“On the fifth day, I could take it no more. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I wanted it to end. Officers presented me with a prepared confession to sign. While I was reading it, the officers beat me again and threatened to rape me. So I signed it.”

Yusuf’s account is very believable when you compare it to Bahrain’s overall human rights record. Yusuf explained how things didn’t stop for her and those around her when she was put in prison:

“Since I arrived at Isa Town prison, my suffering has only continued. Prison authorities regularly discriminate against me on account of my status as a political prisoner. Last September, my cellmate and fellow political prisoner Hajer Mansoor was hospitalized following an assault by prison guards. An early day motion in the British parliament identified this assault as being led by the head of Isa Town prison, Lieutenant Colonel Mariam Albardoli. This occurred days after Hajer Mansoor’s son-in-law, Sayed Alwadaei, briefed MPs about our cases. We were subsequently cited by an MP in the British parliament, along with our cellmate Medina Ali.”

“Since then, all inmates have been punished collectively because I had the temerity to speak out, with restrictions on our family visits, phone calls and time outside the cell. The prison authorities want to silence us, but we will not stop protesting at the appalling conditions at Isa Town prison, which were recently condemned by the UN.”

“I am a mother of four, but I have not seen my children for the past six months. The same punishment has been inflicted on my cellmates, Hajer and Medina. The situation breaks my heart, but I count myself lucky compared to others.”

Formula 1 has a history of being on the side of horrible people. Despite international sanctions from many other countries, as well as many sponsors and drivers opposing South Africa in the time of apartheid, Formula 1 kept racing in Kyalami until 1985, being one of the final international sports organizations to operate in South Africa at that time. Apartheid would be abolished in 1991 and Formula 1 raced in South Africa one more time in 1992.

Formula 1 did cancel the 2011 Bahrain Grand Prix due to pro-democracy protests taking place, but that was more about the safety of those going to the race and not so much making a statement supporting the protestors or the safety of the protestors themselves. Yusuf finished her piece calling for F1 fans to not forget what is going on in Bahrain, even if they may be watching this weekend’s race in Sakhir.

“Although I am still paying for my decision to take a stand against the grand prix, my stance has not changed. For years, the ruling family has used the race to clean up its international reputation and whitewash its disregard for human rights. During this period, Formula One has consistently ignored the abuses that occur.”

“In 2017, I backed the calls for “freedom for Formula detainees”. I never thought I would become one of them. Every moment I spend in prison stains the reputation of Formula One, who have abandoned their commitment to freedom of expression and allowed injustice to be perpetrated in their name.”

“Despite the fervor of excitement, I implore all fans of Formula 1 to remember my story and the suffering of thousands of Bahraini citizens. Don’t allow the race to be stained by Bahrain’s human rights abuses.”

Formula 1 has been dragging their feet in reacting to Yusuf’s imprisonment. The organization said they were “concerned” but efforts to resolve things with the Bahrain government have been poor at best. Human rights groups have tried to reach Formula 1 and the FIA, and they have also attempted to contact five-time defending World Champion Lewis Hamilton and other drivers to inform them about what is happening.

It’s unknown what will happen to Yusuf after her report, considering she’s still in prison. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that while Bahrain is trying to treat a Formula 1 race as propaganda, they can’t hide everything.

US-led Genocidal War and Destruction of Socialism: 20 Years after the NATO Bombing of Yugoslavia

Global Research, March 24, 2019

The NATO war on Yugoslavia which culminated in the 78-days bombing of historic cities and infrastructures – as usual under atrocity propaganda and pretexts – is on its 20th anniversary.

The grim anniversary is admirably recognized by Science for Peace members to remember and to prevent who-knows-what NATO war crime next as “humanitarian intervention”.
From Yugoslavia to Iraq to Libya, where does it stop? Observe that Trump is now seeking a NATO alliance with Bolsonaro Brazil (see image below)  -to perhaps back the bombing of Venezuela, or any other society, including the Brazilian people, not bowing to US-led global corporate colonization. Socialist genocide is the unspeakable logic of the serial war crimes under international law.

So it is important to remember the long war of economic and financial destabilization that occurred over years before and after the bombing to destroy federal Yugoslavia’s market socialism in every workers-control and social infrastructure it had evolved after 1945 to solve the endless Balkan ethnic wars of its past history.

This larger design is taboo to state – US-led genocide of any socialist society as covert state policy. Instead ‘freedom’ and ‘human rights’ is the reverse-mask every time which is relentlessly dinned into people’s heads. In this way, again and again, the non-stop succession of US international crimes under law is covered up into the present day. So too, federal Yugoslavia, once the envy of the world in democratic social progress, was destroyed step by step. Its bonding social infrastructures were dismantled by unceasing, all-fronts US financial war in which NATO bombing in 1999 was only the most evident event of the socialist genocide.

Repressed Witness of the Killing of a Multi-Cultural Socialism

Below are excerpts from Ottawa University Professor of Economics (emeritus) Michel Chossudovsky’s long-leading analysis which provides a minimalist through-line of the effectively genocidal war against all not-for-profit institutions of a socialist society in which Yugoslavia is a paradigm case. The selected text excerpts below are from Michel Chossudovsky’s 1996 article  (updated in 2002) published as a chapter in The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.

“As heavily-armed US and NATO troops enforced the peace in Bosnia, the press and politicians alike portrayed Western intervention in the former Yugoslavia as a noble response to an outbreak of ethnic massacres and human rights violations. In the wake of the November 1995 Dayton peace accords, the West was eager to touch up its self-portrait as savior of the Southern Slavs and get on with “the work of rebuilding” the newly ‘sovereign states.’

“But following a pattern set early on, the plight of the Balkans was promoted as the outcome of deep-seated ethnic and religious tensions rooted in history.1 Likewise, much was made of the “Balkans power-play” and the clash of political personalities: “Tudjman and Milosevic are tearing Bosnia-Herzegovina to pieces.

“Lost in the barrage of images and self-serving analyses are the economic and social causes of the conflict. The deep-seated economic crisis which preceded the civil war had long been forgotten. The strategic interests of Germany and the US in laying the groundwork for the disintegration of Yugoslavia go unmentioned, as does the role of external creditors and international financial institutions. In the eyes of the global media, Western powers bear no responsibility for the impoverishment and destruction of a nation of 24 million people. Thus Yugoslavia’s war-ravaged successor states are left to the mercies of the international ‘financial community’.

“As the world focused on troop movements and cease-fires, the international financial institutions were busily collecting former Yugoslavia’s external debt from its remnant states, while transforming the Balkans into a safe-haven for free enterprise. With a Bosnian peace settlement holding under NATO guns, the West had in late 1995 unveiled a “reconstruction” program that stripped that brutalized country of sovereignty to a degree not seen in Europe since the end of World War II.

The Genocide of Market Socialism

“The new ‘Constitution’ included as an Appendix to the Dayton Accords handed the reins of economic policy over to the Bretton Woods institutions and the London based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The IMF was empowered to appoint the first governor of the Bosnian Central Bank, who, like the High Representative, ‘shall not be a citizen of Bosnia and Herzegovina or a neighboring State. … it may not extend credit by creating money, operating in this respect as a currency board.’

“While the Central Bank was in IMF custody, the London-based EBRD heads the Commission on Public Corporations, which supervises since 1996, operations of all public sector enterprises in Bosnia, including energy, water, postal services, telecommunications, and transportation. The EBRD president appoints the commission chair and is in charge of public sector restructuring, i.e., the sell-off of state- and socially-owned assets and the procurement of long-term investment funds. Western creditors explicitly created the EBRD ‘to give a distinctively political dimension to lending.’

“As the West proclaimed its support for democracy, actual political power rests in the hands of a parallel Bosnian ‘state’ whose executive positions are held by non-citizens. Western creditors have embedded their interests in a constitution hastily written on their behalf. The neocolonization of Bosnia was a logical step of Western efforts to undo Yugoslavia’s experiment in ‘market socialism’ and workers’ self-management and to impose the dictate of the ‘free market’.

Yugoslavia’s Success before System Destabilization by US Financial War

“Multi-ethnic, socialist Yugoslavia was once a regional industrial power and economic success. In the two decades before 1980, annual gross domestic product (GDP) growth averaged 6.1 percent, medical care was free, the rate of literacy was 91 percent, and life expectancy was 72 years.11. But after a decade of Western economic ministrations and a decade of disintegration, war, boycott, and embargo, the economies of the former Yugoslavia were prostrate, their industrial sectors dismantled.

“Despite Belgrade’s non-alignment and its extensive trading relations with the European Community and the US, the Reagan administration had targeted the Yugoslav economy in a “Secret Sensitive” 1984 National Security Decision Directive (NSDD 133) entitled “US Policy towards Yugoslavia.” A censored version declassified in 1990 elaborated on NSDD 64 on Eastern Europe, issued in 1982. The latter advocated “expanded efforts to promote a ‘quiet revolution’ to overthrow Communist governments and parties,” while reintegrating the countries of Eastern Europe into a market-oriented economy.

“The US had earlier joined Belgrade’s other international creditors in imposing a first round of macroeconomics reform in 1980, shortly before the death of Marshall Tito. That initial round of restructuring set the pattern.

“Secessionist tendencies feeding on social and ethnic divisions, gained impetus precisely during a period of brutal impoverishment of the Yugoslav population. The economic reforms “wreaked economic and political havoc… Slower growth, the accumulation of foreign debt and especially the cost of servicing it as well as devaluation led to a fall in the standard of living of the average Yugoslav… The economic crisis threatened political stability … it also threatened to aggravate simmering ethnic tensions”.

“These reforms accompanied by the signing of debt restructuring agreements with the official and commercial creditors also served to weaken the institutions of the federal State creating political divisions between Belgrade and the governments of the Republics and Autonomous Provinces. A Reaganomics arsenal ruled. And throughout the 1980s, the IMF and World Bank periodically prescribed further doses as the Yugoslav economy slowly lapsed into a coma.

“From the outset, successive IMF sponsored programs hastened the disintegration of the Yugoslav industrial sector, lunging to zero in 1987-88 and to a negative 10 percent growth rate by 1990.15 This process was accompanied by the piecemeal dismantling of the Yugoslav welfare state, with all the predictable social consequences. Debt restructuring agreements, meanwhile, increased foreign debt, and a mandated currency devaluation also hit hard at Yugoslavs’ standard of living.

“Shock therapy” began in January 1990. Although inflation had eaten away at earnings, the IMF ordered that wages be frozen at their mid November 1989 levels. Prices continued to rise unabated, and real wages collapsed by 41 percent in the first six months of 1990 .17

“The IMF also effectively controlled the Yugoslav central bank. Its tight money policy further crippled the country’s ability to finance its economic and social programs. State revenues that should have gone as transfer payments to the republics went instead to service Belgrade’s debt with the Paris and London clubs. The republics were largely left to their own devices. The economic package was launched in January 1990 under an IMF Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and a World Bank Structural Adjustment Loan (SAL II). The budget cuts requiring the redirection of federal revenues towards debt servicing, were conducive to the suspension of transfer payments by Belgrade to the governments of the Republics and Autonomous Provinces.

“In one fell swoop, the reformers had engineered the final collapse of Yugoslavia’s federal fiscal structure and mortally wounded its federal political institutions. By cutting the financial arteries between Belgrade and the republics, the reforms fueled secessionist tendencies that fed on economic factors as well as ethnic divisions, virtually ensuring the de facto secession of the republics. The IMF-induced budgetary crisis created an economic fait accompli that paved the way for Croatia’s and Slovenia’s formal secession in June 1991.

Crushed by the Invisible Hand

“The reforms demanded by Belgrade’s creditors also struck at the heart of Yugoslavia’s system of socially-owned and worker-managed enterprises. By 1990, the annual rate of growth of GDP had collapsed to -7.5 percent. In 1991, GDP declined by a further 15 percent, industrial output collapsed by 21 percent.19

“The restructuring program demanded by Belgrade’s creditors was intended to abrogate the system of socially owned enterprises. The Enterprise Law of 1989 required abolishing the “Basic Organizations of Associated Labor (BAOL)”. The latter were socially-owned productive units under self-management with the Workers’ Council constituting the main decision making body. The 1989 Enterprise Law required the transformation of the BOALs into private capitalist enterprises with the Worker’s Council replaced by a so-called “Social Board” under the control of the enterprise’s owners including its creditors.20

“The assault on the socialist economy also included a new banking law designed to trigger the liquidation of the socially-owned Associated Banks. Within two years, more than half the country’s banks had vanished, to be replaced by newly-formed “independent profit-oriented institutions.” 24 By 1990, the entire “three-tier banking system” consisting of the National Bank of Yugoslavia, the national banks of the eight Republics and autonomous provinces and the commercial banks had been dismantled under the guidance of the World Bank. A Federal Agency for Insurance and Bank Rehabilitation was established in June 1990 with a mandate to restructure and “reprivatize” restructured banks under World Bank supervision.25

“In less than two years the World Bank’s so-called “trigger mechanism” (under the Financial Operations Act) had led to the lay off of 614,000 (out of a total industrial workforce of the order of 2.7 million). The largest concentrations of bankrupt firms and lay-offs were in Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Kosovo.

“Many socially owned enterprises attempted to avoid bankruptcy through the non payment of wages. Half a million workers representing some 20 percent of the industrial labor force were not paid during the early months of 1990, in order to meet the demands of creditors under the “settlement” procedures stipulated in the Law on Financial Organizations. Real earnings were in a free fall, social programs had collapsed, with the bankruptcies of industrial enterprises, unemployment had become rampant, creating within the population an atmosphere of social despair and hopelessness

Shock Therapy to Take Over Natural Resources

“In the wake of the November 1995 Dayton Accords, Western creditors turned their attention to Yugoslavia’s “successor states”. Yugoslavia’s foreign debt had been carefully divided and allocated to the successor republics, which were strangled in separate debt rescheduling and structural adjustment agreements.46

“The consensus among donors and international agencies was that past IMF macroeconomics reforms inflicted on federal Yugoslavia had not quite met their goal and further shock therapy was required to restore “economic health” to Yugoslavia’s successor states. – – The neocolonial administration imposed under the Dayton accords and supported by NATO’s firepower had ensured that Bosnia’s future would be determined in Washington, Bonn, and Brussels rather than in Sarajevo.

“Western governments and corporations showed most interest in gaining access to strategic natural resources. With the discovery of energy reserves in the region, the partition of Bosnia between the Federation of Bosnia- Herzegovina and the Bosnian-Serb Republika Srpska under the Dayton Accords has taken on new strategic importance. Documents in the hands of Croatia and the Bosnian Serbs indicate that coal and oil deposits have been identified on the eastern slope of the Dinarides Thrust, retaken from Krajina Serbs by the US-backed Croatian army in the final offensives before the Dayton accords. Bosnian officials had reported that Chicago-based Amoco was among several foreign firms that subsequently initiated exploratory surveys in Bosnia.

“Substantial” petroleum fields also lie “in the Serb-held part of Croatia” just across the Sava River from Tuzla, the headquarters for the US military zone.55 Exploration operations went on during the war, but the World Bank and the multinationals that conducted the operations kept local governments in the dark, presumably to prevent them from acting to grab potentially valuable areas. 56

“With their attention devoted to debt repayment and potential energy bonanzas, both the US and Germany have devoted their efforts –with 70,000 NATO troops on hand to “enforce the peace – – – “.

History repeats itself in patterns not events.

The pattern of criminal US destabilization and destruction of social states to loot them of their sovereign resources is the unseen history of the last century of the world.

Yugoslavia provides the cornerstone example since the Nazis inside Europe with Ukraine taken down since in the same pattern still taboo to see.

US-led NATO is the transnational war machine of the world devouring all public wealth it can extort to terrorize all into conformity to the global-carcinomic regime. The NATO that bombed Yugoslavia 20 years ago and Iraq and Libya since is also the greatest polluter, waster, and destroyer of the global environment beneath all notice of it.

The US-NATO borderless armed-force maw invisibly leads the climate chaos upon us across continents. It is the greatest rising carbon spewer of all time, but not once mentioned even by the UN International Panel on Climate Change.

The US-led post-Nazi incubus of NATO may be the most wasteful black-hole despoliation of the earth and its future possibility ever, with oil its blood and mass-killing its method. Yet the official world remains blind to it in “we did not know” sanctimony and accusation all life resistance as the problem.

The twentieth anniversary of the US-led NATO bombing of Yugoslavia as NATO ‘humanitarian intervention’ should be a tragic self-recognition for the ages.


In this expanded and updated edition of Chossudovsky’s international best-seller, the author outlines the contours of a New World Order which feeds on human poverty and the destruction of the environment, generates social apartheid, encourages racism and ethnic strife and undermines the rights of women. The result as his detailed examples from all parts of the world show so convincingly, is a globalization of poverty.

Click to order Michel Chossudovsky’s Book directly from Global Research

 

This book is a skillful combination of lucid explanation and cogently argued critique of the fundamental directions in which our world is moving financially and economically.

In this new enlarged edition – which includes ten new chapters and a new introduction — the author reviews the causes and consequences of famine in Sub-Saharan Africa, the dramatic meltdown of financial markets, the demise of State social programs and the devastation resulting from corporate downsizing and trade liberalisation.

The original source of this article is Global Research

Hellbent: 78 Days of Bombing Yugoslavia

March 23, 2019

An Ocean of Lies on Venezuela: Abby Martin & UN Rapporteur Expose Coup

On the eve of another US war for oil, Abby Martin debunks the most repeated myths about Venezuela and uncovers how US sanctions are crimes against humanity with UN Investigator and Human Rights Rapporteur Alfred De Zayas. FOLLOW // @EmpireFiles // @AbbyMartin LIKE // https://www.facebook.com/TheEmpireFiles

The text of his report

Related

2002 documentary about the April 2002 Venezuelan coup attempt which briefly deposed Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. A television crew from Ireland’s national broadcaster, RTÉ happened to be recording a documentary about Chávez during the events of April 11, 2002. Shifting focus, they followed the events as they occurred. During their filming, the crew recorded images of the events that they say contradict explanations given by Chávez’s opposition, the private media, the US State Department, and then White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer. The documentary says that the coup was the result of a conspiracy between various old guard and anti-Chávez factions within Venezuela and the United States.

 

Lavrov’s remarks at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly

September 29, 2018

Lavrov’s remarks at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s remarks at the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2018

Madam President, ladies and gentlemen,

The speeches delivered during the general discussion at this session of the UN General Assembly confirm the fact that international relations are going through a very complex and contradictory historical stage.

Today, we are witnesses to a collision of two opposing trends. On the one hand, the polycentric principles of the world order are growing stronger and new economic growth centres are taking shape. We can see nations striving to preserve their sovereignty and to choose the development models that are consistent with their ethnic, cultural and religious identity. On the other hand, we see the desire of a number of Western states to retain their self-proclaimed status as “world leaders” and to slow down the irreversible move toward multipolarity that is objectively taking place. To this end, anything goes, up to and including political blackmail, economic pressure and brute force.

Such illegal actions devalue international law, which lies at the foundation of the postwar world order. We hear loud statements not only calling into question the legal force of international treaties, but asserting the priority of self-serving unilateral approaches over resolutions adopted by the UN.

We are witnessing the rise of militant revisionism with regard to the modern international legal system. The basic principles of the Middle East settlement process, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the Iranian nuclear programme, commitments under the World Trade Organisation, the multilateral climate agreement, and much more are under attack.

Our Western colleagues seek to replace the rule of law in international affairs with some “rules-based order.” These rules, which are made up as political expediency dictates, are a clear case of double standards. Unjustified accusations of interference in the domestic affairs of particular countries are made while simultaneously engaging in an open campaign to undermine and topple democratically elected governments. They seek to draw certain countries into military alliances built to suit their own needs, against the will of the people of those countries, while threatening other states with punishment for exercising freedom of choice in their partners and allies.

The aggressive attacks on international institutions are accompanied by attempts to “privatise” their secretarial structures and grant them the rights of intergovernmental bodies so that they can be manipulated.

The shrinking space for constructive international cooperation, the escalation of confrontation, the rise in general unpredictability, and the significant increase in the risk of spontaneous conflicts – all have an impact on the activities of this world organisation.

The international community has to pay a high price for the selfish ambitions of a narrow group of countries. Collective mechanisms of responding to common security challenges are faltering. Diplomacy, negotiation and compromise are being replaced with dictates and unilateral exterritorial sanctions enacted without the consent of the UN Security Council.  Such measures that already affect dozens of countries are not only illegal but also ineffective, as demonstrated by the more than half-century US embargo of Cuba that is denounced by the entire international community.

But history does not teach the same lesson twice. Attempts to pass verdicts without trial or investigation continue unabated. Some of our Western colleagues who want to assign blame are content to rely on assertions in the vein of the notorious “highly likely.” We have already been through this. We remember well how many times false pretexts were used to justify interventions and wars, like in Yugoslavia in 1999, Iraq in 2003 and Libya in 2011.

Now the same methods are being used against Syria. On April 14, it was subjected to missile strikes carried out under an absolutely falsified pretext, several hours before international inspectors were supposed to arrive at the site of the staged incident. Let the terrorists and their patrons be warned that any further provocations involving the use of chemical weapons would be unacceptable.

The conflict in Syria has already lasted for seven years. The failed attempt to use extremists to change the regime from the outside nearly led to the country’s collapse and the emergence of a terrorist caliphate in its place.

Russia’s bold action in response to the request of the Syrian Government, backed diplomatically by the Astana process, helped prevent this destructive scenario. The Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, initiated by Russia, Iran and Turkey last January, created the conditions for a political settlement in line with UN Security Council Resolution 2254. The intra-Syrian Constitutional Committee is being established in Geneva on precisely this basis. Rebuilding ruined infrastructure to enable millions of refugees to return home as soon as possible is on the agenda. Assistance in resolving these challenges for the benefit of all Syrians, without any double standards, should become a priority for international efforts and the activities of UN agencies.

For all the challenges posed by Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, it would be unacceptable to ignore the protracted Palestinian problem. Its fair resolution is critical to improving the situation in the entire Middle East. I would like to warn politicians against unilateral approaches and attempts to monopolise the peace process. Today, the consolidation of international efforts in the interests of resuming talks on the basis of UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative is more in demand than ever before. We are doing everything to facilitate this, including in the format of the Middle East Quartet and in cooperation with the Arab League and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Mutually acceptable agreements should ensure the peaceful and safe co-existence of the two states – Israel and Palestine.

Here in the UN that was built on the lessons of World War II we are all obliged to think about the future and not repeating the mistakes of the past. This year is the 80th anniversary of the Munich conspiracy that crowned the criminal appeasement of the Third Reich and serves as a sad example of the disastrous consequences that can result from national egotism, disregard for international law and seeking solutions at the expense of others.

Regrettably, today in many countries the anti-Nazi vaccine has not only weakened, there is a growing campaign to rewrite history and whitewash war criminals and their accomplices. We consider sacrilegious the struggle against monuments to the liberators of Europe, which is going on in some countries. We are calling on UN members to support a draft resolution of the UN General Assembly denouncing the glorification of Nazis.

The growth of radical nationalism and neo-Nazism in Ukraine, where criminals who fought under SS banners are glorified as heroes, is one of the main factors of the protracted domestic conflict in Ukraine. The only way to end it is consistent and faithful implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures that was unanimously approved by the UN Security Council. We support the activities of the OSCE mission in Ukraine and are ready to provide UN protection for its members. However, instead of fulfilling the Minsk agreements and engaging in dialogue with Donetsk and Lugansk, Kiev still entertains the illusion of introducing an occupying force in Donbass, with the support from the West, and increasingly threatens its opponents with scenarios based on force. The patrons of the current Ukrainian authorities should compel them to think straight and end the blockade of Donbass and discrimination against national minorities throughout Ukraine.

In Kosovo, the international military presence under UN Security Council mandate is morphing into a US base. Kosovo armed forces are being created, while agreements reached by Belgrade and Pristina with EU mediation are being disregarded. Russia calls on the sides to engage in dialogue in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1244 and will support any solution which is acceptable to Serbia.

In general, we are against turning the Balkans once again into an arena of confrontation or anyone claiming it as a foothold, against forcing the people of the Balkan nations to make a false choice or creating new dividing lines in the region.

An equal and undivided security architecture also needs to be created in other parts of the world, including the Asia Pacific Region. We welcome the positive developments around the Korean Peninsula, which are following the logic of the Russian-Chinese roadmap. It is important to encourage the process with further steps by both sides toward a middle ground and incentivise the practical realisation of important agreements between Pyongyang and Seoul through the Security Council. We will keep working to put in place a multilateral process as soon as possible, so that we can build a durable mechanism of peace and security in Northeast Asia.

Denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula is among the challenges facing the world community in the key area of international security – the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. Unfortunately, serious obstacles continue to pile up on that road. Lack of progress in ratifying the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and in establishing a WMD-free zone in the Middle East has been compounded by the unilateral US withdrawal from the JCPOA in violation of Resolution 2231, despite the fact that Iran is fully in compliance. We will do everything to preserve the UNSC-approved deal.

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is being pushed in an increasingly negative direction as the West attempts to turn its Technical Secretariat into a tool for punishing undesirable governments. This threatens to undermine the independent professional status of that organisation and the universal nature of the CWC, as well as the exclusive prerogative of the UN Security Council.

These and other issues related to non-proliferation were discussed in detail at the September 26 Security Council meeting, convened by the US chair not a moment too soon.

We are convinced that any problems and concerns in international affairs should be addressed through substantive dialogue. If there are questions or criticisms, what is needed is to sit down and talk, produce facts, listen to opposing arguments, and seek to find a balance of interests.

To be continued…

The Essential Saker II
The Essential Saker II: Civilizational Choices and Geopolitics / The Russian challenge to the hegemony of the AngloZionist Empire
The Essential Saker
The Essential Saker: from the trenches of the emerging multipolar world

Yemen: Our Complicity Lies Bare

The Guardian’s Editorial

18-06-2018 | 12:50


Even if the UK warned against attacking the vital port of al-Hudaydah, we bear responsibility for the horrors of this war.
 
Yemen

The fig leaves covered little to start with, and withered long ago. Now the excuses for our role in Yemen’s misery have fallen away entirely. The assault on al-Hudaydah by the Saudi- and Emirati-led coalition can only deepen the world’s worst humanitarian crisis; 70% of the country’s imports pass through the port. Britain and France urged Saudi Arabia not to launch the attack, but the UK has now “said its piece”. The US rejected a UAE request for a minesweeper for the operation, but as an Emirati official observed: “Not giving us military assistance is not the same as telling us not to do it.”

So they are doing it. They are conducting this war with British-, American- and French-made arms. They are conducting it with western military training and advice; British and US officers have been in the command room for airstrikes, and this weekend Le Figaro alleged that there are French special forces on the ground in Yemen. They are conducting it with diplomatic shelter from the west. On Friday, the UK and US blocked a Swedish drive for a UN security council statement demanding a ceasefire: “Britain, as the ‘penholder’ on Yemen at the UN security council, nevertheless takes a nakedly pro-Saudi approach to the conflict,” the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell notes. Arms sales and security interests dictate.

The war has already claimed tens of thousands of lives, the oft-cited toll of 10,000 being highly conservative when reached and now hopelessly out of date. Many more stand in peril. International law obliges the rapid and unimpeded passage of humanitarian aid… Relief groups have had to flee al-Hudaydah. Twenty-two million Yemenis need aid. Eight million are at risk of starvation.

The assault appears to be an attempt to pre-empt the presentation of a peace plan by the UN envoy Martin Griffiths, who had previously warned that an attack on al-Hudaydah could “take peace off the table in a single stroke”. He is due to brief the Security Council on Monday, following emergency talks, and the UN’s humanitarian coordinator, Lise Grande, has said that talks on the UN taking over the port’s administration are at an advanced stage. But even if Griffiths can manage an agreement against the odds, the chances of it sticking are poor, given both sides’ record of acting in bad faith. The complexities of a handover are immense.

The coalition backs the internationally recognized president, Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, driven out by the Houthis [Ansarullah revolutionaries]. But the campaign appears largely driven by two forces. First, rivalry with Iran, and other strategic interests. Second, the prestige of its leaders – notably Mohammed bin Salman, who led the charge to war and is now Saudi Arabia’s de facto leader. The coalition has calculated that after a lengthy stalemate it may be in its best position since the war began more than three years ago; it hopes to change the facts on the ground and appears to have convinced itself that al-Hudaydah will be a relatively easy win, if far from painless for civilians. This is familiar stuff, as an International Crisis Group report pointed out this week: “The warring factions are overconfident in their military prospects, almost always press for military advantage when there is an opportunity for negotiation, and are all too often starkly indifferent to the humanitarian impact of their actions and the plight of ordinary citizens.”

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi may be of one mind in their loathing for Tehran, but the crowded and increasingly complex field is exposing divergence in their interests. A few months ago, Emirati-backed forces were fighting and killing Saudi-backed forces in Aden… The entrenchment of a war economy is another significant obstacle to peace.

So it goes on, the suffering mounting, further unsettling this unstable region and breeding cynicism and rage towards the west and its talk of human rights and international law. If the complicity ever looked deniable, events of recent days have laid it bare.
Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

UN: Assault on Yemen’s Hodeidah Port could Cost 250,000 Lives

Source

 June 8, 2018

Hodeida strike

A long-feared assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah by the Saudi-led coalition could cost up to 250,000 lives, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in the country, Lise Grande, said in a statement on Friday.

“A military attack or siege on Hodeidah will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians,” she said.

“In a prolonged worst case, we fear that as many as 250,000 people may lose everything – even their lives.”

Yemen has been since March 25, 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition, which also includes UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, in a bid to restore power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

SourceAgencies

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Amnesty International: Trumpeting for War… Again

It’s Time to Stop US Involvement in Yemen War

By Kelly Choate

09-03-2018 | 11:45

Now entering its fourth year, Yemen’s horrific war has caused the world’s worst humanitarian crisis – and the United States is actively helping to fuel the fire. But legislation put forth by a bipartisan group of senators can put an end to the US role in this horrific war…

Yemen

The United Nations has stated that US-supported airstrikes carried out by the Saudi-led coalition are the leading cause of civilian casualties in Yemen. The ongoing war has killed more than 10,000 Yemenis and wounded more than 40,000. The majority of them are civilians and, as always in war, women and children are disproportionately affected.

In addition to these mass casualties, more than half of Yemen’s hospitals have been closed or damaged. Clean water is scarce, causing upward of 500,000 cases of cholera and leaving 2,000 dead from that alone. The UN’s Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan, which aims to raise $23 billion to help 12 million affected people, has only received 39.6 percent of its target amount.

The United States has been actively facilitating this crisis by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, providing military intelligence for airstrikes led by the Saudi military, and providing refueling support, which has actually increased in the past year.

The Trump administration has also increased the sale of US weapons to Saudi Arabia, introducing a new $10 billion arms deal and lifting a ban on the sale of extremely dangerous weapons such as precision-guided munitions. Upgraded weaponry like that which the United States is supplying the Saudi-led coalition makes it easier to target civilians.

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., has said, “There’s a US imprint on every civilian death inside Yemen that’s caused by the Saudi bombing campaign. The Saudis simply could not operate this bombing campaign without us. Their planes can’t fly without US refueling capacity. They are dropping munitions that we’ve sold them.”

He, along with Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Mike Lee, R-Utah, introduced S.J.Res. 54 on Feb. 28, invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution in order to force a vote in the Senate on this unauthorized war and end US support for Saudi Arabia and its involvement in Yemen.

In the coming days, the Senate is expected to vote for the first time on withdrawing US armed forces from a war that Congress has never authorized, marking an important step forward in restoring congressional authority over war-making. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire should join this rare opportunity to protect civilians and restore congressional oversight by cosponsoring and voting in support of S.J.Res. 54.

Now is the time to end US complicity in this devastating war.

Source: Sentinel Source, Edited by website team

US Senators ask to end US support for Saudi war on Yemen

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (20:15 PM) ) – Independent senator and former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and Republican senator Mike Lee have introduced a bill that asks Congress to put an end to US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. This is reported by Yemen Press and the Washington Post.

The bill seeks to invoke the so-called War Powers Resolution, a federal law gives Congress the power to limit or end any acts of war or hostility ordered by the US president.

“Congress hereby directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces from hostilities in the Republic of Yemen, except United States Armed Forces engaged in operations directed at al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula or associated forces,” the bill reads.

Bernie Sanders, senator for the state of Vermont, introduced the bill, saying: “If you look at the War Powers Act, what America is currently involved in constitutes a military action… That’s pretty clear.”

Many members, both Democrats and Republicans, have voiced dissatisfaction with United States military and intelligence support for Riyadh’s conflict with Yemen, which has killed at least 13,600 people, most of them civilians, since March 2015. Whether the bill will be passed in Congress however, is unclear at this moment.

The United Nations says at least 22.2 million people in Yemen are in need of food aid, with 8.4 million under imminent risk of famine, making the Yemeni conflict the single biggest humanitarian disaster in the world.

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Britain’s Red Carpet for the Saudi Ruler Is Shameless

Emily Thornberry

07-03-2018 | 15:23

They call diphtheria the “strangling disease”. Parents have to watch helplessly as it slowly clogs the throat and chokes the life out of their children. Thankfully, vaccination has wiped it out in most parts of the world. But not in Yemen. Not this past year. Hundreds of children have been infected, and dozens have died that cruelest of deaths.

MBS add on UK billboard

They join the hundreds of other Yemeni children who have died from the worst cholera outbreak in modern history, the thousands who have succumbed to malnutrition, and the untold number of civilians killed by airstrikes on homes, streets, weddings and funerals. This has been the human price of the three-year war in Yemen, in which all parties have shown a callous disregard for life, but where the large majority of civilian deaths lies irrefutably at the door of Saudi Arabia.

Yet today the architect of that Saudi intervention in Yemen – crown prince Mohammad bin Salman – will visit Britain, and will receive the red carpet treatment from the Tory government, as if he were Nelson Mandela. This is the man behind the rolling blockade of Yemen’s ports, preventing the supply of essential food, medicine and fuel to Yemeni civilians, and – on all the available evidence – breaching international law by using starvation as a weapon of war.

The man who, in an equally flagrant breach of the Geneva convention, authorized the destruction of Yemen’s agricultural and food infrastructure in the early stages of the war, with systematic air strikes on farms, dairies, food factories and markets.

Prince Mohammed was rightly enraged at the Houthis’ attempted missile attack on Riyadh in December, but retaliated with a 10-day barrage of indiscriminate air strikes on civilian areas, killing and injuring hundreds, including dozens of children. And while the UK government publicly insists there can be no military solution in Yemen, he has just sacked his most senior generals in an effort to achieve exactly that, and even now plans his assaults on the capital Sanaa and the port of Hodeidah, both of which will drastically escalate the humanitarian crisis. And all that is before we even mention his disgraceful attempts to subvert Lebanon’s democracy, and his reported funding of groups in the Syrian war, both a part of his wider battle against Iran for hegemony in the Middle East.

If it was his regional rival, the supreme leader of Iran, visiting our capital – with his similar record of domestic human rights abuses, regional intervention and alleged support for terror organizations – the UK government would not dream of rolling out the red carpet. So why is it different for the crown prince?

Theresa May tells us it is about our mutual security and strategic interests. Or about Prince Mohammed’s moves to “liberalize” women’s rights, by which she means Saudi Arabia catching up with the rest of the world by promising to allow women to drive cars.

It is all nonsense. As so often, it is about nothing but filthy lucre, and this government’s desperation to plug the hole that will be left in Britain’s trade and growth prospects by May’s refusal to stay in a customs union with the EU after Brexit.

Most nakedly, it is about the shameless bidding war to persuade the crown prince to include the London Stock Exchange in any international listing of the Aramco oil company, billed as the biggest stock market flotation in history.

Most pertinently, it is about the huge increase in arms sold by Britain to Saudi Arabia since the start of the war in Yemen – a trade so shameful that the government now actively encourages applications for “open export licenses” by UK arms firms, precisely to hide what weaponry Riyadh is receiving, and its true value. It’s clear the government doesn’t care a jot about human rights or breaches of the Geneva Convention if there is a chance instead to boost its balance sheet.

Britain is the official pen-holder for the United Nations Security Council on matters relating to Yemen. In October 2016, our government floated a draft resolution calling for a permanent ceasefire in the country to allow for immediate humanitarian relief and talks on a political solution. Prince Mohammed’s acolytes immediately objected, and 17 months on that draft resolution has still not been formally presented to the council. And so his brutal, murderous war continues, without anyone in our government lifting a pen to stop him. Instead, today they fete the crown prince. But millions of us will be saying: not in my name.

Source: The Guardian, Edited by website team

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AJAMU BARAKA ON CAMPAIGN TO SHUT DOWN US FOREIGN MILITARY BASES

In Gaza

On January 22, 2018, I had the opportunity to speak with the well-respected, highly-informed, longtime rights activist and writer, Ajamu Baraka.

A human rights defender whose experience spans four decades of domestic and international education and activism, Ajamu Baraka is a veteran grassroots organizer whose roots are in the Black Liberation Movement and anti-apartheid and Central American solidarity struggles. Please see his extended bio on his website.

He was the 2016 Green Party vice presidential candidate, and is a lead organizer of the Black Alliance for Peace. Mr. Baraka is an editor and contributing columnist for the Black Agenda Report, and also publishes at Black Commentator, Commondreams, Pambazuka, and Dissident Voice.

Related Links

http://noforeignbases.org
https://blackagendareport.com/peace-requires-social-transformation
https://twitter.com/i/web/status/954098699189346305
https://blackagendareport.com/peace-requires-social-transformation
https://twitter.com/ajamubaraka/status/955471891019550720
https://twitter.com/ajamubaraka/status/953314222775169025
https://ingaza.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/a-personal-reply-to-the-fact-challenged-smears-of-terrorist-whitewashing-channel-4-snopes-and-la-presse/

IMPERIALISM ON TRIAL: WRITERS AND ACTIVISTS CONVENE IN DERRY, IRELAND

In Gaza

Last week I had the honour of joining a number of incredible writers and orators in Derry, Ireland, in a panel, “Imperialism on Trial”. The five speakers were: John Wight, writer and host of Hard Facts; the former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford; author, journalist and broadcaster Neil Clark; former MP and host of Sputnik Orbiting the WorldGeorge Galloway; and myself.

Organized by Derry resident Gregory Sharkey, the panelists addressed a wide range of issues. As one of the speakers, author Neil Clark, wrote:

“Five passionate and well-informed speakers, who included the former British Ambassador to Syria Peter Ford, detailed the carnage and chaos that has been unleashed around the globe by the aggressive, warmongering policies of the US and its closest allies.

The full panel is online from RT’s livestream recording:

John Wight‘s talk was a poetic, searing condemnation of Imperialism and the corporate media, with literary and historical references included (much like Syria’s highly-educated Ambassador to the UN does in his speeches before the buffoons ala Haley, Power…).

His speech, fittingly, begins with a respectful acknowledgement of Resistance forces in Syria and around the world fighting against genocidal Imperialist forces. Excerpts include:

“Imperialism has run like a broken thread throughout human history, but so has Resistance to Imperialism. In this regard, I’d like to take a moment to pay tribute to the Syrian Arab Army, Hezbollah, Iran, Russia, in short, all those whose efforts in combating this genocidal project of a latter day Khmer Rouge has prevented Syria from being pushed into an abyss in which its minorities—people who can trace their presence in that part of the world back over a millenia and more—would have been gone, extirpated, annihilated.

Everybody on this panel tonight has felt the lash of the mainstream media. They call us ‘cranks’, they call us ‘stooges’, they call us “Putin’s puppets’, they call us ‘Assadists’. But yet, why do they attack us if we’re so marginal, why take the time to attack what we do? It’s because we ask the question ‘why’….”

Peter Ford spoke with the conviction of a man with years of experience in Syria, with firsthand knowledge of that country and others in the region. Noting that “Imperialism did not end when the colonies became free”, Ford said (excerpts):

“We now have a new, more insidious, but more powerful form of Imperialism. And this Imperialism hides behind words. As an ex-diplomat, I’m very sensitive to the clever use of words, they are so manipulative. The new Imperialism hides behind expressions like “protecting our allies”. When we went to war in Iraq, we were protecting the Saudis, the Israelis…these are our allies. Another term the new Imperialists hide behind to extend their hegemony is “defeating terrorism”. That’s a more recent one.

Another one they love is “defending human rights”, and this applies to the Left as much as to the Right, or “humanitarianism”. This is liberal interventionalism, and we on the Left have to be particularly alert to this one. This is the new version of carrying the white man’s burden. In each case, we are intervening militarily, or certainly using some sort of coercive diplomacy. We’re intervening in less-developed parts of the world which are not able, by and large, to strike back.

Britain is a prominent member of the grandly called “Global Coalition to eliminate ISIS”, and there are about 50 countries which are members of this coalition but it’s by no means the global. It excludes Russia, which has done more against ISIS than any individual member of the global coalition. It excludes China and many, many other countries, but they like to pretend that it’s global. They tell us that the purpose is to eradicate ISIS. Well, ISIS has virtually been eradicated for the last three months, but the coalition goes on. And indeed, just two weeks ago an American general told us that the coalition was there to stay in northern Syria because their job was to stop ISIS coming back. Well that’s an open-ended promise isn’t it that could go on forever.”

Neil Clark, likewise spoke truth on many issues covered up or distorted by corporate media. Excerpts:

Libya in 2009 had the highest Human Development Index in Africa. Today it basically it is a hellhole run by various militias….The ultimate ignominy, the testament to the intervention launched by Sarkozy and Cameron & co, is the re-emergence of slave markets in Libya again. In fact, it’s a common pattern: every country where we’ve had these Western us-led interventions, the situation for ordinary people in those countries has actually worsened not got better.

We saw another classic example in Ukraine in 2014, a very similar scenario: the the US and its allies were supporting protesters against the government, and those protesters were led by the far right—by genuine far-right—people. …We’re talking about genuine ultra-nationalist borderline neo-nazis or bona fide neo-nazis at the forefront of these anti-government demonstrations. …We had a basic regime change in Ukraine against a democratically-elected government there.

I think they ought to be very aware of the language we use, …and one thing we ought to be careful of is this word “regime” because this is a very key term that’s used. …You don’t hear it about the US or Israel, you hear it about Syria, you hear it about Iran. It’s compulsory to say the Iranian “regime” not the Iranian government or the Syrian government.

We have spent billions billions of pounds on these illegal wars, billions of pounds on these interventions. …There’s nothing more important for us to do thanto change British foreign policy to have a British foreign policy based on respect for the sovereignty of countries around the world, a peaceful foreign policy, a non-interventionist foreign policy…”

George Galloway‘s speech was a detailed, animated, history lesson of Imperialist crimes, threats and lies, past and present. Excerpts:

“When I was born, the guns had only just stopped firing, from the British and American annihilation of the people of Korea. You heard the quotes from Eva, from Curtis Le May. ‘We burned down every town and village in North Korea,’ he said. ‘We killed 20% of the population of Korea. We threatened to launch thermo-nuclear warfare against them.’

We killed 1 million Chinese who had entered Korea to stop the advance of the British and American war machine, because they knew if they had conquered the north of Korea they would continued over the border to try to destroy the Chinese revolution.

And we wonder why North Korea is paranoid? Just because you’re paranoid, it doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you.

Our people may have forgotten the Korean war. The Korean people never did forget it. 

They seek to induce us into a state of panic that something must be done about North Korea maybe having one nuclear rocket that can reach the United States, when the United States has 1000s of nuclear weapons that can reach and incinerate North Korea or anywhere else in the world.

How is it that the United States is somehow qualified to possess a nuclear arsenal that could end life on this planet for millennia to come, but other people, to defend themselves, may not produce one?”

My own talk at the Imperialism on Trial panel (also here) focused on media lies and war propaganda around Syria, and on the Imperialists’ fear-mongering rhetoric around, and blatant calls for the genocide of, Korea’s north, with reminders that the US and allies already destroyed the DPRK in the ’50s.

I also addressed the criminal sanctions on the DPRK, and some of the sensationalist stories put forth on the DPRK, sometimes even emanating from Washington. While I mentioned some of my August 2017 visit to the DPRK, I would here defer to the expertise of writers like historian Bruce Cumings, who wrote:

“The demonization of North Korea transcends party lines, drawing on a host of subliminal racist and Orientalist imagery; no one is willing to accept that North Koreans may have valid reasons for not accepting the American definition of reality.”

Researcher and writer Stephen Gowans offers a starkly different (aka factual) look at Korea’s north than that spewed by MSM hacks and politicians with no regard for the 25 million people at risk of annihilation thanks to American Exceptionalism. International criminal lawyer and writer Christopher Black also has vast knowledge about the DPRK, and has himself visited the country some years ago. Professor Tim Anderson wrote this article highlighting aspects of our August 2017 visit.

The bottom line, though, as Ajamu Baraka stated in our January 2018 interview:

“The US should not feel that it has the moral and political right to intervene, to determine who should be the head of any state, what kind of system they should organize. Those are questions and issues that should be left up to the people of any nation state on the planet. …No matter what the argument may be made by US authorities regarding the character of any state, we believe that allowing for those kinds of arguments to be used as a justification for intervention or waging war is morally unacceptable and politically has to be resisted.

Links Related to Syria Content:

-Sharmine Narwani’s “How narratives killed the Syrian people

-Sharmine Narwani’s “Syria: The Hidden Massacre

-on media lies and myths on Syria: Deconstructing the NATO Narrative on Syria

-Writing of the late Father Frans van der Lugt on armed protesters

-Interview with Father Daniel in Syria: “There Never Was a Popular Uprising in Syria”

Homs: “We wanted to protect our house”

“Freedom”: Homs resident speaks of the early days of the “crisis” (June 2014)

Syria Dispatch: Most Syrians Support Assad, Reject Phony Foreign ‘Revolution’

Vanessa Beeley videos, including testimonies of Syrians from eastern areas of Aleppo after liberation of the city.

-Mass Starvation & other anti-Syria propaganda:

The Children of Kafarya and Foua are Crying in the Dark

-Omran Daqneesh (the Boy in the Ambulance):

-White Helmets (al-Qaeda’s rescuers):

-Israel’s Use Of White Phosphorous on Palestinian Civilians:

 

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

EDITOR’S CHOICE | 31.12.2017

Over 700 Yemeni Civilians Killed and Wounded by US-backed Saudi Airstrikes in December

Bill Van AUKEN

The US-backed Saudi monarchy and its allied Gulf oil sheikdoms have dramatically escalated their bombing campaign against Yemen, the poorest nation in the Middle East, killing scores of civilians within the last few days.

In the bloodiest of the airstrikes, Saudi warplanes targeted a crowded marketplace in Yemen’s southwestern Taiz province on Tuesday, killing 54 civilians.

While coverage of the bloodbath by the US and Western media has been scarce, Yemen’s Al Masirah television network published photos on its website showing the market’s bombed-out shops and the dismembered remains of slaughtered civilians. It reported that body parts had been thrown hundreds of yards from the blast sites.

Among the dead were at least eight children. Another 32 people were wounded in the bombing, including six children.

On the same day, warplanes attacked a farm in the al-Tuhayta district of Yemen’s western Hodeida province killing an entire family of 14, including women and children.

Yemeni sources reported that Saudi and allied warplanes carried out more than 45 airstrikes on Wednesday targeting several Yemeni cities and killing at least another six civilians, including a family of five whose house was targeted in the port city of Hodeida.

According to the Al Masirah television network the number of Yemenis killed and wounded in Saudi airstrikes since the beginning of December had risen to 600 before the latest round of casualties beginning on Tuesday.

This bloody new phase in the more than 1,000-day-old war by the wealthy and reactionary Arab monarchies against impoverished Yemen is driven by the House of Saud’s frustration over its inability to shift the military stalemate and made possible by the unrestrained support from Riyadh’s Western allies, principally the US and Britain.

The stepped up bombing campaign has come partly in response to the failure of a Saudi-backed coup by the former Yemeni dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh against his erstwhile allies, the Houthi rebel movement. The abortive effort ended in Saleh’s death and the routing of his supporters earlier this month.

Riyadh has also been shaken by the firing of missiles from Yemen targeting both the international airport and the House of Saud’s royal palace. Both missiles were brought down without causing any casualties.

Washington has long relied upon the Saudi monarchy as a pillar of reaction in the Arab world, arming it to the teeth and in the process reaping vast profits for US arms corporations.

During his trip to Saudi Arabia in May, US President Donald Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with the Saudi regime. While the agreement represented the single largest arms deal in US history, it represented a continuity with the policy pursued by the Democratic administration of Barack Obama, which had struck a $29 billion agreement to sell F-15s the Saudis—representing the previous largest single US arms deal—and had a total of $100 billion worth of weaponry slated for sale to the kingdom.

In addition to providing the warplanes, bombs and missiles being used to slaughter Yemeni civilians, Washington is a direct accomplice and participant in the assault on Yemen, a flagrant war crime that has produced the greatest humanitarian catastrophe on the face of the planet. US Air Force planes are flying refueling missions that keep Saudi fighter bombers in the air, while US intelligence officers are assisting in the targeting of airstrikes and US warships are backing a Saudi sea blockade that is part of a barbaric siege of the country aimed at starving its population into submission.

While an estimated 13,600 civilians have lost their lives to the US-backed Saudi military campaign launched in March of 2015, that death toll has been massively eclipsed by the number of lives lost to hunger and disease resulting from the destruction of basic water and sanitary infrastructure, along with factories, farms, medical facilities and other vital resources, and the blockading of food, medicine and humanitarian supplies.

Almost three years into the war, 21.2 million people, 82 percent of the population, are in need of humanitarian assistance, lacking access to food, fuel and clean water,. An estimated 8 million people are on the brink of starvation, while soaring food prices have placed essential commodities out of reach for all but the wealthiest layers of Yemeni society.

The International Committee of the Red Cross announced last week that the number of cholera cases had topped 1 million, the worst epidemic in modern history, while the country has also been hit by an outbreak of diphtheria, a disease that has been almost entirely eradicated in the rest of the world.

The apocalyptic scale of the human suffering in Yemen has moved some in the West to make timid criticisms of the Saudi regime. Thus, French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly called Saudi King Salman on December 24 to advocate a “complete lifting’ of the blockade of Yemen. Macron made no move, however, to amend the 455 million euro arms deal struck with Riyadh by his predecessor, François Hollande, providing weapons being used to murder Yemeni civilians.

Similarly, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator Jamie McGoldrick pointed to the latest mass casualties resulting from Saudi bombings to condemn the “complete disregard for human life that all parties, including the Saudi-led coalition, continue to show in this absurd war.”

The reality is that the overwhelming majority of deaths have been caused by illegal Saudi aggression. The war, from the standpoint of both Riyadh and Washington, moreover, is not “absurd,” but rather part of a broader regional strategy being pursued by US imperialism to prepare for a military confrontation with Iran, which has emerged as an obstacle to the drive to assert American hegemony over the oil-rich Middle East.

Finally, the New York Times published an editorial Thursday saturated with hypocrisy and deceit. Titled “The Yemen Crucible,” it accuses the Trump administration of applying “a double standard” to the catastrophe in Yemen by denouncing alleged Iranian arms support for the Houthi rebels, while “having nothing bad to say” about the Saudi bombing campaign.

The Times, a mouthpiece for the Democratic Party establishment, raises the possibility that Iran “could be in violation” of a UN Security Council resolution barring it from the export of missiles and other weapons, and guilty of “escalating a crisis” that could lead to war with Saudi Arabia.

Referring to the recent performance of the US ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, who appeared at a US military hangar in Washington with what was claimed to be debris from an Iranian-supplied missile fire by the Houthi rebels at Riyadh, the newspaper acknowledged that the presentation recalled the “weapons of mass destruction” speech delivered by then US Secretary of State Colin Powell to the UN Security Council in preparation for the US invasion of Iraq.

Of course the Times supported that war of aggression in 2003 and became one of the main propagandists of the “weapons of mass destruction” lie used to justify it.

The editorial utters not a word of criticism of US arms sales to the Saudi regime—much less about the Obama administration’s initiation of Washington’s support for the war on Yemen—and concludes with claims of seeing signs that the Trump administration is exerting “constructive influence on the Saudis.”

These lies and omissions make clear that if and when Washington embarks on a potentially world catastrophic war against Iran, the “newspaper of record” will once again provide its services as a propaganda organ for American militarism.

wsws.org

Sayyed Houthi: Saudi Escalates Aggression on Yemen to Revenge for Defeat in Syria, Iraq

UN Slams Stupid Saudi War on Yemen: Save the Children

Local Editor

17-11-2017 | 08:42

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is “very much disappointed” that the Saudi-led coalition is refusing to lift its blockade of Yemen and has written directly to Riyadh’s representative, his spokesman said Thursday.

Yemen

After repeated appeals by UN officials were ignored, Guterres wrote to the Saudi ambassador on Thursday to ask for an end to the blockade which he said “is already reversing the impact of humanitarian efforts.”

“The secretary-general is very much disappointed that we have not seen a lifting of the blockade,” said UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric.

Guterres and his top aid officials are “heartbroken at the scenes we are seeing from Yemen and the risk of continued suffering of the Yemeni people,” Dujarric added.

“This is a man-made crisis,” continued the UN spokesman, adding that Guterres had called it a “stupid war.”

The United Nations has listed Yemen as the world’s number one humanitarian crisis, with 17 million people in need of food, seven million of whom are at risk of famine.

Yemen is also battling one of the world’s worst outbreaks of cholera, that has left nearly one million people ill and killed 2,200 people.

In the letter to Saudi Ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi, Guterres called on the coalition to allow UN flights to Sanaa and Aden, and to reopen the key ports of Hodeida and Saleef.

The direct appeal to Saudi Arabia’s ambassador from the UN chief highlighted growing frustration and alarm over Yemen’s humanitarian crisis and Saudi’s refusal to open up access to aid.

In the letter, Guterres offered to send a UN team to Riyadh for talks on tightening up inspections at Hodeida port, once the aid shipments have resumed.

Earlier, the heads of three UN agencies warned that without deliveries of vital supplies such as food and medicine “untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.”

The joint appeal came from the World Health Organization, the UN children’s agency UNICEF and the World Food Program.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

Save the Children: 130 Yemeni children die each day due to Saudi blockade

A Yemeni child receives treatment at a hospital in the coastal city of Hudaydah on November 11, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (8:30 PM) – According to prominent humanitarian organisation Save the Children, no less than 130 children die every single day in Yemen due to malnutrition and preventable disease caused by the Saudi-led near total blockade of the country. The organisation furthermore warned that the situation will deteriorate even further if the lockdown of Yemen isn’t immediately lifted.

“Without urgent, unhindered access for humanitarian organizations and an increase in funding, Save the Children is warning half of these children will most likely go without treatment,” warned the UK-based group on Thursday, adding that “if left untreated, approximately 20-30 percent of children with severe acute malnutrition will die each year.”

The warning comes less than two weeks after Saudi Arabia announced that it would further restrict all access to Yemen by sea, air and land. The increased lockdown comes after a Yemeni missile was fired at Riyadh in retaliation for the two-year long military campaign the Saudi kingdom has been waging on its southern neighbour.

“The decision to block access entirely to the key entry points of Sana’a Airport and the ports of Hudaydah and Salif puts thousands more children at risk,” Save the Children clarified in the statement. A staggering 10,000 children are expected to die of starvation and disease in the provinces of Hudaydah and Ta’izz alone by the end of the year.

“hese deaths are as senseless as they are preventable. They mean more than a hundred mothers grieving for the death of a child, day after day,” said Tamer Kirolos, Save the Children’s Yemen Country Director.

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Along with humanitarian organisations, three UN agencies, the World Food Programme, UNICEF and the WHO, have also made an official plea to Saudi Arabia to lift its blockade of Yemen, stating that unless Riyadh complies,
“untold thousands of innocent victims, among them many children, will die.”
The trio of organisations furthermore pointed out that 3.2 million people are in acute risk of famine, and an additional one million children are being threatened by an outbreak of diphtheria.

In March 2015, Yemen was invaded by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia, in an attempt to destroy the Ansarullah movement, also known as the Houthis after its leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, and to return Riyadh ally Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to power in the country. Despite over two years of constant bombardments, the Saudis have failed to meet their strategic goals.

An alliance of Ansarullah fighters, Republican Guard troops and forces loyal to the General People’s Congress fraction of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh are still in control of much of Yemen, including the capital of Sana’a. This alliance has also formed a union government in Sana’a, named the Supreme Political Council, which has been running state affairs for the past two years.

Latest figures show that the war has so far killed over 12,000 Yemenis, and has destroyed many of the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories. After nearly three years war, Yemen currently has seven million people on the verge of famine, and a further 900,000 suspected cholera cases in the past six months alone.

الأمم المتحدة: اليمن على شفا أسوأ مجاعة في العالم!

طالب مجلس الأمن الدولي، ليل الأربعاء ــ الخميس، «التحالف العربي»، بوضع حد للحصار الذي يفرضه، منذ الاثنين، على البلد المهدد بـ«أسوأ مجاعة» منذ عقود. وقال السفير الإيطالي، سيباستيانو كاردي، إن الدول الـ15 الأعضاء في المجلس عبّرت، خلال اجتماع مغلق، عن «القلق إزاء الوضع الإنساني الكارثي في اليمن»، مشددة على «أهمية إبقاء كل الموانئ والمطارات اليمنية مفتوحة».
سبق ذلك إعلان مساعد الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة للشؤون الإنسانية، مارك لوكوك، أنه حذر أمام أعضاء المجلس من خطر وقوع «أسوأ مجاعة» في العقود الأخيرة، يمكن أن تذهب بـ«ملايين الضحايا» ما لم يُرفَع الحظر. وأشار إلى أنه طالب، في مداخلته، بأن «يتم فوراً استئناف» نقل المساعدات الإنسانية إلى هذا البلد، وألا يعرقل «التحالف» بعد اليوم وصول المساعدات.

ويوم أمس، رأى المتحدث باسم مكتب تنسيق الشؤون الإنسانية للأمم المتحدة، ينس لايركي، أن فتح ميناء عدن أمام السفن التجارية والإغاثية «ليس كافياً»، مطالباً بفتح ميناء الحديدة والمطارات بشكل عاجل. وكان «تحالف العدوان» قد أعلن، في وقت سابق، إعادة فتح ميناء عدن ومنفذ الوديعة (الحدودي بين اليمن والسعودية)، بشكل استثنائي، أمام السفن والبضائع، لكن لايركي نبّه إلى أن «الملايين في اليمن يتمسكون بالحياة عبر المساعدات القادمة من ميناء الحديدة، وينبغي فتح هذا الميناء قبل أن تصل الأزمة الإنسانية هناك إلى أبعاد خطيرة».

وجاء تصريح لايركي بعدما حذرت 15 منظمة إنسانية، بينها «أوكسفام»، من أن «أي تأخير في استئناف المساعدات الإنسانية يمكن أن يودي بحياة نساء ورجال وفتيات وفتيان في كل أنحاء اليمن».

(الأخبار)

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Ansarullah Threatens To Sink Saudi Warships, Oil Tankers Unless Yemen Blockade Is Lifted

Local Editor

13-11-2017 | 08:43

Yemen’s Ansarullah revolutionary government threatened to sink Saudi coalition warships and oil tankers unless Riyadh lifts its blockade which threatens the lives of millions in the war-torn country.

Saudi Warships

“Warships and oil tankers of the aggressor and its movements will not be immune from the fire of Yemeni naval forces if directed by the senior leadership,” Al Masirah news cited the country’s navy and coast guard as saying Sunday.

Earlier, government spokesman Brig. Gen. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman said “systematic crimes of aggression” and the “closure of ports” compels the Ansarullah forces “to target all sources of funding” of the aggressor.

He added the country is ready to “respond to the escalation of the Saudi-US aggression promptly.”

The threat of a military response to the ongoing blockade was made after Maj. Gen. Yousef al-Madani met leaders of the naval, coastal defense and coast guard forces Saturday.

The same day, Ansarullah leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi posted a message on Facebook assuring that “international navigation will remain safe as it was before,” making clear that “only those who attack our country” will be targeted.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led military coalition announced last Monday that it is temporarily shutting all of Yemen’s land border crossings as well as its air and sea ports in response to the retaliatory ballistic missile that targeted Riyadh on November 5.

Following the closure of all ports of entry into Yemen, a range of UN bodies expressed concern over the fate of civilians in the country, where nearly 7 million people are starving while others depend on humanitarian assistance amidst a deadly cholera epidemic.

“The recent closure of the Yemen’s airspace, sea and land ports has worsened the already shrinking space for the lifesaving humanitarian work. It is blocking the delivery of vital humanitarian assistance to children in desperate need in Yemen.

And it is making a catastrophic situation for children far worse,” Meritxell Relano, the UNICEF Representative in Yemen said Friday.

Also describing the situation in Yemen as “catastrophic,” a spokesperson for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs [OCHA] urged the Saudis to lift the blockade, as up to 90 percent of Yemen’s daily needs are served through humanitarian aid.

“That lifeline has to be kept open and it is absolutely essential that the operation of the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service [UNHAS] be allowed to continue unhindered,” Jens Laerke emphasized.

UN spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, warned that the Saudi-led blockade “has had a tremendously negative impact on a situation that is already catastrophic.”

The Saudi-led coalition has been waging a brutal war against Yemen since March 2015. According to the latest UN figures, the war has so far claimed the lives of over 5,000 civilians, in addition to nearly 9,000 people that have been injured.

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

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‘War to Save the Children’ — Talk By Vanessa Beeley

Recently Vanessa Beeley discussed the cynical manipulation of children to promote war in Syria.  Entitled “War to Save the Children,” her presentation was given as part of a London event entitled “Media On Trial.” It is a very important talk, and Beeley does a superb job of underscoring the hypocrisy behind the so-called “humanitarian interventions” so incessantly pursued by those who decidedly are not humane. The irony here of course: that the “war to save the children,” as it were, is in reality a war that kills children.

Held last month at a church in London, the Media On Trial event was organized by Frome Stop War, an independent anti-war group formed in 2011 in response to the bombing of Libya.

Yemen Cholera Outbreak [Photos]

28-10-2017 | 13:48

With Yemen in the grip of the biggest and most rapidly spreading cholera epidemic on record, an estimated 80% of the population is in urgent need of aid. Clean water and food are hard to come and, with the millionth cholera case on the horizon, the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse

Yemen Cholera Outbreak [Photos]

28-10-2017 | 13:48

With Yemen in the grip of the biggest and most rapidly spreading cholera epidemic on record, an estimated 80% of the population is in urgent need of aid. Clean water and food are hard to come and, with the millionth cholera case on the horizon, the country’s health system is on the verge of collapse

‘It’s a Slow Death’: The World’s Worst Humanitarian Crisis

Shuaib Almosawa, Ben Hubbard, Troy Griggs

After two and a half years of war, little is functioning in Yemen.

Cholera in Yemen


Repeated bombings crippled bridges, hospitals and factories. Many doctors and civil servants have gone unpaid for more than a year. Malnutrition and poor sanitation have made the Middle Eastern country vulnerable to diseases that most of the world has confined to the history books.

In just three months, cholera has killed nearly 2,000 people and infected more than a half million, one of the world’s largest outbreaks in the past 50 years.

“It’s a slow death,” said Yakoub al-Jayefi, a Yemeni soldier who has not collected a salary in eight months, and whose 6-year-old daughter, Shaima, was being treated for malnutrition at a clinic in the Yemeni capital, Sana.

Since the family’s savings ran out, they had lived mostly off milk and yogurt from neighbors. But that was not enough to keep his daughter healthy, and her skin went pale as she grew thin.

Like more than half of Yemenis, the family did not have immediate access to a working medical center, so Mr. Jayefi borrowed money from friends and relatives to take his daughter to the capital.

“We’re just waiting for doom or for a breakthrough from heaven,” he said.
How did a country in a region with such great wealth fall so far and so fast into crisis?

A Collapsed State

Many coalition airstrikes have killed and wounded civilians, including strikes on Wednesday around the capital. The bombings have also heavily damaged Yemen’s infrastructure, including a crucial seaport and important bridges as well as hospitals, sewage facilities and civilian factories.

 

Yemen


Services that Yemenis have depended on are gone, and the destruction has undermined the country’s already weak economy. It has also made it harder for humanitarian organizations to bring in and distribute aid.

The Saudi-led coalition has also kept Sana’s international airport closed to civilian air traffic for more than a year, meaning that merchants cannot fly goods in, and sick and wounded Yemenis cannot fly abroad for treatment. Many of them have died.

Neither of Yemen’s two competing administrations has paid regular salaries to many civil servants in over a year, impoverishing their families as there is little other work to be found. Among those affected are professionals whose work is essential to dealing with the crisis, like doctors, nurses and sewage system technicians, leading to the near collapse of their sectors.

The Devastation of Cholera

Damage from the war has turned Yemen into a fertile environment for cholera, a bacterial infection spread by water contaminated with feces. As garbage has piled up and sewage systems have failed, more Yemenis are relying on easily polluted wells for drinking water. Heavy rains since April accelerated the wells’ contamination.

 

Cholera in Yemen


In developed countries, cholera is not life-threatening and can be easily treated, with antibiotics if severe. But in Yemen, rampant malnutrition has made many people, particularly children, especially vulnerable to the disease.

“With the malnutrition we have among children, if they get diarrhea, they are not going to get better,” said Meritxell Relano, the United Nations Children’s Fund representative in Yemen.

Outside a cholera clinic in Sana, Muhammad Nasir was waiting for news about his 6-month-old son, Waleed, who had the disease. A poor agricultural laborer, Mr. Nasir had borrowed money to take his son to the hospital but did not have enough to return home even if the baby recovered. “My situation is bad,” he said.

Five tents had been erected in the backyard of the cholera ward to cope with the sudden increase in patients. All day, families brought sick relatives. Most were elderly, or children carried on their parents’ backs.

If infection numbers continue to rise, researchers fear that the cases could ultimately rival the largest outbreak, in Haiti, which infected at least 750,000 people after a devastating earthquake in 2010.

Aid organizations say they cannot replace the services that the government is supposed to provide. That means there is little chance for significant improvements unless the war ends.

 

Yemen


“We are almost in the third year of the war and nothing is getting better,” said Ms. Relano of UNICEF. “There are limits to what we can do in such a collapsed state.”

The United Nations has called the situation the world’s largest humanitarian crisis, with more than 10 million people who require immediate assistance. And the situation could become even worse.

Peter Salama, the executive director of the World Health Organization’s health emergencies program, warned that as the state fails, “the manifestation of that now is cholera, but there could be in the future other epidemics that Yemen could be at the center of.”

Source: The New York Times, Edited by website team

24-08-2017 | 13:16

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The Longest Military Campaign inside Saudi Arabia Goes Largely Unnoticed By the World

For months, everything on the streets of Saudi Arabia’s northeastern town of Awamiyah has been indiscriminately and ruthlessly shot at – including women and children. Their only crime: demanding reforms from the monarchy in Riyadh.

Awamia

Their punishment is swift and brutal. They are violently huddled out of their homes, cleansed, erased, like they were never there to begin with. And as their blood is spilled, their heritage is eviscerated, their history trampled upon by shells and bulldozers.

In the town’s 400-year-old al-Musawara neighborhood, the wind is left howling through emptiness after entire blocks were flattened. But the regime in Riyadh tells the world there is no need for alarm – all of this is nothing more than a demolition project and the elimination of hideouts for ‘terrorists’ and ‘drug dealers’.

After all, the population of Awamiyah was given ample warning. As the siege intensified in late July, local residents reported that they were told to either ‘leave or die’.

Most chose the former. But even leaving did not guarantee anyone’s safety.

Three-year-old Sajaad Mohamed Abu Abdallah was in his family’s car when an armored vehicle randomly opened fire on a crowd of civilians on June 12. A bullet that entered the car through the left rear door, hit the toddler in the right hand, then travelled through his waist and exited his body. After suffering in the Dammam Maternity and Children’s Hospital for nearly two months, he finally succumbed to his wounds on August 8, becoming only one of dozens of victims.

Saudi Arabia’s Shiite majority Eastern Province – where Awamiyah is located – is no stranger to the loss of innocent lives. The region has witnessed a surge in anti-regime protests since 2011, which the ruling monarchy attempted to crush through the jailing and executions of dissidents, including the late Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

One of the Saudi dissidents and the head of the Gulf Institute For Human Rights, Dr. Ali Al-Ahmad, pointed out that the latest “attack on Awamiyah is the largest and longest military campaign inside the country since the establishment of Saudi Arabia in 1932.”

A former lecturer at the University of Bahrain, Colin Cavell, believes that the explanation for the recent spike in violence is simple.

“Simply put [Riyadh wants] to suppress the population and to intimidate the people within Awamiyah,” Cavell explained. “To try to let them know that there will be repercussions if they demand democracy, if they demand freedom of speech, if they demand freedom of association, if they demand freedom of religion.”

“The Saudi government does not tolerate any opposition to its dictatorial rule,” Cavell added.

And why should it? Riyadh enjoys the full support of its western partners, who are more often than not, complicit in the shooting.

Arms sales & international human rights law

Aside from the graphic pictures of Sajaad’s final days in hospital, activists have also posted countless images and online videos showing the transformation of Awamiyah from a tranquil town into a “war zone”.

Even leading western newspapers like the Independent reported on the unprecedented destruction after satellite imagery emerged, showing the contrast between Awamiyah in February and July.

But for much of the international community, this is proof of nothing. After all, Awamiyah is not Aleppo where images of death and destruction shared by Al Qaeda “activists” were more than enough to produce outrage and condemnation from just about every western official who could get a hold of a microphone.

Asked about the carnage in Awamiyah, the Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General would only say that the world body was “not in a position to confirm … [the media reports] independently.”

When pressed by the reporter, Stephane Dujarric repeated the same old spiel about how everything that Riyadh does “should be in compliance with international human rights law”.

Of course, nothing that Riyadh does is ever in compliance with international human rights law, thanks in no small part to the political cover and military assistance that it receives from Washington and London.

“The United States or Canada or the UK; all of these countries have provided training, weaponry and assistance to the Saudi forces, to oppress their people,” Ali Al-Ahmad said. “In fact they tried to support the monarchy while maintaining the appearance of civility and democracy.”

The western contribution to the military operation in Awamiyah has not gone unnoticed either.

Armored vehicles like the one used to shoot three-year-old Sajaad may be draped with Saudi flags but the Gurkha RPVs are made in Canada’s Ontario.

The vehicles sold to Saudi Arabia by Canada were at the forefront of the deadly siege on Awamiyah. Countless online videos showed the Gurkha RPV in action.

The revelations threw the spotlight on Ottawa’s recent decision to sign off on a USD 13 billion arms deal with the kingdom, making Saudi Arabia Canada’s second biggest arms buyer.

Similarly, both the US and the UK have sold a record amount of arms to Saudi Arabia in recent months.

In May, US president Donald Trump signed his now infamous USD 110 billion package, which would eventually reach USD 350 billion over the next decade. The deal features everything from integrated air defense systems, Black Hawk helicopters and precision-guided munitions.

Meanwhile, the UK sold Riyadh nearly USD 4 billion worth of bombs and cluster munitions, which are extensively used against civilian areas in Yemen.

And as is the case with the atrocities in that country, western officials will continue to wait for ‘independent confirmation’ before launching futile ‘reviews’ and voicing their condemnation of “all parties to the conflict”.

Source: Al-Ahed 

12-08-2017 | 08:07

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