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The Trouble With India's MIG-21 Fighter Jets - The New York Times
Only a day after the second accident in Rajasthan, a serving officer of the Indian Air Force, Wing Commander Sanjeet Singh Kaila, who himself is a MIG-21 crash survivor, petitioned the courts for the scrapping of the entire fleet. Wing Commander Kaila has contended that flying the aircraft has violated his right to work in a safe environment. The wing commander was involved in a crash during a flight exercise in 2005 after his aircraft caught fire. He delayed in ejecting to safety from his burning aircraft because he was flying over a populated region...
A few months back, India’s defense minister, A.K. Antony, said that out of 29 crashes over the past three years in the Indian Air Force, 12 have been MIG-21 airframes. Two more MIG-21s have crashed since Mr. Antony put out those numbers.

Because of the MIG’s poor safety record, the aircraft has been given grim tags in the public sphere like the “Flying Coffin” and the “Widow Maker.” More than 170 Indian Air Force pilots have been killed in MIG-21 accidents since 1970. These accidents have also resulted in the deaths of 40 civilians.
aviation  safety  military  war 
february 2019 by juliusbeezer
Initial Thoughts on the OPCW Interim Investigation into the Alleged Gas Attack in Douma, Syria - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog
‘Doctors said the symptoms had been consistent with exposure to an organophosphorus substance.’

Which doctors? Note the absence of named, checkable sources in a story written some distance from Damascus. This was typical of almost all western media reports of the episode at the time.

Now, the OPCW preliminary report, 6th July 2018, paragraph 2.5, specifically says there is no evidence of any such organophosphorus substance at the site. The quoted ‘doctors’, being unidentified, cannot now be approached to ask for their response to this.
journalism  syria  media  war 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
How The Media Reveal Inconvenient Truth About Syria | Tim Hayward
Perhaps a rush to launch the attacks all at once was due to an unexpectedly quick unravelling of the authorized narrative in Syria. As the Syrian Arab Army brought Douma back under government control, the liberated citizens were bringing horrendous stories about conditions of life under the UK-sponsored “moderate rebels”, speaking of terror, humiliation, deprivation, rape, murder and forced labour. These stories, if verified, would severely undermine the mainstream narrative. As would the discovery of exceedingly inconvenient facts relating to the alleged chemical attack that recently served as justification for the F-UK-US bombing raid.

So it is that those of us who strive to get a fair hearing for the inconvenient testimonies are branded “Apologists for Assad”.
syria  news  journalism  uk  media  war 
july 2018 by juliusbeezer
The Bomb That Went Off Twice
RDX, it turned out, does not dissolve in water, quickly degrade underground, or cling to soil particles that can keep it in place and limit its spread. Instead of becoming diluted over distance — like many other pollutants — it remains concentrated, and then travels quickly.

“It’s widely used, persistent, and mobile,” said the EPA’s Craig. “It doesn’t go away.”...
It didn’t take long for the EPA to realize the military’s role as environmental offender.

The Pentagon, the agency learned, was responsible for legions of disastrously contaminated sites across the country, sites that by sheer number would soon dwarf the liabilities of any other single entity. There were the artillery testing grounds, packed with unexploded ordnance; the chemical weapons ranges; and the rocket fuel and airplane sites, saturated with solvents and fire retardants. The damage at the sites was so serious that in 1984 the EPA amended the rules of its Superfund cleanup program — the powerful 1980 law that allows federal authorities to take jurisdiction over the highest-priority contamination sites in the country and mandate their cleanup — to include military sites. Then it listed 36 of them.
pollution  water  us  military  war 
december 2017 by juliusbeezer
For Those Who Don't 'Believe' In 'Conspiracies' Here Are 58 Admitted False Flag Attacks
(31) At the July 2001 G8 Summit in Genoa, Italy, black-clad thugs were videotaped getting out of police cars, and were seen by an Italian MP carrying “iron bars inside the police station”. Subsequently, senior police officials in Genoa subsequently admitted that police planted two Molotov cocktails and faked the stabbing of a police officer at the G8 Summit, in order to justify a violent crackdown against protesters.

(32) The U.S. falsely blamed Iraq for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks – as shown by a memo from the defense secretary – as one of the main justifications for launching the Iraq war. Even after the 9/11 Commission admitted that there was no connection, Dick Cheney said that the evidence is “overwhelming” that al Qaeda had a relationship with Saddam Hussein’s regime, that Cheney “probably” had information unavailable to the Commission, and that the media was not ‘doing their homework’ in reporting such ties. Top U.S. government officials now admit that the Iraq war was really launched for oil … not 9/11 or weapons of mass destruction. Despite previous “lone wolf” claims, many U.S. government officials now say that 9/11 was state-sponsored terror; but Iraq was not the state which backed the hijackers. (Many U.S. officials have alleged that 9/11 was a false flag operation by rogue elements of the U.S. government; but such a claim is beyond the scope of this discussion. The key point is that the U.S. falsely blamed it on Iraq, when it knew Iraq had nothing to do with it.).
agnotology  politics  police  war  WarCrimes 
november 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Best Speech Yet From Any U.S. President - World Beyond War . . .
“First: Let us examine our attitude toward peace itself. Too many of us think it is impossible. Too many think it unreal. But that is a dangerous, defeatist belief. It leads to the conclusion that war is inevitable–that mankind is doomed–that we are gripped by forces we cannot control. We need not accept that view. Our problems are manmade–therefore, they can be solved by man. And man can be as big as he wants. No problem of human destiny is beyond human beings. Man’s reason and spirit have often solved the seemingly unsolvable–and we believe they can do it again.....
“With such a peace, there will still be quarrels and conflicting interests, as there are within families and nations. World peace, like community peace, does not require that each man love his neighbor–it requires only that they live together in mutual tolerance, submitting their disputes to a just and peaceful settlement.
war  us  history  politics 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Carnage in Somalia Was 'Revenge' for Children Killed in US Raid: Report | Common Dreams
According to a comprehensive United Nations study published last month, evidence shows that in "a majority of cases, state action appears to be the primary factor finally pushing individuals into violent extremism in Africa."

Of more than 500 former members of militant organisations interviewed for the report, the Guardian noted, 71 percent pointed to "government action," including "killing of a family member or friend" or "arrest of a family member or friend" as the incident that prompted them to join a group.

"State security-actor conduct is revealed as a prominent accelerator of recruitment, rather than the reverse," the UN report stated.
war  psychology 
october 2017 by juliusbeezer
Legerfietsen in Nederland
In 1939 werd, onder de toenemende oorlogsdreiging, een nieuw regiment opgericht. In mei 1940, kort voor het uitbreken van de tweede wereldoorlog werd deze brigade vergroot tot een ‘Lichte Divisie’, totaal 5190 man.
Pictorial history of Dutch cycling troops 1880-1945
netherlands  cycling  war 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Rich resource of military applications of the bicycle. Lots of images of 80s,90s magazine spreads
cycling  war  switzerland  us 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Mistake to declare this a 'war' | London Evening Standard
"In the intricate game of skill played between terrorists and the authorities, as we discovered in both Palestine and Ireland, the terrorists have already won an important battle if they can provoke the authorities into using overt armed force against them. They will then be in a win-win situation. Either they will escape to fight another day, or they will be defeated and celebrated as martyrs. In the process of fighting them a lot of innocent civilians will certainly be hurt, which will further erode the moral authority of the government.

"Who here will ever forget Black Sunday in Northern Ireland , when a few salvos of small-arms fire by the British Army gave the IRA a propaganda victory from which the British government was never to recover ? And if so much harm can be done by rifle fire, what is one to say about bombing ? I can only suggest that it is like trying to eradicate cancer cells with a blow-torch. Whatever its military justification, the bombing of Afghanistan, with the inevitable 'collateral damage' it causes, will gradually whittle away the immense moral ascendancythat we enjoyed as a result of the bombing of the World Trade Center.
war  politics  uk  ireland  iraq  afghanistan  spectacle 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Britain has built a national myth on winning the Second World War, but it’s distorting our politics
The centrality of the Second World War to the national myth warps our view of history and our place in the world in all sorts of ways. For starters, it means we’ve never had to take an honest account of the consequences of empire. In a tale about British heroes defeating Nazi villains, British mistakes or British atrocities just don’t fit. (Winston Churchill’s role in the 1943 Bengal famine – death toll: three million – by ordering the export of Indian grain to Britain rarely comes up in biopics.) In this dominant version of the national story, the end of empire is just the price we pay to defeat fascism.

More than that, our obsession with the Second World War creates the bizarre impression that failure is not just heroic, but a necessary precursor to success. Two of the most discussed elements of Britain’s war – the evacuation of Dunkirk, and the Blitz – are not about victory at all, but about survival against the odds. The lesson we take is that, with a touch of British grit and an ability to improvise, we can accomplish anything. It’s hard not to see this reflected in Brexit secretary David Davis’s lack of notes, but it’s nonsense: had the Russians and Americans not arrived to bail us out, Britain would have been stuffed.
history  uk  eu  war 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Media Lens - Racing Towards The Abyss: The U.S. Atomic Bombing of Japan
A stumbling block until recently has been that no historian has been sufficiently fluent in English, Japanese and Russian to investigate the primary archival material – including internal government documents, military reports and intelligence intercepts - in all three languages. This partly explains why historical debate in the West has been so focused on the Truman administration’s motives and policy-making: this, after all, could be pursued on the basis of English-language material...

In 2005, Tsuyoshi Hasegawa, professor of history at the University of California at Santa Barbara, published a landmark study, ‘Racing The Enemy: Stalin, Truman, and the Surrender of Japan.’[4] Hasegawa, born and raised in Japan but now a U.S. citizen, appraised seriously the trilateral wartime relationships between the United States, the Soviet Union and Japan. His study has been critically acclaimed and has generated considerable scholarly, as well as journalistic, debate. Barton Bernstein, professor of history at Stanford University and one of the world’s foremost commentators on A-bomb issues, warmly praised the book as “formidable”, “a major volume in international history” and “a truly impressive accomplishment, meriting prizes and accolades.”[5] The book has also delivered a huge jolt to anti-revisionists.
history  language  japan  russia  us  war  nukes 
august 2017 by juliusbeezer
Who Gassed Whom in Syria? We don't Know. Please Don't be Rushed into War. - Mail Online - Peter Hitchens blog
Since the mandate of the FFM is confined to establishing only the fact of the use of chemical weapons, the security risks associated with a deployment to Khan Shaykhun far outweighed any additional corroboration of the facts that have already been established. The Director-General has therefore decided that the FFM will not undertake an on-site visit to Khan Shaykhun.’

I’d note here that modern analysts are able, given good samples of poison gas, to be extraordinarily precise about where it comes from and whose it is.
syria  war  agnotology 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
Tony Blair must be prosecuted over Iraq War, High Court hears | The Independent
Tony Blair must be prosecuted over the “unnecessary” and “unlawful” Iraq War, a court has heard.

General Abdul Wahed Shannan Al Rabbat alleges Mr Blair, then UK prime minister, committed “the crime of aggression” by invading Iraq in 2003.

The general wants to bring a private prosecution against Mr Blair and two other key ministers at the time – foreign secretary Jack Straw and the attorney general, Lord Goldsmith.
iraq  war  WarCrimes 
july 2017 by juliusbeezer
The Chemical-Weapons Attack In Syria: Is There a Place for Skepticism? | The Nation
 And so, “In order to cover up the lack of intelligence to supporting the president’s action, the National Security Council produced a fraudulent intelligence report.” Postol concludes that the “report is completely undermined by a significant body of video evidence taken after the alleged sarin attack and before the US cruise missile attack that unambiguously shows the claims in the WHR [White House Report] could not possibly be true.”

The Nation spoke to Postol over the weekend.

“What I think is now crystal clear,” he said, “is that the White House report was fabricated and it certainly did not follow the procedures it claimed to employ.”

“My best guess at the moment is that this was an extremely clumsy and ill-conceived attempt to cover up the fact that Trump attacked Syria without any intelligence evidence that Syria was in fact the perpetrator of the attack…. It may be,” he continued, “that the White House staff was worried that this could eventually come out—a reckless president acting without regard to the nation’s security, risking an inadvertent escalation and confrontation with Russia, and a breakdown in cooperation with Russia that would cripple our efforts to defeat the Islamic State.”
us  politics  spectacle  war 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Syria: Cui Bono?
With the help of Russia, Iran and Hizbullah, Assad is slowly winning the civil war that has been ravishing Syria for years, He already holds almost all the major cities that constitute the core of Syria. He has enough weapons to kill as many enemy civilians as his heart desires.

So why, for Allah’s sake, should he use gas to kill a few dozen more? Why arouse the anger of the entire world, inviting American intervention?

There is no way to deny the conclusion: Assad had the least to gain from the dastardly deed. On the list of “cui bono”, he is the very last...

So who had something to gain? Well, half a dozen Syrian sects and militias who are fighting against Assad and against each other in the crazy civil war. Also their Sunni Arab allies, the Saudi and other Gulf Sheikhs. And Israel, of course. They all have an interest in arousing the civilized world against the Syrian dictator.
syria  war  politics 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
I long to see Blair in the dock being called to account | Daily Mail Online
The case against Tony Blair: Or perhaps politicians are above the law? We'll see.
iraq  war 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Wag The Dog -- How Al Qaeda Played Donald Trump And The American Media | The Huffington Post
The real culprits here are the Trump administration, and President Trump himself. The president’s record of placing more weight on what he sees on television than the intelligence briefings he may or may not be getting, and his lack of intellectual curiosity and unfamiliarity with the nuances and complexities of both foreign and national security policy, created the conditions where the imagery of the Khan Sheikhoun victims that had been disseminated by pro-Al Nusra (i.e., Al Qaeda) outlets could influence critical life-or-death decisions.

That President Trump could be susceptible to such obvious manipulation is not surprising, given his predilection for counter-punching on Twitter for any perceived slight; that his national security team allowed him to be manipulated thus, and did nothing to sway Trump’s opinion or forestall action pending a thorough review of the facts, is scandalous. History will show that Donald Trump, his advisors and the American media were little more than willing dupes for Al Qaeda and its affiliates, whose manipulation of the Syrian narrative resulted in a major policy shift that furthers their objectives.

The other winner in this sorry story is ISIS,
syria  war  agnotology  us  politics 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
White House claims on Syria chemical attack ‘obviously false’ – MIT professor (VIDEO) — RT America
Postol was not convinced by such evidence.

“Any competent analyst would have had questions about whether the debris in the crater was staged or real,” he wrote. “No competent analyst would miss the fact that the alleged sarin canister was forcefully crushed from above, rather than exploded by a munition within it.”

Instead, “the most plausible conclusion is that the sarin was dispensed by an improvised dispersal device made from a 122mm section of rocket tube filled with sarin and capped on both sides.”

“We again have a situation where the White House has issued an obviously false, misleading and amateurish intelligence report,” he concluded, recalling the 2013 situation when the Obama administration claimed Assad had used chemical weapons against the rebels in Ghouta, near Damascus.
syria  war  us  politics  agnotology 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
UK attorney general in bid to block case against Tony Blair over Iraq war | Politics | The Guardian
The private prosecution relates to the 2003 Iraq war and seeks the trial in a British court of then prime minister Tony Blair, the foreign secretary Jack Straw, and Lord Goldsmith, the attorney general at the time...
It seeks their conviction for the crime of “aggression” and is based on the damning findings of last year’s Chilcot report into the British decision to join the invasion of Iraq, under the false pretext that the Saddam Hussein regime had weapons of mass destruction.

Legal documents seen by the Guardian show the attorney general, Jeremy Wright QC, who is the Tory MP for Kenilworth and Southam, has formally asked to join future hearings and for the attempt to prosecute Blair and his top aides to be rejected.
iraq  war  chilcot 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
A Father Describes Saving His Daughter From U.S. Bombardment of Mosul
airstrike from U.S.-led coalition forces bombing Islamic State fighters.

Corpses were everywhere in the ruins of the building; more than 200 people were reportedly killed. Ali’s wife was among them, but he wouldn’t know that until Iraqi civil defense forces found her body later that day. Ali heard the sound of a child groaning underneath the rubble. It was his daughter, Awra. Her body was charred black with severe burns, and shrapnel had pierced through the side of her head, cutting across her face, and sealing her eyes shut. Miraculously, she was breathing...
Doctors treated Awra’s infections and set her broken leg in a cast. A few days ago, they operated on her to dislodge a piece of shrapnel from her eye, restoring her vision for the first time since the airstrike.

Though her face is still scarred from burns and shrapnel cuts, Awra is enjoying her newly-recovered sense of sight
iraq  us  war  health 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Media Lens - Trump’s Tomahawks – The Instant Certainty Of The ‘Mainstream’ Press
Unreported by almost all 'MSM', there has been credible, expert dissent challenging the US-UK view of what happened in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib.

Hans Blix, former head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, who served as the head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission in Iraq, commented:

'I don't know whether in Washington they presented any evidence, but I did not see that in the Security Council. Merely pictures of victims that were held up, that the whole world can see with horror, such pictures are not necessarily evidence of who did it.'
syria  war  WarCrimes 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
IRAQ-CONFLICT: Main water station in Baghdad bombed, ICRC says | Inter Press Service
BAGHDAD, Apr 9 2003 (IPS) - The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Wednesday a main water pumping station in Baghdad was bombed, severing water supplies to many Iraqis in the north of the city.

The water supply for Baghdad is becoming an issue of major concern after the Qanat raw water pumping station in the north of the city was bombed and stopped functioning.

"A large segment of one of the poorest suburbs of Baghdad is going to go without water. This is civilian infrastructure and it should be spared at all costs or we are really going to face a major problem," said ICRC spokesman Roland Huguenin-Benjamin.
iraq  war  WarCrimes 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
Mainstream Media: the Indispensable Pre-War Preparations
In fact, this press coverage was the only justification for the bombing, since the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and other international bodies simply had no time to properly investigate the circumstances.
President Donald Trump walks from the podium after speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Fla., Thursday, April 6, 2017, after the U.S. fired a barrage of cruise missiles into Syria Thursday night
© AP Photo/ Alex Brandon
US Attack in Syria Proves US is 'the Most Unpredictable State in World', Result of 'Wars of Elites' - Moscow

This situation imposes additional responsibility on journalists, but were they up to the task? Unfortunately, just like in many previous cases, there were many immediate assumptions and immediate categorical statements that have been made concerning the presumed guilty party...
The last, but certainly not the least effective means of propaganda is an emotional attack on the audience. The reader (or the viewer) is put face to face with such unbearable cruelty, that it spurs him to justify any military action (in this case — from the US government) that would remove the terrible descriptions from a newspaper page or the unbearable images from the screen before his eyes.
journalism  propaganda  spectacle  syria  war  WarCrimes 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
AM - US strikes on Syria were illegal warn international law experts 08/04/2017
ELIZABETH JACKSON: Whatever the motivation for the attack on Syria, international law experts today are warning that the US strikes were, in fact, illegal. Ben Saul is a professor of international law at the University of Sydney.

BEN SAUL: It's pretty clear that the strikes are illegal under international law, because they're not a use of force in self-defence, or with the authorisation of the Security Council, which are the only two circumstances in which the use of military force is legal under the United Nations Charter of 1945.
war  law  syria 
april 2017 by juliusbeezer
After 12 Rejections, Apple Accepts App That Tracks U.S. Drone Strikes
Five years ago, I made a simple iPhone app. It would send you a push notification every time a U.S. drone strike was reported in the news.

Apple rejected the app three times, calling it “excessively objectionable or crude content.”

Over the years, I would occasionally resubmit the app, changing its name from Drones+ to Metadata+. I was curious to see if Apple might change its mind. The app didn’t include graphic images or video of any kind — it simply aggregated news about covert war.
apple  politics  technology  agnotology  war 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
Wartime Demands Led to Sloppy Asbestos Use
For much of the 20th century, efforts to put the genie back into the bottle were thwarted by an asbestos industry that knew of the dangers of its commodity but constructed an elaborate conspiracy of silence.

What asbestos industry executives knew and when they knew it is a matter of public record, having come to light in the late 1970s after the first asbestos-disease lawsuits were filed.

But those executives had an accomplice: the U.S. government, which also knew asbestos was hazardous but turned a blind eye to the dangers throughout most of the 20th century...
working in an American shipyard during World War II would prove to be almost as deadly as fighting in the war.

During World War II, 16.1 million Americans were called to arms. The combat death rate was about 18 per thousand service members. About 4.3 million Americans worked in shipyards during the war. For every thousand wartime shipyard employees, about 14 died of asbestos-related cancer, and an unknown number died of an asbestos disease called asbestosis, or complications from it.

``In the highest levels of government, there was a conscious political decision to sacrifice lives of (shipyard workers) for the war effort,'' says Samuels, who, at 71, serves as vice president of a worldwide organization dedicated to advancing occupational health and safety issues.
agnotology  war  work  health 
march 2017 by juliusbeezer
My country was destroyed – Medium
Since that time, I decided to speak up on behalf of all the Syrian refugees and be their voice, to call upon other countries to open their hearts and doors to my people, and also, to end the regime change war that’s causing more people to flee. I do not support one side or the other in the Syrian conflict. But I’m very frustrated by the Western media’s one-sided coverage of this war. The U.S., the West, and the Gulf countries are funding rebels associated with al-Qaeda and ISIS, giving them weapons to empower them to keep fighting and destroy and divide Syria. I know first-hand. I’ve been trying to tell the world about what is happening in Syria, but the media doesn’t want people to hear the truth.
syria  war  politics  immigration  refugees 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
UK Polling Report
MORI: Do you approve or disapprove of the way the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is handling the current situation with Iraq?
ICM: (pre-war) Do you approve or disapprove of a (the) military attack on Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein? (post-war) From what you have seen or heard, do you think the war against Iraq to remove Saddam Hussein was justified or unjustified?
YouGov: Do you think the United States and Britain were right or wrong to take military action against Iraq? (2) Do you think the United States and Britain were right or wrong three/four years ago to take military action against Iraq?
Populus: Thinking about the build-up to the war in Iraq and everything that has happened since, was taking military action the right thing to do, or the wrong thing to do?
iraq  war  politics 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Ipsos MORI | Comment & Analysis | Iraq, The Last Pre-War Polls
The final polls to be published before the war in Iraq started, conducted last weekend, all found a shift in public opinion in favour of British involvement in the war but still found a majority disapproving, both of military action and of Tony Blair's handling of the Iraq crisis.
iraq  war  politics 
february 2017 by juliusbeezer
Parliament just saved Tony Blair's ass, and paved the way for more reckless wars | The Canary
Parliament debated an SNP-led motion after Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on 30 November. The motion called for ex-Labour leader Tony Blair to be held accountable for misleading parliament in the lead-up to the invasion of Iraq...
It was supported by 45 MPs from seven different parties, including the Green Party’s Caroline Lucas. It read:

The Chilcot Inquiry provided substantial evidence of misleading information being presented by the then Prime Minister and others on the development of the then government’s policy towards the invasion of Iraq as shown most clearly in the contrast between private correspondence to the United States government and public statements to parliament and to the people and also in the presentation of intelligence information...
439 MPs voted against the motion. Only 70 voted for it. Most MPs chose to relieve Blair of any responsibility for his actions that led to the disastrous invasion of Iraq. And they gave future leaders the perfect precedent to do whatever they please without thought for consequence.
iraq  war  uk  politics 
december 2016 by juliusbeezer
MPs launch new attempt to interrogate Tony Blair over Iraq | Politics | The Guardian
A cross-party group of MPs will make a fresh effort to hold Tony Blair to account for allegedly misleading parliament and the public over the Iraq war.

The move, which could see Blair stripped of membership of the privy council, comes as the former prime minister tries to re-enter the political fray, promising to champion the “politically homeless” who are alienated from Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour and the Brexit-promoting government of Theresa May.

The group, which includes MPs from six parties, will put down a Commons motion on Monday calling for a parliamentary committee to investigate the difference between what Blair said publicly to the Chilcot inquiry into the war and privately, including assurances to then US president George W Bush.
iraq  war  politics  us 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
IS conflict: How is it getting hold of weapons from the West? - BBC News
In the early phase of the conflict, most of it was captured on the battlefield from Iraqi and Syrian forces. But from the end of 2015, the team started to see another significant source.

Ammunition boxes were turning up that could be traced back to factories in Eastern Europe.

The team approached manufacturing states to request information to find out to whom the material was sold.

It emerged that the material had been sold - legally - to the governments of the United States and Saudi Arabia. It was then shipped through Turkey.

The destination was northern Syria and the opposition groups (which the US and Saudi Arabia supported) fighting President Bashar al-Assad.

The intention was never for the ammunition to find its way to IS but somewhere along the way it was diverted.

This ammunition was found in Tikrit, Ramadi, Falluja and now Mosul - all places where it has been used to fight the US-backed Iraqi forces.

The speed with which IS was getting this material was startling - sometimes only two months from leaving the factory.
war  syria  iraq 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Paul Mason wrote: “Borrowing money to spend on defence buys you good, high-skilled jobs; enhanced R… – Medium
Paul Mason wrote:
“Borrowing money to spend on defence buys you good, high-skilled jobs; enhanced R&D; resilience in the face of a bad world situation and — if you do it right — rekindles social cohesion. It also demands an industrial policy”

This is often said. However “defence” spending represents rather poor value for money by the metric of capital invested/job created compared with any other sector. Policymakers sincere about minimising unemployment should know this. “Defence” R&D may indeed produce interesting work (the internet…), but if it remains unpublished/classified, as is likely, then again, greater public benefit would be obtained by investment elsewhere.
That said, the autonomy of the Baltic states and of Europe in general is worth defending. You’re surely right to be thinking about military solutions. After all, invading eastern Europe has always gone so well for anyone who’s tried it in the past.
Or maybe the UK should try to avoid appearing like a warmongering blimp-head manoeuvring on the borders of a country whom history grants every right to wariness.
Still, the UK can always resort to selling the exploding fruits of such excellent policy to oppressive regimes around the world. How’s that working out for ya?
war  europe  uk  research  economics  dccomment 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Iraq: A Brief History of Bombing | Matt Carr's Infernal Machine
June 2002-March 2003. ‘Secret’ escalation in Anglo-American bombings coincides with attempts to justify invasion on the basis of Saddam’s non-compliance with weapons inspectors. 600 bombs dropped on 391 Iraqi targets before the war begins.

19 March 2003, the US-led coalition planes and missiles conduct 29, 200 air strikes in Iraq in the opening salvo of a war that according to George Bush, is intended ‘to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger.’ An estimated 3, 750 Iraqi civilians are killed and injured by air-launched or ground-launched cluster munitions on Iraqi cities, in addition to some 9, 200 combatant casualties.

2003-2011. US carries out 3, 900 air strikes against Iraqi insurgents. The 2006 ‘Lancet report’ claims that 78,133 people have been killed in these strikes, many of which are carried out in densely-populated urban neighborhoods.
iraq  war  WarCrimes 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
The fatal expense of American imperialism - The Boston Globe
The scale of US military operations is remarkable. The US Department of Defense has (as of a 2010 inventory) 4,999 military facilities, of which 4,249 are in the United States; 88 are in overseas US territories; and 662 are in 36 foreign countries and foreign territories, in all regions of the world. Not counted in this list are the secret facilities of the US intelligence agencies. The cost of running these military operations and the wars they support is extraordinary, around $900 billion per year, or 5 percent of US national income, when one adds the budgets of the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies, homeland security, nuclear weapons programs in the Department of Energy, and veterans benefits. The $900 billion in annual spending is roughly one-quarter of all federal government outlays.
us  politics  war  WarCrimes 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
MoD seriously misled me on Saudi arms sales, says Vince Cable | World news | The Guardian
Cable said: “That is categorically contrary to what I was told was going to happen. If what they are now saying [is] I was not offered oversight on an equivalent level to the Americans, and that this would involve oversight of targeting, then I was seriously misled. That is total fabrication because that was very specifically stated. That is not something that I would have made up.”

A second source who was involved in the discussions at the time has corroborated Cable’s account. “Mr Cable was told we would have oversight of targeting. He wouldn’t have agreed to the licences without this,” the source said.
uk  politics  war  arms_trade 
november 2016 by juliusbeezer
Compare the coverage of Mosul and East Aleppo and it tells you a lot about the propaganda we consume | The Independent
Destruction in Aleppo by Russian air strikes is compared to the destruction of Grozny in Chechnya sixteen years ago, but, curiously, no analogy is made with Ramadi, a city of 350,000 on the Euphrates in Iraq, that was 80 per cent destroyed by US-led air strikes in 2015. Parallels go further: civilians trapped in East Aleppo are understandably terrified of what the Syrian Mukhabara secret police would do to them if they leave and try to pass through Syrian government checkpoints.

But I talked earlier this year to some truck drivers from Ramadi whom I found sleeping under a bridge in Kirkuk who explained that they could not even go back to the ruins of their homes because checkpoints on the road to the city were manned by a particularly violent Shia militia.
syria  iraq  war 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
The New War, the Forever War, and a World Beyond War - World Beyond War . . .
Give real diplomacy a chance: Send diplomats to Baghdad and Damascus to negotiate aid and to encourage serious reforms. Open negotiations that include Iran and Russia. Use the mechanisms provided by the United Nations constructively. The political problems in the region require political solutions. Employ peaceful means to pursue representative governments respectful of human rights, regardless of the consequences for U.S. oil corporations or any other influential profiteers. Propose the creation of truth and reconciliation commissions. Allow for citizen diplomacy efforts.

Apply an appropriate conflict resolution response to terrorism by creating a multi-layered policy framework. (1) Prevention by reducing proneness to terrorism; (2) persuasion by reducing motivation and recruitment; (3) denial by reducing vulnerability and defeating hardliners; (4) coordination by maximizing international efforts.[7]
war  iraq  syria 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
It's finally happening - Tony Blair is being SUED for war crimes by a Dubai-based lawyer |
a Dubai-based lawyer has announced he is to sue the former UK Prime Minister for war crimes committed during the Iraq war.
iraq  uk  politics  war 
october 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Cold War Is Over by Peter Hitchens | Articles | First Things
If the U.S. had China on the 49th Parallel and Germany on the Rio Grande, and a long land border with the Islamic world where the Pacific Ocean now is, it might be a very different place. There might even be a good excuse for the Patriot Act and the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI. If Russia’s neighbors were Canada and Mexico, rather than Germany, China, Turkey, and Poland, and if its other flanks were guarded by thousands of miles of open ocean, it might have free institutions and long traditions of free speech and the rule of law. It might also be a lot richer. As it is, Russia is a strong state with a country, rather than a country with a strong state. If it were otherwise, it would have gone the way of the Lithuanian Empire or, come to that, the Golden Horde.
russia  politics  geography  war 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
In Leaked Emails, Iraq War Architect Expressed Relief That Brexit Distracted From U.K. War Inquiry
In anticipation of coming press coverage, Straw asked Powell to review a statement in a Word document he drafted. He wrote that the “only silver lining of the Brexit vote is that it will reduce medium term attention on Chilcot — though it will not stop the day of publication being uncomfortable.”
iraq  war  uk  politics  chilcot 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after Facebook deletes 'napalm girl' post | Technology | The Guardian
Facebook’s decision to delete a post by Norwegian writer Tom Egeland that featured The Terror of War, a Pulitzer prize-winning photograph by Nick Ut that showed children – including the naked 9-year-old Kim Phúc – running away from a napalm attack during the Vietnam war. Egeland’s post discussed “seven photographs that changed the history of warfare” – a group to which the “napalm girl” image certainly belongs.

Egeland was subsequently suspended from Facebook. When Aftenposten reported on the suspension – using the same photograph in its article, which was then shared on the publication’s Facebook page – the newspaper received a message from Facebook asking it to “either remove or pixelize” the photograph.
facebook  censorship  photography  war 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Why They Invaded | Jacobin
The people able to judge its reliability would take it out. Most of that absolute dross — including the stuff that was taken from somebody’s PhD research [to support claims of WMD] — would have got filtered out.

But there was so much knowledge in the system that the government was already committed to war — and frankly, everyone knew that they were absolutely determined — that people took off the filters. So intelligence that was obvious nonsense was let through...
If I think about the torture and extraordinary rendition over which I resigned, for example, there were hundreds of UK officials implicated. Hundreds of people knew that people were being shipped around the world to be tortured.

But as far as I know, I was the only person who entered in writing a formal objection to getting intelligence from torture. And even though, from those hundreds of people, I know that most of them were against torture personally, nobody was actually prepared to lose their jobs to prevent it.
iraq  war  chilcot  torture  authoritarianism 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
Ignoring the Pentagon’s Multi-Trillion-Dollar Accounting Error | FAIR
the Pentagon’s inspector general this year issued a report blasting the US Army for misreporting $6.5 trillion (that’s not a typo; it’s trillion with a T) as its spending total for the 2015 fiscal year...

Now, clearly that number cannot be correct, since the entire Pentagon budget for 2015 was a little over $600 billion, or less than 10 percent of what the Army was saying it had spent.the Army is making up numbers—and that’s exactly what “unsupported adjustments” means to an accountant—then nobody, not a reporter, not a congressional oversight committee, not even an inspector general, can tell what allocated funds are actually being spent on, where the money really went, whether programs are cost-effective, or even whether funds were misused or stolen. And we’re talking about the single biggest department in the US government, which accounts for more than one-half of all discretionary federal spending each year.
war  politics  us 
september 2016 by juliusbeezer
A former senior U.S. general again calls for abolishing the nuclear forces he once commanded | Center for Public Integrity
Butler’s dramatically changed role in America’s nuclear drama was driven by what he describes as a growing alarm over deficiencies in nuclear war plans and the vested interests of Pentagon officials and the defense industry in maintaining such plans. After participating in monthly drills at the Strategic Air Command headquarters with U.S. officials to prepare for a massive nuclear attack, he learned that then, as today, a president would have just ten minutes “to grasp the circumstances, listen to… the retaliatory options, and make a decision that could mean life or death for tens or hundreds of millions of people.”...
Stepping into the anti-nuclear camp, he writes, “put my reputation in the balance [and] cost me innumerable friends.” At one point, a fellow retired senior officer startled him on the way to a National Press Club speech by asking if he was concerned “that you will give comfort to our enemies and insult the men and women you used to command.” His advocacy failed, in the end, to significantly alter the direction of nuclear policy under three succeeding presidents.

But now, Butler says firmly, “I have no regrets” about staking out that startling position.

Butler says he remains convinced that during the Cold War, “we fell victim to a cascading series of missteps, driven by the visceral fear” of a nuclear-armed archenemy, and reaped as a result “a bitter harvest of worst-case scenarios”
nukes  war  us 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Field Notes: Writers at War - Los Angeles Review of Books
TWO YEARS INTO WORLD WAR II and facing national food shortages and an agricultural labor crisis, the US government launched the Victory Garden propaganda campaign encouraging people to grow their own food or volunteer on farms. It was an incredibly successful effort; by some estimates, more than 20,000,000 Victory Gardens would be planted at homes and schools and in community spaces across the nation, accounting by 1944 for some 40 percent of all vegetables grown in the United States.
food  agriculture  war 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
The truth about Trident: the shocking fact that would turn us all against paying for nukes | The Canary
As parliament debates the renewal of Trident, the UK’s “nuclear deterrent” – the arguments surrounding the controversial weapons system rage as fiercely as ever. But there’s one aspect which has been repeatedly overlooked. UK banks not only finance our nuclear deterrent, but also our supposed “enemy” Russia’s as well, and senior politicians enjoy a direct financial profit through keeping Trident.
military  war  finance 
july 2016 by juliusbeezer
Not the Chilcot Report - Craig Murray
Oborne is at his best is skewering the guilty men by pinpointing the key lies and distortions. In so doing, he is able to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the major figures acted dishonestly and with deliberation. Here for example is a phrase from a minute of 15 March 2002 by John Scarlett, then Head of the Joint Intelligence Committee and later Head of MI6, discussing what to release to the public:

“You will still wish to consider whether more impact could be achieved if the paper only covered Iraq. This would have the benefit of obscuring the fact that, in terms of WMD, Iraq is not exceptional.”
iraq  war  WarCrimes 
june 2016 by juliusbeezer
Exclusive Interview: Seymour Hersh Dishes on Saudi Oil Money Bribes and the Killing of Osama Bin Laden | Alternet
One of the things that comes across just in the current stories about all the travails we’re having about ISIS allegedly running all these terror teams in Brussels and in the suburbs of Paris… it’s very clear, ironically, that one of the things France and Belgium (and a lot of other countries) did was after the Syrian civil war began, if you wanted to go there and fight there in 2011-2013, ‘Go, go, go… overthrow Bashar!’

So they actually pushed a lot of people to go. I don’t think they were paying for them but they certainly gave visas. And they would spend four or five months, come back and do organized crime and get in jail and next thing you know they’re killing people. There’s a real pattern there.
france  politics  war 
april 2016 by juliusbeezer
Mr. President, It’s Time to End the Racist War on Drugs - The Daily Beast
President Richard Nixon, according to a new article in Harper’s magazine, used drug policy as a political strategy—to neutralize his political foes, specifically “the anti-war left and black people.”

His domestic policy advisor John Ehrlichman, who spent 18 months in prison for his part in the Watergate scandal, outlined a scheme by which our policies to combat illicit drug abuse “could disrupt those communities.”

“We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities,” Ehrlichman reportedly told journalist Dan Baum in 1994.
drugs  war  warondrugs 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
The Sisterhood of the Easter Rising - The New York Times
AROUND 12:45 p.m. on April 29, 1916, Nurse Elizabeth O’Farrell left 15 Moore Street in Dublin to deliver the surrender message that would end the Easter Rising. Inside the house, where the division of Irish rebels under the command of Padraig Pearse had retreated, her comrades in arms watched her walk away through the bullet-riddled streets, fearing she would be shot down. But as she neared the British military outpost, the firing eased and Ms. O’Farrell accomplished her mission without injury.

Ms. O’Farrell’s act of bravery has become one of the iconic moments of the Rising, not so much for the act itself, but for how it was documented.
ireland  war  history 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
M4 Shermans....death-traps? - Page 2 - MILITARY VEHICLES - U.S. Militaria Forum
Regarding the Polish cavalry, that is a myth created by the Nazi propaganda machine. There was a photo of a cavalry unit that was ambushed by German light tanks in hiding and it was intentionally miscaptioned for propaganda purposes.

Thank you very much for your post. It is very funny how much this stupid myth and absurdity is powerful in the USA. Completely incompetent "history channels" uphold it very strongly in their tv programs based on nazi propaganda film "Kampfgeschwader Lützow". For the US media "Kampfgeschwader Lützow" is valuable historical material. Very funny.

Nobody listens to Steven Zaloga who so many times explained this aggressive and primitive anti-Polish myth. Even here, on this forum, I could observe this absurdity directed against me by not so friendly forumers. I have never behaved here in the same manner and never "informed" that the last US Cavalry charge took place against Japanese tanks although such an "information" can be found. Neither the Polish nor the US cavalrymen were idiots as quasi-historical "publicists" would like to see it.
driving  war 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Interview with Steven Zaloga – Tank and AFV News
Belton Cooper didn’t go back and do any research after the war and you got to keep in mind who he was in the war, he was a young Ordnance Lieutenant. In the book he talks as though he understood what George Patton was thinking or what the US Army was thinking. He didn’t have that perspective. You know a young lieutenant does not have the big picture of what the US Army is trying to do. He could see it from the very grim reality of repairing knocked out and damaged tanks, but he was not a tank officer, he was an ordnance officer, he was involved in tank maintenance. And so when you talk to the tank crews it’s a very different perspective. And over the years I’ve talked to a lot of tank crews, I’ve gone through tons and tons, thousands of pages of tank battalion after action reports and armored division after action reports and the perspective that you get looking at the big picture is very different from the perspective from one set of eyes from a young army lieutenant.
I looked at one of the less explored issues, which is German tank reliability. You know, how reliable was the Panther, how reliable was the Tiger. I found quite a bit of material on that down at the national archives and it’s an eye opener. The Panther had awful reliability rates in 1943, starting as Kursk and right through the end of the year. It improves in 1944. It puts a different perspective on the ability of divisions to operate when you see the reliability rates of some of the vehicles.
military  driving  war 
march 2016 by juliusbeezer
Obama Is Right: Terrorism Has Taken Over Cable News
search of CNN coverage between November 21 and December 21 of this year yielded 427 hits (instances where an individual show mentioned the word at least once) for the search phrase “terrorism” and 404 hits for “ISIS”; the same search for “poverty” yielded only 34 hits. Here are the terrorism search strings compared to the other topics in chart form (note that the anti-privacy CISA legislation, directly related to terrorism, was not mentioned at all):
journalism  attention  war  economics  news  politics 
january 2016 by juliusbeezer
Pentagon to lose emissions exemption under Paris climate deal | Environment | The Guardian
The Iraq war was responsible for 141m tonnes of carbon releases in its first four years, according to an Oil Change International report. On an annual basis, this was more than the emissions from 139 countries in this period, or about the same as putting an extra 25m cars on to US roads for a year.
climatechange  iraq  war  energy  military 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Apologies | Matt Carr's Infernal Machine
As I have tried to make clear since I wrote my piece about Hilary Benn last Thursday, I never meant to suggest any moral equivalence whatsoever between Daesh and the International Brigades. I continue to believe that the overall context of the article makes it clear that I intended no such thing, and that nobody who is familiar with my writing could ever believe that I would make such a suggestion.
war  syria  philosophy  religion  history  dccomment 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer / News / Rebuilding Iraq
In nearly every occupation, there is a tipping point-a defining incident that crystallizes the popular reception of the occupier. Right now, the views of many Iraqis toward the US occupation force are extremely fluid, changing depending on the circumstances of the day-or hour. They cheer US forces for bringing down a despised regime and delight in their newfound freedom to talk frankly or celebrate long-forbidden religious rituals. They curse the US forces for the darkness, for the lack of water, and for the looting.
war  iraq  politics 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
President Al-Assad: “Britain and France Have Neither the Will nor the Vision on How to Defeat Terrorism” | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
First, all wars are bad. There is no such thing as a good war. In every war there are always too many innocent casualties. These are only avoidable by bringing that war to an end. So it is self-evident that wars anywhere in the world will result in loss of life. But the rhetoric that has been repeated in the West for a long time ignores the fact that from day one terrorists were killing innocent people, it also ignores that fact that many of the people killed were supporters of the government and not vice versa. As a government, our only countermeasure against terrorists is to fight them. There is no other choice. We cannot stop fighting the terrorists who kill civilians for fear of being accused by the West of using force.
war  syria 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Quran and War: Prof Joel Hayward: Quran and War (Koran and War). - Qur'an and War: Islam and War: Just War
Even a cursory reading of the Qur’an will draw the reader’s eyes to hundreds of scriptures extolling tolerance, conciliation, inclusiveness and peace, but also to a few scriptures that seem to be more aggressive than, for example, Christians are used to reading in the words of Christ and his followers as expressed in the New Testament. Critics of the Qur’an who advance what I consider to be an unsustainable argument that Islam is the world’s most warlike major faith — among whom the American scholar Robert Spencer is both the most prolific and influential6 — routinely highlight Qur’anic passages to support their argument that Islam has a tendency towards aggressive war, not inclusive peace.7

These writers tend to focus their attention on a few passages within the Qur’an which seem to suggest that Allāh encourages Muslims to subjugate non-Muslims, and even to take their lives if they refuse to yield. The critics especially like to quote Surah (Chapter) 9, Ayah (Verse) 5, which has become known as the “verse of the sword” (Ayat al-Sayf). This verse explicitly enjoins Muslims to kill “pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war).”8 You could not imagine gentle Buddha or the peaceful, cheek-turning Jesus ever saying such things, the critics assert, brushing off some of Jesus’ seemingly incongruous statements, such as Matthew 10:34 — “Do not think I come to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword” — as allegorical and metaphorical.9

When they read the Qur’an, the opponents of its message tend not to place adequate importance on the obvious difference between Jesus and Muhammad. Jesus was the spiritual leader of a small and intimate group of followers at a time of relative peace throughout the land. He suffered death, according to the Christian scriptures, but his execution by the Rome-governed state came after a short burst of state anger that actually followed several years of him being able to preach without severe opposition and no known violence. By contrast, Muhammad (in some ways like Moses) found himself not only the spiritual but also the political and legislative leader of a massive community that wanted to be moderate, just and inclusive but suffered organised warfare from other political entities which were committed to its destruction. His responsibilities (including the governance, sustenance and protection of tens of thousands of children, men and women) were very different.
religion  war 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Turkey Refines and Sells Stolen Syrian and Iraqi Oil for ISIS | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
On Saturday, Turkish police arrested Ankara Gendarmerie Regional Commander Major General Ibrahim Aydin, former Adana Gendarmerie Regional Commander Brigadier General Hamza Celepoglu and former Gendarmerie Criminal Laboratory Head Colonel Burhanettin Cihangiroglu on charges of treason and espionage – for revealing information about regime authorities transporting weapons cross-border to ISIS terrorists in Syria.
turkey  syria  war  oil 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
The Bizarre Explanation For Why The U.S. Has Avoided Bombing ISIS Oil Wells | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
Until Russia started bombing the living daylights out of them, an endless parade of trucks carrying ISIS oil would go back and forth over the Turkish border completely unmolested.
“We are talking about a commercial-scale supply of oil from the occupied Syrian territories seized by terrorists. It is from these areas [that oil comes from], and not with any others. And we can see it from the air, where these vehicles are going,” Putin said.

If the Russians could see all of this, the U.S. military could see it too. In fact, we have far better surveillance capabilities than the Russians do.

So why didn’t Obama put an end to this?
syria  russia  turkey  war 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Turkey suspends flights over Syria, Russia launches electronic warfare against Ankara
Although he declared that Russia would not go to war with Turkey for “stabbing it in the back, debkafile’s military and intelligence sources report that since Wednesday night, Nov. 25, Russian heavy bombers and warplanes have been hitting every Turkish vehicle moving or stationary inside Syria.

They bombed the Bab al-Hawa border crossing, located on the Turkey-Syria frontier, as well trailers and tractors parked in an area belonging to the Turkish Humanitarian Relief Foundation, on the Syrian side of the border.

It was this group (a terrorist association in disguise) that five years ago organized a flotilla to break Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip. The lead-ship the Marmora was boarded by Israeli troops and 12 “aid workers” were killed in a clash, an incident that sparked a major clash between Ankara and Jerusalem. Erdogan then insisted he had never heard of the organization although their strong links were uncovered.
syria  war  turkey  russia  Gaza 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
The UK Parliament’s Decision to Bomb Syria is ILLEGAL | Global Research - Centre for Research on Globalization
5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;
syria  law  war 
december 2015 by juliusbeezer
Why States of Emergency and Extreme Security Measures Won’t Stop ISIS
Given the international sympathy for the French after the massacre in Paris, it is inevitable that there is almost no criticism of France’s muddle-headed policy towards the Syrian conflict.

Earlier this year, in an interview with Aron Lund of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, one of the leading French experts on Syria, Fabrice Balanche, who is currently at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said that “in 2011-12 we suffered a kind of intellectual McCarthyism on the Syrian question: if you said that Assad was not about to fall within three months you could be suspected of being paid by the Syrian regime”.

He noted that the French foreign ministry took up the cause of Syrian opposition, while the media refused to see the Syrian revolt as anything other than the continuation of revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt. They were blind to sectarian, political and social divisions which meant that there were always two sides to the Syrian civil war.
france  syria  politics  war 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Drone terror: Welcome to the barbarism of ‘civilisation’ | Middle East Eye
Yesterday, the UK Ministry of Defence released figures purporting to show that Royal Air Force (RAF) Reaper drone strikes have killed an estimated 305 IS fighters since 9 November 2014, with zero civilian casualties. The exact wording of the MoD statement says:

“To date there have been no known [emphasis added] cases of civilian casualties resulting from UK strikes in Iraq. All strikes take place in accordance with UK Rules of Engagement and applicable law.”

Do these weasel words prove that there have been no civilian casualties from UK drone strikes?

No, because there is a reason the MoD has no list of “known cases of civilian casualties”: as a matter of policy, the British Army does not keep track of civilian casualties. Institutionally, the British government has no idea how many Iraqi civilians have been killed since UK military operations began in that country in 2003.

In fact, the Ministry of Defence has no formal mechanism to track civilian deaths from any of its military operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan or anywhere else – in violation of its obligations under the Geneva Conventions.
drones  war  syria  humanrights 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Marginal Musings
While I personally believe that war is rarely if ever a solution to violence, I accept that the resort to war is sometimes legitimate under international law. As citizens we therefore have a duty to participate in debates about the legitimacy of our politicians taking our country to war, whatever our personal beliefs. In such situations, I believe that the just war criteria should be applied, as a rule of thumb against which to measure the decision to go to war and the conduct of war. While it is questionable whether war ever conforms to these criteria, they are the only enduring tradition we have for judging and containing acts of war. I have taken the following summary from the BBC website and posted my arguments in italics, though there is also a very interesting discussion on a Catholic website about American involvement in bombing Syria, on the basis of Thomas Aquinas’s just war theory:
war  politics  religion  philosophy  syria 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
David Cameron, there aren't 70,000 moderate fighters in Syria - and whoever heard of a moderate with a Kalashnikov, anyway? | Voices | The Independent
we are not “at war”. Isis can massacre our innocents, but it is not invading us. Isis is not about to capture Paris or London – as we and the Americans captured Baghdad and Mosul in 2003. No. What Isis intends to do is to persuade us to destroy ourselves. Isis wants us to hate our Muslim minorities. It wants civil war in France between the elite and its disenfranchised Muslims, most of them of Algerian origin. It wants the Belgians to hate their Muslims. It wants us Brits to hate our Muslims. Isis must have been outraged by the thousands of fine Europeans who welcomed with love the million Muslim refugees who reached Germany. The Muslims should have been heading towards the new Caliphate – not running away from it. So now it wishes to turn us against the refugees.
syria  iraq  war  immigration  politics 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
ISIS’ Grip on Libyan City Gives It a Fallback Option - The New York Times
Warring factions are far more focused on fighting one another than on taking on the Islamic State, and Libya’s neighbors are all too weak or unstable to lead or even host a military intervention.

The Islamic State has already established exclusive control of more than 150 miles of Mediterranean coastline near Surt, from the town of Abugrein in the west to Nawfaliya in the east. The militias from the nearby city of Misurata that once vowed to expel the group completely have all retreated. Only a few checkpoints manned by one or two militiamen guard the edge of the Islamic State’s turf, where its fighters come and go as they please.
libya  war  politics 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
@MisterSob: Media Misdirection & The Origins Of Extremism
In addition, a 2008 article in The Guardian, citing a classified MI5 internal research report into radicalisation, states:

They are mostly British nationals, not illegal immigrants and, far from being Islamist fundamentalists, most are religious novices. Nor, the analysis says, are they "mad and bad".

Figures released by the Muslim Council of Britain, drawing on the 2011 census, indicate that almost half of the Muslim population in the UK lives in the most deprived areas and that just 1 in 5 are in full-time employment; the disenfranchisement of British Muslims was highlighted in an August 2014 report by ITV. Muslim leader Ajmal Masroor, who works against extremism, said his biggest problem in tackling the issue was the failure of Government policy in the past. Surely, then, asking Muslim children to fill out “counter-extremism” tests only adds to the sense of isolation we should be working to counter.

It can be seen then that tackling the root causes of terrorism must start at home.
religion  politics  war  psychology 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
(59) Débat houleux aux Communes sur les frappes en Syrie - Libération
Reste le parti du Labour, profondément divisé sur la question. Son dirigeant, le très pacifiste Jeremy Corbyn, qui a demandé à David Cameron d’assurer qu’une intervention aérienne ne sera pas suivie par une intervention au sol - ce que ce dernier a confirmé - votera sans aucun doute contre les frappes.
syria  war  uk  france  jbcomment 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
EXCLUSIVE: US accused of covering up death of six children in Syria air strike | Middle East Eye
Yet al-Amouri, who was not in the house at the time, said that five of his daughters had been killed: Fatimah, aged 10; Hayat, aged nine; Amina, aged seven; Asia, aged five and Marwa, aged four; as well as his 10-month-old son Abdullah.

He also identified the three members of the refugee family who were killed as Umm Tawfiq, her son Yusuf Yaseen, 25, and daughter Fatima Yaseen, 17.

Al-Amouri's two surviving children, Ali, aged five, and Nariman, aged two, were pulled out of the rubble with serious injuries. His wife also suffered injuries including a broken arm and leg.

He said his son had required several operations for head injuries and had spent a month in hospital, while his daughter could no longer walk, was blind and could not speak.

"She used to walk and talk, she had no problems. Now her legs are as you can see. I don't know what is wrong with them. She doesn’t speak, doesn’t see, and I don’t know what to do for her,"
syria  war 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Stop the War's 7-point rebuttal of Cameron's case for war on Syria
Stop the War believes that David Cameron's incoherent proposals for action in Syria will do nothing to weaken Isis but will instead inflame the civil war, deepen the misery of the Syrian people and increase the terrorist risk. We are urging MPs to consider carefully before voting to take Britain into our fourth war in fourteen years.
syria  war  uk 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
(32) En Syrie, l’Etat islamique loin du viseur des bombardiers russes - Libération
Comme d’habitude, Moscou a fait valoir que ses aéronefs avaient attaqué une zone tenue par l’Etat islamique. Sauf que la province échappe à l’organisation d’Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi, depuis qu’elle fut chassée en janvier 2014 de tout le nord-est de la Syrie. La région est désormais contrôlée par divers groupes liés à l’Armée syrienne libre (ASL), certains soutenus par les Occidentaux, ou au Front al-Nusra, la branche syrienne d’Al-Qaeda, avec de temps à autre de fortes tensions entre ces deux mouvances de la rébellion syrienne.

A l’heure où, pour combattre l’EI, François Hollande cherche à mettre sur pied une vaste coalition militaire dans laquelle la Russie jouerait un rôle essentiel, et au moment où la diplomatie française est contrainte à un virage à 180 degrés, Moscou poursuit la même stratégie, calquée sur celle du régime de Bachar al-Assad, qui consiste à rendre la vie invivable dans les régions contrôlées par l’insurrection. Et cherche à cibler en priorité les groupes rebelles qui luttent contre l’organisation jihadiste.
syria  war  russia  français 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Desperate Obama Just Wants To Know Who To Give Weapons To In Order To Stop ISIS
“The U.S. stands ready to address the threat of violent extremism, so if I could just get the name of a person or a group that I can supply with weapons to stop ISIS, I promise I’ll get a whole big shipment to them ASAP—all I need is a name,” said a visibly exasperated Obama, explaining that he had “tons of guns” he could send and vowing that he would “keep them right on coming” for as long as needed until the situation was resolved. “Automatic rifles, RPGs, mortars—we’ve got all of that. So if someone could please tell me the name of a city to drop them off in, or even a region will work, or, you know, just point to somewhere on a map, I swear I can get all those things there in a few hours. Seriously, just let me know.” The president added that if he didn’t get an answer soon, he would simply go ahead and airdrop a crate of M16s and ammunition every half mile or so across the greater Middle East and just hope for the best.
us  military  war  satire 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Bush-41 Finally Speaks on Iraq War | Consortiumnews
That not one of the white-collar crooks responsible for the war and ensuing chaos has been held accountable is an indelible blot not only on our country, but also on international law and custom. After all, the U.S./U.K. attack on Iraq fits snugly the definition given to a “war of aggression” as defined by the post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal. Nuremberg labeled such a war “the supreme international crime, differing from other war crimes only in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.”

And the evil continued to accumulate: torture, kidnapping, black prisons, extrajudicial killing, massive invasions of privacy, and even the annulment of such basic human rights as the great writ of habeas corpus that was wrested from England’s King John 800 years ago. And, in the wake of this criminality, bedlam now reigns across large swaths of the Middle East driving millions of refugees into neighboring countries and Europe.

That the U.S. and U.K. leaders who launched the Iraq war have so far escaped apprehension and prosecution might be seen as a sad example of “victor’s justice.” But there are no victors, only victims...

As the senior Bush knows, sins of omission can be as consequential as those of commission. Judging from what he is quoted as saying in Meacham’s book, it appears he decided to make a (sort-of) clean breast of things – okay, call it a Watergate-style “modified, limited hangout,” if you will. But, clearly, Bush has to be painfully aware that he was one of only a handful of people who might have been able to stop the chaos and carnage, had he spoken out publicly in real time...

But George H. W. Bush continued to say and do nothing, waiting until now – more than a dozen years after the catastrophic Iraq War was launched – to voice his objections. An unhappy ending for the patriarch of a would-be dynasty.
iraq  war  us  politics 
november 2015 by juliusbeezer
Morning Star :: Syria: The lies we tell ourselves
A Guardian editorial earlier this month referred in passing to “the refusal [of the West] to intervene against Bashar al-Assad,” while in August 2015 the Guardian’s foreign affairs commentator Natalie Nougayrede chastised Obama because he had “refrained from getting involved in Syria.” In the US Matt Schiavenza wrote an article in the Atlantic magazine titled Why The US Can’t Build An Opposition Army in Syria which, incredibly, failed to mention the 10,000 rebels the US claims to have armed. Over at the Brookings Institution Shadi Hamid argues the US has been “opting to remain disengaged in Syria.” How, I wonder, would these commentators describe a foreign power arming and training thousands of rebels intent on overthrowing the British or US governments?

Contrary to the actual actions of the West in Syria, much of the reporting and analysis of the mainstream press has presented a false narrative of Western inaction and benevolence. This blackout imposed on reality raises huge questions about the quality and purpose of our so-called free and rambunctious media, our democracy and our foreign policy.
syria  us  eu  uk  war  politics  media  journalism 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
Secret memos expose link between oil firms and invasion of Iraq - UK Politics - UK - The Independent
Five months before the March 2003 invasion, Baroness Symons, then the Trade Minister, told BP that the Government believed British energy firms should be given a share of Iraq's enormous oil and gas reserves as a reward for Tony Blair's military commitment to US plans for regime change.

The papers show that Lady Symons agreed to lobby the Bush administration on BP's behalf because the oil giant feared it was being "locked out" of deals that Washington was quietly striking with US, French and Russian governments and their energy firms.

Minutes of a meeting with BP, Shell and BG (formerly British Gas) on 31 October 2002 read: "Baroness Symons agreed that it would be difficult to justify British companies losing out in Iraq in that way if the UK had itself been a conspicuous supporter of the US government throughout the crisis."
iraq  oil  uk  war 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
What is a Situation?: An Assemblic Ethnography of the Drug War — Cultural Anthropology
the drug war is best conceived as what I will call a situation. I hope to show that the concept of situation significantly adds to anthropological knowledge because it allows us to consider that which is widely diffused across different global scales as a nontotalizable assemblage, yet in its occasional and temporary local manifestation allows us to understand how persons and objects that are geographically, socioeconomically, and culturally distributed get caught up in the shared conditions emerging from the situation. Becoming caught up in the shared conditions of a situation, in turn, significantly affects the possible ways of being-in-the-world of those persons and objects that get caught up. The concept of situation, then, allows us to analytically recognize that in the current global configuration, complexity is at least as knotted nonlocally as it is locally, and thus increasingly—so I contend—local complexity emerges within the shared conditions set by this diffused complexity
spectacle  Situationism  anthropology  drugs  war 
september 2015 by juliusbeezer
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