Amnesty International: “Damning evidence” US may be complicit in Yemen war crimes

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US-made BLU-97 submunitions used by Saudi Arabia-led coallition in Saada, Yemen, on May 23 2015 clusterbombyemen1

 

Damning evidence of war crimes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which is armed by states including the USA, highlights the urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations in Yemen and for the suspension of transfers of certain arms, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen examines 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition in Sa’da, north-eastern Yemen, which killed some 100 civilians, including 59 children. It also documents the use of internationally banned cluster bombs.

“This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who headed the organization’s fact-finding mission to Yemen.

“The USA and other states exporting weapons to any of the parties to the Yemen conflict have a responsibility to ensure that the arms transfers they authorize are not facilitating serious violations of international humanitarian law.”

Amnesty International is calling for a suspension of transfers to members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, that are participating in the military campaign, of weapons and munitions which have been used to commit violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes in Yemen: in particular, bombs from the MK (MARK) 80 series and other general purpose bombs, fighter jets, combat helicopters and their associated parts and components. […]

Read in full Yemen: Call for suspension of arms transfers to coalition and accountability for war crimes at Amnesty International

The U.S. Is Destroying Europe

 

europe-usa-eu-flags-400x199In Libya, Syria, Ukraine, and other countries at the periphery or edges of Europe, U.S. President Barack Obama has been pursuing a policy of destabilization, and even of bombings and other military assistance, that drives millions of refugees out of those peripheral areas and into Europe, thereby adding fuel to the far-rightwing fires of anti-immigrant rejectionism, and of resultant political destabilization, throughout Europe, not only on its peripheries, but even as far away as in northern Europe.

Shamus Cooke at Off-Guardian headlines on 3 August 2015, “Obama’s ‘Safe Zone’ in Syria Intended to Turn It into New Libya,” and he reports that Obama has approved U.S. air support for Turkey’s previously unenfoceable no-fly zone over Syria. The U.S. will now shoot down all of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s planes that are targeting the extremist-Muslim groups, including ISIS, that have taken over huge swaths of Syrian territory.

Cooke reports:

Turkey has been demanding this no-fly zone from Obama since the Syrian war started. It’s been discussed throughout the conflict and even in recent months, though the intended goal was always the Syrian government. And suddenly the no-fly zone is happening — right where Turkey always wanted it — but it’s being labeled an ‘anti-ISIS’ safe zone, instead of its proper name: ‘Anti Kurdish and anti-Syrian government’ safe zone.

The New York Times reported on July 27th, that,

“the plan calls for relatively moderate Syrian insurgents to take the territory, with the help of American and possibly Turkish air support.”

However, the Times, stenographically reporting (as usual) from and for their U.S. Government sources (and so propagandizing for the U.S. Government), fails to define “relatively moderate,” but all of the “relatively moderate insurgent” groups in Syria cooperate with ISIS and help them to find and decapitate, or sometimes hold for ransoms, any non-Muslims there. Under Assad, Syria has been a non-clerical state, and has enjoyed freedom of religion, but all of the Syrian opposition to Assad’s rule is alien to that. The U.S. is now, even more clearly than before, anti-Assad, pro-Islamist.

Seymour Hersh reported in the London Review of Books on 17 April 2014, that the Obama Administration’s Libyan bombing campaign in 2011 was part of a broader program to bring sarin gas from Libya to the al-Nusra Front in Syria, in order to help produce a gas-attack upon civilians, which the U.S. Administration could then blame upon Assad, as being an excuse to bomb there just as Obama had already so successfully done in Libya. Both dictators, Gaddafi and Assad, were allied with Russia, and Assad especially has been important to Russia, as a transit-route for Russia’s gas supplies, and not for Qatar’s gas supplies — Qatar being the major potential threat to Russia’s status as the top supplier of gas into Europe.

Obama’s top goal in international relations, and throughout his military policies, has been to defeat Russia, to force a regime-change there that will make Russia part of the American empire, no longer the major nation that resists control from Washington.

Prior to the U.S. bombings of Libya in 2011, Libya was at peace and thriving. Per-capita GDP (income) in 2010 according to the IMF was $12,357.80, but it plunged to only $5,839.70 in 2011 — the year we bombed and destroyed the country. (Hillary Clinton famously bragged, “We came, we saw, he [Gaddafi] died!”) (And, unlike in U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, that per-capita GDP was remarkably evenly distributed, and both education and health care were socialized and available to everyone, even to the poor.)

More recently, on 15 February 2015, reporter Leila Fadel of NPR bannered “With Oil Fields Under Attack, Libya’s Economic Future Looks Bleak.” She announced: “The man in charge looks at production and knows the future is bleak. ‘We cannot produce. We are losing 80 percent of our production,’ says Mustapha Sanallah, the chairman of Libya’s National Oil Corporation.”

Under instructions from Washington, the IMF hasn’t been reliably reporting Libya’s GDP figures after 2011, but instead shows that things there were immediately restored to normal (even to better than normal: $13,580.55 per-capita GDP) in 2012, but everybody knows that it’s false; even NPR is, in effect, reporting that it’s not true. The CIA estimates that Libya’s per-capita GDP was a ridiculous $23,900 in 2012 (they give no figures for the years before that), and says Libya’s per-capita GDP has declined only slightly thereafter. None of the official estimates are at all trustworthy, though the Atlantic Council at least made an effort to explain things honestly, headlining in their latest systematic report about Libya’s economy, on 23 January 2014, “Libya: Facing Economic Collapse in 2014.”

Libya has become Europe’s big problem. Millions of Libyans are fleeing the chaos there. Some of them are fleeing across the Mediterranean and ending up in refugee camps in southern Italy; and some are escaping to elsewhere in Europe.

And Syria is now yet another nation that’s being destroyed in order to conquer Russia. Even the reliably propagandistic New York Times is acknowledging, in its ‘news’ reporting, that, “both the Turks and the Syrian insurgents see defeating President Bashar al-Assad of Syria as their first priority.” So: U.S. bombers will be enforcing a no-fly-zone over parts of Syria in order to bring down Russia’s ally Bashar al-Assad and replace his secular government by an Islamic government — and the ‘anti-ISIS’ thing is just for show; it’s PR, propaganda. The public cares far more about defeating ISIS than about defeating Russia; but that’s not the way America’s aristocracy views things. Their objective is extending America’s empire — extending their own empire.

Similarly, Obama overthrew the neutralist government of Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine in February 2014, but that was under the fake cover of ‘democracy’ demonstrations, instead of under the fake cover of ‘opposing Islamic terrorism’ or whatever other phrases that the U.S. Government uses to fool suckers about America’s installation of, and support to, a rabidly anti-Russia, racist-fascist, or nazi, government next door to Russia, in Ukraine. Just as Libya had been at peace before the U.S. invaded and destroyed it, and just as Syria had been at peace before the U.S and Turkey invaded and destroyed it, Ukraine too was at peace before the U.S. perpetrated its coup there and installed nazis and an ethnic cleansing campaign there, and destroyed Ukraine too.

Like with Libya before the overthrow of Gaddafi there, or Syria before the current effort to overthrow Assad there, or the more recent successful overthrow of Ukraine’s democratically elected President Viktor Yanukovych, it’s all aimed to defeat Russia.

The fact that all of Europe is sharing in the devastation that Obama and other American conservatives — imperialists, even — impose, is of little if any concern to the powers-that-be in Washington DC, but, if it matters at all to them, then perhaps it’s another appealing aspect of this broader operation: By weakening European nations, and not only nations in the Middle East, Obama’s war against Russia is yet further establishing America to be “the last man standing,” at the end of the chaos and destruction that America causes.

Consequently, for example, in terms of U.S. international strategy, the fact that the economic sanctions against Russia are enormously harming the economies of European nations is good, not bad.

There are two ways to win, at any game: One is by improving one’s own performance. The other is by weakening the performances by all of one’s competitors. The United States is now relying almost entirely upon the latter type of strategy.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk’s Nazi Rhetoric: Accuses USSR of having invaded Germany and Ukraine during WW2

 

 

[In January 2015], Ukraine Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said the USSR had invaded Germany and Ukraine in WW2. Despite attempts by the Western press to bury the story, Russia is now demanding answers from Berlin.

Nothing is louder than silence. I know this, you know this and you can be sure that Angela Merkel knows it too. Why then is the Chancellor’s government refusing to comment on Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s extraordinary remarks? The reasons are complex, as I will shortly outline. First, though, here’s what Yatsenyuk actually said.

“All of us still clearly remember the Soviet invasion of Ukraine and Germany,” he told German-state broadcaster ARD. ”We need to avoid [a repeat of] it.”

“Nobody has the right to rewrite the results of the Second World War,” he also added. ”Russia’s President Putin is trying to do exactly this.”

When I saw the comments on my Twitter timeline, I was initially convinced it was a joke. So much disinformation is circulated on the platform that I automatically dismissed it as a misquote. Surely a senior politician wouldn’t say something like that? Only 24 hours later, when I saw Yatsenyuk’s words still swooshing through the Twitter-sphere, did I realize that he actually did utter those words.

Arseniy Yatsenyuk, apparently handpicked for the PM post by US diplomat Victoria Nuland, believes the USSR invaded Germany in WW2. This runs contrary to the almost universally accepted narrative that Germany actually attacked the Soviets first in Operation Barbarossa. After repelling the attack, USSR forces eventually made it to Berlin where they met the other liberating powers, the USA and Britain.

Naturally, some are claiming that Yatsenyuk made a slip of the tongue. This is hogwash. The only thing that dropped was his mask. I’ve heard similar remarks before and the location was Western Ukraine, where the PM is from. Yatsenyuk hails from Chernivsti, widely regarded as the region’s second cultural capital, after Lvov, which is viewed by many as the nationalist stronghold.

Something interesting used to happen each May 9 in Ukraine (the anniversary of the German surrender in 1945). Kiev, Kharkov, Odessa, Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk and all the other major cities, bar one, honored the defeat of the Nazis. Many in Lvov have never looked too happy with the day. In fact, in 2011, local ‘patriots’ went a step further by attacking a small gathering of veterans who were commemorating the occasion.

The reason for this feeling is simple. West Ukrainians believe that they lost the war. Their side was defeated. Put simply, Yatsenyuk is merely a product of his environment. However, this time he expressed publicly a view that was probably previously restricted to private discourse. It’s possible that he felt a German audience might have been sympathetic to his position. If so, that was a huge misread of the German people.

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Ukraine PM Yatsenyuk – Nazisme-Ukraine

 

Standard North American and Western European history textbooks give students the impression that WW2 in Europe was a fight between Germany, the USSR, France and the UK, with the US getting involved later. The other countries where the war was fought are, largely, regarded as victims of Germany. This is simplistic. In reality, Germany wasn’t alone in its invasion of the USSR in 1941. Forces from Romania, Finland, Italy, Hungary and Slovakia also took part and West Ukrainian elements collaborated with Hitler’s war machine.

The difference between Ukraine and, for example, Slovakia is that Slovaks have come to understand that their wartime behavior was wrong. The pro-Nazi leader, Jozef Tiso, is rightly reviled among the vast majority in Kosice and Bratislava. However, in West Ukraine, their chief Hitler acolyte Stepan Bandera is accorded ‘hero’ status. Indeed, there’s a gigantic statue of him in front of the main railway station in Lvov.

Ukrainian reverence for relics of the Nazi past is both embarrassing and worrying for Germany. I’m sure Merkel often wishes that her NATO allies had found a more reasonable client state to antagonize Russia with. Ukraine’s refusal to deal with its past head-on is a festering boil for EU diplomats.

Just this week, the Czech President, Milos Zeman, was embroiled in an argument with Bandera fan boys in Ukrainian academia.

“You are aware of the Bandera statement: ‘You must kill every Polish person between 16 and 60 years of age?’ If you say you don’t know this – then what kind of scholars of Ukrainian studies are you?” he wrote.

Zeman continued: “I want to tell you that Bandera wished to make out of Ukraine a vassal state of Germany… I can’t congratulate a country that has such ‘national heroes.’”

This also explains the silence of German media on Yatsenyuk’s words. If the German public were made fully aware of what the visitor from Kiev had said, they would be outraged. So much so that Merkel could be forced to withdraw all support for Ukraine.

If Yatensyuk’s comments were widely circulated, they would embolden revisionists in Germany and beyond – something there is, sadly, no shortage of.

Just as it seemed the story would fade away, the Russian Foreign Ministry made a late intervention, asking Berlin to outline its official position on Yatsenyuk’s verbiage. The reply, assuming it ever arrives, will be telling.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are of sole responsibility of the author(s). Unruly Hearts will not be responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in this article.