Posts Tagged ‘genocide’

Disarming: Gaza or Israel?

August 7, 2014


Nasir Khan, August 7, 2014

Palestinians have been under Israeli occupation; they have been frequent targets of destructive Israeli wars and massacres. If common sense can be our guide in this situation than the solution is to disarm Israel and prosecute its war criminals for war crimes and crimes against humanity in ICC. Disarming Hamas? Hamas has no army, no air force, no missiles, no navy, no naval gunships, no tanks, no anti-aircraft missiles. If Israel has played havoc with the homes and buildings of the Gazans and killed people then the main reason for the Gazan tragedy lies in their inability to defend themselves.

Ideally, for Gazans to defend themselves against Israel’s military might they need a matching military power and weapons. It is obvious that without this they have no chance to defend themselves and their homes. We have seen this what Israel is capable of doing in the 29-day war on Gaza. The Gazans have been at the mercy of Israeli missiles and powerful bombs that pulverised their homes and other structures. Unless Israel lifts the blockade, ends the occupation and develops a new approach towards the people of Palestine the conflict will not disappear.

But how can the Gazans under Hamas do that, to defend themselves militarily, remains an open question. The leaders of the ‘New World Order’ especially the United States will not allow that. There is no major country that is ready to give substantive material support to the Palestinians. Therefore the prevailing conditions will remain intact.

We need to keep in mind that Gaza is beleaguered by Israel from all sides including its air space. It is the largest open-air prison in the world. Now Israel by intentional destruction of the infrastructure of Gaza has made sure that its people would not raise their heads again against the ongoing occupation and blockade for years to come. But if they did at some stage then they would have Israeli war-machine on their heads again. It is as simple as that if we want to understand the Israeli position.

No doubt, this is an undefendable situation. To my mind the only explanation lies in the fact that it is military might that decides the fate of a subjugated people, not their rights according to international law or humane considerations. Yet the struggle of the Palestinians for their national liberation from the Zionist yoke needs universal support. The public demonstrations in many countries around the world denouncing the Israeli genocide and carnage in Gaza have been positive. They show a growing awareness among the people of the world about the plight of the colonised Palestinians.

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Why you’re wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)

February 9, 2014

Most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is total nonsense. Here’s a clearer picture

Why you're wrong about communism: 7 huge misconceptions about it (and capitalism)Karl Marx, Gordon Gecko

As the commentary around the recent deaths of Nelson Mandela, Amiri Baraka and Pete Seeger made abundantly clear, most of what Americans think they know about capitalism and communism is arrant nonsense. This is not surprising, given our country’s history of Red Scares designed to impress that anti-capitalism is tantamount to treason. In 2014, though, we are too far removed from the Cold War-era threat of thermonuclear annihilation to continue without taking stock of the hype we’ve been made, despite Harry Allen’s famous injunction, to believe. So, here are seven bogus claims people make about communism and capitalism.

1. Only communist economies rely on state violence.

Obviously, no private equity baron worth his weight in leveraged buyouts will ever part willingly with his fortune, and any attempt to achieve economic justice (like taxation) will encounter stiff opposition from the ownership class. But state violence (like taxation) is inherent in every set of property rights a government can conceivably adopt – including those that allowed the aforementioned hypothetical baron to amass said fortune.

In capitalism, competing ownership claims are settled by the state’s willingness to use violence to exclude all but one claimant. If I lay claim to one of David Koch’s mansions, libertarian that he is, he’s going to rely on big government and its guns to set me right. He owns that mansion because the state says he does and threatens to imprison anyone who disagrees. Where there isn’t a state, whoever has the most violent power determines who gets the stuff, be that a warlord, a knight, the mafia or a gang of cowboys in the Wild West. Either by vigilantes or the state, property rights rely on violence.

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Tony Blair stands accused of crimes against humanity

April 22, 2010
Malaysia must not allow this mass murderer to be immune from justice.


By Prof SHAD SALEEM FARUDI,  Information Clearing House, April 22, 2010

Source: The Star


IT IS distressing to note that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair has been invited to Malaysia as an honoured guest of an NGO when he stands accused of war crimes and crimes against humanity by many learned and independent scholars of international law.

The case against him looks rock solid, especially after his confession to the BBC and the Chilcot Inquiry that he would have gone to war to topple Saddam Hussein regardless of the issue of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction.

Indictments around the world:

The international criminal court to which Britain is a signatory has received a record number of petitions against Blair.

The World Tribunal on Iraq held in Istanbul in 2005 heard evidence from 54 witnesses and published rigorous indictments against Blair, former US president George W Bush and others.

The Brussels War Crimes Tribunal, the Blair War Crimes Foundation and the American international law jurist Richard Falk have amassed impressive evidence of Blair’s complicity in international war crimes.

Spain’s celebrated judge Baltasar Garzon (who indicted former Chilean dictator and president Augusto Pinochet) has called for Bush, Blair and former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar to be prosecuted for the illegal invasion of Iraq, which Garzon has condemned as “one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history”.

Many UK jurists have described the invasion as a devastating attack on the rule of law that left the United Nations in tatters.

Here at home, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission, after two years of meticulous investigation, received first-hand evidence from Iraqi victims of war that there have been grave violations of the international law of war in Iraq.

Last year, the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, consisting of several international jurists – including Richard Falk from the US, Alfred Webre from Canada, and Niloufer Bhagat from India – unanimously adjudicated that Bush and Blair do not enjoy any immunity in international humanitarian law.

The main charges against Blair relate to his collusion with Bush in an illegal war of aggression against Iraq in 2003.

Crimes against peace:

Blair repeatedly and deliberately deceived the UN, his allies and his own people that Saddam had weapons of mass destruction that could be rained on anyone within 45 minutes. In deceit and conspiracy, he incited passions for an illegal war.

The resulting amassing of an American, British and Australian invasion force outside Iraq and the invasion of March 20, 2003, were flagrant acts of lawlessness and an international crime.

The Charter of the UN contains a general prohibition against force as a means of resolving disputes. The unleashing of the horrors of war on innocent populations is permitted in only two circumstances by the Charter. First, legitimate self defence, under Article 51 in the event of an actual armed attack. Iraq had not attacked the US, the UK, Spain or Australia, and the argument about self-defence had no credibility.

Second, specific Security Council authorisation of force as a last resort to maintain peace and security under Articles 39 to 42 of the Charter. There never was such a resolution. The US and UK had tried to bulldoze one through but the Security Council was divided and the attempt failed, rendering the subsequent invasion a crime against peace.

Genocide and crimes against humanity: The Anglo-American alliance is also guilty of the heinous crimes of war, genocide and crimes against humanity.

The misadventure in Iraq has up to now caused 1.4 million deaths, four million refugees and countless maimings and traumas. Two to three million Iraqis are mentally and physically disabled. Iraq today is a land of five million orphans and one to two million widows.

There is near-total devastation of basic infrastructure, health, cultural and educational systems. Water systems have been contaminated. Iraq’s assets have been looted by the Allies.

In the prosecution of the illegal and racist war, indiscriminate rocket attacks were, and still are, being rained on civilian centres, killing thousands of innocent women and children.

In 2004, the entire population of Fallujah was expelled, save for young men of military age. Banned radioactive ammunition like depleted uranium, white phosphorous and cluster bombs have been used. Torturing of prisoners of war has been practised on a large scale.

These crimes of complicity by Blair are punishable under the United Nations Charter, the 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Nuremberg Principles, Article 146 of the 1949 Geneva Convention and Article 3 of the 1907 Hague Convention.

What is also notable is that Blair has expressed no remorse whatsoever. Instead, he struts around the world as an apologist for the US in the Middle East and Israel. He recently received an Israeli “peace prize” worth US$1mil (RM3.2mil).

Malaysia must stand up and be counted among the community of civilised nations. It must not allow this perpetrator of epic crimes, who fakes faith in democracy and in “God’s work and God’s will”, to touch our soil ever again.

(Blair, who gave a talk at a local university in 2008, has been invited to head a line-up of speakers at the 2010 National Achiever Congress in Subang Jaya this weekend.)

If he does enter this country again we should arrest him. Regrettably, Malaysia has not yet ratified the Rome Charter, but we do have a Penal Code. Murder is a crime.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission has countless reports from Iraqi survivors against Blair for complicity in mass slaughters, tortures, looting and other war crimes. The police must act on these reports and arrest this mass murderer.

In addition, citizens’ groups must file complaints against Blair with the United Nations General Assembly and with the Attorney-Generals of countries like Spain, Germany, Belgium, France and the UK which have “universal jurisdiction” statutes to pursue and prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A tribunal like the one that tried Nazis at Nuremberg and several Yugoslav and African warlords since then needs to be constituted.

The world needs to be reassured that international humanitarian law is not applied and enforced in a racist and selective way against Asian and African tyrants only. Imperial politicians from the West who destroy millions of lives should not, any more, be immune from justice.

Shad Saleem Faruqi is Emeritus Professor of Law at UiTM and Visiting Professor at USM.

Gujarat Carnage: The end of impunity

March 5, 2010

By Teestad   Setalvad,  Indian Express, March 3, 2010

The struggle of man (or woman) against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting. — Milan Kundera

It was not simply the number of lives lost, though the number — perhaps 2,500 — is not insignificant. It was the cold-blooded manner in which they were taken. It was not simply that 19 of Gujarat’s 25 districts burned while Neros watched, fiddled and smirked but the sinister similarity in the way they were set alight. Militias were armed with deadly training, weapons, technology and equipment; with a lethal brew of deadly intent, inspired by constructed tales of hate, using the February 28, 2002 edition of a leading Gujarati daily that urged revenge; all combined with a deadly white chemical powder that seared to burn and destroy already killed bodies. And, of course, truckloads of gas cylinders, in short supply for cooking, were used instead to blast mosques and homes. Mobile phones and motorcycles made communications easy and movement swift.

Part of the plan was to humiliate, destroy and then kill. Another was to economically cripple. But at heart the desire was to construct a reality whereby a whole ten per cent of the population lives (and a few even prosper) as carefully whipped into shape, second-class citizens. Most incidents that racked the state, except the famed Best Bakery incident, took place in the glare of the day, not the stealth of the night. Critical to the plan to mutilate and humiliate was to subject women and girls to the worst kind of sexual violence. Tehelka’s “Operation Kalank” records victorious testimonies of rapists and murderers who claim to have received personal approbations from the man at the helm. Over 1,200 highway hotels were destroyed, more than 23,000 homes gutted, 350 large businesses seriously damaged (and are still unable to recover) and 12,000 street businesses demolished.

Genocide is about economic crippling as much as death and humiliation. The Concerned Citizens Tribunal — Crimes Against Humanity 2002 called the happenings in Gujarat a genocide, because of the systematic singling out of a group through widely distributed hate writing and demonisation, the economic destruction, the sexual violence and also because over 270 masjids and dargahs were razed to the ground. The bandh calls on February 28 and March 1 by rabid outfits and supported by the party in power enabled mobs free access to the streets while successfully warding off the ordinary citizen.

Eight years on, it is this level and extent of complicity that is under high-level scrutiny. The involvement of high functionaries of the state in Gujarat did not begin, and has not stopped, with the violence. It has extended to destruction of evidence that continues until today, the faulty registration of criminal complaints, the deliberate exclusion of powerful accused and, worst of all, the utter and complete subversion of the criminal justice system by appointment of public prosecutors who were not wedded to fair play, justice and the Constitution — but were and are lapdogs of the ruling party and its raid affiliates. The proceedings in the Best Bakery case in the Supreme Court and the judgment of April 12, 2004 strips our legal system, especially lawyers, of the dignity of their office.

The hasty granting of bail to those involved in the post-Godhra carnage remains a scandal. While over seven dozen of those accused of the Godhra train arson have been in jail, without bail for eight years — and today face trial within the precincts of the Sabarmati jail — powerful men, patronised by the state’s political hierarchy who are accused of multiple rapes and murders roam free in “vibrant Gujarat” even as the trials have resumed. The few that are in jail — ten of the 64 accused in the Gulberg society carnage, eight of the 64 accused in Naroda Patia massacre, two of the 89 in the Naroda Gaam killing, eight of the 73 in the Sardroura massacres (all the 84 accused of the massacre at Deepda Darwaza roam free on bail) are those with no political godfathers. A vast majority have lived in freedom even after committing unspeakable crimes. All this and more is being investigated under the orders of our apex court on a petition filed by Zakia Ahsan Jafri and the Citizens for Justice and Peace. For the first time in our history criminal conspiracy and mass murder are the charges, the chief minister and 61 others the accused. Will the wealth of evidence be matched by the rigour of investigation? Will the will to prosecute surmount political considerations? Will the Indian system throw a spotlight on what surely must be its darkest hour? As we stood, remembered and prayed in painful memorial, with lit candles at the Gulbarg Society this Sunday we did so in both faith and hope.

The writer is the secretary of |Citizens for Justice and Peace

That Which Cannot Be Spoken

February 13, 2010

Willian Blum, Foreign Policy Journal, Feb 7, 2010

“The purpose of terrorism is to provoke an overreaction,” writes Fareed Zakaria, a leading American foreign-policy pundit, editor of Newsweek magazine’s international edition, and Washington Post columnist, referring to the “underwear bomber”, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, and his failed attempt to blow up a US airliner on Christmas day. “Its real aim is not to kill the hundreds of people directly targeted but to sow fear in the rest of the population. Terrorism is an unusual military tactic in that it depends on the response of the onlookers. If we are not terrorized, then the attack didn’t work. Alas, this one worked very well.”[1]

Is that not odd? That an individual would try to take the lives of hundreds of people, including his own, primarily to “provoke an overreaction”, or to “sow fear”? Was there not any kind of deep-seated grievance or resentment with anything or anyone American being expressed? No perceived wrong he wished to make right? Nothing he sought to obtain revenge for? Why is the United States the most common target of terrorists? Such questions were not even hinted at in Zakaria’s article.

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Jewish Anti-Occupation Activists Send Forceful Message to Israel

February 2, 2010

By Alex Kane, The Indypendent, Feb 1, 2010

For some Upper West Side residents, their usual stroll down Broadway this evening had a surprise:  a group of 20 New York Jews denouncing Israel’s occupation of Palestine were standing with thought-provoking signs while a few passed out flyers.

Challenging the assumption that all Jews support Israel no matter what, the action, organized by Jews Say No, called on Israel to lift the blockade of Gaza and to end the longest running military occupation in recent history.  The group was founded last year during Israel’s war on Gaza.

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An International Crime Called Gaza

January 12, 2010

Editorial

By Elias Akleh,

CounterCurrents.org, January 12, 2010

A fully pre-meditated international crime of genocide has been taking place during the last 62 years in the heart of the Arab World. The victims are the Palestinian people especially those in the Gaza Strip. The assassin is the worst ever terrorist group deceptively called the Israeli Defense Forces under the leadership of the theocratically most racist “god’s chosen” deceitfully self-proclaimed “democratic Jewish-only” Israel. Israel had been created, financed, armed, and politically protected by, mainly, British and American rapture-vision-obsessed Talmudist power elites consisting of profit-seeking financiers and military-industrial complex.

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Sri Lanka – camps, media…genocide?

July 1, 2009

Martin ShawOpenDemocracy, June 30, 2009

What kind of violence has the Sri Lankan state been committing against its Tamil civilian population as the island‘s civil war ended; on what scale and with what intentions? Martin Shaw explores the difficult terrain where war, atrocity and genocide meet.

The civil war in Sri Lanka is receding from the international headlines, as crises in Iran and celebrity deaths occupy the media’s limited space and attention-span. A very large number of its Tamil victims are still, more than six weeks after the fighting ended, confined in government forces in a complex of forty camps in the north east of the country. An estimated 280,000 civilians – originally displaced from their homes by the fighting between the Sri Lankan military and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Ealam (TamilTigers / LTTE), and in some cases fleeing from the brutal regime in the LTTE’s former “liberated” zone – are being held, generally against their will.

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More photos of latest Israeli attack on Palestinians of Gaza

January 18, 2009

Source:  Desert Peace

Image by Abonoon
The following were taken yesterday….. zionism in action. Even the camera cried as can be seen above. Share these photos with all…. ISRAEL MUST NOT GET AWAY WITH THESE CRIMES.

Hat tip to The Philistine for publishing these.

UN Complicity in Israel’s Massacre in Gaza

January 3, 2009

A Rubber Stamp for U.S. Dictats

By OMAR BARGHOUTI | Counterpunch, Jan 2 – 4, 2009

A friend forwarded to me the most original greeting for the New Year: “I wish in 2009 a horrible year for all war criminals and their accomplices.” I could not but think of whether some UN officials can be counted among such “accomplices.”

Over the last two days, various UN officials stated that the percentage of civilians among those Palestinians killed in the current Israeli war of aggression on Gaza is about “25%” and is “likely to increase.” Assuming the best of intentions, stating such a painfully low figure reflects shabby research or scandalous incompetence. At worst, it reveals intentional deception and misinformation that can only benefit the already massive and well-oiled Israeli PR machine.

The United Nations’ complicity in Israel’s propaganda war is the latest, albeit hardly ever mentioned, dimension of the international organization’s utter failure in defending its principles, foremost among which are the prevention of war and the promotion of peace, when performing such a duty is expected to stir the wrath of the US master and the uniquely influential Israel lobby. Not only has the UN General Secretary betrayed the very Charter of the UN and all relevant international law principles by failing to even condemn Israel’s massacre of civilians and targeting of civilian institutions and residential neighborhoods; the entire UN system has so far dealt with it as a “war” between two relatively symmetric forces, where the mightier side has sufficient justification to “defend itself,” but should do so more proportionately, while the weaker side is chiefly responsible for triggering the “armed conflict.”

Now, senior UN officials, excluding the particularly courageous and principled UN Special Rapporteur for human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Richard Falk, and a few others, are only focusing on “women and children” victims of the massacre, implying, even if unintentionally, that all Palestinian men in Gaza are fair game for the Israeli killing machine. The tens of Palestinian civilian policemen that were butchered in the opening hours of the massive Israeli attack by dozens of fighter jets were, thus, conveniently dismissed by such irresponsible UN figures of casualties as Hamas “fighters,” more or less, that may be targeted with impunity. This is not to mention the scores of male teachers, doctors, workers, farmers and unemployed who were killed by Israel’s indiscriminate bombing in their workplaces, public offices, homes or streets and were not accounted for as civilian victims of Israel’s belligerent murder spree.

Above everything else, this UN discourse not only reduces close to half a million Palestinian men in that wretched, tormented and occupied coastal strip to “militants,” radical “fighters,” or whatever other nouns in currency nowadays in the astoundingly, but characteristically, biased western media coverage of the Israel “war crimes and crimes against humanity” in Gaza, as some international law experts have described them; it also treats them as already condemned criminals that deserve the capital punishment Israel has meted out on them. I am not an expert on the history of the UN, but I suspect this sets a new low, a precedent in dehumanizing an entire adult male population in a region of “conflict,” thereby justifying their fatal targeting or, at least, silently condoning it. But this should surprise no one as the same UN leaders have for 18 months watched in eerie silence or even indirectly justified, one way or another, Israel’s siege of Gaza which was described by Falk as a “prelude to genocide” and compared by him to Nazi crimes.

If one wants to be truly magnanimous and give those UN officials the benefit of the doubt — not something I would recommend at all, given the scale of the massacre and their verifiable complicity — one has to assume that they are quite confused as to how best to categorize the thousands of Palestinian victims of Israel’s war on Gaza, whether those injured or killed. A casual overview of Israeli army press statements and human rights organizations’ reports, however, will immediately dismiss the possibility that the UN figure of 25% was the product of clinical incompetence or technical ineptness, widely recognized trademarks of the organization.

A recent article published in the Washington Post, for instance, quoted a senior Israeli military official saying: “There are many aspects to Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorism against Israel.” An Israeli army spokeswoman went further stating. “Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.” Given that, in the ghetto of Gaza, Hamas is effectively the “ruling” party  — it was democratically elected, after all — and its network of social and charitable organizations are the largest provider of social services to the impoverished and besieged population, all of Gaza’s civilian infrastructure, public schools, hospitals, universities, law and order organs, traffic police, sewage treatment and water purification stations, ministries providing vital services to the public, mosques, public theatres and many non-governmental institutions can technically be considered “affiliated” with Hamas.

Lest the reader feels that this is an exaggeration, today, in the first hours of the first day of the new year, the Israeli air force already bombed the following “targets” in Gaza: the Palestinian Legislative Council, the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Justice. Earlier, several mosques were pulverised to the ground. So were main buildings in the Islamic University of Gaza, which serves 20,000 students. Ambulances and private homes were not spared either.
Even B’Tselem, Israel’s leading human rights organization that often issues sanitized, “balanced” or selective reports focusing on Israel’s less criminal behaviour in the OPT, was compelled to conclude that the Israeli army was intentionally targeting “what appear to be clear civilian objects” that are not “engaged in military action against Israel,” without making the distinction between male and female civilians. A statement from the organization on December 31st said:

For example, the military bombed the main police building in Gaza and killed, according to reports, forty-two Palestinians who were in a training course and were standing in formation at the time of the bombing. Participants in the course study first-aid, handling of public disturbances, human rights, public-safety exercises, and so forth. Following the course, the police officers are assigned to various arms of the police force in Gaza responsible for maintaining public order.

Another example is yesterday’s bombing of the government offices. These offices included the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Labor, Construction and Housing. An announcement made by the IDF Spokesperson’s Office regarding this attack stated that, ‘the attack was carried out in response to the ongoing rocket and mortar-shell fire carried out by Hamas over Israeli territory, and in the framework of IDF operations to strike at Hamas governmental infrastructure and members active in the organization.’

Just to drive the point closer to home for an average western reader who may have internalized over the years a perception of Israelis — inaccurately and quite deliberately depicted by Israeli and western propaganda as part of the “west” — as full humans and Palestinians, along with almost all global southerners, as relative humans, perhaps the following mirroring exercise is necessary.

Imagine if the Palestinian resistance, in exercising its otherwise perfectly legitimate, UN-sanctioned right to fight Israel’s occupation and apartheid, were to regard all institutions “affiliated” with the Israeli government as legitimate targets, justifying the bombing of universities, hospitals, civilian ministries, publicly-run synagogues, neighborhoods where government or army officials live or work, and other civilian “targets,” killing in 5 days only 1,600 Israelis and wounding 8,000 (four times the current toll in Gaza, given that Israel’s population is four times as large). What would the UN do? Would UN officials only count Israeli women and children victims? Would they call on both parties to “exercise restraint” or to end “the violence”? Morally, and even legally, this is not even a fair reversal of roles, for Israel, no matter what, remains the occupier and settler-colonial oppressor, while the indigenous Palestinians remain the colonized and oppressed.

The truth is the UN leadership, in the unipolar world that we are still living in and is perhaps on its way to be transformed to more multipolar space, has effectively turned into a rubber stamp bureau for US dictates. Ban Ki-Moon will go down in history as the most subservient and morally unqualified general secretary to ever lead the international organization. The only question remaining is whether one day he and his senior staff will stand trial for being accomplices in Israel’s war crimes, together with leaders of the US, the EU and many Arab regimes. In a more just world, governed by the rule of law, not the US-dominated rule of the jungle, they should.

Omar Barghouti is a founding member of the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign www.BDSmovement.net


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