Study: U.S. regime has killed 20-30 million people since World War Two

NOVANEWS

 

Posted by: Sammi Ibrahem, Sr
James A. Lucas

Introduction

After the catastrophic attacks of September 11 2001 monumental sorrow and a feeling of desperate and understandable anger began to permeate the American psyche. A few people at that time attempted to promote a balanced perspective by pointing out that the United States had also been responsible for causing those same feelings in people in other nations, but they produced hardly a ripple. Although Americans understand in the abstract the wisdom of people around the world empathizing with the suffering of one another, such a reminder of wrongs committed by our nation got little hearing and was soon overshadowed by an accelerated “war on terrorism.”

But we must continue our efforts to develop understanding and compassion in the world. Hopefully, this article will assist in doing that by addressing the question “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” This theme is developed in this report which contains an estimated numbers of such deaths in 37 nations as well as brief explanations of why the U.S. is considered culpable.

The causes of wars are complex. In some instances nations other than the U.S. may have been responsible for more deaths, but if the involvement of our nation appeared to have been a necessary cause of a war or conflict it was considered responsible for the deaths in it. In other words they probably would not have taken place if the U.S. had not used the heavy hand of its power. The military and economic power of the United States was crucial.

This study reveals that U.S. military forces were directly responsible for about 10 to 15 million deaths during the Korean and Vietnam Wars and the two Iraq Wars. The Korean War also includes Chinese deaths while the Vietnam War also includes fatalities in Cambodia and Laos.

The American public probably is not aware of these numbers and knows even less about the proxy wars for which the United States is also responsible. In the latter wars there were between nine and 14 million deaths in Afghanistan, Angola, Democratic Republic of the Congo, East Timor, Guatemala, Indonesia, Pakistan and Sudan.

But the victims are not just from big nations or one part of the world. The remaining deaths were in smaller ones which constitute over half the total number of nations. Virtually all parts of the world have been the target of U.S. intervention.

The overall conclusion reached is that the United States most likely has been responsible since WWII for the deaths of between 20 and 30 million people in wars and conflicts scattered over the world.

To the families and friends of these victims it makes little difference whether the causes were U.S. military action, proxy military forces, the provision of U.S. military supplies or advisors, or other ways, such as economic pressures applied by our nation. They had to make decisions about other things such as finding lost loved ones, whether to become refugees, and how to survive.

And the pain and anger is spread even further. Some authorities estimate that there are as many as 10 wounded for each person who dies in wars. Their visible, continued suffering is a continuing reminder to their fellow countrymen.

It is essential that Americans learn more about this topic so that they can begin to understand the pain that others feel. Someone once observed that the Germans during WWII “chose not to know.” We cannot allow history to say this about our country. The question posed above was “How many September 11ths has the United States caused in other nations since WWII?” The answer is: possibly 10,000.

Comments on Gathering These Numbers

Generally speaking, the much smaller number of Americans who have died is not included in this study, not because they are not important, but because this report focuses on the impact of U.S. actions on its adversaries.

An accurate count of the number of deaths is not easy to achieve, and this collection of data was undertaken with full realization of this fact. These estimates will probably be revised later either upward or downward by the reader and the author. But undoubtedly the total will remain in the millions.

The difficulty of gathering reliable information is shown by two estimates in this context. For several years I heard statements on radio that three million Cambodians had been killed under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. However, in recent years the figure I heard was one million. Another example is that the number of persons estimated to have died in Iraq due to sanctions after the first U.S. Iraq War was over 1 million, but in more recent years, based on a more recent study, a lower estimate of around a half a million has emerged.

Often information about wars is revealed only much later when someone decides to speak out, when more secret information is revealed due to persistent efforts of a few, or after special congressional committees make reports

Both victorious and defeated nations may have their own reasons for underreporting the number of deaths. Further, in recent wars involving the United States it was not uncommon to hear statements like “we do not do body counts” and references to “collateral damage” as a euphemism for dead and wounded. Life is cheap for some, especially those who manipulate people on the battlefield as if it were a chessboard.

To say that it is difficult to get exact figures is not to say that we should not try. Effort was needed to arrive at the figures of 6six million Jews killed during WWI, but knowledge of that number now is widespread and it has fueled the determination to prevent future holocausts. That struggle continues.

The author can be contacted at jlucas511@woh.rr.com.

37 victim nations

Afghanistan

The U.S. is responsible for between 1 and 1.8 million deaths during the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan, by luring the Soviet Union into invading that nation. (1,2,3,4)

The Soviet Union had friendly relations its neighbor, Afghanistan, which had a secular government. The Soviets feared that if that government became fundamentalist this change could spill over into the Soviet Union.

In 1998, in an interview with the Parisian publication Le Novel Observateur, Zbigniew Brzezinski, adviser to President Carter, admitted that he had been responsible for instigating aid to the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan which caused the Soviets to invade. In his own words:

“According to the official version of history, CIA aid to the Mujahadeen began during 1980, that is to say, after the Soviet army invaded Afghanistan on 24 December 1979. But the reality, secretly guarded until now, is completely otherwise. Indeed, it was July 3, 1979 that President Carter signed the first directive for secret aid to the opponents of the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul. And that very day, I wrote a note to the President in which I explained to him that in my opinion this aid was going to induce a Soviet military intervention.” (5,1,6)

Brzezinski justified laying this trap, since he said it gave the Soviet Union its Vietnam and caused the breakup of the Soviet Union. ”Regret what?” he said. “That secret operation was an excellent idea. It had the effect of drawing the Russians into the Afghan trap and you want me to regret it?” (7)

The CIA spent 5 to 6 billion dollars on its operation in Afghanistan in order to bleed the Soviet Union. (1,2,3) When that 10-year war ended over a million people were dead and Afghan heroin had captured 60% of the U.S. market. (4)

The U.S. has been responsible directly for about 12,000 deaths in Afghanistan many of which resulted from bombing in retaliation for the attacks on U.S. property on September 11, 2001. Subsequently U.S. troops invaded that country. (4)

Angola

An indigenous armed struggle against Portuguese rule in Angola began in 1961. In 1977 an Angolan government was recognized by the U.N., although the U.S. was one of the few nations that opposed this action. In 1986 Uncle Sam approved material assistance to UNITA, a group that was trying to overthrow the government. Even today this struggle, which has involved many nations at times, continues.

U.S. intervention was justified to the U.S. public as a reaction to the intervention of 50,000 Cuban troops in Angola. However, according to Piero Gleijeses, a history professor at Johns Hopkins University the reverse was true. The Cuban intervention came as a result of a CIA – financed covert invasion via neighboring Zaire and a drive on the Angolan capital by the U.S. ally, South Africa1,2,3). (Three estimates of deaths range from 300,000 to 750,000 (4,5,6)

Argentina: See South America: Operation Condor

Bangladesh: See Pakistan

Bolivia

Hugo Banzer was the leader of a repressive regime in Bolivia in the 1970s. The U.S. had been disturbed when a previous leader nationalized the tin mines and distributed land to Indian peasants. Later that action to benefit the poor was reversed.

Banzer, who was trained at the U.S.-operated School of the Americas in Panama and later at Fort Hood, Texas, came back from exile frequently to confer with U.S. Air Force Major Robert Lundin. In 1971 he staged a successful coup with the help of the U.S. Air Force radio system. In the first years of his dictatorship he received twice as military assistance from the U.S. as in the previous dozen years together.

A few years later the Catholic Church denounced an army massacre of striking tin workers in 1975, Banzer, assisted by information provided by the CIA, was able to target and locate leftist priests and nuns. His anti-clergy strategy, known as the Banzer Plan, was adopted by nine other Latin American dictatorships in 1977. (2) He has been accused of being responsible for 400 deaths during his tenure. (1)

Also see: South America: Operation Condor

Brazil: See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

U.S. bombing of Cambodia had already been underway for several years in secret under the Johnson and Nixon administrations, but when President Nixon openly began bombing in preparation for a land assault on Cambodia it caused major protests in the U.S. against the Vietnam War.

There is little awareness today of the scope of these bombings and the human suffering involved.

Immense damage was done to the villages and cities of Cambodia, causing refugees and internal displacement of the population. This unstable situation enabled the Khmer Rouge, a small political party led by Pol Pot, to assume power. Over the years we have repeatedly heard about the Khmer Rouge’s role in the deaths of millions in Cambodia without any acknowledgement being made this mass killing was made possible by the the U.S. bombing of that nation which destabilized it by death , injuries, hunger and dislocation of its people.

So the U.S. bears responsibility not only for the deaths from the bombings but also for those resulting from the activities of the Khmer Rouge – a total of about 2.5 million people. Even when Vietnam latrer invaded Cambodia in 1979 the CIA was still supporting the Khmer Rouge. (1,2,3)

Also see Vietnam

Chad

An estimated 40,000 people in Chad were killed and as many as 200,000 tortured by a government, headed by Hissen Habre who was brought to power in June, 1982 with the help of CIA money and arms. He remained in power for eight years. (1,2)

Human Rights Watch claimed that Habre was responsible for thousands of killings. In 2001, while living in Senegal, he was almost tried for crimes committed by him in Chad. However, a court there blocked these proceedings. Then human rights people decided to pursue the case in Belgium, because some of Habre’s torture victims lived there. The U.S., in June 2003, told Belgium that it risked losing its status as host to NATO’s headquarters if it allowed such a legal proceeding to happen. So the result was that the law that allowed victims to file complaints in Belgium for atrocities committed abroad was repealed. However, two months later a new law was passed which made special provision for the continuation of the case against Habre.

Chile

The CIA intervened in Chile’s 1958 and 1964 elections. In 1970 a socialist candidate, Salvador Allende, was elected president. The CIA wanted to incite a military coup to prevent his inauguration, but the Chilean army’s chief of staff, General Rene Schneider, opposed this action. The CIA then planned, along with some people in the Chilean military, to assassinate Schneider. This plot failed and Allende took office. President Nixon was not to be dissuaded and he ordered the CIA to create a coup climate: “Make the economy scream,” he said.

What followed were guerilla warfare, arson, bombing, sabotage and terror. ITT and other U.S. corporations with Chilean holdings sponsored demonstrations and strikes. Finally, on September 11, 1973 Allende died either by suicide or by assassination. At that time Henry Kissinger, U.S. Secretary of State, said the following regarding Chile: “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” (1)

During 17 years of terror under Allende’s successor, General Augusto Pinochet, an estimated 3,000 Chileans were killed and many others were tortured or “disappeared.” (2,3,4,5)

Also see South America: Operation Condor

China 

An estimated 900,000 Chinese died during the Korean War. For more information, See: Korea.

Colombia

One estimate is that 67,000 deaths have occurred from the 1960s to recent years due to support by the U.S. of Colombian state terrorism. (1)

According to a 1994 Amnesty International report, more than 20,000 people were killed for political reasons in Colombia since 1986, mainly by the military and its paramilitary allies. Amnesty alleged that “U.S.- supplied military equipment, ostensibly delivered for use against narcotics traffickers, was being used by the Colombian military to commit abuses in the name of “counter-insurgency.” (2) In 2002 another estimate was made that 3,500 people die each year in a U.S. funded civilian war in Colombia. (3)

In 1996 Human Rights Watch issued a report “Assassination Squads in Colombia” which revealed that CIA agents went to Colombia in 1991 to help the military to train undercover agents in anti-subversive activity. (4,5)

In recent years the U.S. government has provided assistance under PlanColombia. The Colombian government has been charged with using most of the funds for destruction of crops and support of the paramilitary group.

Cuba

In the Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba on April 18, 1961 which ended after 3 days, 114 of the invading force were killed, 1,189 were taken prisoners and a few escaped to waiting U.S. ships. (1) The captured exiles were quickly tried, a few executed and the rest sentenced to thirty years in prison for treason. These exiles were released after 20 months in exchange for $53 million in food and medicine.

Some people estimate that the number of Cuban forces killed range from 2,000, to 4,000. Another estimate is that 1,800 Cuban forces were killed on an open highway by napalm. This appears to have been a precursor of the Highway of Death in Iraq in 1991 when U.S. forces mercilessly annihilated large numbers of Iraqis on a highway. (2)

Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire)

The beginning of massive violence was instigated in this country in 1879 by its colonizer King Leopold of Belgium. The Congo’s population was reduced by 10 million people over a period of 20 years which some have referred to as “Leopold’s Genocide.” (1) The U.S. has been responsible for about a third of that many deaths in that nation in the more recent past. (2)

In 1960 the Congo became an independent state with Patrice Lumumba being its first prime minister. He was assassinated with the CIA being implicated, although some say that his murder was actually the responsibility of Belgium. (3) But nevertheless, the CIA was planning to kill him. (4) Before his assassination the CIA sent one of its scientists, Dr. Sidney Gottlieb, to the Congo carrying “lethal biological material” intended for use in Lumumba’s assassination. This virus would have been able to produce a fatal disease indigenous to the Congo area of Africa and was transported in a diplomatic pouch.

Much of the time in recent years there has been a civil war within the Democratic Republic of Congo, fomented often by the U.S. and other nations, including neighboring nations. (5)

In April 1977, Newsday reported that the CIA was secretly supporting efforts to recruit several hundred mercenaries in the U.S. and Great Britain to serve alongside Zaire’s army. In that same year the U.S. provided $15 million of military supplies to the Zairian President Mobutu to fend off an invasion by a rival group operating in Angola. (6)

In May 1979, the U.S. sent several million dollars of aid to Mobutu who had been condemned 3 months earlier by the U.S. State Department for human rights violations. (7) During the Cold War the U.S. funneled over 300 million dollars in weapons into Zaire (8,9) $100 million in military training was provided to him. (2) In 2001 it was reported to a U.S. congressional committee that American companies, including one linked to former President George Bush Sr., were stoking the Congo for monetary gains. There is an international battle over resources in that country with over 125 companies and individuals being implicated. One of these substances is coltan, which is used in the manufacture of cell phones. (2)

Dominican Republic

In 1962, Juan Bosch became president of the Dominican Republic. He advocated such programs as land reform and public works programs. This did not bode well for his future relationship with the U.S., and after only 7 months in office, he was deposed by a CIA coup. In 1965 when a group was trying to reinstall him to his office President Johnson said, “This Bosch is no good.” Assistant Secretary of State Thomas Mann replied “He’s no good at all. If we don’t get a decent government in there, Mr. President, we get another Bosch. It’s just going to be another sinkhole.” Two days later a U.S. invasion started and 22,000 soldiers and marines entered the Dominican Republic and about 3,000 Dominicans died during the fighting. The cover excuse for doing this was that this was done to protect foreigners there. (1,2,3,4)

East Timor

In December 1975, Indonesia invaded East Timor. This incursion was launched the day after U.S. President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger had left Indonesia where they had given President Suharto permission to use American arms, which under U.S. law, could not be used for aggression. Daniel Moynihan, U.S. ambassador to the UN. said that the U.S. wanted “things to turn out as they did.” (1,2) The result was an estimated 200,000 dead out of a population of 700,000. (1,2)

Sixteen years later, on November 12, 1991, two hundred and seventeen East Timorese protesters in Dili, many of them children, marching from a memorial service, were gunned down by Indonesian Kopassus shock troops who were headed by U.S.- trained commanders Prabowo Subianto (son in law of General Suharto) and Kiki Syahnakri. Trucks were seen dumping bodies into the sea. (5)

El Salvador

The civil war from 1981 to1992 in El Salvador was financed by $6 billion in U.S. aid given to support the government in its efforts to crush a movement to bring social justice to the people in that nation of about 8 million people. (1)

During that time U.S. military advisers demonstrated methods of torture on teenage prisoners, according to an interview with a deserter from the Salvadoran army published in the New York Times. This former member of the Salvadoran National Guard testified that he was a member of a squad of twelve who found people who they were told were guerillas and tortured them. Part of the training he received was in torture at a U.S. location somewhere in Panama. (2)

About 900 villagers were massacred in the village of El Mozote in 1981. Ten of the twelve El Salvadoran government soldiers cited as participating in this act were graduates of the School of the Americas operated by the U.S. (2) They were only a small part of about 75,000 people killed during that civil war. (1)

According to a 1993 United Nations’ Truth Commission report, over 96 % of the human rights violations carried out during the war were committed by the Salvadoran army or the paramilitary deaths squads associated with the Salvadoran army. (3)

That commission linked graduates of the School of the Americas to many notorious killings. The New York Times and the Washington Post followed with scathing articles. In 1996, the White House Oversight Board issued a report that supported many of the charges against that school made by Rev. Roy Bourgeois, head of the School of the Americas Watch. That same year the Pentagon released formerly classified reports indicating that graduates were trained in killing, extortion, and physical abuse for interrogations, false imprisonment and other methods of control. (4)

Grenada

The CIA began to destabilize Grenada in 1979 after Maurice Bishop became president, partially because he refused to join the quarantine of Cuba. The campaign against him resulted in his overthrow and the invasion by the U.S. of Grenada on October 25, 1983, with about 277 people dying. (1,2) It was fallaciously charged that an airport was being built in Grenada that could be used to attack the U.S. and it was also erroneously claimed that the lives of American medical students on that island were in danger.

Guatemala

In 1951 Jacobo Arbenz was elected president of Guatemala. He appropriated some unused land operated by the United Fruit Company and compensated the company. (1,2) That company then started a campaign to paint Arbenz as a tool of an international conspiracy and hired about 300 mercenaries who sabotaged oil supplies and trains. (3) In 1954 a CIA-orchestrated coup put him out of office and he left the country. During the next 40 years various regimes killed thousands of people.

In 1999 the Washington Post reported that an Historical Clarification Commission concluded that over 200,000 people had been killed during the civil war and that there had been 42,000 individual human rights violations, 29,000 of them fatal, 92% of which were committed by the army. The commission further reported that the U.S. government and the CIA had pressured the Guatemalan government into suppressing the guerilla movement by ruthless means. (4,5)

According to the Commission between 1981 and 1983 the military government of Guatemala – financed and supported by the U.S. government – destroyed some four hundred Mayan villages in a campaign of genocide. (4)

One of the documents made available to the commission was a 1966 memo from a U.S. State Department official, which described how a “safe house” was set up in the palace for use by Guatemalan security agents and their U.S. contacts. This was the headquarters for the Guatemalan “dirty war” against leftist insurgents and suspected allies. (2)

Haiti

From 1957 to 1986 Haiti was ruled by Papa Doc Duvalier and later by his son. During that time their private terrorist force killed between 30,000 and 100,000 people. (1) Millions of dollars in CIA subsidies flowed into Haiti during that time, mainly to suppress popular movements, (2) although most American military aid to the country, according to William Blum, was covertly channeled through Israel.

Reportedly, governments after the second Duvalier reign were responsible for an even larger number of fatalities, and the influence on Haiti by the U.S., particularly through the CIA, has continued. The U.S. later forced out of the presidential office a black Catholic priest, Jean Bertrand Aristide, even though he was elected with 67% of the vote in the early 1990s. The wealthy white class in Haiti opposed him in this predominantly black nation, because of his social programs designed to help the poor and end corruption. (3) Later he returned to office, but that did not last long. He was forced by the U.S. to leave office and now lives in South Africa.

Honduras

In the 1980s the CIA supported Battalion 316 in Honduras, which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of its citizens. Torture equipment and manuals were provided by CIA Argentinean personnel who worked with U.S. agents in the training of the Hondurans. Approximately 400 people lost their lives. (1,2) This is another instance of torture in the world sponsored by the U.S. (3)

Battalion 316 used shock and suffocation devices in interrogations in the 1980s. Prisoners often were kept naked and, when no longer useful, killed and buried in unmarked graves. Declassified documents and other sources show that the CIA and the U.S. Embassy knew of numerous crimes, including murder and torture, yet continued to support Battalion 316 and collaborate with its leaders.” (4)

Honduras was a staging ground in the early 1980s for the Contras who were trying to overthrow the socialist Sandinista government in Nicaragua. John D. Negroponte, currently Deputy Secretary of State, was our embassador when our military aid to Honduras rose from $4 million to $77.4 million per year. Negroponte denies having had any knowledge of these atrocities during his tenure. However, his predecessor in that position, Jack R. Binns, had reported in 1981 that he was deeply concerned at increasing evidence of officially sponsored/sanctioned assassinations. (5)

Hungary

In 1956 Hungary, a Soviet satellite nation, revolted against the Soviet Union. During the uprising broadcasts by the U.S. Radio Free Europe into Hungary sometimes took on an aggressive tone, encouraging the rebels to believe that Western support was imminent, and even giving tactical advice on how to fight the Soviets. Their hopes were raised then dashed by these broadcasts which cast an even darker shadow over the Hungarian tragedy.” (1) The Hungarian and Soviet death toll was about 3,000 and the revolution was crushed. (2)

Indonesia

In 1965, in Indonesia, a coup replaced General Sukarno with General Suharto as leader. The U.S. played a role in that change of government. Robert Martens,a former officer in the U.S. embassy in Indonesia, described how U.S. diplomats and CIA officers provided up to 5,000 names to Indonesian Army death squads in 1965 and checked them off as they were killed or captured. Martens admitted that “I probably have a lot of blood on my hands, but that’s not all bad. There’s a time when you have to strike hard at a decisive moment.” (1,2,3) Estimates of the number of deaths range from 500,000 to 3 million. (4,5,6)
From 1993 to 1997 the U.S. provided Jakarta with almost $400 million in economic aid and sold tens of million of dollars of weaponry to that nation. U.S. Green Berets provided training for the Indonesia’s elite force which was responsible for many of atrocities in East Timor. (3)

Iran

Iran lost about 262,000 people in the war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988. (1) See Iraq for more information about that war.

On July 3, 1988 the U.S. Navy ship, the Vincennes, was operating withing Iranian waters providing military support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. During a battle against Iranian gunboats it fired two missiles at an Iranian Airbus, which was on a routine civilian flight. All 290 civilian on board were killed. (2,3)

Iraq

A. The Iraq-Iran War lasted from 1980 to 1988 and during that time there were about 105,000 Iraqi deaths according to the Washington Post. (1,2)

According to Howard Teicher, a former National Security Council official, the U.S. provided the Iraqis with billions of dollars in credits and helped Iraq in other ways such as making sure that Iraq had military equipment including biological agents This surge of help for Iraq came as Iran seemed to be winning the war and was close to Basra. (1) The U.S. was not adverse to both countries weakening themselves as a result of the war, but it did not appear to want either side to win.

B: The U.S.-Iraq War and the Sanctions Against Iraq extended from 1990 to 2003.

Iraq invaded Kuwait on August 2, 1990 and the U.S. responded by demanding that Iraq withdraw, and four days later the U.N. levied international sanctions.

Iraq had reason to believe that the U.S. would not object to its invasion of Kuwait, since U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, April Glaspie, had told Saddam Hussein that the U.S. had no position on the dispute that his country had with Kuwait. So the green light was given, but it seemed to be more of a trap.

As a part of the public relations strategy to energize the American public into supporting an attack against Iraq the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the U.S. falsely testified before Congress that Iraqi troops were pulling the plugs on incubators in Iraqi hospitals. (1) This contributed to a war frenzy in the U.S.

The U.S. air assault started on January 17, 1991 and it lasted for 42 days. On February 23 President H.W. Bush ordered the U.S. ground assault to begin. The invasion took place with much needless killing of Iraqi military personnel. Only about 150 American military personnel died compared to about 200,000 Iraqis. Some of the Iraqis were mercilessly killed on the Highway of Death and about 400 tons of depleted uranium were left in that nation by the U.S. (2,3)

Other deaths later were from delayed deaths due to wounds, civilians killed, those killed by effects of damage of the Iraqi water treatment facilities and other aspects of its damaged infrastructure and by the sanctions.

In 1995 the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. reported that U.N sanctions against on Iraq had been responsible for the deaths of more than 560,000 children since 1990. (5)

Leslie Stahl on the TV Program 60 Minutes in 1996 mentioned to Madeleine Albright, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And – and you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied “I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think is worth it.” (4)

In 1999 UNICEF reported that 5,000 children died each month as a result of the sanction and the War with the U.S. (6)

Richard Garfield later estimated that the more likely number of excess deaths among children under five years of age from 1990 through March 1998 to be 227,000 – double those of the previous decade. Garfield estimated that the numbers to be 350,000 through 2000 (based in part on result of another study). (7)

However, there are limitations to his study. His figures were not updated for the remaining three years of the sanctions. Also, two other somewhat vulnerable age groups were not studied: young children above the age of five and the elderly.

All of these reports were considerable indicators of massive numbers of deaths which the U.S. was aware of and which was a part of its strategy to cause enough pain and terror among Iraqis to cause them to revolt against their government.

C: Iraq-U.S. War started in 2003 and has not been concluded

Just as the end of the Cold War emboldened the U.S. to attack Iraq in 1991 so the attacks of September 11, 2001 laid the groundwork for the U.S. to launch the current war against Iraq. While in some other wars we learned much later about the lies that were used to deceive us, some of the deceptions that were used to get us into this war became known almost as soon as they were uttered. There were no weapons of mass destruction, we were not trying to promote democracy, we were not trying to save the Iraqi people from a dictator.

The total number of Iraqi deaths that are a result of our current Iraq against Iraq War is 654,000, of which 600,000 are attributed to acts of violence, according to Johns Hopkins researchers. (1,2)

Since these deaths are a result of the U.S. invasion, our leaders must accept responsibility for them.

Israeli-Palestinian War

About 100,000 to 200,000 Israelis and Palestinians, but mostly the latter, have been killed in the struggle between those two groups. The U.S. has been a strong supporter of Israel, providing billions of dollars in aid and supporting its possession of nuclear weapons. (1,2)

Korea, North and South

The Korean War started in 1950 when, according to the Truman administration, North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25th. However, since then another explanation has emerged which maintains that the attack by North Korea came during a time of many border incursions by both sides. South Korea initiated most of the border clashes with North Korea beginning in 1948. The North Korea government claimed that by 1949 the South Korean army committed 2,617 armed incursions. It was a myth that the Soviet Union ordered North Korea to attack South Korea. (1,2)

The U.S. started its attack before a U.N. resolution was passed supporting our nation’s intervention, and our military forces added to the mayhem in the war by introducing the use of napalm. (1)

During the war the bulk of the deaths were South Koreans, North Koreans and Chinese. Four sources give deaths counts ranging from 1.8 to 4.5 million. (3,4,5,6) Another source gives a total of 4 million but does not identify to which nation they belonged. (7)

John H. Kim, a U.S. Army veteran and the Chair of the Korea Committee of Veterans for Peace, stated in an article that during the Korean War “the U.S. Army, Air Force and Navy were directly involved in the killing of about three million civilians – both South and North Koreans – at many locations throughout Korea…It is reported that the U.S. dropped some 650,000 tons of bombs, including 43,000 tons of napalm bombs, during the Korean War.” It is presumed that this total does not include Chinese casualties.

Another source states a total of about 500,000 who were Koreans and presumably only military. (8,9)

Laos

From 1965 to 1973 during the Vietnam War the U.S. dropped over two million tons of bombs on Laos – more than was dropped in WWII by both sides. Over a quarter of the population became refugees. This was later called a “secret war,” since it occurred at the same time as the Vietnam War, but got little press. Hundreds of thousands were killed. Branfman make the only estimate that I am aware of , stating that hundreds of thousands died. This can be interpeted to mean that at least 200,000 died. (1,2,3)

U.S. military intervention in Laos actually began much earlier. A civil war started in the 1950s when the U.S. recruited a force of 40,000 Laotians to oppose the Pathet Lao, a leftist political party that ultimately took power in 1975.

Also see Vietnam

Nepal

Between 8,000 and 12,000 Nepalese have died since a civil war broke out in 1996. The death rate, according to Foreign Policy in Focus, sharply increased with the arrival of almost 8,400 American M-16 submachine guns (950 rpm) and U.S. advisers. Nepal is 85 percent rural and badly in need of land reform. Not surprisingly 42 % of its people live below the poverty level. (1,2)

In 2002, after another civil war erupted, President George W. Bush pushed a bill through Congress authorizing $20 million in military aid to the Nepalese government. (3)

Nicaragua

In 1981 the Sandinistas overthrew the Somoza government in Nicaragua, (1) and until 1990 about 25,000 Nicaraguans were killed in an armed struggle between the Sandinista government and Contra rebels who were formed from the remnants of Somoza’s national government. The use of assassination manuals by the Contras surfaced in 1984. (2,3)

The U.S. supported the victorious government regime by providing covert military aid to the Contras (anti-communist guerillas) starting in November, 1981. But when Congress discovered that the CIA had supervised acts of sabotage in Nicaragua without notifying Congress, it passed the Boland Amendment in 1983 which prohibited the CIA, Defense Department and any other government agency from providing any further covert military assistance. (4)

But ways were found to get around this prohibition. The National Security Council, which was not explicitly covered by the law, raised private and foreign funds for the Contras. In addition, arms were sold to Iran and the proceeds were diverted from those sales to the Contras engaged in the insurgency against the Sandinista government. (5) Finally, the Sandinistas were voted out of office in 1990 by voters who thought that a change in leadership would placate the U.S., which was causing misery to Nicaragua’s citizenry by it support of the Contras.

Pakistan

In 1971 West Pakistan, an authoritarian state supported by the U.S., brutally invaded East Pakistan. The war ended after India, whose economy was staggering after admitting about 10 million refugees, invaded East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) and defeated the West Pakistani forces. (1)

Millions of people died during that brutal struggle, referred to by some as genocide committed by West Pakistan. That country had long been an ally of the U.S., starting with $411 million provided to establish its armed forces which spent 80% of its budget on its military. $15 million in arms flowed into W. Pakistan during the war. (2,3,4)

Three sources estimate that 3 million people died and (5,2,6) one source estimates 1.5 million. (3)

Panama

In December, 1989 U.S. troops invaded Panama, ostensibly to arrest Manuel Noriega, that nation’s president. This was an example of the U.S. view that it is the master of the world and can arrest anyone it wants to. For a number of years before that he had worked for the CIA, but fell out of favor partially because he was not an opponent of the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. (1) It has been estimated that between 500 and 4,000 people died. (2,3,4)

Paraguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

The Philippines were under the control of the U.S. for over a hundred years. In about the last 50 to 60 years the U.S. has funded and otherwise helped various Philippine governments which sought to suppress the activities of groups working for the welfare of its people. In 1969 the Symington Committee in the U.S. Congress revealed how war material was sent there for a counter-insurgency campaign. U.S. Special Forces and Marines were active in some combat operations. The estimated number of persons that were executed and disappeared under President Fernando Marcos was over 100,000. (1,2)

South America: Operation Condor

This was a joint operation of 6 despotic South American governments (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay) to share information about their political opponents. An estimated 13,000 people were killed under this plan. (1)

It was established on November 25, 1975 in Chile by an act of the Interamerican Reunion on Military Intelligence. According to U.S. embassy political officer, John Tipton, the CIA and the Chilean Secret Police were working together, although the CIA did not set up the operation to make this collaboration work. Reportedly, it ended in 1983. (2)

On March 6, 2001 the New York Times reported the existence of a recently declassified State Department document revealing that the United States facilitated communications for Operation Condor. (3)

Sudan

Since 1955, when it gained its independence, Sudan has been involved most of the time in a civil war. Until about 2003 approximately 2 million people had been killed. It not known if the death toll in Darfur is part of that total.

Human rights groups have complained that U.S. policies have helped to prolong the Sudanese civil war by supporting efforts to overthrow the central government in Khartoum. In 1999 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright met with the leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) who said that she offered him food supplies if he would reject a peace plan sponsored by Egypt and Libya.

In 1978 the vastness of Sudan’s oil reservers was discovered and within two years it became the sixth largest recipient of U.S, military aid. It’s reasonable to assume that if the U.S. aid a government to come to power it will feel obligated to give the U.S. part of the oil pie.

A British group, Christian Aid, has accused foreign oil companies of complicity in the depopulation of villages. These companies – not American – receive government protection and in turn allow the government use of its airstrips and roads.

In August 1998 the U.S. bombed Khartoum, Sudan with 75 cruise míssiles. Our government said that the target was a chemical weapons factory owned by Osama bin Laden. Actually, bin Laden was no longer the owner, and the plant had been the sole supplier of pharmaceutical supplies for that poor nation. As a result of the bombing tens of thousands may have died because of the lack of medicines to treat malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. The U.S. settled a lawsuit filed by the factory’s owner. (1,2)

Uruguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Vietnam

In Vietnam, under an agreement several decades ago, there was supposed to be an election for a unified North and South Vietnam. The U.S. opposed this and supported the Diem government in South Vietnam. In August, 1964 the CIA and others helped fabricate a phony Vietnamese attack on a U.S. ship in the Gulf of Tonkin and this was used as a pretext for greater U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (1)

During that war an American assassination operation,called Operation Phoenix, terrorized the South Vietnamese people, and during the war American troops were responsible in 1968 for the mass slaughter of the people in the village of My Lai.

According to a Vietnamese government statement in 1995 the number of deaths of civilians and military personnel during the Vietnam War was 5.1 million. (2)

Since deaths in Cambodia and Laos were about 2.7 million (See Cambodia and Laos) the estimated total for the Vietnam War is 7.8 million.

The Virtual Truth Commission provides a total for the war of 5 million, (3) and Robert McNamara, former Secretary Defense, according to the New York Times Magazine says that the number of Vietnamese dead is 3.4 million. (4,5)

Yugoslavia

Yugoslavia was a socialist federation of several republics. Since it refused to be closely tied to the Soviet Union during the Cold War, it gained some suport from the U.S. But when the Soviet Union dissolved, Yugoslavia’s usefulness to the U.S. ended, and the U.S and Germany worked to convert its socialist economy to a capitalist one by a process primarily of dividing and conquering. There were ethnic and religious differences between various parts of Yugoslavia which were manipulated by the U.S. to cause several wars which resulted in the dissolution of that country.

From the early 1990s until now Yugoslavia split into several independent nations whose lowered income, along with CIA connivance, has made it a pawn in the hands of capitalist countries. (1) The dissolution of Yugoslavia was caused primarily by the U.S. (2)

Here are estimates of some, if not all, of the internal wars in Yugoslavia. All wars: 107,000; (3,4)

Bosnia and Krajina: 250,000; (5) Bosnia: 20,000 to 30,000; (5) Croatia: 15,000; (6) and

Kosovo: 500 to 5,000. (7)

Notes

Afghanistan

1. Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.135.

2. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

3. Soviet War in Afghanistan 

4. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.76

5. U.S Involvement in Afghanistan, Wikipedia 

6. ‘The CIA’s Intervention in Afghanistan, Interview with Zbigniew Brzezinski’, Le Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 15-21 January 1998, Posted at globalresearch.ca 15 October 2001

7. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.5

8. UnknownNews.net 

Angola

1. Howard W. French, “From Old Files, a New Story of the U.S. Role in the Angolan War”, New York Times 3/31/02

2. ‘Angolan Update’, American Friends Service Committee FS, 11/1/99 flyer.

3. Norman Solomon, War Made Easy, (John Wiley & Sons, 2005) p. 82-83.

4. Lance Selfa, ‘U.S. Imperialism, A Century of Slaughter’, International Socialist Review, Issue 7, Spring 1999 (as appears on thirdworldtraveler.com

5. Jeffress Ramsay, Africa , (Dushkin/McGraw Hill Guilford Connecticut), 1997, p. 144-145.

6. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.54.

Argentina: See South America: Operation Condor

Bolivia

1. Phil Gunson, Guardian, 5/6/02

2. Jerry Meldon, ‘Return of Bolivia’s Drug – Stained Dictator’, Consortium News 

Brazil: See South America: Operation Condor

Cambodia

1. Virtual Truth Commission 

2. David Model, President Richard Nixon, Henry Kissinger, and the Bombing of Cambodia, excerpted from the book Lying for Empire How to Commit War Crimes With A Straight Face, Common Courage Press, 2005

3. Noam Chomsky, Chomsky on Cambodia under Pol Pot, etc.

Chad

1. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 151-152 .

2. Richard Keeble, Crimes Against Humanity in ChadZnet/Activism 12/4/06

Chile

1. Parenti, Michael, The Sword and the Dollar (New York, St. Martin’s Press, 1989) p. 56.

2. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 142-143.

3. moreorless.au.com: ‘Heroes and Killers of the 20th Century, Augusto Pinochet Ugarte’ 

4. Associated Press, ‘Pincohet on 91st Birthday, Takes Responsibility for Regime’s Abuses’, Dayton Daily News 11/26/06

5. Chalmers Johnson, Blowback, The Costs and Consequences of American Empire(New York: Henry Holt and Company, 2000), p. 18.

China: See Korea

Colombia

1. Chronology of American State Terrorism, p.2

2. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 163.

3. Millions Killed by Imperialism, Washington Post May 6, 2002)

4. Gabriella Gamini, CIA Set Up Death Squads in ColombiaTimes, Dec. 5, 1996

5. Virtual Truth Commission, 1991

Human Rights Watch Report: ‘Colombia’s Killer Networks–The Military-Paramilitary Partnership’

Cuba

1. St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture – on Bay of Pigs Invasion 

2. Wikipedia 

Democratic Republic of Congo (Formerly Zaire)

1. F. Jeffress Ramsey, Africa (Guilford Connecticut, 1997), p. 85

2. Anup Shaw, The Democratic Republic of Congo, 10/31/2003

3. Kevin Whitelaw, A Killing in CongoU. S. News and World Report

4. William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p 158-159.

5. Ibid., p. 260

6. Ibid., p. 259

7. Ibid., p.262

8. David Pickering, World War in Africa, 6/26/02

9. William D. Hartung and Bridget Moix, ‘Deadly Legacy; U.S. Arms to Africa and the Congo War’, Arms Trade Resource Center, January , 2000

Dominican Republic

1. Norman Solomon, (untitled) Baltimore Sun April 26, 2005. Intervention Spin Cycle 

2. Wikipedia 

3. William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 175.

4. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.26-27.

East Timor

1. Virtual Truth Commission 

2. Matthew Jardine, ‘Unraveling Indonesia’, Nonviolent Activist, 1997

3. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

4. William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 197.

5. ‘US trained butchers of Timor’, The Guardian, London. Cited by The Drudge Report, September 19, 1999.

El Salvador

1. Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003, (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 152-153.

2. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 54-55.

3. El Salvador, Wikipedia 

4. Virtual Truth Commission 

Grenada

1. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’S Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p. 66-67.

2. Stephen Zunes, The U.S. Invasion of Grenada 

Guatemala

1. Virtual Truth Commission 

2. Ibid.

3. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.2-13.

4. Robert T. Buckman, Latin America 2003 (Stryker-Post Publications Baltimore 2003) p. 162.

5. Douglas Farah, ‘Papers Show U.S. Role in Guatemalan Abuses’, Washington Post, March 11, 1999, A 26

Haiti

1. Francois Duvalier 

2. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p 87.

3. William Blum, Haiti 1986-1994: Who Will Rid Me of This Turbulent Priest,http://www.doublestandards.org/blum8.html 

Honduras

1. William Blum, Rogue State (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p. 55.

2. Reports by Country: Honduras, Virtual Truth Commission 

3. James A. Lucas, ‘Torture Gets The Silence Treatment’, Countercurrents, July 26, 2004.

4. Gary Cohn and Ginger Thompson, ‘Unearthed: Fatal Secrets’, Baltimore Sun, reprint of a series that appeared June 11-18, 1995 in Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer,School of Assassins, p. 46 Orbis Books 2001

5. Michael Dobbs, ‘Negroponte’s Time in Honduras at Issue’, Washington Post, March 21, 2005

Hungary

1. Edited by Malcolm Byrne, The 1956 Hungarian Revoluiton: A history in Documents, November 4, 2002 

2. Wikipedia 

Indonesia

1. Virtual Truth Commission 

2. Editorial, ‘Indonesia’s Killers’, The Nation, March 30, 1998.

3. Matthew Jardine, ‘Indonesia Unraveling’, Non Violent Activist, Sept – Oct, 1997 (Amnesty) 2/7/07.

4. Sison, Jose Maria, Reflections on the 1965 Massacre in Indonesia, p. 5.

5. Annie Pohlman, Women and the Indonesian Killings of 1965-1966: Gender Variables and Possible Direction for Research, p.4

6. Peter Dale Scott, The United States and the Overthrow of Sukarno, 1965-1967‘, Pacific Affairs, 58, Summer 1985, pages 239-264.

7. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.30.

Iran

1. Geoff Simons, Iraq from Sumer to Saddam, 1996, St. Martins Press, NY p. 317.

2. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

3. BBC, 1988: US Warship Shoots Down Iranian Airliner‘ 

Iraq

Iran-Iraq War

1. Michael Dobbs, U.S. Had Key role in Iraq BuildupWashington Post, December 30, 2002, p A01

2. GlobalSecurity.Org, Iran Iraq War (1980-1980)

U.S. Iraq War and Sanctions

1. Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time (New York, Thunder’s Mouth), 1994, p.31-32

2. Ibid., p. 52-54

3. Ibid., p. 43

4. Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, (South End Press Cambridge MA 2000). p. 175.

5. Food and Agricultural Organizaiton, ‘The Children are Dying’, 1995 World View Forum, International Action Center, International Relief Association, p. 78

6. Anthony Arnove, Iraq Under Siege, South End Press Cambridge MA 2000. p. 61.

7. David Cortright, A Hard Look at Iraq Sanctions, December 3, 2001, The Nation.

U.S-Iraq War 2003-?

1. Jonathan Bor, ’654,000 Deaths Tied to Iraq War’, Baltimore Sun, October 11, 2006

2. unknownnews.net 

Israeli-Palestinian War

1. Post-1967 Palestinian & Israeli Deaths from Occupation & Violence, May 16, 2006

2. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

Korea

1. James I. Matray,Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War‘, Korean War Teachers Conference: The Korean War, February 9, 2001

2. William Blum, Killing Hope (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995), p. 46

3. Kanako Tokuno, Chinese Winter Offensive in Korean War – the Debacle of American Strategy‘, ICE Case Studies Number 186, May, 2006

4. John G. Stroessinger, Why Nations go to War, (New York; St. Martin’s Press), p. 99)

5. Britannica Concise Encyclopedia, as reported at Answers.com 

6. Exploring the Environment: Korean Enigma 

7. S. Brian Wilson, ‘Who are the Real Terrorists?’ Virtual Truth Commisson 

8. Korean War Casualty Statistics 

9. S. Brian Wilson, ‘Documenting U.S. War Crimes in North Korea’, (Veterans for Peace Newsletter) Spring, 2002)

Laos

1. William Blum, Rogue State (Maine, Common Cause Press) p. 136

2. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

3. Fred Branfman, War Crimes in Indochina and our Troubled National Soul 

Nepal

1. Conn Hallinan, Nepal & the Bush Administration: Into Thin Air, February 3, 2004

2. Human Rights Watch, Nepal’s Civil War: the Conflict Resumes, March 2006 )

http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/03/28/nepal13078.htm

3. Wayne Madsen, Possible CIA Hand in the Murder of the Nepal Royal Family, India Independent Media Center, September 25, 2001

Nicaragua

1. Virtual Truth Commission 

2. Timeline Nicaragua 

3. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

4. William Blum, Nicaragua 1981-1990: Destabilization in Slow Motion‘ 

5. Wikipedia 

Pakistan

1. John G. Stoessinger, Why Nations Go to War, (New York: St. Martin’s Press), 1974 pp 157-172.

2. Asad Ismi, A U.S. – Financed Military Dictatorship‘, The CCPA Monitor, June 2002, Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

3. Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p.123, 124.

4. Arjum Niaz, ‘When America Looks the Other Way‘ 

5. Leo Kuper, Genocide (Yale University Press, 1981), p. 79.

6. Bangladesh Liberation War, Wikipedia 

Panama

1. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits, (Odonian Press 1998) p. 83.

2. William Blum, Rogue States (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2000), p.154.

3. ‘U.S. Military Charged with Mass Murder’, The Winds 9/96

4. Mark Zepezauer, CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1994), p.83.

Paraguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Philippines

1. Romeo T. Capulong, ‘A Century of Crimes Against the Filipino People’, Presentation, Public Interest Law Center, World Tribunal for Iraq Trial in New York City on August 25, 2004

2. Roland B. Simbulan, ‘The CIA in Manila – Covert Operations and the CIA’s Hidden History in the Philippines’ Equipo Nizkor Information - Derechos

South America: Operation Condor

1. John Dinges, ‘Pulling Back the Veil on Condor‘, The Nation, July 24, 2000.

2. Virtual Truth Commission, Telling the Truth for a Better America 

3. Operation Condor 

Sudan

1. Mark Zepezauer, Boomerang, (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 2003), p. 30, 32,34,36.

2. The Black Commentator, Africa Action – The Tale of Two Genocides: The Failed US Response to Rwanda and Darfur‘, 11 August 2006

Uruguay: See South America: Operation Condor

Vietnam

1. Mark Zepezauer, The CIA’s Greatest Hits (Monroe, Maine:Common Courage Press,1994), p 24

2. Casualties - US vs NVA/VC 

3. Brian Wilson, Virtual Truth Commission 

4. Fred Branfman, U.S. War Crimes in Indochiona and our Duty to Truth, August 26, 2004

5. David K Shipler,Robert McNamara and the Ghosts of Vietnam‘, New York Times

Yugoslavia

1. Sara Flounders, Bosnia Tragedy: The Unknown Role of the Pentagon in NATO in the Balkans (New York: International Action Center) p. 47-75

2. James A. Lucas, Media Disinformation on the War in Yugoslavia: The Dayton Peace Accords Revisited‘, Global Research, September 7, 2005

3. Yugoslav Wars in 1990s 

4. George Kenney, The Bosnia Calculation: How Many Have Died? Not nearly as many as some would have you think‘, NY Times Magazine, April 23, 1995

5. Chronology of American State Terrorism 

6. Croatian War of Independence, Wikipedia 

7. Human Rights Watch, New Figures on Civilian Deaths in Kosovo War, (February 7, 2000)

Comment: Note that this report was published 7 years ago – many more people have been killed and injured since then. Note also that figures for the Second Iraq War were incomplete at the time of publishing. The death toll has since reached somewhere between 1 and 2 million people killed.

 

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The Logic of War Crimes in a Criminal War

NOVANEWS

From the ANSWER Coalition archives

From the ANSWER Archives:
 
March 19, 2014 marks the 11th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq. During the next six weeks the newsletter will feature key articles from the ANSWER Coalition archives that ANSWER published before and during the invasion and throughout the U.S. occupation of Iraq. This is a critical period of U.S. history and the voices of those who led the mass anti-war and anti-occupation movement during this period are largely erased from the U.S. mainstream media. Please read and and share this important article about a key moment in the U.S. occupation of Iraq. Share it with young people who were not yet teenagers when the Bush Administration invaded Iraq in one of the greatest war crimes in modern history.
Fallujah, Iraq

By: Mara Verheyden-Hilliard and Brian Becker

When U.S. marines carried out the savage and systematic execution of Iraqi families and small children in Haditha [in November 2004], it was initially reported as a “battle” with “insurgent casualties.” A photo of a kneeling Iraqi civilian moments before he was murdered was taken by a Marine using his cell phone camera. Other pictures of the corpses of small children, families lying in pools of blood in their homes, students gunned down in a taxi are all part of the documentary evidence.

The massacre in Haditha took place one year after a much larger massacre of civilians in Fallujah. Four to six thousand civilians are estimated to have been killed in Fallujah in November 2004, according to credible independent sources reporting from the ground. The truth of Iraq is that there were other massacres almost every week in between the events that have made Haditha and Fallujah famous cities: famous in the way no city wants to become well known throughout the world. The attack on the people of Iraq and ensuing occupation by the United States government has caused the deaths of well over 100,000 Iraqi people (the British medical journal, The Lancet, reported an excess of 100,000 dead [in October 2004].

“Ethics Training” to Prevent Massacres

Now that the butchery in Haditha is making headlines in the United States, high ranking officials in the Pentagon as well as the President are promising an investigation. They have even announced “ethics training” for combat troops. The implication is that something unusual happened when unarmed civilians, including terrified small children and their mothers who were trying to shield them, were riddled with bullets by U.S. soldiers. Were they rogue soldiers lawlessly breaking ranks from an otherwise pristine mission aimed at liberating Iraqis? That is pure fiction. Those who criticize the management of the war are talking complete nonsense when they say that the actions of these Marines will make it “harder to carry out the mission in Iraq.”

The Haditha massacre will not make the Iraqis think differently about the United States or Bush. It will only confirm their view, an outlook shaped by the cruel, cold-hard reality of the past years.

A Routine Phenomenon 

Just this week, on May 31, US soldiers in Iraq “killed two Iraqi women — one of them about to give birth — when the troops shot at a car that failed to stop at an observation post in a city north of Baghdad.” The AP reports that Nabiha Nisaif Jassim, 35, was being raced to the maternity hospital in Samarra by her brother when the shooting occurred Tuesday.  Jassim, the mother of two children, and her 57-year-old cousin, Saliha Mohammed Hassan, were killed by the U.S. forces, according to police Capt. Laith Mohammed and witnesses. Her husband was waiting for her at the maternity unit of the hospital when Jassim, pregnant with their child, and her cousin were murdered.

Yesterday, the BBC disclosed new video evidence that U.S. forces massacred another group of Iraqi civilians in the town of Ishaqi in March. The story, carried by Knight-Ridder in March, and denied by the U.S. government thereafter, stated that U.S. troops had rounded-up villagers into a single room of a house and then “executed 11 people, including a 75-year-old woman and a 6-month-old infant.” BBC reported June 1 that of the eleven people murdered by U.S. troops, five were children. The soldiers then, “burned three vehicles, killed the villagers’ animals and blew up the house.”

In Afghanistan this week, large masses of people took to the streets throwing rocks at U.S. military vehicles following another incident in which U.S. military personnel raced through Kabul and then rammed passenger vehicles killing at least three people. A top Afghan police officer reported that U.S. soldiers then opened fire indiscriminately directly into the crowd killing at least four more people.

Rejecting the Disney Version of U.S. Foreign Policy

The perception of the U.S. in the Arab world is based on actual information and knowledge of the Iraq war and the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. financing and support for the ongoing war waged by the Israeli military against the Palestinian people also contributes to the understanding of the U.S. role among the people of the Middle East. This perception is 100 percent different than the fantasy promoted in the United States. In the United States, facts are not allowed to stand in the way of the official legend.

All the mainstream media, the politicians and even some in the “peace movement” in the United States uphold the Disney version of U.S. imperialism: a fundamentally benign force, motivated by democratic values and a vision of freedom, that is suffering an unexplained outburst of criminality based on stress caused by  poor management of the war. Haditha, and Fallujah before it, or Abu Ghraib, are registered as deviant behavior by out of control people. Conveniently they are all rank and file enlisted men and women. No Generals, Secretary of Defense or President need worry.

That every exposed crime is widely accepted to be “deviant” or aberrational in the United States is only a testament to the power of political indoctrination by the media and the government whose economic resources for “opinion-molding” are greater than that of any previous empire in human history.

The Perception of U.S. Imperialism from The Middle East

“The deaths in Haditha, a volatile town in western Iraq, have barely caused a stir in Iraq and much of the Arab world — where American troops are reviled as brutal invaders who regularly commit such acts,” writes AP reporter Hamza Hendawi, in a story filed on May 30, 2006.

The next day a dispatch from AP reporter Kim Gamel, reports the same sentiment, “People in Samarra are very angry with the Americans not only because of Haditha case but because the Americans kill people randomly especially recently,” Khalid Nisaif Jassim said.

Closely connected by language, historical and geographic knowledge, and access to more comprehensive media reporting, the Arab people consider the entire war, including its unprovoked initiation by Bush on March 20, 2003, to be a criminal endeavor by large powers against a small but oil-rich nation. The racist character of the war itself is well recognized throughout the region. Having battled for a century against colonial and semi-colonial domination, the Arab people don’t derive their knowledge about the intentions of Britain or the United States from FOX News or the New York Times.

In the U.S. media, Iraq is treated as a low-intensity war. When U.S. soldiers are killed their deaths are accompanied by a small article. The fact that well more than 100,000 Iraqis have died does not merit blazing headlines. Iraqi suffering is minimized or usually attributed to “terrorists.” Thus, the people of the United States are shielded from that which the Arab people know all too well about the criminal character of the war of aggression.

Fallujah and Hue City, Vietnam

The issue of Fallujah is a case in point. Fallujah is emblematic of the war. It is well understood throughout the Arab world but treated like ancient history by the U.S. media.

On the eve of the assault on Fallujah, the A.N.S.W.E.R. Coalition sent out an email to anti-war activists (November 7, 2004) under the headline: “Top U.S. Marine in Iraq Calls for Massacre in Fallujah.” It reported that Sgt. Major Carlton W. Kent gave an emotional pep-talk to 2,500 Marines who were poised to attack the city. The marines had just notified the people of Fallujah that any male between the age of 15-55 who dared go outside would be automatically killed. “You’re all in the process of making history,” the Sgt. Major exhorted his soldiers. “This is another Hue City in the making. I, have no doubt, if we do get the word, that each and every one of you is going to do what you have always done kick some butt.” (AP, November 7, 2004)

Evoking the events in Hue by U.S. officers, as a motivation for today’s troops, shows the macabre criminality inherent in imperialism’s war for conquest.

Hue was a city in South Vietnam that was a scene of horrific war crimes by military personnel when it was captured by U.S.-led forces in March 1968. U.S. Under-Secretary of the Air Force, Townsend Hoopes, admitted that Hue was left a “devastated and prostrate city. Eighty percent of the buildings had been reduced to rubble, and in the smashed ruins lay 2,000 dead civilians …” (Noam Chomsky’s forward to the papers of the 1967 International War Crimes in Vietnam Tribunal.)

The Machinery of Racism 

How can 100,000 people die, how can children be murdered, how can the devastation and destruction of an entire society occur at the hands of the U.S. government without there being a huge outpouring of indignation and condemnation in the U.S. mass media, much less even acknowledgment by so many in the “loyal opposition”? Because the U.S. mainstream media is a corporate dominated propaganda machine that is part and parcel of the imperial establishment and shares its interests. It uses the instrument of racism, a tool that has been fine-tuned by the forces of militarism in the United States for nearly four centuries. The racist demonization of conquered and targeted people has been crafted with the idea of dehumanizing the victims so as to prevent the forging of human solidarity in opposition to the crimes of conquest and Empire. The mass media, always willing to exploit the emotional appeal of death and tragedy that occurs within the United States, can ignore or define the experiences of the people of Iraq as somehow less worthy, the death of Iraqi children as less agonizing, their lives less valuable.

Bush Proclaims that Iraq “is only the beginning” of Endless War 

The day after the NY Times front page story revealing the graphic details of the Haditha massacre, George W. Bush said these words about the Iraq war to the West Point graduating class of 2006: “This is only the beginning. The message has spread from Damascus to Tehran that the future belongs to freedom, and we will not rest until the promise of liberty reaches every people, in every nation.” Reiterating his and Cheney’s theme that the U.S. is now engaged in “endless war,” Bush told the young cadets:  “The war began on my watch, but its going to end on your watch.”

While Bush was exhorting the next generation of privileged military officers to enthusiastically embrace his imperial crusade, the reality is that this administration sees in every rank and file enlisted man and woman nothing more than pawns. For the working class youth who make up the bulk of the military, the Bush administration has only callous disregard. Bush is willing to send these young people to kill and be killed while it carries out vicious cut-backs in education, job training and veterans benefits. The rich are always ready to have the working class and poor people do their fighting and dying.

The crimes of the U.S. soldiers in Iraq are as inevitable as the crimes committed by soldiers in imperial armies throughout history. The conquered people refuse to accept their fate. They rise up, they form resistance organizations. They take up arms and conspire to oust the foreign occupiers. They are then branded as terrorists and criminals by the Empire. To the extent that they enjoy popular support among the indigenous population, the population itself is considered “suspect” by the occupiers.

Civilians thus become a danger. Children and young teenagers can become the “enemy.” The vehicles carrying expectant mothers to the hospital can thus become a threat because they must travel quickly, too quickly for the comfort of the occupying soldiers who are fearful of car bombs.

A Pertinent Revelation this Week: 50 Years After the Fact

In the Korean War, U.S. soldiers gunned down hundreds and possibly thousands of South Korean civilians as they tried to escape the horrors of war. For five decades, the Pentagon and each successive U.S. administration denied these facts. South Korean survivors who tried to press their claims against the United States were labeled traitors and North Korean spies and put into prison for many years. After the killings of No Gun Ri in July 1950 were exposed decades later in the U.S. media, the Pentagon even carried out an “exhaustive” investigation and concluded that the actions were those of inexperienced soldiers. “The deaths and injuries of civilians, wherever they occurred, were an unfortunate tragedy inherent to war and not a deliberate killing…. Soldiers were not ordered to attack and kill civilian refugees in the vicinity of No Gun Ri.” (Department of the Army Inspector General, No Gun Ri Review, Jan. 2001)

But just this week, as the Pentagon begins its new “investigation” into Haditha, a document has come to light that not only reveals the truth of the massacre of Koreans but that it was an act of official U.S. war policy. The day of the mass killings, the US Ambassador to South Korea sent a letter to State Department official Dean Rusk about the military decision arrived at a meeting on July 25, 1950 announcing that Korean war refugees would be shot if they approached US lines. The day after the decision the 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment killed hundreds of civilians at No Gun Ri in South Korea.

The Logic of War Crimes 

There was a military rationale for killing the civilians at No Gun Ri and in scores of other sites throughout Korea during the war. The U.S. soldiers could not tell whether the civilians were sympathetic to the North Koreans or whether they would permit North Korean soldiers into their midst.

The Geneva Conventions expressly prohibit the targeting of civilians under any circumstances. But the Pentagon had a bigger political concern than adhering to international law. The fundamental fear of the Pentagon and the White House in Korea, as it was in Vietnam and during the first and current war against Iraq, was that public opinion at home would turn against the imperialist adventure and tie the hands of the warmakers. The logic of their political calculus was that U.S. public opinion would turn against the war directly as a result of a large number of U.S. casualties. This thought took them to the next murderous conclusion: if civilians pose even a remote risk to U.S. soldiers it is better to shoot the civilians first and ask questions later. Dead Korean or Vietnamese or Iraqi civilians will not be as politically damaging back home as dead American soldiers.

There is one more side to the logic of war crimes. If the civilian population is sympathetic to the resistance fighters it is necessary to terrorize the civilians as punishment for providing aid or shelter to a guerrilla army. This is not a new story. The Japanese wiped out whole villages and nearly some cities in China as a warning against aiding the communist-led resistance during World War II. The Nazi’s policy in Serbia was to kill one hundred Serbs for every German soldier killed by the resistance. Under the direction of John Negroponte, current Director of US Intelligence services, the Salvadoran military carried out large-scale massacres of peasant communities that were considered supportive of the FMLN resistance fighters in El Salvador during the 1980’s. In Vietnam, the CIA organized the Phoenix Program, a clandestine war that assassinated as many 50,000 south Vietnamese who were considered to be members or sympathizers of the National Liberation Front.

The People of the United States Must Act to Stop Imperialist War

There is no investigation, no new training, or change in the way the war and occupation is administered that can stop massacres like Haditha, Fallujah and the day in and day out killings of Iraqis and destruction of their society. The only change that can bring about the hope of building a new future for Iraqis, one of self-determination and eventual peace, is to end the foreign occupation of Iraq and remove the invading army. Every day the U.S. and other troops remain in Iraq the situation grows more dire for the Iraqi people. We must demand that the troops be brought home now and reach out to our friends, families, co-workers and schoolmates to make this demand a powerful and undeniable force. The majority of people of the U.S. now oppose the war in Iraq – but at this very moment, many in the peace movement are urging that all focus turn towards the elections, just as they did two years ago. This is the road to irrelevance and it must be rejected.

The war in Vietnam was not ended because “better politicians” were elected. No one could assert that Richard Nixon was better than anything or anyone. What mattered was that millions of people used every avenue to intensify the mass struggle in the streets and in every community throughout the country. The Vietnamese people were clearly determined to fight until their homeland was free from foreign occupation. Ultimately, the U.S. soldier was only fighting to return to his or her home. The congruence of these factors and the ever-widening mass anti-war movement made the nearly genocidal conflict unsustainable for the Pentagon brass and the occupant of the White House. We must learn and re-learn these lessons and apply them to today. That is the challenge and obligation of the next period.

Posted in Middle East, USA0 Comments

U.S. Continues War by Proxy: Playing the Al-Qaeda Card to the Last Iraqi

NOVANEWS
Global Research

International, regional and internal players vying for interests, wealth, power or influence are all beneficiaries of the “al-Qaeda threat” in Iraq and in spite of their deadly and bloody competitions they agree only on two denominators, namely that the presence of the U.S.-installed and Iran–supported sectarian government in Baghdad and its sectarian al-Qaeda antithesis are the necessary casus belli for their proxy wars, which are tearing apart the social fabric of the Iraqi society, disintegrating the national unity of Iraq and bleeding its population to the last Iraqi.

The Iraqi people seem a passive player, paying in their blood for all this Machiavellian dirty politics. The war which the U.S. unleashed by its invasion of Iraq in 2003 undoubtedly continues and the bleeding of the Iraqi people continues as well.

According to the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq , 34452 Iraqis were killed since 2008 and more than ten thousand were killed in 2013 during which suicide bombings more than tripled according to the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk’s recent testimony before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. The AFP reported that more than one thousand Iraqis were killed in last January. The UN refugee agency UNHCR, citing Iraqi government figures, says that more than 140,000 Iraqis have already been displaced from Iraq ’s western province of Anbar .

Both the United States and Russia are now supplying Iraq with multi–billion arms sales to empower the sectarian government in Baghdad to defeat the sectarian “al-Qaeda threat.” They see a casus belli in al–Qaeda to regain a lost ground in Iraq, the first to rebalance its influence against Iran in a country where it had paid a heavy price in human souls and taxpayer money only for Iran to reap the exploits of its invasion of 2003 while the second could not close an opened Iraqi window of opportunity to re-enter the country as an exporter of arms who used to be the major supplier of weaponry to the Iraqi military before the U.S. invasion.

Regionally, Iraq’s ambassador to Iran Muhammad Majid al-Sheikh announced earlier this month that Baghdad has signed an agreement with Tehran “to purchase weapons and military equipment;” Iraqi Defense Minister Saadoun al-Dulaimi signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen defense and security agreements with Iran last September.

Meanwhile Syria , which is totally preoccupied with fighting a three –year old wide spread terrorist insurgency within its borders, could not but coordinate defense with the Iraq military against the common enemy of the “al-Qaeda threat” in both countries.

Counterbalancing politically and militarily, Turkey and the GCC countries led by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, in their anti-Iran proxy wars in Iraq and Syria, are pouring billions of petrodollars to empower a sectarian counterbalance by money, arms and political support, which end up empowering al–Qaeda indirectly or its sectarian allies directly, thus perpetuating the war and fueling the sectarian strife in Iraq, as a part of an unabated effort to contain Iran’s expanding regional sphere of influence.

Ironically, the Turkish member of the U.S.–led NATO as well as the GCC Arab NATO non–member “partners” seem to stand on the opposite side with their U.S. strategic ally in the Iraqi war in this tragic drama of Machiavellian dirty politics.

Internally, the three major partners in the “political process” are no less Machiavellian in their exploiting of the al-Qaeda card. The self–ruled northern Iraqi Kurdistan region, which counts down for the right timing for secession, could not be but happy with the preoccupation of the central government in Baghdad with the “al–Qaeda threat.” Pro-Iran Shiite sectarian parties and militias use this threat to strengthen their sectarian bond and justify their loyalty to Iran as their protector. Their Sunni sectarian rivals are using the threat to promote themselves as the “alternative” to al-Qaeda in representing the Sunnis and to justify their seeking financial, political and paramilitary support from the U.S. , GCC and Turkey , allegedly to counter the pro-Iran sectarian government in Baghdad as well as the expanding Iranian influence in Iraq and the region.

Exploiting his partners’ inter-fighting, Iraqi two–term Prime Minister Nouri (or Jawad) Al-Maliki, has maneuvered to win a constitutional interpretation allowing him to run for a third term and, to reinforce his one-man show of governance, he was in Washington D.C. last November, then in Tehran the next December, seeking military “help” against the “al-Qaeda threat” and he got it.

U.S. Continues War by Proxy

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has pledged to support al-Maliki’s military offensive against al–Qaeda and its offshoot the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

24 Apache helicopter with rockets and other equipment connected to them, 175 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles, ScanEagle and Raven reconnaissance drones have either already been delivered or pending delivery, among a $4.7 billion worth of military equipment, including F-16 fighters. James Jeffrey reported in Foreign Policy last Monday that President Barak Obama’s administration is “increasing intelligence and operational cooperation with the Iraqi government.” The French Le Figaro reported early this week that “hundreds” of U.S. security personnel will return to Iraq to train Iraqis on using these weapons to confirm what the Pentagon spokesman, Army Col. Steve Warren, did not rule out on last January 17 when he said that “we are in continuing discussions about how we can improve the Iraqi military.”

Kerry ruled out sending “American boots” on the Iraqi ground; obviously he meant “Pentagon boots,” but not the Pentagon–contracted boots.

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) online on this February 3 reported that the “ U.S. military support there relies increasingly on the presence of contractors.” It described this strategy as “the strategic deployment of defense contractors in Iraq .” Citing State Department and Pentagon figures, the WSJ reported, “As of January 2013, the U.S. had more than 12,500 contractors in Iraq ,” including some 5,000 contractors supporting the American diplomatic mission in Iraq , the largest in the world.

It is obvious that the U.S. administration is continuing its war on Iraq by the Iraqi ruling proxies who had been left behind when the American combat mission was ended in December 2011. The administration is highlighting the “al-Qaeda threat” as casus belli as cited Brett McGurk’s testimony before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on this February 8.

The Machiavellian support from Iran , Syria and Russia might for a while misleadingly portray al-Maliky’s government as anti – American, but it could not cover up the fact that it was essentially installed by the U.S. foreign military invasion and is still bound by a “strategic agreement” with the United States .

Political System Unfixable

However the new U.S. “surge” in “operational cooperation with the Iraqi government” will most likely not succeed in fixing “Iraq’s shattered political system,” which “our forces were unable to fix … even when they were in Iraq in large numbers,” according to Christopher A. Preble, writing in Cato Institute online on last January 23.

“Sending David Petraeus and Ambassador (Ryan) Crocker back” to Iraq , as suggested by U.S. Sen. John McCain to CNN’s “State of the Union ” last January 12 was a disparate wishful thinking.

“ Iraq ’s shattered political system” is the legitimate product of the U.S.–engineered “political process” based on sectarian and ethnic fragmentation of the geopolitical national unity of the country. Highlighting the “al-Qaeda threat” can no more cover up the fact that the “political process” is a failure that cannot be “fixed” militarily.

Writing in Foreign Policy on this February 10, James Jeffrey said that the “United States tried to transform Iraq into a model Western-style democracy,” but “the U.S. experience in the Middle East came to resemble its long war in Vietnam.”

The sectarian U.S. proxy government in Baghdad , which has developed into an authoritarian regime, remains the bedrock of the U.S. strategic failure. The “al-Qaeda threat” is only the expected sectarian antithesis; it is a byproduct that will disappear with the collapse of the sectarian “political process.”

Iraq is now “on the edge of the abyss,” director of Middle East Studies at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), professor Gareth Stansfield, wrote on this February 3. This situation is “being laid at the door of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki,” who “is now portrayed as a divisive figure,” he said.

In their report titled “Iraq in Crisis” and published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) on last January 24, Anthony H. Cordesman and Sam Khazai said that the “cause of Iraq’s current violence” is “its failed politics and system of governance,” adding that the Iraqi “election in 2010 divided the nation rather than create any form of stable democracy.”

On the background of the current status quo, Iraq’s next round of elections, scheduled for next April 30, is expected to fare worse. Writing in Al-Ahram Weekly last August 14, Salah Nasrawi said that more than 10 years after the U.S. invasion, “the much-trumpeted Iraqi democracy is a mirage.” He was vindicated by none other than the Iraqi Speaker of the parliament Osama Al Nujaifi who was quoted by the Gulf News on last January 25 as saying during his latest visit to U.S.: “What we have now is a facade of a democracy — superficial — but on the inside it’s total chaos.”

Popular Uprising, not al-Qaeda

Al-Maliki’s government on this February 8 issued a one week ultimatum to what the governor of Anbar described as the “criminals” who “have kidnapped Fallujah” for more than a month, but Ross Caputi, a veteran U.S. Marine who participated in the second U.S. siege of Fallujah in 2004, in an open letter to U.S. Secretary Kerry published by the Global Research last Monday, said that “the current violence in Fallujah has been misrepresented in the media.”

“The Iraqi government has not been attacking al Qaeda in Fallujah,” he said, adding that Al-Maliki’s government “is not a regime the U.S. should be sending weapons to.” For this purpose Caputi attached a petition with 11,610 signatures. He described what is happening in the western Iraqi city as a “popular uprising.”

Embracing the same strategy the Americans used in 2007, Iran and U.S. Iraqi proxies have now joined forces against a “popular uprising” that Fallujah has just become only a symbol. Misleadingly pronouncing al-Qaeda as their target, the pro-Iran sectarian and the pro-U.S. so-called “Awakening” tribal militias have revived their 2007 alliance.

The Washington Post on this February 9 reported that the “Shiite militias” have begun “to remobilize,” including The Badr Organization, Kataib Hezbollah and the Mahdi Army; it quoted a commander of one such militia, namely Asaib Ahl al-Haq, as admitting to “targeted” extrajudicial “killings.”

This unholy alliance is the ideal recipe for fueling the sectarian divide and inviting a sectarian retaliation in the name of fighting al-Qaeda; the likely bloody prospects vindicate Cordesman and Khazai’s conclusion that Iraq is now “a nation in crisis bordering on civil war.”

Al – Qaeda is real and a terrorist threat, but like the sectarian U.S.-installed government in Baghdad , it was a new comer brought into Iraq by or because of the invading U.S. troops and most likely it would last as long as its sectarian antithesis lives on in Baghdad ’s so–called “Green Zone.”

“Al-Maliki has more than once termed the various fights and stand-offs” in Iraq “as a fight against “al Qaeda”, but it’s not that simple,” Michael Holmes wrote in CNN on last January 15. The “Sunni sense of being under the heel of a sectarian government … has nothing to do with al Qaeda and won’t evaporate once” it is forced out of Iraq , Holmes concluded.

A week earlier, analyst Charles Lister, writing to CNN, concluded that “al Qaeda” was being used as a political tool” by al–Maliki, who “has adopted sharply sectarian rhetoric when referring to Sunni elements … as inherently connected to al Qaeda, with no substantive evidence to back these claims.”

Al–Qaeda not the Only Force

“Al–Qaeda is “not the only force on the ground in Fallujah, where “defected local police personnel and armed tribesmen opposed to the federal government … represent the superior force,” Lister added.

The Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) had reported that the “Iraqiinsurgency” is composed of at least a dozen major organizations and perhaps as many as 40 distinct groups with an estimated less than 10% non-Iraqi foreign insurgents. It is noteworthy that all those who are playing the “al-Qaeda threat” card are in consensus on blacking out the role of these movements.

Prominent among them is the Jaysh Rijal al-Tariq al-Naqshabandi (JRTN) movement, which announced its establishment after Saddam Hussein’s execution on December 30, 2006. It is the backbone of the Higher Command for Jihad and Liberation (HCJL), which was formed in October the following year as a coalition of more than thirty national “resistance” movements. The National, Pan-Arab and Islamic front (NAIF) is the Higher Command’s political wing. Saddam’s deputy, Izzat Ibrahim al-Duri, is the leader of JRTN, HCJL and NAIF as well as the banned Baath party.

“Since 2009, the movement has gained significant strength” because of its “commitment to restrict attacks to “the unbeliever-occupier,” according to Michael Knights, writing to the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) on July1, 2011. “We absolutely forbid killing or fighting any Iraqi in all the agent state apparatus of the army, the police, the awakening, and the administration, except in self-defense situations, and if some agents and spies in these apparatus tried to confront the resistance,” al-Duri stated in 2009, thus extricating his movement from the terrorist atrocities of al-Qaeda, which has drowned the Iraqi people in a bloodbath of daily suicide bombings.

The majority of these organizations and groups are indigenous national anti-U.S. resistance movements. Even the ISIL, which broke out recently with al-Qaeda, is led and manned mostly by Iraqis. Playing al-Qaeda card is a smokescreen to downplay their role as the backbone of the national opposition to the U.S.-installed sectarian proxy government in Baghdad ’s green Zone. Their Islamic rhetoric is their common language with their religious people.

Since the end of the U.S. combat mission in the country in December 2011, they resorted to popular peaceful protests across Iraq . Late last December al-Maliki dismantled by force their major camp of protests near Ramadi, the capital of the western province of Anbar . Protesting armed men immediately took over Fallujah and Ramadi.

Since then, more than 45 tribal “military councils” were announced in all the governorates of Iraq . They held a national conference in January, which elected the “General Political Council of the Guerrillas of Iraq.” Coverage of the news and “guerrilla” activities of these councils by Al-Duri’s media outlets is enough indication of the linkage between them and his organizational structure.

No doubt revolution is brewing and boiling in Iraq against the sectarian government in Baghdad , its U.S. and Iranian supporters as well as against its al-Qaeda sectarian antithesis.

Posted in Syria, USA0 Comments

The Obama Doctrine and a New Equilibrium

NOVANEWS
by uprootedpalestinians
US President Barack Obama with French President Francois Hollande (R) during a greeting ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2014. (Photo: AFP- Alain Jocard)
In David Remnick’s recent interview with President Obama in the New Yorker, Remnick quotes Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national-security adviser for strategic communications, saying that Obama’s “long game” on foreign policy calls for traditional categories of American power and ideology to be reordered – insisting that Washington simply had become “trapped in very stale narratives.”
Rhodes is not specific about what those “narratives” are, nor does he analyze how they came about; but he adds this: “In the foreign-policy establishment, to be an idealist you have to be for military intervention.” He continues: “In the Democratic Party, these debates were defined in the nineties, and the idealists lined up for military intervention. For the president, Iraq was the defining issue, and now Syria is viewed through that lens, as was Libya—to be an idealist, you have to be a military interventionist. We spent a trillion dollars in Iraq and had troops there for a decade, and you can’t say it wielded positive influence. Just the opposite. We can’t seem to get out of these boxes.”
In short, Rhodes suggests that to be an idealist now has somehow become identified with having to support “humanitarian” military interventionism. This conflation, he suggests, lies at the core of President Obama’s foreign policy dilemma: Obama simply does not believe that military intervention is some sort of “joystick” that allows an American President to pull the lever in this direction, or in that, to achieve precisely the outcome which the US desires. Remnick quotes others who say that Obama sees change more as something organic – the result of invisible long-term dynamics, working to their own pattern and timetable, within society (which he calls “currents”) – rather than being something that can be sculpted into a desirable shape through a military hammer and chisel. The best that a (contemporary) president can do is to spot, and then work with any favorable current, hoping that it may take one in a good direction – but always unsure of the final destination. Rhodes identifies Obama’s “bind” as understanding this “limit to power”, whilst living in the American Beltway world where the imperative of humanitarian interventionism has come to define “foreign policy” idealism.
Obama’s second insight is fundamental. Carefully wrapped in guarded language, Obama suggests that the problem in the Middle East essentially derives from sectarian conflict: “It would be profoundly in the interest of citizens throughout the region if Sunnis and Shias weren’t intent on killing each other,” he told Remnick. “And although it would not solve the entire problem … (with an Iranian solution) you could see an equilibrium developing between Sunni, or predominantly Sunni, Gulf states and Iran, in which there’s competition, perhaps suspicion, but not an active or proxy warfare.” This is key: if the problem primarily is one of inflamed historic Islamic animosities, military intervention from the Christian West has no place in it; or, is likely only to polarize it further. The answer (to much of the tension in the Middle East) Obama clearly says, is that “If you can start unwinding some of that Sunni-Shia hostility, that creates a new equilibrium. And so I think each individual piece of the puzzle is meant to paint a picture in which conflicts and competition still exist in the region but that it is contained; it is expressed in ways that don’t exact such an enormous toll on the countries involved, and that allow us to work with functioning states to prevent extremists from emerging there.”

The “box” – mentioned by Rhodes, but left undefined – from which Obama seeks to escape however, is made explicit in a further Obama comment: “With respect to Israel, the interests of Israel…are actually very closely aligned with the interests of the Sunni states.” To this, we (CF) could add that both European, American and most think-tank elites, too, have very much aligned to the interests of Sunni states (and Israel) – and have unconsciously absorbed and uncritically adopted the narrative of Sunni “victimhood” in respect to the Shia “resurgence”. As a consequence, there is considerable anger directed at his Iran policy, which Obama implicitly acknowledges.

Of course, many (particularly humanitarian interventionists) will rush to deny Obama’s central observation. They will say that “sectarianism” is a bogus ploy designed to cover up, and divert from, the true roots of Middle East conflict, which lie with political failure, societal and economic failures. And there is some truth to this complaint. The Sunni “awakening” was essentially an anti-system eruption. It is also true that the “Arab system” and all alternative national “models” (Gulf, Turkish, Muslim Brotherhood, etc.) are widely and deeply deprecated in Middle East societies. It is also true that the power-plays by the Muslim Brotherhood, and the reactionary, counter-revolutionary interventions to unseat and destroy the MB, have used sectarianism for their own political purposes. But nonetheless, sectarianism has been inflamed, and the West has played its part in this – in Iraq, where it promoted firstly Shia miltias to fight Sunnis, and then launched “Awakening” Councils (Sunni militias) who in many cases attacked the Shia – as much as have the actors in the region been responsible for sectarian recrudescence.
The animosities kindled by sectarianism however are psychologically very real. Deep vulnerabilities, fears, and prejudice lie behind them. The balance between the Shia and Sunni has oscillated many times over the centuries. Once, much of Syria (then including Lebanon), Iraq and Palestine (and Egypt) were Shia. And people remember.
More recently the entire region from Pakistan to Lebanon has been affected by profound, seismic changes during the course of the last three decades. As Giandomenico Picco has noted, these began in the late 1970s, in the Pakistan-Afghanistan-Iran triangle, when Saudi Arabia entered the war in Afghanistan, and a bitter Sunni-Shia struggle ensued (little noticed by the West) – as Iran backed the Northern Alliance against the Saudi supported Taliban.
It was the Khomeini revolution (February 1979) in Iran however, which convinced the Sunni “world” of an epochal change in the making. There followed the Iraq – Iran War, a conflict instigated in part to halt a Shia resurgence; and then came the 2003 invasion of Iraq. As Picco notes, “Iran welcomed the U.S. war against Saddam Hussein, seeing it as payback for 1534, an important, sad date in the Shia narrative. In that year, Suleiman the First (the Ottoman Sultan) conquered Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) and “the land of the two rivers” came under the control of the Sunni minority. Iran felt that the West had inadvertently given them a chance to reclaim Baghdad for the Shia in a contemporary Iraq where the Shia were a majority, “Again, the ancient Sunni-Shia conflict structured events but was little noticed by the West.” In the wake of the 2006 war, in which Hezbollah successfully halted Israel’s attempt to destroy the movement, Gulf anxieties soared as Hezbollah and Iran were lionized in the Arab street. And with these heightened anxieties, so too soared the Gulf anti-Shia rhetoric of sectarianism, which has so empowered,and on its own terms legitimized , the Sunni extremists.
President Obama surely is right in his insight that a lowering of sectarian tension – though not in itself a sufficient condition to solve all the region’s many problems – nonetheless may be the key to finding a new geopolitical equilibrium. But the consequences of “equilibrating” between Shia and Sunni power will be profound – if he manages to carry them through. It will resonate well beyond the Middle East; but for Saudi Arabia and Israel, it will require a fundamental “reset” of their policies, as their grip over American policy-making, becomes loosened.

For much of the 20th century, successive US Presidents have sought to prevent any single country from dominating the centers of strategic power in Europe and Asia. The Carter doctrine simply refocused this basic principle of foreign policy specifically onto the Middle East, where no power that was not friendly to the US (or Israel) would be entertained, or permitted.

Events in Syria – particularly the Chemical Weapons Accord – have changed this paradigm: Russia, partly as a consequence of its Syrian and Iranian diplomacy has re-established itself as a Eurasian “power”. An accord with Iran will unleash another Eurasian economic and political power. Not only is the Carter doctrine being overturned, but the seminal underlying American thinking – “for the new (American) century” – is by implication being consigned to the category of “stale narrative”. Eurasia is rising, and it is rising on a tide of natural and energy resources.
Recall that it was Zbig Brzezinsky who earlier had written in his book The Grand Chessboard, “Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power.” Eurasia here means the Middle East and Central Asia, it is imperative that no Eurasian challenger emerges, capable of dominating Eurasia and thus of also challenging America: “In that context, how America ‘manages’ Eurasia is critical. A power that dominates Eurasia would control two of the world’s three most advanced and economically productive regions. A mere glance at the map also suggests that control over Eurasia would almost automatically entail Africa’s subordination, rendering the Western Hemisphere and Oceania (Australia) geopolitically peripheral to the world’s central continent. About 75 percent of the world’s people live in Eurasia, and most of the world’s physical wealth is there as well, both in its enterprises and underneath its soil. Eurasia accounts for about three-fourths of the world’s known energy resources.”
Well, this is what is happening now: the structures for containing Eurasia are eroding. Europeans should take good note too. They must consider their foreign policy. Do they remain with their relationship heavily weighted towards the US and become “peripheral” to the world’s central continent (in Brzezinski’s words), or should they re-orient towards the new center of power?
Naturally, Obama already is being accused of “losing” the Middle East to Tehran and Moscow. But the withdrawal of Britain from India and Pakistan was punctuated with similar cries of “sell-out”, and grave warnings of how much the Indians would regret the British passing. But how obvious Britain’s loss of will, and its need to exit, all seems now. Now it is the West as a whole, and not just Britain or America, that is undergoing a new period of introspection as categories of thought erode, and the world order shifts in new directions. The cold truth is that which Obama told Netanyahu and the Senators: the ideal - “the absolutist benchmark” is not available – “it is not achievable”.
The difficulty here is that the “narrative” of striving for the “ideal” has been so deeply rooted into the American psyche – and then grafted onto the European (and western think-tank) psyche too. More than two years before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, some figures at the US Council for Foreign Relations launched a confidential project which came to be known as the War and Peace Studies, with financial support from State Department. They foresaw – even then – that the outcome of the expected war in Europe would leave America in a dominant position, economically and politically. They also warned against America repeating the mistake of the British, by pronouncing an American “empire” (though that is what effectively they were advocating). Instead of imperialism, America should espouse a narrative of “ideals”. Its “empire” should be founded not just in military might, but also in a “narrative” of progress, democracy and liberty. The task, these policy-formulators believed, was how to use America’s unrivaled military, economic, and political power to fashion an international environment conducive to its interests – wrapped in the narrative of progress, democracy and liberty: In short, a foreign policy pursued in the cause of utopia.

But as one philosopher noted more than two thousand years ago, the “hero” of virtue and the pursuer of a mission civilisatriceultimately becomes mired in its own ambiguities. Why? Because, as the CFRresearchers were advocating, America had set itself the aim of achieving “doing good” as an object. Once America came to see “the good” as some “thing” to be attained, it becomes involved in a division from which there is no escape: between the present in which America is not yet in possession of what it seeks; and the future, in which Americans believe they will get what they desire – a future made present by their efforts to eliminate evil.

From the moment that the “idealists” set their values as objectsto be attained, these values lead to delusion and alienation: Since the more one concentrates on the means to attain ‘progress, democracy and liberty’, and the more it becomes an abstract, treated as something to be attained by special military techniques (special forces, drones, etc. — remember Samantha Power, the former self-proclaimed “genocide chick”, “promoting democracy whenever and wherever … at the point of a cruise missile if necessary”), the less ‘real’ it becomes. As it becomes less real, it recedes further into the distance of abstraction, futurity, unattainability. In short, the more one concentrates on the means to one’s mission, the more the means become elaborate and complex, until finally the mere concentration on shaping the world becomes so demanding that all effort must be concentrated on this – and the end loses its true meaning. The conclusion of this early thinker was that “the good” which is preached and exacted by the moralist and idealist, finally – and paradoxically – may become an evil.
It seems from David Remnick’s account that President Obama intuitively grasps this, and is seeking to orient America away from this pursuit of a mission civilisatrice, in favour of a more limited goal of creating the “space” for positive currents to growin their own way. The “idealists” – the humanitarian interventionists – (and of course the neo-conservatives) may never forgive him – they will conclude that he is giving way to the “evil” they believe stands in the way of having something (the mission achieved), which one does not have, and which one must constantly be pursuing until, in effect, it becomes unattainable.

Posted in USA0 Comments

Russia: US using Syria talks for ‘regime change’

NOVANEWS

syrianrebels

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov indicates talks between Moscow and Washington went poorly

Times of Israel

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov lashed out at the United States Friday, accusing it of using Syrian peace talks in Geneva for the sole purpose of “regime change.”

His comments suggested a meeting between senior US and Russian officials in Geneva a day earlier had not gone well.

“The only thing they want to talk about is the establishment of a transitional governing body,” Lavrov said.

“Only after that are they ready to discuss the urgent and most pressing problems, like terrorism,” he added, speaking after meeting with the German foreign minister in Moscow.

A second round of peace talks in Geneva has yielded little more than acrimony. Violence has escalated on the ground and delegates have not agreed on an agenda for the talks. The opposition and its US backers insist the aim of the talks is to agree on a transitional governing body to administer the country until the next elections.

The Syrian government delegation says halting “terrorism” should be the priority, and rules out talk of transition while the violence rages.

On Friday, Brahimi met separately with the Syrian government and opposition delegations.

“Failure is always staring at us in the face,” told reporters on Thursday.

The talks aim to end the conflict which has killed more than 130,000 people and displaced millions in three years.

Lavrov said the Russian-American initiative for the talks in Geneva clearly stated that discussions must not have artificial time constraints or deadlines.

“Now they are saying that to keep talking is senseless, because the government (of Syria) doesn’t want to agree about the makeup of a transitional governing body. We are going in circles,” Lavrov said.

Posted in Russia, Syria, USA0 Comments

These are the terrorists the USA & Saudi Arabia wants to take over in Syria

NOVANEWS
by michaellee2009
ISIL Stones Syrian Girl To Death For Facebook Membership

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stoned to death a young Syrian girl for membership in Facebook social network.

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The ISIL militants took the Syrian girl, Fatoum Al-Jassem, to Al-Reqqa religious  court and the judge ruled that membership in Facebook is tantamount to adultery and sentenced her to death by stoning, the Arabic-language Al-Rai Al-Youm reported.

Also in the past 24 hours, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) announced that all foreign-backed militants who were stationed in Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp in Southern Damascus have withdrawn from the camp.

“The terrorists groups of Al-Nusra Front and Ibn Timieh and Al-Sahaba Battalion have withdrawn from Al-Salasin Street which was their last bastion in Yarmouk camp,” PFLP-GC’s Politbureau Chief Hessam Arafat said.

He noted that a team comprising 50 renowned political figures will enter Yarmouk camp on Wednesday to force the Palestinian armed forces who have occupied the military bases and centers that the foreign-backed terrorists have withdrawn from in a bid to pave the way for implementation of other clauses of the Yarmouk agreement.

Meantime, the foreign-backed militants also withdrew to Al-Rijjeh square in Damascus after the implementation of the national reconciliation agreement in Yarmouk camp.

Elsewhere in the country, the Islamic Front terrorist group held 30 ISIL militants in Deir Ezzur in Eastern Syria. Now the Islamic Front has found an upper-hand in the combat against the rival group, ISIL.

Elsewhere, the ISIL besieged the gathering centers of the Al-Nusra Front and two terrorist groups of Ahrar Al-Sham and Katibeh Al-Qaqa in Eastern Syria. The besieged militants of the Al-Nusra Front have been left with only two options of death or surrendering to the ISIL.

Syria has been experiencing unrest since March 2011 with organized attacks by well-armed terrorists and militants against the Syrian army and civilians across the country.

Thousands of people have been killed since terrorist and armed groups turned protest rallies into armed clashes.

The government blames outlaws, saboteurs, and armed terrorist groups for the deaths, stressing that the unrest is being orchestrated from abroad.

In October 2011, calm was almost restored in most parts of the Arab state after President Assad started a reform initiative in the country, but Israel, the US and its Arab allies brought the country into chaos through every possible means. Tel Aviv, Washington and some Arab capitals have been staging various plots in the hope of increasing unrests in Syria.

The US daily, Washington Post, reported in May, 2012 that the Syrian rebels and terrorist groups battling Assad’s government have received significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, a crime paid for by the Persian Gulf Arab states and coordinated by the United States.

The newspaper, quoting opposition activists and US and foreign officials, reported that Obama administration officials emphasized the administration has expanded contacts with opposition military forces to provide the Persian Gulf nations with assessments of rebel credibility and command-and-control infrastructure.

According to the report, material was being stockpiled in Damascus, in Idlib near the Turkish border and in Zabadani on the Lebanese border.

Opposition activists who several months ago said the rebels were running out of ammunition said in May that the flow of weapons – most bought on the black market in neighboring countries or from elements of the Syrian military in the past – has significantly increased after a decision by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other Persian Gulf states to provide millions of dollars in funding each month

Posted in Saudi Arabia, Syria, USA0 Comments

The US is terrified of Assad’s popularity in Syria.

NOVANEWS

by michaellee2009

Every now and then we have a chance to peek through a tiny window to see how “diplomacy” is done behind closed doors. Last week the leaked conversation between US diplomats plotting the overthrow of Ukraine’s government was one such dramatic moment.

Another came Tuesday, in an interview with Iran’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Ghazanfar Roknabadi, which appeared in the respected Lebanese Daily Star newspaper. In a sweeping interview, the Ambassador discussed the recent bombing of the Iranian embassy in Beirut and the regional threat of the growing number of jihadist groups in Syria.

Then he let loose with this bombshell. Roknabadi told the Daily Star that the Iranian government had been under pressure to convince Syrian president Bashar al-Assad not to run again for president. As Syria’s only regional ally, Iran presumably has a good deal of influence with the Assad government.

Ambassador Roknabadi:

[U.N. Undersecretary-General for Political Affairs Jeffrey] Feltman, during a visit to Iran last summer, asked officials to convince Assad not to run in the elections. The Iranian officials asked him: ‘What’s the problem if he runs,’ to which Feltman responded: ‘If he runs, he will win the elections.’

Feltman is not just any UN bureaucrat. In the revolving door between the UN and US government, he previously served as US Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs from August 2009 to June 2012 and as United States Ambassador to Lebanon from July 2004 to January 2008. Before that he served in post-”liberation” Iraq.

More recently, Feltman was an important cast member in the above-mentioned “Ukraine-gate” phone call between US undersecretary of State Victoria Nuland and US Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. In the Ukraine drama, his former State Department colleagues agreed that Feltman could be trusted to appoint a UN official to “glue” together the deal they were cooking up.

If Ambassador Roknabadi is accurate in his account, this confirms much about the US government’s cynical regime-change ploy in Syria. Not that it is any surprise to those paying attention. It is in keeping with US ambivalence toward actual electoral democracy in those places which it purports to democratize. From Gaza to Egypt to Afghanistan to Libya to Iraq, it seems what US democratization efforts fear most is actual democracy.

No wonder Secretary Kerry keeps desperately clinging to the US misread of the “Geneva I” communiqué, claiming without evidence that it is a regime-change agreement among signatories. Assad must be kept out of the picture, because the US is terrified of his popularity in Syria.

Posted in Syria, USA0 Comments

American Jewish leaders come out in support of Kerry peace effort

NOVANEWS

dershowitz

Haaretz

Over 150 American Jewish leaders sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday expressing strong support for the peace efforts of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and offering their support at “this pivotal moment of decision-making.”

The letter was the initiative of the Israel Policy Forum, a United States-based advocacy organization. The signatories included lawyer Alan Dershowitz, former World Bank president Jim Wolfensohn and historian Deborah Lipstadt, along with many American Jewish philanthropists, business leaders, Democratic political operatives and community leaders.

“We write to express the sentiment of a broad section of the American Jewish community in support of your continued efforts to pursue a negotiated resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on two states for two peoples,” the letter stated.

Describing themselves as “American advocates for a strong, Jewish and democratic Israel,” the signatories wrote that they “believe Secretary Kerrys determined diplomatic effort offers an unprecedented opportunity to ensure Israel’s security, to enhance its prosperity, and to avoid the existential threat to the Jewish state posed by bi-nationalism.”

The letter expressed the hope that “President Mahmoud Abbas will join you in demonstrating leadership to advance these talks. By moving forward at this time, we believe that the Palestinian leadership will be challenged to make important compromises, to end incitement and to demonstrate a genuine preparedness to live in peace alongside the nation-state of the Jewish people.”

Posted in Campaigns, USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

US envoy to UN: ‘I will never give up’ the fight to get I$raHell on UN Security Council

NOVANEWS

un

Samantha  Power tells  American  Jewish Committee’s Board of Governors of need to “chip away” at stereotypes against I$raHell at UN; I$raHell is facing off against Germany and Belgium for 2019 Security Council seat.

Jpost

US permanent representative to the UN Samantha Power reaffirmed her support for normalizing Israel at the UN, saying Israel and its allies need to slowly “chip away” at the stereotypes and prejudice that have been racked up against Israel over the years.

Addressing the American Jewish Committee’s Board of Governors on Monday morning, Power expressed relief that Israel had finally —“finally!” she said — managed to join the Western European and Others Group (WEOG) at the UN in Geneva, giving it a caucusing group. “The question is how do we chip away, and make Israel like any old country at the UN?” she asked. “How do we showcase what Israel has to offer?”

Power pointed to the entrepreneurship resolution in the General Assembly that Israel sponsored and passed with 143 votes, lauding Ambassador Ron Prosor for running the vote and challenging the prejudices that many countries hold against Israel. “It required some countries to take the ideological blinders off, especially for those who just vote no on anything Israel has to offer,” Power said.

“It’s important to remember that more than half of the countries within the UN are not democratic; they’re repressive and they’re looking for alibis, for ways to change the conversation to something that might help them on the street but will do nothing at all for their people,” Power said. “We’re trying to point to the facts and make a strong case that this [supporting initiatives like the entrepreneurship bill] will be good for their people and the UN as a whole.”

Another reason to “chip away” at Israel’s image at the UN is Israel’s upcoming bid for a seat on the 2019-2020 Security Council, for which Israel is facing off against Germany and Belgium, two countries with a bit more clout and a few fewer enemies in the General Assembly. Does Israel actually stand a chance, asked AJC executive director David Harris?

“We strongly support Israel’s candidacy,” Power said, launching into an analogy of how pulling for Israel at the UN is like being a fan of the Boston Red Sox: “Unlike the Yankees fans in the audience, we know what it’s like to be three-nothing and still find a way to pull a rabbit out of a hat,” she said, to some appreciative laughter and applause from the brave Sox fans in the audience.

“This will be challenging,” she continued. “But I will never give up. It’s a long game, but this will be another chip-away moment. We go in, as with all things, seeking the ultimate success.”

Power also addressed the growing boycott, divest, and sanction movement which she said she could see “picking up steam on college campuses.”We will oppose boycott and divesting at every turn,” she said, but added, “I think progress on the peace process — which will be challenging and I think a lot of people wouldn’t have thought we’d get this far — but I think that progress could neuter those campaigns.”

“I with think our success on WEOG, there’s a sense that Israel is negotiating in good faith in this process,” Power said, in response to a question from the audience on the peace process and the view of settlement policies and prisoner releases. “There’s a sense that there’s tremendous American energy behind it. The secretary [of state John Kerry] has a great passion for the cause of peace. Israelis and Palestinians are in the midst of something challenging and monumental.”

Power also touched on the humanitarian situation in Syria, which she called “heartbreaking” and compared in part to the Ethiopian famine, and called out the Russian delegation for blocking event a humanitarian resolution from passing through the Security Council.

Posted in USA, ZIO-NAZI0 Comments

Blacks Being “Screwed” By Immigration Reform

NOVANEWS

A Time to “Break Silence”

After months of a relative lull, immigration policy reform appears to be on the front burner again. With President Obama emphasizing it in his State of the Union Address and Speaker Boehner and the Republican Party leadership adopting Principles, the stage appears to be set for passage of legislation this year. President Obama is “moderately optimistic” that immigration reform will move forward in the coming months. Despite some uneasiness about this issue in Black America, civil rights, labor, faith and political leaders have correctly been among the foremost advocates for immigration reform. So, one would think that recent developments should be a cause for celebration. Well it may be for some but not for me.

In April of last year I penned an article entitled: Will Blacks Get Screwed By Immigration Policy Reform? As a proponent of reform, I wrote the article to emphasize the urgent need to ensure that the interests of people of African descent be protected in the effort to address a critical problem incorrectly identified as a “Latino” issue. I noted that under the guidance of Dr. Waldaba Stewart, Chairman of the Board of the Caribbean Resource Center at Medgar Evers College [Dr. Stewart is the foremost African American expert on immigration policy reform], the Pan African Unity Dialogue (PAUD) in New York spent two years developing a document which identifies key issues of concern to people of African descent and which offers concrete policy proposals. The document embraces comprehensive inclusive, just/equitable and non-discriminatory immigration reform. Put another way, PAUD favors immigration reform which does not “screw” people of African descent in the legislative adoption process.

Against this backdrop, the obvious question is how are the interests of people of African descent faring in this atmosphere of optimism about immigration reform. Regrettably, I am compelled to report that Blacks are getting screwed! Our interests are being violated with little or no visible, vocal, persistent outcry from Black leaders or advocates on this issue. The most blatant example is the gutting of the Diversity Visa Program which provided an opportunity for more than 25,000 continental Africans and Caribbean immigrants to enter the U.S. every year. Frankly, this Program was the absolute minimum our Democratic Party and Latino “allies” should have fought to preserve to ensure the equitable inclusion of people of African descent in immigration reform legislation. But, the Senate bill that was passed some months ago “sacrificed” the Diversity Visa Program with vague assurances that other ways would be found to achieve its goals. There is no indication that I am aware of that the Republican Principles or proposals from the Democrats in the House restore the essence of the Diversity Visa Program.

In a recent conversation with one of Black America’s most prominent Civil Rights leaders, frustration was expressed over the unwillingness of Democratic Party and Latino leaders to fight for the Diversity Visa Program and other measures that would protect the interests of people of African descent. For example, Dr. Waldaba Stewart has warned that care should be taken to protect the interests of Black farmers in the adoption of a Guest Worker Program. He has also suggested that a non-discrimination clause be incorporated into any proposed legislation to make certain that economic benefits do not accrue to some groups while Blacks are left out. A number of Black immigration advocates have demanded provisions that will remedy the disproportionate deportation of people of African descent to the Caribbean – which has had an adverse impact on many nations in this region.

Privately there appears to be significant discontent with the Senate bill and with proposals percolating in the House. Word is that some members of the Congressional Black Caucus are threatening to vote against any bill that does not include the equivalent of a Diversity Visa Program. The problem is that the discontent is private and quiet. People of African descent are getting screwed and the vast majority of Black people have no knowledge that our interests are being trampled as the process of passing immigration reform proceeds.

Why are Blacks being screwed in this process with little or no protest or visible display of opposition? It is primarily because of concerns that if Black leaders and advocates become too vocal it will undermine prospects for adoption of comprehensive reform and alienate our Latino allies. These are legitimate concerns, but the question remains should the sons and daughters of formerly enslaved Africans in America remain silent when our interests are being neglected or sacrificed. The answer should be obvious; within a pluralistic society, groups engage the political process to promote and protect their interests. In fact a clear argument can be made that the Republic Party’s movement on this issue has little to do with “principles.” It’s about their “political interest.” More and more Republicans realize that, like it or not, the Party risks political oblivion unless it can attract more Latino voters. And, it cannot do this while being opposed to immigration reform.

Unlike the Republicans, Black leaders have taken a principled stand that promoting immigration reform is the correct thing to do, and I agree with this position. Africans in America have been in the forefront of promoting and protecting the interests of any group experiencing oppression. That’s part of our tradition as the conscience of this nation. This is why we have every reason to expect the political Party to which we continue to overwhelmingly deliver our vote and allies whom we have supported to reciprocate by vigorously promoting and protecting our interests. And, when they fail to do so, we are not obligated to be quiet. Indeed, we are obligated to break silence and declare to Black America, the nation and the world that the interests of the sons and daughters of Africa in America are being violated. So it must be with immigration policy reform. It’s time to break the silence, to gather ourselves, to end the grumbling in private and speak with a loud, determined and coordinated voice that Blacks are being screwed by immigration policy reform, and it is unacceptable!

Posted in USA0 Comments

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