UN chief Ban alarmed over rising civilian toll in Libya

August 12 2011

UNITED NATIONS: UN leader Ban Ki-moon on Thursday expressed alarm over the rising number of civilian casualties in the Libya conflict, including those inflicted in NATO airstrikes.

Without specifically naming any side, Ban called on “all parties” to use “extreme caution” in the battle, said a UN statement. Ban also stepped up calls for a political solution to the conflict, in which rebels have sought to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi’s four-decade-old regime.

“The secretary general is deeply concerned by reports of the unacceptably large number of civilian casualties as a result of the conflict in Libya,” said the statement.

“The secretary general calls on all parties to exercise extreme caution in their actions, in order to minimize any further loss of civilian life,” it added.

When asked if NATO was included in the message, a UN spokeswoman stressed the “all parties” phrase.

Ban has been a staunch defender of the NATO air campaign against Gaddafi, which began in March.

But the air attacks have drawn harsh criticism from members of the UN Security Council, including Russia, China, Brazil, India and South Africa, who say the action goes beyond UN resolutions on Libya.

UNESCO’s director general Irina Bokova this week branded as “unacceptable” a NATO attack on the Libyan state broadcasting headquarters in which three people died, saying that media should not be targeted.

NATO has insisted that its attacks are in keeping with UN resolutions passed this year which allow military action to protect civilians in Libya.

On Wednesday, Ban spoke with Gaddafi’s prime minister, Baghdadi Mahmudi, to press for the protection of civilians and demand new efforts to find a political solution to the conflict, the United Nations said.

Ban told Mahmudi “he was very troubled that there had been an absolute lack of progress in the efforts to find a politically negotiated solution” to the conflict, it said.

In the latest statement, Ban reaffirmed “his strongly held belief that there can be no military solution to the Libyan crisis.

“A ceasefire that is linked to a political process which would meet the aspirations of the Libyan people is the only viable means to achieving peace and security in Libya.”

He urged Gaddafi and the rebels “to immediately engage” with special UN envoy Abdul Ilah al-Khatib, and “respond concretely and positively to the ideas presented to them, in order to end the bloodshed in the country.”

The former Jordanian foreign minister has spent months shuttling between Tripoli and the rebel base at Benghazi trying to start ceasefire talks between the Gaddafi regime and the rebels’ governing council. Source

There have been at least 3,657–3,914 reported civilians killed by August 9, 2011.

Source Libyan casualties Time period
World Health Organization 2,000 killed February 15 – March 2, 2011
International Federation for Human Rights 3,000 killed February 15 – March 5, 2011
Libyan League for Human Rights 6,000 kille February 15 – March 5, 2011
National Transitional Council 10,000 killed February 15 – April 12, 2011
UN Human Rights Council 10,000–15,000 killed February 15 – June 9, 2011
Al Jazeera English 13,000 killed February 15 – June 18, 2011

The numbers vary. Source

I couldn’t find out how many have been injured. Seems no one is talking about it.

I imagine many thousands have been injured. The truth will come out eventually.

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Published in: on August 12, 2011 at 4:21 am  Comments Off on UN chief Ban alarmed over rising civilian toll in Libya  
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NATO troops kill Again! This time three Afghan women

April 30, 2010

Two women and a girl have been killed and two men injured after Nato troops opened fire on a car in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

Afghanistan’s interior ministry said that the victims were traveling on a highway in Zabul province on Friday when foreign troops opened fire, killing three of the five civilians in the car.

“A foreign forces convoy opened fire on a vehicle coming the other way, thinking they were Taliban,” Zemarai Bashary, the interior ministry spokesman, said.

“Two women and one girl were killed and one other woman was wounded.”

‘Investigation underway’

A spokesman for the Zabul governor said the troops were part of Nato’s US-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and had stopped on the road to defuse a bomb.

“ISAF had to defuse a roadside bomb near a bridge when a small vehicle approached. ISAF told them to stop, fired a warning shot, then shot at the car,” Mohammad Jan Rasul Yar, the spokesman, said.

Eyewitnesses said that the troops, were carrying out house-to-house searches in a village, opened fire first without firing warning shots.

Nick Carter, the ISAF regional commander, said that the military was investigating the allegations but gave no further details.

Friday’s incident is the latest in a long list of civilians mistakenly killed by US-led troops fighting the Taliban.

It comes just weeks after US troops opened fire on a bus in the southern city of Kandahar, the Taliban’s spiritual capital, killing four civilians and sparking angry public protests.

It also comes one day after the French military admitted that its troops accidentally killed four children in eastern Afghanistan on April 6 in a missile attack.  Source

More civilian deaths. They always have an excuse however as feeble as it is they always have one. They of course use the same sorry excuses over and over.

How do you accidentally kill 4 children?  I don’t believe a word they say any more.

Afghans protest after U.S. military kills parliamentarian’s Relatives

April 29 2010

By Dion Nissenbaum

KABUL — Irate demonstrators burned tires and blocked traffic in eastern Afghanistan on Thursday after U.S.-led forces killed an armed relative of an Afghan lawmaker during a night raid on her home, according to military and Afghan officials.

The confrontation was another setback for the American-led military coalition in Afghanistan, which has declared an aim of reducing civilian deaths and winning support from skeptical Afghans as it prepares for a prolonged summer offensive meant to hobble the Taliban.

U.S. Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the head of coalition forces in Afghanistan, has issued a series of orders meant to curtail civilian deaths, which alienate the public and provide fodder for insurgents.

McChrystal recently put new constraints on controversial night raids, requiring Afghan forces to play an integral role and to take the lead when homes are entered.

The American military said Afghan soldiers took part in Wednesday night’s deadly search, but the Afghan family that was caught up in the raid questioned that contention.

“I didn’t see any Afghan forces,” said Shah Fasial Sidiqi, the younger brother of Afghan lawmaker Safiya Sidiqi and one of those whom U.S. forces held for several hours during the raid.

Demonstrators took to the streets in Nangarhar province Thursday as Safiya Sidiqi denounced the U.S. for the raid that killed one of her relatives.

“I was afraid of Taliban, and now I can say the Americans are the enemy of the women of Afghanistan,” she told McClatchy.

Sidiqi wasn’t home when the raid began late Wednesday night at her village in Nangarhar province, east of Kabul.

However, her brother, Shah Fasial Sidiqi, a resident of Canada who’d returned to Afghanistan earlier this week to visit his family, was there when the Americans came looking for a Taliban leader.

He said that more than 80 U.S. soldiers took over the family compound before midnight. The Americans tied up 15 men, women and children and blindfolded the Sidiqi relatives, he said.

The grocery store worker from Toronto said he told the Americans that they were taking over the home of a lawmaker.

“They said, ‘We know,’ ” he told McClatchy on Thursday.

During the search, Safiya Sidiqi said, one of her brothers-in-law emerged from a neighboring house with an old hunting rifle and was shot.

In a statement, U.S. forces said that the man was killed after he took aim at American and Afghan troops who were taking part in the raid. The news release said that intelligence had led them to search the homes for a “Taliban facilitator,” though no arrests were made.

The controversy is the latest to hamper U.S. efforts to win increased support from Afghans.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has long been critical of night raids. Last month, McChrystal imposed tighter rules on the operations.

An Afghan man is “conditioned to respond aggressively in defense of his home and his guests whenever he perceives his home or honor is threatened,” McChrystal said at the time.

“In a similar situation, most of us would do the same,” he said. “This reaction is compounded when our forces invade his home at night, particularly when women are present. Instinctive responses to defend his home and family are sometimes interpreted as insurgent acts, with tragic results.”

The directive was part of an ongoing effort by McChrystal that had some initial success in reducing civilian deaths.

Last year, civilian deaths due to American-led forces and the Afghan government fell by nearly 30 percent, according to a U.N. report this year. Civilian deaths rose 14 percent in 2009 and hit their highest levels of the decade. The U.S. and its allies were responsible for about a quarter of those 2,412 deaths, the U.N. report said.

Since then, the campaign to contain such deaths has had a series of setbacks.

There’s been a dramatic spike in civilian deaths in the first three months of this year. According to military figures, the international coalition and its Afghan allies killed 87 civilians in Afghanistan over that period, a significant jump from the first quarter of 2009, when the coalition said it was responsible for the deaths of 29 Afghan civilians.

American officials said the jump was the result, in part, of accelerated military operations and a flood of new troops into Afghanistan.

Even so, a series of military missteps in recent months has undermined McChrystal’s overriding message.

Earlier this month, the U.S. military apologized for a botched special forces raid in February that killed five civilians, including two pregnant women.

The military was forced to admit responsibility for the deaths after The Times of London questioned the official version of the attack, which suggested that Taliban fighters had killed the women.

Two weeks ago, protesters denounced the United States after American forces in Kandahar killed four civilians when they fired on a bus that was following a military convoy outside the city.

On Thursday, U.S. military officials said they were looking into the latest controversy.

“We are taking Safiya Sidiqi’s allegations seriously and thoroughly reviewing our actions and intelligence connecting the Taliban facilitator to that particular compound,” said U.S. Army Col. Wayne Shanks, the chief of public affairs for the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan.

Shah Fasial Sidiqi criticized the Americans for the raid and said that even if his relative was armed, they shouldn’t have killed him in the murky circumstances.

“This is a shame for America,” he said. “They are worse than the Taliban.”  Source

They should not have raided the home in the first place. Considering they knew who’s home they were raiding. Seems the US doesn’t care who they kill.

“Tied up, gagged and killed” was how NATO described the “gruesome discovery” of three women’s bodies during a night raid in eastern Afghanistan in which several alleged militants were shot dead on Feb. 12.

They lied about that one. Fortunately a reporter found out the truth and NATO finally admitted the crime. NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

NATO, US face backlash over civilian killings in Afghanistan

According to the UN, at least 2,412 Afghan civilians died in fighting in 2009,

The Pentagon’s Fantasy Numbers on Afghan Civilian Deaths

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran has uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war who surrendered were suffocated in containers, shot in the desert. Those who survived  in the containers were shot.

Afghan massacre the convoy of death 50 minutes   Democracy Now aired the film in May  2003

Watch video

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

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UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal

By Joe Sinclair

April 21 2010

A soldier who went absent without leave as he was about to be deployed to Afghanistan lost a Court of Appeal challenge against his nine-month sentence today.

Joe Glenton, from York, who was handed the custodial term and demoted to private from lance corporal after admitting the Awol charge at a court martial last month, was present for the ruling by the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Judge, and two other judges in London.

The military court in Colchester, Essex, heard Glenton was discovered missing on June 11 2007 and was absent for 737 days before handing himself in.

The 27-year-old had performed a seven-month tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2006, serving with the Royal Logistic Corps. The judges heard that he was promoted to lance coroporal because of the “exemplary” way he carried out his duties during that operation.

Glenton, who has so far served 75 days of his sentence, said he suffered from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after his first stint in the war zone.

It was argued on his behalf today that because of a diagnosis of PTSD it had been “wrong in principle” to have imposed an immediate custodial sentence on him. The court was urged to either suspend it or reduce it to allow for his release.

But the judges, sitting in London, ruled that his sentence was neither excessive nor wrong in principle. Source

How sad the Judges are so foolish as to jail a man with PTSD.

This is not a person you want in a war zone under any circumstances either.

Seems to me the judges need to get their act together if this is the way they treat a sick man.

This is how soldiers get treated.  No compassion.

Governments have no problem sending them to kill people, but when soldiers have a problem, just throw them, to the wolves..

When Joe Glenton went Awol, so did compassion

‘Lucky’ Lance Corporal Glenton refused to return to Afghanistan and was branded a coward and a malingerer

By Barbara Ellen

March 7 2010

The word I keep coming across in relation to Lance Corporal Joe Glenton is “lucky”. Glenton, 27, who refused to return to Afghanistan, and went absent without leave for two years, speaking out against the war, has been demoted and sentenced to nine months.

Nine months was also the amount of time between Glenton’s first tour of Afghanistan and when he was ordered back, despite government guidelines of an 18-month gap. Despite also Glenton admitting to losing faith in the conflict, feeling “guilty and useless”, having nightmares about dead serviceman in coffins and generally showing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. After this, Glenton was intimidated, bullied, branded a “coward” and “malingerer”, which, strangely enough, is the point when he went Awol.

The “lucky” bit? That’s because, as related with lip-smacking relish all over the internet, in the olden days Glenton would have been shot for desertion. No namby-pamby concern for a soldier’s state of mind then – just a blindfold and a volley of bullets from a firing squad. “Lucky” Joe Glenton indeed!

Is this the best we can do when our soldiers fall to pieces and run away – not shoot them any more, as we did in their hundreds during the First World War? Indeed, while Glenton’s loss of faith in the conflict doubtless contributed to his distress, this was not the whole story. Even if Glenton had been pro-war, surely his mental fragility would have remained a concern? So would a pro-war Glenton have received a more sympathetic hearing? Does “cowardice” conveniently transform into PTSD when the sufferer is on-message?

The army has to be tough on soldiers going Awol and no one is forced to sign up. However, could young men such as Glenton seriously be expected to know how they are going to handle war? And, if they can’t, even if not on the frontline, how are they “cowards”? My grandfather survived Dunkirk, but did he? PTSD was not diagnosed then, but he returned, by all accounts, “a changed man” with what were then termed “bad nerves” and died in his 40s of a heart attack. Bloody malingerer, eh? And, you wonder, has battle shock changed so much since then? Or do we have sympathy for the distress of servicemen only when the footage is soaked in sepia and broadcast on the History channel?

Certainly it is unjust that, in some quarters, Glenton seems to have been cast almost as a joke figure – the British services answer to Mash‘s Corporal Klinger, who donned dresses and feigned madness to get himself discharged. Or a born-again hippie, placing flowers in the ends of rifles. What a crock. Pro-war, anti-war, the fact is that Glenton felt himself unravelling, appealed for help and received insults and a bollocking instead.

Are we in danger of regressing to a culture of white feathers – with nothing but scorn and judgment for those who “can’t hack it”, for whatever reason, in the war zone? Are our “brave boys” only adored when they are brave by military criteria? Indeed, while the outpourings of grief at Wootton Bassett for the fallen heroes are undeniably moving, one has to wonder, what is the point if people who don’t die physically, but who fall mentally and emotionally, are treated so shabbily?

This is the tragedy of Glenton’s sentencing. Some feel that he has been made an example of because of his anti-war beliefs. However, isn’t he also an example to other servicemen, of what to expect if they dare to succumb to mental fragility? So, sure, Glenton was “luckier” than those deserters who used to be stood against walls and shot, but, by allegedly enlightened 21st century standards, is this anywhere near “lucky” enough? Source

The US is no better.  Those who suffer from war injuries do not get the help they need either

War Veteran Jesse Huff Commits suicide outside VA Hospital

Joe is so far fortunate enough to still be alive to tell his story.

He speaks out against the war.

Well when I look back in time a few things comes to mind.

In Afghanistan, filmmaker Jamie Doran  uncovered evidence of a massacre: Taliban prisoners of war suffocated in containers, shot in the desert and buried in mass graves.  Watch video

The Pentagon’s Fantasy Numbers on Afghan Civilian Deaths

NATO Smears a Truth-Teller in Afghanistan

Two-Thirds of Boys in Afghan Jails Are Brutalised, Study Finds

British officer leaked 8,000 Civilians killed in Afghanistan

(Afghanistan 8) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

Fallen Canadian and British Soldiers Come Home

Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops

Afghanistan: US Troops Guarding the Poppy Fields

Why: War in Iraq and Afghanistan

That is just the tip of the iceburg.

Both wars were based on lies.

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Published in: on April 21, 2010 at 5:27 pm  Comments Off on UK: AWOL soldier, Joe Glenton loses sentence appeal  
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Israel Gags News on Extra-Judicial Killings

April 3 2010

Written by Mel Frykberg

Anat Kam, 23, who used to work for the Israeli news site ‘Walla’, was arrested last December for allegedly copying secret Israeli Defence Force (IDF) documents during her compulsory military service.

These documents outlined how Israeli assassination squads would plan the killing of Palestinian political leaders and fighters months beforehand and then pass their deaths off as ”mishaps” during ”failed” attempts to arrest them.

Uri Blau, a reporter from the daily ‘Haaretz’, then wrote a piece on the copied documents and is refusing to return to Israel from Britain fearing that Israel’s domestic intelligence agency, the Shin Bet, will arrest him if he does.

Due to a military gag order the news has remained suppressed even as Israeli journalists fight the suppression order in court.

The news was broken several days ago by Donald McIntyre from Britain’s ‘Independent’.

The controversy has highlighted Israel’s extra-judicial killings which violate international law and have caused death and injury to thousands of Palestinian civilian bystanders despite the country having no death penalty.

Israel’s judiciary has approved ”targeted killings” but only of militants who were allegedly involved in carrying out or planning armed attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians both within the Palestinian occupied territories and in Israel proper.

The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR) in Gaza says that during the period September 2000 to March 2008, 500 Palestinians suspected of being involved in military resistance to the Israeli occupation were executed.

However, the ”collateral damage” during the assassinations included another 228 civilian bystanders – 77 of them children. Eleven Palestinians have been assassinated in the last two years.

”Israel is using disproportionate force. Civilians are paying the price. In the overwhelming majority of cases the targeted individuals could have been arrested and brought to trial without being killed. Many of them have been killed in cold blood,” Jaber Wishah from PCHR told IPS.

”International law’s right to life says that state authorities are obliged to follow due process when they are in a position to arrest individuals,” says Michael Kerney from the Ramallah-based rights organisation Al Haq which researched and documented many of the killings.

”Everybody is entitled to a fair trial and no state can dismiss this,” Kerney told IPS.

Some of those targeted have included individuals who were ”pardoned” by the Israelis after having agreed to give up armed resistance to the occupation.

Last December three pardoned members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a military offshoot of the Palestinian Authority (PA)-affiliated Fatah movement, were shot dead in Nablus in the northern West Bank following the death of an Israeli settler.

According to their families and the subsequent investigations of human rights organisations they had already surrendered and were unarmed despite Israeli claims that they had refused to surrender.

”By failing to produce any evidence linking the targeted individuals to attacks allegedly committed by members of the Palestinian resistance, as well as failing to utilise peaceful means in order to arrest and detain suspects, the soldiers assumed the role of both judge and executioner,” reported Al Haq.

Furthermore, unarmed Palestinians, who have not been involved either politically or militarily in resisting the occupation, also continue to die in what some have called deliberate premeditated murder.

Several weeks ago four Palestinian teenagers were shot dead amidst dubious circumstances in two separate incidents in the villages of Awarta and Iraq Burin near Nablus.

According to medical reports they were shot at close range with live ammunition after clashes between Palestinian youngsters and Israeli soldiers had broken out.

However, the individuals concerned had not been involved in the clashes according to several investigations carried out by Al Haq, PCHR and Israeli rights group B’tselem.

One was shot in the back and another had a bullet lodged in the back of his skull despite Israeli soldiers saying they had only used non-lethal ammunition.

The Israeli military police declared they would investigate the incidents following contradictory testimony given by the soldiers involved.

However, when IPS visited one of the sites a week later with family members, approximately 20 spent cartridge cases, bloodied gloves, a saline solution kit and other bits of evidence lay on the ground undisturbed.

None of this is new. Israel has a history of assassinating political opponents predating its official establishment.

In 1944, the Israeli terrorist group, the Stern gang, assassinated Britain’s Lord Moyne, the military governor of Egypt, accusing him of interfering with Jewish migration to Palestine.

In 1948, Count Folke Bernadotte – a Swedish diplomat who had secured the release of 15,000 inmates from Nazi concentration camps while he was vice-president of the Swedish Red Cross  was also murdered by the Stern gang.

Stern gang members believed Bernadotte, as the U.N.’s Palestine mediator, to be too sympathetic to the Arabs. Yitzhak Shamir, later to become an Israeli prime minister, was one of the Stern gang’s leaders.

”Since the outbreak of the second Intifada, Israel has increasingly avoided accountability for the serious violations of the human rights of residents of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip for which it is responsible,” says B’tselem.

”This avoidance is seen, in part, in its policy not to open criminal investigations in cases of killing or wounding of Palestinians who were not taking part in the hostilities, except in exceptional cases, and in its enactment of legislation denying, almost completely, the right of Palestinians who were harmed as a result of illegal acts by Israeli security forces to sue for compensation for the damages they suffered.”

Source

Journalist on the run from Israel is hiding in Britain

‘Haaretz’ writer fled to London fearing charges over exposé on Palestinian’s killing

April 2 2010

By Kim Sengupta

An Israeli journalist is in hiding in Britain, The Independent can reveal, over fears that he may face charges in the Jewish state in connection with his investigation into the killing of a Palestinian in the West Bank.

Uri Blau, a reporter at Israel’s liberal newspaper, Haaretz, left town three months ago for Asia and is now in London. Haaretz is understood to be negotiating the terms of his return to Israel with prosecutors, according to an Israeli source, who declined to be identified, because of the sensitivity of the situation.

The news of Mr Blau’s extended absence comes just days after it emerged that another Israeli journalist, Anat Kam, has been held under house arrest for the last three months on charges that she leaked classified documents to the press while completing her military service.

Although no media outlet or journalist has been specifically named as the recipient of the classified information, there is speculation on Israeli blogs that Ms Kam gave documents to Mr Blau that formed the basis of a story he wrote in November 2008.

In his article for Haaretz, Mr Blau reported that one of two Islamic Jihad militants killed in Jenin in June 2007 had been targeted for assassination in apparent violation of a ruling issued six months earlier by Israel’s supreme court. While not outlawing assassinations in the West Bank altogether, the ruling heavily restricted the circumstances in which they were permissible, effectively saying that they should not take place if arrest was possible.

In an unusual move, Israel has placed a gagging order on national media, preventing them from reporting any aspect of the Kam case. Israel’s Channel Ten and Haaretz are expected to challenge this order on 12 April.

According to the court order, Ms Kam, 23, is being held on “espionage” charges. It alleges that she passed classified documents to a male journalist while working as a clerk in the Israel Defence Forces Central Command during her military service.

She was arrested more than a year after Mr Blau’s report, which was cleared by military censors at the time of publication, when she was working for the news service Walla, until recently owned by Haaretz.

Ms Kam denies all the charges. Her trial has reportedly been set for 14 April and she could face a lengthy prison sentence if convicted. Mr Blau did not respond to requests for comment; his friends and colleagues refused to discuss the case in detail.

Dov Alfon, Haaretz’s editor-in-chief, said in an emailed statement: “Haaretz has a 90-year-long tradition of protecting its reporters from government pressures, and Uri Blau is getting all the help we can provide him with.”

The move to gag Israel-based media has sparked fevered debate on Jewish blogs, which have freely reported the story. Bloggers have railed against the blackout, saying it represents a critical challenge to the freedom of the press.

“I do not believe that a citizen can be arrested and tried for suspected security offences right under our noses without anyone knowing anything about it,” wrote former Haaretz editor Hanoch Marmari in an eloquent cri de coeur on the Seventh Eye website.

“Trials do not take place here in darkened dungeons, nor do we have show trials behind glass or chicken wire. I have no doubt that such a strange, terrible and baseless scenario cannot take place in such a sophisticated democracy as our own.” Source

Well Israel never really does an investigation even when settlers kill a Palestinian.  They say they do, but in actuality they do not. That is not new at all. That is standard proceedure.

Israel kills anyone they feel like killing anyone no matter if it is a child or and adult. They kill people quit often.

As a matter of fact they have been killing for years so again this is not new. It is old hat.

As we well know they even go to other countries and kill people. They as we all know use fake passports. That to is standard procedure.

There is no real justice for Palestinians under Israeli law.

Even reporters or others who have been killed in Gaza or the West Bank, do not get a real investigation into their deaths by Israel.  They never have.

Deaths of Palestinians or outsiders are usually swept under the carpet.

Some Democracy. More like no Democracy.

Related

License to kill

By Uri Blau

December 4 2008
The announcement made by the Israel Defense Forces’ spokesman on June 20, 2007 was standard: “Two armed terrorists belonging to the Islamic Jihad terror organization were killed last night during the course of a joint activity of the IDF and a special force of the Border Police in Kafr Dan, northwest of Jenin. The two terrorists, Ziad Subahi Mahmad Malaisha and Ibrahim Ahmed Abd al-Latif Abed, opened fire at the force during its activity. In response the force fired at them, killing the terrorists. On their bodies two M-16 rifles, a pistol and ammunition were found. It was also discovered that the terrorists were involved in planning suicide attacks against the Israeli home front, including the attempt in Rishon Letzion last February.”

The laconic announcement ignores one important detail: Malaisha was a target for assassination. His fate had been decided several months earlier, in the office of then head of Central Command, Yair Naveh. As far as the public was concerned, on the other hand, the last declared assassination carried out by the IDF in the West Bank took place in August 2006; at the end of that year the High Court of Justice set strict criteria regarding the policy of assassinations in the territories.

A Haaretz Magazine investigation reveals for the first time operational discussions in which the fate of wanted men and innocent people was decided, in apparent disregard of the High Court decision. Thus it was revealed that the IDF approved assassination plans in the West Bank even when it would probably have been possible to arrest the wanted men – in contradiction to the State’s statement to the High Court – and that in cold military terminology the most senior IDF echelons approve, in advance and in writing, the harming of innocent Palestinians during the course of assassination operations. Moreover, it turns out that the assassination of a target the defense establishment called part of a “ticking infrastructure” was postponed, because it had been scheduled to take place during the visit of a senior U.S. official.

Leading legal experts who were asked to react to the documents say that the IDF is operating in contradiction to a High Court ruling. “Morality is a very difficult issue,” Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer of Hebrew Univeristy said. “The thought that there are people who sit behind a desk and determine that someone is fated to die is a frightening thought.”

Another two killings

(at most)

The IDF spokesman refuses to provide precise figures about the number of targeted assassinations carried out since the start of the intifada in 2000: “The subject of preventive strikes is concentrated in the hands of the Shin Bet [security service].” A spokesman for the Shin Bet stated that the organization “does not publish data of this kind.” According to the human-rights organization B’Tselem, the IDF assassinated 232 Palestinians between the start of the intifada and the end of October 2008, in operations that also killed 154 non-targeted civilians.

The most common code names for assassination operations are the acronyms Pa’amon (peula mona’at – preventive action) and Sakum (sikul mimukad – targeted assassination). During the past two and a half years the IDF has not announced the carrying out of assassinations in the West Bank, and when wanted men were killed there, the official reports stated that these were “arrest operations” or “exchanges of fire.” This was also reported in regard to the killing of Abed and Malaisha – who has now been revealed as a previous target for assassination.

On March 28, 2007 a representative of the Shin Bet, a representative of the Special Police Unit Yamam and several officers from Central Command convened in Naveh’s office. On the agenda was the Two Towers operation (the strike at Malaisha). “The mission” said the head of the command, “is arrest,” but “in case identification is made of one of the leaders of Palestinian Islamic Jihad: Walid Obeidi, Ziad Malaisha, Adham Yunis, there is permission for the force to intercept them, and that is according to the situation assessment in the course of carrying out the mission.” Naveh did not allow an assassination if there were women or children near the wanted man, and explained that, “in the event that there are women and children in the vehicle, the method is arrest.”

On April 12 Naveh convened another meeting about Malaisha. This time he decided that permission would be granted to carry out the assassination of the target and “another two people at most.” On the day of the meeting in Naveh’s office another discussion took place, chaired by the head of the Operations Directorate, Brig. Gen. Sami Turjeman. At the meeting, the plans for a preventive operation against Malaisha were presented, and the head of the Operations Directorate explained that “a preventive strike in Ayush [Judea and Samaria] is an exceptional sight … It could be seen as an attempt to damage the attempts to stabilize, which means that it requires sensitivity to causing a minimum of collateral damage. Everything possible must be done to prevent harm to those who are uninvolved.” The target of the operation, he added “leads a ‘ticking’ infrastructure and meets the required criteria for a preventive strike.”

At this point Turjeman spelled out the conditions of Malaisha’s incrimination, and ruled that only if they existed would the targeted assassination get a green light. He added that no more than five people (including the driver) should be assassinated in the operation. Turjeman approved the operation even if there should be one unidentified person in the car. Regarding the matter of timing, he said that “in light of the anticipated diplomatic events, the prime minister’s meeting with Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] and the visit of the U.S. Secretary of Defense, I recommend … implementation afterward.” In the discussion Turjeman also referred to the High Court ruling about appointing a committee whose job would be to examine targeted assassinations after the fact, and said that in light of the High Court instructions on the matter, the operation should be documented.

The next day the operation was brought up for the approval of Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi. A limited number of senior officers convened in his office, including his deputy, the head of the Operations Directorate, the head of the Operations Brigade, the chief military prosecutor, a representative of Central Command and a representative of the Shin Bet. The paper summing up the meeting says that Ashkenazi “emphasized that due to the High Court orders regarding the establishment of a professional committee on targeted assassinations, the composition of the committee should be agreed on with the Shin Bet as soon as possible.”

Although Malaisha was defined as part of a “ticking infrastructure,” Ashkenazi too was disturbed by the timing of the action and said that “in light of the diplomatic meetings anticipated during the course of the week, the date of implementation should be reconsidered.” Ashkenazi prohibited attacking the vehicle in which Malaisha was traveling if it was discovered that there was “more than one unidentified passenger” in it.

Two months after the Two Towers plan was approved, and long after the diplomatic visits and meetings that took place in the second week of April 2007, came the operation in which Malaisha was killed in the Jenin area.

Legal approval

At the beginning of 2002, attorneys Avigdor Feldman and Michael Sfard petitioned the High Court of Justice against the policy of targeted assassinations on behalf of the Public Committee against Torture in Israel and the Al-Haq organization. Almost five years later, on December 14, 2006, the president of the Supreme Court at the time, Justice Aharon Barak, issued his decision. Barak, with the concurrence of Justices Dorit Beinisch (now the president of the Supreme Court) and Eliezer Rivlin, rejected the petition and did not rule out the legality of targeted assassinations in the territories.

“We cannot determine that every targeted preemption strike is forbidden under international law, just as we cannot determine that every targeted preemption is permissible under international law,” Barak wrote in the last judgment he published in his 28 years on the Supreme Court.

According to the High Court ruling, well-founded and convincing information is necessary in order to classify a civilian as being part of a group of civilians who are carrying out hostile acts; a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to use less damaging methods against him; and he should not be harmed more than necessary for security needs. In other words, a person should not be assassinated if it is possible to arrest him, interrogate him and indict him. However, if the arrest involves serious danger to the lives of the soldiers, there is no need to use this means; after every assassination a thorough and independent examination must be conducted regarding the degree of precision, the identity of the man as a terror activist, and in the case of mistaken identity, the payment of compensation should be considered; harm to innocent civilians should be avoided as much as possible during an assassination, and “harm to innocent civilians will be legal only if it meets the demands of proportionality,” ruled Barak.

In this context, Barak gave an example according to which “it is possible to fire at a terrorist who is firing from the balcony of his home at soldiers or civilians, even if as a result an innocent bystander is liable to be hit. Such a strike at an innocent civilian will meet the demands of proportionality. That is not the case if the house is bombed from the air and dozens of its residents and bystanders are hit.”

Barak stated that, “The struggle against terror has turned our democracy into a ‘defensive democracy’ or a ‘fighting democracy.’ However, this struggle must not overturn the democratic nature of our regime.”

According to B’Tselem, since the ruling regarding targeted assassinations was handed down, 19 Palestinians who were targets of assassination have been killed in the territories, and 36 Palestinians who were close to the targets were hit in the course of IDF operations, all of them in the Gaza Strip.

“It turns out that in total contradiction to the High Court ruling, there are cases in which there is an order to assassinate someone when it is possible to arrest him,” says David Kretchmer, a professor of international law. “Advance approval to kill civilians who do not take part in hostile activities makes things even worse. The principle of proportionality, to the effect that if one strikes at a military target an accompanying strike against civilians will not be illegal, does not apply in a case when the attack itself is illegal – for example, in a case where there is an obligation, according to the High Court ruling, to arrest the suspect.”

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer: “According to the High Court ruling it is clear that where it is possible to carry out an arrest, we must carry out an arrest and avoid what is called a ‘targeted assassination’ and which I call ‘preventive killing.’ A substantial part of Judea and Samaria is under the effective rule of the IDF, and in my opinion, in such an area preventive killing must be ruled out. The limited interpretation that I am suggesting for the international law is that an attack must take place in the course of that person’s participation in a dangerous action, because then you are in effect acting in self-defense based on the situation taking place.”

Legal commentator Moshe Negbi: “‘Unidentified people’ can also be totally innocent and you are ostensibly giving a license to kill here. The problem is previous knowledge, because usually when we refer to collateral damage we are referring to ‘after the fact,’ but here this is almost certain foreknowledge. It is very problematic that permission is given to execute an innocent man deliberately. The question is whether it is proportional. I think that the High Court was referring to a situation where perhaps among a mass of people there is one who is innocent, but here it is one on one. It is very grave to grant permission when you know ahead of time that 50 percent of those you are hitting are innocent. Such a thing must certainly be discussed at the level of the attorney general and it certainly must be known to the public and undergo public criticism, if only so that anyone who thinks it is patently illegal can turn to the High Court.”

Regarding the fact that assassinations can wait until the conclusion of diplomatic meetings, Kretchmer says: “Postponing an operation for diplomatic reasons is unequivocal proof of the fact that this is not a ‘ticking bomb’ situation.” Kremnitzer adds: “According to my legal understanding, these cases [targeted assassinations] must be cases in which you must act immediately, and if it is not a matter of an immediate need, in my opinion it is against the law.”

Although almost two years have passed since the High Court ruling, a committee to examine the assassinations after the fact has yet to be appointed. Last week Aviad Glickman published on Ynet (the website of the mass circulation paper Yedioth Ahronoth) that Attorney General Menachem Mazuz had turned to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert demanding the establishment of such a committee as soon as possible. “This step must be completed without further delay,” wrote Mazuz, “for fear that a continued delay is liable to constitute contempt of court.”

The bad guys

Yair Naveh, who served as head of Central Command from 2005 to 2007, confirms that occasionally, there is no genuine attempt to arrest wanted men. “If the guy doesn’t put his hands up we don’t get into stories, we immediately establish contact. I don’t want to have people hurt for no reason. If I know that the guy is armed and is a ticking bomb, then I want him to be hit immediately without fooling around. It’s not the preventive action procedure, it’s an entirely different story.

“In my time there were no targeted assassinations. Not a single one, as far as I recall. In principle, there were no targeted assassinations in Central Command and none were approved. What I did have was an ability to reach all of [the wanted men]; therefore there is no reason for a targeted assassination. It is relevant only when you can’t reach someone, but if you can reach him and arrest him at night or have an exchange of fire with him, then it is not a targeted assassination.”

Is it possible that programs were approved and in the end were not carried out?

“No. In principle there was no such thing during my time, because in every operation there were special forces that had to arrive and arrest the guy. To tell the truth, in some places we knew a priori that there would be firing. If you know that you are operating against Islamic Jihad or against Hamasniks or even against some of the jokers who were in the Casbah, then it was clear to me that there would be engagement.”

In the approval of the March 2007 plan regarding Ziad Malaisha you said the mission was arrest, but if one of the leaders of Islamic Jihad was identified, the force had permission to carry out interception. What is that if not targeted assassination?

“Those are guys for whom we received basic confirmation that they are ticking bombs. Those are guys that if we had contact with them, because we knew in advance that they were armed, the default choice was not to start calling on them to halt and then to see whether or not they fled, but right from the start, if they didn’t put up their hands and throw away their weapons, then we engaged with them. That’s not because they had to be killed. It’s also because they are both ticking bombs and armed. That’s the assumption.”

That is semantics. You gave permission to fire at them from the moment they were identified.

“If they don’t put up their hands right at the start. You arrive, shout ‘IDF, hands up!’ You surround them. If the guys don’t put up their hands, then you don’t wait to close in on them, to make a declaration. If you receive confirmation that the guys have received all the relevant approvals, then we say, ‘Friends, I don’t want you to get into a pressure cooker here’ [methods used by the IDF to make someone give himself up]. If they don’t surrender immediately then you immediately engage them, so that you won’t be hurt. That’s the story. It’s not a targeted assassination, where you are approving their execution even if they put up their hands.”

The approval you gave the forces states that if there are women and children, there is to be an arrest. In other words, it would have been possible to arrest them.

“That means that if there are women and children we assume another risk and tell the guys that if they fire at you and begin to flee you don’t begin to exchange fire, but you try to stop the vehicle by shooting at the tires.”

The Operations Directorate approval in the case of Malaisha states that this is a preventive action operation.

“If it was approved as preventive action, that is, as a target for assassination, it’s a different story.”

But then it contradicts the High Court orders to the effect that Israel controls the area and approval of the plan includes the option of arrest.

“Don’t bother me with the High Court orders, I don’t know when there were High Court orders and when there weren’t. I know that a targeted assassination is approved and there is a preventive action procedure and I receive instructions from the Operations Directorate.”

What is the difference between the preventive action procedure and people that you give permission to fire at if they are identified?

“The difference is language. You say ‘Hands up. If not, I’m opening fire,’ and here I don’t say anything and drop a bomb from a plane.”

In the instructions there is no mention of the arrest option, and permission is given to fire if there is identification of a wanted man.

“I’m not familiar with such a document.”

Why in the approvals for targeted assassination is permission given in advance to harm unidentified people?

“Weren’t there people in the Shahadeh case? [Fatah leader Mohammed Shahadeh was assassinated by Hamas in October 2006]. But those aren’t questions that you should ask me. What is approved as preventive action goes through approvals all the way to the prime minister, and what is decided is decided. Usually these guys hung around with bad guys, not good guys.”

Linguistic innovations

In the State’s reply to the High Court, prior to its ruling, it was claimed that carrying out a targeted assassination is “an exceptional step” that is taken “only when there is no other, less severe way of implementing it … In the context of these strict instructions it was decided that when there are realistic alternatives to the action, such as arrest, these alternatives should be used.”

But the most noticeable thing the High Court ruling changed regarding the assassinations is the language used by the IDF in planning them. On December 13, 2006, a day before the High Court ruling was handed down, wanted man Muhammed Ramaha was killed in the Ein Beit Ilma refugee camp in the Nablus area. According to the IDF spokesman’s report to the media at the time, Ramaha was killed in the course of a joint “arrest operation” of the IDF, the Shin Bet and the Yamam police unit.

Now it turns out that Ramaha’s fate had been sealed a month earlier, when the Central Command conducted a discussion on an operation planned by the IDF’s Maglan special operations unit in the Nablus area. Those in attendance were presented with orders from Maj. Gen. Naveh, who ruled that the armed men walking around the area were connected to Mohammed Ramaha’s unit and “should be attacked.” There was no option offered of trying to arrest the members of the squad, and conditions for opening fire were the identification of two armed men, “conspiratorial” activity involving at least one armed man, or “when an indication is given” of the presence of Ramaha in the squad. As mentioned, a month after the discussion Ramaha was killed.

The Maglan soldiers were also the ones who carried out an operation on November 8, 2006 that ended in the killing of five Palestinians, two of them unarmed. The IDF, as usual, did not present it as an assassination mission, but it turns out that the force’s assignment was “to sneak into the center of the village, up to the observation point overlooking the killing area that had been designated in advance, to lie in ambush for armed terrorists and to hit them at short range.”

Another example: At the end of September 2006 the then head of the Operations Directorate, Maj. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot (today GOC Northern Command), conducted a discussion in which approval was given to assassinate a Fatah member – an expert on the production of explosives belts – in the Nablus area. “The Time For Chaos Has Arrived” was the name of this operation, in which the major general approved attacking the man “in the context of the procedure of targeted assassination of important figures in light of the fact that he is a ‘ticking bomb.'” As opposed to operations planned after the High Court ruling, where there are specific instructions regarding conditions in which the action should not be carried out, in this case the only instructions were “to try to refrain insofar as possible from harming innocent people.”

“Apparently what happened in the wake of the High Court ruling is mainly ‘word laundering,'” says Kretchmer. “In other words, the use of words referring to arrest when in fact there is no real intention of carrying out an arrest, but the reference is to assassination.” Sfard says that, “whoever gave the IDF a permit to execute civilians without trial should not be surprised when the death squads it has created do not adhere to the few restrictions imposed on this policy. It’s a natural, logical and inevitable process of moral deterioration involved in assassinations.”

A military source said that the first years of the intifada were “a period lacking order. They fired at just about anything that moved.” He says that in recent years, especially after the High Court ruling, the procedure in Central Command and the Operations Directorate is somewhat different, one reason being that representatives of the Military Prosecutor’s Office “are breathing down their necks.” As for the importance attributed by the army to the country’s image and to the timing of its activity, the source said, not without a degree of cynicism, that “the criteria for a ‘ticking bomb’ change if Condoleezza Rice is in the country.”

An investigation by Haaretz indicates that IDF operations that are defined in advance as arrest operations rather than assassination operations do for the most part end in arrest. However, there is something disturbing about the fact that when it comes to the plan to arrest a Palestinian, the commander in charge of the operation sometimes feels a need to explain that this is not an assassination assignment and that the wanted man should be brought back alive. For example, in an operation planned last May for the arrest of a Fatah activist in Bethlehem, the GOC Central Command explained to the commander of the Duvdevan undercover commando unit that “the mission is arrest rather than killing.” And in fact, that activist was arrested alive. In the same operation, incidentally, it was explained to the forces that “there is no permission to behave aggressively toward foreign media crews.”

When Naveh was asked why he occasionally told the forces that the wanted men be brought back alive, which should ostensibly be obvious, he explained: “That means that I am exposing our forces to additional risk, and even if he opens fire, they do not kill him immediately but try nevertheless to arrest him.” It also turns out that the presence of children is not always an excuse to cancel military operations. At the end of March 2007, the chief of staff allowed Duvdevan to carry out the arrest of a wanted man during the birthday party of one of his children. The name chosen by the IDF for this action was Kindergarten Party.

Source

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Israeli Military Investigator Admits Failures in the Military Investigation of Rachel Corrie’s Killing

March 17, 2010

Today March 17, 2010 the Haifa District Court saw a fourth day of testimony in the civil lawsuit filed by Rachel Corrie’s family against the State of Israel for her unlawful killing in Rafah, Gaza. Rachel Corrie, an American human rights defender from Olympia, Washington, was crushed to death on March 16, 2003 by a Caterpillar D9R bulldozer. She had been nonviolently demonstrating against Palestinian home demolitions with fellow members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct action methods and principles.

An Israeli military police investigator, who was part of the team that investigated Rachel’s killing, testified today. In his testimony he stated that:

  • He never inspected the site where the killing occurred; nor did he ever sit inside the D9 bulldozer to see for himself the view the driver had and what the field of vision was.
  • He admitted that the Israeli military’s D9 bulldozer regulations state that the D9s should not be operated with civilians in close proximity. He failed to question the bulldozer driver about these regulations or make them part of the military police investigation file.
  • He received a court order authorizing Rachel’s autopsy under the condition that an official from the U.S. Embassy be present, and at the time informed the court that the condition would be upheld. Subsequently, he made no effort to ensure that this condition was upheld, nor does he know if anyone else did, stating he did not consider the follow-up his responsibility. He also failed to forward the final autopsy report to the court, even though this was required, stating that his commander did not require him to do so and that he simply “did not pay attention” to the court order. Dr. Hiss ultimately performed the autopsy without an American Embassy official present.
  • To his knowledge, no ISM member was arrested the afternoon of March 16 for interfering with Israeli military activities.

American eyewitness Gregory Schnabel, the fourth and last eye-witness called to testify, also testified today, providing his account of the killing of Ms. Corrie. Gregory testified that he saw Rachel climb to the top of the pile of dirt being pushed by the bulldozer and that she was visible to the driver. He also testified that a bulldozer had come close to himself and another ISM member that afternoon, stopping just short of hitting them, which led him to believe that the demonstrators were visible to the driver.

The trial will resume on Sunday, March 21, 2010, at 9 a.m. at the district court in Haifa.

Source

I guess one shouldn’t be bulldozing down a house with children in it either. The very children Rachel was trying to protect. Yes there were children in that home the bulldozer was going to destroy.

Seems there was no real investigation done what so ever.

Click here to view the trial updates page on the Rachel Corrie Foundation website.

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Published in: on March 19, 2010 at 8:35 pm  Comments Off on Israeli Military Investigator Admits Failures in the Military Investigation of Rachel Corrie’s Killing  
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Suppressed History: The Genocide at Vinnitsa/Ukraine Genocide

December 20 2009

Thousands of Gentile victims to the barbarity of Jewish Communists were unearthed at the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, yet not a word about this genocide is ever breathed by the Jewish-controlled mainstream media in the US. Only Jews can be seen as victims — and never, ever as the perpetrator:

The Genocide at Vinnitsa

By Dr. William Pierce
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RAM, MP3

We spoke a few weeks ago about the mass murder of the leadership stratum of the Polish nation by the Soviet secret police in the Katyn Forest in April 1940. We discussed that genocidal atrocity in the light of the ongoing Jewish campaign to portray Jews as the principal victims of the Second World War and to collect reparations from the rest of the world today. A good deal of interest in that broadcast was expressed by listeners, many of whom had not been acquainted previously with the facts of the Katyn atrocity. Today I will explore this general subject further. I will tell you about the fate of the Ukrainian nation at the hands of the Soviet secret police.

In 1943 Germany was at war against the Soviet Union. Twenty-five years earlier, at the end of the First World War, when communist revolutionaries were attempting to take over Germany, Adolf Hitler had sworn to devote his life to fighting communism. He was only a corporal at the time, recuperating from his war wounds in a military hospital, but 15 years later, in 1933, he became chancellor of Germany, and in 1941 his army invaded the Soviet Union with the aim of destroying Soviet communism. The German Army pushed far into the Soviet empire and liberated all of Ukraine from the communists.

In May 1943 units of the German Army were stationed in the Ukrainian city of Vinnitsa, a community of 100,000 persons in a primarily agricultural district. Ukrainian officials in Vinnitsa told the Germans that five years earlier the NKVD — the Soviet secret police, very similar to our FBI — had buried the bodies of a number of executed political prisoners in a city park. The Germans investigated, and within a month they had dug up 9,439 corpses from a number of mass graves in the park and a nearby orchard.

Unlike the Poles murdered in the Katyn Forest, all of these bodies found at Vinnitsa were those of civilians, most of them Ukrainian farmers or workers. The bodies of the men all had their hands tied behind their backs, like the Polish officers at Katyn. Although the men’s bodies were clothed, the bodies of a number of young women were naked. All of the victims had been shot in the back of the neck with a .22 caliber pistol, the trademark of the NKVD executioners.

The Germans called in an international team of forensic pathologists to examine the bodies and the mass graves. The international team, which included pathologists from Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Sweden, as well as from several countries allied with Germany, examined 95 mass graves and conducted a number of autopsies.

Including the autopsies already performed by Ukrainian medical personnel in Vinnitsa, 1,670 of the corpses were examined in detail. The identities of 679 of them were established either through documents found in their clothes or through recognition by relatives, who flocked to Vinnitsa from the surrounding countryside when they heard that the graves had been uncovered.

The authorities estimated that in addition to the 9,439 bodies exhumed, there were another 3,000 still in unopened mass graves in the same area. The international team concluded that all of the victims had been killed about five years earlier — that is, in 1938. Relatives of the victims who were identified all testified that the victims had been arrested by the NKVD in 1937 and 1938. The relatives had been told that those arrested were “enemies of the people” and would be sent to Siberia for 10 years. None of the relatives had any idea what the reason was for the arrests and testified that those arrested had committed no crimes and were engaged in no political activity. As I said earlier, nearly all of the victims were farmers or workers, although there were a few priests and civil servants among them.

By interviewing a large number of people who had some knowledge of what had happened in Vinnitsa and the surrounding region in 1938, the Germans were able to piece together the following picture. In 1937 and 1938 gangs of the NKVD’s jackbooted thugs roamed the villages and towns of Ukraine, arresting people in a pattern that seemed almost random to observers. One victim’s wife reported that as the NKVD goons dragged her husband away they said only, “Hey, you dog! You’ve lived too long.” Other observers thought they saw a pattern. A Ukrainian who was renting a part of his house to a Jewish lawyer refused to sell the whole house to the Jew when he offered to buy it at an unreasonably low price. A few weeks later the Ukrainian homeowner was arrested by the NKVD. Another Ukrainian who had threatened to beat up a minor communist functionary who made a crude pass at his sister was arrested shortly thereafter. It seemed that many of the arrests were the settling of personal scores and that anyone who had crossed a Jew was especially likely to be arrested.

All of this was nothing new for Ukrainians. They had borne the brunt of the communization the Soviet Union for nearly two decades. Ukraine was primarily an agricultural nation, a nation of farmers and villagers, and as such was regarded with suspicion by the Jews and the urban rabble who filled the ranks of the Communist Party. The communists championed the urban workers, but they wasted no love on farmers and villagers, who tended to be too independent and self-sufficient for communist tastes.

During the civil war which followed the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Ukrainians wanted to opt out. Ukrainian nationalists wanted no part of the Soviet Union. In 1921 and 1922 the Red Army occupied Vinnitsa, and Ukrainians were butchered wholesale by the Reds in order to kill the Ukrainian nationalist spirit. The craving for Ukrainian independence nevertheless kept flaring up, and further massacres followed, notably in 1928.

Ukraine was the stronghold of the kulaks, the independent farmers and small landowners, always regarded with special hatred by the communist bosses. Stalin gave the job of exterminating the kulaks to his right-hand man in the Kremlin, Lazar Moiseivich Kaganovich, known later as the “Butcher of Ukraine.” Kaganovich, the most powerful Jew in the Soviet Union, supervised the collectivization of Ukrainian farms, beginning in 1929. To break the spirit of the kulaks, the Ukraine was subjected to an artificial famine. The NKVD and Red Army troops went from farm to farm, confiscating crops and livestock. The farmers were told that the food was needed for the workers in the cities. None was left for the farmers. And in 1933 and 1934 seven million Ukrainians died of starvation, while Kaganovich watched and gloated from the Kremlin.

Perhaps in 1937 and 1938 the bosses in the Kremlin simply thought that it was time to apply the lash to the Ukrainians again. In any event, the NKVD was given the task this time. The NKVD was even more Jewish than the rest of the Soviet communist apparatus.

The commissar of the NKVD until September 1936 had been the Jew Genrikh Yagoda, and he had staffed his instrument of terror and repression with Jews at every level. And those who were not Jews were the worst sort of Russian and Ukrainian rabble, the resentful louts and ne’er-do-wells who saw in communism a way to get even with their betters. In any event, the Ukrainians were fully aware of the preponderance of Jews in the secret police, and they suspected that there was a Jewish angle to the pattern of arrests in 1937 and 1938. And indeed, it did seem as if the Talmudic injunction to “kill the best of the Gentiles” were being followed, for those who were arrested seemed to be the most solid, the steadiest, the most reliable and irreproachable of the Ukrainians.

Thirty thousand were arrested in the Vinnitsa region alone, and most of these eventually were sent to the NKVD prison in the city of Vinnitsa. This prison had a normal capacity of 2,000 prisoners, but during 1937 and 1938 it was packed most of the time with more than 18,000 prisoners. Throughout much of 1938 a few dozen prisoners were taken from the prison each night and driven to a nearby NKVD motor pool area. There their hands were tied behind their backs and they were led, one at a time, a few hundred feet to a concrete slab in front of a garage. The slab was used for washing vehicles, and it had a drain at one side with an iron grating over it. Just as the prisoners reached the edge of the slab they were shot in the back of the neck, so that when they fell onto the concrete their blood would run into the drain. This was what the NKVD men jokingly called “mokrii rabota” — “wet work” — and they had had plenty of experience at “wet work.” A truck parked next to the slab kept its engine racing so that the noise of the engine would cover the sound of the shots. While the next prisoner was being led up, a couple of NKVD men would throw the corpse of the previous prisoner into the truck. When the night’s quota of victims had been murdered the truck would drive off with its load of corpses to the fenced-in park or to the nearby orchard, where new graves already were waiting. And this “wet work” went on night after night, month after month.

So why is this gruesome story important to us now? After all, this massacre of Ukrainians in Vinnitsa took place 60 years ago. I’ll tell you why it’s still important to us, aside from the fact that these Ukrainians were our people, our kinfolk, part of our race.

First, you might ask yourself why you have never before heard about Vinnitsa, and I’m sure that’s the case for about 99 per cent of our listeners. Of course, Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote about what happened at Vinnitsa, in the third volume of his Gulag Archipelago, but you’re not likely to find that in the rack at the checkout counter. And Ukrainians and Germans have written about it, although for the most part their writings have never been published in English, because publishers in this country understand that it would be Politically Incorrect to publish anything about Vinnitsa. Much better that people just forget about it.

Isn’t that odd, though, when we continually hear so much about Auschwitz? Isn’t it odd that when Jewish groups are using their political influence to have laws passed in a number of states requiring high school students to take courses about the so-called “Holocaust,” what happened at Katyn or at Vinnitsa is never mentioned in high school? The excuse given for requiring students to study the so-called “Holocaust” is that it was the greatest crime in history, and we should know about it so that we won’t repeat it. But then why shouldn’t we learn about Katyn and Vinnitsa and Dresden and a thousand other atrocities where our people were the victims, and so the lesson should be even more pertinent for us?

You know, I’m not trying to be cute about this. We all know the answers to these questions, but I just want you to think about their significance. To them, Auschwitz is important because Jews died there, and Vinnitsa is not important, because only Gentiles were killed there. The Jewish media bosses keep rubbing our noses in Auschwitz, because they want us to feel guilty, they want us to feel that we owe the Jews something for letting it happen. The Jewish media bosses never mention Vinnitsa because Jews were the guilty ones there. Besides, they make a lot of money by promoting the “Holocaust.” It’s certainly not going to help their profits to divide the attention and the sympathy of the American public between Auschwitz and Vinnitsa. And it’s certainly not going to help their effort to extort billions of dollars in “Holocaust” reparations from the Swiss and from everyone else to admit their own guilt at Katyn and Vinnitsa.

Think about it! If Poles controlled the news and entertainment media in America, we’d hear a great deal more about Katyn, I suspect. If Germans controlled our media we’d hear much more about the terror bombing of Dresden. And if Ukrainians controlled our media, every high school student would know about Vinnitsa. But it’s the Jews who control our media, and so all we hear about is Auschwitz: never even a whisper about Vinnitsa. That’s important. We ought to be concerned about that. We ought to be concerned whenever any part of our history is suppressed, is hidden from us. We ought to find out why. It might help us to make sure that what happened to us at Vinnitsa never happens to us again.

I’m sure that you’ve all heard the maxim that the best defense is a strong offense. Do you remember the persecution all through the 1980s of John Demjanjuk, the retired Cleveland auto worker whom the Jews accused of being “Ivan the Terrible”? John Demjanjuk* is a Ukrainian who came to America after the Second World War. In 1978 the Jews made a big hullabaloo about Demjanjuk being a guard in a German prison camp during the war, and the U.S. government obediently hauled him to court and stripped him of his citizenship. Then he was handed over to the Jews for crucifixion and deported to Israel. The mass media in America were full of sensational stories for 15 years about Ivan the Terrible and how the Ukrainians had helped the Germans persecute the poor, innocent Jews. Unfortunately, this strategy worked for the Jews. The Ukrainians kept their heads down instead of raising the issue of Vinnitsa. Of course, even if they had begun trying to tell Americans about Vinnitsa or about what Kaganovich had done to the Ukrainian kulaks, who would have heard them? Ukrainians don’t own the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, Time magazine, Newsweek magazine, or U.S. News & World Report. The Jews own all of those media. And the Ukrainians don’t own Hollywood, so they can’t make movie dramas about Vinnitsa either, like Steven Spielberg does about the so-called “Holocaust.”

The crux of this matter is that the Jews have been getting away with presenting a grossly distorted version of history to us, a version in which they are the completely innocent victims, and our people, the Ukrainians and Poles and Germans are the bad guys who have been persecuting the poor Jews for no reason at all. They’ve been pumping out this propaganda in concert, consciously and deliberately, without a single major medium under their control deviating from their party line. And people try to tell me that, well, the Jews may control the media, but they don’t conspire with each other. Baloney!

And because they’ve been getting away with giving us a falsified version of history, they’ve been able to change America’s foreign and domestic policies in directions to suit themselves, to our enormous disadvantage. Everything which has happened in the Middle East, for example, since the Second World War is based on this false history.

More than that, everything that has happened in Europe since the murder of 12,000 Ukrainians at Vinnitsa in 1938 has been based on the Jews’ power to control what we learn about our history, about what is happening and has happened in the world around us. The U.S. government allied itself with the Soviet government in 1941 for the purpose of destroying Germany. The communists were presented to the American public as the good guys, as worthy allies, and the Germans were presented as the bad guys. And the American public bought that lie because they didn’t know about Vinnitsa or about a thousand other atrocities committed against our people by the communists.

When the Germans brought in the international commission to examine the graves in Vinnitsa in 1943, the Jew-controlled media kept the news from the American people, just the way they kept the news about the Katyn Forest genocide away from the American people. And because of this, there was no real opposition to turning half of Europe over to the communists at the end of the Second World War.

If Katyn and Vinnitsa had been publicized, so that every American voter knew in detail what the NKVD had done at Katyn and at Vinnitsa, the politicians in Washington never would have been able to get away with turning the Poles and the Hungarians and the Rumanians and the Bulgarians and the Croats and the Serbs and the Czechs and the Slovaks and the Baltic peoples and all of the Germans in the eastern part of Germany over to these communist butchers. The politicians in Washington got away with this not just because they were in the pockets of the Jews, but because the American people weren’t given the truth. And because we weren’t given the truth millions more of our people died at the hands of the NKVD after the war, and all of eastern Europe was plundered by the communists for 50 years, and there was a Korean War and a Vietnam War — which there wouldn’t have been if we hadn’t kept the communist empire alive because of our own ignorance, because of the lies we’d been told about what happened in Europe. We lost more than 100,000 of our best young men in the Korean and Vietnam wars alone.

So you see, it is important what the public is told. It is important that our people know the truth about our history, even about things which happened 60 years ago. And I intend to do everything I can to give them the truth.

Now I believe that you can understand why the Jews try so hard to keep me off the air, why they bring pressure against every radio station which carries American Dissident Voices. They are desperate to keep the American people in the dark about Vinnitsa and Katyn and their other crimes. And I am determined to tear down the curtain of silence and darkness and give truth and light to our people.

And there is some urgency about this, because the Jews are continuing to push for laws against what they call “hate speech” — which means any speech which contradicts their lies. They have succeeded in getting such laws passed in other countries. If I tried to make this broadcast in Canada or Britain, for example, the police would arrest me and shut down the station before I could finish. Let’s not let that happen in America.

Source

The history no one is suppose to know. The other Holocasut we never heard about.

Under Stalin if you were Anti Semitic you were put to death.

The government of the USSR under Stalin murdered many of its own citizens and foreigners.These mass killings were carried out by the security organisations, such as the NKVD, and reached their peak in the Great Purge of 1937-38, when nearly 700,000 were executed by a shot to the base of the skull. Following the demise of the USSR in 1991, many of the killing and burial sites were uncovered. Some of the more notable mass graves include:

Bykivnia – containing an estimated 120,000 – 225,000 corpses.

Kurapaty – estimations range from 30,000 to 200,000 bodies found.

Butovo – over 20,000 confirmed killed.

Sandarmokh – over 9,000 bodies discovered

Many other killing fields have been discovered several as recently as 2002.In the areas near Kiev alone, there are mass graves in Uman’, Bila Tserkva, Cherkasy and Zhytomyr. Some were uncovered by the Germans during WWII; Katyn and Vinnitsa being the most infamous.

There is more.

The Great Famine-Genocide in Soviet Ukraine (Holodomor)

The man-made Famine of 1932-1933 in Ukraine may be receding into the ever more distant past, but 65 years after, its legacy remains. It’s one of those cataclysms that launched massive undercurrents with profound historical impact. Tragically, it’s also an event of cosmic magnitude that barely registered on world consciousness when it occurred and is scarcely remembered today.

Here’s what happened: In April 1929, Joseph Stalin ordered the first Five-Year Plan, in which he decreed that Soviet agriculture be collectivized by the end of 1933. For individual farmers that meant turning their land and livestock over to the state and becoming workers on giant collective farms.

Not surprisingly, there was widespread resistance, particularly in Ukraine.

The official press – in the Soviet Union there was no other kind – began denouncing reluctant landowners as “class enemies,” “rich kulaks exploiting the masses.” That set the stage for Stalin’s decree at the end of December 1929 to “liquidate the kulaks as a class.” In Ukraine, primarily a peasant society, that was just about everybody. The Russian heartland, with its age-old tradition of the “mir” or commune, had few independent farmers and therefore few “kulaks,” as Stalin defined them.

As voluntary collectivization stalled, Stalin turned up the heat with arrests, evictions and confiscations until finally in 1932 he unleashed an army of Communist Party activists who laid siege to thousands of Ukrainian villages, raiding homes, taking every grain of wheat, every scrap of food they could find.

Like many Ukrainian Americans, I’ve always seemed to have known about the Famine. I’m Catholic, but from time to time I would go to Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Church in Cleveland, where I heard some memorable sermons delivered by the Rev. Kovalenko about what he had lived through as a boy in Poltava during the Famine. My hair would stand on end. I remember the passion and pain in the Rev. Kovalenko’s face, his sermon ending with a warning about the consequences of Godless atheism.

I no longer recall the words themselves, so instead let me quote Lev Kopelev’s anguished confession: “In the terrible spring of 1933, I saw people dying from hunger, I saw women and children with distended bellies, turning blue, still breathing but with vacant lifeless eyes. And corpses – corpses in ragged sheepskin coats and cheap felt boots; corpses in peasant huts, in the melting snow of the old Vologda, under the bridges of Kharkiv.

…” Kopelev was one of those, to quote his own words, who went “scouring the countryside, searching for hidden grain, testing the earth with an iron rod for loose spots that might lead to buried grain. With the others, I emptied out the old folks’ storage chests, stopping my ears to the children’s crying and the women’s wails.”

Fred Beal, an American Communist whose idealism brought him to work at the Kharkiv Tractor Plant in 1933, was a witness, not a participant. “I watched on the sidelines,” he wrote, “ashamed of being a party to the system that was murdering these innocent people … I had never dreamed that Communists could stoop so low as to round up hungry people, load them upon trucks or trains, and ship them to some wasteland in order that they might die there.

Yet it was a regular practice. I was witnessing myself how human beings were being tossed into the high trucks like sacks of wheat. Right there and then I was determined to make a complete break with the Stalin gang and return to the capitalist world.”

No one knows for sure how many people were murdered during that horrible year. As Nikita Khrushchev put it, “No one was keeping count.” Robert Conquest, the great historian of the Famine, estimates 7 million victims.

Astonishingly, the press, particularly in Britain and the United States, failed to report the story. No one was more remiss than Walter Duranty, The New York Times correspondent to the Soviet Union. In November 1932, when many people including those from the Ukrainian American community were spreading the alarm about the devastation in Ukraine, he assured his readers that “there is no famine or actual starvation, nor is there likely to be.”

In August 1933, after millions had already died, he wrote that “any report of a famine in Russia is today an exaggeration or malignant propaganda.”

The closest Duranty came to acknowledging Stalin’s genocidal policy was in a dispatch from March 30, 1933, when he wrote, “There is no actual starvation or deaths from starvation, but there is widespread mortality from diseases due to malnutrition.” As far as Duranty was concerned that was okay because, “To put it brutally – you can’t make an omelet without breaking eggs.” Walter Duranty won the Pulitzer Prize for his series of dispatches from Russia, “especially the working out of the Five-Year Plan.”

Did Duranty know better? He sure did. In “The Harvest of Sorrow,” Dr. Conquest cites a September 30, 1933, dispatch from the British chargé d’affaires to Moscow: “Mr. Duranty thinks it quite possible that as many as 10 million people may have died directly or indirectly from lack of food in the Soviet Union during the past year.” Others reported a similar disconnect between what Duranty knew and what he reported.

So why did he do it? His book from 1937, “I Write As I Please,” offers a clue: “Am I wrong in believing that Stalin is the greatest living statesman?” Mass murderers can’t be statesmen, so Duranty decided there could be no Famine.

As far as I know, the Pulitzer Prize Committee has never moved to revoke Duranty’s prize and The New York Times has never publicly repudiated it or offered to return it.

The Western press is not the only institution that denied the existence of the Famine. So did the Soviet Union – obviously. For more than half a century, any mention of the Famine was punished with a long prison sentence.

Today in Ukraine, people know about the Famine, but it is largely a repressed memory. This affects the national psyche, permitting Communists to run for office without shame or remorse. Unfortunately, their influence on Ukraine’s economy is enormous, since the Communist Party constitutes the core of a parliamentary coalition that blocks legislation to dismantle the state-run farms, the Famine’s malignant legacy.

These bloated, bureaucratic structures provide the apparatchiks who run them with political patronage and allow them to divert agricultural resources to their own purposes. As a result, Ukraine gets little benefit from her greatest potential asset: agriculture.

The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are ready to help Ukraine, with the United States poised to provide political backing, but reforms must be approved first, including the privatization of land.

Vice-President Al Gore delivered that message in Kyiv on July 22, and he was right to do so. There’s no point in subsidizing the collective farm system or other wasteful, inefficient Ukrainian institutions.

As for the majority of Ukrainians, they undoubtedly favor land reform, but this is a country where Communists have a 75-year head start on political organization. What the CPU lacks is the vision for a positive program; they only have the means to block change. This cannot be sustained forever.

Today, seven years after declaring independence, Ukraine’s problem is spiritual as much as it is political and economic. The country has to confront its past and come to terms with it, the Famine above all. That process has hardly begun.

For such a huge historical event, such an enormous crime as the Famine, surprisingly little scholarly and literary work has been done. Dr. Conquest, obviously, stands out. So does Jim Mace, who directed the U.S. Commission on the Ukraine Famine, as well as Slavko Nowytski who produced the film “Harvest of Despair” and, of course, The Ukrainian Weekly. There’s a scattering of other books and materials, but little of recent vintage or mass circulation.

The New York Times could help enormously by acknowledging and fixing Walter Duranty’s mendacious work from 65 years ago. Nothing would help more, though, than having Verkhovna Rada approve the privatization of land.

I can’t think of a better monument to the victims of the Famine or a more fitting way of telling their descendants – the nation – we’re sorry.


Andrew Fedynsky is director of the Ukrainian Museum-Archives in Cleveland, Ohio. Check out their website:  http://www.umacleveland.org/


The Ukrainian Weekly, August 2, 1998, No. 31, Vol. LXVI, Roma Hadzewycz, Editor-in-chief, P. O. Box 280, Parsippany, New Jersey. Published by the Ukrainian National Association.
http://www.ukrweekly.com/Archive/1998/319815.shtml
Check out the above website for their extensive collection of material on the Great Famine and subscribe to The Ukrainian Weekly. Source

All this was happening and then they became the Ally of the US, British and Canadian military in WWII.

The Invasion of Poland was a Soviet military operation that started without a formal declaration of war on 17 September 1939, during the early stages of World War II. Sixteen days after Nazi Germany invaded Poland from the west, the Soviet Union did so from the east. The invasion ended on 6 October 1939 with the division and annexing of the whole of the Second Polish Republic by Germany and the Soviet Union.

As a result of the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939, hundreds of thousands of Polish soldiers became prisoners of war in the Soviet Union. Many of them were executed; over 20,000 Polish military personnel and civilians perished in the Katyn massacre.

The Soviets often failed to honour the terms of surrender. In some cases, they promised Polish soldiers freedom after capitulation and then arrested them when they laid down their arms.Some Polish soldiers were murdered shortly after capture.

The USSR refused to allow Red Cross supervision of prisoners on the grounds that it had not signed the 1929 Geneva Convention on the Treatment of PoWs and did not recognise the Hague Convention. Thousands of the POW’s were Polish.

The execution of 25,700 Polish “nationalists and counter-revolutionaries” kept at camps and prisons in occupied western Ukraine and Belarus  became known as the Katyn massacre. which was blamed on Hilter. At the time even though it was Hitlers people who found the mass graves and brought in outsiders to do autopsy’s etc.

On 13 April 1990, the forty-seventh anniversary of the discovery of the mass graves, the USSR formally expressed “profound regret” and admitted Soviet secret police responsibility for the mass murders.

Katyn Forest Massacre A film from 1973

If they want to  find more bodies they may be underr a pine tree forest.

People may think Hitler was bad but the US and the USSR were just as bad if not worse.

After the war millions in Germany were also starved. The US and the USSR used the same method to kill millions.The Morgenthau Plan was a shameful, horrific way to kill. No one was spared not even the children.

The US nor their Allies can ever hold their heads up and say they are better or more civilized then another country.

Henry Morgenthau, Jr.

Morgenthau was born into a prominent Jewish family in New York City, the son of Henry Morgenthau Sr., a real estate mogul and diplomat, and Josephine Sykes.

In office
January 1, 1934 – July 22, 1945

United States Secretary of the Treasury

WW II

1 September 1939 – 2 September 1945

Remeber the USSR murdered about 7 million in premeditated, genocidal man made,  famine, of 1932-33 just previous to WW II. But that was OK with the Allies who condemned Germany.

So why didn’t any one help the 7 million Ukrainians that had been murdered and starved?

The Morgenthau Plan: Soviet influence on American postwar policy  By John Dietrich

Approximatly 5 million died of starvation in German becasue of the The Morgenthau Plan.

A Jewish Defector Warns America Also at this link Zionists Poisoned/Radiated 100,000 Sefardi Jewish Children

Recent Articles

Gaza Freedom March URGENT UPDATE they need your help getting into Gaza who’s up for sending a few E-mails

Israel actually wants more money from Germany over the Holocaust

Afghanistan: 24 Civilians Killed by NATO in past week

6 Children and 3 Women Killed During NATO Raid in Afghanistan
The new accidental killing of civilians was reported by Daud Ahmadi, spokesperson of the provincial governor.
October 1 2009

Kandahar – Six children and three women were killed during a NATO air raid in the province of Helmand, southern Afghanistan. The new accidental killing of civilians was reported by Daud Ahmadi, spokesperson of the provincial governor. The raid, which claimed the life of 4 armed Taliban, was ordered as a reply to an attack against a convoy of NATO and Afghan forces in a village located in the Nad Ali district.

The male wounded civilians were admitted to a NATO hospital. ISAF confirmed the air raid, but not the number of victims, explaining that it was decided following an extended armed clash with guerrilla forces barricaded in the raided house. On September 4 dozens of civilians (30, according to the government investigation) died during the explosion of two tankers hit by NATO jets after that they had been seized by the Taliban.

Source

US soldiers gun down schoolboy in Paktika
The teenager was hit in the head by foreign soldiers.

By Obaid Kharotai

September 28, 2009

SHARAN: US forces shot dead a schoolboy on his way home in the southeastern province of Paktika on Monday, the victim’s father said.

Ghulam Shah, father of the 13-year-old Zeeshan, told Pajhwok Afghan News his son was returning home on a bicycle from school. He alleged NATO-led soldiers opened fire on the boy in Madatkhel area on the outskirts of Sharan, the provincial capital.

“No one can ask American troops about the killings of our sons, brothers and sisters,” an angry Ghulam Shah said, adding that his son also worked with a mechanic in the main Sharan bazaar during his free time.

A Sharan Civil Hospital employee, Najibullah, confirmed receiving Zeeshan’s bullet-riddled body. The teenager was hit in the head by foreign soldiers. The ISAF press office in the eastern zone also confirmed the incident and admitted it was a mistaken firing incident.

It said the boy was stuck by a bullet fired into the air and his family members would be provided compensation. The troops expressed sympathies with relatives of the victim.

Source

Six civilians dead in Kandahar air strike by foreign forces
Locals said there was no Taliban in the area. They expressed their wonder why the foreign forces conducted the air strike.

By Basher Ahmad Nadem

September 24 2009

KANDAHAR: Six people were killed and several others wounded in an air strike by foreign forces in Arghandab district of the volatile southern Kandahar province, residents said Thursday.

The air raid was conducted late Wednesday night in Nagahan area that lasted one hour, according to residents, who had brought their injured relatives to the Mirwais Civil Hospital in Kandahar City.

Abdul Wahid, a resident said, several gunship helicopters arrived in the area and suddenly started bombing their houses.

He said till morning six dead bodies were retrieved from beneath the rubbles of the destroyed houses.

He feared the death toll could be increased as residents were searching for bodies.

Health Director Dr. Abdul Qayyum told Pajhwok Afghan News seven injured people were brought to the hospital from Arghandab district.

A senior police officer in the province, Fazl Ahmad Sherzad, confirmed the air strike.

He added that 5 Taliban were killed and 15 other were injured in this air strike.

Some residents said the attack was carried out in the area of a tribal elder Pehlawan, who had raised a tribal force against Taliban militants.

Locals said there was no Taliban in the area. They expressed their wonder why the foreign forces conducted the air strike.

Foreign forces based in Kandahar have said nothing about the air raid.

Source

Eight civilians killed in air raid of foreign troops in Helmand
Neighbors gathered to transfer the wounded to the hospital, once again there was a rocket attack from the air and eight civilians were killed as a result
By Zainulah Stanikzay

September 23 2009

Eight civilians are killed and four others wounded in the air strike by foreign troops, a number of residents from the Marja district of Helmand province are claiming.

This statement was said to Pajhowk Afghan News in Lashkargah Emergency Hospital by the residents of Marja district who brought their injured .

On September 23, a man named Abdul Khaliq told Pajhowk about the shelling of foreign troops from their helicopters during their patrol.

He added, four guests had come for Eid celebration to his home and were sleeping in the yard when they got injured by the firing of foreign troops.

According to him when they and their neighbors gathered to transfer the wounded to the hospital, once again there was a rocket attack from the air and eight civilians were killed as a result.

Another resident named Norullah from the same district told PAN that there were no Taliban near this village but the armed Taliban from the nearby village had fired on helicopters.

In the correspondent attack of foreign troops it caused civilian casualties to the village he added.

The British troops stationed in Helmand and the Afghan authorities expressed as they were unaware of the incident.

Although the armed Taliban hasn’t said any thing about this, but Qari Yousaf the Taliban spokes person is giving news about the number of foreign troops killed in separate explosions in Greshk and Lashkargah.

According to another news a ten year old boy has been killed as a result of the firing of foreign troops in Nadali district.

Jalal one of the residents of the district told the PAN about the attack of armed Taliban over the troops from the Nadali district the day before that incident.

He added that in the correspondent attack of foreign troops, no Talib has been killed, but a ten year old boy who was standing opposite to his home was shot dead.

Source

‘Hush’ over Afghan mission must end

(Afghanistan 1) A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words

US-NATO Using Military Might To Control World Energy Resources

Afghanistan’s hidden toll: Injured Troops

Published in: on October 2, 2009 at 5:04 am  Comments Off on Afghanistan: 24 Civilians Killed by NATO in past week  
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Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians

A Palestinian woman walks past a destroyed Hamas police compound after an Israeli air strike

A Palestinian woman walks past a destroyed Hamas police

compound after an Israeli air strike

An Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

An Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

Palestinians carry the wounded to hospital, left, after Israel launched a second day of air strikes on the Gaza Strip

Palestinians carry the wounded to hospital, left, after Israel launched

a second day of air strikes on the Gaza Strip

An explosion is seen after an Israeli air strike in the northern Gaza Strip

An explosion is seen after an Israeli air strike in the northern

Gaza Strip

Palestinians look at a destroyed Hamas police compound

Palestinians look at a destroyed Hamas police compound

A destroyed Hamas police compound

A destroyed Hamas police compound

Smoke rises over the main Hamas security complex

Smoke rises over the main Hamas security complex

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Palestinian fire fighters extinguish a fire

Palestinian fire fighters extinguish a fire

A Palestinian boy walks past a destroyed al-Shifa mosque

A Palestinian boy walks past a destroyed al-Shifa mosque

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

Smoke rises after an Israel air strike

A Hamas policeman shouts in front of a burning building

A Hamas policeman shouts in front of a burning building

A Palestinian man inspects the destroyed house of the governor in Gaza City

A Palestinian man inspects the destroyed house of the

governor in Gaza City

A Palestinian man looks at a destroyed building of the Islamic University in Gaza City

A Palestinian man looks at a destroyed building of the Islamic

University in Gaza City

A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette in front of the rubble of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli air strike in the Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip

A Palestinian man smokes a cigarette in front of the rubble

of a destroyed mosque following an Israeli air strike in

the Jabalia refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip

Palestinian firemen extinguish fire from a building following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City

Palestinian firemen extinguish fire from a building following an

Israeli air strike in Gaza City

A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on the ground as other men look for survivors outside the Hamas police headquarters

A wounded Palestinian policeman gestures while lying on

the ground as other men look for survivors outside the

Hamas police headquarters

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the presidential building, the office of president Mahmoud Abbas which is now under Hamas control, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinians inspect the rubble of the presidential building,

the office of president Mahmoud Abbas which is now

under Hamas control, after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinian inspect a building after it was destroyed by an Israeli air strike

Palestinian inspect a building after it was destroyed by an Israeli

air strike

Fire and smoke rise from a destroyed building as Palestinians carry a victim of an Israeli air strike that targeted Buriej refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip

Fire and smoke rise from a destroyed building as Palestinians

carry a victim of an Israeli air strike that targeted Buriej refugee

camp in the central Gaza Strip

Palestinian civil defence workers use a hose in an attempt to control a fire consuming a building following a fresh Israeli air strike in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip

Palestinian civil defence workers use a hose in an attempt to control

a fire consuming a building following a fresh Israeli air strike

in Rafah town in the southern Gaza Strip

Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, and Lessons of History are Ignored

By Robert Fisk

December 29 2008

We’ve got so used to the carnage of the Middle East that we don’t care any more – providing we don’t offend the Israelis. It’s not clear how many of the Gaza dead are civilians, but the response of the Bush administration, not to mention the pusillanimous reaction of Gordon Brown, reaffirm for Arabs what they have known for decades: however they struggle against their antagonists, the West will take Israel’s side. As usual, the bloodbath was the fault of the Arabs – who, as we all know, only understand force.

Ever since 1948, we’ve been hearing this balderdash from the Israelis – just as Arab nationalists and then Arab Islamists have been peddling their own lies: that the Zionist “death wagon” will be overthrown, that all Jerusalem will be “liberated”. And always Mr Bush Snr or Mr Clinton or Mr Bush Jnr or Mr Blair or Mr Brown have called upon both sides to exercise “restraint” – as if the Palestinians and the Israelis both have F-18s and Merkava tanks and field artillery.

Hamas’s home-made rockets have killed just 20 Israelis in eight years, but a day-long blitz by Israeli aircraft that kills almost 300 Palestinians is just par for the course.

The blood-splattering has its own routine. Yes, Hamas provoked Israel’s anger, just as Israel provoked Hamas’s anger, which was provoked by Israel, which was provoked by Hamas, which … See what I mean? Hamas fires rockets at Israel, Israel bombs Hamas, Hamas fires more rockets and Israel bombs again and … Got it? And we demand security for Israel – rightly – but overlook this massive and utterly disproportionate slaughter by Israel. It was Madeleine Albright who once said that Israel was “under siege” – as if Palestinian tanks were in the streets of Tel Aviv.

By last night, the exchange rate stood at 296 Palestinians dead for one dead Israeli.

Back in 2006, it was 10 Lebanese dead for one Israeli dead. This weekend was the most inflationary exchange rate in a single day since – the 1973 Middle East War? The 1967 Six Day War? The 1956 Suez War? The 1948 Independence/Nakba War? It’s obscene, a gruesome game – which Ehud Barak, the Israeli Defence Minister, unconsciously admitted when he spoke this weekend to Fox TV. “Our intention is to totally change the rules of the game,” Barak said.

Exactly. Only the “rules” of the game don’t change. This is a further slippage on the Arab-Israeli exchanges, a percentage slide more awesome than Wall Street’s crashing shares, though of not much interest in the US which – let us remember – made the F-18s and the Hellfire missiles which the Bush administration pleads with Israel to use sparingly.

Quite a lot of the dead this weekend appear to have been Hamas members, but what is it supposed to solve? Is Hamas going to say: “Wow, this blitz is awesome – we’d better recognise the state of Israel, fall in line with the Palestinian Authority, lay down our weapons and pray we are taken prisoner and locked up indefinitely and support a new American ‘peace process’ in the Middle East!” Is that what the Israelis and the Americans and Gordon Brown think Hamas is going to do?

Yes, let’s remember Hamas’s cynicism, the cynicism of all armed Islamist groups. Their need for Muslim martyrs is as crucial to them as Israel’s need to create them. The lesson Israel thinks it is teaching – come to heel or we will crush you – is not the lesson Hamas is learning. Hamas needs violence to emphasise the oppression of the Palestinians – and relies on Israel to provide it. A few rockets into Israel and Israel obliges.

Not a whimper from Tony Blair, the peace envoy to the Middle East who’s never been to Gaza in his current incarnation. Not a bloody word.

We hear the usual Israeli line. General Yaakov Amidror, the former head of the Israeli army’s “research and assessment division” announced that “no country in the world would allow its citizens to be made the target of rocket attacks without taking vigorous steps to defend them”. Quite so. But when the IRA were firing mortars over the border into Northern Ireland, when their guerrillas were crossing from the Republic to attack police stations and Protestants, did Britain unleash the RAF on the Irish Republic? Did the RAF bomb churches and tankers and police stations and zap 300 civilians to teach the Irish a lesson? No, it did not. Because the world would have seen it as criminal behaviour. We didn’t want to lower ourselves to the IRA’s level.

Yes, Israel deserves security. But these bloodbaths will not bring it. Not since 1948 have air raids protected Israel. Israel has bombed Lebanon thousands of times since 1975 and not one has eliminated “terrorism”. So what was the reaction last night? The Israelis threaten ground attacks. Hamas waits for another battle. Our Western politicians crouch in their funk holes. And somewhere to the east – in a cave? a basement? on a mountainside? – a well-known man in a turban smiles.

Source

US Veto Blocks UN Anti-Israel Resolution

Global protests against Israel

Israel Used Internationally Banned Weaponry in Massive Airstrikes Across Gaza Strip

Iran preps humanitarian aid ship to Gaza Strip

Published in: on December 30, 2008 at 7:28 am  Comments Off on Leaders Lie, Civilians Die, Israelis-Palestinians  
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They Can’t win the war in Afghanistan

The War in Afghanistan Is A No-Win Situation
By Stephen C. Rose

The situation in Afghanistan weighs more and more heavily on us. I took it up in a Huffington Post piece a while back titled Could Barack Obama Suffer The Fate of LBJ?

Many wish the war on terror to be translated from a military trap into a POLICE ACTION, something sane observers believe it should have been from the very start.

Today, comes a sad vindication of the reality and a stark warning that there can be no winning in Afghanistan. It will be Barack Obama’s task to cut a deal and be honest about why
Violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 Source

A Pakistani decision to temporarily bar some trucks from a key passageway to Afghanistan threatened a critical supply route for U.S. and NATO troops on Sunday and raised more fears about deteriorating security in the militant-plagued border region.
The suspension of oil tankers and trucks carrying sealed containers came as U.S.-led coalition troops in eastern Afghanistan reported killing five al-Qaida-linked fighters and detaining eight others, including a militant leader.

Al-Qaida and Taliban fighters are behind much of the escalating violence along the lengthy, porous Afghan-Pakistan border, and both nations have traded accusations that the other was not doing enough to keep militants out from its side.

The tensions come as violence in Afghanistan has reached its highest levels since the U.S.-led invasion ousted the Taliban regime in 2001 and as a surge in U.S. missile strikes on the Pakistani side of the border has prompted protests from Pakistan government leaders.

And this piece from UK notes that the answer lies in cutting a deal with the Taliban, period. Source

There is no question that British troops win almost every battle and firefight, but the Taliban refuse to go away.
For every 10 men they lose, there are 10 more waiting to take their place.

The insurgents have a saying: “You have the clocks, we have the time.”

The British and American strategy seems to be to fight on with increased numbers of troops and try to train the Afghan forces to take over.

Building a country virtually from scratch, containing the Taliban and developing a national army in a land that’s riven by ethnic rivalries and feuding warlords is probably a challenge too far.

Cutting and running is not an option – so cutting a deal may have to be.

Repeat: The War in Afghanistan is a no-win situation. The answer lies in talking to the Taliban, something Barack has already advocated. A protracted military engagement should be avoided like a plague.

Source

Afghanistan: Why NATO cannot win

A comparison with the 1980s is in order. The 100,000-strong Soviet army operated alongside a full-fledged Afghan army of equal strength with an officer corps trained in the elite Soviet military academies, and backed by aviation, armored vehicles and artillery, with all the advantages of a functioning, politically motivated government in Kabul. And yet it proved no match for the Afghan resistance.

In comparison, there are about 20,000 US troops in Afghanistan, plus roughly the same number of troops belonging to NATO contingents, which includes 5,400 troops from Britain, 2,500 from Canada and 2,300 from the Netherlands. Nominally, there is a 42,000-strong Afghan National Army, but it suffers from a high rate of defection.

Source


War on Taliban cannot be won, says army chief

Britain’s most senior military commander in Afghanistan has warned that the war against the Taliban cannot be won. Brigadier Mark Carleton-Smith said the British public should not expect a “decisive military victory” but should be prepared for a possible deal with the Taliban.

Source

US Kills Dozens of Wedding Guests in Afganistan

Who profits from WAR?

Tactics versus strategy in Afghanistan

The Terrible Plight of Afghan Children

The U.S. bombing upon Afghanistan has been a low bombing intensity, high civilian casualty campaign [in both absolute terms and relative to other U.S. air campaigns]. Secondly, this has happened notwithstanding the far greater accuracy of the weapons because of U.S. military planners decisions to employ powerful weapons in populated regions and to bomb what are dubious military targets. Thirdly, the U.S. mainstream corporate media has been derelict in its non-reporting of civilian casualties when ample evidence existed from foreign places that the U.S. air war upon Afghanistan was creating such casualties in large numbers. Fourthly, the decision by U.S. military planners to execute such a bombing campaign reveals and reflects the differential values they place upon Afghan and American lives. Fifth, this report counters the dangerous notion that the United States can henceforth wage a war and only kill enemy combatants. Sixth, the U.S. bombing campaign has targeted numerous civilian facilities and the heavy use of cluster bombs, will have a lasting legacy born by one of the poorest, most desperate peoples of our world. In sum, though not intended to be, the U.S. bombing campaign which began on the evening of October 7th, has been a war upon the people, the homes, the farms and the villages of Afghanistan, as well as upon the Taliban and Al Qaeda.

Source

Injuries and Deaths From Landmines and Unexploded Ordnance in Afghanistan, 2002-2006

At least 706,899 people have been killed, and
1,354,224 seriously injured in Afghanistan and Iraq
since the U.S. and coalition attacks, based on lowest credible estimates.

Source

The estimate that over a million Iraqis have died received independent confirmation from a prestigious British polling agency in September 2007. Opinion Research Business estimated that 1.2 million Iraqis have been killed violently since the US invasion.

We must not forget these people who died at the hand of the US.

Autopsy reports reveal homicides of detainees in U.S. custody up to October 2005

Many of the prisoners that died of “Natural Causes” may have died because they didn’t receive Medical treatment or Medication, which is still Murder. Others died because they were tortured.  There are many ways to kill a person.  Cause and Affect.

There have been more deaths since then. How many,  well that is yet to be determined.

The death toll in both wars is staggering to say the least. The number of civilian deaths alone is enough to infuriate anyone.

There no winners in War.

Published in: on November 16, 2008 at 10:10 pm  Comments Off on They Can’t win the war in Afghanistan  
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Campaign Boogeyman William Ayers Talks to ‘GMA’

November 14 2008

By Mark Mooney

William Ayers, the 1960s radical whose violent history became a focal point in the 2008 presidential election, said today that the Republicans unfairly “demonized” him in an attempt to damage the campaign of President-elect Obama.

Ayers defended his bomb-throwing past and repeated a statement that has infuriated his critics: “I don’t think we did enough.”

The college professor also argued to “Good Morning America’s” Chris Cuomo today that the bombing campaign by the Weather Underground, the group he helped found, was not terrorism.

The Weather Underground bombed the Capitol, the Pentagon and the New York City Police Department in protest of the Vietnam War.

“It’s not terrorism because it doesn’t target people, to kill or injure,” Ayers said.

Ayers became a boogeyman for Sen. John McCain and Gov. Sarah Palin, who demanded to know more about Obama’s relationship with his Chicago neighbor. Palin accused Obama of “palling around … with a terrorist.”

Breaking his silence today, Ayers said that the GOP attack was a “dishonest narrative … to demonize me.”

“I don’t buy the idea that guilt by association should have any part of our politics,” he said.

Ayers scoffed at the Republican effort to make his ties to Obama appear suspicious.

“This idea that we need to know more, like there’s some dark, hidden secret, some secret link,” Ayers said. “It’s a myth thrown up by people who want to exploit the politics of fear.”

But he was unapologetic about his militant actions during the Vietnam War.

“What you call the violent past, that was a time when thousands of people were being murdered every month by our own government. … We were on the right side,” he told “GMA.”

The co-founder of the Weather Underground was, as McCain has claimed, unrepentant about the the bombings his group committed during the 1960s.

“The content of the Vietnam protest is that there were despicable acts going on, but the despicable acts were being done by our government. … I never hurt or killed anyone,” Ayers said.

“Frankly, I don’t think we did enough, just as today I don’t think we’ve done enough to stop these wars,” he said.

Ayers softened his stand on violence during the “GMA” interview.

Bill Ayers

(ABC/AP Photo )

“We knew it was wrong. We knew it was illegal. We knew it was immoral,” he said, but the group’s members felt they “had to do more” to stop the Vietnam War.

He urged people today “to participate in resistance, in nonviolent, direct action” to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Ayers, 63, currently a distinguished professor of education at the University of Illinois at Chicago, became a political pinata for McCain and Palin during the presidential campaign.

Despite Obama’s attempt to portray their relationship as a distant one, Ayers, in a new afterward to his book “Fugitive Days,” describes Obama as a “neighbor and family friend.”

On “GMA,” Ayers again downplayed any close ties to Obama despite the reference to”family friend.”

“I’m talking there about the fact that I became an issue, unwillingly and unwittingly,” he said. “It was a profoundly dishonest narrative. … I’m describing there how the blogosphere characterized the relationship.”

“I would say, really, that we knew each other in a professional way on the same level of, say, thousands of other people,” he said.

He added, echoing a phrase that Obama used to describe Ayers, “I am a guy around the neighborhood.”

Ayers acknowledged that he held a reception in his home when Obama began his political run for state office.

“He was probably in 20 homes that day,” Ayers said.

During the campaign, Obama tried to defuse the Ayers issue by condemning Ayers’ past actions as “detestable.”

“The notion that … me knowing somebody who engaged in detestable acts 40 years ago, when I was 8 years old, somehow reflects on me and my values, doesn’t make much sense,” Obama said.

Ayers remained silent during the presidential race, but his proximity to Obama was highlighted on Election Day when the two men nearly ran into each other in the same polling place. As recently as Wednesday, Palin was still raising the Ayers’ issue, telling NBC that she was still concerned about Obama’s relationship to the former radical. Palin was the fiercest critic of the Obama-Ayers tie, accusing Obama of “palling around with a domestic terrorist.” While he was a fugitive, he married Bernardine Dorhn, another member of the Weather Underground.

Obama and Ayers have several connections. The two men have also served on boards together, including the Woods Fund of Chicago and the Chicago Annenberg Challenge.

Source

In Vietnam

Time line
North Vietnam

According to the Vietnamese government, 1,100,000 North Vietnamese Army and National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam military personnel died in the conflict. (Technically, some of these dead were South Vietnamese members of the NLF, but it would be impossible to separate their constituency from the total.) Estimates of civilian deaths caused by American bombing in Operation Rolling Thunder range from 52,000 to 182,000.

Complete statistics for the 1972 bombings are unavailable. Overall figures for North Vietnamese civilian dead range from 50,000 to “several million.”

South Vietnam

The Army of the Republic of Vietnam ARVN lost approximately 184,000 servicemen during the war with some estimates as high as a quarter of a million. Because it was the country most devastated by the war, South Vietnam suffered the bulk of the estimated 500,000 to 2,000,000 civilian deaths sustained by the entire Vietnamese population during the conflict; out of a possible median of 1,200,000 dead for the whole country, considering the above figures for North Vietnamese losses, in South Vietnam itself about one million civilians likely died.

Source

Winter Soldier Investigation

Testimony given in Detroit, Michigan, on January 31, 1971, February 1 and 2, 1971

Sponsored by Vietnam Veterans Against the War, Inc.

Maybe if you read this it will give a much clearer picture of the truth.

It is heart breaking and very detailed. Bless their dear hearts for coming forward with their stories.

We should all know the truth.

Many became homeless.

Many suffer from mental illness.

Many suffer from injuries.

Many of the Vietnam soldiers have since died from Agent Orange or other war related injuries.

Those who remain, are left with the horrifying memories.

Country Branch of service Number served Killed Wounded Missing
USA[2] Army 4,368,000 38,218 96,802 617 {A}
Marines 794,000 14,840 51,392 242{B}
Navy 1,842,000 2,565 4,178 401{C}
Air Force 1,740,000 2,587 1,021 649 {D}
Coast Guard 7 59 0 {E}
Civilians 38 {F}
Total 8,744,000 58,217 153,452 1,947

War is a cruel and deadly creature.

The Vietnam war should never have happened.

The war in Iraq should never have happened.

There are no winners when it comes to war.

William Ayers and many others were trying with all their hearts be it right or wrong to stop the war. Some died for the cause as those who died at Kent State.  May they be remembered for their sacrifice.

Like the Protests of today against the Iraq war, the government did everything imaginable to shut them up. Death was part of it.

Those who protest against war are demonized.

To understand the true nature of war is to know the face of death and sorrow.

There is no glory in war. There are no winners.

Those who profit from war should hang their heads in shame.

“We knew it was wrong. We knew it was illegal. We knew it was immoral,” he said, but the group’s members felt they “had to do more” to stop the Vietnam War.

“We know it is wrong. We know it is illegal. We know it is immoral,”  we “have to do more” to stop the Iraq War.

Over a million have died in Iraq, how many must perish before we say NO MORE?


We must never Forget. What war really means.

In memory those who gave their lives

Published in: on November 14, 2008 at 10:16 pm  Comments Off on Campaign Boogeyman William Ayers Talks to ‘GMA’  
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NATO to consider talks with the Taliban?

An Afghan soldier holds his weapon at a check point in Arghandab district, recaptured from the Taliban militants, in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday June 22, 2008. (AP / Musadeq Sadeq)An Afghan soldier holds his weapon at a check point in Arghandab district, recaptured from the Taliban militants, in Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan on Sunday June 22, 2008. (AP / Musadeq Sadeq)

Oct. 8 2008

LONDON — When NATO defence ministers meet in Budapest on Thursday, they will face a worsening situation in Afghanistan and vexing questions about whether the war can be won.

Increasingly, military commanders and political leaders are asking: Is it time to talk to the Taliban?

With U.S. and NATO forces suffering their deadliest year so far in Afghanistan, a rising chorus of voices, including U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates and the incoming head of U.S. Central Command, have endorsed efforts to reach out to members of the Taliban considered willing to seek an accommodation with President Hamid Karzai’s government.

“That is one of the key long-term solutions in Afghanistan, just as it has been in Iraq,” Gates told reporters Monday. “Part of the solution is reconciliation with people who are willing to work with the Afghan government going forward.”

Gen. David Petraeus, who will become responsible for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan as head of U.S. Central Command on Oct. 31, agreed.

“I do think you have to talk to enemies,” Petraeus said Wednesday at an appearance at the Heritage Foundation in Washington, when asked about potential dialogue with the Taliban.

“You’ve got to set things up. You’ve got to know who you’re talking to. You’ve got to have your objectives straight,” he said. “But I mean, what we did do in Iraq ultimately was sit down with some of those that were shooting at us. What we tried to do was identify those who might be reconcilable.”

In terms of Afghanistan, he said: “The key there is making sure that all of that is done in complete co-ordination with complete support of the Afghan government — and with President Karzai.”

But entering negotiations with the Taliban raises difficult issues.

It is not clear whether there is a unified Taliban command structure that could engage in serious talks, and the group still embraces the hardline ideology that made them pariahs in the West until their ouster from power in 2001.

During its 1996-2001 rule, Afghan women and girls were barred from attending school or holding jobs, music and television were banned, men were compelled to wear beards, and artwork or statues deemed idolatrous or anti-Muslim were destroyed.

In an assault that provoked an international outcry, Taliban fighters blew up two giant statues of Buddha that had graced the ancient Silk Road town of Bamiyan for some 1,500 years.

Seven years after the U.S. invasion, what was originally considered a quick military success has turned into an increasingly violent counterinsurgency fight.

An unprecedented number of U.S. troops — about 32,000 — are in Afghanistan today, and the Pentagon plans to send several thousand more in the coming months. Gates is expected to press for additional troops and money for the fight in Afghanistan at this week’s NATO meeting.

At least 131 U.S. troops have died in Afghanistan this year, surpassing the previous annual high of 111 in 2007. An additional 100 troops from other NATO countries have died in 2008.

Canada, which has some 2,500 troops in southern Kandahar province, has lost 23 soldiers so far this year.

NATO commander says peacemaking up to Afghan gov’t

Speaking in London on Monday, U.S. Gen. John Craddock, NATO’s supreme operational commander, said he is open to talks with the Taliban as long as any peacemaking bid is led by the Afghan government, not western forces.

“I have said over and over again this is not going to be won by military means,” Craddock said, adding that NATO’s goal is to create a safe environment so responsibility for security can be transferred to Afghan authorities.

The French foreign minister, Bernard Kouchner, added his voice to the rising chorus, saying Tuesday it was “desirable” to have direct talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban, and offering to host any such meeting.

The problem, say some analysts, is identifying who within the Taliban can be a reliable negotiating partner.

“The Taliban are no longer a monolithic force; with whom do you negotiate if you want to talk with the Taliban?” asked Eric Rosenbach, executive director of the Center for International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Rather than high-level, high-profile negotiations, “the Afghan government should pursue talks with individual commanders and warlords” who have renounced violence, he said.

“This approach is much more likely to succeed, will further fracture the opposition, and will place the Afghan government in a position of strength for future negotiations.”

Charles Heyman, editor of Armed Forces of the United Kingdom, said there is widespread agreement that the original U.S. and British goal of building a liberal, western-style democracy in Afghanistan is not attainable because the Taliban never were routed or forced to disband.

“There is going to be an accommodation with the Taliban whether people like it or not,” he said. “Everyone knows this is going to be very, very difficult.”

He said the West’s long-term interest would be served by ensuring that al-Qaida doesn’t have a presence in Afghanistan. That would mean making sure any future Afghan leadership, even if it includes Taliban elements, understands that it will come under sustained attack if it allows al-Qaida to set up training camps there.

Ayesha Khan, an associate fellow at the Chatham House research group in London, said it is possible that clerics close to fugitive Taliban leader Mullah Omar could meet with Afghan government representatives.

“This desire to engage the Taliban started last year and has gained momentum,” she said. “The British government is involved in strategizing it. They are trying to separate the more moderate Taliban from the more extremist ones.”

Source

US military admits killing 33 civilians in Afghanistan air strike

October 9. 2008

The US military has admitted killing 33 civilians in an air strike on a village in Afghanistan in August, far more than it has previously acknowledged.

Following the attack on August 22 on Azizabad, in Heart province, the Afghan government claimed that 90 civilians, mainly women and children, were killed, a figure backed by the UN.

Until now the US has estimated that that no more than seven civilians died in the attack. It launched an inquiry after it emerged that film recorded on mobile phones showed rows of bodies of children and babies in a makeshift morgue.

The inquiry found that of the 33 dead civilians, eight were men, three women and 12 children. The 10 others were undetermined. It also claimed that 22 Taliban fighters were killed in the attack.

The inquiry dismissed the Afghan government’s estimate as over reliant on statements from villagers.

“Their reports lack independent evidence to support the allegations of higher numbers of civilian casualties,” the US report said. A spokesman for the Afghan government said it stood by its estimate.

The US expressed regret for the civilian losses but blamed the Taliban for having chosen to take up fighting positions near civilians.

“Unfortunately, and unknown to the US and Afghan forces, the (militants) chose fighting positions in close proximity to civilians,” the report said.

The acting commander of US forces in the Middle East, lieutenant general Martin Dempsey, said the attack was based on credible intelligence and was made in self defence.

“We are deeply saddened at the loss of innocent life in Azizabad. We go to great lengths to avoid civilian casualties in Afghanistan in all our operations, but as we have seen all too often, this ruthless enemy routinely surround themselves with innocents,” he said.

US central command said its investigation was based on 28 interviews resulting in more than 20 hours of recorded testimony from Afghan government officials, Afghan village elders, officials from nongovernmental organisations, US and Afghan troops, 236 documents and 11 videos.

The issue of civilian deaths has outraged Afghans and strained relations with foreign forces in Afghanistan to help fight the insurgency. Afghan president Hamid Karzai has warned US and NATO for years that they must stop killing civilians on bombing runs against militants, saying the deaths undermine his government and the international mission.

Following the raid on Azizabad Nato’s commander in Afghanistan, General David McKiernan, issued a revised tactics and procedures for air and ground assaults against insurgents.

Source

Published in: on October 9, 2008 at 9:44 am  Comments Off on NATO to consider talks with the Taliban?  
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