The silence surrounding UK involvement in the Yemen war imeans crucial questions are not being asked. What are the terms of reference and timeline for the government’s review of arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition, and for its review of the breaches of the court of appeal ruling? What weapons are being delivered to the Saudi-led coalition under existing licences, and when will BAE Systems and associated companies need to apply for new licences? Why does the government continue to refuse to gather data on actual deliveries of weapons exports, given its repeated insistence on the robustness of its arms export control regime? And crucially, who will be held accountable, and how, for any decisions that are found to breach the UK government’s commitment not to allow arms exports where there is a clear risk they might be used in violations of international law?
This practice of “political engineering,” a term promoted by former Department of Defense analyst and military reformer Chuck Spinney, helps those contractors and the Pentagon buy off members of Congress from both parties.
„No ally has suffered more terrorist attacks than Turkey. They are important in the fight against Daesh. They are the only ally which is bordering Syria and Iraq,“ he said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.
Stoltenberg’s remarks came during a speech at the European Parliament in Brussels.
“Well, I’m worried. And as a United States senator and as a voter and citizen, I have learned not to simply take the federal government’s word at face value. I mean, look, we were lied to about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. We were lied to for a couple of decades about what was happening in Afghanistan. We have been lied to about a lot of things,” Lee said.
On Thursday Iraqi Prime Minister Mahdi phoned Pompeo to urgently request that Washington enact a US troop “withdrawal mechanism” in Iraq. American troops are in Iraq by invitation of the Iraqi government and the Iraqi government had just voted to revoke that invitation.
The State Department responded with a statement titled “The US Continued Partnership with Iraq,” in which it essentially said that the US would not abide by the request of its Iraqi partners because the US military is a “force for good” in the Middle East and that as such it is „our right“ to maintain „appropriate force posture” in the region.
After decades of an enduring cycle of violence, Iraqis are hardened to conflict. But many say they have little vested interest in the latest tit-for-tat between the US and Iran.
As Barbara Lee presciently warned her colleagues before she cast her lone dissenting vote in 2001, we have “become the evil we deplore.” But these wars have not been accompanied by fearsome military parades (not yet) or speeches about conquering the world. Instead they have been politically justified by “information warfare” to demonize enemies and fabricate crises, and then waged in a “disguised, quiet, media free” way, to hide their cost in human blood from the American public and the world.
After 16 years of war, about 6 million violent deaths, 6 countries utterly destroyed and many more destabilized, it is urgent that the American public come to terms with the true human cost of our country’s wars and how we have been manipulated and misled into turning a blind eye to them – before they go on even longer, destroy more countries, further undermine the rule of international law and kill millions more of our fellow human beings.
Combining my estimates for Afghanistan and Pakistan, I estimate that about 1.2 million Afghans and Pakistanis have been killed as a result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
Nicolas J.S. Davies is the author of Blood On Our Hands: the American Invasion and Destruction of Iraq. He also wrote the chapter on “Obama at War” in Grading the 44th President: a Report Card on Barack Obama’s First Term as a Progressive Leader.
Taking ORB’s estimate of 1.033 million killed by June 2007, then applying a variation of Just Foreign Policy’s methodology from July 2007 to the present using revised figures from Iraq Body Count, we estimate that 2.4 million Iraqis have been killed since 2003 as a result of our country’s illegal invasion, with a minimum of 1.5 million and a maximum of 3.4 million.
Total (rounded to nearest 1000):
“The fact is that we were promised by a president, by an administration, that they were going to do it as a last resort after exhausting diplomacy, that if they have to go to war it would be with a coalition that they built broadly, and that they would do it only in conjunction with our allies,“ Kerry said Friday, according to NBC News.
“It was a mistake to have trusted them, I guess, and we paid a high price for it,” Kerry continued. “But that was not voting for the war.”
„It is appalling that after 18 years Joe Biden still refuses to admit he was dead wrong on the Iraq War, the worst foreign policy blunder in modern American history,“ Jeff Weaver, a senior adviser to the Sanders campaign, said in a statement late Saturday. „Unlike 23 of his Senate colleagues who got it right, Biden made explicitly clear that he was voting for war, and even after the war started, he boasted that he didn’t regret it.“
The unsuccessful operation may indicate that the Trump administration’s killing of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani last week was part of a broader operation than previously explained, raising questions about whether the mission was designed to cripple the leadership of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or solely to prevent an imminent attack on Americans as originally stated.
Mr. Shahlai was based in Yemen, where Iran is supporting the Houthi rebels, who are fighting a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and that gets logistical help, intelligence and weapons from the American military and American arms makers. The attempted strike on Mr. Shahlai was first reported by The Washington Post.
On Friday, Mr. Trump expanded his description of the threat from Iran that he said prompted the strike on General Suleimani, saying Iran had planned to attack multiple embassies across the Middle East, including the American Embassy in Baghdad.
You may debate whether any particular historical war worked out well for its agitators. But there should be no debate that many of America’s recent wars have ended in misery for all. Our politicians talk of war as a last resort, but that is only to keep up appearances, because the truth is too terrible to admit: that our ever-more-expensive war machine (a cost of nearly $740 billion in 2020) can buy us little peace. Rather than a last resort, war now offers no resort. War can no longer be defended as the thing to do after everything else has failed. War must instead be seen as failure itself.
Mike Prysner gives a powerful anti-war speech at the demonstration against Trump’s bombing of Iraq and potential war against Iran on January 4 in downtown Los Angeles at Answer Coalition’s National Day of Action.
Iraq War Vet Mike Prysner
Protests Obama’s Wars
Veterans for Peace
December 16, 2010, 10 am
Song: Rockets and Penises in the Persian Gulf
Artist: George Carlin
Album: Jammin‘ in New York
I’d like to talk a little bit about the war in the Persian Gulf… biiiiiig doings in the Persian Gulf. You know my favourite part of that war? It’s the first war we ever had that was on every channel plus cable… and the war got good ratings too, didn’t it? Got good ratings! Well, we like war!!! We like war! We’re a war-like people! We like war because we’re good at it! You know why we’re good at it? Cause we get a lot of practice. This country’s only 200 years old and already, we’ve had 10 major wars. We average a major war every 20 years in this country so we’re good at it! And it’s a good thing we are; we’re not very good at anything else anymore! Huh? Can’t build a decent car, can’t make a TV set or a VCR worth a fuck, got no steel industry left, can’t educate our young people, can’t get health care to our old people, but we can bomb the shit out of your country all right! Huh? Especially if your country is full of brown people; oh we like that don’t we? That’s our hobby! That’s our new job in the world: bombing brown people. Iraq, Panama, Grenada, Libya, you got some brown people in your country, tell them to watch the fuck out or we’ll goddamn bomb them! Well when’s the last white people you can remember that we bombed? Can you remember the last white— can you remember ANY white people we’ve ever bombed? The Germans, those are the only ones and that’s only because they were trying to cut in on our action. They wanted to dominate the world! BULLSHIT! THAT’S OUR FUCKING JOB!!!
The Russian President’s visit to Syria on Tuesday marked the second time ever that he has traveled to the Arab Republic.
The North Atlantic Council at Ambassadorial level will meet this afternoon at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
After the meeting, the NATO Secretary General will briefly address the Press in the Agora Podium. (Estimated time: ±16:30)
The event will be available live on the NATO Website.
NATO ambassadors will gather on Monday in Brussels for an urgent meeting convened by the head of the military alliance to discuss the situation in the Middle East after a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad killed a top Iranian general, a NATO official said.
“I’m not supporting another war in Iran. We have already lost too many lives in the Middle East,” said Wes Frenell, a protester. “Invested trillions of dollars that can be used domestically to improve the lives of people here. We don’t need to buy bombs to kill people,” he said.
Amid rising tensions with Iran, the Navy is scrapping an exercise with Morocco as it redirects amphibious assault ship USS Bataan (LHD-5) and embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit to the Middle East, a defense official confirmed to USNI News on Friday.
HMS Montrose and HMS Defender – a Type 23 frigate and Type 45 destroyer – will be accompanying British ships to „take all necessary steps to protect our ships and citizens“ amid the tensions.
In a 2011 video, Donald Trump predicted a ‚weak and ineffective‘ President Obama would attack Iran in order to win a second term. Trump followed this notion up at other points in 2011 and 2012.
The latest escalation in tensions between the U.S. and Iran following the targeted killing of Qassem Soleimani comes after a series of skirmishes between the two countries in recent months. “Face The Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan joins “CBS This Morning” to discuss the ramifications of Soleimani’s assassination.
DUBAI (Reuters) – Iran’s supreme leader appointed the deputy commander of the Quds Force, Brigadier General Esmail Ghaani, as the replacement for Qassem Soleimani, the former head of the elite force who was killed in a U.S. air strike on Friday, state media reported.
In both 2001 and 2002, via large majorities, the Congress passed authorizations for war. While not declarations of war, these mandates, each titled an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) provided the legal framework in 2001 for attacks against al-Qaeda and in 2002 for the invasion of Iraq. Since 2001, the first AUMF has far exceeded its original purpose and has been used to justify military strikes and operations in close to twenty countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, often against nations, organizations, and individuals who had nothing to do with 9/11. It was even cited by President Obama, and then President Trump, as the authority to extra-constitutionally execute an American citizen and his teenage children, without trial, by drones and commandos.
The U.S. Constitution gives Congress the sole power to declare war, but under the AUMF the president can essentially bypass any required congressional approval. This matter has become of particular concern lately as the Trump administration appears to be gearing up for conflict with Iran.
Futures for Brent crude, a global benchmark, jumped 2.9% to $68.16 per barrel during Asian trading hours on Friday. US oil futures gained 2.8%, reaching $62.86 per barrel. That puts both on pace right now for their biggest daily gains in about a month, according to Refinitiv data.
Incredible overconfidence and sloppiness.
Fears of a major war in the Middle East exploded Thursday night with the U.S. assassination of arguably the second most powerful man in Iran.
A U.S. airstrike killed Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani in Baghdad late Thursday, the Pentagon said, a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries that could lead to widespread violence in the region and beyond.
Eight years later, the embassy remains and rampant US intervention in both Iraq and the larger region persists. Instead of continuing the policy of intervention, President Trump could implement the policy reversal Paul endorsed in his editorial. Paul wrote: “I have long said that we should simply declare victory and come home.” That would be nice. However, escalation appears to be in the cards.
Later, security sources told local media a strike hit two vehicles, killing Mohammed Redha, a senior member of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units — an umbrella group that includes Iran-backed Shiite militias with close ties to Iran and other militias that have fought the Islamic State group since 2014.
The UN Security Council will meet behind closed doors on Friday to discuss an uptick in violence in the embattled Syrian opposition stronghold of Idlib, diplomats told AFP.
The meeting – which will begin at 3:00 pm (2000 GMT) – comes at the request of Britain and France, with the backing of the United States, the diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said on Thursday.
Turkey’s parliament passed a motion that authorizes the government to send Turkish troops to Libya for a one-year deployment at their emergency session on Jan. 2.
Pompeo postponed his trip to Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Cyprus “due to the need for the Secretary to be in Washington, D.C., to continue monitoring the ongoing situation in Iraq and ensure the safety and security of Americans in the Middle East,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.
President Donald Trump is suddenly faced on the first day of election year with hot foreign policy crises with Iran and North Korea that put American lives at risk and could weigh heavily on his own political prospects.
„At the direction of the Commander in Chief @POTUS, I have authorized the deployment of an infantry battalion from the Immediate Response Force (IRF) of the @82ndABNDiv to the @CENTCOM area of operations in response to recent events in Iraq,“ Esper tweeted.
Three US airstrikes against Somalia on Sunday have brought the number of attacks in that country in 2019 to 63, the most ever by US forces in Somalia, and a substantial increase from the 47 in 2018.
Drei US-Luftangriffe auf Somalia am Sonntag haben die Zahl der Angriffe gegen dieses Land im Jahr 2019 auf 63 erhöht, die meisten jemals von US-Streitkräften in Somalia, und eine erhebliche Steigerung gegenüber den 47 Überfällen im Jahr 2018.
Retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor reacts to U.S. airstrikes on Iran-backed militia.
The angry demonstrations at the American embassy in Baghdad on Tuesday are just the latest installment in a deepening confrontation between the US and Iran for influence in Iraq.
It’s a struggle that dates back to the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the emergence of a Shia-dominated state in Iraq. But in light of the Trump administration’s campaign of maximum economic pressure against Iran, it has reached a new and potentially dangerous pitch.
Thu, Oct 3, 2019
History has shown that it is not possible to advance prosperity, security, and stability in the region in a non-inclusive manner that excludes Iran’s participation. The fate of HOPE is contingent on Iran’s ability to transform the proposal into concrete steps to generate confidence with its Arab neighbors, in addition to garnering the support of the international community, including the United States. Clearly, the majority of GCC states are not prepared to forego their military partnerships with the United States absent a real local capacity to guarantee their security and political interests. While it is unlikely that all GCC states will genuinely embrace the proposal under current circumstances, it is high time for all countries surrounding the Persian Gulf to seek a common path away from current tensions and hostilities.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says the United States knows it cannot bring the Islamic Republic to its knees through its maximum pressure policy.
PM Abdel Mahdi strongly refused the attack. US didn’t care.
Macron held talks late Sunday with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi when both agreed that warring Libyan powers need to negotiate a political solution under UN auspices.
Despite pressure from Syria and Russia, Akar confirmed once again that Turkey will not abandon its military positions inside Idlib and will be sticking to its commitments underlined by the Sochi deal.
All these developments come before a scheduled meeting between Erdoğan and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Jan. 8 in Istanbul for the inauguration of the TurkStream pipeline. For many in Ankara, escalation in Idlib is not totally irrelevant to the developments in Libya where Turkey and Russia support the opposite camps.
Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu called the United States‘ Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to congratulate him on the successful attack on Iran and its proxies in Iraq.
The U.S. government of Donald Trump just carried out airstrikes in three countries. And literally everybody is sitting on his / her ass and shuts his / her mouth hole.
Thereby some remarks:
Libya has been facing ongoing instability since the fall of President Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
Thousands have been killed in fighting between factions of the self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA) commanded by Khalifa Haftar, based in the east, and the internationally-recognized government in the capital, Tripoli, located in the west.
“Surgical” U.S. air strikes destabilize villages, drive displacement and fuel al-Shabab recruitment.
NAIROBI (Reuters) – Four al Shabaab militants were killed on Sunday in three U.S. air strikes in two locations in Somalia, the U.S. military said on Monday.
„Once we have been forced to reach this situation, we will not hesitate to employ the full force of the IDF, even in the urban sphere where the enemy has chosen to act,” he said.
Israel’s aim is to deter potential enemies, he said. The “ultimate goal is to instill in our enemies the feeling of despair and doubt in their ability to achieve their aggressive aims.”
Lt.-Gen. Kochavi acknowledges in public for the first time that Israel has struck Iranian targets in Iraq.
“Tell the truth, don’t lie or embellish,” one member told the others in a group text in 2017, when they first reportedly tried to report the chief. “That way, he can’t say that we slandered him in any way.”
Video obtained by The New York Times shows members of SEAL Team 7 criticizing their former platoon chief Edward Gallagher, who was accused of murdering a teenage ISIS member. CBS News national security correspondent David Martin joined CBSN with the latest details.
Gallagher’s war crimes case gained national attention after President Donald Trump controversially intervened on his behalf, ignoring Pentagon leaders who had told the President such a move could damage the integrity of the military judicial system.
„The guy is freaking evil,“ Special Operator First Class Craig Miller said of Gallagher during his interview with Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents, the Times reported.“
Hosts: Cenk Uygur, John Iadarola, John Fugelsang
Also watch this Sunday on @FXNetworks.
In our case, of course, the definition of “national security” is subsidizing the U.S. military-industrial complex, year in, year out, at levels that should be (but aren’t) beyond belief. In 2019, Pentagon spending is actually higher than it was at the peak of either the Korean or Vietnam conflicts and may soon be — adjusted for inflation — twice the Cold War average.
Yes, in those four decades, there were dips at key inflection points, including the ends of the Vietnam War and the Cold War, but the underlying trend has been ever onward and upward. Just why that’s been the case is a subject that almost never comes up here.
„Russia… supports any efforts and individual countries in terms of finding solutions to the (Libyan) crisis,“ said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
Later on Tuesday, Erdogan and Putin held a phone call where they discussed developments in Libya and Syria, as well as their bilateral ties and other regional issues, the Turkish presidency said in a statement. No further details were available.
Asked whether the chief had a bias against Middle Eastern people, Special Operator Scott replied, “I think he just wants to kill anybody he can.”
Some of the SEALs said they came to believe that the chief was purposefully exposing them to enemy fire to bait ISIS fighters into revealing their positions. They said the chief thought that casualties in the platoon would increase his chances for a Silver Star.
The prime minister needs a win in the next elections, and initiating a major conflict with Iran may be his only hope to convince Israelis that there is no alternative to his leadership
Obama’s remarks came in a call on Saturday to Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, sharpening US rhetoric after days of deadly violence – and criticism that Washington was slow to respond.
„When a leader’s only means of staying in power is to use mass violence against his own people, he has lost the legitimacy to rule and needs to do what is right for his country by leaving now,“ the White House said in a statement, summarising their telephone conversation.
I remember being far from home, family, and loved ones. Thrust into an alien and hostile land I didn’t even know existed. Christmas dinner choppered in to a desolate LZ. The space on the chopper where the cold turkey and warm beer had been, quickly filled with the still-warm bodies of comrades who had experienced their last Christmas.
Plans of Israel’s incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to annex the West Bank’s Jordan Valley have reportedly entered a “deep freeze”over concerns that it could potentially intensify confrontation with the International Crime Court.
The move was initiated by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Ministers speaking on condition of anonymity were cited as saying that public discussion and media media coverage of Israel’s efforts to forestall the ICC from launching its probe could potentially compromise Israel’s national interests.
A new wave of mercenaries from Sudan is fighting in Libya, deepening concerns that the conflict in the north African state has descended into an intractable international war that could destabilise much of the region.
Leaders of two different groups of Sudanese fighters active in Libya have told the Guardian that they had received hundreds of new recruits in recent months. Both groups were fighting with the Libyan National Army (LNA) led by General Khalifa Haftar against the internationally recognised government in Tripoli.
SANA’s reporter said a vehicle rigged with large amounts of explosives exploded on Monday afternoon in the main street of Salouk town in Tal Abyad area in the northern countryside of Raqqa.
The blast claimed the lives of 5 civilians and injured 15 others, in addition to causing material damage to houses and properties, with 3 buildings in the blast site collapsing later due to the high power of the blast.
Units of the Syrian Arab army established control over Jirjanaz strategic town in Idleb south-eastern countryside after fierce battles against terrorist organizations positioned in the town to the east of Hama-Ma’arat al-Numan highway.
The Syrian Arab Army (SAA) is rolling through the southeastern countryside of the Idlib Governorate this evening after launching a big attack at two axes.
According to a military source near the front-lines, the Syrian Arab Army has captured the town of Al-Rafah after a short battle with the jihadist rebels of Hay’at Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) and their militant allies.
Israel has done everything to reach The Hague. That’s what happens when the prosecution is a cemetery for war crimes, the High Court whitewashes them and the media hides them and covers for them. That’s the way it is when international law is disparaged for decades. There’s probably no other country that thumbs its nose at international law this way and pays no price for it. Perhaps now the moment of truth is approaching, the moment of penalty. It will be very good for Israel. It might clean out its stables, stained with blood and stolen land. Every Israeli patriot and seeker of justice should now look to The Hague with hope.
First, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu doesn’t want to spoil the close personal relationship he has nurtured with Trump. Second, like most leaders of Middle East countries close to the United States, Israeli leaders are leery of bruising the president’s huge ego. Third, Trump keeps giving gifts to Israel regarding the Palestinian issue.
But behind the scenes there is talk of great frustration, largely concerning the change that appears to be developing in the administration’s stance on Iran.
Political leaders in the United States and Israel had planned to watch the speech closely for any major change in U.S.-Israeli policy and signs that his bromance with Netanyahu is ebbing.
Israel and Gaza’s ruling Hamas agreed to an open-ended ceasefire on August 26 after seven weeks of fighting – an uneasy deal that halted the Protective Edge operation, with more than 2,200 killed.
The IDF (Israeli Defense Forces) began their current operation against Hamas after three teens were kidnapped and killed. The military op has already claimed over 1,500 civilian lives in Gaza.
A full ICC investigation could possibly lead to charges against individuals. States cannot be charged by the ICC.
The ICC’s preliminary investigation has looked at the 2014 war which left 2,251 dead on the Palestinian side, the majority civilians, and 74 on the Israeli side, most of them soldiers.
Der Vorsitzende der Generalstabschefs General Mark Milley versuchte am Freitag, den Krieg gegen Afghanistan zu verteidigen, obwohl die Afghanistan-Papiere systematische offizielle Lügen über den gescheiterten Konflikt zeigen, indem er darauf bestand, dass die Dokumente eine „Fehlcharakterisierung“ des Krieges sind und dass es keine einheitliche Entscheidung zur Täuschung der Öffentlichkeit gab.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley sought to defend the Afghan War on Friday, despite the Afghanistan Papers showing systematic official lies about the failed conflict, insisting that the documents were a “mischaracterization” of the war, and that there was no unified decision to deceive the public.
As there has been a referral from the State of Palestine, there is no requirement to seek Pre-Trial Chamber’s authorisation before proceeding to open an investigation, and I do not seek to do so.
However, given the unique and highly contested legal and factual issues attaching to this situation, namely, the territory within which the investigation may be conducted, I deemed it necessary to rely on article 19(3) of the Statute to resolve this specific issue.
Earlier today, I therefore requested from Pre-Trial Chamber I a jurisdictional ruling on the scope of the territorial jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court („ICC“ or the „Court“) under article 12(2)(a) of the Rome Statute in Palestine.