Aletho News


Ukraine resorts to creating fake DPR websites as “sources”

“Ukraine is trying to discredit DPR media by creating false sites of the republic”

Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski – December 23, 2015

Novorossiya – Ukrainian media, feeling powerless in the information war, is resorting to new tricks. This time false websites allegedly belonging to the republics have been created which are spreading false information. This was reported by the technical service team of Donetsk News Agency.

“They [these fake sites] are registered in the Ukrainian domain zone and their names sometimes refer to the DPR or to a city controlled by the republic’s forces. ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ is written without quotation marks, thus attracting the attention of gullible supporters of the DPR. However, the content of the publications is false and sometimes of an absurd character. A number of extremely ‘yellow’ Ukrainian media outlets are using new data resources referring to ‘separatist’ publications,” the information agency noted.

The deputy director of state information policies of the Ministry of Information of the DPR, Natalya Pershina, commented on this move by Ukraine in the information war:

“Those who are associated with this project are mired in their own lies and are harming Ukraine’s media, not the republic’s,” she said.

The authorities of the DPR have repeatedly urged a cautious approach to Ukrainian media, especially information which is posted about Donbass. There are no Ukrainian journalists in the DPR and they do not have access to documents of the republic. In addition, Ukrainian media and journalism have little in common.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , | Leave a comment

Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian woman in Silwad

IMEMC News – December 25, 2015

mahdiyya_hammad1Israeli soldiers killed, on Friday evening, a Palestinian woman while driving her car near the main entrance of Silwad town, northeast of the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

The slain Palestinian woman has been identified as Mahdiyya Mohammad Ibrahim Hammad, 38. She is a married mother of four children.

Although the Israeli army claimed “she attempted to ram soldiers with her car,” eyewitness confirmed she was at least 30 meters away from the military roadblock, when the soldiers opened fire on her.

They added that the woman was not even speeding when the soldiers opened fire on her car, and that the army fired many live rounds at her.

Following the shooting, the soldiers left the woman to bleed to death, and held her body for more than two hours before handing her to the Palestinian side, near the Beit El military roadblock.

The family said the funeral ceremony and procession will be held on Saturday, after the noon prayers in Silwad.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Hammad was shot with two live rounds in her face, five rounds in the chest and two in the pelvis.

Also on Friday, the army killed a young Palestinian man, identified as Hani Rafeeq Wahdan, 22, east of Gaza City. Wahdan was shot with a live round in the head.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said 137 Palestinians, including 26 children and 7 women, have been killed by Israeli fire since October 1, while more than 15000 have been injured, including 4500 who were shot with live fire and rubber-coated metal bullets.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Subjugation - Torture | , , , , | 1 Comment

Daesh, Nusra Fighters Begin Turning in Heavy Arms Outside Syrian Capital

Sputnik – 25.12.2015

DAMASCUS – Fighters from the Daesh and the al-Nusra Front have begun giving up heavy weapons to the Syrian army south of the Arab republic’s capital of Damascus, a military source said Friday.

The source said engineer troops arrived with UN representatives near the Yarmouk Camp in southern Damascus on Thursday to accept heavy weapons from the militants.

“The militants who have given up their weapons will be taken toward Beer al-Qasab, an eastern suburb of Damascus, with their families,” the military source told RIA Novosti.

A total of over 3,500 fighters and their family members have so far agreed to leave the suburb of Al Hajar Al Aswad where the camp is located, the source added.

News emerged on Thursday that 5,000 militants and their families would be relocated from Al-Hajar Al-Aswad, Al-Qadam and Al-Asali under an agreement brokered by an unnamed third party starting this weekend.

According to media reports, the militants permitted to carry personal weapons, would be taken to the Daesh stronghold of Raqqah as part of the agreement.

About 18,000 people are estimated to live in Yarmouk, a Palestinian refugee camp established in 1957.

Daesh militants overran major portions of Yarmouk in early April.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

9/11 Generation Needing ‘Safe Space’ for Sacrosanct Myths

By Jonathan Taylor | CounterPunch | December 25, 2015


Does Generation Safe Space need the military to protect them from hurt feelings? Recent polls indicate increasing support among young people for military rule. Given the constant assault on their fragile identities posed by such atrocities as ethnic Halloween costumes, culturally insensitive Banh Mi sandwiches and the like, who can blame them for craving a new authoritarianism?

Critics on the right have increasingly bemoaned the oversensitivity of the not-so-greatest generation but this critique is starting to show up all over the place. Liberal professors are, somewhat hyperbolically, terrified. Eminent sociologists are deeply concerned. Radical environmentalists allege a new liberal McCarthyism. When some of the saner voices on both the right and left start to agree so broadly, it’s past time to pay attention.

Who is to blame? Helicopter parents? Nanny-state bureaucrats? Rule-obsessed educrats? A rhetorical coup in academic discourse in which disagreement becomes disrespect or insult? Widespread mental illness with a lack of corresponding cognitive therapy? Economic insecurity and the increasing impoverishment of the middle class? Increasing job instability for the young? Accusations fly all over the place as we try to understand why the insufficiently trigger-warned would throw out free speech because of the existence of hate speech, or move to reject democracy itself in favor of authoritarian rule. Few though examine the broader political atmosphere of fear and intolerance since 9-11 that our young people have grown up in, and the role of mass surveillance and the militarization and securitization of political discourse. Could broader notions of vulnerability be leading to an increased sense of personal vulnerability? Or perhaps, a little bit of all of the above?

Whatever the cause, there is no doubt a backlash is brewing, and trending in an unfortunate direction. While the Ivy Leaguers purge a few token administrators (while simultaneously creating new administrative positions that students demand), hate crimes outside of universities are on the rise. While in the classroom each utterance is more and more carefully subjected to scrutiny for microaggressions, populist pundits and politicians are increasingly open about their racism and xenophobia. What do the students expect? With some campus activism devolving into 50% group therapy and 50% primal screaming at hapless administrators, does anyone think this is actually helping create safe spaces for the sort of nuanced, open-minded public debate necessary for real learning and growth? Why create a movement that allows yourself to be viewed as a mass of coddled, over-sensitive elitists, unless of course the problem is that this is what you are?

Watching authoritarianism on the right grow simultaneously with authoritarianism from the campus liberal-left produces anxiety, but anxiety itself fuels these attacks on free speech. Is it time for another Free Speech movement ala Berkeley 1964-6? Or would that potentially hurt somebody’s feelings?

Jonathan Taylor is a Professor in the Geography Department at California State University, Fullerton.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Civil Liberties, Full Spectrum Dominance, Militarism, Science and Pseudo-Science, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

US court mulls appropriation of Iran assets

Press TV – December 25, 2015

The US Supreme Court is mulling a case on appropriating $2 billion of Iranian assets frozen in a bank in New York.

Over 1,300 Americans are reportedly pressing the US government, judiciary and Congress to pay them billions of dollars in awarded damages over two bombings in Beirut and Saudi Arabia in 1983 and 1996.

Iran has dismissed any role in the attacks and rejected the US judicial system’s ruling to let the purported plaintiffs use Bank Markazi’s almost $2 billion held in Citibank accounts.

The case has reportedly moved to the Supreme Court, with the Obama administration urging it not to overturn the decisions of US circuit and appeals courts to award the plaintiffs.

The White House and US congressional Republicans and Democrats reportedly agree on the case.

In 2012, President Barack Obama issued an executive order blocking all of Bank Markazi’s assets held in the US in order to prevent Tehran from repatriating them.

At the same time, Congress passed a law which included a provision making it easier for the Americans to use Iranian funds frozen in the US.

Iran says the action was unconstitutional because Congress was encroaching on the power of the judiciary.

Iran’s Bank Markazi says the US Congress passed the law to change the outcome of the case. It has asked the US federal courts to decide whether that violates the constitutional separation of powers.

With the case moved to the US Supreme Court now, the outcome is set to affect a landmark nuclear agreement between Iran and the West.

Tehran is already disappointed by Obama’s signing of a Congress bill aimed at limiting tourist travels to Iran, saying it violates the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) as the nuclear accord is called.

On Thursday, US media said each of the 53 hostages held during the 1979 takeover of the American embassy in Tehran by Iranian students would receive compensation under a spending bill passed last Friday.

The budget bill reportedly includes a provision authorizing each of the 53 hostages to receive $10,000 for each day of the 444 spell they were held captive.

In addition, spouses and children would separately receive a one-time payment of $600,000. Thirty-eight of the former hostages are still alive, US media said.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite | , , , | 2 Comments

Amnesty Publishes a Biased Report About Russia’s Campaign in Syria

Report makes wild allegations of war crimes without substantiating evidence

By Alexander Mercouris | Russia Insider | December 24, 2015

Amnesty International has just released a report accusing the Russian authorities of “shamefully concealing” large numbers of civilian deaths caused by Russian air strikes in Syria.

The report also says the Russians might be committing war crimes in Syria.

The Russians have responded to the report by saying it is littered with cliches.

Having read the report, I can say it provides no evidence a court could use.

As Amnesty says, its report was researched “remotely”.

That means there was no field work. No investigators visited the six places where Amnesty says the attacks by the Russians discussed in the report took place.

The report is based entirely on reports of alleged eye witnesses and video evidence provided to Amnesty by third parties.

This in itself is worrying. Given that Syria is in a state of civil war with a long history of evidence being manipulated by both sides – especially by the rebels – in pursuit of their objectives, this is a fragile reed upon which to build a report like this.

As it happens, detailed examination of the six incidents shows there is no conclusive evidence linking the Russians to any of them.

An attack on Talbisseh on 30th September 2015 is said to have been the result of “suspected Russian air strikes on Karama Street”. Use of certain munitions is attributed to the Russians because “Syrian government forces are not considered capable of delivering them” (“considered” by whom and what if that assumption is wrong?). An attack on Darat Izzah is attributed to a “suspected Russian sea-launched cruise missile”. Civilian deaths on Nuqeyr “purportedly involved cluster munitions”. An attack on Al-Ghantu involved “suspected Russian air strikes”. Two missiles that attacked Sermin were “fired by suspected Russian warplanes”.

Lastly, the report discusses an attack on Ariha without mentioning the Russians or providing any evidence they were involved at all.

Given the myriad number of air forces now operating in Syria, it is impossible to see how Amnesty can be sure that any of these incidents – if they even happened – involved the Russians.

Amnesty tries to get round this by saying the volume of noise of some of the attacks, and comparisons with post-attack reports provided by the Russians, indirectly confirms their involvement.

To say this is unconvincing would be an understatement.

As any investigator knows, relying on what a witness claims to have seen is problematic enough. Drawing deductions from the volume of sound a witness claims to have heard is hopeless.

As for the coincidence of some of the incidents to the post-attack reports the Russians have provided, that is interesting but hardly conclusive.  It would after all be an obvious step for someone trying to fabricate evidence of atrocities by the Russians to try to match incidents to attacks the Russians have admitted being involved in.

In a particularly farfetched piece of reasoning, Amnesty tries to use a Russian denial of the destruction of the Omar Bin Al-Khattab mosque in Jisr Al-Sughour in order to “prove” its claim the Russians did actually destroy the Omar Bin Al-Khattab mosque.

The argument is that because the Russians denied they destroyed the mosque, but supported their denial by showing a picture of a different mosque, that somehow “proves” they destroyed the mosque.

That is a classic example of a non sequitur (“it does not follow”).

To see how bad this reasoning is, just consider what Philip Luther, Director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme, has said about this incident:

“By presenting satellite imagery of an intact mosque and claiming it showed another that had been destroyed, the Russian authorities appear to have used sleight of hand to try to avoid reproach and avert scrutiny of their actions in Syria. Such conduct does not cultivate confidence in their willingness to investigate reported violations in good faith. Russia’s Ministry of Defence must be more transparent and disclose targets of their attacks in order to facilitate assessment of whether they are complying with their obligations under international humanitarian law.”

If there is a “sleight of hand” it is in this argument.

Firstly, it is a huge – and unwarranted – leap to say it proves bad faith because the Russians provided a photograph of the wrong mosque.

It is equally possible there was simply a mistake. That would be very likely if the Russians were confused about which mosque they were supposed to have destroyed – because they didn’t in fact destroy any mosque.

More fundamentally, what this argument does is try to prove a positive – that the Russians destroyed the Omar Bin Al-Khattab mosque – out of a negative –  that the Russians showed a satellite image of the wrong mosque.

This is flawed reasoning by any measure, and it proves nothing. It does not prove that the mosque – if it was destroyed – was destroyed by the Russians. It could equally well have been destroyed by someone else. In a conflict like the one in Syria there is no shortage of others who might have done it.

The entire report is in fact riddled with this sort of bad reasoning. Besides its repeated use of the word “suspected” (“suspected” by whom?) exposes it for what it actually is – a tissue of guesses and suppositions.

The real concern must however be about the provenance of the information – such as it is – upon which the report is based.

When discussing the attack on Maasran the report says it arrived at its conclusions based on “images and reports sent to it by Syrian human rights activists and also documented by military and security organisations”.

Though Amnesty claims to have spoken to some of the alleged witnesses, it is likely most of the information in the report – and all the video evidence which Amnesty claims to have seen – comes from these sources.

This begs the obvious question of who these “Syrian human rights activists” and “military and security organisations” are, and how much reliance can be placed on them?

What criteria does Amnesty use to determine whether someone reporting out of Syria is a “human rights activist”?

The expression “human rights activist” implies someone whose primary concern is for human rights and who is therefore in some way detached from the political struggle.

Anyone who has followed the Syrian conflict with any care knows that no such people exist. Individuals and organisations who report about Syria claiming to be “human rights activists” – such as the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights – turn out invariably to be anti-Assad activists and members of the Syrian opposition. As such they cannot be assumed to be unbiased or impartial reporters of what is going on.

A reporter does not have to be impartial to be objective and accurate. Gleb Bazov and Colonel Cassad who report about the Ukrainian war from a militia perspective are neither unbiased nor impartial and make no pretence to be. However experience has shown them to be extremely reliable and accurate.

The same unfortunately is not true of the Syrian conflict. This has been proved countless times (see for example here my discussion about the Ghouta chemical attack of August 2013) whilst the fact that the people Amnesty is in contact with claim to be “human rights activists” as opposed to “opposition supporters” – which is what they really are – is in itself good reason to doubt what they say.

Far more disturbing than this reliance on “Syrian human rights activists” is however the reference to “military and security organisations”.

Who are these “military and security organisations”?  Are they perhaps the intelligence agencies of the Western powers?  If so, should Amnesty be getting its information from such a source?

It is comments like this that explain the concern of many people like me, who have strong historic links to Amnesty, and who are left wondering whether it bears any resemblance to the organisation they once knew?

I have dissected Amnesty’s report on the Russian campaign in Syria to expose its obvious flaws.

Doing so in a sense is however hardly necessary. There is no need to get lost in the detail.

The reality – as everyone knows – is that it is hardly conceivable Amnesty would ever publish a report about the Russian military campaign in Syria that gave it a clean bill of health.

The report in fact brings together two of Amnesty’s perennial villains – the Russian government and the Syrian government – and given what Amnesty routinely says about each of them, nothing different from the report Amnesty has just published could have been expected.

Ever since the start of the Syrian conflict Amnesty has campaigned against the Syrian government, calling for Western military intervention in Syria to “protect civilians”, for the establishment of “safe havens” and “no-fly zones” (as to what all that means see my discussion here) and has tried to orchestrate public campaigns against Russia’s support or perceived support for the Syrian government.

To expect Amnesty not to find fault with a Russian military intervention in Syria that is defeating all those objectives would be naive.

This is quite apart from the fact that Amnesty has a long history of hostility to the Russian government.

It has backed groups like Pussy Riot. It named people like the oligarch Mikhail Khodorkovsky – an individual the European Court of Human Rights says is guilty of massive tax evasion – “prisoners of conscience”.

Amnesty’s reporting of the Ukrainian conflict has also leaned heavily in favour of the Ukrainian government and against the east Ukrainian militia  and Russia.

It has for example laid heavy stress on individual human rights violations it claims were committed by the militia whilst all but ignoring the Ukrainian army’s indiscriminate shelling of cities and its attempts to besiege them.

Amnesty has also vigorously supported the claims of Western governments that the Russian army is intervening on the militia’s side in the Ukrainian war – to the point of publishing actually inconclusive satellite pictures to prove it – as if it was itself an intelligence agency.

The report on the Russian campaign in Syria has to be read in this context.

It is not an impartial fact-based study carried out after careful field work on the ground. Rather it is simply part of the ongoing campaign in the West to turn Western public opinion against Russia’s military campaign in Syria.

That this is so is shown by the claim in the report that the Russians are deliberately targeting civilians and are therefore committing war crimes – an incendiary allegation Amnesty has also made against President Assad.

In the case of the Russians it makes no sense. Why would the Russians deliberately target civilians – something that can only provoke them to join the rebels – at the same time as they have been working hard to get a political process started to end the Syrian war?  Surely the one contradicts – and completely undermines – the other?

None of this is to say that no civilians have died in Syria as a result of Russian air strikes. Some have certainly died and it would be absurd to pretend otherwise. However to claim there is a deliberate policy of targeting civilians defies logic, and finds no support in anything the Russians have said or done, or which appears in the report whose flaws I have dissected.

As it happens the report does give an account of one incident which might – if true – show how civilians might have been killed during a Russian air strike without the Russians intending it.

This is the attack on Al-Ghantu, in which several members of a single extended family sheltering in the basement of what the report calls a civilian building are alleged to have been killed as a result of a Russian air strike.

The report says the family “were related to a commander of a local armed group who was away at the time of the attack”.

Amnesty does not identify the man in question or the group he leads. One wonders why?

Regardless, this account sounds very like an attempt to kill a rebel commander which missed him but which killed instead members of his family.

The Russians have claimed on several occasions that they have killed rebel commanders in air strikes.  It is entirely plausible that they target rebel commanders intentionally, and that this was an attempt to kill one.

If so then it obviously was not intended to kill civilians since the intended target was not the civilians but the rebel commander.

The Russians might have been guilty of recklessness about whether civilians were in the basement when they attacked it in the belief the rebel commander was there. Or they might have mistaken the basement for a bunker or command post. Or they might have thought only the commander and his guards were there.

In any of these cases the killing of the civilians would not have been deliberate. It would have been – in the horrible language of modern war – not intentional but “collateral”.

Some might argue – as I do – that trying to assassinate someone far from the battlefield in this way is wrong. However the point is that it is precisely what the Western powers do all the time – with barely any complaint from Amnesty.

To take one example amongst legions: during the 2011 Libyan campaign the Western military made what were obvious attempts to kill Gaddafi.  The fact Gaddafi was being intentionally targeted was not even denied, though the Russian government complained about it.

One such attempt involved an air strike on a residential villa. It missed Gaddafi – who was not there – but killed one of his infant children and three of his grandchildren. Here is what I wrote about it.

At the time I called this an “ongoing descent into barbarism”.

If Amnesty condemned it I never heard about it, and I have found no record of it. If Amnesty did condemn it, they certainly don’t draw attention to it. Certainly they have not accused the Danish government – whose aircraft carried out the strike – of committing war crimes.

Why then does Amnesty find the attack on Al-Ghantu so much more objectionable?

The short answer – there is no other – is that it is because the attack on Gaddafi’s villa – like scores of other attacks on civilian facilities in any number of countries before and since – were carried out by the Western powers, whilst the attack on Al-Ghantu was – allegedly though not definitely – carried out by the Russians.

It is impossible to avoid the feeling that for the authors of the Amnesty report it is that – not the deaths of civilians – that is in the end what matters.

Amnesty International was once a universally respected organisation, greatly admired for its courage and integrity. Its founding purpose was to campaign for political prisoners – people imprisoned not for their crimes but for their beliefs – regardless of their political views or of the political views of those who had imprisoned them.

As someone who has supported Amnesty’s campaigns in the past, it pains me to see it departing so far from its founding purpose by taking sides in conflicts so openly and in such a brazenly political way.

I hope and believe there are still people in Amnesty who realise the folly of this, and who will fight back against it before it is too late.

As for the report about Russia’s military campaign in Syria that Amnesty has just published, it falls so far below its old standards that it has to be treated more as a piece of anti-Russian propaganda than as a serious critique of the Russian military campaign.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Deception, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular | , , , | Leave a comment

Amnesty International: Imperialist Tool


By Prof. Francis A. Boyle | thewallwillfall

July 31, 1998

Dear Amnesty Friends:

I am in receipt of the response by three members of the AIUSA Middle East Coordination Group to my message that was entitled “NGOs As Western Tools.” You will note that they never denied any of the basic facts set forth in my original message. When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982 and murdered 20,000 Arabs/Muslims with the full support of the United States, both Amnesty International and AIUSA said absolutely nothing at all despite vigorous efforts by AIUSA Members to get them both to say and to do anything. When it became clear that AIUSA was not going to say or do anything about Israel’s wholesale slaughter of Arabs/Muslims in Lebanon because of the marked pro-Israel bias by the AIUSA Staff, Board, and Funders, I called the Irish Nobel Peace Prize Winner Sean MacBride at his home in Dublin and asked him to intervene with AI/London. What little AI/London said and did about 20,000 Arabs/Muslims in Lebanon murdered by Israel with the full support of the United States was due to Sean MacBride.

MacBride then convinced the then AI Secretary General to appoint me a Consultant to Amnesty International on the human rights situation in the Middle East. In that capacity, I attended the founding meeting of what would become the AIUSA Middle East Coordination Group. In other words, I was one of the founders of the AIUSA Mid-East Co-Group, some of whose members are now defending its work. At that founding meeting I said quite emphatically that Amnesty International and AIUSA would have absolutely no credibility whatsoever in the Middle East unless they dealt forthrightly and vigorously with violations of the human rights of Arabs and Muslims by Israel, and, in particular, Israeli atrocities against the People of Lebanon and the Palestinian People. Soon thereafter, I found out that the Members of the AIUSA Mid-East Co-Group had been instructed to have nothing more to do with me by a direct order coming from the AIUSA Board of Directors.

It is fair to say that Amnesty International has quite recently released some reports dealing with Israeli violations of human rights of the Palestinian People and the Lebanese People. But Israel has been consistently murdering, torturing and destroying the Palestinian People since at least the time when the occupation of their lands began in 1967–and with the full support of the United States Government. And only now has Amnesty International got around to condemning it. Almost a decade ago while on the AIUSA Board, I tried to get AI/London and AIUSA to act on the basis of the infamous Landau Report whereby the Israeli Government officially sanctioned torture against Palestinians. Over a decade ago while on the AIUSA Board, I pointed out that this made Israel the only state in the world to officially sanction torture. It is nice to see that a decade later Amnesty International has finally agreed with me and said something about it.

Likewise, Israel has been rampaging around Lebanon with the full support of the United States to the grave detriment of the Lebanese People and Palestinians living there since at least the time when Israel first invaded Lebanon in 1978. The primary reason why Amnesty International has put out these latest reports condemning Israeli human rights violations in Lebanon and against the Palestinian People after decades of silence is because there are now several other human rights organizations which have acted against Israel when AI/London and AIUSA refused to act because of their marked pro-Israel bias. When it comes to protecting the human rights of Palestinians, Lebanese, Arabs/Muslims from atrocities by Israel, the United States, and Britain, AI/London and AIUSA have always been too little, too late, and on purpose.

While on the AIUSA Board I once saw the itinerary drawn up by AIUSA for the visit to the United States by the then AI Secretary General coming from London. On the list was almost every major pro-Israel group in New York and Washington and about one Arab Group. Given their standard operating procedures, I am confident the pro-Israel groups threatened the AI Secretary General that they would have their members withhold or reduce their contributions to AI and AIUSA if AI/London did not reign in its pathetic, pitiful, and meager criticisms of Israel. While I was on the AIUSA Board, AIUSA paid about 20% of the budget for AI/London. He who pays the piper calls the tune.

You will also note that the three AIUSA Mid-East Co-Group members’ response to my original message said absolutely nothing at all about the scandalous Kuwaiti Dead Babies Report and Campaign that both Amnesty International and AIUSA used for the purpose of promoting war against Iraq. As a Member of the AIUSA Board, I received a pre-publication copy of the Dead Babies Report. I read it immediately and quite carefully. First, this report contained technical errors that should have precluded its publication. Second, even if all these sensational allegations had been true, it was clear that publication of this report at that critical moment in time (December 1990) would only be used by the United States and Britain to monger for war against Iraq. I expressed these opinions in the strongest terms possible and that this report should not be published because it was inaccurate; or that if for some reason it were to be published, it must be accompanied by an errata sheet. Amnesty International published the Dead Babies Report anyway despite my vigorous objections, and launched their Disinformation Campaign against Iraq. From this episode I could only conclude that AI/London deliberately intended the Dead-Babies Report and Campaign to be used in order to tip the balance in favor of war against Iraq.

This is exactly what happened. In January of 1991 the United States Senate voted in favor of war against Iraq by only five or six votes. Several Senators publicly stated that the AI/AIUSA Dead Babies Report and Campaign had influenced their votes in favor of war against Iraq. That genocidal war waged by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, inter alia, during the months of January and February 1991, killed at a minimum 200,000 Iraqis, half of whom were civilians. Amnesty International shall always have the blood of the Iraqi People on its hands!

Once it became clear that there never were any dead babies in Kuwait as alleged by Amnesty International, AI/London proceeded to engage in a massive coverup of the truth. For all I know, the same people at AI/London who waged this Dead-Babies Disinformation Campaign against Iraq are still at AI/London producing more disinformation against Arab/Muslim states in the Middle East in order to further the political and economic interests of the United States, Britain, and Israel. Because of its Dead-Babies Disinformation Campaign against Iraq and its ensuing coverup, Amnesty International will never have any credibility in the Middle East!

During the past eight years, about 1.5 million People in Iraq have died as a result of genocidal sanctions imposed upon them primarily at the behest of the United States and Britain, including in that number about 500,000 dead Iraqi children. While on the AIUSA Board of Directors, I tried to get them and AI/London to do something about this genocidal embargo against the People of Iraq, and especially against the Iraqi Children. Both AI/London and AIUSA adamantly refused to act despite the grievous harm that their Dead-Babies Disinformation Campaign had inflicted upon the People of Iraq. It was clear to me at the time that there was no way AI/London and AIUSA were going to take on Britain and the United States on behalf of the completely innocent People of Iraq.

Now we are told that there is something in the AI Mandate that precludes AI action against such genocidal economic embargoes. Of course this is nonsense. While I served on the AIUSA Board, one of our Board Chairs personally put me in charge of handling Mandate issues for the AIUSA Board. I know all about the Mandate. It was my responsibility.

Generally put, when AI/London and AIUSA want to take action on a matter because it will bring them publicity, money, members, and “influence,” they pay no attention whatsoever to their so-called Mandate. Likewise, when AI/London and AIUSA decide for political or economic reasons that they will not work on human rights problem, they trot out their so-called Mandate to justify non-action.

The same type of bogus argument was used by AI/London and AIUSA to prevent the organizations and their memberships from taking any effective action against the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa that had been oppressing millions of Black People for decades. To the best of my knowledge, Amnesty International is the only human rights organization in the entire world to have refused to condemn apartheid and work against it. The spurious argument made here was that Amnesty International could take no position on a type of government. But the truth of the matter was that Amnesty International is headquartered in London, and AIUSA is headquartered in New York and Washington. The biggest political supporters of the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa were the governments of Britain, the United States, and Israel. Likewise, the biggest sources of economic investments in the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa came from Britain and the United States. Once again, he who pays the piper calls the tune.

There was no way AI/London and AIUSA were ever going to work against the political and economic interests of Britain, the United States, and Israel operating together in support of the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa. So AI/London and AIUSA concocted this spurious rationale for non-action. The same is being done today by AI/London and AIUSA to justify their non-action in light of the genocidal economic embargo imposed now primarily by the United States and Britain against the People of Iraq. There is no way AI/London and AIUSA will ever act against the political and economic interests of the United States, Britain, and Israel in the Middle East, and certainly not on behalf of the People of Iraq, whose blood AI and AIUSA now have on their hands.

Notice too how this latest specious justification for AI non-action fits in quite neatly with the strategic objectives of the United States around the world. Right now the United States Government is primarily responsible for imposing genocidal economic sanctions against the People of Iraq, the People of Cuba, and the People of North Korea. Amnesty International will do nothing at all about it. In other words, by their deliberate non-action AI and AIUSA are supporting the genocidal policies of the United States, Britain and Israel against these Third World countries–just as AI and AIUSA supported the criminal apartheid regime in South Africa by their deliberate non-action. If you want to do effective human rights work in opposition to the imperial, colonial and genocidal policies of the United States, Britain, or Israel, there is no point working with Amnesty International or AIUSA. You will simply be wasting your time, your efforts, your resources, and your enthusiasm.

Permit me to further substantiate this assertion that Amnesty International and AIUSA are imperialist tools by reference to other areas of the world. It is well known that AI/London has done little effective work to help Irish Catholics in Northern Ireland. As Sean MacBride once said: Amnesty International will never treat Irish Catholics fairly so long as it is headquartered in London. The long and sordid history of AI/London non-action in the face of genocidal violations of the most fundamental human rights of Irish Catholics living in Northern Ireland by Britain is well known among Irish Americans and Irish People living in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and around the world. For example, a letter by a former AI Secretary-General sabotaged public support for the defense of Joe Doherty here in the United States. Just recently, it required a massive internet campaign to force AI/London to do anything at all to save the life of Loinnir McAliskey and to obtain the freedom of Roisin McAliskey.

Let me now move from the British colony in Northern Ireland to the American colony in Puerto Rico. While I was still on the AIUSA Board, a fellow Board Member asked me to draft a resolution for adoption by the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of AIUSA calling for a comprehensive AI Campaign against human rights violations by the United States in Puerto Rico. This resolution passed the AIUSA/AGM overwhelmingly, and without any dissent that I could detect. I was then invited by Amnesty International/Puerto Rico to give the Keynote Address at their Annual General Meeting in San Juan on the subject of the right of Puerto Rican political prisoners in American jails to be treated as prisoners of war. Immediately thereafter, AI/London and AIUSA applied massive pressure on AI/Puerto Rico to prevent this speech. AI/Puerto Rico refused to cave in.

I went down to Puerto Rico to attend their AGM, gave the Keynote Address, and also investigated U.S. human rights violations in Puerto Rico, including torture, summary executions and disappearances. Upon my return home, AIUSA attempted to stiff me out of my expenses despite the fact that I was attending the AI/Puerto Rico AGM in my official capacity as an invited AIUSA Board Member. Perhaps I missed it due to the press of other duties at the time, but I am not aware of any comprehensive Amnesty International Campaign against U.S. human rights abuses in Puerto Rico as overwhelmingly called for by the AIUSA/AGM.

Finally, let me say a few words about the deliberate non-action of AI/London and AIUSA on behalf of indigenous peoples living in the United States and its imperial ally, Canada. Back when I was on the AIUSA Board, AI/London decided to launch an international campaign on behalf of indigenous peoples. As usual, I received a pre-publication copy of the campaign material. On reading it, I immediately noticed that almost nothing was to be done to help the indigenous peoples living in the United States and Canada. I protested this to AI/London and AIUSA, and demanded that the indigenous peoples living in the United States and Canada be added as an integral part of this campaign. To the best of my knowledge, this was never done. I leave it to the indigenous peoples living in the United States and Canada to decide for themselves how helpful AI/London and AIUSA have been to them.

I will not belabor the obvious any longer in this brief Memorandum. But based upon my over sixteen years of experience having dealt with AI/London and AIUSA at the highest levels, it is clear to me that both organizations manifest a consistent pattern and practice of following the lines of the foreign policies of the United States, Britain, and Israel. You can certainly see this in all of AI’s non-work with respect to the Middle East, Northern Ireland, Puerto Rico, South Africa, indigenous peoples living in North America, etc. Effectively, Amnesty International and AIUSA function as tools for the imperialist, colonial and genocidal policies of the United States, Britain, and Israel.

There are many people of good will and good faith working at the grassroots level of Amnesty International and AIUSA who genuinely believe that they are doing meaningful and effective work to protect human rights around the world. But at the top of these two organizations you will find a self-perpetuating clique of co-opted Elites who deliberately shape and direct the work of AI and AIUSA so as to either affirmatively support, or else not seriously undercut, the imperial, colonial, and genocidal policies of the United States, Britain, and Israel. The Leadership Elites of AI/London and AIUSA have always considered themselves to be the so-called “loyal opposition” to the imperial, colonial, and genocidal policies of the United States, Britain and Israel. I would ask the people at the grassroots of AI and AIUSA whether you want to continue being part of the “loyal opposition” to imperialism, colonialism and genocide perpetrated by the United States, Britain and Israel? It is not for me to tell those people of good faith and good will currently working with AI/London and AIUSA what to do. But I have found other organizations to work with and support.

Francis A. Boyle, Professor of International Law, Board of Directors, Amnesty International USA (1988-92), Co-Founder AIUSA Middle East Coordination Group, Consultant to Amnesty International on the Middle East

Cover Image:  Courtesy of WrongKindofGreen.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Timeless or most popular, Wars for Israel | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Turkey sheltering Daesh militants: Iraqi cmdr.

Press TV – December 25, 2015

A high-ranking Iraqi military commander has accused Turkey of providing members of the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, who are wreaking havoc in neighboring Iraq, with shelter.

Spokesman for Badr Organization Karim al-Nouri said on Thursday, “Turks are clearly helping Daesh,” adding that the process is “obvious” and “does not require additional evidence.”

“The problem of Daesh has not appeared out of nothing. It did not arise from the ground or fell from the sky. Someone lets them (Daesh militants) travel through different countries. They use the airports, hospitals. Where are the leaders of Daesh treated? They are treated in the hospitals of Turkey,” Nouri said.

He added that Deash extremists from Uzbekistan, Chechnya and other regions sneak into Iraq and Syria via Turkey.

“Turkey recruits and sends them to Iraq and Syria. It is clear as daylight and needs no proof. It is always hard to explain the obvious things.

“We have a lot of documents that prove that the greatest logistical support and supply routes are provided by Turks. The militants even return to their countries through Turkey,” Nouri said.

The senior Iraqi military figure said Daesh militants, who murdered between 560 and 770 captured Iraqi soldiers at Camp Speicher near the oil-rich northern city of Tikrit back in June, went to Turkey after the massacre.

“I have documents proving the connection of one person to the events in the Speicher. He was arrested because he participated in events in the Speicher. After the Speicher carnage, he went to Turkey and then came back again. This problem is obvious. It is known to everyone and does not require additional evidence,” Nouri said.

This is not the first time Ankara is being implicated in support for Daesh, whose militants have been committing vicious crimes against all ethnic and religious communities, including Shias, Sunnis, Kurds, Christians and others, in Iraq and Syria.

Apart from Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar also stand accused of contributing to the violence that has gripped the neighboring Arab states for the past two years.

December 25, 2015 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , , | Leave a comment