Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Issues Welling Up In The Middle East May Well Be The final Test Of Our Generation’s Will To Preserve Justice From Human Frailty And Failure.

The Issues Welling Up In The Middle East May Well Be The final Test Of Our Generation’s Will To Preserve Justice From Human Frailty And Failure.

Thinkers Think And Talkers Talk; Patriots ACT.

There Are No Wars With War Crimes And War Criminals unless we have reached the point where man’s inhumanity to his fellow man, unless acts of human depravity and butchery are accepted as normal by our species and we have capitulated to the idea that there are no rules governing warfare and that no one will ever be held accountable for the most heinous, deviant savage atrocities that the darkest corner of the human mind can give birth to and visit upon any brother or sister of our species. If that is the moment we are approaching then we will be governed by no law, for we will have admitted we that we are little more than the most advanced animal species to inhabit this planet and undeniably the most cunning, bestial psychopathic predatory killers to have ever walked the Earth; justifying our every action with words that have no meaning. This is not hypocrisy; this is not “kill or be killed territory”; this is everyone for themselves.

Strap, on your iron; fill your cellar garage and attics with every weapon and every round of ammunition you can get your hands on; study the Anarchist Cookbook; convert your empty beer and wine bottles into Molotov Cocktails, stash your short fused pipe bombs; sharpen your blades, get a flack vest and a military surplus metal Hemet; reinforce your home; make your basement a bunker; bobby trap your property; gather in your own local wolf pack, (all others will be enemies to be slaughtered), and be ready for the killing days! Are you ready by cowardice, convenient excuse, acquiescence, acceptance, surrender, denial and apathy to witness and permit the loss of all we can be to the primeval instincts from which we have all hopefully evolved?

My optimism, my hope fades each day. I see us more and more becoming coldly indifferent and resigned to the fact that the world is rushing head long into a catastrophe, from which if we are fortune enough to emerge, that will mark the bottom of the bottle and beginning, somehow anew…if.

Iran's Acknowledged Nuclear Fuel Plant And Israel's Secret Nuclear ...
By gowans
When the U.N. Human Rights Commission's fact-finding mission on war crimes committed in Gaza from December 2008 to January 2009 said Israel should carry out serious, independent investigations, and if it didn't, the Security Council ...what's left - http://gowans.wordpress.com/

Saudis Will Let Israel Bomb Iran Nuclear Site

27 Sep 2009 Intelligence chief Sir John Scarlett has been told that Saudi Arabia is ready to allow Israel to bomb Iran’s new nuclear site. The head of MI6 discussed the issue in London with Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Saudi officials after British intelligence officers helped to uncover the plant, in the side of a mountain near the ancient city of Qom. The site is seen as a major threat by Tel Aviv and Riyadh. Details of the talks emerged after John Bolton, America’s former UN ambassador, told a meeting of intelligence analysts that "Riyadh certainly approves" of Israel’s use of Saudi airspace.

Let’s be quite candid about how ugly this whole thing can be overnight. The cards have been turned face up on the table and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s particular variety of arrogance and insanity has reached the point of “provocateur insanus”.

Set aside all conventional punditry and media blabbering. All the proper and perfunctory steps will be taken by the UN and the sanctions routine will come into play, in affective in the short run as it is, but nations who decry our actions and those of Israel, off the record would welcome a killing strike on Iran’s nuclear installations, and Israel would be all too willing.

We at witnessing the last bit of public consumption political theater of this issue. Don’t be surprised if your favorite TV program is interrupted by a bulletin that: “Iranian Nuclear Sites have been struck by missiles and follow up aerial attacks! Blah, blah, blah.

U.S. Accusing Others Of War Crimes: A Hypocritical Triumph Of "Form Over Substance": The Harvard Review On "Vanishing Law Of War"

…It observed further: “There is equally an impression that the law of war is ill-suited to meet the demands of new forms of warfare, particularly transnational terrorism, in which it is ignored as a matter of course by one side to the conflict. Recall the infamous 2002 memo from Alberto Gonzales, then White House Counsel, to President Bush labeling provisions of the revered Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete,” it requests. “For proponents of this view, the answer is not more law, but less,” it says. “They accordingly herald the refusal of the United States to become a party to the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Ottawa Treaty on anti-personnel land mines, and the Dublin Convention on cluster munitions.” [That is because the provisions of the Additional Protocol would have impeded U.S’s intervention globally in the guise of meeting the situation in countries which it suspects of developing WMDs, e.g. Iraq; and conducting or supporting acts of international terrorism, e.g., al Qaeda or Taliban; and that she would become answerable had she acceded to them]..

Iran warns of 'Western stratagem' ahead of N-talks 28 Sep 2009 Iran says the sudden commotion over a nascent enrichment facility outside Tehran is a Western ploy to create high international tensions ahead of crucial nuclear talks. Parliament (Majlis) Speaker Ali Larijani said Sunday that Western powers seek to make an issue out of Iran's nuclear activities in order to "impose their will on the country during the upcoming negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 group."

The Vanishing Law Of War : Reflections On Law And War In The 21st Century

by Michael N. Schmitt | Frontiers of Conflict, Vol. 31 (1) - Spring 2009 Issue

Michael N. Schmitt is Dean of the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. In 2007-08, he served as a Visiting Professor of International Law at the United States Naval War College.


…In 1952, Sir Hersch Lauterpacht, then the Whewell Professor of International Law at the University of Cambridge, opined in the British Yearbook of International Law that “if international law is the vanishing point of law, the law of war is at the vanishing point of international law.” The renowned scholar, who later served on the International Court of Justice, was merely echoing Cicero’s famous dictum that inter arma leges silent—in war the law is silent. Today, echoes of Luterpacht and Cicero pervade discourse on the law of war. Has post-World War II history merely confirmed their dismissive observations?

This essay argues that the prevailing context of warfare has always informed attitudes towards the law of war; it is less the law in the abstract that matters, than the environment in which it is applied. Indeed, a half decade ago, how could Lauterpacht have come to any other conclusion? The carnage of the Second World War was still fresh in the minds of those contemplating the effectiveness of the law of war. Civilian deaths, estimated at nearly 50 million, had outstripped military casualties by a factor of nearly two to one. Particular groups, such as Jews, gypsies, and homosexuals, had been systematically slaughtered in death camps. Prisoners of war had suffered unthinkable conditions despite a 1929 Geneva Convention governing their treatment. Some four million died in captivity. Occupations had resulted in starvation, economic disaster, and widespread destruction of cultural property. The weapons of war, including incendiary and atomic bombs, had proven horrific.

International war crimes prosecutions followed at Nuremburg and Tokyo. Thousands more were tried in occupation or domestic courts. The conflict prompted a frenzied effort to codify the laws of war and human rights law. In 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Genocide Convention were adopted, the latter an extraordinary accomplishment given that the term “genocide” had only been coined in the previous decade. The following year, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ effort to enhance norms applicable in armed conflict bore fruit with finalization of four conventions extending the protection of the sick and wounded on land and at sea, prisoners of war, and civilians (especially during occupation). In 1954, the Hague Cultural Property Convention was adopted.

Although, little “hard” law existed to govern the actual conduct of hostilities, this lacuna was remedied in 1977 by Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions. Its counterpart, Additional Protocol II, was the first treaty expressly drafted to govern internal armed conflicts. The 1980 Convention on Conventional Weapons outlawed or regulated the use of weapons that had non-detectable fragments, anti-personnel land mines, booby-traps, incendiaries, and, eventually, blinding lasers. Subsequent treaties dealt with biological and chemical weapons. Codification of norms on an array of other topics, such as environmental modification, continued throughout the remainder of the century, and the first war crimes tribunals since the war, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, were created through UN Security Council mandate.

Despite this extraordinary record of accomplishment, in the 21st century a nagging sense that Lauterpacht was right after all pervades public opinion. Who has not heard, for instance, of Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib? Who has not seen the tragic images of civilian casualties and destroyed civilian property in Afghanistan, Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza, Congo, Darfur, or East Timor? Many believe that if the law of war has not vanished altogether, it is at least not measuring up to the task at hand. Has it proven nothing more than a hypocritical triumph of form over substance?

There is equally an impression that the law of war is ill-suited to meet the demands of new forms of warfare, particularly transnational terrorism, in which it is ignored as a matter of course by one side to the conflict. Recall the infamous 2002 memo from Alberto Gonzales, then White House Counsel, to President Bush labeling provisions of the revered Geneva Conventions “quaint” and “obsolete.” For proponents of this view, the answer is not more law, but less. They accordingly herald the refusal of the United States to become a party to the 1977 Additional Protocols, the Statute of the International Criminal Court, the Ottawa Treaty on anti-personnel land mines, and the Dublin Convention on cluster munitions.

Thus, the law of war is under attack today, on the one hand by those who claim it fails to protect the innocent, and on the other by those who allege it impedes the need to meet new threats. This debate reflects the inherent tension evident in the law of war since at least the 1868 St. Petersburg Declaration, which “fixed the technical limits at which the necessities of war ought to yield to the requirements of humanity.” In other words, military necessity and humanitarian considerations exist in equipoise. States, which are formally the sole source of international law, will only countenance law that leaves them free to act effectively on the battlefield. Yet, by the same token it remains in their interest to protect their citizens from the deleterious effects of conflict.

The law of war seeks balance between these opposed imperatives. A paradigmatic example is the principle of proportionality, which prohibits attacks expected to cause incidental injury to civilians and collateral damage to civilian objects that is “excessive” relative to the “concrete and direct military advantage” anticipated to result. When this balance is thrown askew by either change in the nature of warfare or emergent humanitarian concerns, the law of war necessarily evolves. The 21st century is witnessing both dynamics, in particular as the consequence of two related phenomena—asymmetrical and counterinsurgency warfare.

Asymmetrical Warfare

Asymmetry refers to hostilities in which one side is dramatically superior to the other. Of course, asymmetry has always characterized conflict, for, reduced to basics, warfare is about leveraging one’s advantages and exploiting the enemy’s weaknesses. What has changed in the 21st century is the degree of asymmetry resulting from dramatic differences in technology. US technological superiority over Iraq during the conventional phase of their 2003 conflict serves as an apt example. Despite being vastly outnumbered, the US armed forces prevailed in a matter of weeks, a stunning victory by any measure. That they did so is testament to intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and communications systems that rendered the “battlespace” transparent. Combined with weaponry of greater range, speed, maneuverability, accuracy and survivability than that of their opponents, such assets allowed American forces to control the pace and flow of combat, so much so that Iraqi efforts to resist became futile. In the face of such overwhelming superiority, the Iraqi military quickly melted away into the civilian population, launching an insurgency that continues today. Operations against the Taliban by the US-led coalition in 2001, by Israel against Hezbollah in Lebanon during 2006, and by Israel against Hamas in Gaza during 2008 have similarly demonstrated the benefits of advanced technology when fighting a lesser-equipped foe…Next Page

War Crimes Impunity Impedes Mideast Peace - Goldstone
New York Times
By REUTERS GENEVA (Reuters) - A lack of accountability for war crimes committed in the Middle East has reached "crisis point," undermining any hope for ...See all stories on this topic

Israeli Minister Ehud Barak Faces Arrest In UK For Alleged War Crimes
The move relates to alleged war crimes and breaches of the Geneva conventions during the war, which was launched by Israel in response to Palestinian rocket ...See all stories on this topic

Norman G. Finkelstein » The PA Has Reached The Point Where It Has ...
By pilias
Ashkenazi has been kept busy by involvement in a holding action against the threat that Israeli officers would be brought before the court as a result of charges that the IDF committed war crimes in the Gaza Strip. ...
Norman G. Finkelstein - http://www.normanfinkelstein.com/

Erdogan Does It Again! « Rehmat's World
By rehmat1
Erdoğan also said on Saturday that Turkey would push the Security Council to discuss a report by UN investigators accusing Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes in the Gaza war. “We will definitely take the position to discuss ...
Rehmat's World - http://rehmat1.wordpress.com/

Stephen Sizer: Getting Away With Murder: Is The UK Government ...
By Stephen Sizer
The carefully argued report, which is consistent with the findings of Amnesty International, concludes that both the Israeli forces and Palestinian armed groups committed grave violations of international law including war crimes and, ...
Stephen Sizer - http://stephensizer.blogspot.com/

UN Group: Gaza Acts Amounted To War Crimes
In the report, released earlier this month, the UN group accused Israel of committing "actions amounting to war crimes, possibly crimes against humanity" ...See all stories on this topic

UN Expert Defends Gaza War Crimes Report
The Associated Press
GENEVA — A UN investigator has defended a report that accuses Israel and Palestinian militants ofwar crimes during their conflict in Gaza earlier this year ...See all stories on this topic

Meeting At ISESCO On Lawsuit Against Israeli War Criminals
WAFA - Palestine News Agency
... and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) established the task force and entrusted with preparing the lawsuit to be filed against Israeli war criminals. ...
See all stories on this topic

U.N. Group: Gaza Acts Amounted To War Crimes - CNN.Com
A United Nations group will present a scathing report Tuesday on Israel's conduct during its military offensive into Gaza that began late last year.

March For Answers 9/27/09

See The March

Daniel Sunjata's Rousing Speech


BREAKING: 9/11 Families March on City Hall As City Seeks to Stop Fresh Probe of Attacks from Going on November Ballot;

NY Supreme Court Hearing 9:30AM Tuesday Will Determine Fate of Referendum

New York City – Yesterday, The New York City Coalition for Accountability Now (NYC CAN), a group comprising 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors, led 300 New Yorkers from Battery Park to City Hall in protest of the City’s attempt to block the referendum for a fresh probe of the 9/11 attacks from going on the November ballot.

Today, the Court ordered litigants to present arguments before Judge Edward Lehner at a hearing scheduled for 9:30AM, Tuesday at the New York Supreme Court, Room 252, 60 Centre Street.

On Sunday, 9/11 family member Manny Badillo welcomed the crowd at Battery Park, "Today we are marching peaceably to let the world know that the City of NY is defying the will of the people to have one question on the ballot, the question to have a proper independent investigation to answer 100% of the questions raised by the 9/11 families."

Mark Crispin Miller, author and professor of Media Studies at NYU spoke of the lack of accountability. He noted that after 9/11 "no heads rolled"; until recently when Obama adviser Van Jones was forced to resign because he signed the "9/11 Truth Statement" in 2004.http://www.911truth.org/article.php?story=20041026093059633 Miller said he too signed the statement and would sign it again "in ten seconds."

At City Hall, Daniel Sunjata, star of Fox’s “Rescue Me”, gave a rousing speech challenging the integrity of the 9/11 Commission. Specifically he cited the fact that 60% of the Commissioners have admitted deficiencies their own investigation. Speaking about the City’s challenge to NYC CAN’s ballot initiative, Sunjata said,

"Although 80,000 New Yorkers have voiced their desire in writing to include on November's mayoral ballot, the referendum for a new investigation, the City has responded by saying it has no jurisdiction into the murder of 3000 of its own citizens. Look at the lengths to which they have gone to evade allowing the residents of this city a chance to vote for answers and accountability."

Bob McIlvaine wrapped up the rally emotionally, saying, “I have one job in life until the day I die… to find out who murdered my son."

On Friday, the Court-appointed Referee submitted his recommendations in which he sided with the City. This morning, the Petitioners’ attorney, Dennis McMahon, filed a motion requesting a hearing to allow for arguments challenging the Referee’s “fatally flawed” report. According to McMahon, “No other case pending in the New York courts has a higher priority, so we expect a judgment this Wednesday.” 9/11 family members, first responders and survivors will be attendance at the hearing tomorrow morning.

If the Petition overcomes all legal challenges, goes to the November ballot and passes, it would lead to the creation of a local, independent commission with subpoena power that would be tasked with comprehensively reinvestigating the attacks.


Tuesday, 9/29/09, 9:30 AM, 60 Centre Street Room 252

Thinkers Think And Talkers Talk. Patriots ACT.


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