Chávez Dies, Leaving Venezuela a Divided Nation

Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 11:24 am
Round up our former Presidents and charge them with crimes? You must be joking right?

I was joking, ... sort of. What is it about y'all that makes you swear undying devotion to the huge lie that is the USA, to these war criminals and terrorists?

Well, at a minimun, Baldimo, don't make out that the US is a rule of law country, don't make out that the US cares about the poor and the oppressed. Admit that the US has always been, and continues to be a predatory terrorist, the biggest terrorist group, by far, on the planet. Admit that US governments are not much more than bands of war criminals.

Know that you took part in another of the vicious war crimes that the US has routinely committed since its inception. I'm sure that you can live with that, Baldimo, decent guy that you are.
Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 11:40 am
Bump bump bump
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Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 12:49 pm
JTT I sleep very well at night in the knowledge that I helped my country try and combat one of the largest terrorist groups in the world. I know, I know, the US is the biggest terrorist, blah blah blah. Considering the total of world history I laugh and your bias against the US.

No comments on the death and destruction that was the spread of Communism in the 20th Century? This is what I mean by bias. You look past the sin's of all other nations and only look at what the US has done. I feel sorry for you, you must be miserable living in a country you don't believe in, and having no power to change the things you do no like. The horror of having to tell people you are a US citizen and the looks of disdain must be hard to bear for you. I'm surprised you haven't joined up with some internal anti-US group and "fight that powers that be!"

As I said, I sleep very well at night knowing I served my country with honor. I'm a war vet and very proud of that status.

This is for you JTT:

Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 01:24 pm
JTT I sleep very well at night in the knowledge

Of course you do, Baldimo. Propaganda is renowned for dulling the senses of the already not too bright individuals.

I helped my country try and combat one of the largest terrorist groups in the world.

That's damn crazy behavior, Baldimo, attacking a sovereign nation, committing horrendous war crimes, terrorizing the people of Afghanistan, not to mention murdering, how many, Baldimo? to combat the US boogeyman du jour.

The US doesn't give a rat's ass how many died because helping the people of these countries that the US illegally invades is the furthest thing from the US's mind, save for the propaganda it dishonestly pumps out.

But, I understand, you're proud of this kind of behavior.

Considering the total of world history

That you definitely ought to try sometime.

No comments on the death and destruction that was the spread of Communism in the 20th Century?

Those crimes were every bit as vicious as the ones that the US has perpetrated upon the innocents of the world that got caught up in US predatious behavior.

This is what I mean by bias. You look past the sin's of all other nations and only look at what the US has done.

That's not me, that's the schtick used by the US and apologists for war criminals and terrorists like you - blame everyone else for the evils that the US does with such ease, has been doing for much longer, in a more consistent fashion than those you've mentioned.

Do we agree that all these war criminals/terrorists should stand trial for their crimes?

I'm a war vet

So were all the German soldiers, many of the SS. It's easy to hide your ignorance in propaganda, isn't it, Baldimo?

This is for you, Baldimo.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2002
Is Bush's War Illegal? Let Us Count the Ways
The Illegalities of Bush’s War on Afghanistan
by Francis Boyle
The “Blowhard Zone”

On September 13, 2001 I got a call from FOX News asking me to go on the O’Reilly Factor program that night, two days after the tragic events of September 11, to debate O’Reilly on War v. Peace. It is pretty clear where I stood and where he stood. I had been on this program before. I knew what I was getting in to. But I felt it would be important for one lawyer to get up there in front of a national audience and argue against a war and for the application of domestic and international law enforcement, international procedures, and constitutional protections, which I did.

Unfortunately, O’Reilly has the highest ranked TV news program in the country. I thought someone should be on there on September 13. I think most people agree that I beat O’Reilly. By the end of the show he was agreeing with me. But the next night he was saying that we should bomb five different Arab countries and kill all their people. But let me review for you briefly some of the international law arguments that I have been making almost full time since September 13. They are set forth in the introduction in my new book, The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence.

Terrorism v. War

First, right after September 11 President Bush called these attacks an act of terrorism, which they were under the United States domestic law definition at that time. However, there is no generally accepted definition of an act of terrorism under international law, for reasons I explain in my book. Soon thereafter however and apparently after consultations with Secretary of State Powell, he proceeded to call these an act of war, ratcheting up the rhetoric and the legal and constitutional issues at stake here. They were not an act of war as traditionally defined. An act of war is a military attack by one state against another state. There is so far no evidence produced that the state of Afghanistan, at the time, either attacked the United States or authorized or approved such an attack. Indeed, just recently FBI Director Mueller and the deputy director of the CIA publically admitted that they have found no evidence in Afghanistan linked to the September 11 attacks. If you believe the government’s account of what happened, which I think is highly questionable, 15 of these 19 people alleged to have committed these attacks were from Saudi Arabia and yet we went to war against Afghanistan. It does not really add up in my opinion.

But in any event this was not an act of war. Clearly these were acts of terrorism as defined by United States domestic law at the time, but not an act of war. Normally terrorism is dealt with as a matter of international and domestic law enforcement. Indeed there was a treaty directly on point at that time, the Montreal Sabotage Convention to which both the United States and Afghanistan were parties. It has an entire regime to deal with all issues in dispute here, including access to the International Court of Justice to resolve international disputes arising under the Treaty such as the extradition of Bin Laden. The Bush administration completely ignored this treaty, jettisoned it, set it aside, never even mentioned it. They paid no attention to this treaty or any of the other 12 international treaties dealing with acts of terrorism that could have been applied to handle this manner in a peaceful, lawful way.

War of Aggression Against Afghanistan

Bush, Jr. instead went to the United National Security Council to get a resolution authorizing the use of military force against Afghanistan and Al Qaeda. He failed. You have to remember that. This war has never been authorized by the United Nations Security Council. If you read the two resolutions that he got, it is very clear that what Bush, Jr. tried to do was to get the exact same type of language that Bush, Sr. got from the U.N. Security Council in the late fall of 1990 to authorize a war against Iraq to produce its expulsion from Kuwait. It is very clear if you read these resolutions, Bush, Jr. tried to get the exact same language twice and they failed. Indeed the first Security Council resolution refused to call what happened on September 11 an “armed attack”–that is by one state against another state. Rather they called it “terrorist attacks.” But the critical point here is that this war has never been approved by the U.N. Security Council so technically it is illegal under international law. It constitutes an act and a war of aggression by the United States against Afghanistan.

No Declaration of War

Now in addition Bush, Jr. then went to Congress to get authorization to go to war. It appears that Bush, Jr. tried to get a formal declaration of war along the lines of December 8, 1941 after the Day of Infamy like FDR got on Pearl Harbor. Bush then began to use the rhetoric of Pearl Harbor. If he had gotten this declaration of war Bush and his lawyers knew full well he would have been a Constitutional Dictator. And I refer you here to the book by my late friend Professor Miller of George Washington University Law School, Presidential Power that with a formal declaration of war the president becomes a Constitutional Dictator. He failed to get a declaration of war. Despite all the rhetoric we have heard by the Bush, Jr. administration Congress never declared war against Afghanistan or against anyone. There is technically no state of war today against anyone as a matter of constitutional law as formally declared.

Bush, Sr. v. Bush, Jr.

Now what Bush, Jr. did get was a War Powers Resolution authorization. Very similar to what Bush, Sr. got. Again the game plan was the same here. Follow the path already pioneered by Bush, Sr. in his war against Iraq. So he did get from Congress a War Powers Resolution authorization. This is what law professors call an imperfect declaration of war. It does not have the constitutional significance of a formal declaration of war. It authorizes the use of military force in specified, limited circumstances.

That is what Bush, Sr. got in 1991. It was to carry out the Security Council resolution that he had gotten a month and one-half before to expel Iraq from Kuwait. But that is all the authority he had–either from the Security Council or from Congress. And that is what he did. I am not here to approve of what Bush, Sr. did. I do not and I did not at the time. But just to compare Bush, Jr. with Bush, Sr. So Bush, Jr. got a War Powers Resolution, which is not a declaration of war.

Indeed, Senator Byrd, the Dean of the Senate, clearly said this is only a War Powers authorization and we will give authority to the president to use military force subject to the requirements of the War Powers Resolution, which means they must inform us, there is Congressional oversight, in theory, (I do not think they are doing much of it), controlled funding, and ultimately we decide, not the Executive branch of the government–we are the ones who gave the authorization to use force.

Again very similar to what Bush, Sr. got except the Bush, Jr. War Powers Resolution is far more dangerous because it basically gives him a blank check to use military force against any state that he says was somehow involved in the attack on September 11. And as you know that list has now gone up to 60 states. So it is quite dangerous, which led me to say in interviews I gave at the time this is worse that the Tonkin Gulf Resolution. Better from our perspective than a formal Declaration of War, but worse constitutionally and politically than the Tonkin Gulf resolution. But still subject to the control of Congress and the terms of the War Powers Resolution. Indeed you might be able to use that War Powers Resolution and the authorization in litigation that might come up. Keep that in mind.

No War Against Iraq!

For example, on Iraq. Right now they cannot use that War Powers Resolution to justify a war against Iraq. There is no evidence that Iraq was involved in the events on September 11. So they are fishing around for some other justification to go to war with Iraq. They have come up now with this doctrine of preemptive attack. Quite interesting that argument, doctrine was rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants made it at Nuremberg. They rejected any doctrine of preemptive attack.

Nazi Self-Defense

Then what happened after failing to get any formal authorization from the Security Council, the U.S. Ambassador Negroponte– who has the blood of about 35, 000 people in Nicaragua on his hands when he was U.S. Ambassador down in Honduras–sent a letter to the Security Council asserting Article 51 of the U.N. Charter to justify the war against Afghanistan. And basically saying that we reserve the right to use force in self-defense against any state we say is somehow involved in the events of September 11. Well, the San Francisco Chronicle interviewed me on that and asked what is the precedent for this? I said that the precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.

Kangaroo Courts

Now let me say a few words about the so-called military commissions. I have a little handout out there called “Kangaroo Courts.” It would take me a whole law review article to go through all the problems with military commissions. I have been interviewed quite extensively. I have some comments on it in my book. Professor Jordan Paust, a friend and colleague of mine at the University of Houston, just published an article in the Michigan Journal of International Law which I would encourage you to read. It goes through the major problems. But basically there are two treaties on point here that are being violated at a minimum.

First, the Third Geneva Convention of 1949. I will not go through all of the arguments here but it is clear that just about everyone down in Guantanamo (not counting the guys who were picked up in Bosnia and basically kidnapped) but all those apprehended over in Afghanistan and Pakistan would qualify as prisoners of war within the meaning of the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, and therefore have all the rights of prisoners of war within the meaning of that convention. Right now however, as you know, all those rights are being denied. This is a serious war crime. And unfortunately President Bush, Jr. himself has incriminated himself under the Third Geneva Convention by signing the order setting up these military commissions. Not only has he incriminated himself under the Third Geneva Convention, but he has incriminated himself under the U.S. War Crimes Act of 1996 or so, signed into law by President Clinton and making it a serious felony for any United States citizen either to violate or order the violation of the Four Geneva Conventions of 1949.

The Federalist Society Cabal

I am not personally criticizing President Bush. He is not a lawyer. He was terribly advised, criminally mis-advised, by the cabal of Federalist Society lawyers that the Bush administration has assembled at the White House and the Department of Injustice under Ashcroft. President Bush, Jr., by signing this order, has opened himself up to prosecution anywhere in the world for violating the Third Geneva Convention, and certainly if there is evidence to believe that any of these individuals have been tortured, which is grave breach, let alone at the end of the day executed. So this is a very serious matter.

I did not vote for President Bush, Jr. But I certainly think it is a tragedy that these Federalist Society lawyers got the President of the United States of America, who is not a lawyer, to sign the order that would incriminate him under the Geneva Conventions and United States Domestic Criminal Law. This is what happened.

Jeopardizing U.S. Armed Forces

Moreover, by us stating we will not apply the Third Geneva Convention to these people we opened up United States armed forces to be denied protection under the Third Geneva Convention. And as you know, we now have U.S. armed forces in operation in Afghanistan, Georgia, the Philippines, in Yemen and perhaps in Iraq. Basically Bush’s position will be jeopardizing their ability to claim prisoner of war status. All that has to happen is our adversaries say they are unlawful combatants and we will not give you prisoner of war status. The Third Geneva Convention is one of the few protections U.S. armed forces have when they go into battle. Bush, Jr. and his Federalist Society lawyers just pulled the rug out from under them.

U.S. Police State

In addition the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights clearly applies down in Guantanamo. It applies any time individuals are under the jurisdiction of the United States of America. Guantanamo is a colonial enclave, I will not go through its status any further. But clearly those individuals are subject to our jurisdiction and have the rights set forth therein–which are currently being denied.

If and when many of these Bush, Ashcroft, Gonzalez police state practices make their way to the U.S. Supreme Court, we have to consider that a five to four majority of the Supreme Court gave the presidency to Bush, Jr. What is going to stop that same five to four majority from giving Bush, Jr. a police state? The only thing that is going to stop it is the people in this room.

Francis A. Boyle, Professor of Law, University of Illinois, is author of Foundations of World Order, Duke University Press, and The Criminality of Nuclear Deterrence, Clarity Press. He can be reached at: [email protected]

Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 02:12 pm
Comparing the US military to Nazi Germany? Wow dude, you really are hater aren't ya. This is why people who might agree with you don't. Right about the time you start to make sense, you stop making sense.

Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 02:44 pm
Comparing the US military to Nazi Germany?

You ignored Professor Boyle's article, Baldimo. Why would that be?

You also ignored Professor Marjorie Cohn's article. How come?

War crimes are war crimes. They don't dissolve into nothingness when they are committed by the US military.
Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 02:52 pm

That's simply not true. You know little of the incredible evil your country has done. That's because of the effective system of propaganda that the US has employed since its beginning.
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Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 03:59 pm
They were not ignored, they were dismissed. There is a difference. I don't agree that the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal. Al Qaeda fucked with the wrong nation when they flew planes into the WTC. If the leaders of Afghanistan didn't want hell unleashed on their nation, they should have kept a better eye on OBL. They let OBL run free and now they have to deal with their actions. Yeah yeah yeah the most of the terrorists on 9-11 were from Saudi, maybe we should have dropped bombs on them as well, but we didn't.

I know you are going to point the finger right back at the US, and that is your right, but once again I will have to agree to disagree with you.

Have you noticed that you don't answer questions? You are pretty good at that by the way.
Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 05:21 pm
Before this otherwise intertesting thread becomes totally derailed by a futile recitation of the material of A2K's chief troll, it is worth noting a few developments in post Chavez Venezuela;
1. The timing of the forthcoming election appears to make it inevitable that the now dead "redeemer" of Venezuela will be succeeded by his appointed deputy in the "Bolivarian Socialist" movement he created.
2. Meanwhile evidence of the disintegration of the Venezuelan economy - the chief legacy of the now departed redfeemer - continues to accumulate. Current inflation is estimated at 30%/annually. Shortages of food and consumer goods of all kinds are increasing in severity. The government annual deficit is estimated at about 17% of GDP, and this at peak oil prices. As oil prices come down from their peak this situation could worsen very rapidly. PdVSA, the government-run oil company, is producing less oil for the market each year, adding to that problem and the risk attendant to it.
3. There may well arise some divisions within the new ruling government as the stresses attendant to these economic issues accumulate. There is already some rivalry between the likely new President and the head of the legislature who is a bit better connected to the Military than the new President. The continuing subsidies to Cuba could become an incendiary issue between them as the economic challenges accumulate, and possible resentments toward Cuban influence grows. Meanwhile Cuba desperately needs the subsidies to continue and will likely use all the influence it can muster within a now less unified Venezulan government to achieve that objective.

Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 07:34 pm
I don't agree that the invasion of Afghanistan was illegal.

But you don't know **** from shinola about that so you can dismiss your nonsense out of hand.

If the leaders of Afghanistan didn't want hell unleashed on their nation, they should have kept a better eye on OBL. They let OBL run free and now they have to deal with their actions.

You mean OBL, the US's main guy in Afghanistan. You mean OBL, the one that the FBI did not have listed as the perpetrator of the 9-11 attacks because they said the evidence didn't warrant it. You mean OBL, the guy who was building all these fortresses under the mountains of Afghanistan, you know the bullshit that Rumsfeld fed to you frightened little children.

Bin Ladens Cave according to Rumsfeld

And you stupid dorks didn't have him and his idiot boss run out of office?!!

And you've got it right, the US always unleashes hell upon the poor people of every country they illegally invade.

Your argument is fatuous. [Yes, I know, I didn't need to point that out.] The US has way way more terrorists within its borders than any country on the planet but you don't see countries attacking the US. They deal with these issues like civilized countries - they take the US to the international justice system, which the US, arrogant bully that it is, simply ignores. The US always acts like a common street gang.

but once again I will have to agree to disagree with you.

Now that's telling. Before you even know, you disagree. Such is the power of the US propaganda system. What was it that you were saying about not wanting to live in a country with a politburo

Have you noticed that you don't answer questions?

No, but I sure have noticed that you avoid the facts like the plague. See the paragraph above.
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Reply Mon 11 Mar, 2013 07:50 pm
Gob1 must consider the pages of A2K his personal spittoon considering all the gobs he deposits here.

The Booming Venezuelan Economy, and how it affects Monte Carmelo


The major media in the United States and Venezuela are overflowing with misinformation about Venezuela and its social and economic indicators, so it was relief to see a reliable appraisal of Venezuela’s economic growth appear recently: “The Venezuelan Economy in the Chávez Years,” by Mark Weisbrot and Luis Sandoval at CEPR, the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, DC, February 2008. ( For those of you who are not familiar with CEPR, you should visit their website at http://www.cepr.net/, since they are primarily engaged in producing reliable information, analysis, and prognostication concerning the U.S. economy – they predicted the dangers of the stock market bubble in the late 1990s, and the housing bubble of the 2000s, when most economists were ignoring the problems because they were giddy with the joys of short-term profit-taking; likewise, they are one of the best, non-hysterical guides to understanding the current state of the U.S. Social Security system.)

In their report, which reviews solid statistics gathered through 2007, they note that Venezuela’s economy has been one of the fastest growing in Latin America and the world over the past five years: “since the first quarter of 2003, Venezuela's real (after adjusting for inflation) GDP has grown by 87.3 percent.”

“…employment in the formal sector has increased to 6.17 million (2007 first half), from 4.40 million in the first half of 1998 and 4.53 million in the first half of 2003. As a percentage of the labor force, formal employment has increased significantly since 1998, from 45.4 to 50.6 percent (2007).”

The figures above indicate, according to my handy calculator, that total employment, including both the formal and informal sectors, was 12.19 million in the first half of 2007, versus 9.69 million in 1998. This is an increase of 26% in nine years, a remarkable achievement for any country.

Such numbers are enough to drive Bush, Cheney, and their gang wild with envy, and makes them determined to destroy Venezuela’s experiment in developing “21st century socialism.” Too bad they only read opposition newspapers and bogus CIA and State Department reports instead of real information from CEPR, where they could find out that one major effect of Chavez’s “dangerous,” “destabilizing,” and “dictatorial” tendencies (the U.S. government’s words) has been to bolster the private sector.

The United States, given its paltry economic growth over the past eight years and its current economic downturn, should be coming to Venezuela for lessons in how to create jobs. Republicans and Democrats alike could re-learn the strategies that were once implemented in the United States through Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal: government policies that redistribute income, democratize and support public education, and invest in broad systems of public works will also stimulate the private sector. Most job growth in Venezuela has taken place in the private, not the public sector. In fact, the private sector is growing faster than the public sector. “Private employment was a larger percentage of the labor force (75.0 percent) in the first half of 2007 as compared to the first half of 1999 (71.6 percent).”

Most U.S. Republicans, of course, would be adverse to the kind of income growth that has taken place. The bottom 80% of the population has seen its incomes increase by 60% to 100% over the past nine years (figures adjusted for inflation – see my previous November article on incomes and social classes). Middle-class income growth has been positive, but not as great as among the lower classes, and upper-class incomes have risen at the most modest rate. A recent article in the opposition newspaper, El Universal of Caracas, has a table of economic analysis indicating that the poorest sector of the population, level E, which represents almost half of the population, enjoyed income growth at more than twice the rate of the highest level AB, which amounts to 2% or less of the population.

Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 12:40 pm
You post an article from 2008? I wonder what their latest report would show.
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Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 01:56 pm
To a newcomer that might sound mean, George, but I agree with all you said in that post, well put.

It's too bad, to live with all that bile.
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Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 02:05 pm
I agree with you too, Monterey Jack. I did agree with JTT on a lot of his issues, at first glance, probably had the issues myself before he did, but it didn't matter, the vitriol was coruscating in a kind of blind rage way, no room for temperance.
Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 06:01 pm
You're a good little American, Osso, content in having her governments rape, torture and murder innocents. Half a million Iraqi kids murdered thru the 90s, no big deal, right, Osso?

Probably another half million in the latest illegal invasion. Not to mention the other half million or so adult Iraqis.

Yup, you're a good little American.
Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 06:16 pm
Iraq in the 90's? We are responsible for Saddam killing and murdering his own people now?

Wow JTT I knew you were rabid but that fact that you blame everything on the US is amazing. I suppose your going to blame the US for Iraq invading Kuwait as well. Dude you are a ******* joke. Have fun with your crusade. Do you gets days off in this religion of yours?
Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 08:12 pm

US Sponsored Genocide Against Iraq 1990-2012. Killed 3.3 Million, Including 750,000 Children

Statement by Professor Francis Boyle, Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal

Approximately 3.3 million Iraqis, including 750,000 children, were “exterminated” by economic sanctions and/or illegal wars conducted by the U.S. and Great Britain between 1990 and 2012, an eminent international legal authority says.

The slaughter fits the classic definition of Genocide Convention Article II of, “Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part,” says Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign, and who in 1991 filed a class-action complaint with the UN against President George H.W. Bush.

The U.S. and U.K. “obstinately insisted” that their sanctions remain in place until after the “illegal” Gulf War II aggression perpetrated by President George W. Bush and UK’s Tony Blair in March, 2003, “not with a view to easing the over decade-long suffering of the Iraqi people and children” but “to better facilitate the U.S./U.K. unsupervised looting and plundering of the Iraqi economy and oil fields in violation of the international laws of war as well as to the grave detriment of the Iraqi people,” Boyle said.

In an address last Nov. 22 to The International Conference on War-affected Children in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Boyle tallied the death toll on Iraq by U.S.-U.K. actions as follows:

# The slaughter of 200,000 Iraqis by President Bush in his illegal 1991 Gulf War I.

# The deaths of 1.4 million Iraqis as a result of the illegal 2003 war of aggression ordered by President Bush Jr. and Prime Minister Blair.

# The deaths of 1.7 million Iraqis “as a direct result” of the genocidal sanctions.

Boyle’s class-action complaint demanded an end to all economic sanctions against Iraq; criminal proceedings for genocide against President George H.W. Bush; monetary compensation to the children of Iraq and their families for deaths, physical and mental injury; and for shipping massive humanitarian relief supplies to that country.

The “grossly hypocritical” UN refused to terminate the sanctions, Boyle pointed out, even though its own Food and Agricultural Organization’s Report estimated that by 1995 the sanctions had killed 560,000 Iraqi children during the previous five years.

Boyle noted that then U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright was interviewed on CBS-TV on May 12, 1996, in response to a question by Leslie Stahl if the price of half a million dead children was worth it, and replied, “we (the U.S. government) think the price is worth it.”

Albright’s shocking response provides “proof positive of the genocidal intent by the U.S. government against Iraq” under the Genocide Convention, Boyle said, adding that the government of Iraq today could still bring legal action against the U.S. and the U.K. in the International Court of Justice. He said the U.S.-U.K. genocide also violated the municipal legal systems of all civilized nations in the world; the 1989 Convention on the Rights of the Child; and the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 and its Additional Protocol 1 of 1977.

Boyle, who was stirred to take action pro bono by Mothers in Iraq after the economic sanctions had been imposed upon them by the Security Council in August, 1990, in response to pressure from the Bush Senior Administration.

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Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 08:19 pm
Killing children is the all-American way

by Finian Cunningham

Madeleine Albright, the American ambassador the United Nations, was asked on nationwide television in 1996 if the death of half a million Iraqi children from US war and sanctions on that country was a price worth paying. Albright replied: “This is a very hard choice, but the price - we think is worth it.”

That was before the so-called Second Persian Gulf War that began in 2003 with American air force “shock and awe”, followed by nearly nine years of illegal military occupation - an occupation that included the use of nuclear munitions and white phosphorus on the civilian populations in Fallujah and elsewhere, and involved countless massacres of families and children by US helicopter gunships and troopers.

Since Albright’s infamous admission, the death toll of Iraqi children from American military crimes can be safely assumed to run into multiples of what she candidly thought was a price worth paying more than 16 years ago.

Earlier this week when President Barack Obama was offering condolences to the families of the 20 children shot dead in an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, he said: “Whatever portion of sadness that can share with you to ease your heavy load, we will gladly bear it. Newtown, you are not alone.”

Indeed, Newtown is not alone. Children are slaughtered every week by Americans all over the world on the watch of Commander-in-Chief Barack Obama and his White House predecessors.

One study by James Lucas in 2007 put the death toll of civilians from American wars and sponsored conflicts in 37 countries since the Second World War at up to 30 million lives. The proportion of that figure corresponding to child deaths is not known but if the casualty rate of Iraq is anything to go by we can estimate that the number of children killed by American militarism and covert wars since WWII is easily in the order of 20 million - that is, a million times the carnage last week in Connecticut.

The countries where these American-inflicted deaths occurred include: Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Angola, Congo, Afghanistan, Pakistan, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua. They also include Iran during the American-backed Iraq war of 1980-88. Every continent on Earth has felt the American hand of death.

But note the figure of 20 million child deaths from American militarism is bound to be a serious underestimate of the actual total. In the last five years, the world has seen an escalation of child mortality from the carcinogenic legacy of depleted uranium and suspected use of other nuclear weapons in Iraq. The above figures do not include the latest killings from American assassination drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and other suspected war theatres, such as Mali in West Africa. Nor do the figures include overt and covert American military action in Libya last year and currently in Syria - nor the ongoing imposition of crippling sanctions against Iran where an untold number of sick children are dying from lack of medicines due to Washington’s import blockade.

As people across the United States watch in grief the procession of funerals this week for 20 tiny children in Connecticut, there is a sense of profound disbelief that such a horror could be carried out in their society. The young man, Adam Lanza, who went on a murderous rampage with high-powered assault weapons, was mentally ill. He reportedly shot his own mother four times in the head in their home before driving to the nearby elementary school to kill six and seven-year olds along with six female members of staff, before taking his own life.

Lanza’s mental disorder is part of the awful picture to this mass murder. So too is the easy availability of explosive lethal weaponry in America, which represents five per cent of the world’s population but possesses up to 50 per cent of all global civilian firearms.

We should also look at the malign influence and prevalence of violent entertainment and video games that teach children how to kill and to view killing others as a fun “challenging” sport. Even in the sickening aftermath of the Newtown shootings, some internet sites were inviting customers to try out the video killing game said to have been frequently played by Adam Lanza before he took his own life and those of 27 others last Friday morning.

But more than this, Americans need to look at how their society has increasingly become a psychopathic culture of death over many decades. Americans need to realize how their hallowed capitalist ideology of the putative American Dream is in practice nothing but the destruction of communities and millions of individuals on the altar of elite profit-making. Think about the glib, common parlance used to describe the process of human destruction. Investors “make a killing”; workforces are “liquidated”; society is facing a “fiscal cliff”.

Death on an industrial scale is sanctified through genocidal economic policies that enrich an oligarchy of financiers and warmongers belonging to the financial-military-congressional complex.

If human life can be violated and cheapened on such a vast, systematic scale, both in America and around the world, then the loss of 20 children in Newtown is, to be honest, a price that is negligible, if not worth it.

America has become a killing machine, driven by an ideology in which human life is but a worthless commodity that can be exploited and discarded. The discarding of human life is seen most graphically in foreign countries where American elite interests want oil or some other commercial or geopolitical gain. But increasingly this killing machine is turning in on itself, destroying its own society, families and individuals.

Obama added in his eulogy for the deaths in Newtown, Connecticut: “We cannot tolerate this any more… we will have to change.”

This is from the man who orders drone kill lists in Afghanistan and Pakistan every week that involve the “collateral damage” of children being ripped to pieces. This is from the man who is killing children in Iran by tightening economic strangleholds. This is from the man who immediately agreed to millions of dollars worth of more weaponry to the Israeli state fresh from its mass murder of innocents in Gaza. This is from the man supporting militants in Syria who are targeting schools and hospitals with car bombs.

Through the pain and suffering of the latest mass shooting in the US, maybe ordinary Americans are beginning to realize just how big a change is really needed in their country.

0 Replies
Reply Tue 12 Mar, 2013 11:05 pm
Chavez poisoned? Puts me in mind of party members standing on Stalens oxygen hose.
Reply Wed 13 Mar, 2013 11:05 am
Why do you only infrequently resort to honesty, Rabel?
0 Replies

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