Monthly Archives: May 2012

Proud to be an Extortionist!

By: Yasmeen Ali

US Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, the chair and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said US must not pay $5000 per truck as demanded by Pakistan, for supplies to troops in Afghanistan, which McCain called extortion.

Extortion, dear McCain, is defined as, the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority’. He also stated, while talking to ‘The Cable’ “We can’t look at aid in that light. It’s now becoming a matter of principle”.

I love it!

Is it the first time US will be paying for transit of NATO supplies? They are paying an average of about $250 a truck, as per a senior US official as reported in a report by David S. Cloud, from the Los Angeles Times published May 19th 2012.LINK: http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/19/world/la-fg-panetta-interview-20120519

So the question dear McCain is not of principle. The question could have been of principle had US not been paying anything at all, and one fine day, Pakistan had woken up to…what did you say? Ah yes…extortion. The question here Mr McCain, is the amount. So let’s help you off the high horse you seem to have got yourself up to and discuss the amount.

Let us take the example of a shopkeeper selling goods. Goods that someone needs desperately to buy. The shopkeeper has fixed a price. But the consumer, a sly, manipulating piece of work, tries everything within his power, to make the shopkeeper lower the price. The shopkeeper , a normally docile man-is obstinate this once. He refuses to succumb to the consumer’s pressure tactics.

Does that make the shopkeeper an Extortionist?

Or, does it make the consumer one-besides some other adjectives I would like to avoid right now?

Maybe McCain, in his youthful exuberance, forgot to mention, that the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan has damaged the road infrastructure worth Rs 100 billion in the country during the last 10 years. (News report by Staff Reporter The Nation published 23rd May 2012) LINK

Talking of principles is not very pretty when one has been on a killing spree, killing children, civilians and older people-the more the merrier. Talking of principles is not pretty when you invade one country after the other. Talking of principles is not very pretty when an American citizen goes trigger happy causing deaths and when his hide is saved on basis of the very Shariah Laws US curses. Talking of principles is not very pretty when US decides to unilaterally attack Abottabad for Osama Bin Laden. And in case you missed my dear McCain, we are not the only ones pointing out your ’lack of  principles here’. Amnesty International has, in it’s recent report criticized the USA for it’s use of lethal force, particularly for the ‘unlawful’ killing of Osama Bin Laden in a clandestine US commando raid in Pakistan last May. “The US administration made clear that the operation had been conducted under the USA’s theory of a global armed conflict between the USA and Al-Qaeda in which the USA does not recognize the applicability of international human rights law,” it said in its annual report. “In the absence of further clarification from the US authorities, the killing of Osama bin Laden would appear to have been unlawful,” it said. Amnesty said a request for clarification over an apparent US drone strike in Yemen last September that killed US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, his Al-Qaeda co-conspirator Samir Khan and at least two others had also gone unanswered(The News publishing an AFP report. LINK:

I thoroughly enjoyed your bout of diatribe McCain, obviously, you have a lot of growing up to do!

The free(almost) ride lasted all these years McCain, but there’s nothing in this world as a free lunch, is there? You had a great party while it lasted, but I guess, you get off the bus right here(or horse, if you are not off already).

And if you still feel we are extortionists, guess what. We are proud to be one!

As to the Pakistan Government, I have this to say:

Well done for developing a spine!

Virginia Slims , had basically target marketed the women, many,many years ago,in it’s advertising campaign. I particularly liked the theme line, that I would like to say to my government, ”You’ve come a long way, baby.”

Yasmeen Ali is a University Professor & a Lawyer based in Lahore. She can be reached at: yasmeen.a.9@gmail.com

US military course taught officers ‘Islam is the enemy’

Editor’s Note: News hitting the world, shared here from Guardian UK. THIS is terrorism.Naked.In it’s pure form.

 

Pentagon suspends course after study materials posted online suggested that Mecca and Medina may have to be obliterated.

General Martin Dempsey speaks during a briefing at the Pentagon. The course was suspended when a student objected to the material. Photograph: Susan Walsh/AP

Associated Press in Washington

guardian.co.uk, Fri 11 May 2012 08.28 BST

A course for US military officers has been teaching that America’s enemy is Islam in general and suggesting that the country might ultimately have to obliterate the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina without regard for civilian deaths, following second world war precedents of the nuclear attack on Hiroshima.
The Pentagon suspended the course in late April when a student objected to the material. The FBI also changed some agent training last year after discovering that it, too, was critical of Islam.
The teaching in the military course was counter to repeated assertions by US officials over the past decade that America is at war against Islamic extremists, not the religion itself.
“They hate everything you stand for and will never coexist with you, unless you submit,” the instructor, Lieutenant Colonel Matthew Dooley, said in a presentation last July for the course at Joint Forces Staff College in Norfolk, Virginia. The college, for professional military members, teaches mid-level officers and government civilians on subjects related to planning and executing war.
Dooley also presumed, for the purposes of his theoretical war plan, that the Geneva conventions that set standards of armed conflict, are “no longer relevant”.
He adds: “This would leave open the option once again of taking war to a civilian population wherever necessary (the historical precedents of Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki being applicable to the Mecca and Medina destruction decision point).”
His war plan suggests possible outcomes such as “Saudi Arabia threatened with starvation … Islam reduced to cult status”.
A copy of the presentation was obtained and posted online by Wired.com’s Danger Room blog. The college did not respond to the Associated Press’ requests for copies of the documents, but a Pentagon spokesman authenticated the documents. Dooley still works for the college, but is no longer teaching, said the joint chiefs of staff chairman, General Martin Dempsey. Dooley has refused to comment.
A military service record summary provided by army human resources at Fort Knox, Kentucky, shows that Dooley was commissioned as a second lieutenant upon graduation from the US military academy at West Point, New York, in May 1994. He has served tours in Germany, Bosnia, Kuwait and Iraq. He has numerous awards including a Bronze Star medal, the fourth-highest US combat award.
In what he termed a model for a campaign to force a transformation of Islam, Dooley called for “a direct ideological and philosophical confrontation with Islam”, with the presumption that Islam is an ideology rather than just a religion.
He further asserted that Islam has already declared war on the west, and the US specifically.
“It is therefore illogical” to continue with the current US strategy, which Dooley said presumes there is a way of finding common ground with Islamic religious leaders, without “waging near total war”.
The course on Islam had been taught since 2004, but was not part of the required core curriculum. It was offered five times a year, with about 20 students each time.
Though Dooley has been teaching at the college since August 2010, it was unclear when he took on that particular class, called Perspectives on Islam and Islamic Radicalism.
The joint staff suspended the course after it had received a student complaint, and within days Dempsey ordered all service branches to review their training to ensure other courses do not use anti-Islamic material.
On Thursday, Dempsey said the material in the Norfolk course was counter to American “appreciation for religious freedom and cultural awareness”.
“It was just totally objectionable, against our values, and it wasn’t academically sound,” Dempsey said. “This wasn’t about … pushing back on liberal thought; this was objectionable, academically irresponsible.”
In his July 2011 presentation on “counterjihad”, Dooley asserted that the rise of what he called a “military Islam/Islamist resurgence” compels the US to consider extreme measures, “unconstrained by fears of political incorrectness”.
He described his purpose as generating “dynamic discussion and thought”, while noting that his ideas and proposals are not official US government policy and cannot be found in any current official defence department documents.
A Pentagon inquiry is seeking to determine whether someone above the professor’s level is supposed to approve course materials and whether that approval process was followed in this case, said Colonel Dave Lapan, a spokesman for Dempsey.
The problem of negative portrayals of Islam in federal government is not new. A six-month review the FBI launched into agent training material uncovered 876 offensive or inaccurate pages that had been used in 392 presentations, including a PowerPoint slide that said the bureau can sometimes bend or suspend the law in counterterror investigations.

Bush Found Guilty Of War Crimes

By Yvonne Ridley

May 11, 2012 “Information Clearing House” — Kuala Lumpur — IT’S OFFICIAL – George W Bush is a war criminal.

In what is the first ever conviction of its kind anywhere in the world, the former US President and seven key members of his administration were today (Friday) found guilty of war crimes.

Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and their legal advisers Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee and John Yoo were tried in absentia in Malaysia.

The trial held in Kuala Lumpur heard harrowing witness accounts from victims of torture who suffered at the hands of US soldiers and contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan.

They included testimony from British man Moazzam Begg, an ex-Guantanamo detainee and Iraqi woman Jameelah Abbas Hameedi who was tortured in the notorious Abu Ghraib prison.

At the end of the week-long hearing, the five-panel tribunal unanimously delivered guilty verdicts against Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and their key legal advisors who were all convicted as war criminals for torture and cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment.

Full transcripts of the charges, witness statements and other relevant material will now be sent to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is also asking that the names of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Yoo, Bybee, Addington and Haynes be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals for public record.

The tribunal is the initiative of Malaysia’s retired Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who staunchly opposed the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He sat through the entire hearing as it took personal statements and testimonies of three witnesses namely Abbas Abid, Moazzam Begg and Jameelah Hameedi. The tribunal also heard two other Statutory Declarations of Iraqi citizen Ali Shalal and Rahul Ahmed, another British citizen.

After the guilty verdict reached by five senior judges was delivered, Mahathir Mohamad said: “Powerful countries are getting away with murder.”

War crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at the University of Illinois College of Law in America, was part of the prosecution team.

After the case he said: “This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world.”

While the hearing is regarded by some as being purely symbolic, human rights activist Boyle said he was hopeful that Bush and Co could soon find themselves facing similar trials elsewhere in the world.

“We tried three times to get Bush in Canada but were thwarted by the Canadian Government, then we scared Bush out of going to Switzerland. The Spanish attempt failed because of the government there and the same happened in Germany.”

Boyle then referenced the Nuremberg Charter which was used as the format for the tribunal when asked about the credibility of the initiative in Malaysia. He quoted: “Leaders, organizers, instigators and accomplices participating in the formulation or execution of a common plan or conspiracy to commit war crimes are responsible for all acts performed by any person in execution of such a plan.”

The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle who also believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.

Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar, who headed the prosecution said: “The tribunal was very careful to adhere scrupulously to the regulations drawn up by the Nuremberg courts and the International Criminal Courts”.

He added that he was optimistic the tribunal would be followed up elsewhere in the world where “countries have a duty to try war criminals” and he cited the case of the former Chilean dictator Augustine Pinochet who was arrested in Britain to be extradited to Spain on charges of war crimes.

“Pinochet was only eight years out of his presidency when that happened.”

The Pinochet case was the first time that several European judges applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, declaring themselves competent to judge crimes committed by former heads of state, despite local amnesty laws.

Throughout the week the tribunal was packed with legal experts and law students as witnesses gave testimony and then cross examination by the defence led by lawyer Jason Kay Kit Leon.

The court heard how
· Abbas Abid, a 48-year-old engineer from Fallujah in Iraq had his fingernails removed by pliers.
· Ali Shalal was attached with bare electrical wires and electrocuted and hung from a wall.
· Moazzam Begg was beaten, hooded and put in solitary confinement.
· Jameelah was stripped and humiliated, and was used as a human shield whilst being transported by helicopter.

The witnesses also detailed how they have residual injuries till today.

Moazzam Begg, now working as a director for the London-based human rights group Cageprisoners said he was delighted with the verdict, but added: “When people talk about Nuremberg you have to remember those tried were all prosecuted after the war.

“Right now Guantanamo is still open, people are still being held there and are still being tortured there.”

In response to questions about the difference between the Bush and Obama Administrations, he added: “If President Bush was the President of extra-judicial torture then US President Barak Obama is the President of extra judicial killing through drone strikes. Our work has only just begun.”

The prosecution case rested on proving how the decision-makers at the highest level President Bush, Vice-President Cheney, Secretary of Defence Rumsfeld, aided and abetted by the lawyers and the other commanders and CIA officials – all acted in concert. Torture was systematically applied and became an accepted norm.

According to the prosecution, the testimony of all the witnesses exposed a sustained perpetration of brutal, barbaric, cruel and dehumanising course of conduct against them.
These acts of crimes were applied cumulatively to inflict the worst possible pain and suffering, said lawyers.

The president of the tribunal Tan Sri Dato Lamin bin Haji Mohd Yunus Lamin, found that the prosecution had established beyond a “reasonable doubt that the accused persons, former President George Bush and his co-conspirators engaged in a web of instructions, memos, directives, legal advice and action that established a common plan and purpose, joint enterprise and/or conspiracy to commit the crimes of Torture and War Crimes, including and not limited to a common plan and purpose to commit the following crimes in relation to the “War on Terror” and the wars launched by the U.S. and others in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

President Lamin told a packed courtroom: “As a tribunal of conscience, the Tribunal is fully aware that its verdict is merely declaratory in nature. The tribunal has no power of enforcement, no power to impose any custodial sentence on any one or more of the 8 convicted persons. What we can do, under Article 31 of Chapter VI of Part 2 of the Charter is to recommend to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission to submit this finding of conviction by the Tribunal, together with a record of these proceedings, to the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, as well as the United Nations and the Security Council.

“The Tribunal also recommends to the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission that the names of all the 8 convicted persons be entered and included in the Commission’s Register of War Criminals and be publicised accordingly.

“The Tribunal recommends to the War Crimes Commission to give the widest international publicity to this conviction and grant of reparations, as these are universal crimes for which there is a responsibility upon nations to institute prosecutions if any of these Accused persons may enter their jurisdictions”.

British journalist Yvonne Ridley is also a patron of Cageprisoners

This is a cross post from International Clearing House

 

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