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Archive for the ‘war crimes’ Category

Australian Soldiers Massacre Afghan Children

Posted by terres on January 5, 2010

Australian Occupation Soldiers Commit “War” Crimes and Crime Against Humanity

Australian Special Operation Troops kill at least 7 civilians, including 5 children, and injure at least 4 others including 2 children

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Posted in Afghan massacre, Afghanistan occupation, australian soldiers, crimes against humanity, war crimes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Renewed claim to Gaza Strip, or pointless war?

Posted by terres on January 19, 2009

The following otherwise well-written Editorial by The Observer (UK), dated Sunday 18 January 2009 assumes that Israel previously had any space on high moral ground!

The world will know in the coming months whether a renewed claim to Gaza Strip is a proposition Israel cannot ignore!

A pointless war has led to a moral defeat for Israel

Editorial
The Observer, Sunday 18 January 2009

In historical terms, it is impossible to separate Israel’s offensive against Hamas in Gaza from the long narrative of conflict and mutual grievance in the region.


A Palestinian touches the head of a teenager after he was shot by Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Hebron January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Nayef Hashlamoun. Image may be subject to copyright.

In geographic terms, the war over a tiny plot of land cannot be detached from the wider involvement and strategic interests of other countries: Syria, Egypt, the US, Iran.

All of which makes it difficult to judge where – even if a unilateral Israeli ceasefire holds – the war really begins and ends.

That fact alone explains why the operation represents a defeat for Israel, as was always likely to be the outcome. The notion that the country’s security problems can be resolved by the unilateral use of extreme force is a persistent delusion among Israeli politicians. In this case, the problem was perceived to be Hamas rocket fire into southern Israel; the solution was judged to be a war against Hamas. That analysis did not allow for the vital, humane recognition that, in densely populated Gaza, an all-out war against Hamas is, by necessity, an attack on the civilian population.


[Deadly Israeli Assault.] An Israeli soldier covers his ears as a mobile artillery unit fires a shell towards Gaza in the early morning near the Gaza border during Israel’s offensive January 17, 2009. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis.
Image may be subject to copyright.

Even on its own terms, the campaign has failed. Israeli authorities will insist that they have limited the ability of Hamas to launch rocket attacks. But the ostensible war aim was destroying that capability completely.

Israel will also claim that its campaign has exposed a lack of support for Hamas in many Arab capitals; that Hamas’ position as the ruling authority in Gaza has been undermined; and that Hamas has been revealed as little more than a terrorist proxy acting on behalf of and armed by Syria and Iran.

But the reality is that the status of Hamas as the preferred vehicle for Palestinian resistance to Israeli occupation has been enhanced by the indiscriminate brutality of the military assault.


[
Retaliatory Palestinian Fire Power!] A Palestinian stone-thrower uses a slingshot to throw a stone towards Israeli border police officers (not pictured) during scuffles at Qalandiya checkpoint near the West Bank city of Ramallah January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman.  Image may be subject to copyright.

Meanwhile, that status guarantees the resurgence, in some form, of armed response, including rocket fire and terrorist attacks on Israeli soil. It is possible that Hamas’ military capability has been drastically reduced. But even when Israel had full command of Gaza’s external borders, it could not stop the trade in smuggled weapons. Sadly, Hamas will re-arm with or without a ceasefire agreement.

Meanwhile, any increased consideration of Iranian or Syrian sponsorship of terrorism will pale against global outrage at the extraordinary disregard shown by Israeli forces for the lives of Palestinian civilians. It is quite possible, as the Observer today reports, that an Israeli withdrawal will reveal evidence of actions deserving indictment as war crimes. Those allegations must be independently investigated.

Israel’s allies in the west, chiefly the US, have traditionally defended the country on the grounds that it is a democracy besieged by despotic regimes and terrorists. But while Israeli citizens do enjoy immense political and social freedom, those values do not automatically prevent the state from committing atrocities.

The fact of Israeli democracy is not a reason to resist negotiations with Hamas. That was true before this pointless, brutal war and will remain so afterwards.

Copyright: Guardian/Observer

Posted in crimes against humanity, Gaza massacre, Israeli citizens, Israeli occupation, war crimes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Arab Shame: Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia

Posted by terres on January 16, 2009

Arab Shame: Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia

Friday, 9 January 2009

The Sources of Arabs’ Shame: Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia

By Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar

It is now over two weeks since Israel started its vicious assault on Gaza resulting, so far, in close to 600 [1,100] dead and thousands of injuries mostly civilians. Israel true to its nature is once again ignoring all international laws and conventions. With its usual thirst for blood of the civilians, Israel is continuing its bombing of workshops, administrative buildings, roads, bridges, fuel depots, prisons, schools and mosques; killing and injuring large number of civilians in one of the world’s most impoverished and densely populated areas of the world. The Israelis are following their old method of destroying everything that makes a society a society, the infrastructure. The collective punishment of the Palestinians for what Hamas or Islamic Jihad is supposed to be doing or has done, reminds one of the collective punishments that Nazis meted out in the occupied areas in Eastern Europe during the WWII.

International Red Cross just issued a statement [ 1] condemning Israel for its brutality against civilians. There are several things that seem to have shocked the Red Cross. In one episode after several days of heavy pressure from the Red Cross, several ambulances were allowed to enter a neighbourhood to evacuate the injured civilians. In one house they found 12 bodies all civilians and mostly women and children. They also found four very young children still alive next to their dead mothers, too weak to stand. They have been holed-up in the same house for close to 4 days.

Apparently the whole neighbourhood was full of dead and injured civilians with Israeli forces only 80 meters away. According to the Red Cross the Israeli forces knew of the situation and not only didn’t do anything to help the civilians, but also were stopping Red Cross from providing assistance. Representative of the Norwegian Red Cross’ People’s Action calls this a war crime.

But this is only the tip of the ice berg. The Israeli forces have begun to use civilians as human shields. According to Amnesty International Israeli forces occupy civilian houses and keep the civilians as hostages on the first floor, while they position their soldiers on the second floor; ensuring that any fire on the house (especially with anti-tank or RPG missiles) kills the civilians as well.

In yet another report, the United Nations condemned Israel for targeting civilians. The head of the UN agency in Gaza running the school that was attacked by Israel forces categorically rejected the claim by Israel that Hamas fighters were in or even near the school. Israel bombed the UN run school, killing 43 children and injuring 100. [ 2]

Israel also targets ambulances and humanitarian relief convoys in Gaza. According to UN, at least one Palestinian was killed when UN relief convoy came under fire from Israeli forces. “The attack took place on Thursday as the lorries travelled to the Erez crossing to pick up supplies that were to have been allowed in during a three-hour ceasefire.” [ 3]

The atrocities committed by Israel is a genocide of a conquered people. Gaza is a concentration camp and no amount of PR can reduce the magnitude of this horrible crime against humanity and decency.

But Israel is Israel. She has shown that cruelty is in her nature. Here I am talking about the successive Israeli governments and not Israeli people in general. I am sure there are many in Israel that if became aware of what really is happening would not approve of it. This of course excludes the settlers and the Zionist movement. These groups like the South African white supremacists consider others to be inferior to them; or that they have the god given right to do as they please.

But states seldom are representative of their people. It is the elite and / or the governing class that makes the decisions. The state of Israel is determined to never allow the Palestinians to have a viable state. The maximum that they are willing to allow is some form of Bantustan (South African) or North American reservation (for Native Americans). With carte blanche from US and most of the European powers, Israel has been implementing this policy. Setting-up such a system takes many years. People’s spirit has to be crushed through collective punishment, economic strangulation and above all excessive and continuing violence. This has to continue for many years so the people lose hope of ever achieving anything more than what is on offer.

This of course cannot be done without the approval of other countries. Israel has the approval of the world’s most powerful nation, the United States. In addition, because of her US connections, she has managed to get a nod and a wink from the Europeans as well. So with this carte blanche in hand she has set forth to change the “reality” on the ground in her favour. By systematically settling extremists in the middle of populated Palestinian areas, she has made the creation of a viable Palestinian state almost impossible. A simple look at the map of the Palestinian territories resembles a Swiss cheese, with pockets of densely populated Palestinian areas surrounded by settlements and their protective military garrisons.

The violence both official (state sponsored) and unofficial (settlers) has been incessant. Couple this violence with economic strangulation and you will see the reasons behind the Palestinians’ anger and frustration. Any resistance is automatically branded as an act of terrorism and punished with even more violence, with US and Europeans cheering the Israelis on the side lines.

If you recall when Georgia invaded the Russian protected enclave of Abkhazia, and met Russian counter attack, the whole Western world with US at its head condemned Russia. Pushing for UN action and even sending warships with “humanitarian” supplies. Russians did not commit one thousandth of the Israeli atrocities and we had the Georgian president and other politician talking day and night about the horrible things the Russians were doing. Yet today we have US and European governments sitting silently watching this genocide taking place without doing anything. US even vetoes resolutions condemning Israeli actions, forgetting that no peace is ever made possible by killing so many innocent women and children.

But whenever a power tries to relocate a group of people by force, the Newton’s Third Law of Motion comes into effect. Newton’s Third Law states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that if you try to imprison a person that person will try to break out. If you try to subjugate a people they will resist. This is the underlying causes of most liberation movements. The same applies to the Palestinians. They are resisting. We can agree or disagree with their methods, but theirs is a reaction to actions taken against them; we call this self-defence.

Israel is trying to push Palestinians into submission and in the process forcing many to leave the occupied territories. They are trying to show the Palestinians that they are alone and resistance in the face of an overwhelming force is suicide. Israel has tried this tactics before and has failed. The children that had to stay with their dead mothers for four days will not forget. The starved people of Gaza are not going to forget this barbarity; and neither shall the people of honour and conscious, regardless of their nationality, Israelis included.

But as for one of those who have followed the Israel’s actions for the past 30 years, I can say that I didn’t expect anything different from Israel. The lies and deceits are all too familiar to fall for again. The current Israeli action in Gaza was not a reaction to the recent event, but planned a year ago. Just read the New York Times article in which among others they interview a senior Israeli military officer [ 4].

Israel is now trying to portray herself as a nation that is defending itself, while the truth is that Israel is a cruel occupying power trying to force a people out of their land. And this is being done with the help of some Arab nations; the very same nations that constantly talk about Arab and Muslim solidarity. These nations are: Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

The Arab Collaborators

The often asked question, when it comes to the Palestinians, is about the role of Arab countries in the Palestinian struggle for freedom. The people not familiar with the political landscape of the area often see the Middle East as two camps, Arab countries on one side and Israel on the other. The reality is totally different. Israel has seldom been alone. Beside its usual American , French, British and other staunch allies, she has had the hidden backing of several Arab countries.

For close to 30 years now, many Arab countries have been collaborating with Israel; some like Egypt (gained independence: 1922) and Jordan (gained independence: 1946) openly while others like Saudi Arabia (founded: 1932), UAE (founded: 1972) and Kuwait (founded: 1961) from behind the scenes. The reasons for this collaboration vary from country to country but they all have one thing in common: the rulers of these countries are all dictators and need foreign protection from their own people. Some such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait and UAE were put in power by the British. The founder of Saudi Arabia, Abdul-Aziz bin Saud (the kingdom is name after him) was put in power by the British. The same goes for the others, except Egypt which experienced a coup by the army officers in 1952 resulting in the ousting of the monarchy and the accompanying British influence. But the Western influence returned with Anwar Sadat. All these countries are dictatorships and all are under pressure from their people. What they cannot accept is any democratically elected form of government in their mist. They fear that if an Arab government becomes democratic they may have to become one themselves, hence losing power. One of the things that they love about Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is that he won the election not by popular vote but by popular method of rigging the election; something that these Arab leaders understand and respect.

In contrast Hamas really represented the aspiration of the people. Soon, Mahmood Abbas term as president is over and he had to stand for re-election something that he would surely lose. In contrast Hamas really won the municipal elections in 2005 and the Parliamentary election in 2006. The elections were supervised by international observers, many from Europe, and US.

Palestinians were fed-up with the corrupt regime of Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah. They wanted to clean house. But as soon as Hamas took over, the US and the Europeans put an embargo on Hamas, calling it a terrorist organisation and not a peace partner. Israel closed the borders and refused to let anything into Gaza. Egypt also did the same.

What is not mentioned much in the media is that this was done with the complete approval of the Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan. After all, Egypt could have opened its border for transfer of food and fuel. The reasons behind this hostility were and are that Hamas is a truly elected government and worst of all, Hamas is a branch or an off-shoot of Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt.

Muslim Brotherhood has a branch or related organisation in Jordan as well. Egypt and Jordan are worried that should Hamas survive and show its resistance, their people may get the idea that they can also resist the tyrannical rule of these despots. One must not forget that Muslim Brotherhood represents the only serious challenge to the Mubarak’s rule in Egypt.

Egypt

The 81 year old Hosni Mubarak of Egypt has been “president” since 1981 (28 years). He has won every election with a comfortable majority. He is much loved by his secret services. Prior to every election he arrests and imprisons all the opposition, ensuring a “clean” election. Torture is so widely used and accepted in Egypt that US outsources torturing of some its prisoners to Egypt. This alone should tell you volumes about the nature of Mubarak’s rule. He is now trying hard to crown his playboy son as his successor. But the Americans are not so sure if the son is capable of keeping the 80 million Egyptians in line and is therefore looking for alternative candidates. The head of the feared main secret service is one of the prime candidates along with some of the top generals. Challenging him is the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, enjoying grass root support from all sections of the Egyptian society including Lawyers, doctors, judges and student associations. Not surprisingly, US and Israel call Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organisation.

By all accounts, the Muslim Brotherhood be it in Jordan, Egypt or the occupied territories such as Gaza runs a clean operation, running many charity organisations and providing services to the poor and the needy. As such wherever they are, they pose a threat to the corrupt regimes, since they provide an alternative to the people of that area.

Jordan

King Abdullah II of Jordan, born of a British mother, educated in the West, including the Jesuit Center of Georgetown University, was brought to power by the CIA. His Uncle was a long time crown price, yet after his father died in a US hospital, Madeline Albright, Clinton’s Secretary of Estate flew to Jordan to inform the Jordanians that the King on his death bed had changed his will and named his son Abdullah as his successor.

The majority of this Kingdom of 5 million people are Palestinians who are not very friendly to this King. In 1967 there was a Palestinian uprising (led by PLO) against King Hussein (ruled: 1952-1999, the father of the current king), which resulted in heavy casualties among Palestinians. In addition, the Kingdom is currently full of Iraqi refugees who resent the King’s help to the Americans in invasion of their country. On top of all this, we have the Muslim Brotherhood which tries hard to abolish the monarchy. King Abdullah relies heavily on the US support and backing for staying in power. King Abdullah also sees a natural ally in Israel, a country that can come to its aid in case of another uprising.

Saudi Arabia (House of Saud)

I don’t have to tell you much about Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom is run by the 84 year old, ailing Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud. His personal wealth is estimated at $21 billion USD. He rules a clan of 8000 princes who in turn rule the country. Saudi Arabia is the centre of corruption in the Arab world. The Saudi rulers corrupt everything with their money. Lacking the necessary mental power or physical courage, they try to stay in power by subterfuge, lies, and deception. They fund the real extremists on the one hand while portraying themselves as the protectors of the Western interest on the other. They preach intolerance and xenophobia to their people decrying the Western decadence, while spending a lot of time enjoying the life in the West. They pay the West for protection against their own people and they pay the extremists to do their fighting elsewhere. Saudi rulers are indeed the worst of them all.

House of Saud is also the financier of the so called “Arab Moderates” and extremism that they cause. House of Saud financed the Mujahedeen in Afghanistan to fight the Soviets. They later financed the Taliban. They also paid the Saddam Hussein to fight Iran. Then they paid the Americans and Egyptians to fight Saddam Hussein. They are the financiers of death and misery. They finance anything, anywhere, as long as this reduces the threat to their illegitimate rule. They are currently financing the civil war in Somalia, bandits in Baluchistan (Pakistan and Iran) and god knows what else. They are detested by their own people and neighbours yet loved by Bush, Cheney and the oil companies. As long as they provide the money and oil the US is willing to tolerate them. And guess what? Muslim Brotherhood hates the House of Saud too. This makes them a threat and hence has to be dealt with.

The Collaboration

As can be seen each country has a good reason to eliminate Hamas, but each is restrained by its population. Israel has no such a restrain imposed on it. She not only can wage a terrible war, but also get assistance from Arab countries. Indeed it is the second time (the first was the Lebanon invasion of 2006) that Israel is getting open and solid support from these Arab countries. The invasion of Gaza was discussed in Egypt before its implementation. Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia are Israel’s active partners.

Egypt is actively involved in stopping all aids from getting to Palestinians in Gaza save a token few trucks. These few trucks are allowed to go through so they can be filmed and shown to Egyptian people. All demonstrations are banned and all Egyptian volunteers for Gaza are either arrested or sent back.

There are hundreds of thousands of volunteers across the Muslim world that are willing to go to the aid of the Palestinians, but the Egyptian authorities don’t allow them passage. Egyptians even stop medical aid from passing through their territories. This is part of a report from Associated Press:

“RAFAH, Egypt: Frustration is mounting at Egypt’s border with the Gaza Strip, where many local and foreign doctors are stuck after Egyptian authorities denied them entry into the coastal area now under an Israeli ground invasion.

Anesthesiologist Dimitrios Mognie from Greece idles his time at a cafe near the border, drinking tea and chatting with other doctors, aid workers and curious Egyptians.

“This is a shame,” said Mognie, who decided to use his vacation time to try help Gazans. He thought entering through Egypt, which has a narrow border with the Hamas-ruled strip, was his best bet.

“That in 2009 they have people in need of help from a doctor and we can go to help and they won’t let us. This is crazy,” he added.” [ 5].

In addition there are many Iranian cargo planes full of food and medicine which have been sitting on the tarmacs in Egypt for days waiting for permission to deliver their cargo. Egyptians even denied the medical aid sent by the son of the Libyan President Qaddafi to land in Egypt [ 6].

One thing is clear: these three countries do not want the Israelis to fail in their mission of totally destroying Gaza. Hosni Mubarak said so himself. The daily Haaretz reported that Hosni Mubarak had told European ministers on a peace mission that Hamas must not be allowed to win the ongoing war in Gaza.

As Egypt physically aids the Israeli military by denying food, fuel and medicine to the civilians, The House of Saud helps Israel by giving her time and diplomatic cover. When Israel started its invasion there was an immediate call for an Arab summit. Saudi Arabia and Jordan (along with Egypt of course) delayed the summit. The Saudis along with the UAE said that they had another meeting to attend to and therefore Palestinian issue had to wait. After a few days when the summit was eventually held, they issued the same old statements. Yet this time same as the Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in 2006, they blamed the victims. In a statement Saudi Arabia blamed Hamas for Israel’s continuing offensive in the Gaza Strip. Saudi Arabia, after blaming Hamas, declared that it will not even consider an oil embargo on Israel’s supporters. She then again blamed Hamas.

By this time, the three Arab countries along with Kuwait and UAE began singing the old song: international community is not doing anything about the catastrophe that is taking place in Gaza. It seems that these Arab tyrants have no shame at all. This reminds me of a quote from Marquis De Sade (1740-1814): “One is never so dangerous when one has no shame, than when one has grown too old to blush.”

These Arab leaders (many are indeed too old to blush) are complicit in the murder of so many civilians, especially young children. According to Agence France-Presse, quoting the medics on the ground, fully one third of all people killed have been children [ ]. How can these Arab leaders justify this to their people?

The answer is that they cannot. Israel knows this and for the second time can show the Arab street that their leaders are nothing but a bunch of old hypocrites. These Arab leaders are now exposed and can do nothing but to cooperate fully with Israel and US. What stand between them and their people’s rage is their army and secret services; which in turn are supported by US.

Israel has cleverly exposed these leaders for what they are: collaborators of the worst kind. These Arab leaders have brought an unimaginable shame to their people. To quote Lucien Bouchard: I have never known a more vulgar expression of betrayal and deceit. Our hope is now with the people of these countries to clean this stain from their honour.

Source: scoop. co.nz.  – Copyright the author or news agency.

NOTES
[1] ABC News Norway. “Røde Kors sjokkert over Israel”(Red Cross Shocked by Israel), 8 January 2009.
http://www.abcnyheter.no/node/81001

[2] Aljazeera.net. ” UN: No fighters in targeted school”, 8 January 2009
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/20091805410769377.html

[3] Aljazeera.net. ” Israel fires on UN Gaza convoy”, 8 January 2009
http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/01/2009181119551714.html

[4] nytimes.com. “For Israel, 2006 Lessons but Old Pitfalls”, 7 January 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/07/world/middleeast/07military.html?_r=1&em=&pagewanted=print

[5] The Associated Press. “Doctors stuck at bottleneck on Egypt-Gaza border”. 6 January 2009
http://www.iht.com/bin/printfriendly.php?id=19117028

[6] google.com: hosted news. ” Egypt denies Kadhafi’s son permission to land at airport”. 6 January 2009
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jnJ0VpCH7xYJooYYoiHuxIc8Femg

[7] Agence France-Presse. “Children make up third of Gaza dead”, 7 January 2009
http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/world/view/20090107-182021/Children-make-up-third-of-Gaza-dead

*************

Dr. Abbas Bakhtiar lives in Norway. He is a management consultant and a contributing writer for many online journals. He can be contacted at : Bakhtiarspace-articles@yahoo.no

Posted in International Red Cross, Israeli genocide, shelling of UN HQ, war crimes | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

McCain: The War Criminal!

Posted by terres on October 16, 2008

Just How Sick is John McCain?

ROBERT RICHTER is an Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker and was political director for CBS News from 1965 to 1968. He says, “McCain cites his military experience as of prime importance, now is the time to focus closer attention on a facet of the Arizona Senator’s … character.”

The following is about his 23 combat missions for Operation Rolling Thunder – the Pentagon’s name for U.S. bombing of North Vietnam.

“McCain: War Hero or War Criminal?”

“I will never forget how stunned I was when Gen. Telford Taylor, a chief U.S. prosecutor at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two, told me that he strongly supported the idea of trying the U.S. pilots captured in North Vietnam as war criminals — and that he would be proud to lead in their prosecution.


Rolling Thunder: The US bombing of North Vietnam. Source: Vietnam War. Image may be subject to copyright.

“An ardent opponent of the Vietnam conflict, Taylor spoke with me in the fall of 1966 when I was looking into producing a documentary on this controversy for CBS News, where I was their National Political Editor. While he did not mention any pilot’s name, then U.S. Navy Lieut. Commander John McCain, who was captured a year later, would have been among the group Taylor wanted to prosecute. …


John McCain is pulled out of a Hanoi lake by a mix of North Vietnamese Army (NVA) and Vietnamese citizens in this October, 1967 file photo. McCain was shot down by a Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) and had broken both arms and his right knee upon ejection, losing consciousness until he hit the water. Source: Sen. McCain’s office / February 23, 2000. Image may be subject to copyright.

“Taylor’s argument was that their actions were in violation of the Geneva conventions that specifically forbid indiscriminate bombing that could cause incidental loss of civilian life or damage to civilian objects. Adding to the Geneva code, he noted, was the decision at the Nuremberg trials after World War Two: military personnel cannot defend themselves against such a charge with a claim that they were simply following orders. …

“Anti-war critics at the time claimed that despite the Pentagon’s assertion that only military targets were bombed, U.S. pilots also had bombed hospitals and other civilian targets, a charge that turned out to be correct and was confirmed by the New York Times’ chief foreign correspondent, Harrison Salisbury.

“In late 1966 Salisbury described the widespread devastation of civilian neighborhoods around Hanoi by American bombs: ‘Bomb damage … extends over an area of probably a mile or so on both sides of the highway … small villages and hamlets along the route [were] almost obliterated’. …

“In one of his autobiographies McCain wrote that he was going to bomb a power station in ‘a heavily populated part of Hanoi’ when he was shot down. …

“When I passed along Gen. Taylor’s comments to my network superiors the program was scrapped: too hot to handle. Instead Air War Over the North was telecast, about “precision bombing” North Vietnam military targets by U.S. pilots. A few years after that broadcast, a Pentagon public information executive gleefully told Roger Mudd in The Selling of the Pentagon that he, the Pentagon official, not only had persuaded CBS to produce Air War Over the North, he even chose those to be interviewed and coached them about what they should say. This unethical collaboration and intercession by the Pentagon in the news media is sadly all too familiar a tactic repeated in the Bush-Cheney years.” Source: IPA

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Japan Has NO Right to Dokdo !

Posted by terres on August 29, 2008

Time to End Japan Imperial Aspirations!

S Korean emotions run high over island dispute

By HYUNG-JIN KIM – August 27,2008

SOUTH KOREA-CONTROLLED DOKDO (AP) — A rifle-toting South Korean stands guard on the remote and rocky islet of Dokdo, gazing out over the expanse of blue ocean toward Japan for any potential challenge to his country’s control.

Kim Eun-taek is part of a 40-member police contingent that has been on high alert since mid-July, when long-simmering tensions between the two countries over the volcanic outcroppings located roughly halfway between South Korea and Japan, spiked anew.

“I always hated Japan and I’ve come to hate it more these days,” said Kim, whose unit is tasked with safeguarding South Korea’s control of the islets, which Japan also claims and calls Takeshima.

A South Korean coast guard boat passes by Dokdo islets, known as Takeshima in Japan, in South Korea, Monday, Aug. 25. 2008. The dispute heated up following Japan’s announcement it would recommend that a government teaching manual refer to its claim to the area, which is mostly uninhabited but rich in marine life. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

The dispute heated up following Japan’s announcement it would recommend that a government teaching manual refer to its claim to the area, which is mostly uninhabited but rich in marine resources.

South Korea and Japan have been arguing about the islets for decades in a dispute made all the more complex by Japan’s colonial rule of the Korean peninsula from 1910-1945.

No incidents, such as the appearance of Japanese coast guard ships, which South Korea says sometimes sail near the islets, were reported Monday during a brief trip for foreign media organizations arranged by the South Korean government.

A group of seagulls peacefully flew in bright, sunny skies over the territory, composed of two main islets and 89 other rocks and reefs. Besides the police, the only civilian residents are an elderly South Korean couple.

“I explode with anger whenever they say it’s their territory,” Kim Sung-do, 68, who fishes for a living with his wife, said of Japan’s claim.

It is hard to overstate the emotional impact the dispute over the tiny islets — which if placed in New York’s Central Park would occupy just 0.5 percent of its total area — has for South Koreans.

Dokdo’s location and distance from nearest landfalls. (Source)

During this year’s spat, the country temporarily recalled its ambassador from Tokyo and increased the number of coast guard boats patrolling the islets to three from two. Civic activists staged near-daily protests in front of the Japanese Embassy in Seoul and South Korean businesses took out newspaper ads backing the government’s position.

From South Korea’s perspective, the islets were the first Korean territory to be taken by Japan, when they were incorporated into Shimane prefecture in 1905, five years before the entire peninsula was colonized.

Tokyo has cited historical evidence it says back Japan’s sovereignty since at least the 17th century. South Korea has countered that it has far older historical evidence.

South Korean experts say the squabbling is not a simple territorial dispute but an emotional issue bound up with history that can affect the future of bilateral relations.

“Japan’s past wrongdoing and its colonial rule are condensed in these tiny islets,” said Ha Jong-moon, a Japan expert at Hanshin University near Seoul.

North Korea has also joined South Korea’s criticism of the Japanese moves, despite rising tension with the South over its government’s hard-line policy on the communist country.

In Japan, the dispute appears not to arouse anywhere near the same level of public emotion as in South Korea, though it remains a favorite cause of the vocal right wing and among fishermen on Japan’s western coast who want greater access to the rich waters between Japan and the Korean peninsula.

The Japanese government says the timing of its announcement on the teaching manual had already been determined long in advance, calling the latest tension with South Korea “clearly undesirable.”

Right-wing groups in Japan protest against Korean policy regarding Dokdo. (Source)

“Japan is of the view that both sides should respond calmly to this issue recognizing the differences in positions between our countries as differences in positions,” the Japanese Foreign Ministry said in e-mailed answers to questions posed by The Associated Press.

Two major newspapers in South Korea have published war game scenarios, suggesting Japan would eventually defeat South Korea for control of the islets, owing to its superior air and naval power.

Some members of South Korea’s ruling party have proposed permanently stationing marines there.

Any chance of an armed clash appears remote, at least in the near future, in view of broader economic, trade and cultural ties, as well as the countries’ cooperation in trying to persuade North Korea to give up its nuclear programs.

Still, Japanese coast guard patrol boats approach the islets about 70-90 times a year without sufficiently explaining their purpose, South Korea’s coast guard says.

Following last month’s dispute, in particular, Japanese ships have increasingly appeared near the islets at unusual times, such as before dawn or even when a high wave advisory was issued, said Kwag Young-han, skipper of the Sambong-ho, a 5,000-ton-class South Korean coast guard vessel patrolling the islets.

All eventually moved away, though most did not respond to South Korean radio messages, said Kwag, whose ship is equipped with two 20mm Vulcan cannons, 37 M60 machine guns and a helicopter.

Kim, the police guard, said he is proud to serve his country, but acknowledged duty on the islets has its challenges.

“The hardest thing about serving here is loneliness,” the black-clad Kim said near the lighthouse.

[Article submitted by a reader ]

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