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Friday, October 26, 2012

Murderous foreign relations paradigm carelessly coddled by U.S. Left, Right

Anti-U.S. demonstration
Middle East

Unchecked power is global threat ─ no matter who or what holds it; and it may soon be checked

‘In questions of power … let no more be heard of confidence in man;

Bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.’ [Greenwald quotes Jefferson]

Re-reporting, editing by Carolyn Bennett

ensored and ignored

Human costs suffered by Fallujans (Iraq) Ross Caputi at yesterday’s Guardian UK

U.S. war on Iraq
“One of the most severe public health crises in history, for which the U.S. military may be to blame, receives no attention in the United States.

Four new studies on the health crisis in Fallujah have been published in the last three months. Ever since two major U.S.-led assaults destroyed the Iraqi city of Fallujah in 2004, Fallujans have witnessed dramatic increases in rates of cancers, birth defects and infant mortality in their city.

The latest study by Dr Chris Busby “is not abstract,” Ross Caputi writes. “It is not merely an intellectual or medical issue.” The modern means of warfare may be inherently indiscriminate. This has real world importance.

Quoting Dr. Busby, author and co-author of two studies on the Fallujah heath crisis, Caputi says Busby calls this “‘the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied.’”

But those who do not want to hear the costs of war dismiss or reject Busby’s studies. 

Many naysayers have dismissed the authors’ hypotheses as speculative (hypotheses by definition are always speculative to a degree: informed yet their claims intended to be verified or falsified) “because they do not like their moral and political implications.” In their dismissal, they offer no further studies ─ “many of these naysayers have not responded to these studies by calling for more research and investigation to test the hypotheses of Dr. Busby or Dr. Williams” [studies by Dr. Dai Williams suggest that there is a new generation of weapons being used, possibly by the U.S. and Israeli militaries, which could have serious indiscriminate health effects on the populations living near bombing targets].  Rather they have expressed “a great deal of antipathy for the scientific method and the pursuit of truth”; and even “more importantly, they dismiss the suffering of the people of Fallujah, and all people affected by these issues.”

Ross Caputi concludes the obvious that to help the people of Fallujah, more studies must be done to figure out what is harming the children then steps must be taken to ensure that this never happens again; but, first, he says, “we must find a way to overcome the stifling silence of governments.”

Pakistanis protest
U. S. assassination drones
U.S. Left to Right, Right to Left
Coddling a murderous paradigm 

f it’s not their children, and lacks immediacy in that perception, then they just don’t care. Slaughter other people’s children: kill them, let them die, let them suffer and when the bomblets explode, let them suffer well into the future when war has been pronounced ended.

Glenn Greenwald had a piece at the Guardian online this week on “journalist” at large MSNBCer Joe Klein’s latest pledge of allegiance to drones to kill other people’s children and his good-guy versus his bad-guy orders to kill other people’s children.

In the article “Joe Klein’s sociopathic defense of drone killings of children,” Greenwald quotes Klein’s drone advocacy when he says: they take “‘out a lot of bad people and sav[e] Americans’ lives … because our troops don’t have to do this . . . You don’t need pilots anymore because you do it with a joystick in California.’”

However “‘… there is a major possibility of abuse,’” Klein says, “‘if you have the wrong people running the government. But the bottom line is: whose 4-year-olds get killed?’”

Not mine, he seems to say.

What we're doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here [in the United States] will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror. 

Greenwald responds that “the only difference between the Joe Kleins of the world and Osama bin Laden” ─ in justifying the slaughter of civilians ─ “is that they are on different sides.
U.S. drones attack Somalis

“To the extent one wanted to distinguish” these men, Greenwald says, “one could say that the violence and aggression brought by the U.S. to the Muslim world vastly exceeds ─ vastly exceeds ─ the violence and aggression brought by the Muslim world to the United States.” That’s fact, nor opinion.

Greenwald continues.

“Leaving aside the sociopathic, morally grotesque defense of killing 4-year-olds with a ‘joystick from California,’ Klein’s claims are completely false on pragmatic grounds.

Slaughtering Muslim children does not protect American children from terrorism. The opposite is true.… 

The reason American 4-year-olds are in danger from terrorism ─ to the very limited extent they are ─ is precisely because those empowered in U.S. government and media circles think like Joe Klein does …. 

Soulless cheerleaders for indiscriminate killing.…

Leaving aside the authoritarian willingness to trust certain leaders with unchecked power,” Greenwald observes, quoting a warning of America’s third president, Thomas Jefferson:

‘In questions of power … let no more be heard of confidence in man;
Bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.
“Once a power is legitimized and institutionalized, it is then vested in all presidents, current and future, Democratic and Republican [and] those who cheer for the unchecked power to assassinate in secret because it is Obama who currently wields that power ─ will be the ones fully responsible when some leader they do not trust exercises it, abuses it in the future.”

Peril of unchecked superpower: its own undoing
Seumas Milne writes this week at the Guardian

“Whoever runs Washington heads a global empire” … and “whatever the personal views of the politician at the top, the U.S. empire is a system ─ not a policy ─ underpinned by corporate and military interests,” he writes.

“Romney would very likely be a more dangerous leader. But almost every U.S. president has sanctioned military action. And the risk of war with Iran or growing intervention in Syria would remain under a second Obama term.”

However, the overreach in the “war on terror,” paid in blood and treasure by Americans and other peoples of the world, has hastened the decline of the imperial system. The United States has troops stationed in a majority of countries; its military spending exceeds the combined spending of the next 20 powers combined. And though American politics affects people’s lives in every part of the world ─ often as a matter of life or death ─ the rest of the world wants the United States “off its back.”

United Natons
General Assembly
193 nations
ill the United Nations succeed in checking unchecked U.S. global killing project? Legal affairs correspondent Owen Bowcott reports for the Guardian

UN special rapporteurs seem to be trying to rein in U.S. reign of assassination drone terror on peoples of the world.

United Nations at Geneva is reportedly establishing an investigations unit “to examine the legality of drone attacks in cases where civilians are killed in ‘targeted’ counter-terrorism operations.”
Special rapporteur Ben Emmerson (QC) this past summer called for  effective investigations into drone attacks and this week he announced during a speech at Harvard law school that he and his colleague Christof Heyns, the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings, will launch “an investigation unit within the special procedures of the [UN] Human Rights Council to inquire into individual drone attacks.”

Emmerson monitors counter-terrorism for the UN and has said that some U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan “may amount to war crimes.”

 Challenge impunity

Universal Declaration of
Human Rights
Emmerson maintains that the United States position “that it can conduct counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda or other groups anywhere in the world because it is deemed to be an international conflict was indefensible.”

The global war paradigm has done immense damage to a previously shared international consensus on the legal framework underlying both international human rights law and international humanitarian law.

The global war paradigm has also given a spurious justification to a range of serious human rights and humanitarian law violations.

The global war paradigm was always based on the flimsiest of reasoning, and was not supported even by close allies of the United States.

Sources and notes

“The victims of Fallujah's health crisis are stifled by western silence ─ To research a possible link between US bombardment and rates of birth defects and pediatric cancer in Iraq is a moral imperative” (Ross Caputi, guardian.co.uk), October 25, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/25/fallujah-iraq-health-crisis-silence

Busby is not the only researcher who takes ‘controversial’ positions.

His findings are complimented by the work of Dr Dai Williams, an independent weapons researcher. Williams has been investigating what he calls ‘third generation uranium weapons’.

He has found patents for weapon systems that could use un-depleted uranium, or slightly enriched uranium, interchangeably with tungsten, either as a dense metal or as a reactive metal.

Un-depleted and slightly enriched uranium have also been found on other battlefields (Afghanistan and Lebanon).

These findings lead researchers like Dr Williams to believe that there is a new generation of weapons being used, possibly by the U.S. and Israeli militaries, which could have serious indiscriminate health effects on the populations living near bombing targets.

“Joe Klein’s sociopathic defense of drone killings of children ─ Reflecting the Obama legacy and U.S. culture, the Time columnist says: ‘the bottom line is: whose 4-year-olds get killed?’” (Glenn Greenwald, The Guardian), October 23, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/23/klein-drones-morning-joe

“Americans would also gain from scaling back the empire ─ The presidential foreign policy debate showed how close the candidates were – and how far from their own public opinion”
(Seumas Milne, The Guardian), October 23, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/23/better-us-scale-back-global-empire
“UN to investigate civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes ─ Special rapporteur on counter-terror operations condemns Barack Obama’s failure to establish effective monitoring process” (Owen Bowcott, legal affairs correspondent, guardian.co.uk) October 25, 2012, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/oct/25/un-inquiry-us-drone-strikes

Joe Klein is a regular blogger on time.com’s Swampland blog. In November 2007, Salon columnist Glenn Greenwald wrote about factual errors in a Klein story about the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Klein reported that the Democratic version of the FISA bill ‘would require the surveillance of every foreign-terrorist target’s calls to be approved by the FISA court’ and that it therefore ‘would give terrorists the same legal protections as Americans.’

Time later published a comment: ‘In the original version of this story, Joe Klein wrote that the House Democratic version of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) would allow a court review of individual foreign surveillance targets. Republicans believe the bill can be interpreted that way, but Democrats don’t.’

Greenwald noted that the text of the legislation does not require court review of individual targets, and that Time’s response disregards this fact. Klein’s response was: ‘I have neither the time nor legal background to figure out who’s right.’

Later, Greenwald reported that Time ‘refused the requests of two sitting members of Congress ... to correct Klein’s false statements in Time itself.’ Greenwald has reported that Senator Russ Feingold has been informed by Time that his letter rebutting Klein will be published in a forthcoming issue.

Klein was later drawn attention to by Greenwald for revealing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program his advocacy of U.S. drone strikes resulting in the death and mutilation of young children. Klein stated that the bottom line in the end was to ask 
‘whose 4-year-olds get killed? What we’re doing is limiting the possibility that 4-year-olds here will get killed by indiscriminate acts of terror.’ http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Klein


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