Tuesday, July 21, 2009

WWB: ongoing war crimes

WHAT WAR BRINGS: ongoing war crimes

Recently, blog posts and corporate media have been paying attention to a war crime that happened in the year 2001 in Afghanistan. Our ‘allies’ picked up a bunch of Taliban and put them into shipping containers, where many of them died. They were buried in mass graves.

I first heard about this in early 2002, just months after it happened. It has been ignored or dismissed by American officials and the US corporate media until recently. Here is one good diary on that subject.

The Veterans for Peace have been working non-stop for YEARS on the impeachment of Bush and Cheney for war crimes. This has now changed into arresting them for war crimes, and the work continues.

They are publishing a quarterly newsletter on the past and current war crimes.

From Wikipedia the definition of war crimes:

War crimes are "violations of the laws or customs of war"; including but not limited to "murder, the ill-treatment or deportation of civilian residents of an occupied territory to slave labor camps", "the murder or ill-treatment of prisoners of war", the killing of hostages, "the wanton destruction of cities, towns and villages, and any devastation not justified by military, or civilian necessity".

The Fourth Geneva Convention relates to the protection of civilian persons. The bombing of civilian structures is a violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, and I think that is exactly what happened in Afghanistan in early May 2009.

Afghan villagers slain as they took cover

Tears streaming down her face, the Afghan woman sat in a corner of a room with no roof and broken windows, mourning 19 of her closest and dearest relatives. “They were parts of my heart,” she said.

Six weeks after American warplanes bombed her village in Farah province, on Afghanistan’s remote western border, mistakenly killing dozens of innocent women and children, the terror of the moment when the bombs fell and the ground erupted, turning one mud-walled house after another into rubble, still lives in her mind.

“I lost them all at a glance. Why am I still alive?” the 62-year-old woman asked.

The dead men, women and children, many of them her relatives, now lie in graves. The survivors still wonder why their families were wiped out by American airmen with whom they had no quarrel.

I suppose the following, which happened last week, is just a threat of a upcoming war crime. The people in the two villages targeted have got to be scared though. Please note that they call this soldier ‘kidnapped’ when in fact only civilians can be ‘kidnapped’. He was captured by the enemy.

US Treatens Afghans Over Kidnapped GI

At least two Afghan villages have been blanketed with leaflets warning that if an American soldier kidnapped by the Taliban two weeks ago isn't freed, "you will be targeted."

Villagers near the border of two volatile provinces, Ghazni and Paktika, tell CBS News' Sami Yousafzai that aircraft dropped the leaflets during the past several days.

Military spokeswoman Capt. Elizabeth Mathias confirmed that the leaflets were produced at Bagram Air Base, the primary U.S. installation in Afghanistan, and distributed in the region. She told CBS News correspondent Mandy Clark, however, that they were distributed by hand, not aircraft.

Yes, they “will be targeted” even though the vast majority of them know nothing about this captured soldier and had nothing to do with it. If they proceed with ‘targeting’ the civilian population, it will be YET ANOTHER WAR CRIME in a very long series of them. (I think threatening them might also qualify as a war crime.)

And, talking about Bagram, it is being EXPANDED under the Obama administration, and there is NO talk about giving those people any legal rights.

And some of the people imprisoned there were KIDNAPPED since they are civilians. Hell, some of them are probably children! And I have really serious doubts that the torture has stopped inside Bagram, even though Obama made that directive.

It sure is not getting better at Guantanamo. It is getting worse.

I find it peculiar that so much attention is being directed at war crimes from years ago under the Bush administration, done by ‘allies’ – while almost no attention is being paid to war crimes going on right now, and done by the US military.

If you support the continued occupation of Iraq or Afghanistan, or the bombing of Pakistan, then you support WHAT WAR BRINGS: ongoing war crimes.

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