• All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out.

  • I.F. Stone

donderdag 15 december 2016

U.S. War Crimes

It was bizarre to watch Samantha Power at the UN conveniently forget to mention all the massacres done in America's name

When Samantha talked about ‘barbarism against civilians’ in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel’s Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army – Washington’s most powerful ally in the Middle East – watched

So there was Samantha Power doing her “shame” bit in the UN. “Is there no act of barbarism against civilians, no execution of a child that gets under your skin, that just creeps you out a little bit?”, America’s ambassador to the UN asked the Russians and Syrians and Iranians. She spoke of Halabja, Rwanda, Srebrenica “and, now, Aleppo”.
Odd, that. For when Samantha talked about “barbarism against civilians” in Aleppo, I remembered climbing over the dead Palestinian civilians massacred at the Sabra and Chatila refugee camps in Beirut in 1982, slaughtered by Israel’s Lebanese militia friends while the Israeli army – Washington’s most powerful ally in the Middle East – watched. But Samantha didn’t mention them. Not enough dead Palestinians, perhaps? Only 1,700 killed, including women and children. Halabja was up to 5,000 dead. But Sabra and Chatila certainly “creeped me out” at the time.
And then I recalled the monstrous American invasion of Iraq. Perhaps half a million dead. It’s one of the statistics for Rwanda’s dead. Certainly far more than Srebrenica’s 9,000 dead. And I can tell you that Iraq’s half million dead “creeped me out” rather a lot, not to mention the torture and murders in the CIA’s interrogation centres in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. It also “creeped me out” to learn that the US president used to send innocent prisoners off to be interrogated in... Assad’s Syria! Yes, they were sent by Washington to be questioned in what Samantha now calls Syria’s “Gulags”.
Funny old world. Samantha, God bless her, didn’t mention Gaza, where quite a lot of Palestinian children have been killed by the Israelis. Nor Yemen, where America’s head-chopping allies are now dissing the Shiites and have killed almost 4,000 civilians. Nor the mass killings by Isis in Mosul. Nor – most oddly of all – did Samantha mention 9/11. Here, surely, was an international crime against humanity worthy of mention in Samantha’s roll call of shame. 3,996 innocent dead. A must-be, you’d think, for throwing at the Syrians and the Russkis and the Iranians.
But no. For there’s a wee bit of a problem there, isn’t there? Because the 9/11 bloodbath was carried out by al-Qaeda. And al-Qaeda in Syria has changed its name to al-Nusra and then to Jabhat Fateh al-Sham and – well, it’s al-Sham (alias Nusra, alias al-Qaeda) that’s been fighting against the Syrian regime in eastern Aleppo. A bit difficult, you see, for Samantha to express her horror over the most terrifying attack on her country in recent history – talk about “barbarism against civilians” –  when the very criminal “jihadi” organisation which committed this outrage is, yes, in eastern Aleppo fighting against the Syrian army.
So Samantha has to throw the dead of 9/11 into the trash bin in order to tell us how “creeped out” al-Qaeda’s enemies should be at their behaviour in Aleppo. Out, too, go the Christians murdered or deported by Isis in Mosul, those Yazidis subject to Isis’ “ethnic cleansing” – a subject of which Samantha was quite an expert when it was taking place in Bosnia. In fact, Isis simply gets deleted from Samantha’s narrative. They get, in effect, a clean bill of health.
And we journos are going along with all this. What was the last time you read of Isis’ catastrophic return to the Syrian city of Palmyra last week – surely a victory for those we are supposed to be defeating in Mosul? And some of the Palmyra attackers actually came from Mosul! How did they do that when Mosul is surrounded by the Iraqi army and their allies and all those American “advisers”? And for that matter, what was the last time you heard about Mosul, surrounded by a government army trying to smash its way into the city against its “jihadi” defenders – with even more civilians besieged than in Aleppo?

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