Author Topic: The Terrorist U.S.A.  (Read 11026 times)

Offline milomorris

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The Terrorist U.S.A.
« on: June 01, 2013, 09:08:01 am »
Oh, good grief! Please don't play the victim.  America, and yes I resent the fact that you have appropriated the word America, deserves all the criticisms it's gets being the world's leading terrorist state.

Please explain the concept of the U.S.A. as a "terrorist state."
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2013, 02:43:48 pm »
You weren't asking me, but here's my opinion. The US may or may not qualify as a "terrorist state" by the strictest definition of the English-language term, partly because actions undertaken by our government are not technically "illegal" -- as defined by our government itself -- and because when we kill civilians we classify it as "collateral damage" of warfare, rather than as random acts of violence against another country's citizens.

But our country has killed more than 100,000 civilians in Iraq in pursuit of a war that was sold to Congress and the public on trumped-up nonexistent security issues, then catastrophically planned and mismanaged in ways that prolonged the killing. If another country invented its own reason to invade the US and then killed 100,000 civilian Americans, what would you call that country?

Here's Wikipedia's definition of "state terrorism":

There is neither an academic nor an international legal consensus regarding the proper definition of the word "terrorism".[6][7] Many scholars believe that the actions of governments can be labeled "terrorism"; however others, including governments, international organizations, private institutions and scholars, believe that the term is only applicable to the actions of non-state actors. Historically, the term terrorism was used to refer to actions taken by governments against their citizens whereas now it is more often perceived as targeting of civilians as part of a strategy directed against governments.[8] Historian Henry Commager wrote that "Even when definitions of terrorism allow for state terrorism, state actions in this area tend to be seen through the prism of war or national self-defense, not terror.”[9] While states may accuse other states of state-sponsored terrorism when they support insurgencies, individuals who accuse their governments of terrorism are seen as radicals, because actions by legitimate governments are not generally seen as illegitimate. Academic writing tends to follow the definitions accepted by states.[10] Most states use the term "terrorism" for non state actors only.[11]

The Encyclopædia Britannica Online defines terrorism generally as "the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective", and states that "terrorism is not legally defined in all jurisdictions." The encyclopedia adds that "[e]stablishment terrorism, often called state or state-sponsored terrorism, is employed by governments -- or more often by factions within governments -- against that government's citizens, against factions within the government, or against foreign governments or groups."[2]

While the most common modern usage of the word terrorism refers to civilian-victimizing political violence by insurgents or conspirators,[12] several scholars make a broader interpretation of the nature of terrorism that encompasses the concepts of state terrorism and state-sponsored terrorism.[13] Michael Stohl argues, "The use of terror tactics is common in international relations and the state has been and remains a more likely employer of terrorism within the international system than insurgents.[14] Stohl clarifies, however, that "[n]ot all acts of state violence are terrorism. It is important to understand that in terrorism the violence threatened or perpetrated, has purposes broader than simple physical harm to a victim. The audience of the act or threat of violence is more important than the immediate victim."[15]

Scholar Gus Martin describes state terrorism as terrorism "committed by governments and quasi-governmental agencies and personnel against perceived threats", which can be directed against both domestic and foreign targets.[4] Noam Chomsky defines state terrorism as "terrorism practised by states (or governments) and their agents and allies".[16] Jeffrey A. Sluka has described Noam Chomsky and Edward S. Herman as pioneers in academic studies about state terrorism.[17]

Michael Stohl and George A. Lopez have designated three categories of state terrorism, based on the openness/secrecy with which the alleged terrorist acts are performed, and whether states directly perform the acts, support them, or acquiesce to them.[18]




 

Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #2 on: June 01, 2013, 03:24:03 pm »
Thank you for adding to this conversation in a sober and meaningful manner.

Clearly, there are differing views on what defines terrorism. I am in the camp that sees terrorists as non-state actors. If I took it upon myself to fly to  Pyongyang, and start dropping pipe bombs in trash cans, I'd be a terrorist. If on the other hand I enlist in the Army, am sent to Pyongyang, and end up mowing down dozens of North Koreans with my AR-15, I'd be a soldier.
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Offline Monika

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #3 on: June 01, 2013, 04:04:38 pm »
I´d say "terrorism" has more to do with the reason behind the violence than whether it is sanctioned by a government or not.

Let´s take the Israelian/Palestinian conflict as an example. I would say that both sides in that conflict has committed acts of terror. To me the deciding factor is the reason behind doing something (i.e create terror among a population) rather than if it is sanctioned by a government or not.

Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #4 on: June 01, 2013, 04:16:08 pm »
I´d say "terrorism" has more to do with the reason behind the violence than whether it is sanctioned by a government or not.

Let´s take the Israelian/Palestinian conflict as an example. I would say that both sides in that conflict has committed acts of terror. To me the deciding factor is the reason behind doing something (i.e create terror among a population) rather than if it is sanctioned by a government or not.

I see the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a traditional war over pieces of land. Yes, both sides might be generating some terrorist behavior, but the bottom line is about property. Conversely, the bombing at the Boston Marathon was simply to punish citizens.
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2013, 05:05:30 pm »
Well I'm in the "the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective" camp.  Which is exactly what drones do, for example.  Whole villages are terrorized when a drone flies overhead not knowing where it will strike. 

So a drone might assassinate an intended, but non-tried btw, "target" but also his 'collateral damaged' family, neighbours, friends and innocent bystanders.  If that's not terrorism i don't know what is.

Guantanamo and all the black sites: America takes people hostage, even minors, incarcerates them for decades, tortures them and all without charge. That also sounds like terrorism to me.

And yes, there is that body count of 100,000 civilian Iraqis...

Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #6 on: June 01, 2013, 05:23:58 pm »
Well I'm in the "the systematic use of violence to create a general climate of fear in a population and thereby to bring about a particular political objective" camp.  Which is exactly what drones do, for example.  Whole villages are terrorized when a drone flies overhead not knowing where it will strike. 

So a drone might assassinate an intended, but non-tried btw, "target" but also his 'collateral damaged' family, neighbours, friends and innocent bystanders.  If that's not terrorism i don't know what is.

Guantanamo and all the black sites: America takes people hostage, even minors, incarcerates them for decades, tortures them and all without charge. That also sounds like terrorism to me.

And yes, there is that body count of 100,000 civilian Iraqis...

1. Any use of force is capable of creating a general climate of fear. German U-boats off the Atlantic coast of the U.S. certainly created a climate of fear, yet nobody called it "terrorism," it was just plain old war with new kinds of weapons.

2. Collateral damage happens in pretty much every modern armed conflict. This was not the case in earlier centuries when men had to fight mano a mano. But now that we have things like grenades, cannons, and bombs, people who are not directly involved in fighting are going to die. When we fire-bombed Dresden, there was lots of collateral damage. Yet nobody called it "terrorism," it was just plain old war.

3. The question of what rights to which enemy combatants are entitled is one which is still emerging. If the people detained at Gitmo had been uniformed soldiers fighting on behalf of a state, they would be considered P.O.Ws, and things would be much more clear. As it is, many of them are just some bozos on the bus who decided to get involved with enemies of the West.

4. I believe that the 100,000 dead civilian Iraqis is just a figurative number that makes good stories for the media. I don't think anyone really knows exactly how many there are. I also don't think anyone knows for certain that all of them were killed by Americans. How many of those people were killed by IEDs built by their own countrymen? How many of them were killed when a shell slammed into a building that was fired by someone from a Jihadist organization who was there to kill Americans? I don't think its possible for anyone to know for certain.

Just because you don't like a specific armed conflict, that doesn't make it terrorism.
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Offline Monika

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2013, 06:30:46 pm »
I see the Israeli/Palestinian conflict as a traditional war over pieces of land. Yes, both sides might be generating some terrorist behavior, but the bottom line is about property. Conversely, the bombing at the Boston Marathon was simply to punish citizens.

I don´t know any of the details of the Boston marathon bombing, but bombings of this kind usually has to do with wanting to spread fear and the perpetratots believing they are part of a bigger conflict.

Yes, the Israeli/Palestinian conflict is about land - and water and culture and ultimately survival - but so is a lot of other conflicts where one side has been seen as "terrorists" - for example the conflict between England and IRA. Of course, as with most conflict, who is considered a terrorist depends on which side you´re on. As the say ""one mans terrorist is another mans freedom fighter"".


Someone struck me - perhaps a better definition of a "terrorist" is someone who specifically targets civilians.

Offline Monika

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2013, 06:39:15 pm »


When we fire-bombed Dresden, there was lots of collateral damage. Yet nobody called it "terrorism," it was just plain old war.


That´s incorrect. The bombing of Dresden that killed up to 25 000 people was/is very controversial and caused a big post-war debate leading some to call it an act of terror and a war crime.

Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2013, 06:44:23 pm »
1. Any use of force is capable of creating a general climate of fear. German U-boats off the Atlantic coast of the U.S. certainly created a climate of fear, yet nobody called it "terrorism," it was just plain old war with new kinds of weapons.

2. Collateral damage happens in pretty much every modern armed conflict. This was not the case in earlier centuries when men had to fight mano a mano. But now that we have things like grenades, cannons, and bombs, people who are not directly involved in fighting are going to die. When we fire-bombed Dresden, there was lots of collateral damage. Yet nobody called it "terrorism," it was just plain old war.

3. The question of what rights to which enemy combatants are entitled is one which is still emerging. If the people detained at Gitmo had been uniformed soldiers fighting on behalf of a state, they would be considered P.O.Ws, and things would be much more clear. As it is, many of them are just some bozos on the bus who decided to get involved with enemies of the West.

4. I believe that the 100,000 dead civilian Iraqis is just a figurative number that makes good stories for the media. I don't think anyone really knows exactly how many there are. I also don't think anyone knows for certain that all of them were killed by Americans. How many of those people were killed by IEDs built by their own countrymen? How many of them were killed when a shell slammed into a building that was fired by someone from a Jihadist organization who was there to kill Americans? I don't think its possible for anyone to know for certain.

Just because you don't like a specific armed conflict, that doesn't make it terrorism.

Oh I'm sure some people were appalled by the Dresden 'shock and awe'.  I for one am also appalled at the Horishima and Nagasaki murders.  Targeting civilians is not okay and I consider it terrorism.

Offline Front-Ranger

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 06:48:22 pm »
The bombing of Dresden was covered in the Kurt Vonnegutt novel Slaughterhouse Five which is a classic book that most American students read.
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2013, 12:30:35 am »
4. I believe that the 100,000 dead civilian Iraqis is just a figurative number that makes good stories for the media. I don't think anyone really knows exactly how many there are. I also don't think anyone knows for certain that all of them were killed by Americans. How many of those people were killed by IEDs built by their own countrymen? How many of them were killed when a shell slammed into a building that was fired by someone from a Jihadist organization who was there to kill Americans? I don't think its possible for anyone to know for certain.

The 100,000 figure that I've been using comes from this site:

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/

As of today, they're listing the count as between 112,804 and 123,437. Here's what they say are their standards:

Iraq Body Count (IBC) records the violent civilian deaths that have resulted from the 2003 military intervention in Iraq. Its public database includes deaths caused by US-led coalition forces and paramilitary or criminal attacks by others.

IBC’s documentary evidence is drawn from crosschecked media reports of violent events leading to the death of civilians, or of bodies being found, and is supplemented by the careful review and integration of hospital, morgue, NGO and official figures.

Systematically extracted details about deadly incidents and the individuals killed in them are stored with every entry in the database. The minimum details always extracted are the number killed, where, and when.

Confusion about the numbers produced by the project can be avoided by bearing in mind that:

    IBC’s figures are not ‘estimates’ but a record of actual, documented deaths.
    IBC records solely violent deaths.
    IBC records solely civilian (strictly, ‘non-combatant’) deaths.
    IBC’s figures are constantly updated and revised as new data comes in, and frequent consultation is advised.

IBC builds on innovative uses of new technologies without which this citizens’ initiative would be impossible. The project was founded in January 2003 by volunteers from the UK and USA who felt a responsibility to ensure that the human consequences of military intervention in Iraq were not neglected.

Finally, IBC could not exist without the journalists and media support workers, Iraqi and international, who labour to report war’s daily carnage at the risk, and all too often the cost, of their health or their lives.


I see now that the site explicitly states that not all of the deaths are caused by US-led coalition forces. And no doubt the circumstances in many particular cases are unclear and debatable. But this isn't just a random figurative number bandied about for the sake of good stories in the media. The site apparently makes every effort to be as accurate as possible. In many if not all cases, the circumstances, causes and type of victims are recorded in some detail. More details about their methodology are available on the site.




Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2013, 07:21:27 am »
The 100,000 figure that I've been using comes from this site:

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
As of today, they're listing the count as between 112,804 and 123,437. Here's what they say are their standards:

(snip)

I see now that the site explicitly states that not all of the deaths are caused by US-led coalition forces. And no doubt the circumstances in many particular cases are unclear and debatable. But this isn't just a random figurative number bandied about for the sake of good stories in the media. The site apparently makes every effort to be as accurate as possible. In many if not all cases, the circumstances, causes and type of victims are recorded in some detail. More details about their methodology are available on the site.

I figured the actual number was higher than 100,000 which is why I suspected that it was figurative. Maybe people are just rounding off.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2013, 07:30:30 am »
Targeting civilians is not okay and I consider it terrorism.

Your definition of terrorism is problematic, especially when we're talking about the kind of terrorism we've been fighting since 9/11 .The biggest problem is that the terrorists themselves have been civilians. From Osama Bin Laden, to the Tsarneyev brothers, none of the terrorists were operating as part of a military body, or sanctioned to fight on behalf of a sovereign state. If we were to apply your definition, we would not have been able to go after the people responsible for 9/11, or many of the other acts of terror committed by jihadists worldwide.
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #14 on: June 03, 2013, 08:27:39 pm »
Your definition of terrorism is problematic, especially when we're talking about the kind of terrorism we've been fighting since 9/11 .The biggest problem is that the terrorists themselves have been civilians. From Osama Bin Laden, to the Tsarneyev brothers, none of the terrorists were operating as part of a military body, or sanctioned to fight on behalf of a sovereign state. If we were to apply your definition, we would not have been able to go after the people responsible for 9/11, or many of the other acts of terror committed by jihadists worldwide.

Osama bin Laden and the Tsarneyev bothers have (allegedly - I for one, still believe in due process unlike the US (and yes Canadian ) government) targeted civilians, so how is my definition of terrorism problematic?

Here's a somewhat unrelated picture that is worth a thousand words, which I'm sure you'll provide, lol!  It stops at 2011 btw, so some are missing.


Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2013, 11:59:33 pm »
Osama bin Laden and the Tsarneyev bothers have (allegedly - I for one, still believe in due process unlike the US (and yes Canadian ) government) targeted civilians, so how is my definition of terrorism problematic?

The point I'm making is that Osama bin Laden and the Tsarneyev were civilians, and we targeted them with no complaints from most people. Targeting civilians who are enemies of the US is not terrorism.

Here's a somewhat unrelated picture that is worth a thousand words, which I'm sure you'll provide, lol!  It stops at 2011 btw, so some are missing.

I don't need to provide a thousand words to critique yet another one of those meaningless Facebook memes designed to be unanswerable and thus end the conversation. Pictures are not a substitute for meaningful debate.

Besides, the graphic incorrect. Iran did indeed bomb Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. 
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 12:57:49 am »
The point I'm making is that Osama bin Laden and the Tsarneyev were civilians, and we targeted them with no complaints from most people. Targeting civilians who are enemies of the US is not terrorism.

I don't need to provide a thousand words to critique yet another one of those meaningless Facebook memes designed to be unanswerable and thus end the conversation. Pictures are not a substitute for meaningful debate.

Besides, the graphic incorrect. Iran did indeed bomb Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. 

Sometimes memes are pretty damn effective.  Anyway, you are wrong again.

The Iran–Iraq War began when Iraq invaded Iran via simultaneous invasions by air and land on 22 September 1980. It followed a long history of border disputes, and was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority as well as Iraq's desire to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran's revolutionary chaos and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and were quickly repelled; Iran regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive./color]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran–Iraq_War

Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2013, 06:34:57 am »
Sometimes memes are pretty damn effective.  Anyway, you are wrong again.

The Iran–Iraq War began when Iraq invaded Iran via simultaneous invasions by air and land on 22 September 1980. It followed a long history of border disputes, and was motivated by fears that the Iranian Revolution in 1979 would inspire insurgency among Iraq's long-suppressed Shia majority as well as Iraq's desire to replace Iran as the dominant Persian Gulf state. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of Iran's revolutionary chaos and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and were quickly repelled; Iran regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years, Iran was on the offensive./color]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran–Iraq_War

Effective at stirring emotions, sure. But again, not as a point of debate.

Also you didn't read the article very thoroughly, or you would have seen this:

In preparation for Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem), the Iranians had launched numerous air raids against Iraq air bases, destroying 47 jets (including Iraq's brand new Mirage F-1 fighter jets from France); this gave the Iranians air superiority over the battlefield while allowing them to monitor Iraqi troop movements.[12]

On 29 April, Iran launched the offensive. 70,000 Revolutionary Guard and Basij members struck on several axes – Bostan, Susangerd, the west bank of the Karun River, and Ahvaz. The Basij launched human wave attacks, which were followed up by the regular army and Revolutionary Guard support along with tanks and helicopters.[12] Under heavy Iranian pressure, the Iraqi forces retreated. By 12 May, Iran had driven out all Iraqi forces from the Susangerd area.[20]:36 The Iranians captured several thousand Iraqi troops and a large number of tanks.[12] Nevertheless, the Iranians took many losses as well, especially among the Basij.

The Iraqis retreated to the Karun River, with only Khorramshahr and a few outlying areas remaining in their possession.[43] Saddam ordered 70,000 troops to be placed around the city of Khorramshahr. The Iraqis created a hastily constructed defence line around the city and outlying areas.[12] To discourage airborne commando landings, the Iraqis also placed metal spikes and destroyed cars in areas likely to be used as troop landing zones. Saddam Hussein even visited Khorramshahr in a dramatic gesture, swearing that the city would never be relinquished.[12] However, Khorramshahr's only resupply point was across the Arvand Roud,[note 2] and the Iranian air force began bombing the supply bridges to the city, while their artillery zeroed in on the besieged garrison.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 03:24:23 pm by milomorris »
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #18 on: June 04, 2013, 08:49:48 pm »
Effective at stirring emotions, sure. But again, not as a point of debate.

Also you didn't read the article very thoroughly, or you would have seen this:

In preparation for Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas (Jerusalem), the Iranians had launched numerous air raids against Iraq air bases, destroying 47 jets (including Iraq's brand new Mirage F-1 fighter jets from France); this gave the Iranians air superiority over the battlefield while allowing them to monitor Iraqi troop movements.[12]

On 29 April, Iran launched the offensive. 70,000 Revolutionary Guard and Basij members struck on several axes – Bostan, Susangerd, the west bank of the Karun River, and Ahvaz. The Basij launched human wave attacks, which were followed up by the regular army and Revolutionary Guard support along with tanks and helicopters.[12] Under heavy Iranian pressure, the Iraqi forces retreated. By 12 May, Iran had driven out all Iraqi forces from the Susangerd area.[20]:36 The Iranians captured several thousand Iraqi troops and a large number of tanks.[12] Nevertheless, the Iranians took many losses as well, especially among the Basij.

The Iraqis retreated to the Karun River, with only Khorramshahr and a few outlying areas remaining in their possession.[43] Saddam ordered 70,000 troops to be placed around the city of Khorramshahr. The Iraqis created a hastily constructed defence line around the city and outlying areas.[12] To discourage airborne commando landings, the Iraqis also placed metal spikes and destroyed cars in areas likely to be used as troop landing zones. Saddam Hussein even visited Khorramshahr in a dramatic gesture, swearing that the city would never be relinquished.[12] However, Khorramshahr's only resupply point was across the Arvand Roud,[note 2] and the Iranian air force began bombing the supply bridges to the city, while their artillery zeroed in on the besieged garrison.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran-Iraq_War

Even if that's the case, it's still 1 Iranian invasion to the USA's 48 or so.  You are a rogue country.

The US military has a killer drone program and so does the CIA and so does the Special Ops group.  You guys are completely out of control.  No trials, no due process, it's all blatant assassinations and fuck the so-called collateral damage.  If a a "kill list target" is in a building and there are 34 other people there, then 35 people get killed.  These are war crimes and it's absolutely disgusting that suppposedly intelligent people are defending these atrocities.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #19 on: June 04, 2013, 10:09:24 pm »
I'm mostly with you, Gil. Let's say the definition of terrorists is that they target random innocent people, whereas the United States targets people we consider to be guilty -- but then, oops, take down a bunch of unequivocally innocent people along with them. The supposed moral difference centers around who, specifically, is targeted. But to the loved ones of dead innocents, I'm not sure the distinction is all that comforting.

For that matter, I'm not comfortable with killing even the suspected guilty person without benefit of due process. I realize the rules for U.S. citizens are different than those applying to a suspect who is a non-citizen and a presumed enemy of the state. Yet the moral underpinnings still apply: Due process is designed to minimize the risk of mistakes and injustices.

I, for one, was not celebrating when Osama bin Laden was killed. I'm glad he was captured. I understood the rationale for killing him and didn't condemn those who did it. But I wasn't saying hooray, either.

But then, I'm against capital punishment, even of unquestionably guilty heinous criminals. Even, I would hope, if, God forbid, the victims ever included a loved one of mine. I simply think killing is wrong and nobody should ever do it except in clear-cut and urgent cases requiring immediate self-defense.



Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2013, 12:10:04 am »
Even if that's the case, it's still 1 Iranian invasion to the USA's 48 or so.  You are a rogue country.

The US military has a killer drone program and so does the CIA and so does the Special Ops group.  You guys are completely out of control.  No trials, no due process, it's all blatant assassinations and fuck the so-called collateral damage.  If a a "kill list target" is in a building and there are 34 other people there, then 35 people get killed.  These are war crimes and it's absolutely disgusting that suppposedly intelligent people are defending these atrocities.

1. Iran is a tangent in this discussion. I still don't know what it is you were trying to say with regard to that graphic, and you posted it without any explanation. Depending on one's perspective, a viewer could easily come away with the message that Iran has been lucky that it has not needed to deploy bombings to defend itself against their enemies, while the US has had to deal with aggression from a wide variety of nations. Or that Iran has lost most (or all) of its armed conflicts, while the US has won most of theirs. Or that Iran's enemies were easily neutralized without bombing, while the enemies of the US required tougher military action. There are many ways to look at the graphic.  

2. Drones are a superior fighting technology. They enable the US to neutralize enemies without putting the fine men and women of our armed forces in harm's way. Drones are also great tools that we use for dangerous surveillance, and intelligence-gathering operations.

3. You have offered your own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism, and I have offered a rebuttal. Now you accuse the US of committing war crimes with the drones. There are standards for war crimes which are based on law. Can you map any specific drone strikes to breaches of those laws? Or is that just another one of your gut feelings, or opinions?
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2013, 12:19:53 am »
I'm mostly with you, Gil. Let's say the definition of terrorists is that they target random innocent people, whereas the United States targets people we consider to be guilty -- but then, oops, take down a bunch of unequivocally innocent people along with them. The supposed moral difference centers around who, specifically, is targeted. But to the loved ones of dead innocents, I'm not sure the distinction is all that comforting.

That is indeed the dilemma of collateral damage.

For that matter, I'm not comfortable with killing even the suspected guilty person without benefit of due process. I realize the rules for U.S. citizens are different than those applying to a suspect who is a non-citizen and a presumed enemy of the state. Yet the moral underpinnings still apply: Due process is designed to minimize the risk of mistakes and injustices.

I guess the question the becomes: how far does due process extend? Must we capture the soldiers of every enemy with whom we engage in combat, and then bring them to trial? We have captured many enemy combatants, but there are those that are beyond the range of capture. Can we let them go on operating until they are vulnerable enough for us to capture and prosecute?
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Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2013, 12:57:23 am »
That is indeed the dilemma of collateral damage.

A dilemma is whether to get a turkey sandwich or a ham sandwich for lunch. Here we're talking about ending the lives of men, women and children. If one side calls murdering innocent civilians "collateral damage," and the other side calls it "terrorism," I would have to say that while I wouldn't quite pick either term I'd consider the latter a lot closer to worthy of the action's gravity.

Quote
I guess the question the becomes: how far does due process extend? Must we capture the soldiers of every enemy with whom we engage in combat, and then bring them to trial? We have captured many enemy combatants, but there are those that are beyond the range of capture. Can we let them go on operating until they are vulnerable enough for us to capture and prosecute?

Seems like the distance between "letting them go on operating" and "capture and prosecute" can be measured in yards. If they're "beyond the range of capture," they're probably beyond the range of fire as well. If we're close enough to kill them, we're probably close enough to capture them and send them through the legal system.




Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2013, 08:14:56 am »
Here we're talking about ending the lives of men, women and children. If one side calls murdering innocent civilians "collateral damage," and the other side calls it "terrorism," I would have to say that while I wouldn't quite pick either term I'd consider the latter a lot closer to worthy of the action's gravity.

1. Murder has very specific legal parameters that I don't think are met in cases of drone attacks gone awry, or deaths resulting from bombing strategic targets.

2. I agree with you that the situations are grave, but that does not mean that they are any closer to terrorism than civilian deaths resulting from conventional/traditional forms of warfare.

Let's say you have a town in France in 194x. The Germans have occupied this town, and are heavily armed. The Americans march into the town and engage the Germans. Both sides are shooting, firing tanks, and lobbing mortar shells at each other. During the fray, stray bullets kill a few of the townspeople as they attempt to flee. A few more are killed when a mortar falls short of the American position and slams into an inn. Even more die when an American tank fires on a church where a German machine gunner is perched in the belfry, and some townspeople are hiding in the basement. 

How do we classify what happened to all the dead Frenchmen? I would classify it as collateral damage.

Seems like the distance between "letting them go on operating" and "capture and prosecute" can be measured in yards. If they're "beyond the range of capture," they're probably beyond the range of fire as well. If we're close enough to kill them, we're probably close enough to capture them and send them through the legal system.

The reality is that the distance is not measured in yards. It is measured in terms of how dangerous a capture operation will be. It is measured in the ability to successfully carry out a capture operation without being detected by the target ahead of time. One of the great things about drones is that it extends the range of fire significantly beyond the range of capture.
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2013, 08:00:17 pm »
That is indeed the dilemma of collateral damage.

I guess the question then becomes: how far does due process extend? Must we capture the soldiers of every enemy with whom we engage in combat, and then bring them to trial? We have captured many enemy combatants, but there are those that are beyond the range of capture. Can we let them go on operating until they are vulnerable enough for us to capture and prosecute?

Obviously due process has been completely abandoned so I don't understand your question of how far it should extend. Bin Laden (and I'm sure many other suspects assassinated by drones) could have easily been captured.  Bin Laden was basically unarmed and unprotected.  But, hey, I guess Obama prefers to kill them instead of torturing them.  Especially since most people that were taken hostage by the US have been cleared of any wrongdoing.

On a dark humour note, did you know that the military geeks who operate the drones from a computer somewhere in the US, actually wear flight suits while at their terminals?  It's surreal.

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2013, 08:09:48 pm »
1. Iran is a tangent in this discussion. I still don't know what it is you were trying to say with regard to that graphic, and you posted it without any explanation. Depending on one's perspective, a viewer could easily come away with the message that Iran has been lucky that it has not needed to deploy bombings to defend itself against their enemies, while the US has had to deal with aggression from a wide variety of nations. Or that Iran has lost most (or all) of its armed conflicts, while the US has won most of theirs. Or that Iran's enemies were easily neutralized without bombing, while the enemies of the US required tougher military action. There are many ways to look at the graphic.  

2. Drones are a superior fighting technology. They enable the US to neutralize enemies without putting the fine men and women of our armed forces in harm's way. Drones are also great tools that we use for dangerous surveillance, and intelligence-gathering operations.

3. You have offered your own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism, and I have offered a rebuttal. Now you accuse the US of committing war crimes with the drones. There are standards for war crimes which are based on law. Can you map any specific drone strikes to breaches of those laws? Or is that just another one of your gut feelings, or opinions?

I thought that grarphic spoke for itself.  Iran, which is being demonized, has no history of invading other states, while the USA, the self-appointed world police, has a history of illegally invading and attacking a slew of other countries. Yet somehow, Iran is the evil monster? 

Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #26 on: June 05, 2013, 08:17:09 pm »
1. Iran is a tangent in this discussion. I still don't know what it is you were trying to say with regard to that graphic, and you posted it without any explanation. Depending on one's perspective, a viewer could easily come away with the message that Iran has been lucky that it has not needed to deploy bombings to defend itself against their enemies, while the US has had to deal with aggression from a wide variety of nations. Or that Iran has lost most (or all) of its armed conflicts, while the US has won most of theirs. Or that Iran's enemies were easily neutralized without bombing, while the enemies of the US required tougher military action. There are many ways to look at the graphic.  

2. Drones are a superior fighting technology. They enable the US to neutralize enemies without putting the fine men and women of our armed forces in harm's way. Drones are also great tools that we use for dangerous surveillance, and intelligence-gathering operations.

3. You have offered your own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism, and I have offered a rebuttal. Now you accuse the US of committing war crimes with the drones. There are standards for war crimes which are based on law. Can you map any specific drone strikes to breaches of those laws? Or is that just another one of your gut feelings, or opinions?

Drones are superior technology if the goal is to encourage more 9/11 type of attacks on the USA.  Drones are certainly doing a good job at endangering American lives everywhere.  Unfortunately you can probably look forward to more Boston style attacks thanks to your "superior technology".

Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #27 on: June 05, 2013, 08:19:14 pm »
1. Iran is a tangent in this discussion. I still don't know what it is you were trying to say with regard to that graphic, and you posted it without any explanation. Depending on one's perspective, a viewer could easily come away with the message that Iran has been lucky that it has not needed to deploy bombings to defend itself against their enemies, while the US has had to deal with aggression from a wide variety of nations. Or that Iran has lost most (or all) of its armed conflicts, while the US has won most of theirs. Or that Iran's enemies were easily neutralized without bombing, while the enemies of the US required tougher military action. There are many ways to look at the graphic.  

2. Drones are a superior fighting technology. They enable the US to neutralize enemies without putting the fine men and women of our armed forces in harm's way. Drones are also great tools that we use for dangerous surveillance, and intelligence-gathering operations.

3. You have offered your own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism, and I have offered a rebuttal. Now you accuse the US of committing war crimes with the drones. There are standards for war crimes which are based on law. Can you map any specific drone strikes to breaches of those laws? Or is that just another one of your gut feelings, or opinions?

Isn't it illegal to bomb countries that you are not at war with, such as Yemmen and Pakistan and god knows where else? 

Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #28 on: June 05, 2013, 09:54:01 pm »
1. Iran is a tangent in this discussion. I still don't know what it is you were trying to say with regard to that graphic, and you posted it without any explanation. Depending on one's perspective, a viewer could easily come away with the message that Iran has been lucky that it has not needed to deploy bombings to defend itself against their enemies, while the US has had to deal with aggression from a wide variety of nations. Or that Iran has lost most (or all) of its armed conflicts, while the US has won most of theirs. Or that Iran's enemies were easily neutralized without bombing, while the enemies of the US required tougher military action. There are many ways to look at the graphic.  

2. Drones are a superior fighting technology. They enable the US to neutralize enemies without putting the fine men and women of our armed forces in harm's way. Drones are also great tools that we use for dangerous surveillance, and intelligence-gathering operations.

3. You have offered your own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism, and I have offered a rebuttal. Now you accuse the US of committing war crimes with the drones. There are standards for war crimes which are based on law. Can you map any specific drone strikes to breaches of those laws? Or is that just another one of your gut feelings, or opinions?

Oh and btw, it's not my "own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism", I just agree with one of the definitions in the Encyclopedia Britannica. You make it sound like my view is on the fringe.  It may well be on the fringe in "America" but most of you are blinded by fear and paranoia.  People on the outside can clearly see the war-mongering country the US has become.  Your military-industrial complex is just itching for another war.  You invested so much in it that you have to keep them busy, that's why the "War on Terror" was designed to never end.  Don't get me wrong, I love Americans, even  (some of) the religious ones, and NYC is probably my favourite city in the world and I even love Buffalo,  I had a wonderful time there, its gay scene is probably the friendliest.  Anyway, it's your administration(s) I can't stand.

Offline serious crayons

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #29 on: June 05, 2013, 11:24:52 pm »
It may well be on the fringe in "America" but most of you are blinded by fear and paranoia. 

The "most of you" is based on your own personal assumptions, I take it?

Quote
People on the outside can clearly see the war-mongering country the US has become.  Your military-industrial complex is just itching for another war.  You invested so much in it that you have to keep them busy, that's why the "War on Terror" was designed to never end.  Don't get me wrong, I love Americans, even  (some of) the religious ones, and NYC is probably my favourite city in the world and I even love Buffalo,  I had a wonderful time there, its gay scene is probably the friendliest.  Anyway, it's your administration(s) I can't stand.

Nice to get the compliments, but they're at odds with your sweeping generalization above. My views are, admittedly, not exactly politically centrist. But I basically agree with you and I'm hardly a member of some fringey subversive minority. I'm a middle-class, middle-aged, mother of two who lives in a mid-sized Midwestern city and writes for a mainstream media organization.

As for us having "invested so much we have to keep them busy," I'm sure that's not what's going through the heads of anybody outside the departments themselves, or at least the government. I like to believe that many of us, if we were fully informed, would rather have the money back to divert to more constructive projects, or even to keep for ourselves.

Americans aren't constantly paranoid or rabidly hawkish, they're just underinformed. Too many of us (not the majority, let's hope, but who knows what percentage) would be clicking over to People or TMZ at this point to see what those krazy Kardashians are up to. And some of us are brainwashed by right-wingers to think their biggest tax problem is lazy poor people living on the dole, rather than rich people and the military, um, living on the dole.






Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #30 on: June 06, 2013, 12:19:18 pm »
Obviously due process has been completely abandoned so I don't understand your question of how far it should extend.

I'll try to clarify the question.

Under which circumstances should an enemy be killed vs. captured?


On a dark humour note, did you know that the military geeks who operate the drones from a computer somewhere in the US, actually wear flight suits while at their terminals?  It's surreal.

No, I didn't know that. But I will ask about it the next time I speak to someone who works at the Willow Grove Naval Base.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #31 on: June 06, 2013, 12:26:32 pm »
I thought that grarphic spoke for itself. 

No it doesn't. There is plenty of room for a variety of interpretations.

Iran, which is being demonized, has no history of invading other states, while the USA, the self-appointed world police, has a history of illegally invading and attacking a slew of other countries. Yet somehow, Iran is the evil monster? 

Iran has historically displayed its own forms of aggression towards the West. And a definition of "illegally invading" would be helpful. Otherwise your position amounts to nothing more than anti-Americanism.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #32 on: June 06, 2013, 12:32:02 pm »
Drones are superior technology if the goal is to encourage more 9/11 type of attacks on the USA.

Here in Pennsylvania, drones are being used to track the loss of forest in areas that are under development. They are also being used to follow animals that are being analyzed by researchers who are studying their lifestyle habits and risk factors.

Drones are being used to collect intelligence in foreign countries.

Drones are being used to monitor drug traffic.

Drones are more diverse than you think.

Unfortunately you can probably look forward to more Boston style attacks thanks to your "superior technology".

Interesting theory. Are there any facts that support such an idea?
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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #33 on: June 06, 2013, 12:34:11 pm »
Isn't it illegal to bomb countries that you are not at war with, such as Yemmen and Pakistan and god knows where else?  

I don't know. Maybe you can cite some specific legal statutes that have been violated by such activities. That would be helpful.
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Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2013, 12:39:25 pm »
Oh and btw, it's not my "own, personal, standard of what constitutes terrorism", I just agree with one of the definitions in the Encyclopedia Britannica. You make it sound like my view is on the fringe.  It may well be on the fringe in "America" but most of you are blinded by fear and paranoia.  People on the outside can clearly see the war-mongering country the US has become.  Your military-industrial complex is just itching for another war.  You invested so much in it that you have to keep them busy, that's why the "War on Terror" was designed to never end.  Don't get me wrong, I love Americans, even  (some of) the religious ones, and NYC is probably my favourite city in the world and I even love Buffalo,  I had a wonderful time there, its gay scene is probably the friendliest.  Anyway, it's your administration(s) I can't stand.

That certainly clarifies how you feel. But you have offered no clarification of your statement about the US committing "war crimes." I asked you specifically to cite laws that the US has broken, and you have offered nothing more than a description of your feelings.

How you feel is not a debatable point. It is irrelevant.
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #35 on: June 06, 2013, 08:38:16 pm »
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld war criminals verdict Enforcement Phase begins
Despite 'UN corruption,' Nuremberg Charter makes Malaysian Tribunal convicting Bush and other heads of state guilty of war crimes official

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal, based on the Nuremberg Charter, is proceeding to the enforcement phase after officially convicting George W. Bush, Richard Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and lawyers of war crimes in a packed court Friday where legal experts heard shocking testimonies of American torture inflicted by United States soldiers such as removing fingernails with pliers, electrocutions and sexual humiliation.

After eleven years of human rights defender organizations such as Veterans for Peace and United for Peace and Justice working to hold American war criminals accountable, a worldwide grassroots citizen's tribunal of conscience movement is proceeding to the Enforcement Phase after finding Bush, Cheney, Rumfeld and lawyers guilty of war crimes on May 12 in Malaysia in a court using the Nuremberg Charter, according to Press TV.

“This is the first conviction of these people anywhere in the world,” said war crimes expert and lawyer Francis Boyle, professor of international law at University of Illinois College of Law in America.

“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 referenced the Nuremberg Charter used as the format for the tribunal when asked about credibility of the initiative in Malaysia.

“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,” Boyle quoted.

The US is subject to customary international law and to the Principles of the Nuremberg Charter said Boyle.

Boyle believes the week-long trial was “almost certainly” being monitored closely by both Pentagon and White House officials.

What validity does this verdict have on the international community and how will the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal exercise a sentence, or is there a sentence?

“The Tribunal has recommended that the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission forward the Tribunal's verdict and judgment, and trial record and evidence to (1) the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to (2) the United Nations and Security Council for their further action,” stated Canadian human rights defender Kevin Annett.

“The Tribunal also awarded reparations to the 5 Complainant War Crimes tortured by U.S. armed forces, and suggested that there might be national courts who will enforce this order for reparations as in other cases,” Annett says.

“Now, this case, which was sustained since 2007 by a worldwide grassroots citizen's tribunal of conscience movement, proceeds to the ENFORCEMENT PHASE.


Continues
http://www.examiner.com/article/bush-cheney-rumsfeld-war-criminals-verdict-enforcement-phase-begins
Learn more

See Complete news coverage - KUALA LUMPUR WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL: BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD & 4 LAWYERS CONVICTION AS WAR CRIMINALS - MAY 11, 2012.

1. Bush & Associates Found Guilty of Torture: http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=630404

2. VIDEO: Kuala Lumpur war tribunal finds Bush guilty of war crimes‎: http://presstv.com/detail/240721.html

3. FOREIGN POLICY JOURNAL: Bush Convicted of War Crimes in Absentia: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/05/12/bush-convicted-of-war-crimes-in-absentia/

4. Malaysian tribunal finds Bush guilty of war crimes: http://www.tehrantimes.com/world/97792-malaysian-tribunal-finds-bush-guilty-of-war-crimes/

5. Bush found guilty of war crimes: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20120512-345498.html

6.BRUSSELLS TRIBUNAL: KL War Crimes Tribunal - 2nd War Crimes Hearing on Torture: http://www.brussellstribunal.org/KLWarCrimes2012.htm

CASE AGAINST BUSH & BLAIR (Nov. 22, 2011)

FOREIGN POLICY JOURNAL: Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal: Bush and Blair Guilty, Richard Falk, November 30, 2011: http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2011/11/30/kuala-lumpur-war-crimes-tribunal-bush-and-blair-guilty/

NEWS COVERAGE OF BUSH, CHENEY, RUMSFELD & 4 LAWYERS CONVICTION AS WAR CRIMINALS - MAY 11, 2012: 1. Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal Commences Hearing on Bush for Crime of Torture: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v6/newsindex.php?id=664356

2. Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal: Two Victims of Torture Give Evidence: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=630381

3. Malaysia puts Bush, Cheney on ‘trial’ for war crimes: http://www.presstv.ir/detail/240079.html

4. WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL: Kuala Lumpur Iraq War Crimes Hearings, 7-12 May: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=30740

5. NGO ‘tries’ Bush, former US officials for ‘war crimes: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ngo-tries-bush-former-us-officials-for-war-crimes

6. Tribunal Hears Witness Testimony of Terrific Tortures: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=630387

7. Tribunal Hears Iraqi Woman's Harrowing Account of Torture in Abu Ghraib Prison: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v6/newsgeneral.php?id=664680

8. US troops tortured me, ex-Iraqi detainee tells tribunal: http://news.asiaone.com/News/Latest%2BNews/World/Story/A1Story20120508-344455.html

KL WAR CRIMES TRIBUNAL UPDATES - WATCH PROCEEDINGS LIVE ONLINE AT: www.criminalisewar.org

9. War Crimes Committed under Bush's Orders, Prosecution Says: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v6/newsindex.php?id=664938

10. U.S. Army used her as a "human shield": http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/us-army-used-her-as-human-shield-1.81978

11. The United States in the dock - Part 1: http://english.pravda.ru/world/americas/09-05-2012/121063-accusations_war_crimes-0/

12. Bush and Associates authorized torture: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=630392

13. War Crimes Tribunal Sets Tomorrow for Decision: http://www.bernama.com/bernama/v6/newsgeneral.php?id=665281

14. VIDEO: KL War Crimes Tribunal pushes for Bush guilty verdict: http://presstv.com/detail/240414.html

15. "Flawed Opinion in Documents": http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/flawed-opinions-in-documents-1.82289

16. Prosecution: Ex-US president sanctioned torture of prisoners: http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2012/5/10/nation/11262939&sec=nation

17. Prima Facie Legal Case Established Against Bush And Others: http://mathaba.net/news/?x=630396

18. DAY 2: KL War Tribunal Against G.W. Bush & 7 Others Hears Witness Testimonies of Horrific Tortures: http://thesantosrepublic.com/2012/05/day-2-kl-war-tribunal-against-g-w-bush-7-others-hears-witness-testimonies-of-horrific-tortures/

Offline milomorris

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Re: The Terrorist U.S.A.
« Reply #36 on: June 07, 2013, 10:24:57 pm »
Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld war criminals verdict Enforcement Phase begins
After eleven years of human rights defender organizations such as Veterans for Peace and United for Peace and Justice working to hold American war criminals accountable, a worldwide grassroots citizen's tribunal of conscience movement is proceeding to the Enforcement Phase after finding Bush, Cheney, Rumfeld and lawyers guilty of war crimes on May 12 in Malaysia in a court using the Nuremberg Charter, according to Press TV.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Commission is nothing more than a Kangaroo Court with a political axe to grind. It has no power, nor does it have any legitimacy. Its "conviction" of the US is the as valid as if the Tea Party decided to "impeach" Obama.



The former United Nations Special Rappporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Param Cumaraswamy, has suggested the tribunal is a private enterprise with no legal basis and questions its legitimacy.[12] The tribunal does not have a UN mandate or recognition, no power to order arrests or impose sentences, and it is unclear that its verdicts have any but symbolic significance.[13]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuala_Lumpur_War_Crimes_Commission#Legitimacy_of_the_tribunal

But political theatre like this is certainly entertaining.
  The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

--Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.