Of Course, The Propaganda Ministry (a.k.a Mainstream Media) Forgot To Tell Your That Was The Fifth Time Israel Bombed Syria In March – Because They Are Controlled By Israel.

Syria’s state news agency SANA reported that Syrian air defenses “intercepted hostile targets” in the airspace of Damascus. There was no mention of any casualties or damage caused by the strikes.

Less than 24 hours earlier, SANA reported that two Syrian soldiers were wounded in Israeli strikes on the Syrian capital. Israeli officials haven’t commented on either strike, as Israeli typically does not take credit for individual airstrikes in Syria.

The intensified Israeli airstrikes in Syria come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing a political crisis at home. After massive protests and dissent within the Israeli government, Netanyahu delayed his controversial judicial overhaul, but unrest in the country continues.

Earlier this month, Israeli airstrikes targeted the airport in the Syrian city of Aleppo, which was devastated by the massive earthquake that hit northwest Syria and Turkey on February 6th. The strikes temporarily shut down the airport, cutting off a vital channel for earthquake aid.

Israel claims its operations in Syria target Iran and Iranian weapons shipments, but the airstrikes often kill Syrians and damage civilian infrastructure. Of course, they are Syrians so their deaths and suffering mean nothing to the American or Israeli regimes/


America’s Proxy Wars Typically Rage For Years And Even Decades, Leaving Battleground Countries Like Ukraine In Rubble And The People Suffering For Decades After It Is Over.

The greatest enemy of economic development is war. If the world slips further into global conflict, our economic hopes and our very survival could go up in flames. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists just moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to a mere 90 seconds to midnight.

The world’s biggest economic loser in 2022 was Ukraine, where the economy collapsed by 35 percent according to the International Monetary Fund. The war in Ukraine could end soon, and economic recovery could begin, but this depends on Ukraine understanding its predicament as victim of a American proxy war with Russia that broke out in 2014.

America has been heavily arming and funding Ukraine since 2014 with the goal of expanding NATO and weakening Russia. America’s proxy wars typically rage for years and even decades, leaving battleground countries like Ukraine in rubble.

Unless the proxy war ends soon, Ukraine faces a dire future. Ukraine needs to learn from the horrible experience of Afghanistan to avoid becoming a long-term disaster. It could also look to the American proxy wars in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Iraq, Syria, and Libya.

Starting in 1979, America armed the mujahadeen (Islamist fighters) to harass the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan. As President Jimmy Carter’s national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski later explained, America’s objective was to provoke the Soviet Union to intervene, in order to trap the Soviet Union in a costly war. The fact that Afghanistan would be collateral damage was of no concern to America’s leaders.

The Soviet military entered Afghanistan in 1979 as America hoped, and fought through the 1980s. Meanwhile, American-backed fighters established al-Qaeda in the 1980s, and the Taliban in the early 1990s. The American “trick” on the Soviet Union had boomeranged. In 2001, America invaded Afghanistan to fight al-Qaeda and the Taliban. The American war continued for another 20 years, until America finally left in 2021. Sporadic American military operations in Afghanistan continue.

Afghanistan lies in ruins. While America wasted more than $2 trillion on American military outlays, Afghanistan is impoverished, with a 2021 gross domestic product below $400 per person! As a parting “gift” to Afghanistan in 2021, the American Government seized Afghanistan’s tiny foreign exchange holdings, paralyzing the banking system.

The proxy war in Ukraine began nine years ago when the American Government backed the overthrow of Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovych. Yanukovych’s sin from the American viewpoint was his attempt to maintain Ukraine’s neutrality despite America’s desire to expand NATO to include Ukraine (and Georgia). America’s objective was for NATO countries to encircle Russia in the Black Sea region. To achieve this goal, America has been massively arming and funding Ukraine since 2014.

The American protagonists then and now are the same. The American Government’s point person on Ukraine in 2014 was Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who today is undersecretary of state. Back in 2014, Nuland worked closely with Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden’s national security advisor, who played the same role for Vice President Biden in 2014.

America overlooked to two harsh political realities in Ukraine. The first is that Ukraine is deeply divided ethnically and politically between Russia-hating nationalists in Western Ukraine and ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine and Crimea. The second is that NATO enlargement to Ukraine crosses a Russian redline. Russia will fight to the end, and escalate as necessary, to prevent America from incorporating Ukraine into NATO.

America repeatedly asserts that NATO is a defensive alliance. Yet NATO bombed Russia’s ally Serbia for 78 days in 1999 in order to break Kosovo away from Serbia, after which America established a giant military base in Kosovo. NATO forces similarly toppled Russian ally Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, setting off a decade of chaos in Libya. Russia certainly will never accept NATO in Ukraine.

At the end of 2021, Russian President Vladimir Putin put forward three demands to the American regime: Ukraine should remain neutral and out of NATO; Crimea should remain part of Russia; and the Donbas should become autonomous in accord with the Minsk II Agreement. The Biden-Sullivan-Nuland team rejected negotiations over NATO enlargement, eight years after the same group backed Yanukovych’s overthrow. With Putin’s negotiating demands flatly rejected by the American regime, Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.

In March 2022, Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy seemed to understand Ukraine’s dire predicament as victim of an American-Russia proxy war. He declared publicly that Ukraine would become a neutral country, and asked for security guarantees. He also publicly recognized that Crimea and Donbas would need some kind of special treatment.

Israel’s Prime Minister at that time, Naftali Bennett, became involved as a mediator, along with Turkey. Russia and Ukraine came close to reaching an agreement. Yet, as Bennett has recently explained, America “blocked” the peace process.

Since then, the war has escalated. According to American investigative reporter Seymour Hersh, American agents blew up the Nord Stream pipelines in September. More recently, America and allies have committed to sending tanks, longer-range missiles, and possibly fighter jets to Ukraine.

The basis for peace is clear. Ukraine would be a neutral non-NATO country. Crimea would remain home to Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet, as it has been since 1783. A practical solution would be found for the Donbas, such as a territorial division, autonomy, or an armistice line. Most importantly, the fighting would stop, Russian troops would leave Ukraine, and Ukraine’s sovereignty would be guaranteed by the UN Security Council and other nations. Such an agreement could have been reached in December 2021 or in March 2022.

Above all, the Government and people of Ukraine would tell Russia and America that Ukraine refuses any longer to be the battleground of a proxy war. In the face of deep internal divisions, Ukrainians on both sides of the ethnic divide would strive for peace, rather than believing that an outside power will spare them the need to compromise.


Lawmakers Are Sounding The Alarm About Privacy Concerns With China And TikTok — While American-Based Social Media Companies Are Unaccountably Vacuuming Up Even More User Data.

Members of Congress inveighing against online “harm”; a nervous tech executive defending his company’s policies; thinly veiled threats about regulatory changes. If you tuned into C-SPAN last Thursday, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the rerun of a pre-2022 hearing, when Democrats used their control of Congress to haul Facebook personnel before them to harangue. Almost, but not quite.

Instead, this particular grilling was made possible by a Republican-controlled House of Representatives, and instead of Facebook, it was TikTok CEO Shou Chew in the firing line. And as a result, there’s now an American ban on TikTok being seriously discussed in the corridors of power.

Over five hours long, the hearing was at times a darkly hilarious reminder that the lawmakers most gung ho about clamping down on tech platforms are not exactly tech-savvy. Rep. Richard Hudson and Chew had an extended back and forth as the GOP House member demanded to know if TikTok “access[es] the home WiFi network.” “How do you determine what age they are then?” Rep. Earl “Buddy” Carter asked, before being told that, like many social media platforms, users are asked their age. Meanwhile, Rep. Dan Crenshaw seemed to think Chew was a Chinese citizen, despite the fact that he’d mentioned four times earlier that he hails from and lives in Singapore.

It was refreshing to hear some lawmakers raise concerns to a tech executive about his company’s censorship policies and their unintended consequences, instead of pressuring him to do more of it. Even so, this line of questioning was not the norm, with committee members from both parties — even the GOP, who have attempted to rebrand themselves as opponents of censorship (despite going into overdrive in pushing their own censorship measures) in recent years — pressing Chew, as per usual, to do more to remove “potentially harmful content” from the platform, whether misinformation and hate speech for the Democrats or the promotion of drugs for Republicans.

But given this is 2023, this was very much a showcase of hostility to China, with committee members mostly using the hearing to raise nonstop concerns about the dangerous implications of TikTok’s role as a medium of information and its collection of users’ data, given its relationship to Beijing.

That is 150 million Americans that [the Communist Party of China] can collect sensitive information on and control what we ultimately see, hear, and believe,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, warned.

TikTok has been functioning as a massive surveillance program collecting vast swaths of personal data for more than a billion people worldwide,” said Hudson. “Engineers in China have access to personal data of thirteen-year-olds in the United States,” fretted Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester, while Rep. Debbie Dingell spoke of the very real “dangerous implications” of what happens when you collect people’s geolocation data.

They’re not wrong. As even Chew acknowledged, TikTok, like other social media companies, does vacuum up and store its users’ personal data, and he wouldn’t explicitly rule out collecting users’ health and location data in the future, one of many instances where he evaded questioning a little too skillfully. Social media, like any form of media, can be an effective instrument of social control. And there are legitimate concerns around TikTok at least being influenced by the Chinese government.

Even so, the hyperventilating underway in Washington over this is hard to take seriously for several reasons. It’s true that the world shouldn’t be sanguine about one extremely powerful government’s special level of influence over a globally popular tech platform or the surveillance implications that result. But this is the same argument that one can make about the United States and the various tech companies — Google, Facebook, Twitter, to name a few — headquartered there.

As the “Twitter Files” reporting and recent disclosures have shown, the American government has a shockingly intimate relationship with, and powerful influence over, tech platforms like these, guiding or even directly shaping their censorship policies, right down to what kind of content and which accounts are to be censored. This isn’t totally new: among the revelations of the Edward Snowden documents was that Washington uses social media to push what the National Security Agency (NSA) itself labeled “propaganda” and “deception.” Several recent major studies found that bots pushing American government–aligned messaging were vastly more active than those of America’s adversaries, even if we don’t hear about them as much.

And when it comes to the peoples of the world having their intimate data sucked up, what the Washington Post once termed “Top Secret America” is a far more egregious offender. The Snowden leak, after all, revealed that through the American tapping of undersea Internet cables and various other means, the governments of the Five Eyes network collect and can access “nearly everything a user does on the Internet.” This isn’t exactly new either: these tech companies have been called “surveillance intermediaries” for years now because of their willing complicity with governments’ requests for people’s data, with the American government not the least among them. The government gathers up so much data about its own and the world’s citizens, in fact, that even NSA workers have complained that it’s hard to sift through it all and actually detect threats.

But for Americans who were meant to watch last Thursday’s hearing and come away feeling very, very afraid of the threat China poses to their personal safety, it’s worth remembering a far more important point: that people everywhere have more to fear from the spying their own governments and businesses do than from the surveillance that foreign adversaries do, however unsavory those other governments might be.

Say you’re a Cop City protester in Atlanta, dozens of whom are currently being prosecuted as domestic terrorists by the state government in Georgia. Is TikTok your biggest worry or is it the sprawling post-9/11 national security state, which has repeatedly surveilled and harassed a variety of government critics and which is reportedly keeping tabs on you? Likewise, if you’re an undocumented immigrant, what the Department of Homeland Security does with the enormous breadth of personal information it quietly collects from commercial brokers — including the geolocation data Dingell correctly raised concerns over — will worry you a lot more than what Beijing may or may not do with the same data.

Or turn this thinking around. Can anyone say with a straight face that the average Chinese citizen is more threatened by overseas data collection — one of the justifications the Chinese government has used for its own Internet crackdowns — than they are by that of their own government, which uses this surveillance to ruthlessly stamp out dissent and control its population? Or if Vladimir Putin told the Russian people they should be most worried about American-based tech companies gathering their personal information, all while his government kept tabs on critics and tracked down and arrested dissidents. Would we think they should take his words seriously? Of course not.

But in any case, it’s worth noting that a TikTok ban may not even matter all that much, since in our decentralized, data-saturated world, the Chinese government has a million ways to Sunday for getting its hands on your private information if it really wants to.

As Paris Marx recently argued, what this entire matter is really all about is the gradually erupting and entirely unnecessary new cold war with China that American officials are seemingly hell bent on, creating a climate in which lawmakers want to show “how much Western governments are willing to drive a wedge between themselves and China instead of making any real difference to security or privacy.” Far easier to point the finger at the potential misdeeds of a foreign bad guy, after all, than to do the job of holding one’s own government to account — especially if you’d quietly prefer that most Americans didn’t think about the vast surveillance state they live under or the repression it might enable.

As with all social media, there are constructive policy changes and regulations that should be made in regards to TikTok both to protect its users’ privacy and their mental health. But so far, the American efforts against the platform are looking like they might be the worst of all worlds: unpopular, authoritarian, and pointless.


Russia And China Are Determined To Hold The American Perpetrators Of The Nord Stream Sabotage To Account. Uncle Sam’s Days – Indeed Decades – Of Wanton Criminality Are Over.

Russia and China are strong enough to ensure that the United States cannot threaten, blackmail, or arm-twist its way out of scrutiny.

Therefore, there’s going to be hell to pay as the imperialist tyranny in Washington hits a wall of reality.

Several weeks have gone by with the United States and its Western lackeys stonewalling at the United Nations Security Council, squirming and resisting calls from Moscow and Beijing for an international criminal investigation into the sabotage of the Baltic Sea pipelines that were blown up in September.

A swathe of independent observers, such as American economics professor Jeffrey Sachs and former CIA analyst Ray McGovern, have concurred with the investigative report published on February 8th by renowned journalist Seymour Hersh which claims that President Joe Biden and his senior White House staff ordered the Pentagon to take out the natural gas pipeline that runs along the Baltic Sea bed from Russia to Germany.

Russia and China are adamant about not letting this vital subject be ignored. They want a proper investigation, international accountability and criminal prosecution. Moscow and Beijing are right to insist on this. Washington and its Western allies’ presumption of impunity has gone on for too many decades. The buck stops here and both Russia and China are strong enough to ensure that the United States cannot threaten, blackmail, or arm-twist its way out of scrutiny.

The Nord Stream project is a major international civilian infrastructure, costing in excess of $20 billion to construct over more than a decade. At 1,200 kilometres in length under the Baltic Sea, it is an impressive feat of engineering, symbolizing the mutual benefits of good neighborliness and cooperative trading.

For the United States to blow this pipeline up in order to knock Russia out of the European energy market so that it could muscle in with its own more expensive gas supplies is a shocking act of state terrorism and criminality. It is also potentially an act of war against Russia and callous sabotage against supposed European allies whose citizens are now suffering economic misery from soaring energy bills. German workers have this week shut down the entire economy from industrial protests over collapsing businesses and unbearable cost of living.

Of course, the Nord Stream sabotage is an urgent matter of basic justice, accountability for an atrocious crime, as well as massive international financial reparations. It’s almost hilarious how the self-proclaimed American protagonist of “rules-based global order” is desperately procrastinating over a glaring incident of dereliction and chaos.

But more than the essential obligation of justice is the legacy of impunity. For the perpetrators of such a wanton terrorist act not to be held accountable sets a perilous precedent. Otherwise, what is stopping the state terrorists from repeating equally brazen acts of sabotage and warmongering? The very concept of international law and the United Nations Charter is demolished, not simply undermined.

The Nord Stream incident potentially opens an era of rampant lawlessness and state banditry – by a nuclear superpower, the United States, using its Western minions for cover. The Western news media, in their reluctance to investigate, are also exposed as nothing more than propaganda channels in the service of imperial masters.

The present is reminiscent of the 1930s during a time of fascist expansionism by Nazi Germany and other imperialist nations, including the United States, Britain, France, Italy, Spain and Japan, and others. Nazi Germany was not the unique culprit during that earlier time of barbarism, notwithstanding the official Western revisionism of history to absolve itself.

After the Second World War amid the ashes of international destruction and up to 85 million deaths, the United Nations and its Charter were founded to ostensibly enshrine the stricture that there would be no repetition of the 1930s-style lawlessness and state terrorism.

That lofty aspiration was always a pathetic illusion. The decades after WWII saw no halt to the imperialist warmongering and subterfuges carried out primarily by the United States and its Western allies, in particular Britain. What a mockery that America and Britain were afforded permanent member states of the UN Security Council given that these two rogue powers have been largely responsible for countless wars post-1945. The decades-long wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are but the most notorious war crimes of the Anglo-American “special relationship”.

During the Cold War decades, the Soviet Union provided a limited check on the worst depredations by Western imperialists. The People’s Republic of China was not strong enough to act as a deterrent force.

For about two decades after the Cold War officially ended in 1991 following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the United States rulers perceived a license for “full-spectrum dominance”. Washington embarked on a frenzy of endless wars that up till recently have prevailed.

The first reality check on the unbridled violence of the American imperialists and their NATO henchmen was Russia’s military intervention in Syria in late 2015 to put an end to the Western machinations for yet another regime-change operation. Washington and its accomplices failed in their nefarious goals in Syria, albeit the Americans persist in illegally occupying part of the Arab country and stealing its oil resources.

Ukraine is the full manifestation of the end to impunity for the United States.

Russia under Vladimir Putin has recovered the military strength that was lost with the dissolution of the Soviet Union. In some ways, present-day Russia is even more formidable owing to the development of new forms of weapons, such as hypersonic missiles and S-500 air defenses. Also, Russia’s economy is on a sounder footing than the Soviet Union which relied excessively on militarism. Hence, Moscow has been able to withstand the economic assault that Washington and its allies have tried to mount over the Ukraine conflict.

Just as important, too, China has risen to economic and military superpower status. Together, Russia and China now present an invulnerable countervailing force to the United States and its Western allies.

For nearly eight decades after World War Two, the United States was relatively free to run amok, trashing international law and nations’ sovereignty, racking up death tolls by the millions, and terrorizing the planet with its “benign”, narcissistic tyranny.

The conflict in Ukraine, where Russia has said “enough is enough” to years of American-led NATO aggression, is demonstrating that the days of impunity are finally over for the would-be American hegemon.

Washington has recklessly raised the stakes to an unsustainable height in Ukraine. It has bet the house – and farm – on subjugating Russia for its next insatiable imperial move against China. But Moscow and Beijing are calling Uncle Sam’s bluff. The buck stops here.

The edifice of American imperial power has never been challenged at its foundation. It is now. Will we survive it’s reaction?


Learn From A Real Reporter Who Is Not A Groveling Bootlicker Who Would Insulate The Press Secretary Of The Most Powerful Government Office On This Planet.

A fascinating exchange took place at a UN press briefing the other day between China Global Television Network’s Xu Dezhi and the UN’s Deputy Spokesperson for the Secretary-General Farhan Haq about the American military occupation of Syria. The exchange is interesting both for the wild pro-American bias shown by a UN official, and for the way it illustrates how much truth can be exposed when journalists do what they’re supposed to do in the press gallery.

Xu, who has done on-the-ground reporting in Syria in the past, asked Haq some challenging questions about an attack on an American military base in eastern Syria last week which injured multiple American troops and killed an American contractor. In his response, Haq made the extremely incorrect claim that there are no American armed forces in Syria, and refused to say whether the American military occupation of part of the country is illegal.

Here’s the UN’s transcript of the key part of this exchange:

Xu: Do you not urge everyone to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria?

Haq: Well of course, that’s a given, and obviously it’s important that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Syria is respected. At the same time you are aware of the complexity of the situation of foreign forces, but we call for them to exercise restraint.

Xu: But, do you think the presence of the US military in Syria is illegal or not?

Haq: That’s not an issue that we’re dealing with at this stage. There’s been a war.

Xu: But, is that… because it sounds very familiar this week. We talk a lot about the UN Charter, the international law and relative resolutions. But, it sounds to me, a foreign military based presence in another country without invitation, sounds like something else to me.

Haq: I’ll leave your analysis to you. That there’s… At this stage there’s no…

Xu: What’s the difference between the situation in Syria and the situation in Ukraine?

Haq: There’s no US armed forces inside of Syria. And so I don’t have a… It’s not a parallel situation to some of the others.

Xu: You’re sure there’s no US military personnel in Syria?

Haq: I believe there’s military activity. But, in terms of a ground presence in Syria, I’m not aware of that.

Xu: Okay. Five US service members were injured in that attack. If there were no US service members in Syria, how could they got injured? That’s weird, right? Should I ask you about that? And by the way, if you’re talking about the resolution, the international law here is the resolution from Security Council 2254 (2015), I believe, it says in its PA [preambular] paragraph, “reaffirming its strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence, unity and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic and to the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”.

Haq: Yes. I’m aware of that. And as you see, that is accepted by the members of the Security Council itself.

Xu: Yeah. So, again, back to my question, is that illegal to have presence in Syria for the US base, according to the relevant resolution that I just read out?

Haq: The relevant resolution does call for that and we call on all countries to respect that. I wouldn’t go beyond that at this stage.

To be absolutely clear, this is a UN official. Haq has been in his current position as deputy spokesperson for almost a decade, and routinely answers questions about Syria as part of his capacity in that position.

It is not some obscure esoteric secret that there are American military personnel in Syria; it’s in the mainstream news constantly. Just the other day The New York Times reported that “America still has more than 900 troops, and hundreds more contractors, in Syria.”

Haq was either ignorant of this extremely important and relevant piece of common knowledge, or was dishonestly pretending to be. The most charitable interpretation of his actions at this press conference is that he sincerely did not know America has armed forces in Syria.

To put it into perspective, this is like being a UN official and routinely taking questions about Ukraine from the press, but not knowing that Russia invaded Ukraine and has been fighting a war there since last year.

Haq is the son of a Pakistani politician but speaks with a pristine American accent, and his acrobatics in dodging around Xu’s American-critical questions would impress even Jen Psaki. The most interesting part is when he says “I’ll leave your analysis to you,” because it’s such a brilliant deflection that can be used on any inconvenient question you can imagine (“Sir why are you holding a severed human head in your hands right now?” “Look, I’ll leave your analysis to you.”)

Xu’s straightforward, intellectually honest questions were all it took to get Haq to expose himself as an airheaded empire lackey, and we can’t help but fantasize about how wonderful the world would be if this happened all the time.

Look, compare this oppositional interrogation with the shit show that erupted in the White House press gallery earlier this month when Today News Africa’s Simon Ateba interrupted some silly publicity appearance by the cast of Ted Lasso to complain that White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre had not called on him in seven months.

The entire press corps immediately leapt to the defense of the White House official in the most sycophantic way imaginable, turning against their fellow journalist and paternalistically telling Ateba to shut up and mind his manners when he accused Jean-Pierre of “making a mockery of the First Amendment.”

Reporters from immensely influential platforms like Reuters, AP and CNN shouted Ateba down with calls of “Be respectful!” and “Mind your manners,” with one woman even shrieking “Decorum!” at the top of her lungs like an overwhelmed child. AP’s Zeke Miller even apologized for Ateba’s “display”, saying “I just want to express our apologies in the press corps to the folks watching at home for the display we saw earlier.”

Those are the sort of groveling bootlickers who insulate the press secretary of the most powerful government office on this planet. Imagine what would happen if the press were as oppositional to Jean-Pierre as Xu Dezhi was to the UN’s Farhan Haq. Imagine what contradictions could be exposed, what hypocrisy illuminated, what inconvenient questions pursued until a fruitful response was arrived at.

Instead we get the world’s most powerful government represented by people whose only traits are the ability to skillfully avoid providing meaningful answers, receiving slobbering rim jobs from power-worshipping cronies who want nothing more than to be their friend. This is the exact opposite of a healthy dynamic, and the exact opposite of a functioning free press.

It should not take a reporter from Chinese state media to ask inconvenient questions about the most powerful and destructive government on earth; western journalists should be falling all over themselves to ask those questions, because that’s what the job is supposed to be. The fact that this isn’t what happens shows that the free press has been replaced with propaganda, and accountability has been replaced with the blind service of power.


The Entire Question Of Whether America Should Assist The ICC In Investigating Putin For War Crimes Only Comes Up Because Of Two Other Glaring Acts Of Hypocrisy.

On March 17, the International Criminal Court issued a warrant of arrest for Russian President Vladimir Putin as a war criminal for allegedly deporting and transferring children from Ukraine to Russia.

The 1946 Nuremburg Tribunal declared that, “To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime; it is the supreme international crime, differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole.” Putin deserves to be convicted of war crimes on the same grounds that American Presidents Truman, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Reagan and Bush deserve to be convicted of war crimes. Noam Chomsky has said that, “If the Nuremberg laws were applied, then every post-war American president would have been hanged.”

But there are a number of questions that need to be answered and a number of hypocrisies that need to be faced in the arrest of Vladimir Putin.

The first is the question of how the ICC came to consider the case. The first way ICC jurisdiction can be triggered is by a referral from the Security Council. That did not happen. The second way is if a country that is a member of the ICC refers a crime that was committed on its territory to the court. Neither Ukraine nor Russia are members of the ICC.

The final way is if an ICC prosecutor starts an examination on his or her own accord into a crime committed on the territory of an ICC member or on the territory of a country that has consented to ICC jurisdiction. Again, neither Ukraine nor Russia are ICC members. However, Ukraine accepted ad hoc jurisdiction of the court in 2014, meaning that crimes against humanity or genocide, but not crimes of aggression, can be tried by the ICC.

According to former Indian diplomat M.K. Bhadrakumar, the United Kingdom pressured the ICC judges to take up the case against Putin, though he does not provide a source for this information.

There is greater clarity and evidence for the several hypocrisies that need to be admitted in the American reaction to the arrest warrant.

The first was exposed by Biden’s stumbling endorsement of the arrest warrant. “Well, I think it’s justified,” Biden said of the warrant on Friday. “But the question is—[the ICC is] not recognised internationally by us either. But I think it makes a very strong point.”

America recognizes the justification of ICC arrest warrants but does not recognize the ICC.

The second hypocrisy is more glaring still. The United States says that the arrest warrant is “justified” and “makes a very strong point” while simultaneously protecting themselves from similarly justified warrants.

According to reporting by The New York Times, “The Pentagon is blocking the Biden administration from sharing evidence with the International Criminal Court in The Hague gathered by American intelligence agencies about Russian atrocities in Ukraine.” Why would the American military oppose assisting the ICC to prosecute Putin since Biden says it is justified? Because the American military knows it is guilty of war crimes. “American military leaders oppose helping the court investigate Russians,” according to former and current American officials, “because they fear setting a precedent that might help pave the way for it to prosecute Americans.”

The entire question of whether America should assist the ICC in investigating Putin for war crimes only comes up because of two other glaring acts of hypocrisy. The first is that America has restrictions in place that limit cooperation with the ICC, since it does not recognize its jurisdiction. But recent legislative alterations have made it easier for America to cooperate with the ICC specifically on Ukraine. America is now permitted to cooperate with the ICC—whom it does not recognize—specifically in its Ukraine “investigations and prosecutions.” Human Rights Watch has pointed out the hypocrisy that “restrictions still apply to other ICC investigations” and that “There is now a two-tiered system in which broader cooperation is allowed for Ukraine than in other equally worthy investigations.”

The other hypocrisy that Human Rights Watch points out is that the United States “objects to the court’s jurisdiction over American citizens and nationals from other non-member countries, even when they fall within the court’s jurisdiction.” That implies that America is making an exception for Ukraine and their ad hoc acceptance of jurisdiction. The Times says that Washington takes “the position that the court should not exercise jurisdiction over citizens from a country that is not a party to the treaty, like the United States and Russia—even when the alleged war crimes take place in the territory of a country that did sign onto it.”

Though the National Security Council has tried to mediate between the Pentagon and the State and Justice Departments who do want to give evidence to the ICC, “Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III continued to object.”

There is yet one more remarkable hypocrisy in the American response to the arrest warrants. Biden says the ICC decision is justified and that it makes a strong point. But the American regime has historically fought to make the ICC unjustified and not strong.

In 1998, 160 countries attended a conference to formulate the Rome Statute of the ICC. Many states advocated for universal jurisdiction that would give the new court jurisdiction over crimes committed anywhere in the world. America blocked that universal jurisdiction and insisted that the ICC have jurisdiction only over crimes committed in countries who voluntarily signed the Rome Statute. This was a loophole America planted so that it could later exploit it. In 2000, President Clinton signed the Rome Statute, but did not send it to the Senate to be ratified. Two years later, President George W. Bush withdrew the signature. That ensured that the ICC could not prosecute Americans for war crimes.

Just to be sure, in 2002, the Bush administration enacted the American Service members’ Protection Act, or the “Hague Invasion Act,” as it came to be known. The act authorized the United States to use “all means necessary…to bring about the release of covered U.S. persons and covered allied persons held captive by, on behalf, or at the request of the Court.”

To be doubly sure, the law banned “the provision of U.S. military assistance…to the government of a country that is a party to the court.” That prohibition was extended in 2004 by the Nethercutt Amendment to include several other types of economic assistance. NATO countries and major non-NATO allies were exempt. For all other countries—unless the president deemed it important to the national security of the country—there was only one route to exemption. That was by entering a Rome Statute Article 98 agreement with America ensuring that they agree not to surrender Americans to the ICC, “preventing the International Criminal Court from proceeding against United States personnel present in such country.”

WikiLeaks revealed hundreds of cables that show how America used the threat of sanctions to force countries into Article 98 agreements. A confidential December 2002 American cable from Honduras says “the U.S. will help those countries that sign Article 98 agreements and cut aid to those that do not.”

The United States sought agreements from 77 countries who joined the ICC “to make extraditions of Americans to the Hague impossible.” They exerted significant pressure. Romania’s foreign minister said that he “can’t remember anything they put so much weight or interest into.” The EU told member states that entering into an Article 98 agreement with America “would be inconsistent” with their ICC obligations. Human Rights Watch said the American goal was “to exempt U.S. military and civilian personnel from the jurisdiction of the ICC” and said that signing the “impunity agreements…would breach their legal obligations under the Rome Statute.” In the end, at least 100 countries signed Article 98 agreements with the United States.

The long list of sanctioned countries eventually boomeranged against the American, leading countries to look to Russia and China for help and impeding the American-led Global War on Terror and drugs. They were gradually dropped.

America may believe the ICC is “justified” in issuing an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, but it has tried to make sure the same will never happen to an American. In 2017, when the ICC tried to investigate American torture of terrorism detainees, the government imposed sanctions on court officials.

Putin deserves the same sentence as practically ever post-World War II American president. The hypocrisy of American support for the ICC action against Putin is revealed by the long history of the United States attempting to weaken the court and refusing even to recognize it. It is further revealed both by the reluctance to assist the court because of the precedent it could set against itself and by the selective willingness to support the court against American enemies but not against its “equally worthy” friends.


Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair And Barack Obama, Are Responsible For Horrific Crimes Against Humanity And Literally Millions Of Deaths.

Iraq and Libya were both targeted by America in the month of March. The anniversaries of these war crimes must be commemorated, and the nature of the America/EU/NATO war machine must be understood.

“The International Criminal Court should uphold an objective and impartial stance, respect the jurisdictional immunity enjoyed by the head of state in accordance with international law, exercise its functions and powers prudently by the law, interpret and apply international law in good faith, and avoid politicization and double standards.” (Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin)

America should be seen as the greatest threat to the survival of collective humanity on our planet.

That point, however, needs to be reinforced because in typical arrogance, on the eve of that mobilization and the official March 20th date of the American invasion, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issues an arrest warrant for Russia President Vladimir Putin while Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair and Barack Obama, responsible for horrific crimes against humanity and literally millions of deaths combined in Serbia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and Syria, walk around as free individuals.

It would be comical if it was not so deadly serious and absurd. Just a couple of years ago when the ICC signaled under the leadership of the Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda wanted to conduct an investigation into possible crimes in Afghanistan America, the Trump Administration told the court in no uncertain terms that the Court would be subjected to the full wrath of the American government and the Court quietly demurred in favor of a national probe that everyone knew was a sham.

This is just part of the infuriating double standards that Chinese spokesperson Wang Wenbin refers to. For many in the global South, the “neutral” international mechanisms and structures created to uphold international law have lost significant credibility outside of the West.

The politicization of the ICC on the Ukrainian war and the unprincipled participation of the United Nations that provided political cover for the invasion and occupation of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010 are just two examples of how international structures ostensibly committed to upholding international law and the UN Charter are now seen as corrupt instruments of a dying American colonial empire.

How did we get here?

It is not a mere historical coincidence that the world became a much more dangerous place with the escalation of conflicts that threatened international peace in the 1990s. Without the countervailing force of the Soviet Union, the delusional white supremacists making American policy believed that the next century was going to be a century of unrestrained American domination.

And who would be dominated? Largely the nations of the global South but also Europe with an accelerated integration plan in 1993 that America supported because it was seen as a more efficient mechanism for deploying American capital and further solidifying trade relations with the huge and lucrative European Market.

Central to the assertion of American global power, however, was the judicious use of military force. “Full Spectrum Dominance” was the strategic objective that would ensure the realization of the “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC ). There was just one challenge that had to be overcome. The American population still suffered from the affliction labeled the “Vietnam syndrome .” Traumatized by the defeat in Vietnam the population was still reticent about giving its full support to foreign engagements that could develop into a possible military confrontation.

How was this challenge overcome? Human rights.

Humanitarian interventionism ,” with its corollary the “responsibility to protect” would emerge in the late 90s as one of the most innovative propaganda tools ever created. Produced by Western human rights community and championed by psychopaths like Samantha Power, the humanitarianism of the benevolent empire became the ideological instrument that allowed America to fully commit itself to military options to advance the interests of American corporate and financial interests globally while being fully supported by the American population.

With this new ideological tool, the Clinton Administration bombed Serbia for 78 days in 1999 without any legal basis but with the moral imperative of the “responsibility to protect.” By the early 2000s it was obvious that America was not going to be bound by international law. Operating through NATO and with the formulation of a “rules based order” in which America and its Western European allies would make the rules and enforce the order, the world has been plunged into unending wars, illegal sanctions, political subversion and the corruption of international structures that were supposed to instrumentalize the legal, liberal international order.

But white supremacist colonial hubris resulted in the empire over extending itself.

Twenty years after the illegal and immoral attack on Iraq where it is estimated that over a million people perished and twelve years after the racist attack on Libya where NATO dropped over 26,000 bombs and murdered up to 50,000 people, the American/EU/NATO Axis of Domination is in irreversible decline but the American hegemon, like a wounded wild beast is still dangerous and is proving to be even more reckless then just a few years ago.

The disastrous decision to provoke what America thought would be a limited proxy war with Russia that would allow it to impose sanctions on the Russian Federation will be recorded in history, along with the invasion of Iraq, as the two pivotal decisions that greatly precipitated the decline of the American empire.

However, with over eight hundred American bases globally, a military budget close to a trillion dollars and a doctrine that prioritizes a “military-first strategy,” the coming defeat in Ukraine might translate into even more irresponsible and counterproductive moves against the Chinese over Taiwan in the Pacific and more aggressive actions to maintain American hegemony in the Americas through SOUTHCOM and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Global polls of international opinion continue to reflect that the peoples’ of our planet see America as the greatest threat to international peace. They are correct.

The commemoration of the attacks on the peoples of Iraq and Libya is an act of solidarity not only with the peoples of those nations, but with the peoples and nations suffering from the malign policies of this dying empire today. It is a time of rededication to peace and to justice, two elements that are inextricable. In the Black Alliance for Peace , we say that peace is not the absence of conflict, but rather the achievement by popular struggle and self-defense of a world liberated from global systems of oppression that include colonialism, imperialism, patriarchy, and white supremacy.

This understanding is the foundation for why we are launching with our partners, an effort to revive the call to make the Americas a Zone of Peace on April the 4th, the day the state murdered Dr. King and the date that the Black Alliance for Peace was launched in 2017.

For Africans and other colonized peoples, the task is clear. The American/EU/NATO Axis of Domination embodies the anti-life structures of colonial/capitalist oppression and must be seen as the primary contradiction facing global humanity. We recognize that other contradictions exist. We are not naive. But for the exploited and colonized peoples of this planet, until there is a shift in the international balance of forces away from the maniacs in the “collective West,” the future of our planet and collective humanity remains imperiled.


We Hope America Has Been Forced To Contemplate The Mortality Of Its Attempts At Total Economic Dominance.

We cannot readily think of any example in history, of a state which achieved the level of economic dominance China has now achieved, that did not seek to use its economic muscle to finance military acquisition of territory to increase its economic resources.

In that respect China is vastly more pacific than the United States, United Kingdom, France, Spain or any other formerly prominent power.

Ask yourself this simple question. How many overseas military bases does America have? And how many overseas military bases does China have?

Depending on what you count, the United States has between 750 and 1100 overseas military bases. China has between 6 and 9.

The last military aggression by China was its takeover of Tibet in 1951 and 1959. Since that date, we have seen the United States invade with massive destruction Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.

The United States has also been involved in sponsoring numerous military coups, including military support to the overthrow of literally dozens of governments, many of them democratically elected. It has destroyed numerous countries by proxy, Libya being the most recent example.

China has simply no record, for over 60 years, of attacking and invading other countries.

The anti-Chinese military posture adopted by the leaders of America, UK and Australia as they pour astonishing amounts of public money into the corrupt military industrial complex to build pointless nuclear submarines, appears a deliberate attempt to create military tension with China.

Sunak recited the tired neoliberal roll call of enemies, condemning: “Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, China’s growing assertiveness, and destabilising behaviour of Iran and North Korea”.

What precisely are Iran and China doing, that makes them our enemy?

This article is not about Iran, but plainly western sanctions have held back the economic and societal development of that highly talented nation and have simply entrenched its theological regime.

Their purpose is not to improve Iran but to maintain a situation where Israel has nuclear weapons and Iran does not. If accompanied by an effort to disarm the rogue state of Israel, they might make more sense.

On China, in what does its “assertiveness” consist that makes it necessary to view it as a military enemy? China has constructed some military bases by artificially extending small islands. That is perfectly legal behaviour. The territory is Chinese.

As the United States has numerous bases in the region on other people’s territory, once should truly struggle to see where the objection lies to Chinese bases on Chinese territory.

China has made claims which are controversial for maritime jurisdiction around these artificial islands – and some would argue wrong under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea. But they are no more controversial than a great many other UNCLOS claims, for example the UK’s behaviour over Rockall.

China has made, for example, no attempt to militarily enforce a 200 mile exclusive economic zone arising from its artificial islands, whatever it has said. Its claim to a 12 mile territorial sea is totally valid.

Similarly, the United States has objected to pronouncements from China that appear contrary to UNCLOS on passage through straits, but again this is no different from a variety of such disputes worldwide. The United States and others have repeatedly asserted, and practised, their right of free passage, and met no military resistance from China.

So is that it? Is that what Chinese “aggression” amounts to, some UNCLOS disputes?

Aah, we are told, but what about Taiwan?

To which the only reply is, what about Taiwan? Taiwan is a part of China which separated off under the nationalist government after the Civil War. Taiwan does not claim not to be Chinese territory.

In fact – and this is far too little understood in the West because our media does not tell you – the government of Taiwan still claims to be the legitimate government of all of China.

The government of Taiwan supports reunification just as much as the government of China, the only difference being who would be in charge.

The dispute with Taiwan is therefore an unresolved Chinese civil war, not an independent state menaced by China. As a civil war the entire world away from us, it is very hard to understand why we have an interest in supporting one side rather than the other.

Peaceful resolution is of course preferable. But it is not America’s conflict.

There is no evidence whatsoever that China has any intention of invading anywhere else in the China Seas or the Pacific. Not Singapore, not Japan and least of all Australia. That is almost as fantastic as the ludicrous idea that the UK must be defended from Russian invasion.

If China wanted, it could simply buy 100% of every public listed company in Australia, without even noticing a dent in China’s dollar reserves.

Which of course brings us to the real dispute, which is economic and about soft power. China has massively increased its influence abroad, by trade, investment, loans and manufacture. China is now the dominant economic power, and it can only be a matter of time before the dollar ceases to be the world’s reserve currency.

China has chosen this method of economic expansion and prosperity over territorial acquisition or military control of resources.

That may be to do with Confucian versus Western thought. Or it may just be the government in Beijing is smarter than Western governments. But growing Chinese economic dominance does not appear to me a reversible process in the coming century.

To react to China’s growing economic power by increasing western military power is hopeless. It is harder to think of a more stupid example of lashing out in blind anger. It is a it like peeing on your carpet because the neighbours are too noisy.

Aah, but you ask. What about human rights?

Let nobody claim that human rights genuinely has any part to play in who the Western military industrial complex treats as an enemy and who it treats as an ally.

The abominable suffering of the children of Yemen and Palestine also cries out against any pretence that Western policy, and above all choice of ally, is human rights based.

China is treated as an enemy because the United States has been forced to contemplate the mortality of its economic dominance.

China is treated as an enemy because that is a chance for the political and capitalist classes to make yet more super profits from the military industrial complex.

But China is not our enemy. Only atavism and xenophobia make it so.


What Did The American Invasion Accomplish? Two Decades After The Invasion, The Iraqi People Are Still Struggling To Pick Up The Pieces.

November 6, 2006, was a quiet morning in Baghdad. Noor Ghazi and her family had packed what they could into the car and jumped on the road as early as possible. It was Ghazi’s 16th birthday, but there was no time to celebrate. They had only one goal in mind: getting to the border with Syria.

Since American troops rolled into Baghdad three years earlier, the Ghazis had lived through the worst of Iraq’s brutal civil war. Noor remembered passing dead bodies lying in the streets during her walk to school. Grief became a regular part of the teenager’s daily life.

Wherever Ghazi went, she paid close attention to her surroundings, knowing that at any moment a car bomb or stray bullet could set off chaos. “My school started getting emptier and emptier,” she told RS. “Every day, one of my friends would come in and say her last goodbyes because she was leaving the country.”

Ghazi’s father had no intentions of following their lead. “My dad used to say that he would be the last person to leave Iraq,” she remembered.

But everything changed when her cousin died. It wasn’t the first time they had lost a family member, but this was different. Extremists had kidnapped him in the middle of the night, murdered him with drills, and left his remains in the street. Ghazi’s father was tasked with identifying the body, meaning he would have to look through photos of all the unnamed corpses held at the local hospital.

After flipping through hundreds of images of maimed and disfigured bodies, he finally found who he was looking for. Noor’s cousin was number 167. It was time to leave Baghdad.

As the Ghazi family passed near Fallujah, they came upon an impromptu checkpoint. Three gunmen jumped out of the car in front of them and demanded to see their IDs — no doubt a way to find out if Noor and her family were Sunni or Shia Muslims. Her mother, who is Shia, managed to hide her ID card, revealing only the ones that showed their bearers to be Sunni.

The gunmen then moved on to the car beside them, which had a family with a small child inside. “It seems like they had the wrong last name,” Ghazi recalled. “After I heard the gunshots, I don’t remember anything.”

It has now been two decades since the United States launched its war on Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq. Americans have largely moved on, but Iraqis are not so lucky.

The 2003 invasion — and the crushing, American-led sanctions regime that preceded it — set into motion a series of events that have torn at the very fabric of Iraq’s society, leaving at least 185,000 of its citizens dead and displacing 9 million more, according to the Costs of War project at Brown University. Those who survived their country’s darkest moments now live with mental and physical scars that most Americans can scarcely imagine. “Violence destroys our ability to feel human,” said Ghazi, who now teaches Arabic and courses on peace and conflict at several universities in North Carolina.

Indeed, it is difficult to find any measure by which life in Iraq has improved over the last 20 years. Rolling blackouts have made summers unbearable in much of the south, and the government remains far too weak to do much about it. (The daily high rarely drops below 100 degrees fahrenheit in Baghdad’s warmer months.) Once a regional leader in medicine and education, Iraq has now fallen far behind most of its neighbors. A recent poll found that 37 percent of Iraqis want to emigrate, and 81 percent say their country is headed in the wrong direction.

Moral math is notoriously tricky. It may be difficult for some to pin all of Iraq’s ills on the America. But Americans should be under no illusions that the war was a mere policy blunder, as Eamon Kircher-Allen wrote in a recent roundtable for the Century Foundation.

[W]hile Americans seem to mostly understand the Iraq War did not serve the national interest, it’s much less clear whether they grasp how the war was morally and legally wrong—in other words, that it was a crime.”

After Ameriacn forces defeated Saddam Hussein’s army in the 1991 Gulf War, the UN imposed unprecedented sanctions on Iraq. What followed was nothing short of disastrous.

During the 1980s, Iraq had managed to steadily grow its GDP to more than $60 billion per year despite a brutal (and ill-advised) war with neighboring Iran. When the comprehensive sanctions regime kicked in, Baghdad’s GDP plummeted to less than $1 billion. Oil exports — which had long been the backbone of the country’s economy — dropped to nearly nothing overnight, and even humanitarian organizations struggled to import food and medicine. Many families pulled children out of school in order to make ends meet.

It became like we changed from a rich country into a poor country,” said Yanar Mohammed, a prominent Iraqi activist who emigrated in the 1990s in order to escape the impact of sanctions.

To borrow a line from Ernest Hemingway, Iraq collapsed gradually, then suddenly. When American troops finally rolled into Baghdad, more than a decade of sanctions had hollowed out the government, leaving little more than destroyed infrastructure and severely weakened institutions in its wake. Now, Washington was on the hook to fix it.

American officials quickly established a provisional government and set the ambitious goal of transforming Iraq into a stable, flourishing democracy. As the military undertook its futile search for Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, President George W. Bush secured enormous amounts of funding to backstop his nation-building policy and enlisted former diplomat Paul Bremer to carry it out.

Several decisions from the first year of the occupation would prove particularly consequential. The Bush administration disbanded the army and created a policy of “de-Ba’athification” that sought to remove from power all officials who had served under Saddam. Washington also imposed a sectarian political system known as the “muhasasa,” which used quotas to divvy up power and resources between Sunnis, Shias, and Kurds.

Most analysts now agree that these policies fanned the flames of sectarianism, which would soon drive the country’s devastating civil war. But their impact would not end there. “The U.S. occupation of Iraq and the sectarian politics of successive Iraqi governments eventually led to the rise of the Islamic State,” wrote Zainab Saleh, a professor at Haverford College, in a 2020 report for Brown University’s Costs of War Project.

To make matters worse, American forces engaged in a series of human rights violations, including multiple massacres and a program of torture at the infamous Abu Ghraib prison. These abuses helped fuel anti-American insurgents and motivated extremists far from the battlefield, including the perpetrator of the 2015 attack at the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo.

Women were the “biggest losers” of the post-2003 order, according to Mohammed, who returned after the invasion and founded the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq. What she saw was dramatically different from the country she had left just a decade before. “The women of Iraq lost the improvement of their well-being, their status, their women’s rights gradually, and went back to the status of our grandmothers,” she said.

With the old regime gone, tribal and religious leaders became the key power players in Iraq, leading to a rapid rollback in women’s rights. According to Mohammed, Iraqi women faced a dramatic uptick in human trafficking and honor killings, accompanied by a drop in education and access to healthcare.

Iraq is now the fifth worst country in the world to be a woman, according to the Women Peace and Security Index. While political violence has gone down in recent years, 45 percent of Iraqi women say they have faced domestic abuse — the highest rate of any Middle Eastern country.

Mohammed has fought for years to change this backslide. Under her leadership, the Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq created a network of shelters for women fleeing violence and other social ills. To date, she and her colleagues have sheltered 1,300 Iraqi women.

But Mohammed faces an uphill battle. Iraq’s leaders have long opposed her shelter program, forcing her to work in secret. She has been dogged by government lawsuits and accusations of human trafficking — a particularly painful allegation for a dedicated women’s rights activist.

When our organization stands against [oppression], and we shelter women from that kind of abuse and violence, we are considered the crim[inals] here,” Mohammed said.

In 2018, Ghazi returned to Iraq with a camera in hand. During her 12 years in exile, she had moved to the United States, had a child, and enrolled in a master’s program in peace and conflict studies. Now, she wanted to give back to the country that raised her.

What she saw was harrowing. In just three years in power, the Islamic State’s totalitarian rule had reduced the once vibrant city of Mosul to ruin.

When I went to Mosul, I [saw] all the destruction. I [saw] how the entire civilization was destroyed under ISIS,” Ghazi recalled. “I lived for 12 years thinking that I would return one day, but it was not there anymore. It did not exist anymore.”

Ghazi criss-crossed the city filming ruins of ancient monuments and conducting interviews with those who lived through ISIS rule. Locals told her how extremists pushed out Mosul’s Christian community, massacred Yazidi residents, and sexually assaulted countless women. At least 800,000 residents fled the city, and many have yet to return.

Even Mosul’s liberation brought tragedy. In its efforts to flush ISIS from the city, America conducted airstrikes that killed hundreds of civilians, as journalist Azmat Khan has painstakingly documented for the New York Times. The deadliest single attack came in March 2017, when a pair of bombs killed two ISIS snipers and more than 100 civilians who had taken shelter in the same building in west Mosul.

After returning to America, Ghazi produced a documentary about her experience entitled “The Mother of Two Springs” — a reference to Mosul’s unusually temperate weather in the fall and spring. The film ends with a daunting set of statistics: 10,000 civilians died during the city’s liberation; 40,000 houses were left destroyed or in need of repairs; more than half of the city’s government buildings were flattened.

Despite Iraq’s tragedy, Ghazi is optimistic about the future. In recent years, protestors across the country have taken to the streets to demand an end to the sectarian “muhasasa” system established during the American occupation. So, Ghazi came back from a January visit to Baghdad “full of hope.” We should all do the same.


America Has Been Systematically Unjust And Dishonest In Its Dealings With Other Nations And That Is Clear To Those Who Live Outside Of The American Empire.

Nobody likes a bully, whether he operates in the schoolyard or in the international arena. Those who support a bully do so out of fear. Hence, bullies never have any real friends. They have followers who are intimidated by the arrogance and power of the tormenter. There are many nations, which appear to be friendly to America, yet they wait patiently with hope in their hearts that one-day the bully will meet his match. Meanwhile, they pay homage to the bully in order that they may avoid his wrath.

To the world outside America’s borders it appears that Bin Laden strides into the schoolyard, confronts the bully and slaps his face before his tormented schoolmates. Around the globe, good people who have watched the bully in his conceit, speak of justice and democracy as if he was their inventor and the only person worthy of their benefits, are appalled to find that their horror of the event is accompanied with an inward sense of satisfaction. At last, “the bully got what was coming to him”.

In the aftermath of 9/11, America’s citizens are scared. Awakened from a dream of rampant consumerism and ignorance of world affairs, they found ourselves confused and uncertain. How could such a thing have happened? It happened because America’s democracy has been subverted, not by communists or terrorists, but by their regime choices. The great majority of America’s people choose to close their eyes or look away when the bully treated the people of other nations in a manner which would sicken them, had it occurred to one of their own family.

Franklin D. Roosevelt said “Just as our national policy in internal affairs has been based upon a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all of our fellow men within our gates, so our national policy in foreign affairs has been based on a decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small.” If this were ever true, it certainly has not been reflected in recent American foreign policy. We are pleased to bathe in the waters of prosperity and do not find it deplorable that we expect others to cleanse themselves in our dirty water.

It is deplorable that a mind set exists which allows us to think, that simply because we were born within these borders, we are somehow entitled to a enjoy a greater degree of respect and dignity than we are prepared to acknowledge are the birthright of all the world’s people. Were we to reflect a “decent respect for the rights and the dignity of all nations, large and small” we would demanded that our government mirror in its foreign policy those things, which we most value in our own personal and political lives.

The issue is not terrorism. It is injustice! America has been unjust and dishonest in its dealings with other nations. John F. Kennedy said “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.

What is it, about the American psyche that leads us to believe that we have the right to install and support unjust, puppet governments throughout the world? Why do we think that we can impose our economic interests, over those of the populations of these countries? We are insane to think that we can engage in the support and sponsorship of these regimes without expecting that they would wish to retaliate.

We am not aware of one instance where “terrorism” has ever been defeated at the barrel of a gun. Northern Ireland, Israel and a host of other conflicts throughout the last century have demonstrated that these conflicts will only be resolved when each party acknowledges that the other party’s position has some validity. Discussion and compromise are the only weapons that have the capacity to defeat terrorism.

A recent Gallop poll indicated that a large portion of the people of the world perceive America as being arrogant and a bully. Yet, rather than providing insight as the possible causes of “terrorism” this poll has been used exclusively to portray its participants as unbalanced and deranged. Rather than looking at the information, it provides and reflecting on the mere possibility that it may contain some nugget of truth, it is cast aside.

Our inability to look at ourselves and to contemplate that our foreign policy may be part of the problem is beyond the grasp of many of us, and those who would dare to suggest such action are immediately deemed to be subversive or supporters of “terrorism”

The inevitable consequence of our choices will be airlifted to grieving families, who will not dare to pull the zipper on the body bag which houses their loved one. Their grief will demand vengeance. Further orders will be placed with America’s industrial war machine to better equip our poor, uneducated citizens who have been duped into believing that they are about to die for our freedoms. Our President will raise his fist and talk about how “They hate our Democracy” and “This is a war against evil” a “Just cause” as he prepares the soil to grow another generation of “terrorists”.

Peace is not just the absence of conflict but also the presence of justice, for in our world’s history, peace has never prevailed where justice was absent.

Injustice is the garden that nourishes terrorism.

A great many of us choose to engage ourselves in rampant consumerism and ignorance of world affairs. After all, who cares what is happening “over there”?

9/11 has taught us nothing. We have become narcissistic and self centered; like the drug addict who refuses to look at himself, we rage on about how everyone is against us, and use our denial to continue our self destructive behavior. In search of another fix we roar across the world dropping bombs on anyone who may try to point out that our sickness is self-imposed.

If America is addicted to power, who then are its friends ? The pushers who feed the habit or those who call to its attention the destruction it brings on its own family?