Why isn’t the US Media showing how Trump is a War Criminal ?

by Vanessa Beeley Man from Kafarya and Foua,crying in Jebrin centre, Aleppo, after the suspected suicide bombing massacre of 200 civilians, including 116 children, 15th April 2017 in Rashideen. (Photo: Vanessa Beeley) 21st Century Wire says… On April 15th 2017, the people of Kafarya and Foua were attacked, their children mown down deliberately, by a […]

via RASHIDEEN MASSACRE: Children Lured to their Slaughter by NATO State Terrorists — Friends of Syria

NOTHING SAYS I’M GUILTY LIKE TRUMP, UK & FRANCE ALL REFUSING TO SEND REAL FORENSIC SCIENTISTS TO SITE OF THEIR ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACK IN SYRIA
Apr 21 at 7:18am
ALSO:
  NOTHING SAYS I’M GUILTY LIKE TRUMP, UK & FRANCE ALL REFUSING TO SEND REAL FORENSIC SCIENTISTS TO SITE OF THEIR ALLEGED CHEMICAL ATTACK IN SYRIA  …

Nothing says I’m Guilty like Trump, UK & France all refusing to send real forensic scientists to site of their alleged chemical attack in Syria

BY: Alex Christoforou

More reasons to believe that the Idlib chemical weapons attack was indeed a false flag, for which the US, UK, France (and many western powers) are trying to cover up.

Sputnik News reports

The Organisation For The Prohibition Of Chemical Weapons has rejected Russia and Iran’s proposal for a new team to probe the suspected chemical attack earlier this month in Syria. Moscow’s pushing for a wider investigation, because it believes the OPCW cannot properly confirm anything until it’s actually visited the site.

The blocking of the Russian proposal at the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on investigating the alleged chemical weapon use in Syria’s Idlib province aims to direct attention to the idea of regime change in Syria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

The OPCW is not willing to properly probe the alleged chemical attack in Idlib. This is very odd.

What does a proper investigation entail?

How about the OPCW actually visit the site of the alleged attack, instead of rely on samples sent by White Helmets, or Al Qaeda, or anyone else for that matter.

How was the OPCW able to analyze the samples so quickly? Usually such lab work requires weeks, not hours.

What were the documented procedures for collecting the samples, and sending the samples? No documentation as to the collection process has been provided.

This is all very sloppy forensics, and it appears that western powers are working hard to keep this as sloppy as possible so as to avid a professional investigation which will, in my opinion, most certainly debunk the “Assad did it” narrative.

“Sarin or a ‘sarin-like’ substance” is repeated by UK diplomats in the video above. How can a verdict be attributed when officials are not even certain of the chemical allegedly used? Once again we see clever word play from the “Assad must go” coalition.

Here is what Russian FM Lavrov had to say about the OPCW at a joint meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

“Yesterday, our joint proposal that OPCW experts visit the sites of the suspected chemical weapon use incident in Syria was blocked by western delegations without coherent explanations. This showed the complete incompetence of the positions of our western colleagues who basically prohibit the OPCW from sending their experts to the site of the incident, to the air base from where aircraft loaded with chemical weapons allegedly flew out.”

Lavrov noted that the UK and France have been curiously silent towards Russia’s requests for detailed information on the alleged chemical weapon probes taken in Syria.

“I think we are very close to this organization [OPCW] being discredited.”

“False information on the use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government is being used to move away from the implementation of resolution 2254 which stipulates a political settlement with the participation of all the Syrian parties and to switch to the long-cherished idea of regime change.”

It’s fantasy for a U.S. President to think aiding an anti-Assad caliphate will lead to peace

A sober look at the confusion in Assad’s Syria

It’s fantasy to think U.S. backing of anti-Assad forces will lead to peace

 

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– – Wednesday, April 19, 2017

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Was “Tomahawking” Syria for an alleged gas attack justifiable retribution, misfeasance, malfeasance or just a mistake? Was it a warning to China and North Korea as some have advanced? (This is the same line of thinking that bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki was really aimed cautioning the Soviet Union.) Why would China, the “celestial kingdom,” powerful in her own right, pay attention; why would North Korea, in the hands of a madman, even care?

Given the vagaries of the Middle East, truth is the first and last casualty. The first accusation of a gas attack by Syrian President Bashar Assad against rebel strongholds failed the smell test; it was more likely done by the regime’s enemies. In the latest iteration, is there conclusive evidence of culpability? Maybe I missed it. It’s more likely that Mr. Assad’s jets hit an ISIS chemical weapons dump, releasing the poison into the surrounding neighborhoods. So far, the allegations consist of words like “likely,” “leads to” and on and on in that vein. We are presented with suppositions and possibilities, but that is all.

Should we take Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ pronouncements at face value? Could he not be given misinformation? Could assertion of an Assad gas attack follow the formula of the Tonkin Gulf incident? Who profits from the gas attack? Certainly not Mr. Assad, who lived in London and knows full well the military power of the United States. Why would he, winning on the battlefield, use gas, which he knows would bring on the opprobrium of the West and a military attack? Who profits then? Why not ISIS and its friends who, by blaming Mr. Assad, might inspire American might to remove the great obstacle to their Dark Ages mentality?

Mr. Assad is an Alewite, a Shia faction heretical in the eyes of Sunni ISIS and, therefore, their enemy. As a Baathist, and therefore a modernizer, he is also antithetical to those Muslims who wish to resurrect a caliphate. The Baathist Party, which he represents, was founded by Michel Afliq, a Christian. It is a party that, in spite of its jumble of nationalism, Arabism and socialism, has seen itself as a bringing Arab society into the present, releasing it from the straitjacket of an Islam mired in the 12th century.

Compounding their offenses, the Assad family has protected Christians, whom the caliphate crowd see as infidels deserving of death. Since the fall of Saddam Hussein, they have never passed up the opportunity to reinforce their hatred of Christianity or other Muslims. The press gives short shrift to the atrocities against Christians in the Middle East, and never reports on the efforts of Franciscan monks in Aleppo to relieve suffering caused by the civil war and the Muslim militias. In short, if Mr. Assad were to go, Alewites and Christians would be on the extermination list. With no alternative other than the death for him and his supporters and clients, Mr. Assad will hold on.

Knowledge of Syria by this administration and its predecessor is shallow at best. T.E. Lawrence wrote in his “Seven Pillars of Wisdom” that the Arab delights in chicanery. In hospitality, the Arabs can be extremely generous (as I experienced in Iraq), but was Lawrence right in saying that they were also “unstable as water” and that we delude “ourselves that perhaps peace might find the Arabs able to defend themselves with paper tools”?

The Syrian situation amply supplies examples of all. The Obama administration’s policy, enunciated by U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power as a “duty to protect” (i.e., U.S. intervention in the “Arab Spring”), was a dangerous absurdity in lands whose undercurrents are unfathomable to the Western mind. It led to nearly losing Egypt to the Muslim Brotherhood and the unconstitutional attack on Libya, ensuring chaos and then the murder of Moammar Gadhafi, who was not a threat and who had kept a lid on the fanatical murderous rage of ISIS.

The history of the Middle East is one of bloodshed and oppression; this conflict is just another in an age-old saga. To think that by backing anti-Assad forces or removing him from power will lead to a flowering of democracy and peace is a fantasy. It would behoove this administration to examine the tumultuous French experience in Syria under the League of Nations mandate; we are not dealing with Anglo-Saxons. Unless the United States and the West is prepared to put troops on the ground, who would be first welcomed and then shot at, it is advisable to stay out and make them sort it out on their own.

• William Layer is a historian who covered Air Force presidential operations during the early years of the Reagan administration.

US ARMS SALES TO THE SAUDIS INVITE WAR CRIMES CHARGES ONCE AGAIN

US ARMS SALES TO THE SAUDIS INVITE WAR CRIMES CHARGES

Trump administration

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This article first appeared on the Just Security site.

In December, the Obama administration suspended a large weapon sale to Saudi Arabia due to concerns about widespread civilian casualties from Saudi airstrikes in Yemen. The Trump administration is now looking to reverse that decision.

If the White House approves the sale and overcomes expectedcongressional opposition, it could leave bureaucrats in the State Department holding the bag—under pressure to approve sales that put them personally at legal risk.

Policymakers may believe there are overriding U.S. interests favoring U.S. support for Saudi Arabia in its proxy war with Iran in Yemen, but that kind of policy calculation does not resolve the legal risks involved.

Under international criminal law, and perhaps U.S. federal law, individual officials may be personally liable for “aiding and abetting,” or helping to commit, serious breaches of the laws of war.

Donald Trump in the State Dining Room with Mohammed bin Salman, deputy crown prince and minister of defense of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, on March 14. (The person on the right is unidentified.) Ryan Goodman writes that if the White House approves the sale for arms to Saudi Arabia and overcomes expected congressional opposition, it could leave bureaucrats in the State Department holding the bag—under pressure to approve sales that put them personally at legal risk.MARK WILSON/GETTY

The Department of Defense’s Law of War Manual may not serve policymakers well in this important respect. The DoD Law of War Manual states that aiding and abetting a war crime requires that an accomplice has “a desire to help the activity succeed.”

Related: Trump gutting the State Department?

If that were the legal rule, U.S. government officials could rest easy knowing that they obviously don’t desire the Saudis to use U.S.-manufactured weapons to target or kill civilians. That’s not, however, what the law actually says.

The key source of authority that the Law of War Manual cites is an Opinion by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel—but that Opinion, authored by one of the most highly respected attorneys to ever lead the office, clearly reached the opposite conclusion.

Walter Dellinger wrote the Opinion warning administration officials that they could be found guilty for aiding and abetting by sharing official intelligence with foreign governments that used that information to shoot down civil aircraft. That scenario now sounds hauntingly familiar.

Dellinger explained that having a desire to facilitate an offense is part of the standard elements required for an accomplice to be culpable, but not when the act of the recipient government involves a “particularly grave” or serious criminal act. When it comes to those more serious offenses, the Opinion stated, knowledge that one’s assistance would support the act could alone suffice.

It is difficult to imagine that war crimes would not fit that category. Indeed, under international criminal law, including across different war crimes tribunals that have adjudicated the question, defendants can be found guilty of aiding and abetting even if they had no desire to facilitate the crime.

And down at Guantánamo, the chief prosecutor in the central case against Khalid Shaikh Mohammad has relied on the well-founded theory that for aiding and abetting charges to stick, “the knowledge required is simply a knowing participation that the acts would assist the commission of a crime,” as his legal briefstates. “A conscious desire or willingness to achieve the criminal result is not required.”

It is fair to ask what could have changed since December to convince the administration that the concerns about civilian casualties have lessened. The straw that appeared to break the camel’s back during the Obama administration was a Saudi coalition strike on a funeral home that left well over a hundred people dead and nearly 700 injured. The strike, like some others that resulted in mass civilian casualties, reportedly involved U.S.-manufactured laser-guided munitions.

Senior U.S. officials formally briefed reporters, saying that there was “absolutely no justification for the strike.” In October, the White House announced the launch of a review of the Saudi coalition’s activities, which led to the arms sales suspension in December.

Since then, even more information has come to light indicating wrongdoing and reasons not to rely on assurances by the Saudi-led coalition.

First, in December following revelations by Amnesty International, the Saudi coalition finally admitted to using cluster bombs in Yemen, contradicting a long, long, long pattern of outright denials.

Second, in January a panel of independent experts, acting under a U.N. Security Council mandate, issued a detailed report that was nothing short of a damning indictment of “widespread violations” of the laws of war by all parties to the conflict.

The experts closely examined 10 strikes by the Saudi coalition and concluded that it is “almost certain that the coalition did not meet international humanitarian law requirements of proportionality and precautions in attack,” according to the report. “The Panel considers that some of the attacks may amount to war crimes.”

Third, former senior U.S. officials have now gone on the recordabout their conclusions concerning the misuse of American arms. One of the most important statements came in testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee earlier this week by Dafna Rand, who served as deputy assistant secretary at the Department of State until earlier this year and is now at the National Defense University.

Rand says that the only observable improvements in Saudi targeting practices came after the administration publicly raised concerns about U.S. assistance in October. Among other things, that trend would indicate the Saudi coalition could, in fact, control the effects of its targeting on civilians. Rand testified in the following terms:

In looking over the two years and charting improvements, because that’s what you’re asking about—is trends over time and where we’ve seen them go up and down. Really, the only two- or three-month period that I saw some progress was after the White House in October of 2016 had to raise publicly their concerns about security assistance.

That deterred them, they were concerned. They heard that message. Although it was critical of an ally and a friend, it deterred, and in a sense some people really watching the practice.

So where does all this leave current administration officials—inside the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairsand its Office of Regional Security and Arms Transfers—who have to make the grueling decision to approve specific arms sales?

An added problem for them is that they now inhabit an administration with a significant legitimacy deficit. As I wrotebefore the inauguration, “the lack of public trust in Trump and the President-elect’s disinclination to respect the standard laws of war increase the likelihood of scrutiny by prosecutors, courts, foreign allies, and others.” That likelihood has since increased.

Another risk lies over the long horizon. As a candidate, Trump threatened to prosecute the former secretary of state and perhaps members of her staff, which a large body of Americans supported. In a similar step, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recently suggested he might ask for a special prosecutor to review actions of the Justice Department under the Obama administration.

At some point, those kinds of statements begin to erode the idea that successor administrations will be unlikely to take such actions against their predecessors. While senior Trump officials may toy with such ideas even out in the open, they imperil lower-level staff by doing so. That might, according to some viewpoints, be a step forward for accountability.

It is not very comfortable for lower-level officials who could be left holding the bag.

 

Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

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I want the world to know

Anas Mohammed Jnena on April 17, 2017

Anas Mohammed Jnena, a writer from Gaza with the WeAreNotNumbers campaign wants the world to know Gaza is like any other place in the world and so are its people: “I want the world to know that Palestine has writers, artists, thinkers and, most importantly, lovers. I want to the world to know that we are humans just like you.”

‘Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination’

Tamam Abusalama on April 17, 2017

As more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails launch a hunger strike on the occasion of Palestinian Prisoners Day, Tamam Abusalama recalls the combined 15 years her father spent as a prisoner. “Being a former prisoner’s daughter has instilled in me an unstoppable determination to break all borders and limits. I struggle against everything that violates my freedom and that of my people.”

Beyond apartheid: Fragments from the West Bank

Yarden Katz on April 17, 2017

According to a recent New York Times op-ed, Israel today is “nothing like” South African apartheid. Yarden Katz, an Israeli, abandoned the warnings about visiting the West Bank and toured a housed in Bethlehem trapped by the wall, and a ghost town in Hebron, “If we only dare look, we see that there’s apartheid and much more.”

– See more at: http://mondoweiss.net/israel-palestine/#sthash.N4eacYAt.dpuf

Turks are So Screwed Now

Erdogan: The ambitious sultan – Adam Baum – Medium
15 April 2017 21:21 CEST By Hasan Hasan* On Sunday, 16 April a referendum will be held in Turkey to codify Erdogan’s dictatorial ambitions and his plenipotentiary powers as an absolute executive whose power and authority cannot be challenged or checked. Think of an Anatolian version of Adolf Hitler and you’ll begin to get the idea.
Medium
Turkey’s Referendum Farce
Apr 16 at 7:58am
Erdogan is a shill for the Globalists ….Watch:
https://medium.com/@Adam1Baum/erdogan-the-ambitious-sultan-6282fa32bd47
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