Tag Archives: War Crimes

’21 Years Is 21 Too Many’: 150+ Groups Urge Biden to Close Guantánamo

“We should not be marking another year in the life of this ignominious product of U.S. imperialism and racism as we have every January since the first anniversary of its opening in 2002,” said one of the letter’s signers. “Yet we will succeed in shutting it down.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-11-2023 by Common Dreams

Photo: CODEPINK/Twitter

Twenty-one years after the George W. Bush administration opened the U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba—and 13 years after then-President Barack Obama signed an executive order for its closure—more than 150 groups on Wednesday implored the Biden administration to “act without delay” to close the notorious lockup.

“Among a broad range of human rights violations perpetrated against predominantly Muslim communities over the last two decades, the Guantánamo detention facility—built on the same military base where the United States unconstitutionally detained Haitian refugees in deplorable conditions in the early 1990s—is the iconic example of the abandonment of the rule of law,” the groups said in a letter to President Joe Biden. “The Guantánamo detention facility was designed specifically to evade legal constraints, and Bush administration officials incubated torture there.” Continue reading

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Israeli Government Accused of ‘Assassinating Democracy’ With Proposed Judiciary Overhaul

“It is not necessary to send the Proud Boys to storm the Capitol to attempt a coup,” said one former Israeli ambassador. “Abusing a tiny legislative majority to crush the judiciary and the nature of Israel’s democracy is also a coup.”

By Brett Wilkins.  Published 1-5-2023 by Common Dreams

Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin, seen here in 2008, has proposed sweeping judiciary reforms widely condemned in his country and beyond. Photo: Reuven Kapuchinski,/Wikimedia Commons/CC

Israeli liberals and critics around the world sounded the alarm Thursday over a plan by Israel’s new far-right government to dramatically limit the power of the country’s judiciary, in part by allowing a simple parliamentary majority to overturn Supreme Court rulings.

On Wednesday, Israeli Justice Minister Yariv Levin—a member of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party—released a set of proposals he said were aimed at “strengthening democracy, rehabilitating governance, restoring faith in the judicial system, and rebalancing the three branches of government.” Continue reading

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UN Report Shows 11,000 Children Killed or Maimed in This US-Backed War

“Ultimately,” said the UNICEF chief, “only a sustained peace will allow families to rebuild their shattered lives and begin to plan for the future.”

By Julia Conley.  Published 12-12-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: UNDP Yemen

After launching an urgent appeal for humanitarian aid for children in war-torn Yemen, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund on Monday released a report showing that more than 11,000 young people have been killed or injured in the U.S.-backed conflict, where a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out attacks since 2015.

The true death toll of children is likely far higher, said the agency, commonly known as UNICEF, as millions face hunger and disease. Continue reading

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On the Fourth of July, it’s hard to love the current version of America

The US mix of patriotism and right-wing Christianity is toxic and hateful. We can – and must – do better

By Chrissy Stroop  Published 7-4-2022 by openDemocracy

Fourth of July parade in Monterey, California 2014. Photo: Presidio of Monterey/flickr.CC

The Fourth of July, America’s Independence Day, is here, and I must admit that I’m not good at performing patriotism. Indeed, I’m critical of many, probably most, expressions of it. It’s hard not to be these days.

After all, when Democratic members of the House of Representatives gather to sing ‘God Bless America’ on the steps of the Capitol, hours after the Supreme Court overturns Roe v Wade, all anyone who cares about women’s equality and the human right to bodily autonomy can do is blink in bewilderment at their utter tone-deafness. Continue reading

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US Military Clears Itself of Blame in Syria Strike That Killed ‘Piles’ of Women and Children

“It’s the standard government line: Mistakes were made but there was no wrongdoing. But if the same mistakes were being made over and over again for years, shouldn’t someone have done something about it?”

By Brett Wilkins  Published 5-18-2022 by Common Dreams

Airstrike on Baghuz – March 2019. Photo: Voice of America {public domain}

No U.S. personnel will be held accountable for a March 2019 airstrike that killed scores of Syrian civilians including women and children, the Pentagon said Tuesday in announcing that an internal investigation into the massacre found that no laws of war were broken and that there was no cover-up of the incident as alleged in a New York Times exposé.

An executive summary of a classified investigation led by U.S. Army Gen. Michael Garrett stated that “no rules of engagement (ROE) or law of war (LOW) violations occurred” in connection with the March 18, 2019 strike near the Syrian town of Baghuz that, according to an initial battle assessment, killed around 70 people. Continue reading

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Did the Kremlin launch an invasion to guarantee Putin’s succession?

Independent Russia has yet to come up with a way of transferring power other than war

By Dmytro Babachanakh  Published 5-4-2022 by openDemocracy

Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power since 2000 | Image: Kremlin.ru

Much has been written about Russia’s war against Ukraine and yet for many, one fundamental question remains unanswered: why did Vladimir Putin decide to launch a full-scale invasion in the first place?

When the Kremlin annexed Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula and occupied the Ukrainian Donbas region in 2014, the explanation for its actions seemed straightforward. In response to Ukraine’s revolution that removed a pro-Russian president, Russia had sought to gain complete control of Crimea and turn it into a military base, weakening Ukraine and stalling the country’s integration with NATO and the EU. Continue reading

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Coalition Demands End to US Military Support for Saudi-Led War on Yemen

“Congress must help prevent backsliding by Saudi Arabia,” said one activist, “by passing the Yemen War Powers Resolution and blocking U.S. military support for any renewed hostilities.”

By Jessica Corbett  Pubished 4-20-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Felton Davis/flickr/CC

More than five dozen advocacy groups on Wednesday pressured Congress to cut off U.S. military support for the Saudi-led war and blockade on Yemen, highlighting that it “has helped cause the deaths of nearly half a million people and pushed millions more to the edge of starvation.”

The groups’ letter to Congress—led by Churches for Middle East Peace, Demand Progress, Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL), MoveOn, Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, and Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation—comes in the midst of a two-month truce. Continue reading

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Russian Artist Depicts Bucha Victims in Photos Staged Around Moscow

The artist lay face-down with his hands tied behind his back at four locations in the Russian capital.

By Julia Conley  Published 4-5-2022 by Common Dreams

In protest of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war on Ukraine, a Russian artist on Tuesday recreated a widely-circulated image of a victim of what Ukrainian officials have called the “Bucha massacre” in the town of Bucha, outside Kyiv. The artist held the one-person demonstration at four locations in Moscow. (Photo: Holod/Twitter)

As Moscow residents went about their morning early this week, they may have come across an artist laying face-down in front of government buildings and landmarks, recreating widely-seen images of the alleged massacre of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine which have sparked international outrage in recent days.

Wearing a brown jacket with their hands tied behind their back with white fabric, the artist appeared on a staircase outside the Kremlin, two streets crowded with pedestrians, and a bridge outside the Cathedral of Christ the Savior, according to images posted Monday by independent Russian media outlet Holod. Continue reading

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Western hypocrisy: What Joe Biden gets wrong about Russia

Those in the Middle East know the kind of destruction seen in Ukraine all too well – the West was the perpetrator

By Paul Rogers  Published 4-2-2022 by openDemocracy

Photo: U.S. Secretary of Defense/flickr/CC

Vladimir Putin’s assault on Ukraine remains in a violent stalemate. Russian forces are pausing their attempts to occupy Kyiv, having withdrawn some of their forces from around the capital, but a major retreat is highly unlikely given Russia is recruiting several thousand mercenaries from Syria.

The Kremlin’s strategy now is to concentrate on overrunning the southern Ukraine port city of Mariupol, before joining up Russian forces in Crimea with those in Donbas to take control of as much of the region as possible. Continue reading

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As Consumers Pay, Oil CEOs Refuse to Testify to Congress About Soaring Prices

“While Americans struggle with high gas prices, these companies are doing victory laps, showering their already wealthy executives and shareholders with billions in stock buybacks and bonus compensation,” said one watchdog group. “They should be ashamed.”

By Julia Conley  Pubished 3-29-2022 by Common Dreams

Photo: Joel Kramer/flickr/CC

As people across the United States face record-high gas prices—compounded by rising grocery bills and prices for other essentials—executives at three major oil companies are refusing to testify before Congress about what their firms could do to lessen the burden on U.S. households, leaving Democratic lawmakers and consumer advocates to condemn the companies for profiting amid lower and middle-class people’s financial pain.

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, had invited the CEOs of EOG Resources Inc., Devon Energy Corp. and Occidental Petroleum Corp. to testify next week, only to be rebuffed Tuesday by the executives, who have personally profited off gas prices which averaged $4.24 per gallon on Monday. Continue reading

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