Posts tagged ‘UN’

Text of Roger Waters’ speech at the UN On December 13, 2012 ………….

http://www.russelltribunalonpalestine.com

Roger Waters address at The United Nations 29th November 2012 on behalf of the Russell Tribunal on Palestine (PDF file)

Table of contents:

  1. The text of the speech delivered to “The UN Committee on the exercise of the inalienable rights of the Palestinian People.” (UNISPAL) (page 1 to page 9)
  2. The original un-edited speech. (page 10 to page 17)

1.

Mr. Chairman, your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you very much for receiving me at this moment of solidarity and crisis. I am a musician, not a diplomat, and so I shall not waste this precious opportunity on niceties of protocol. However I will say that you must all be suffering from listening fatigue, to a certain extent, so while I’ve been sitting there listening as well, I’ve been editing my rather long speech down to a rather shorter speech, but I believe the full text will be available to anybody who cares to read it, at the end of this meeting.

I appear before you as a representative of the fourth Russell Tribunal on Palestine and in that capacity I am representing global civil society.

By way of preamble I should say my remarks here today are not personal or driven by prejudice or malice, I am looking only to shed some light on the predicament of a beleaguered people.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was created to shed such light, to seek accountability for the violations of international law and the lack of United Nations resolve that prevent the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights, especially the right of self-determination. One particular stimulus to our convening was the disturbing failure of the international community to implement and enforce the clear judgment of the International Court of Justice in 2004, contained in its advisory opinion on the Israeli Wall, as requested by the UN.

We met here in New York City, six weeks ago, on the 6th and 7th of October, having previously sent out invitations to all interested parties.  After listening to exhaustive testimony from many expert witnesses, and after careful deliberation, we arrived at the following judgements.

We found that the State of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes.

  1. Apartheid.

The UN’s International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, defines that crime as inhuman acts by any government that are “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”  As you all know, the prohibited acts include arbitrary arrest, legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines, and the persecution of those opposed to the system of apartheid.

As you are aware, this finding by the tribunal was endorsed earlier

In the year by the HRC Committee for the Elimination of Racial

Discrimination in Geneva after submissions by the Tribunal made

both orally and in writing.

  1. Ethnic cleansing.  In this case that crime includes the systematic eviction of much of the native Palestinian population by force since 1947-48.
  1. Collective punishment of a civilian population, explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Convention Article 33. Israel has violated its obligation as Occupying Power throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Its most serious violations have occurred recently in Gaza with the blockade and virtual imprisonment of the entire population, the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians during the Israeli offensive, “Operation Cast Lead” in 2008 and 9, and now the devastation wrought by the recent attack, ironically named, “Operation Pillar of Defense.”

As I speak, I can hear the tut, tutting of governmental and media tongues trotting out the well worn mantra of the apologists, but “Hamas started it with their rocket attacks, Israel is only defending itself,”

Let us examine that argument. Did Hamas start “It”? When did “It” start?

How we understand history is shaped by when we start the clock. If we start the clock at a moment when rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel on a certain afternoon that, is one history. If we start the clock earlier that morning, when a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he played soccer on a Gaza field, history starts to look a little different. If we go back further we see that since “Operation Cast Lead”, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, 271 Palestinians were killed by Israeli, bombs, rockets, drones and warplanes, and during the same period not a single Israeli was killed. A good case can be made that “It” started in 1967 with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. History tells us that the invasion and occupation of a land and the subjugation of its people almost always creates a resistance. Ask the French or the Dutch or the Poles or the Czechs, the list goes on. This crisis in Gaza is a crisis rooted in occupation.

Israel and its allies would contend that Gaza is no longer occupied. Really? The withdrawal of soldiers and settlers in 2005 changed the nature, not the existence, of occupation. Israel still controls Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters, borders, land, economy and lives. Gaza is still occupied. The people of Gaza, the 1.6 million Palestinians, half of them children under the age of 16, live in an open-air prison.  That is the reality that underlies the current crisis. And until we, not only understand that, but also until you, Excellencies, your governments, and your General Assembly take responsibility to end that occupation, we cannot even hope that the current crisis is over. In October, on the last occasion jurors from The Russell Tribunal addressed this committee, we were assured that our representations and reports would be advanced on the floor of the GA for general debate. If things go well today we may hope to hold you, Excellencies, to that assurance.

I have diverted briefly, let me return to the Israeli violations, which the Russell Tribunal identified.

4. Contravention of the Fourth Geneva convention’s prohibition on settlements – specifically Article 49. The settlements, ALL the settlements, are not simply an obstacle to peace, they are illegal. Period.  Full Stop.  All of them. You, in the General Assembly, and even the Security Council as well, have over the years identified them as illegal.  And yet they stand, a daily reality in which now more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem violate the law every morning simply by waking up – because their houses sit on illegally expropriated land. It is not enough to call, as some governments do, for an end to further settlement expansion; if we are to live under the law the entire settlement undertaking must be ended.

5. Use of illegal weapons. During Israel’s Cast Lead operation four years ago, international human rights organizations documented Tel Aviv’s use of white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza. Human Rights Watch found that, and I quote, “Israel’s repeated firing of white phosphorous shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.” White phosphorous burns at up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what happens when it comes into contact with the skin of a child. Human Rights Watch called for Israel’s “senior commanders” to be held accountable. But so far, there has been no such accountability. No governments, nor even you, the United Nations General Assembly, have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders accountable. We hear a great deal about the UN’s commitment to the “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations.  Surely the UN’s “responsibility to protect” must extend to this most vulnerable of populations, Palestinians, imprisoned in a crowded, besieged open-air prison?

There are more violations, your Excellencies, but you know that. Your resolutions trace the history of Israeli violations. You regret, you deplore, you even condemn the violations. But when have your resolutions been implemented?  It is not enough to deplore and condemn. What we need is for the United Nations – for you, excellencies, your governments and the General Assembly in which you serve – to take seriously your Responsibility to Protect Palestinians living under occupation and facing the daily violation of their inalienable rights of self-determination and equality.

The will of “we the people of these United Nations” is that all our brothers and sisters should be free to live in self determination, that the oppressed should be released from their burden, by being given recourse to the law, and that the oppressors should be called to account by that same law.

In 1981 I wrote a song, called ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ it appeared on a Pink Floyd album ‘The Final Cut’, the song purports to express the dying dream of an RAF gunner as he plunges to his death from a stricken aircraft towards the corner of some foreign field. He dreams of the future for which he is giving his life. I quote.

A place to stay

Enough to eat

Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street

Where you can speak out loud about your doubts and fears

And what’s more

No one ever disappears you never hear their standard issue

Kicking in your door.

You can relax on both sides of the tracks

And maniacs, don’t blow holes, in bandsmen by remote control

And everyone has recourse to the law

And no one kills the children anymore

No one kills the children anymore.

In 1982 and again in 1983, the General Assembly passed resolutions holding Israel accountable for its violations. Those resolutions called for a complete arms embargo on Israel and an end to military aid and trade with Israel. Those resolutions were never implemented.  We never expected the United States, or my government, I’m from The UK, by the way, to implement those GA resolutions – the U.S. is giving Israel $4.1 billion this year to bolster its already bloated military. The IMF says Israel is the 26th wealthiest country in the world, and Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East – why would any government be giving them money for more arms? Beats me. But the reality that they are does not excuse other governments from their obligations to implement those arms embargo resolutions.

No such embargo has been imposed. Instead, it has fallen to global civil society to take the lead. Following a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists, and increasingly church bodies and even some local government authorities around the world have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims, as many of you know, to bring non-violent economic pressure to bear on Israel to force an end to its violations, an end to occupation and apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Palestinian citizens of Israel being required to live as second class citizens, discriminated against on racial grounds, and subject to different laws than their Jewish compatriots. The BDS movement is gaining ground hand over fist. Just last week I was happy to write a letter of support to the Student Government of the University of California, Irvine, congratulating them on demanding that their University divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Also, last summer I was in Pittsburg to witness The Presbyterian Churches of the USA general assembly vote on a resolution to divest from Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, this would have been unthinkable ten years ago. To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a ‘Changing”

Back to today.

You, the members of the General Assembly are about to have the opportunity to vote on changing Palestine’s UN status to that of a non-member State.

Whilst not according full UN membership, it would provide UN recognition to Palestine as a state that would have the right to sign treaties – crucially including the Rome Treaty as a signatory to the International Criminal Court.

This is a momentous occasion, which was started here 13 months ago. It is one of those rare instances where you, Excellencies, can change the course and the face of history, and at the same time reinforce one of the founding principles of the UN – the right to self determination. The bid implicitly incorporates pre 1967 borders, includes the integrity of East Jerusalem, an autonomous Gaza and the refugee diaspora.

It is momentous because there are already over 132 members who have recognized Palestine as a state and more are appearing every day. And, now, just this week Hamas has lent its support.

I urge you to consider two points. Firstly, please resist pressure from any powerful government to coerce you into defeating or delaying this issue – sadly there is a history of coercion in this hallowed place. No Government, however rich or powerful should be allowed to use its financial or military muscle to set UN policy by bullying other states on this or any other issue.

Secondly, do not take the statehood vote as the end of fulfilling your obligations – General Assembly responsibility goes far beyond UN technicalities, it must include real protection for Palestinians under occupation and real accountability for violations of the law. You have powers you do not use. You do not have to defer to or wait for the Security Council.

In just a few months we will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect the house of a pharmacist and his family in Rafah, on Gaza’s border. International activists like Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller took the risks they did, and they, and their families paid the ultimate price, because the international community – your governments and the United Nations itself – had failed to protect the vulnerable Palestinian population living under this prolonged occupation. We are proud, though tears burn our eyes, of the work of these young activists and deeply moved by their sacrifice. But we are angry, too, that our governments and our international institutions, including the General Assembly, have failed to provide the protection that would make Rachel Corrie’s sacrifice unnecessary. Also let us not forget the thousands of courageous and anonymous Palestinians and their equally courageous Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (boycott from within) who protest peacefully on a weekly basis for the simple basic right to an ordinary human life. The right to live in dignity and peace, to raise their families, to till the land, to build a just society, to travel abroad, to be free of occupation, to aspire to each and every human goal, just like the rest of us.

Speaking of the rest of us, I live here in New York City. We are a somewhat parochial group, we New Yorkers, to a large extent cut off by propaganda and privilege from the realities of the Palestinians plight. Few of us understand that the government of the United States of America, particularly through its power of veto in the Security Council, protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil society that I have the honor to represent here today.

Even as bombs rained down on 1.6 million people in Gaza, the President of The United States of America reasserted his position that “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

We all know the reach and power of Israel’s military capability and the deadly effects of its actions. So what did President Obama mean?  Did he mean that Israel has the right to indefinitely occupy the whole of the region, that Israel has the right to forcibly evict the populations of the occupied territories, house-by-house, village-by-village?  Did he mean that in this special case Israel has the right to carry out campaigns of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and that the U.S. will protect Israel’s right to do so? Did he mean that Israel has the right to build roads, in occupied territory, protected by razor wire and concrete walls and CCTV and machine guns to protect the residents of Jewish-only settlements?  Did he mean that in discriminate and deadly bombing attacks, including the use of white phosphorous, on the civilian population of Gaza, by an overwhelmingly superior military force, is justified on the grounds of defense?

The Palestinians are an ancient, intelligent, cultured, hospitable, and generous people. And of course they have pride and will resist the occupation of their land and defend their women and children and their property to the best of their ability. Who would not? Would you? Would I? Would President Obama? One would hope so. It would be his duty. Imagine Washington DC, walled in, a prison, mainly rubble from repeated attacks. No one allowed in or out. Constant power cuts, foreign gunboats on the Potomac killing the fishermen, warplanes launching surgical air strikes from their impunity on high, taking out, not only the resistance but women and children too.

More than a generation ago, the General Assembly passed resolution 2625, dealing with the principle of equal rights and self-determination. It recognized that when a people face “any forcible action” depriving them of those rights, that they have the right to “actions against, and resistance to” such use of force. When the international community does not shoulder its “responsibility to protect,” Palestinians will shoulder that responsibility themselves.

This is not to suggest that I support the launching of missiles into Israel. The internationally recognized legal right of resistance means attacking any military target engaged in illegal occupation. But let us be clear, as we believe in The Law as indispensable and even handed. The launching of unguided rockets into Israel, where the most likely targets will be civilians, is not a legal form of resistance.

Many civil society activists – including many Palestinians and Israelis – are committed to non-violent resistance. The BDS movement, which has spread from Palestinian civil society to activists around the world, is part of that non-violent resistance and I support it whole heartedly, but let us be clear that the disparity of power, and the reality of the occupation, and the response of the occupied is the reality we face unless we find recourse in international law and hold all parties to it. In the meantime

Let me try to dial back the rhetoric a little and address the “Israel has a right to defend itself” claim from a legal and historical perspective.

Ex injuria non oritur jus.

“A legal right or entitlement cannot arise from injustice”

If we truly oppose all violence, whether by the occupier or violent resistance by the occupied, we must aim to end the root causes of violence.  In this conflict, that means ending Israel’s occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the denial of the right to self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to according to the UN charter and other tenets of international law.

So to the Future.

Hamas, having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the run up to the elections was democratically elected in January2006, in elections deemed free and fair by every international observer present, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The leaders of Hamas have made their position clear over and over again. It is this: Hamas is open to permanent peace with Israel if there is total withdrawal to the 1967 borders (22 per cent of historic Palestine), and the arrangement is supported by a referendum of all Palestinians living under occupation. I know you all know this, but where I live they don’t know this, they don’t know that that is the position of Hamas. So I’m telling them.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, friends. We are all here for the same reason. We are all committed to human rights, international law, the centrality of the United Nations and equality for all – including for Palestinians. We are all attending this meeting on 29th November that marks the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with The Palestinian People.

But it seems to me, our commemoration of this day is not enough.

So, what else to do? The battleground is here, at the headquarters of the United Nations, and simultaneously in the middle of New York City, with access to the media. The battle is two pronged:

  1. To continue the work of informing the people of the USA about the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and most especially, about the role of their government, the host country of the United Nations, using their tax dollars to fund and enable Israel’s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in military aid every year, the absolute protection of Israel in the United Nations, in the International Criminal Court and elsewhere to assure its impunity for war crimes and potential crimes against humanity – to impress upon them, “the people of the United States of America” that these dubious attachments remain the center piece of their governments’ policy in the Middle East.
  2. Just as importantly, we must address, finally, serious reform of the U.N. The UN needs to embrace a new democracy. The veto must be rethought, or the UN will die. The use of the veto as a strategic political tool by one or other of the permanent members of the Security Council has become outmoded. The power of veto residing in the hands of just five nations makes something of a mockery of the pretence of democracy, of the idea that “The will of the Peoples” is represented here. The system is too open to abuse. The blanket protection afforded to Israel by the United States’ use of the veto, is but one example of such abuse. For instance in 1973 it blocked a resolution Re-affirming the rights of Palestinians and demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories, in 1976 another resolution calling for The right of self determination for the Palestinians, and two resolutions in1997 calling for Cessation of settlement building in E. Jerusalem and other occupied territories. There are many more.
  3. l urge you, the General Assembly, to collectively work towards wresting the power back to the people in order to facilitate progress towards a more democratic body, better able to pursue the high aspirations of this great institution, to represent the will of the peoples of these great United Nations.

You, the General Assembly, represent the largest, most democratic component of the United Nations. The United States, and China and France and Russia and the UK have no veto here. What is needed is political will. You can make decisions, and take actions, that the Security Council cannot, or will not. The United Nations Charter begins with the words “We, the peoples, of these United Nations.”  Not “We the governments.”  I urge you, on behalf of the people of your countries, on behalf of the people of all countries, in fact on behalf of all the peoples, of this, our shared earth, to act.

Seize this historic moment.

Support the vote today for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood status as a step towards full membership.

And declare Israel’s continued membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its illegal apartheid regime.

Thank you,

Roger Waters

29th November 2012

2.

The Full Un-Edited Text.

Mr. Secretary-General, Mr. Chairman, your Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen.

Thank you for receiving me at this moment of solidarity and crisis. I am a musician, not a diplomat, and so I shall not waste this precious opportunity on niceties of protocol.

I appear before you as a representative of the fourth Russell Tribunal on Palestine and in that capacity I am representing global civil society.

By way of preamble I should say my remarks here today are not personal or driven by prejudice or malice, I am looking only to shed some light on the predicament of a beleaguered people.

The Russell Tribunal on Palestine was created to shed such light, to seek accountability for the violations of international law and the lack of United Nations resolve that prevent the Palestinian people from achieving their inalienable rights, especially the right of self-determination. One particular stimulus to our convening was the disturbing failure of the international community to implement and enforce the clear judgment of the International Court of Justice in 2004, contained in its advisory opinion on the Israeli Wall, as requested by the UN.

We met here in New York City, six weeks ago, on the 6th and 7th of October, having previously sent out invitations to all interested parties.  After listening to exhaustive testimony from many expert witnesses, and after careful deliberation, we arrived at the following judgments.

We found that the State of Israel is guilty of a number of international crimes.

1.Apartheid.

The UN’s International Covenant on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, defines that crime as inhuman acts by any government that are “committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.”  As you all know, the prohibited acts include arbitrary arrest, legislative measures that discriminate in the political, social, economic and cultural fields; measures that divide the population along racial lines, and the persecution of those opposed to the system of apartheid.

As you are aware this finding by the tribunal was endorsed earlier

In the year by the HRC Committee for the Elimination of Racial

Discrimination in Geneva after submissions by the Tribunal made

both orally and in writing.

2.Ethnic cleansing.  In this case that crime includes the systematic eviction of much of the native Palestinian population by force since 1947-48.

3.Collective punishment of a civilian population, explicitly prohibited by the Geneva Convention Article 33. Israel has violated its obligation as Occupying Power throughout the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem. Its most serious violations have occurred recently in Gaza with the blockade and virtual imprisonment of the entire population, the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians during the Israeli offensive, Operation Cast Lead in 2008 and 2009, and now the devastation wrought by the recent attack, ironically named, “Operation Pillar of Defense.”

As I speak, I can hear the tut, tutting of governmental and media tongues trotting out the well worn mantra of the apologists.

“Hamas started it with their rocket attacks, Israel is only defending itself,”

Let us examine that argument. Did Hamas start “It”? When did “It” start?

How we understand history is shaped by when we start the clock. If we start the clock at a moment when rockets are fired from Gaza into Israel on a certain afternoon that is one history. If we start the clock earlier that morning, when a 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot dead by Israeli soldiers as he played soccer on a Gaza field, history starts to look a little different. If we go back further we see that since ‘Operation Cast Lead’, according to the Israeli human rights organization B’tselem, 271 Palestinians were killed by Israeli bombs, rockets, drones and warplanes, and during the same period not a single Israeli was killed. A good case can be made that ’It’ started in 1967 with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. History tells us that the invasion and occupation of a land and the subjugation of its people almost always creates a resistance. Ask the French or the Dutch or the Poles or the Czechs, the list goes on. This crisis in Gaza is a crisis rooted in occupation.

Israel and its allies would contend that Gaza is no longer occupied. Really? The withdrawal of soldiers and settlers in 2005 changed the nature, not the existence, of occupation. Israel still controls Gaza’s airspace, coastal waters, borders, land, economy and lives. Gaza is still occupied. The people of Gaza, the 1.6 million Palestinians, half of them children under the age of 16, live in an open-air prison.  That is the reality that underlies the current crisis. And until we, not only understand that, and until you, Excellencies, your governments, and your General Assembly take responsibility to end that occupation, we cannot even hope that the current crisis is over. In October, on the last occasion jurors from The Russell Tribunal addressed this committee, we were assured that our representations and reports would be advanced on the floor of the GA for general debate. If things go well today we may hope to hold you, Excellences, to that assurance.

I have diverted briefly, let me return to the Israeli violations, which the Russell Tribunal identified.

4. Contravention of the Fourth Geneva convention’s prohibition on settlements – specifically Article 49. The settlements, ALL the settlements, are not simply an obstacle to peace, they are illegal. Period.  Full Stop.  All of them. You, in the General Assembly, and even the Security Council as well, have over the years identified them as illegal.  And yet they stand, a daily reality in which now more than 600,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and Occupied East Jerusalem violate the law every morning simply by waking up – because their houses sit on illegally expropriated land. It is not enough to call, as some governments do, for an end to further settlement expansion; if we are to live under the law the entire settlement undertaking must be ended.

5. Use of illegal weapons. During Israel’s Cast Lead operation four years ago, international human rights organizations documented Tel Aviv’s use of white phosphorous in attacks on Gaza. Human Rights Watch found that, and I quote, “Israel’s repeated firing of white phosphorous shells over densely populated areas of Gaza during its recent military campaign was indiscriminate and is evidence of war crimes.” White phosphorous burns at up to 1500 degrees Fahrenheit. Imagine what happens when it comes into contact with the skin of a child. Human Rights Watch called for Israel’s “senior commanders” to be held accountable. But so far, there has been no such accountability. No governments, nor even you, the United Nations General Assembly, have attempted to hold these Israeli commanders accountable. We hear a great deal about the UN’s commitment to the “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations.  Surely the UN’s “responsibility to protect” must extend to this most vulnerable of populations, Palestinians, imprisoned in a crowded, besieged open-air prison?

There are more violations, your Excellencies, but you know that. Your resolutions trace the history of Israeli violations. You regret, you deplore, you even condemn the violations. But when have your resolutions been implemented?  It is not enough to deplore and condemn. What we need is for the United Nations – for you, excellencies, your governments and the General Assembly in which you serve – to take seriously your Responsibility to Protect Palestinians living under occupation and facing the daily violation of their inalienable rights of self-determination and equality.

The will of “we the people of these United Nations” is that all our brothers and sisters should be free to live in self determination, that the oppressed should be released from their burden, by being given recourse to the law, and that the oppressors should be called to account by that same law.

In 1981 I wrote a song, called ‘The Gunner’s Dream’ it appeared on a Pink Floyd album ‘The Final Cut’, the song purports to express the dying dream of a RAF gunner as he plunges to his death from a stricken aircraft towards the corner of some foreign field. He dreams of the future for which he is giving his life. I quote.

A place to stay

Enough to eat

Somewhere old heroes shuffle safely down the street

Where you can speak out loud about your doubts and fears

And what’s more

No one ever disappears you never hear their standard issue

Kicking in your door.

You can relax on both sides of the tracks

And maniacs, don’t blow holes, in bandsmen by remote control

And everyone has recourse to the law

And no one kills the children anymore

No one kills the children anymore.

In 1982 and again in 1983, the General Assembly passed resolutions holding Israel accountable for its violations. Those resolutions called for a complete arms embargo and an end to military aid and trade with Israel. Those resolutions were never implemented.  We never expected the United States, or my government, I’m from The UK, by the way, to implement those GA resolutions – the U.S. is giving Israel $4.1 billion this year to bolster its already bloated military. The IMF says Israel is the 26th wealthiest country in the world, and Israel is the only nuclear weapons state in the Middle East – why would any government be giving them money for more arms? Beats me. But the reality that they are does not excuse other governments from their obligations to implement those arms embargo resolutions.

No such embargo has been imposed. Instead, it has fallen to global civil society to take the lead. Following a 2005 call from Palestinian civil society, social movements, activists, and increasingly church bodies and even some local government authorities around the world have created the campaign for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions. It aims, as many of you know, to bring non-violent economic pressure to bear on Israel to force an end to its violations, an end to occupation and apartheid, an end to the denial of Palestinians’ right of return, and an end to Palestinian citizens of Israel being required to live as second class citizens, discriminated against on racial grounds, and subject to different laws than their Jewish compatriots. The BDS movement is gaining ground hand over fist. Just last week I was happy to write a letter of support to the Student Government of the University of California, Irvine, congratulating them on demanding that their University divest from companies that profit from the Israeli occupation.

Also last summer I was in Pittsburg to witness The Presbyterian Churches of the USA general assembly vote on a resolution to divest from Motorola, Caterpillar and Hewlett Packard, this would have been unthinkable ten years ago. To quote the great Bob Dylan, “The Times They Are a’Changing”

Back to today.

You, the members of the General Assembly are about to have the opportunity to vote on changing Palestine’s UN status to that of a non-member State.

Whilst not according full UN membership, it would provide UN recognition to Palestine as a state that would have the right to sign treaties – crucially including the Rome Treaty as a signatory to the International Criminal Court.

This is a momentous occasion, which was started here 13 months ago. It is one of those rare instances where you, excellencies, can change the course and the face of history, and at the same time reinforce one of the founding principles of the UN – the right to self determination. The bid implicitly incorporates pre 1967 borders, includes the integrity of East Jerusalem, an autonomous Gaza and the refugee diaspora.

It is momentous because there are already over 132 members who have recognized Palestine as a state and more are appearing every day. And, now, just this week Hamas has lent its support.

I urge you to consider two points. Firstly, please resist pressure from any powerful government to coerce you into defeating or delaying this issue – sadly there is a history of coercion in this hallowed place. No Government, however rich or powerful should be allowed to use its financial or military muscle to set UN policy by bullying other states on this or any other issue.

Secondly, do not take the statehood vote as the end of fulfilling your obligations – General Assembly responsibility goes far beyond UN technicalities, it must include real protection of Palestinians under occupation and real accountability for violations of the law. You have powers you do not use. You do not have to defer to or wait for the Security Council.

In just a few months we will commemorate the tenth anniversary of the killing of Rachel Corrie, the young peace activist killed by an Israeli soldier driving an armored Caterpillar bulldozer as she tried to protect the house of a pharmacist and his family in Rafah, on Gaza’s border. International activists like Rachel Corrie, Tom Hurndall and James Miller took the risks they did, and they, and their families paid the ultimate price, because the international community – your governments and the United Nations itself – had failed to protect the vulnerable Palestinian population living under this prolonged occupation. We are proud, though tears burn our eyes, of the work of these young activists and deeply moved by their sacrifice. But we are angry, too, that our governments and our international institutions, including the General Assembly, have failed to provide the protection that would make Rachel Corrie’s sacrifice unnecessary. Also let us not forget the thousands of courageous and anonymous Palestinians and their equally courageous Israeli brothers and sisters in arms (boycott from within) who protest peacefully on a weekly basis for the simple basic right to an ordinary human life. The right to live in dignity and peace, to raise their families, to till the land, to build a just society, to travel abroad, to be free of occupation, to aspire to each and every human goal, just like the rest of us.

Speaking of the rest of us, I live here in New York City. We are a somewhat parochial group, we New Yorkers, to a large extent cut off by propaganda and privilege from the realities of the Palestinians plight. Few of us understand that the government of the United States of America, particularly through its power of veto in the Security Council, protects Israel from the condemnation of the global civil society that I have the honor to represent here today.

Even as bombs rained down on 1.6 million people in Gaza, the President of The United States of America reasserted his position that “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

We all know the reach and power of Israel’s military capability and the deadly effects of its actions. So what did President Obama mean?  Did he mean that Israel has the right to indefinitely occupy the whole of the region, that Israel has the right to forcibly evict the populations of the occupied territories, house by house, village by village?  Did he mean that in this special case Israel has the right to carry out campaigns of ethnic cleansing and apartheid, and that the U.S. will protect Israel’s right to do so? Did he mean that Israel has the right to build roads, in occupied territory, protected by razor wire and concrete walls and CCTV and machine guns to protect the residents of Jewish-only settlements?  Did he mean that in discriminate and deadly bombing attacks, including the use of white phosphorous, on the civilian population of Gaza, by an overwhelmingly superior military force, is justified on the grounds of defense?

The Palestinians are an ancient, intelligent, cultured, hospitable, and generous people. And of course they have pride and will resist the occupation of their land and defend their women and children and their property to the best of their ability. Who would not? Would you? Would I? Would President Obama? One would hope so. It would be his duty. Imagine Washington DC, walled in, a prison, mainly rubble from repeated attacks. No one allowed in or out. Constant power cuts, foreign gunboats on the Potomac killing the fishermen, warplanes launching surgical air strikes from their impunity on high, taking out, not only the resistance but women and children too.

More than a generation ago, the General Assembly passed resolution 2625, dealing with the principle of equal rights and self-determination. It recognized that when a people face “any forcible action” depriving them of those rights, that they have the right to “actions against, and resistance to” such use of force. When the international community does not shoulder its “responsibility to protect,” Palestinians will shoulder that responsibility themselves.

This is not to suggest that I support the launching of missiles into Israel. The internationally recognized legal right of resistance means attacking any military target engaged in illegal occupation. But let us be clear, as we believe in The Law as indispensable and even handed. The launching of unguided rockets into Israel, where the most likely targets will be civilians, is not a legal form of resistance.

Many civil society activists – including many Palestinians and Israelis – are committed to non-violent resistance. The BDS movement, which has spread from Palestinian civil society to activists around the world, is part of that non-violent resistance and I support it whole heartedly, but let us be clear that the disparity of power, and the reality of the occupation, and the response of the occupied is the reality we face unless we find recourse in international law and hold all parties to it. In the meantime

Let me try to dial back the rhetoric a little and address the “Israel has a right to defend itself” claim from a legal and historical perspective.

Ex injuria non oritur jus.

“A legal right or entitlement cannot arise from injustice”

If we truly oppose all violence, whether by the occupier or violent resistance by the occupied, we must aim to end the root causes of violence.  In this conflict, that means ending Israel’s occupation, colonization, ethnic cleansing, and the denial of the right to self determination and other inalienable rights that the Palestinian people is entitled to according to the UN charter and other tenets of international law.

So to the Future.

Hamas, having dropped its original demand for Israel to be dismantled in the run up to the elections was democratically elected in January2006, in elections deemed free and fair by every international observer present, including former U.S. President Jimmy Carter. The leaders of Hamas have made their position clear over and over again. It is this: Hamas is open to permanent peace with Israel if there is total withdrawal to the 1967 borders (22 per cent of historic Palestine), and the arrangement is supported by a referendum of all Palestinians living under occupation.

Mr. Chairman, Excellencies, friends. We are all here for the same reason. We are all committed to human rights, international law, the centrality of the United Nations and equality for all – including for Palestinians. We are all attending this meeting on 29th November that marks the UN’s International Day of Solidarity with The Palestinian People.

But it seems to me, our commemoration of this day is not enough.

So, what else to do? The battleground is here, at the headquarters of the United Nations, and simultaneously in the middle of New York City, with access to the media. The battle is two pronged:

To continue the work of informing the people of the USA about the reality of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and most especially, about the role of their government, the host country of the United Nations, using their tax dollars to fund and enable Israel’s violations. To remind them of the billions of dollars in military aid every year, the absolute protection of Israel in the United Nations, in the International Criminal Court and elsewhere to assure its impunity for war crimes and potential crimes against humanity – to impress upon them, “the people of the United States of America” that these dubious attachments remain the center piece of their governments’ policy in the Middle East.

Just as importantly, we must address, finally, serious reform of the U.N. The UN needs to embrace a new democracy. The veto must be rethought, or the UN will die. The use of the veto as a strategic political tool by one or other of the permanent members of the Security Council has become outmoded. The power of veto residing in the hands of just five nations makes something of a mockery of the pretense of democracy, of the idea that “The will of the Peoples” is represented here. The system is too open to abuses. The blanket protection afforded to Israel by the United States’ use of the veto is but one example of such abuse. For instance in 1973 it blocked a resolution Re-affirming the rights of Palestinians and demanding withdrawal from the occupied territories, in 1976 another resolution calling for The right of self determination for the Palestinians, and two resolutions in1997 calling for Cessation of settlement building in E. Jerusalem and other occupied territories. There are many more.

l urge you, the General Assembly, to collectively work towards wresting the power back to the people in order to facilitate progress towards a more democratic body, better able to pursue the high aspirations of this great institution, to represent the will of the peoples of these great United Nations.

You, the General Assembly, represent the largest, most democratic component of the United Nations. The United States, and China and France and Russia and the UK have no veto here. What is needed is political will. You can make decisions, and take actions, that the Security Council cannot, or will not. The United Nations Charter begins with the words “We, the peoples, of these United Nations.”  Not “We the governments.”  I urge you, on behalf of the people of your countries, on behalf of the people of all countries, in fact on behalf of all the peoples, of this, our shared earth, to act.

Seize this historic moment.

Support the vote today for Palestinian enhanced observer statehood status as a step towards full membership.

And declare Israel’s continued membership of the UN to be dependent on reform of its illegal apartheid regime.

Thank you.

Roger Waters. 29th November 2012.

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Supporting the slaughter: US blocks Russia’s draft statement in UN on peaceful resolution of Bani Walid violence, Libya ………..

RT
Tue, 23 Oct 2012 16:00 CDT
UN Security Council

© AFP Photo / Emmanuel Dunand
The UN Security Council

The United States has blocked a draft statement, proposed by Russia, on the resolution of violence in the Libyan town of Bani Walid, which has been under siege for weeks. The statement called for a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Russia’s envoy to the UN, Vitaly Churkin said the move “can’t be serious,” reminding the American delegation of the deadly attack in Benghazi that claimed the lives of four US diplomats in September.

“Blocking a draft statement that called to solve the country’s political problems without violence is very strange,” Churkin said. “This is a case when it is difficult to explain the US delegation’s actions in rational terms.”

The statement drafted by Russia on Bani Walid called on the Libyan authorities “to take urgent steps to resolve the conflict by peaceful means and to preserve the rights of all Libyan citizens.” It also expressed concern about the significant escalation of violence in and around the city of Bani Walid in recent days.

Reports from the small town indicate innocent civilians are becoming the victims of fighting between pro-government forces and Gaddafi loyalists.

The latest round of fighting was provoked by the death of Omran Shaaban, the rebel from Misrata credited with capturing Muammar Gaddafi, who was hiding in a drain pipe in Sirte on October 20, 2011. He died on September 25 after two months’ detention in Bani Walid.

Pro-government forces and militias besieged the town in order to find those responsible for the death of “the hero of a new Libya,” as Shaaban was dubbed.

Bani Walid commanders accuse pro-government troops and militias of “shelling the town with long-range weapons and even targeting the hospital.”

Bani Walid victim

© RT
This photo was sent to RT by a man whose family remains in the besieged Bani Walid. The image could not be independently verified.
Bani Walid victim

© RT
A video screen shot taken from YouTube, sent to RT by a man whose family is currently in besieged Bani Walid. The image is said to show a 13 year old boy who was killed in recent fighting. The footage could not be independently verified.

A local resident currently residing in Italy, but whose family remains in the town, told RT the current shelling of the town is Misrata militias’ attempt to “eliminate” it. He claims that initially the government called for an end to the violence, but later came up with a call to “clean Bani Walid.”

The UN Security Council has also discussed a possible meeting with envoy to Libya Tarek Mitri, Churkin said. But it remains unclear when he will be able to speak, even via video link.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Security Council also postponed the adoption of another two draft statements proposed by Russia. The first condemned a terrorist attack in Damascus on October 21 which caused numerous civilian deaths and injuries. The second called on both the government and the rebels to agree to a ceasefire during the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha, to allow the people to observe it in peace and security. Eid Al Adha starts on October 25 and lasts for three days.

Russia’s call for a ceasefire coincides with similar efforts by international peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi to persuade Syrians to agree to a ceasefire during the holiday.

Brahimi left Syria on Tuesday, after finishing a four-day visit aimed at getting support for his proposal for an end to violence there.

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The End of American Independence ……………….

http://original.antiwar.com

Interventionism and the abolition of sovereignty

by , July 02, 2012

We celebrate the fourth of July with fireworks, memorializing the American colonists’ struggle against the British empire by reenacting, in symbolic fashion, what was a war for independence – that is, an assertion of American sovereignty. As we’ve built an empire of our own, however, the celebration has naturally degenerated into an orgy of nationalist vaunting, with the original conception obscured and mostly lost. Indeed, the US government disdains the very concept of national independence, routinely violating the sovereignty of others – and even denying its own.

When the colonists declared their independence, they recorded their reasons in a document – a Declaration that demonstrated this wasn’t just a territorial matter. They asserted their right to make a revolution because sovereignty resided in the people – not the king and his councilors. They didn’t want to create a centralized European-style state that would mimic the imperial grandeur of Britain. They wanted a republic – and they wanted to be left alone.

Flash forward 236 years, and – poof! – the republic is a bloated empire, one that asserts its “right” to attack any nation on earth for any reason. Having divested itself of its modest republican cloth coat, and taken to wearing the imperial purple, Washington has also discarded the old-fashioned concept of popular sovereignty as conceived by the Founders. When the President can take the country to war with a single command, without consulting anyone, sovereignty is no longer in the hands of the people, but of one person – our de facto king.

If this hegemonic power has no respect for the sovereignty of other nations, neither does it honor its own. Instead of petitioning Congress to unleash the dogs of war, American presidents routinely go before the UN Security Council to seek international sanction first – while stoutly maintaining congressional approval is unnecessary. When George Herbert Walker Bush went to war against Iraq he did it in the name of a “New World Order” – a concept that takes old-fashioned imperialism to a new level. For it would not be an American empire so much as it would be a trans-national entity, one that hovers over the world, but owes no special allegiance to any particular spot.

The idea was taken up by Bush I’s successors. “In the next century, nations as we know it will be obsolete,” declared Strobe Talbot, Bill Clinton’s Deputy Secretary of State and one of that administration’s Deep Thinkers. “All states will recognize a single, global authority. National sovereignty wasn’t such a great idea after all.” The American revolutionaries, according to Talbot’s logic, should have saved themselves the bother of Valley Forge.

As Ron Paul has pointed out, the very idea of national sovereignty has been under attack, with all sorts of “multilateral” institutions – not only the UN but also the World Trade Organization, the World Bank, the proposed North American Union – that are chipping away at the traditional concept of America’s independence.

These institutions are inhabited and controlled by a wealthy, arrogant, continent-hopping elite that owes no allegiance to any national entity, but only to its own interests as an emerging ruling class. Centered not just in Washington, but in all the capitals of Europe and the developing world, this unmoored elite of government officials, international bureaucrats, transnational corporate honchos, and professional do-gooders is hungry for its turn at power, and ruthless about attaining it. There is no international “crisis” where they haven’t meddled, making it worse – and providing an opening for direct military intervention by the Western powers.

Syria is a perfect example of how this crowd operates. Fund the “opposition,” funnel arms to the rebels, manufacture atrocity stories and feed them to complicit “mainstream” media outlets – then let the UN and NATO do the rest. In thinking about how the concept of national sovereignty has fared recently, I was struck by this account of the UN’s latest pronouncement on the Syrian crisis:

The UK and French foreign ministers have said a UN communique drawn up in Geneva on Saturday night to address the escalating conflict in Syria will mean President Bashar al-Assad is ‘finished’ and will have to step down.

The communique, which agreed terms for a transitional authority to oversee the end of violence in the country, was hammered out with the inclusion of Russia and China and called for ‘clear and irreversible steps’ after a fixed time frame.

It stated that present members of the government could be included in the new body and initially leaving unclear the key question of whether Assad could be part of that transitional government.

However, speaking on Sunday morning, the foreign secretary, William Hague, confirmed Assad would be excluded from any unity government under the terms of the agreement.”

Not an eyebrow is lifted by the imperious tone – and the assumption that the UN has the right to depose and enthrone at will. What if the Security Council decided a duly-elected US president was to be excluded from holding office? Americans think they are exceptions to this New World Order-ish rule, but they may wake up one day to find out they aren’t.

We surrendered our independence the moment we set out on the road to empire. We are tied by a thousand strings – by treaty and by implicit understandings – to countries all over the world, our freedom of action inhibited by considerations the Founders could never have imagined. We are a prisoner of our own allies, who have constructed a thousand tripwires that can set us careening off into yet another war at a moment’s notice. We are, finally, a captive to our own self-conception as “the indispensable nation,” so puffed up with our own sense of ultimate power that we cannot conceive a crisis in which we do not have a hand.

Please do go out and celebrate the fourth of July – get out the grill, invite some friends over, and enjoy the show. When you see those fireworks light up the sky, think of the second war for independence you – or more likely your children – will have to fight if you want to keep what little freedom you have left.

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Let’s Get Out of the Middle East – and the UN …..

September 27, 2011

Listen to Rep. Ron Paul deliver this address.

The Palestinian Authority’s recent announcement that it would seek U.N. recognition as an independent state dominated the news and the political debate in the United States last week, though in truth it should mean very little to us. Only a political class harboring the illusion it can run the world obsesses over the aspirations of a tiny population on a tiny piece of land thousands of miles away. Remember, the U.N. initiated this persistent conflict with its 1947 Partition Plan.

Unfortunately, the debate is dominated by those who either support the Israeli side in the conflict, or those who support the Palestinian desire for statehood. We rarely seem to hear the view of those who support the U.S. side and U.S. interests. I am on that side. I believe that we can no longer police the world. We can no longer bribe the Israelis and Palestinians to continue an endless “peace process” that goes nowhere. It is not in our interest to hector the Palestinians or the Israelis, or to “export” democracy to the region but reject it when people vote the “wrong” way.

I have reservations about the Palestinian drive for U.N. recognition. Personally, I wish the United States would de-recognize the United Nations. As most readers already know, in every Congress I introduce legislation to end our membership in that organization. The U.N. is a threat to our sovereignty — and as we are the main source of its income, it is a threat to our economic well-being. Increasingly over the past several years, we see the United Nations providing political and legal cover for the military aspirations of interventionists rather than serving as an international forum to preserve peace. Neoconservatives in the U.S. have grown to love the United Nations as they co-opt the organization under the guise of endless “reform.” Under the sovereignty-destroying doctrine of “Responsibility to Protect,” adopted at the 2005 World Summit, the U.N. takes it upon itself to intervene in internal conflicts of its member states whenever it believes that human rights are being violated. Thus under “Responsibility to Protect,” the U.N. provides the green light for a kind of global no-knock raid on any sovereign country.

If asked, I would personally counsel the Palestinians to avoid the United Nations. U.N. membership and participation is no guarantee that sovereignty will be respected. We see what happens to U.N. members such as Iraq and Libya when those countries’ leaders fall out of favor with U.S. administrations: under U.S. and allied pressure, a fig-leaf resolution is adopted in the U.N. to facilitate devastating military intervention. When the U.N. gave NATO the green light to bomb Libya, there was no genocide taking place. It was a purely preventive war. The result? Thousands dead, a destroyed country, and extremely dubious new leaders.

While I do not see U.N. membership as a particularly productive move for the Palestinian leadership, I do not believe the U.S. should use its position in the U.N. Security Council to block their membership. I believe in self-determination of peoples, and I recognize that peoples may wish to pursue statehood by different means. As we saw after the Cold War, numerous new states were born out of the ruins of the USSR as the various old Soviet Republics decided that smaller states were preferable to an enormous and oppressive multinational conglomerate.

The real, pro-U.S. solution to the problems in the Middle East is for us to end all foreign aid, stop arming foreign countries, encourage peaceful diplomatic resolutions to conflicts, and disengage militarily. In others words, follow Jefferson’s admonition: “Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations, entangling alliances with none.”

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‘Russia to oppose UN anti-Syria bid’

http://www.presstv.ir

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev
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Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has declared that Moscow will not back a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning the use of violence in Syria.

In an interview the Financial Times, Medvedev slammed the way the UN Resolution 1973 on Libya had been interpreted by Western powers, and said he would not like “a Syrian resolution to be pulled off in a similar manner,” Reuters reported.

“What I am not ready to support is a resolution [similar to the one] on Libya because it is my deep conviction that a good resolution has been turned into a piece of paper that is being used to provide cover for a meaningless military operation,” the Russian president pointed out.

“Right now, I am not sure that any resolution is needed because a resolution may say one thing but actions would be quite different. The resolution may say: ‘We condemn the use of force in Syria’ and after that, planes will take off into the air,” he further explained.

Since the beginning of the unrests in Syria in mid-March, scores of people, including security forces, have been killed.

The shadowy opposition accuses the security forces of being behind the killings. But the Syrian government blames armed gangs for the violence, saying that the unrest is being orchestrated from outside the Middle Eastern country.

In April, the Washington Post published secret diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks, which indicated that the US has conducted a long campaign to overthrow the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The Syrian president has vowed to bring the people responsible for the killings to justice.

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No democracy whatsoever for Yemen and Bahrain

Posted by EU Times on May 30th, 2011

Why would NATO not bomb Bahrain and Yemen? It would seem than their leaders, from a Western point of view, are no better than Gaddafi or al-Assad. According to the Western elites, they allegedly are rigidly oppressing their people.

What about the behavior of the Bahraini King and the Yemeni president? The former, unable to cope with people’s anger, brought in the Saudi troops for the suppression of the unrests. After the mass beatings and shootings of the protesters, the authorities have banned doctors from providing assistance to the opposition. King al-Khalifa was unaffected by the fact that there were no weapons in the hands of the protesters.

In turn, the Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to destroy those who oppose his regime. The mass protests demanding his resignation have been going on since the beginning of February. The opposition accuses him of the appalling corruption.

The authorities responded to this by a brutal repression. Peaceful demonstrations were shot by police. Even at the lowest estimates of the Western media, the assistants of Saleh killed over 150 people during their dispersal. However, judging by the data of several local human rights activists, hundreds were dead among Saleh’s opponents.

According to the information from Sanaa, during the last week the Yemeni president has surpassed all his previous achievements. In the recent days the situation has deteriorated markedly for Saleh. He spoke out against a number of important clans, including the country’s largest tribe Hashid, whose fighters are now fighting against the National Guard loyal to the president.

Head of State made a great mistake refusing to conduct a dialogue with the leaders of the Hashid, his native tribe. According to Yemeni sources, the rally was preceded by an attempt to arrest the clan leader Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar. The reason for this was his statement about his transition to the opposition.

In fact, we are now talking about a popular uprising. The president fears that it could turn into a full-scale civil war. This is not surprising as from time to time the country gets immersed in a real chaos. This time, the chaos is created by the President’s actions.

The cause for the armed actions that commenced on May 23 was the third failure of Saleh to immediately resign. Now he explains it by an alleged threat posed by the insurgents and militias of al-Qaeda to transform Yemen in the failed state as it happened with Somalia.

If this is the case, he said, then he would not make any concessions to his opponents and would fight those who threaten the security and stability in the country. Apparently, this is why one of his last speeches was made in the spirit of “I will leave when the violence stops.”

Saleh, who has been raining the country for 33 years, refused to sign an agreement on his resignation with the opposition on three occasions, each time putting forward new conditions. It is worth mentioning that the members of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf (GCC) that works closely with representatives of Western countries also tried to persuad him.

On May 25, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was begging Saleh to sign the “road map” as quickly as possible to save the situation. Now the attempt of a peaceful transfer of power has failed miserably.

The Yemenis, tired of his 33-year rule and repression, have taken up arms. Each new act brings closer a catastrophe for Saleh. The prosecutor’s office of Yemen issued another warrant for the arrest of ten leaders of the Hashid. Thus, Saleh finally signed his own death sentence. It was his fighters who tipped the scales in favor of the opposition. In particular, they seized the building of the news agency SABA, the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, as well as the national airline Yemenia.

The situation for Saleh has markedly deteriorated as a result of the armed action of the Arhab tribe, led by the famous Sheikh Abdul Majid al-Zindani, who is considered a prominent fundamentalist, allegedly supporting terrorism, by the U.S. and Israel. The soldiers of the Arhab have blocked the international airport of the country.

The seriousness of the situation is confirmed by the fact that the Americans have begun emergency evacuation of American citizens from Yemen, including part of the state embassy in Sanaa.

Why did the West that so zealously protects the armed Islamists who opposed al-Gaddafi and Assad have not noticed the mass killings by Saleh, as well as highly reactive, in terms of democracy, monarchy in Bahrain? It would seem that there is not much difference between the Arabs of Libya and Syria and the Arabs of Bahrain and Yemen. After all, in terms of the Western values ​​of protection of different kinds of democratic freedoms, Saleh and Al-Khalifa are begging for democratization much more actively than Qaddafi and Assad.

However, the answer is simple enough. Bahrain is economically connected mainly to the United States and Saudi Arabia. Due to the fact that much of the Bahraini oil goes to the Americans, it would be foolish to expect them to refuse to support the local king who is successfully plundering the national wealth with their help.

The Bahraini Al Khalifa dutifully agrees to the conditions lucrative for the West and Saudi Arabia. This is his main difference from the obstinate Gaddafi. He did not want to give up his oil and gas fields for a pittance to multinational corporations.

Saleh is also considered one of their own. He was skillfully fooling the West, claiming that he is the only one capable of preventing the triumph of al-Qaeda in his country. In return he received astronomical sums of money to fight the terrorists amounting to half billion dollars a year.

However, the Western approval did not save Yemen from destabilization. Moreover, the fire that started in Tunisia and Egypt and flung to Libya and Syria thanks to the West, seized those Arab countries whose regimes were the U.S. allies. The fall of Saleh threatens to become one of the main shortcomings of the West after the overthrow of the Shah in 1979. Instability in Yemen poses a serious threat to all Arab oil producers in the entire Gulf region.

Source

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Britain, the Traitor Nation: Media Disinformation and Crimes against Humanity in Libya

by Dr. David Halpin
Global Research, April 24, 2011

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations…Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.” UN Charter – 1: Purposes and Principles http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml 

The vultures wheel over Libya beside the drones but roasted carrion is not their usual feast.  The flag of the Kingdom of Libya is being waved in victory. The jubilant rebels have decided on discretion rather than valour.  The charred skeletons of the government tank crew have been left below and cannot join the party.  Perhaps the celebrants know that the ‘coalition’ dispense U238 as liberally as their illusory democracy.

The royalist flag raised in victory before the human remnants are removed

 


The vultures scent the sweet crude and see all that easy land for US bases banished by Ghaddafi.

These predators are being assisted, as per usual, by the State Broadcaster (BBC) with Channel 4 close behind.

Tanks are being ‘taken out’ but never, never are the crews within mentioned by the news readers.

The significance of these olive skinned humans are as grains of sand.  But it is over in a flash.  ‘So humane, so why refer to the brothers and the fathers?’  A millisecond or  two after the armour is punctured by uranium depleted of U235 alone, the fireball cremates the crew within a few more milliseconds.

 

The minute solid particles resulting from combustion of the U238 with its infinite half life of 4.5 billion years rise in the thermals above the blistered tank.  Some will settle, and some will stay in the air at all levels, eventually dispersing in every direction.  Inhalation will ensure the most intimate contact with the cells of all mammals.  The ionizing radiation of the germ cells in ovary or  testis will lead to birth deformity as witnessed as an epidemic by the mothers and doctors in Fallujah.

 

The plans for  the evisceration of Libya were long laid by the vultures.  The myxoma virus of the blackest of black propaganda is being squirted into the nervous systems of homo non-sapiens to allow many to believe the process is benign.  ‘We are aiding revolution and saving Arabs from themselves’.  The State Broadcaster leads the mega-wattage and is fed by serried ranks of able liars in the FCO,  the Downing Street Media Unit and the Ministry of ‘Defence’.  Lying has is now our heavy industry in blood soaked Albion.

 

The joint statement of Obama, Cameron and Sarkozy – “For that transition to succeed, Colonel Ghaddafi must go, and go for good.  At that point, the United Nations and its members should help the Libyan people as they rebuild where Ghaddafi has destroyed — to repair homes and hospitals, ….”   http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/columnists/article2986866.ece     Did they say rebuild the hospitals and medical services that 12 years of sanctions and Shock and Aweing destroyed in Iraq?

 

Every evil allegation is heaped on Muamar and his army.  Three cluster bombs were used in Misrata.  The allegation was backed up by Human Rights Watch but its chief executive, Kenneth Roth, has already shown his partisanship towards the ‘rabbles’.  ‘The Security Council has at last lived up to its duty’.


http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2011/03/18/security-council-has-last-lived-its-duty
   Bouckaert, another HRW representative, had given weight to the alleged gang rape of Eman Al-Obeidi.  This distressed lady had aired her claim before a room full of foreign journalists.  Channel 4 showed the segment two nights running.  It would be unusual for such a terrible crime to take place in a nation where 97% are Muslims, and rare also for the victim to shout about it to a crowd.  How did Bouckaert come to an opinion on Eman?

 

As for the three cluster bombs read this by Craig Murray.  Our ex-ambassador to Uzbekistan, who ‘outed’ the most grotesque torture of devout Muslims for ‘intelligence’ which flowed to Langley and thence to MI6, records how the US has the largest stocks of cluster bombs and that it has resisted  joining the cluster bomb ban.  The UK, with its usual treachery, has signed but agrees to hold stocks for the US on this sceptred isle. The use of thousands by ‘Israel’ on the Lebanese people in 2006 is not recalled  by the UK media.  http://craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2011/04/clusters-of-hypocrisy/

 

This morning, the funereal sounding Orla Guerin, spoke of one hundred rebel injuries and several deaths.  Again the government forces and civilians had no mention.  Death and injury is not their lot.  She said that they were ‘exhausted by death’ in Misrata.  The pilots of the British Typhoons, Tornadoes and French Mirages were not exhausted so by death.  Their very accurate ‘fire and forget’ missiles erased only concrete and metal.  Thus there are no loyal Libyan deaths.

 

The State Broadcaster has been very selective in its news dissemination.  Aware that our premier liar has promised ‘no boots on the ground’, it has been careful to maintain that illusion.  There has been no national news of ‘deployment’.  (They are good on sanitary words – ‘ in theatre’, ‘operational tasking’  These are fragments of the public school lexicon of killing.)  But here, in the South West of England, BBC Southwest has been spilling the beans.  It reckons that almost every local will know warships have been embarking Royal Marines in Plymouth.  However, we were told they were going in case ‘humanitarian help’ was needed in Libya and, rather darkly, for the possible evacuation of UK citizens from other Middle Eastern countries in event of disturbance or similar.  The video showed troops loading humanitarian rocket launchers.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12995065

 

The MoD said the newly-formed Response Force Task Group (RFTG) would be taking part in multi-national amphibious exercises in the Mediterranean and later in the Indian Ocean.

HMS Albion, Type 23 frigate HMS Sutherland, and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cardigan Bay were sailing as the lead element of the RFTG, which is held at “very high readiness” to respond to “unexpected global events”.

HMS Albion, a landing platform dock capable of carrying more than 600 people, left Devonport just after 0800 BST 14 April.  A closer look at Albion at sea -

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-11491132

Task group commander, Cmdr John Kingwell, said: “Cougar 11 is an important opportunity to develop international inter-operability and build long-term defence relationships, and for the RFTG to demonstrate operational contingent capability.”  (We are used to gold braid bullshit.)

 

The MoD said the ships and troops from Taunton-based 40 Commando would be there “to develop and demonstrate contingent capability for UK defence – in effect, the ability to respond to short-notice tasking across a diverse range of defence activities such as disaster relief, humanitarian aid, or amphibious operations”.

 

Devonport-based submarine HMS Triumph has just returned to the base after operations against pro-Gaddafi forces.     http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-12976115

Cdr Rob Dunn said: “I am proud of my ship’s company. They went about their duty and carried out all I asked of them in the most professional way.

“They are naturally satisfied that they carried out an operational tasking using our Tomahawk land attack missiles weapon system, which does not happen very often, but for which they are highly trained and prepared for at any time.”

 

Whilst ships, men and ammunition were rapidly loaded at Devonport Plymouth, Royal Fleet Auxiliary Largs Bay was loading at Hythe dock in Southampton Water.

The dock is supplied by its own railway so the munitions are kept away from the proles who pay for them.  BBC South also kept the public in ignorance of happenings in Hythe.  There is only a village nearby, and the oil refinery of course!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RFA_Largs_Bay_(L3006)

These benign activities are all to do with Operation Cougar at the perfidious Albion end.  They are alleged to have been 2 years in the planning.  One function, according to the Ministry of Truth and ‘Defence’, is “preventing conflict.”  ‘ These units have now deployed and have been selected for their ability to remain on task for as long as is required.’  “More units will sail to join the lead elements later this year.” 

support/operations/auriga/news/cougar_11_vanguard_s.htm

These are all the elementsof the Response Force Task Group:-

 Landing Platform Dock (LPD) HMS Ocean Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH) HMS Liverpool Type 42 Destroyer HMS Sutherland Type 23 Frigate HMS Triumph Trafalgar Class Submarine RFA Argus Aviation Training and Casualty Receiving Ship RFA Mounts Bay Landing Platform RFA Cardigan Bay Landing Platform  HMS Albion Oil Replenisher  RFA Fort Rosalie  40 Cdo Royal Marines539 Assault Squadron Royal MarinesThe Armoured Support Group Two Lynx Mk 9 Helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command Two Sea King Mk4 Helicopters from Joint Helicopter Command One Lynx Helicopter from 815 Naval Air Squadron

 

The very big supremo of the NATO ‘peace keeping’ and civilian saving force is Canadian Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard.  He has studied ‘defence’ in the US of A and it shows.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-13125616

“The head of Nato in Libya, Lieutenant-General Charles Bouchard, said Col Gaddafi’s forces had employed what he called underhand and immoral tactics in their seven-week drive to dislodge the rebels from the city.

‘Inside the city it’s a very difficult tough situation. The Gaddafi forces have taken their uniforms off, they’re hiding on rooftops of mosques, hospitals, schools, that’s where their heavy equipment is positioned, near mosques, near schools, and they’re shielding themselves with women and children.

So when people ask me why aren’t you doing something, well I’m not going to lower to his level. I’m not going to do the kind of warfare that he’s doing. My job’s to help the population,” he said, in an interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”

We can visualise there are at least 50 vessels standing for freedom in the eastern Mediterranean, including at least one USS nuclear powered and nuclear armed aircraft carrier.  There will be at least 10 submarines.

The buzzard sees the humans crawling on the earth below and he mews

“What though the spicy breezes blow soft o’er Ceylon’s isle;

Though every prospect pleases, and only man is vile?”  Heber

 

The cuckoo is quiet and sitting tight.  But the wires are busy – Bibi to Hillary to ‘I am a Zionist’ Cameron to Sarkozy.   Bibi knows of fellow ‘Israeli’ Oded Yinon who in the 80’s studied how the Arab entities might be destabilized and divided into digestible pieces.  (See Ralph Schoenman’s ‘The Hidden History of Zionism’ Chapter 12.  It is most revealing.)  So things are going pretty well.

The actual axis of evil is very busy.  One pole, the dominant one, is in Tel Aviv.  The other pole is Washington.  In the middle is London, and now Paris.

London gives the axis propriety with all the flummery.  It also gives its cunning and its historical knowledge of imperialism.  The power shifts backward and forward along that axis as busily as those jets carrying the psychopaths who pull the triggers.

Whilst Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi waits for his high explosive execution, (NATO bombed a bunker in central Tripoli last night) read his long, coherent speech to that sham of shams, the United Nations.

http://www.mathaba.net/news/?x=626459   Certainly not a member of that axis of evil.

 

That UN was formed in some sort of hope after yet another war to end wars.  Have Cameron, Sarkozy, Obama and the rest of the murderous gang read this? 

“All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations…Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter.”

UN Charter – 1: Purposes and Principles
http://www.un.org/en/documents/charter/chapter1.shtml   
 

David Halpin is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by David Halpin

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