Friday, February 06, 2015

Burning Victims to Death: Still a Common Practice
By Glenn Greenwald



Photo: Horst Faas/AP. Vietnam burning

"...Unlike ISIS, the U.S. usually (though not always) tries to suppress (rather than gleefully publish) evidence showing the victims of its violence..."

February 05, 2015 "ICH" - "The Intercept" - 


The latest ISIS atrocity – releasing a video of a captured Jordanian fighter pilot being burned alive – prompted substantial discussion yesterday about this particular form of savagery. It is thus worth noting that deliberately burning people to death is achievable – and deliberately achieved – in all sorts of other ways:

“Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan”, NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School, 2012:

The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration[3], shrapnel, and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs. Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss. . . .
In addition, because the Hellfire missiles fired from drones often incinerate the victims’ bodies, and leave them in pieces and unidentifiable, traditional burial processes are rendered impossible. As Firoz Ali Khan, a shopkeeper whose father-in-law’s home was struck, graphically described, “These missiles are very powerful. They destroy human beings . . .There is nobody left and small pieces left behind. Pieces. Whatever is left is just little pieces of bodies and cloth.” 

A doctor who has treated drone victims described how “[s]kin is burned so that you can’t tell cattle from human.” When another interviewee came upon the site of the strike that killed his father, “[t]he entire place looked as if it was burned completely, so much so that even [the victims’] own clothes had burnt. All the stones in the vicinity had become black.”. . .



The constant orgy of condemnation aimed at this group seems to have little purpose other than tribal self-affirmation: no matter how many awful acts our government engages in, at least we don’t do something like that, at least we’re not as bad as them


In some instances, that may be true, but even when it is, the differences are usually much more a matter of degree than category (much the way that angry denunciations over the Taliban for suicide-bombing a funeral of one of its victims hides the fact that theU.S. engages in its own “double tap” practice of bombing rescuers and funeral mourners for its drone victims). 


To the extent that these denunciation rituals make us forget or further obscure our own governments’ brutality – and that seems to be the overriding effect if not the purpose of these rituals – they are worse than worthless; they are actively harmful.




UPDATE: One tweeter, responding to this article, made a point harshly though succinctly:















Continue to read the entire article, and read/post public comments


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Palestinians to become ICC member from April 1, UN confirms: 
Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, announced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. The Palestinians will be able to sue Israel for war crimes, a move the Israeli administration has consistently opposed for decades.


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NATO is Already at War in Ukraine… and it is Losing

By Finian Cunningham 


"...NATO is losing its war in Ukraine and needs to send more military fuel in order to salvage the mounting losses..."

February 05, 2015 "ICH" - "SCF"- 

In yet another sleight of hand, Western news media are this week spinning the notion that the US and NATO are «considering sending lethal military aid» in order «to defend» the Kiev regime from «Russian aggression».

That’s a pathetic joke. The real explanation is that NATO is losing its war in Ukraine and needs to send more military fuel in order to salvage the mounting losses.

First, the Western media slyly acknowledge that US-led NATO has so far «only dispatched non-lethal military equipment». That rhetorical ruse is used to pretend that non-lethal material is somehow not really military grade. But whether non-lethal or lethal, military equipment is military equipment. 

So, let’s just dispense with that bunch of semantics. The US and its public-relations alter-ego, NATO, are already deeply involved militarily in Ukraine, supporting the Kiev regime whose 10-month offensive on eastern Ukraine has resulted in over 5,300 deaths.

Secondly, the notion that Washington is «reconsidering» whether to send «lethal aid», as reported in the New York Times on Monday, is another risible illusion. The US and its NATO allies are already sending lethal military equipment to the Ukraine. 

US President Obama said this week that «pouring more weapons into Ukraine» will not resolve the conflict. While German Chancellor Angela Merkel also vowed that Germany would not be supplying weapons to the Kiev regime, adding that the conflict cannot be solved by military means. 

Both Obama and Merkel are either woefully deceptive or living in cloud-cuckoo land. Probably both.

Let’s cut to the chase. NATO is at war in Ukraine and has been so for the past year, if not covertly for the past two decades. . .

The tortuous language and reasoning reflects the systematic lies that Washington and NATO have been telling for months over the Ukraine conflict. 

The plain truth is that US-led NATO is up to its eyes in fuelling the Ukraine war, and it is losing the war it launched in the first place. 

That’s why Washington is now desperately performing all sorts of rhetorical gymnastics to deceive the Western public into acquiescing to a major military escalation of its war under the guise of supplying «defensive lethal weapons».






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