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em·pire
ˈemˌpī(ə)r/
noun
an extensive operation or sphere of activity controlled by one person or group

Which country has more foreign military bases than any country in world history?

Which country spends more on violence and domination than the rest of the world combined?

Which country has overthrown or attempted to overthrow some 60 governments, most of them democracies?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

New Study: Allies Raped Nearly 1 Million German Women During and After WWII

Germany’s The Local reports:
Professor Miriam Gebhardt’s book When the Soldiers Came, published this week, includes interviews with victims, stories of the children of rape and research that she conducted over the course of a year and a half into birth records in Allied-occupied West Germany and West Berlin.
American professor of criminology J. Robert Lilly, who previously studied the issue, has said that Gebhardt’s findings are “plausible”, but “no exact number could ever be known because of a lack of records”.
Lilly continued:
“It will be resisted to some extent. There are American scholars who will not like it because they may think it will make the war crimes committed by the Germans less bad,” Lilly said.
“I don’t think it will minimize what the Germans did at all. It will add another dimension to what war is like and it will not diminish that the Allies won.”
(History professor Roxanne Dunbar Ortiz has noted that World War 2 is part of the USA’s state-origin myth that perpetuates a useful self-image of righteousness and benevolence, similar to the dubiousness of the Iranian state now using its actions against ISIS to support a like self-conception.)
Lilly’s assessment, Local added, “chimes with Gebhardt’s attitude to her work, which she says aims simply to expose the horror of such actions in war.”
The rapes “lasted for years, not just at the moment of the conquest,” Gebhardt found.
Reporter and UK-based colleague on Twitter.

Amnesty: Gaza Firing of Indiscriminate Rockets is War Crime

Amnesty notes in a new report that attacks by Gazans resisting Israeli occupation, invasion, and terrorist attacks amount to war crimes, due to the uncontrollable nature of the rudimentary projectiles Gazans are forced to use because of the Israeli occupation and siege keeping Gaza isolated from the rest of the world.
“According to UN data, more than 4,800 rockets and 1,700 mortars were fired from Gaza towards Israel during the conflict.”
By contrast, Israel, both the occupier and aggressorfired more than 7,000 high explosives into just one neighborhood of Gaza in a 24 hour period during its massive assault on the whole of Gaza.  The assault on the residential neighborhood of Shujaiya included Israel firing 4,800 high explosives in just one seven hour period, prompting a senior US military officer to remark “The only possible reason for doing that is to kill a lot of people in as short a period of time as possible … It’s not mowing the lawn [the term, implying an indiscriminate and genocidal mindset, that Israelis often use for their assaults on the trapped Gazans]. It’s removing the topsoil.”
The Western response to Amnesty’s report is typical.  Whereas Western media is relatively silent over US collaborators in Kiev’s forces using indiscriminate rockets to kill more people than Israelis killed by rockets from Gaza (7, plus 13 or more Palestinians, due to the low quality of the Gazan projectiles), the report on Gaza is all over the corporate news outlets.
(Human Rights Watch reported of Kiev: “Unguided Grad rockets launched apparently by Ukrainian government forces and pro-government militias have killed at least 16 civilians and wounded many more… [this] may amount to war crimes.” Note that while occupied Gaza’s firing of similar weapons “amounts to war crimes”, a US collaborator’s firing of also-unguided weapons only “may amount to war crimes”.)
While Amnesty, in its new report, does give the death toll from Israel’s massacre against the trapped refugees of Gaza – “At least 1,585 Palestinian civilians, including more than 530 children, were killed in Gaza, and at least 16,245 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable by Israeli attacks” while 67 Israelis, almost all soldiers and including less than ten civilians and one child, were killed – the New York Times, in its story on Amnesty’s new report, does not give the death tolls, as, obviously, it is damning to be on the side, as the US is, of an illegal colonial-settler occupier that commits massacres against the occupied, refugee population, slaughtering children at a rate of nearly 600 to 1.
Western reports also contain an implicit genocidal mentality: they make no suggestions for how Gazans should fight back (against illegal Israeli occupation and terrorism), the legal right of people struggling for self determination.  Gazans, they thus suggest, should simply lie still and do nothing.
A proposal that instantly comes to mind for an alternative to unguided projectiles might be for Israel to trade Gaza its unguided projectiles for some guided ones, so that Gaza could have a deterrent that is legal to use (as unguided weapons are not).  It would still be a completely unfair fight, which Israel and the West want.  However, Gazans would then be able to train those weapons directly at Israeli government and military installations, which are woven throughout the cities of Israel, and Israeli officials would much rather have the projectiles whizzing off in random directions, hitting civilian and open areas or, rarely, being intercepted by the Iron Dome system, than increase the chance that they themselves face consequences for their aggression.
Another proposal would be for an Iron Dome system (ineffective as they are, stopping ~10% of projectiles) to be installed in Palestine.
But Israel’s ideal situation, of course, is for Gazans to simply lie still and die, to go away or disappear, allowing their land to be absorbed and annexed by Israel.
Here are is a comparison between the damage done by projectiles fired from Gaza and the ones fired by Israel:
Damage caused in Israel by Gaza projectiles:
An Ultra Orthodox Jewish man inspects the damage at a building after a Rocket fired by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip hit the Journo family house, in the southern city of Sderot, Israel, 03 July 2014. EPA
Damage caused in Gaza by Israeli projectiles:
The head of the Red Cross recently commented that he had never seen such destruction, and Oxfam noted that, with Israel’s siege against Gaza in place, it will take 100 years to repair the destruction Israel inflicted.
Amnesty reported that Israel “deliberately flattened entire homes full of civilians”.
In a damning act of self-incrimination, Israel is now physically blocking human rights monitors from entering Gaza to report on what Israel did.
In Israel’s 2008,/2009 massacre against Gaza, in which Israel also committed aggression (being the occupier and breaking the ceasefire), the UN was able to enter, and reported that Israel’s operation was “a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to … terrorize a civilian population” (UN fact-finding mission, pg. 408, par. 1).
Israel remains the largest recipient of US funding and backing.
More background and details on the situation here and here.
Also note that Israel has recently re-confirmed its position against the two-state solution required by international law and supported virtually uniformly by the international community for ~40 years.  The solution affirms the right of Israel to exist – within its legal borders – to have as many arms as it wants, and even to build a wall, but only on its legal border.  Israel currently uses the building of the wall to steal land and resources reserved for the Palestinians by the United Nations.
The charter of Israel’s ruling party, Likud, promises that it will never allow a Palestinian state to exist.  See prof. Juan Cole’s “The Hateful Likud Charter Calls for the Destruction of Any Palestinian State“.
Author and UK-based colleague on Twitter.

Saudi Arabia, with US Support, Invades Yemen

As a study released today shows the US has killed perhaps more than 2 million people in the last decade of its wars on the Middle East, the US is now supporting a Saudi invasion of Yemen.
The government of Saudi Arabia began a military operation in Yemen against the Shiite Houthi rebels, early Thursday local time. Some reports say the operation could involve 150,000 troops and 100 fighter jets.
According to Reuters news agency, the United States coordinated with the Saudi government ahead of the attacks.
In a statement released late Wednesday, the White House confirmed it will provide logistical and intelligence support for the operation.
Saudi Arabia is one of the world’s most repressive states, and has a deal with Pakistan for delivery of nuclear weapons at its request (see BBC’s “Saudi Nuclear Weapons on Order from Pakistan”).
In 2010, Obama secured a 60 billion dollar arms sale to the Saudi dictatorship, then a 640 million dollar sale of banned  (as reported by Foreign Policy mag) cluster bombs.
In the 1980s, the US supported an invasion by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq of Iran.  The US provided Hussein with advanced weaponry, chemical weapons, and plans for building chemical weapons facilities.  The attack killed some 1,000,0000 Iranians.
Israel, the top recipient of US funding and backing, is a rogue nuclear state that continually invades its neighbors, killing tens of thousands, and continues to illegally occupy and colonize Palestine and Syria.  Israel now openly rejects the legally required and near-uniformly internationally supported two state solution (for Israel to return to its 1967 borders).
Yet a country that does not carry out invasions and does not have nuclear weapons, has “democratic institutions” (as do the US and China), and in fact is the most inspected country in the world (whereas Israel does not permit even US inspections), Iran, is under US siege (sanction).
As the US now teams up with an ultra-repressive member of its global network for another illegal war, we are again to believe that it is all for freedom, democracy, human rights, and other such babble, when this network, of course, is simply a menace.
Author and UK-based colleague on Twitter.