Genghis Khan could not hold onto Afghanistan. Neither will the United States

Add to Google Buzz

by Dahr Jamail:

The United States Empire is following a long line of empires and conquerors that have met their end in Afghanistan. The Median and Persian Empires, Alexander the Great, the Seleucids, the Indo-Greeks, Turks, Mongols, British and Soviets all met the end of their ambitions in Afghanistan.

On September 7 the Swedish aid agency Swedish Committee for Afghanistan reported that the previous week US soldiers raided one of its hospitals. According to the director of the aid agency, Anders Fange, troops stormed through both the men’s and women’s wards, where they frantically searched for wounded Taliban fighters.

Soldiers demanded that hospital administrators inform the military of any incoming patients who might be insurgents, after which the military would then decide if said patients would be admitted or not. Fange called the incident “not only a clear violation of globally recognized humanitarian principles about the sanctity of health facilities and staff in areas of conflict, but also a clear breach of the civil-military agreement” between nongovernmental organizations and international forces.

Fange said that US troops broke down doors and tied up visitors and hospital staff.

Impeding operations at medical facilities in Afghanistan directly violate the Fourth Geneva Convention, which strictly forbids attacks on emergency vehicles and the obstruction of medical operations during wartime.

Lt. Cmdr. Christine Sidenstricker, a public affairs officer for the US Navy, confirmed the raid, and told The Associated Press, “Complaints like this are rare.”

Despite Sidenstricker’s claim that “complaints like this” are rare in Afghanistan, they are, in fact, common. Just as they are in Iraq, the other occupation. A desperate conventional military, when losing a guerilla war, tends to toss international law out the window. Yet even more so when the entire occupation itself is a violation of international law.

Marjorie Cohn, president of the National Lawyers Guild and also a Truthout contributor, is very clear about the overall illegality of the invasion and ongoing occupation of Afghanistan by the United States.

“The UN Charter is a treaty ratified by the United States and thus part of US law,” Cohn, who is also a professor at Thomas Jefferson School of Law and recently co-authored the book “Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent” said, “Under the charter, a country can use armed force against another country only in self-defense or when the Security Council approves. Neither of those conditions was met before the United States invaded Afghanistan. The Taliban did not attack us on 9/11. Nineteen men – 15 from Saudi Arabia – did, and there was no imminent threat that Afghanistan would attack the US or another UN member country. The council did not authorize the United States or any other country to use military force against Afghanistan. The US war in Afghanistan is illegal.”

Thus, the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, along with the ongoing slaughter of Afghan civilians and raiding hospitals, are in violation of international law as well as the US Constitution.

And of course the same applies for Iraq.
Read more of this post

Terror: The facts US media ignore

Paul Craig Roberts |  THE “Underwear Bomber” case indicates that whoever is behind these bomb scares is laughing at our gullibility.

How realistic is it that Al-Qaeda, an organization that allegedly pulled off the most fantastic terror attack in world history, would in these days of heightened security choose for an attack on an airliner a person who is the most conspicuous of all? Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab had a one-way ticket, no luggage, no passport, and his father, reportedly a CIA and Mossad asset, had reported him to the CIA and Mossad. Does anyone really believe that Al-Qaeda would choose as an airliner bomber a person waving every red flag imaginable?

This obvious question has escaped the US media, a collection of salespersons marketing full body scanning machines for airports.

Would Al-Qaeda, with its extensive knowledge of explosives, have armed Umar with a “bomb” that experts say couldn’t have blown up his own seat?

It is difficult to imagine a more gullible population than America’s, but do even Americans believe this story?

Since 9/11 the FBI has been busy enticing people, who lack organizational skills, into “terrorist plots” that consist of FBI-initiated hot air talk. These ridiculous stings are then taken to trial, and the media fans the flames of fear of “home-grown terrorist plots against Americans.”

There is little doubt that those interested in leading the US deeper into a police state and deeper into a “war on terror” are active in adding orchestrated events to whatever real ones real terrorists manage to accomplish. The paucity of real terrorists has caused the US government and its Ministry of Truth to promote the Taleban to terrorist rank. The problem is that these “terrorist acts” are taking place thousands of miles away in lands that the average American cannot find on a map and, thus, lack scare value. To keep the peril alive for Americans, we have the Underwear Bomb Plot.

What will be next? An elaborate head of hair laced with nano-thermite?

The “war on terror” is a far greater threat to Americans than all the terrorists in the world combined. This is so because the “war on terror” has destroyed the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. American citizens are now helpless in the event someone in government decides that some constitutionally protected behavior, such as free speech, or a contribution to a children’s hospital in Gaza, where Hamas, a US-declared “terrorist organization,” happens to be the elected government, constitutes aiding and abetting terrorism.

On Jan. 5 a ruling by the Federal Appeals Court in the District of Columbia gave away the most essential protection of liberty by declaring that the US government is not bound by law during war. The ruling absolves Washington from complying with America’s own laws and from complying with international laws, such as the Geneva Conventions. It makes a mockery of all war crime trials everywhere. By elevating the executive branch above the law, the court gave the government carte blanche.

The rationale offered by the court for refusing to uphold the law came from Judge Janice Rogers Brown, who said that America had been pushed by war past “the leading edge of a new and frightening paradigm, one that demands new rules be written. War is a challenge to law, and the law must adjust.” By “adjust” she means “be set aside” or “be thrown out.”

The US Supreme Court has refused to defend both the Constitution and the principle that government is not above the law. Last Dec.14 the Supreme Court refused to review a ruling by the Federal Appeals Court in the District of Columbia, which dismissed a torture case with the argument that “torture is a foreseeable consequence of the military’s detention of suspected enemy combatants.” In other words, neither US nor international laws against torture can be enforced in US courts. The opinion was written by Judge Karen Lecraft Henderson.

The “war on terror,” which is enriching Halliburton, Blackwater (now operating under an alias), and the military/security complex, while denying Americans health care, is running up debt that is a threat to Americans’ purchasing power and living standards. The contrast between America’s sanctimonious rhetoric and the murder of civilians and torture of prisoners has destroyed America’s reputation and caused Europeans as well as Muslims to despise the United States.

The sacrifice of the Constitution and rule of law to a hyped “theorist threat” has destroyed the heart and soul of America herself.

As a poet wrote, “our world in stupor lies.”

%d bloggers like this: