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02.20 Young climate strikers can win their fight. We must all help

02.20 Voyage to the Garbage Patch: the female sailors taking on plastic

02.19 Bees brought Bavarians together. And they have a lesson for us all

02.19 Florida is drowning. Condos are still being built. Can't humans see the writing on the wall? [Fear that Trump & Fox News incite makes us avoid unpleasant information we need to know]

02.18 Tesla big battery is holding its own in a burgeoning energy storage market

02.18 Trump administration condemned over delaying action on toxic drinking water

02.16 New experimental drug rapidly repairs age-related memory loss and improves mood

02.16 Toxic black snow covers Siberian coalmining region [0:49 video; If its killing us, stop doing it]

02.16 Renewable energy will be world's main power source by 2040, says BP [But in America's capitalistic bubble, bribed-to-be-biased media and government defy reality]

02.16 My generation trashed the planet. So I salute the children striking back

02.16 US coastal businesses hit by everyday impact of climate change, study shows

02.16 What the pesticides in our urine tell us about organic food [What does inaction tell us about capitalism and our government?]

02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]

02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]

02.12 Biggest offshore windfarm to start UK supply this week

02.12 Scientists Are Totally Rethinking Animal Cognition

02.12 Politicians are complicit in the killing of our insects – we will be next

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Daily: FAIR Blog
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'

02.21 Bezos Says Amazon Drones Ready to Deliver Mueller Report to Every American Household

02.21 Devin Nunes Was Trump’s Mole Inside the Gang of Eight

02.21 Alec Baldwin fears for family's safety after Trump 'retribution' threats [0:40 video]

02.20 Intimidation, Pressure and Humiliation: Inside Trump’s Two-Year War on the Investigations Encircling Him

02.20 ‘Sustained and ongoing’ disinformation assault targets Dem presidential candidates [If you can sense them, block them!]

02.20 The 2020 U.S. Presidential Race: A Cheat Sheet

02.20 Why Bernie Sanders' radicalism can take out Trump

02.20 Why vote for Sanders when you can have Elizabeth Warren instead?

02.19 Democratic party elites silence Ilhan Omar at their peril [2:01 video]

02.19 The Political Revolution Is Back: Bernie Sanders Announces 2020 Run for President

Justice Matters

02.19 California Leads 16 States Suing to Block Trump Border Plan

02.19 Fighting pollution: Toledo residents want personhood status for Lake Erie [Hurrah!]

High Crimes?

02.20 Despite the slaughter in Yemen, Britain is still chasing arms sales [and the Great-Again-America is too...Capitalism without morality is horrible]

02.16 Elliott Abrams Defends War Crimes As Happening Back In The ’80s When Everyone Was Doing It

Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism

02.21 Historian who confronted Davos billionaires leaks Tucker Carlson rant

02.20 A Centuries-Old Idea Could Revolutionize Climate Policy

International & Futurism

02.21 John Oliver Compares Brexit ‘Disaster’ to Will Smith’s Genie in Live-Action ‘Aladdin’ (Video) [21:26 video; we’re approaching an Idiocracy-type of society, where stupidity is “normal”]

02.20 House report lays bare White House feud over Saudi nuclear push [Its hard to keep up with all the criminal crap going on...]

02.20 My grandfather was a Nazi. I’ve seen why we need the EU

02.19 Centrism isn’t the solution to the mess we’re in

02.19 Renewables need urgent investment to ease Australia's transmission bottlenecks, experts warn

02.18 Hate-Fest in Warsaw

02.18 They Used To Hold Hands Through the Wall. Now, There’s Razor Wire.

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  Judge Bybee and the Challenge of Removing a Stain on the Legal System
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COMMENTARY:

1-2-3 What Are We Fighting For? The War Crimes Song-and-Dance Routine

by Dave Lindorff
Monday, 11 May 2009
To defend the U.S. puppet government under Karzai and defeat the Taliban's return to power, the US is going to have to kill Afghani civilians by the truckload, as it has been doing. Meanwhile, fighting Al Qaeda is an obvious secondary pursuit.
We’re been here before, many times.

The US causes massive civilian deaths through its indiscriminate use of heavy air power, and then tries to claim it’s the enemy’s fault for “hiding” among the civilians and “using them as shields.”

In Vietnam, where the US was fighting against a local revolutionary movement that was seeking to overthrow the puppet regime backed by America, American planes routinely bombed and napalmed villages, claiming that the Viet Cong were hiding amongst the peasants. Women, old men and children would die in droves—several million of them by the time that war was over--and we’d be told it was all the fault of the Communists, who, we were told, had no regard for innocent life.

In Iraq, we took a city of 300,000, Fallujah, and effectively leveled it. Anyone who died there was presumed to be an insurgent, though the truth was, the Marines encircling the city before the onslaught only allowed fleeing women, girls and male children who were under the age 12 to flee, sending older boys and men seeking to get out back into the city to meet their fate.

Just this week, the brave Marines in Iraq blew away a 12-year-old boy after someone tossed a grenade their way. Local people said the grenade had been tossed by an older man standing near the boy, who fled. The unlucky boy, who was just a kid who sold gum for a living, had not done anything, local people said.

Now it’s Afghanistan, where upwards of 120 people, including babies and small children, were slaughtered during a battle in a remote part of the country in the latest example of mass deaths at the hands of American forces. Local people say that several villages in the Bala Baluk district of Farah Province of were intensely bombarded by US planes, causing most if not all of the deaths. The US response to the initial charges of a mass slaughter of civilians was to blame the deaths on the Taliban. When it became clear that the victims had died of burns and shrapnel, not from bullets, the US came out with a new explanation: The Taliban had tossed grenades at the locals. But reporters at the scene reported seeing huge craters and leveled buildings—not what you get from hand grenades. Then came reports of unusually deep and localized burns—the type caused by white phosphorus—a weapon that the US has used widely in Iraq--including in densely populated Fallujah—and in Afghanistan.

The Pentagon immediately said it did not use white phosphorus bombs in the battle in question, and suggested instead that perhaps the Taliban had used phosphorus grenades. This again was an absurd argument. The purpose of phosphorus weapons, primarily, is to light up a battlefield, but Taliban fighters don’t want lit up battlefields. They prefer operating the dark. It is the US that wants to light up targets.

Besides, there are those craters to explain.

So the next dance step was to say that the Taliban had caused the deaths, because during their retreat they had fled to the town, miles from the scene of the battle that led to the calling in of air support by US advisers to embattled government forces, and in so doing, had brought the attack upon the villagers.

Well, assuming that is true, there is still the problem that under the Geneva Conventions, it is a war crime to attack an enemy where the risk of harming large numbers of civilians is too great. The extreme example would the bombing of a school full of children on the grounds that a few enemy soldiers were hiding in the school (something that the Israeli military did in Gaza during the recent invasion, causing the deaths of dozens of children). But bombing a town full of people in order to hit a few retreating enemy fighters is equally criminal—a point that the Pentagon, and the compliant US media, are ignoring.

Barack Obama’s war in Afghanistan—for it is indeed his war now—is turning into the same kind of bloody imperial slaughter that Iraq was earlier under President Bush. The stated objective—eliminating Al Qaeda—has been lost. The enemy of all this fighting isn’t Al Qaeda at all; it is the indigenous Taliban—the former governing power in Afghanistan until the US invasion in 2001, and a political organization that never was an enemy of the US.

Whatever one might think of the religious fanatics and misogynists who go under the name Taliban, they are not seeking to overthrow the West. They are simply seeking to return to power in Afghanistan, one of the poorest, remotest, and economically and politically least important countries in the world.

And to defeat that movement, if that can even be done, the US is going to have to kill Afghani civilians by the truckload, as it has been doing.

And then there has to be the inevitable dancing around to hide the criminality of what the US is doing.

The blame-the-victim dance goes on.


Dave Lindorff in Washington

About the author: Philadelphia journalist Dave Lindorff is a 34-year veteran, an award-winning journalist, a former New York Times contributor, a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, a two-time Journalism Fulbright Scholar, and the co-author, with Barbara Olshansky, of a well-regarded book on impeachment, The Case for Impeachment. His work is available at www.thiscantbehappening.net.



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This story was published on May 11, 2009.
 

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