Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
11.16 How pesticide bans can prevent tens of thousands of suicides a year [how many thousands more die early from eating pesticide-laced food?]
11.15 The long read: The plastic backlash: what's behind our sudden rage – and will it make a difference? [the world wants to throw-up...]
11.15 Claws out: crab fishermen sue 30 oil firms over climate change [workers are waking-up...]
11.12 This Land is Your Land: The Zinke effect: how the US interior department became a tool of industry [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Trump responds to worst fires in California’s history by threatening to withhold federal aid [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Interior department sued for ‘secretive process’ in at-risk species assessment [behaving ignorantly again...]
11.11 Keystone XL pipeline: judge rules government 'jumped the gun' and orders halt [behaving ignorantly again...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.16 As 'Green New Deal' Demand Grows, Democrats Have Choice: Confront and Defeat Fossil Fuel Industry or Take Credit for 'Doomed' Planet [Two choices: Save life-on-Earth or help Republicans let it die?]
11.15 Democrats Won Big. Can They Go Bold, Too? [it's about suppressing the influence and leadership by Republican-like Democrats who counsel 'íncremental' (no) change, such as Nancy Pelosi, Steny Hoyer, Hillary Clinton, Chuck Shumer and Joe Biden]
11.15 Pentagon Officials Forced to Make Fewer Public Appearances to Avoid Provoking Trump [...by revealing Trump's huuuge ignorance]
11.15 REPUBLICANS USED A BILL ABOUT WOLVES TO AVOID A VOTE ON YEMEN WAR [if there are 'defense industry' profits to be made—including congress-critter insider-trading—and political 'donations' to be had, we mustn't stop killing innocent civilians!]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.16 Amazon’s HQ2 Will Get a Tax Break Designed to Help the Poor [a Republican program that directly helps participating wealthy companies—but only helps workers if and when 'trickle-down' occurs.]
11.16 Trump doesn’t want to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi. His new sanctions prove it. [George W. Bush made a similar immoral decision for the same oily reasons after 9-11, protecting Saudi defense contracts while facilitating the slaughter of poorer Arab "terrorists" in the region.]
11.15 The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us [fossil fuel burning, un-recyclable plastic production/use and methane gas release must cease ASAP.]
International & Futurism
11.15 Cuba to pull doctors out of Brazil after President-elect Bolsonaro comments [terms must be negotiated for fairness to Cuba's health professionals without disruption of healthcare for Brazil's poor]
11.14 'Appalling' Khashoggi audio shocked Saudi intelligence – Erdogan [Exposing a psychopath?]
The Lawfare Project's Anti-Democratic Agenda
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Participants at both conferences didn't let truth, justice, and democratic values impede their extremist ideology, loyalty to criminal states, and the institutionalized state terrorism they practice. Instead, they blamed victims for their crimes.
Its web site (thelawfareproject.org) calls Lawfare:
Provided they contradict no others, laws are sacrosanct, especially fundamental international ones like the UN Charter, Four Geneva Conventions, their Common Article 3, the Rome Statute, Nuremberg Tribunal and judgment, Genocide Convention, Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and many others - ones Israel and America are sworn to uphold but consistently violate with impunity.
Lawfare Project (LP) Claim: "The abuse of the law and legal systems (is used) for strategic or military ends."
International law is clear and unequivocal. The UN Charter explains under what conditions violence and coercion by one state against another are justified. Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use, and Article 51 allows the "right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member....until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security."
In other words, justifiable self-defense is permitted, and Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33(1) absolutely prohibit all unilateral threats or use of force not allowed under Article 51 or authorized by the Security Council. Even then, under Fourth Geneva, civilians are "protected persons" off-limits to attack. Doing it is a war crime.
Claim: Law is used to "thwart free speech about issues of national security and public concern."
Free expression is recognized as a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), among other international laws.
Yet Israel has no constitution or specific laws guaranteeing equality or free expression. However, its Basic Laws protect human dignity and liberty as fundamental values in "a Jewish and democratic state," including:
Nonetheless, Israel violates its own law and international ones by imposing censorship as it sees fit. For example, during Operation Cast Lead when it restricted on-the-scene coverage to suppress its crimes of war and against humanity, now revealed in detail but ruthlessly assailed as untrue.
Despite America's First Amendment, the dominant US media self-censor, and in war zones, the Pentagon allows no independent coverage, instead using "embedded" journalists of its choosing.
Claim: "Law (is) used to de-legitimize the sovereignty of democratic states."
No state, democratic of otherwise, has the right to violate fundamental international laws nor remain unaccountable when they do. Israel and America are serial offenders.
Claim: The law is used to "frustrate the ability of democracies to defend themselves against terrorism."
Israel and America are democracies in name only, granting rights to the privileged, not the majority, and in Israel solely to Jews.
International law permits self-defense against violence or armed attacks. Terrorism is committed by the perpetrators.
Lawfare's anti-democratic issues include:
Claim: The illegitimacy of "legal limits" in fighting "terrorism."
Most serious is institutionalized state terrorism, including premeditated wars and targeted assassinations, criminal acts under international law, permitting self-defense against them.
Claim: No international law restricts nations from acting within or outside their territory.
Universally accepted international laws place clear and unequivocal limits, calling violations crimes of war and against humanity.
Claim: An international tribunal has no authority to hold sovereign states accountable.
International law created a tribunal as a legal entity to prosecute individuals for crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide in cases when guilty states fail to do so.
Claim: There are legitimate and illegitimate criticisms of religion.
Criticism is one thing. Vilifying one religion in defense of another is clearly indefensible. Further, international laws strictly prohibit persecuting, killing, or otherwise harming persons of other faiths, practices Israel and America repeatedly commit.
Claim: Lawfare uses its own definition of inciting violence.
LP calls self-defense violence and terrorism, premeditated aggression self-defense, including against innocent civilians.
Claim: Undefined hate speech should be banned.
International law protects free expression. Only when it crosses the line egregiously can it be questioned. Banning it is another matter, and without defining it, what is hate speech? Clearly, LP means any criticism of Israeli and American policies.
Claim: LP calls Universal Jurisdiction (UJ) illegitimate when it conflicts with "national security interests."
UJ is a well-established principle, used by America (against Liberia's Chuckie Taylor), Israel (against Adolph Eichmann) and other nations as a legitimate law enforcement tool for crimes of war and against humanity. All nations may use it.
Claim: LP advocates denying "terrorists" and "unlawful combatants" their rights.
By law, everyone is innocent unless or until proved guilty with substantive facts to prove it. The term "unlawful combatant" is unrecognized in international law and has no standing.
Claim: LP wants lawyers denied "classified material" to prosecute persons accused of torture.
No relevant information should ever be withheld for any reason to protect alleged torturers or other criminals.
Claim: LP wants a majority bloc of UN states denied their right to enforce human rights policy.
International laws protect human rights. Nations and individuals in violation should be held fully accountable.
Claim: LP wants to suppress legitimate human rights reports critical of Israel and America.
It objects to Goldstone Commission and other human rights groups' revelations of Israeli crimes of war and against humanity during Operation Cast Lead to absolve its perpetrator's and America's (as a co-conspirator) of any culpability for their lawlessness.
Claim: LP calls Israel's Separation Wall legitimate.
Israel's Separation Wall is being built on 12% of confiscated Palestinian land. In 2004, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) ruled it illegal, and ordered it dismantled.
Claim: Like America and Israel, LP calls Hamas a terrorist entity.
In January 2006, Hamas was democratically elected as Palestine's legitimate government, what it remains today despite Israel and Washington's recognition of Fatah's coup d'etat regime under a president whose term expired 14 months ago.
Claim: LP calls hate speech legitimate for "radical" Islam and "terrorism."
Hate or any other type speech is never legitimate when it lies about or vilifies one religion in defense of another.
Claim: LP opposes applying the rule of law, due process, equal justice, civil and human rights, and fundamental democratic principles for governments or groups it opposes.
Advocating lawlessness is never legitimate under any circumstances, ever, for any reason.
The Lawfare Project's First Conference
Sponsored by the Committee on Foreign and International Law of NYCLA (NY Collegiate Learning Assessment) and the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations on March 11, its first US conference was held in New York, co-chaired by:
Invited speakers included:
He's a Project for the New American Century (PNAC) member, senior fellow at the right-wing American Enterprise Institute, and Bush administration's recess-appointed UN Ambassador, a man Law Professor, author, activist, and former President of the National Lawyers Guild, Marjorie Cohn, accused of "cooking intelligence to whip up US aggression against other countries," including, of course, Iraq based on bogus WMD claims.
In his UN post, he was also notorious for "hyping threats posed by Cuba and Syria, and taking a dangerously combative stance toward North Korea." He now advocates war against Iran, getting op-ed space in publications like the Wall Street Journal, again to hype fear.
He's a former Israeli UN Ambassador, President of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, and served in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's first administration as Foreign Policy Advisor. He was also an advisor to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and a member of Israel's delegation at the 1991 Madrid Peace Conference and 1998 Wye River negotiations with the Palestinian National Authority (PA). He's a notorious right-wing extremist, hostile to democratic principles and Palestinian rights.
He's a former First Senior Deputy at the Supreme Court Division of Israel's Attorney General's office, a position in which he was the lead attorney in major counterterrorism cases before Israel's High Court (HCJ). He also headed the CT Internal Investigations Unit, was Chair of the Inter-Ministerial Counterterrorism Committee, and was a member of the experts' forum on "Democracy and Terrorism," established by the Israel Democratic Institute. Most recently, he's been Legal Officer at the Security Council's Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate (CTED).
She's currently Israeli UN Ambassador, former Hebrew University of Jerusalem law professor, president of the Academic Council, and Rector of Ono Academic College in Israel. She's an expert in contract law and procurement contracts, and was chief legal editor of the Judgments of Israel's HCJ and Hebrew Encyclopedia.
He's a longtime litigator before France's Supreme Court, has represented US companies in France, and is active in arbitration. He also worked on economic intelligence, is a member of the Historical Society of the US Supreme Court, and is president of the Vergennes Institute, that he co-founded with Justice Antonin Scalia to foster cooperation between the US and French Supreme Courts. Briard now belongs to France's Institute for National Defense Studies.
He's Director of the Legal Project, an organization involved in "protect(ing) researchers and analysts who work on the topics of terrorism, terrorist funding, and radical Islam from lawsuits designed to silence their exercise of free speech."
He's a former Senate Judiciary Committee counsel on matters of national security, civil, and criminal matters, and once was a management consultant for McKinsey & Co.
He's Director of the Center for Social Cohesion, a UK right-wing think tank, specializing in studying radicalism and extremism in Britain. He's also a freelance journalist and author of books including, "Neoconservatism: Why We Need It."
He's US Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes Issues, and was formerly special counsel and policy advisor in the Office of War Crimes Issues, a special assistant to the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division, an Assistant US Attorney for the Central District of California, and Deputy District Attorney for Los Angeles County.
He's a George Mason University School of Law Professor of Law and member of the US Institute of Peace, congressionally funded to promote US interests in "resolving" international conflicts. He also has a particular interest in matters of national security law and early constitutional history.
His bio calls him "Britain's best-known commentator on the law," having been BBC's legal correspondent for 15 years, and since 2000 in the same capacity for The Daily Telegraph. He also writes for the London Evening Standard and the Law Society's Gazette.
He's Utah Attorney General, former Assistant Attorney General, and once served as Deputy County Attorney and Commissioner of Salt Lake County.
Notable by Their Exclusion
Notably absent were academics, scholars, human rights activists, and other critics of US and Israeli policies, the rule of law, and accountability for states that break it. In framing issues, Conference participants told attendees that international law doesn't apply when it conflicts with powerful state interests, the rights of their victims thereby unaddressed, silenced, and of no interest.
George Mason University's Jeremy Rabkin called "taking international law too seriously" dangerous, saying "It's not like the tax code." Audaciously, he claimed its principles are unclear with no court to enforce them, when he knows laws are clear and unequivocal and the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague is a permanent tribunal established to prosecute individuals for crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide.
John Bolton told attendees:
In other words, we're boss. What we say goes, and dissidents are legitimate enemies, an idea dominant in Nazi Germany and other past and current despotic states.
Hitler justified exterminating Jews for destroying the German nation through culture and democracy. He started WW II blaming Poland for a Nazi-staged incident. He declared war on Britain claiming its prime minister spurned his 1940 peace offer saying:
When he invaded Russia, he said "I sought no war. On the contrary, I did everything to avoid it (but) in view of the mortal danger from the Soviet Union (to all Europe)" he gave "the signal to attack myself (for) this moral struggle."
And when he declared war on America, he blamed it on Roosevelt and his coterie of Jews and WW I on Wilson, both men he considered mad.
He accused Roosevelt of inciting war, falsifying the causes, "then odiously wrap(ping) himself in a cloak of Christian hypocrisy...." and policies "aimed at unrestricted world domination and dictatorship (together) with England (against) the rights of the German, Italian and Japanese nations...."
When tyrants or extremists try justifying illegal actions, there's no dearth of excuses, including tried and true fear mongering and blaming victims.
Propagandizing for Israel
The Jerusalem-based NGO Monitor disseminates propaganda, debases the legitimate human rights community, and promotes a pro-Israeli agenda defending the indefensible, Anne Herzberg its legal advisor. At the conference, she assailed notable human rights organizations for promoting a "radical agenda" and "anti-state, anti-democracy, (and) anti-American" ideology.
For revealing Israeli crimes of war and against humanity, Justice Richard Goldstone was particularly assailed, David Schizer saying he:
"created standards of morality in war that leave a state without the means of legitimate self-protection," ignoring Israeli premeditated aggression and victimized Gazans, a matter clearly and unequivocally covered under international law principles.
Schizer and others didn't go there, instead focusing on ways to discredit US and Israeli critics to delegitimize them, notably human rights organizations like B'Tselem, Al-Haq, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), and, of course, the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) Goldstone Commission.
Israel's Lawfare Forum
A February Jerusalem conference covered the same ground, defining Lawfare as "waging war under the cover of war," and urging help for Israel to "delegitimize its delegitimization." Speakers claimed Israel obeys international law, conforms to the laws of armed conflict in fighting "terror," has a legitimate right to kill enemies of the state, and to discredit critics like Richard Goldstone whose assertions are more suitable for discussion at "a psychiatrist's seminar," according to reserve IDF Lt. Col. David Benjamin. He and others called the Goldstone Report corrupt for accusing Israel of crimes, and to take the offensive by making Israel the plaintiff, not the accused.
DJ Schneeweiss, former Israeli deputy ambassador to China, told attendees:
Participants at both conferences didn't let truth, justice, and democratic values impede their extremist ideology, loyalty to criminal states, and the institutionalized state terrorism they practice. Instead, they blamed victims for their crimes - another refuge for scoundrels who have no morality standards, no principles, no legitimacy, and no place to hide under the law.
Listen to Lendman's cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.
Mr. Lendman's stories are republished in the Baltimore Chronicle with permission of the author.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on March 18, 2010.
Public Service Ads: