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Health Care & Environment
11.18 Air pollution levels ‘forcing families to move out of cities’ [like from desertification, lack of drinkable water and rising oceans, there will also be pollution-caused immigration until humans fix things]
11.17 Policies of China, Russia and Canada threaten 5C climate change, study finds [Climate catastrophe is increasingly likely without worldwide organization, funding and commitment to winning THE WAR AGAINST GLOBAL WARMING.]
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 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.]
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...]
News Media Matters
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
11.19 Last Week Tonight with John Oliver 11/18/2018 (HBO) [29:26 video]
11.19 Trump Says He Was 'Fully Briefed' and Also 'Not Briefed Yet' But Either Way Saudi Crown Prince 'Absolutely' Not Involved Because Trump Knows 'Everything That Went On' Without Listening to Tape of Khashoggi Murder
11.19 'We Need New Leaders, Period': Progressive Newcomers Urge Democrats to Embrace Bold Agenda or Face Primary Challenges [Current Democrat leaders are highly compromised by corporate donations]
11.18 Trump says Pelosi deserves speakership, offers Republican votes [An affirmation of Pelosi's unsuitability]
11.18 Khanna to Pelosi: Don't Just Create Green New Deal Select Committee, Make Ocasio-Cortez Its Chair [Will Pelosi earnestly change, or end her career in disgrace?]
11.18 Chuck Schumer, Feckless Hack [Neoliberal Democrats must go!]
11.18 What the State of the VA Tells Us About Trump’s War on Welfare [Privatizing often results in outright fraud and higher costs by private prisons, privatized health insurance and health care, privatized public schools and online "colleges" like Trump University]
11.17 As Energy for Medicare for All Explodes, Steny Hoyer's Plan Includes Waiting for Trump to Help Make Obamacare Better [Another who is unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.17 'A Staggeringly Bad Idea': Outrage as Pelosi Pushes Tax Rule That Would 'Kneecap the Progressive Agenda' [Unfit to be Democrat leader]
11.14 The Guardian view on Yemen’s misery: the west is complicit [WAR CRIMES]
Economics, Crony Capitalism
11.19 Bankrupt Sears wants to give executives $19 million in bonuses [blatantly immoral and sick to richly reward those who led the company into the bankruptcy]
11.18 Big Pharma Bankrolled Pro-Trump Group As Trump Pushed Pharma Tax Cut [Corruption Central!]
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.]
International & Futurism
11.18 France demands UK climate pledge in return for Brexit trade deal [Excellent!]
11.17 Thousands gather to block London bridges in climate rebellion [We're losing WWIII because the enemy is invisible while we're like frogs slowly cooking. We aren't informed enough to be alarmed, but must get organized and motivated to fight back. We need a War Plan to ruthlessly pursue the fight of our lives!]
CONDUCT BECOMING THE WORST THUGS IN HISTORY:
Committee of Independent Experts on Gaza War
Saturday, 25 September 2010
Their report highlights Cast Lead's seriousness. Hopefully, it will also demand those responsible be held accountable, perhaps at the International Criminal Court (ICC).
On September 21, the UN Human Rights Council's independent fact finding Committee issued its report titled, "No Safe Place ," assessing "investigat(ions) and report(s) on violations of human rights law and international humanitarian law during" Operation Cast Lead. Its members included:
On February 21, it held an initial meeting with the Arab League's Secretary-General in Cairo, then entered Gaza the next day through the Rafah crossing. The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights organized its six day visit with a wide range of persons, including Cast Lead victims, witnesses, doctors, lawyers, journalists, business people, and members of NGOs, UN agencies and Hamas.
Sites visited included hospitals, schools, universities, mosques, businesses, police stations, government buildings, UN facilities, private homes, and agricultural lands - all devastated by destruction or damage.
Three times the Committee requested Israeli cooperation, getting no response. "The Committee regrets the decision of the Government of Israel to withhold cooperation." It also stonewalled the Goldstone Commission, as it always does to prevent independent investigations from exposing its crimes.
The Committee obtained firsthand evidence of great loss of life and injuries in Gaza, as well as the vast amount of destruction, mostly affecting civilians, their homes, neighborhoods, and other non-military facilities - a clear violation of international law.
"Operating under internationally recognized standards, the report documents the injuries suffered and their alleged causes." The Committee obtained firsthand evidence of great loss of life and injuries in Gaza, as well as the vast amount of destruction, mostly affecting civilians, their homes, neighborhoods, and other non-military facilities - a clear violation of international law, documented clearly in earlier articles.
Palestinian losses were immense, also documented earlier. Israel's were minor - four civilians and ten soldiers killed (three by friendly fire), and 148 wounded. Palestinians had only "unsophisticated weapons" against the world's fourth most powerful military, using everything (except its nuclear capability), including illegal weapons like white phosphorous.
"It was clear to the Committee that the IDF had not distinguished between civilians and civilian objects and military targets. Both the loss of life and the damage to property were disproportionate to the harm suffered by Israel or any threatened harm." Israel was the clear aggressor in violation of international law, waging premeditated war largely against civilians. The Goldstone Commission highlighted the crime, saying:
Israel willfully killed hundreds of civilians as a result of "disproportionate attacks," including on hospitals, homes, and other civilian structures. "Repeatedly, the Israeli Defense Forces failed to adequately distinguish between combatants and civilians, as the laws of war strictly require....Pursuing justice in this case is essential because no state or armed group should be above the law." Failure to do so "will have a deeply corrosive effect on international justice, and reveal an unacceptable hypocrisy. As a service to the hundreds of civilians who needlessly died and for the equal application of international justice, the perpetrators of serious violations must be held to account."
So far, they have not. Gaza remains under siege, and world leaders are doing nothing to end it and demand justice for Israeli war crimes. Instead they support a bogus "peace process," that's neither a process or a way to peace. It's the same shameless on and off 35 year charade going nowhere, unless the PA agrees to unconditional surrender, the only outcome Israel will accept.
On September 22, Haaretz report its latest wrinkle, headlined "US won't comment on reports of (Jonathan) Pollard release deal," saying:
Citing unnamed sources, Israeli Radio said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet might propose extending the (September 26 expiring) construction "freeze" in exchange for releasing the convicted spy. Why not when no freeze exists. Construction continues unabated. PA President Mahmoud Abbas accepts the charade as well as the Obama administration and Western media. The reported pressure on Netanyahu is bogus. He loses nothing by agreeing or perhaps negotiating an illusion of compromise.
For years, Israel asked US presidents for clemency, so far without results. If Netanyahu succeeds, he'll gain political prestige and more popularity at home. However, On June 20, 2009, Haaretz writer Amir Oren explained that US intelligence officials "unequivocally oppose" the release, saying doing so "will undermine US security practices and complicate counterintelligence." Then, and likely now, "The US intelligence community hasn't altered its position. It's unknown whether Obama will go along, given how much he yields to Israel on most everything requested.
Conclusions from the Committee's Report
It explained that:
Nonetheless, the Committee found "serious violations of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Convention on the Rights of the Child." Also, Fourth Geneva and its Additional Protocols were violated, especially on the issue of collective punishment, specifically prohibited at all times under all circumstances.
On issues of crimes of war and against humanity, "The Committee found that the IDF was responsible for the crime of indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on civilians....It rejected Israel's determination of who is a civilian." Members of Hamas' civil government are not combatants "as claimed by Israel." Nor are police.
"The Committee found that the IDF was responsible for the crime of killing, wounding and terrorizing civilians," based on the numbers of dead and wounded as well as Israel's use of banned weapons and intense bombardment for over three weeks.
"The Committee rejected Israel's claim that it warned civilians in advance to leave." Use of leaflets and phone calls "only served to cause confusion and panic. Incessant bombing and misleading warnings of this kind served to terrorize the population." Where could they go with Gaza under siege, its borders closed?
The Committee called the IDF [was] "responsible for the wanton destruction of property and that such destruction could not be justified on grounds of military necessity." The harm done was disproportionate and illegal.
Israel committed grievous crimes of war and against humanity, whitewashing them through internal investigations and obstruction of independent ones by refusing to cooperate.
The Committee called Cast Lead so grave, "it was compelled to consider whether (genocide) had been committed. Without question in the context of 62 years of displacement and persecution and 43 years of brutal military occupation, punctuated by regular attacks, killings, targeted assassinations, arrests, torture, and other types of abuses daily.
The Committee thus concluded that Israel "committed war crimes, crimes against humanity and, possibly genocide in the course of Operation Cast Lead" alone. Responsible military and civilian officials are culpable, yet so far unpunished.
The Committee also said "there is no indication that Israel has opened an investigation into the actions of those who designed, planned, ordered, and oversaw 'Operation Cast Lead.' "
It also found Hamas guilty of firing rockets into Israel, a defensive action in response to Israel's attack, and minor by comparison.
Some Final Comments
The Palestinian Centre for Human Rights said Israel proved itself "genuinely unwilling to comply with its international legal obligation to conduct effective investigations, and appropriate prosecutions into the systematic violations of international law committed" during its offensive.
So far, only one prosecution occurred - for credit card theft, while serious war crimes have been whitewashed and ignored. As a result, responsible officials keep persecuting millions of Palestinians in Gaza, the West Bank and East Jerusalem. They're no match against the world's fourth most powerful military allied with collaborationist PA officials, principally Mahmoud Abbas and his appointed prime minister, Salam Fayyad, self-serving imperial tools.
On September 27, the Committee will present its report to the UN Human Rights Council. It will highlight Cast Lead's seriousness. Hopefully, it will also demand those responsible be held accountable, perhaps at the International Criminal Court (ICC). That's why it was established, though it fails to fulfill its mandate.
What better time than now to do it, then take on America for destroying Iraq and Afghanistan, and bankrolling Israeli belligerency, supplying money, weapons and munitions, both countries committing mass murder with impunity. It's high time their day of reckoning arrived. It can't come a moment too soon.
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.
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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 September 25, 2010.
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