Bolivia’s Llorenty At U.N.: Syria Strike ‘Extremely Serious Violation Of International Law.’

By Jerry Alatalo

olivian Sacha Sergio Llorenty gave perhaps the most powerful statement of all at the 7919th meeting of the United Nations Security Council, convened to discuss the situation in Syria after the United States unilaterally launched 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles into Syrian territory.

Mr. Llorenty was the first U.N. representative to deliver their statement, and began by reminding fellow members of the Security Council of relevant articles in the U.N. Charter. He spoke about the U.S. missile attacks as being a serious threat to international peace and security:

“Why?… Because over the last 70 years mankind has been establishing, building a structure, not just an institutional structure, but also a legal structure. They have established an instrument of international law to precisely prevent a situation in which the most powerful attack the weakest with impunity, and to ensure a balance in the world. And of course, to avoid serious violations of international peace and security.”

At this point Mr. Llorenty held up a copy of the United Nations Charter, and said:

“We have agreed that this charter – the United Nations Charter – must be respected, and this charter prohibits unilateral actions. Any action must be authorized by the Security Council in accordance with the Charter. Allow me to read a couple of articles so we can remember this.”

“Article 24 says that in order to ensure prompt and effective action by the United Nations, its members confer on the Security Council primary responsibility for the maintenance of international peace and security, and agree that in carrying out its duties under this responsibility the Security Council acts on their behalf.”

“We (Security Council) represent the 193 member states of the organization, and through them we represent the people of the world. And, we have agreed that unilateral actions violate international law. Now, as we were discussing yesterday draft resolutions, while we were striving to come up with alternatives and come up with consensus in the Security Council, the United States not only unilaterally attacked, but, while we were just discussing here and demanding the need for an independent investigation, an impartial investigation, complete investigation into these attacks, the United States has become that investigator… Has become the prosecutor… Has become the judge, has become the jury.”

“So, where is the investigation which would allow us to establish in an objective manner who is responsible for the (chemical) attacks? This is an extremely, extremely serious violation of international law.”

***

Mr. Llorenty then reminded fellow members sitting at the meeting that such unilateral military action isn’t anything new, and has been undertaken by not just solely the United States but other U.N. member states in the past. He noted the 2003 presence of then U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell at the United Nations shortly before the start of the Iraq War, and how Mr. Powell lied to the Security Council about Iraq’s leader Saddam Hussein’s possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Mr. Llorenty reminded the council that Latin Americans have been subject to U.S. Central Intelligence Agency financed overthrows of constitutional governments in that region, and described the training of torture methods to military soldiers associated with post-overthrow government officials.

***

“When we condemn unequivocally chemical attacks, we say that the Security Council must not be used as an echo chamber for interventionism. The Security Council should not be used as a pawn which can be sacrificed on a chessboard – the chessboard of war.”

“This Security Council of the United Nations is the final hope that we have to guarantee international peace and security, based upon principles, on norms and international rule of law.”

“Madame President, Also I’d like to point out that it’s absolutely vital, as you have convened this meeting in a very transparent way, that we demonstrate the concern that unfortunately there are first class members of the Security Council and second class members of the Security Council. The permanent members, which not only have the right to the veto, but they also control the procedures, they control the decision-making. And the other ten, we may be involved if we are consulted or if we are convened occasionally, not just to… not just to underwrite some positions of others. This is not multilateralism.”

“Bolivia would like to reiterate its robust, its robust condemnation of the use of chemical weapons or the use of chemical precursors in weapons to conduct criminal acts, irrespective of their motivation, whenever it may be, wherever it may be, and by whomsoever it may be committed. And we reiterate that we demand when these cases take place there should be independent, impartial, and conclusive investigations.”

“Unfortunately, the attacks yesterday have given a mortal attack on the Joint Investigative Mechanism, and, against the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) so that they can undertake an investigation to find out exactly what did take place a couple of days ago in Syria.”

“The persons responsible must be prosecuted and punished under the law, and the same with any violations of international law, and which threaten international security.”

“Thank you, Madame President.”

***

Sacha Sergio Llorenty of Bolivia  delivered a powerful statement at the 7919th meeting of the United Nations Security Council. What made it remarkable, and historic, was Mr. Llorenty’s fearlessness in speaking truths unfortunately rarely seen at the United Nations, and in the process raised the organization’s level of integrity and bar of excellence. Perhaps when situations become extraordinarily dangerous, some individuals respond with extraordinary truthfulness to reveal the root cause of the dangers, so to effectively neutralize any and all potential threats. May all such individuals on Earth step forward now.

(Thank you to Permanent Mission of Bolivia to the United Nations at YouTube)

Historic Yemen Peace Rally Draws Sea Of Humanity.

By Jerry Alatalo

Saudi-led war crimes, destruction of Yemen and its people reaches two years

ne can’t help but wonder about the nature of U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration’s response to images of  hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people in Yemen’s capitol city of Sana’a, gathered in protest against continued Saudi war crimes, and calling for peace.

Perhaps Mr. Trump will go to his Twitter account and comment on the massive gathering, which looks from video recordings to surpass one million in attendance, with something along the lines of: “Fantastic rally in Yemen! The size of the crowd must have broken the record… Super organizers! Just fantastic and beautiful..”

People will remember Mr. Trump leading the way in what he described as a “record” length of applause during a presidential address to Congress, and that the applause record related with recent U.S. military events in Yemen. One might not become surprised or disappointed if Mr. Trump has very different perceptions of the one record (set inside Congress), and the other – an absolutely massive gathering of Yemeni people demanding an end to the war.

Similarly, one has to wonder how British Prime Minister Theresa May and her people responded to images of the overflowing Sana’a crowd. Perhaps, like Mr. Trump and his administration, Ms. May’s group will remain silent for fear of people raising their voices to end weapons sales to Saudi Arabia’s royal family (you know, the owners of the country).

It is highly unlikely Donald Trump or Theresa May offers any approving, encouraging commentary – or responds at all – on the massive number of people gathered to demand peace after enduring two years of war. Unfortunately for the people of Yemen, both Ms. May and  Mr. Trump perceive their historic peace rally event as bad news and negatively.

Unfortunately for Ms. May and Mr. Trump, those who are following developments in Yemen perceive such an enormous display of human unity – focused on peace – as a positive development having the potential to inspire millions of others around the world.

“The Donald”: (Record applause…)… “Make Yemen great again!…”

But this is so much more serious…

***

War crimes, up to and including genocide

Saudi Arabia – with the full knowledge, criminal assistance, and weapons from the United States, Britain and others under Donald Trump, Theresa May, etc. – is guilty of the crime of genocide against the Yemeni people. Help bring peace soon to the suffering men, women and children of Yemen.

(Thank you to PressTV News Videos at YouTube)

Peter Ford: Former UK Ambassador To Syria Corrects The Record.

By Jerry Alatalo

“Take my word for it, if you had seen but one day of war you would pray to Almighty God that you might never see such a thing again.”

ARTHUR WELLESLEY, DUKE OF WELLINGTON (1769-1852) British military leader, statesman

aaa-31Alphabet Mr. Peter Ford was the United Kingdom’s ambassador to Syria from 2003-2006. His view of the six-year long war in that nation directly contradicts the media reporting and narratives from the western countries of the United States, UK, France, Israel and others. Ambassador Ford gave an interview recently to Iranian media group Press TV, on their program titled “Face to Face”.

Early on in the interview, Mr. Ford talked about his experience while living in Syria where his residence came under attack by a group of jihadis, during which his Syrian police guard lost his life. This would seem to solidify for any skeptics his qualifications to speak with authority and seriousness about conditions in Syria.

He clears up any misunderstanding of, or misinformation about, so-called Alawite domination in Bashar al Assad’s (Assad is an Alawite) government by naming high-level Sunni government officials he dealt with as ambassador.

He goes on to correct the record on the false narrative that initial protests in 2011 were peaceful. He says the so-called “revolution” begun in 2011 was not peaceful “but for the first five minutes”, and that “…very, very quickly armed men came on the streets, and shot demonstrators precisely to provoke these kinds of reactions that we’ve just been discussing”.

“Syrian colleagues of mine who live in Daraa have told me this. I can’t put my hand in the fire and say that this is the truth, but to me it has the ring of truth”.

“I’m not saying that the Syrian government didn’t make tactical errors, didn’t overreact, but this myth that it was all very peaceful, that people had to arm themselves in order to defend themselves against the brutal regime, is nonsense and propaganda”.

The interviewer asked Mr. Ford for his thoughts on the West role in the Syria conflict.

“After the Iraq fiasco public opinion would not wear another western military direct intervention other than in the shape of bombing as happened in Libya. So Washington, London and Paris were unable to carry through on their wishes to depose the Assad government by force. They went for the next best thing – they provided offshore help. This is another myth, however – that the West has not provided military, not had a military role, in Syria. It has very much provided military advice, training, equipment, strategic advice, manipulation; it’s operated rear bases for the opposition in Turkey and in Jordan”.

“It is a myth that America, in particular the Obama administration, did not intervene militarily… It did – to the tune of billions of dollars of materials and training and other forms of assistance”.

Asked about the level of support Syrians had for Assad, Peter Ford replied:

“It (the government under Assad) certainly has the support of the minorities, even though in the West we try to hide this fact, but the Christians, the Druze, the Shiites, the Alawites obviously, and a very high proportion of secular Sunnis”.

On western and Arab media accusations of Assad being a war criminal:

“A lot of this is straightforward disinformation and propaganda. Let us look at the facts. It’s often quoted that 400,000 or even half a million people have been killed by the regime. Not true. At least half of that number are fighters – on both sides. Half of that half are civilians, again on both sides”.

On claims that Bashar al Assad is collaborating with ISIS:

“It’s a shameful lie. When you look at the daily news, today I could point to half a dozen reports – Palmyra, Deir ez-Zor, Homs.. – where fighting is going on government against ISIS”.

“I give a hollow laugh when I sometimes hear commentators say ‘Assad can’t be a good partner for us against ISIS’. On the contrary, Syria is suffering daily hundreds of casualties at the hands of ISIS. In the West, we might have one in Britain. We haven’t even experienced a single ISIS attack. I think Assad would have every right to ask whether the West is a good partner for him in the fight against ISIS”.

On the roles of Russia and Iran in the conflict:

“Well, thank goodness Russia and Iran have stood behind the government. There was a point a couple of years ago when ISIS were at the gates of Damascus, and it was only the combined efforts of Iran, Hezbollah, Russians with the Syrian Arab Army that managed to turn the tide. So, the people who criticize Iran and Russia need to answer the question: ‘Did you want the jihadis to take over control of Damascus?’ You can’t take down the regime without having something better to put in its place”.

“If the Assad government were to fall… there would be a bloodbath”.

On claims Iran is trying to make Syria Shia, and recreate the Persian Empire:

“I think all those accusations are just fantasy and paranoia. You have only to look at the demographics. …They don’t make sense”.

Asked what he thought of media coverage of the war:

“With the recent Aleppo campaign, we’ve seen new depths plunged in the mainstream media coverage of the Syria conflict. The amount of manipulation, fake news, distortion, lies that were put out was amazing. They (UK media) take whatever they are fed by the foreign ministry or Number 10, as simple as that. I’ve seen it happen many times. When I was in government – remember I used to be in government, I know how it works – you give the story to the journalists, especially lobby correspondents who rely on the availability and access to civilian government officials, and they regurgitate it”.

“It actually takes a bit of thought and independence of mind to realize that the government story is totally wrong, and I’m afraid most of our newspapers don’t have this. Some newspapers have a liberal interventionist mindset, of course. They think that Britain and the West should be ready to bomb in the interests of installing democracy in places”.

“And then there’s the influence of Israel on some parts of the British press. It’s really no secret that Israel would like to keep the fires burning in Syria”.

What would happen were Assad to step down?

“He is the key ingredient of peace, because he’s the only person around which the regime can group. He is the key stone of the arch. Take him out and the arch will collapse. There would be tremendous in-fighting were he to go. But, he commands legitimacy because he has prevailed in six years of conflict”.

***

What former ambassador Peter Ford has said becomes particularly important given his stature and credentials, knowledge of Syria, and experience accrued with his former high level diplomatic position/service inside the British government. If his statements are honest and accurate the need for prosecuting those guilty of war crimes becomes raised. Mr. Ford’s statements seem clearly to illustrate the prospect that ISIS, al Nusra and other terrorist militias conducting killing, maiming and destroying in Syria since 2011 have received state sponsorship.

For the world community and humanity as a whole, the statements of Mr. Ford and others like him speaking the truth represent or exemplify one of the great legal challenges – perhaps the greatest – to maintaining any existing enforcement of strong and effective, deterring international law. How the world community responds to yet another horrific instance of war criminality and/or illegal war of aggression carried out with impunity will have long-term consequences.

Another failure to hold accountable those responsible for war crimes will increase the possibility of future horrors. Justly punishing today’s war criminals is necessary to deter those contemplating similar atrocities in the days, years and generations ahead.

World peace is possible.

***

(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

Syria “Fact Checker”: U.S., West Assertions Defy Reality.

By Jerry Alatalo

steinAlphabet Peter Ford, Britain’s Ambassador to Bahrain (1999-2003) and Syria (2003-2006), holds a different perspective of Syria than either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump. Perhaps Mr. Ford can act as one of Ms. Clinton’s “fact checkers” so she’ll share the full truth with the American people during Wednesday’s 3rd (Jill Stein-free) and final presidential debate with Mr. Trump. Why does it feel as if a lot of otherwise well-informed people don’t see that occurring, and, for the majority of Americans totally uninformed and/or lied to about Syria – couldn’t care less?

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Tony Blair and their war criminal accomplices lied the world into war with Iraq in 2003. Barack Obama, Joe Biden, David Cameron, Hillary Clinton and their respective war criminal accomplices lied the world into destroying Libya in 2011. Despite the clear evidence of a pattern of major criminal deception by America’s “deep state” – described and referenced a million times since articulated by U.S. General Wesley Clark, attacking and overthrowing “seven countries in five years” – expect the same deception from Clinton and Trump in “debate” #3.

Neither Clinton or Trump will mention Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Israel and U.S./Western support – from the start of the war on Syria in 2011 until today – for ISIS, al Nusra (al Qaeda) and dozens of other mercenary terrorist groups, with fighters coming from some 80-100 countries outside Syria. Do not expect either Clinton or Trump to place the blame for the humanitarian catastrophe inflicted upon the people of Syria where it belongs: foreign fighters/terrorists and the war criminal leaders in nations responsible for paying, arming, training, supplying and directing them.

Clinton calls for a no-fly zone in Syria which straight out means war with Syria and Russia. Most Americans will hear Clinton’s no-fly zone proposal and think: “Hey, that’s good… no more bombs raining down on the kids in Syria…” Donald Trump will fail, again, to correct Clinton’s twisted no-fly zone narrative and tell the American people it means war with Syria and Russia, possibly escalating to world war, the use of nuclear weapons, and the unthinkable.

Absent a political miracle in the remaining 22 days until election day where Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka pull off the greatest upset in U.S. presidential election history, Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump will become the next President of the United States. That both deny legitimate candidates having the mathematical chance of winning the opportunity to debate, and that both will likely continue to flat-out lie about Syria to millions of Americans watching the final debate – should result in a lot of people in the U.S. and around the Earth putting forth serious prayers seeking the miraculous.

(Thank you to GoingUndergroundRT at YouTube)