End The War In Syria.

yria’s Ambassador Dr. Bashar Ja’afari addressed the United Nations Security Council on February 14, 2018.

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(Transcript – United Nations website)

Mr. Ja’afari (Syrian Arab Republic):

“Article 2, paragraphs 1, 4 and 7, of the Charter of the United Nations provide for respect for the principle of the sovereign equality of all its Members and that all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State. Moreover, no provision of the Charter authorizes the United Nations to intervene in matters that are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any State.”

“Likewise, all 29 resolutions on Syria adopted in the Security Council stress the strong commitment to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Syrian Arab Republic, as well as to the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter. It is our right today, as it is the right of all peoples of the world who still believe in the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, to wonder what the Council is doing to ensure respect for those purposes and principles wisely established by the founders, with a view to maintaining peace, security and prosperity following the wars and tragedies that they experienced.”

“We in Syria know that our country is not the first victim of violations of Charter provisions and international law by certain members of the Council. However, what Syria has been enduring is the consequence of silence over the course of decades in the face of such violations. What did the Council do when certain Member States undermined the provisions of the Charter and prevented the Palestinian people from exercising their right to creating an independent State, with Jerusalem as its capital? What did the Council do when those Member States themselves violated the provisions of the Charter by invading Iraq? What did the Council do when those same States violated the provisions of the Charter and destroyed Libya?”

“What did the Council do when the same States violated Charter provisions by fuelling terrorism worldwide and called it the jihadi movement? What did the Council do when the same States violated the provisions of the Charter and flagrantly interfered in the internal affairs of Member States and looted their resources, as is the case with several African States? The animosity of certain countries towards Syria derives from the principle of arrogance of power, rather than the rule of law. It reflects disrespect to the purposes and principles of the Charter and a total lack of serious accountability on the part of those who avail themselves of the law of the jungle.”

“I would like to explain the unprecedented global terrorist war that my country has been subjected to over seven years, amid the silence of some, the complicity of some, the indifference of some, overlooking of some and conspiring of others. Certain influential countries on the Council — I mean the United States, the United Kingdom and France — have done all they can to destroy Syria, its people and its political standing, in order to settle scores with my country by manipulating the provisions of the Charter and violating its provisions so as to achieve their special agendas related to interference at the expense of the blood and the fate of the Syrian people.”

“They have exploited the media, and unfortunately some United Nations employees distort reality about what is happening in Syria and to lie to international public opinion regarding the human suffering of Syrian civilians. With regard to the suffering of Syrian civilians, it has been inflicted on them by armed terrorist groups for seven years.”

“Such groups use civilians as human shields, target hospitals and schools and use them as military posts, camps and detention centres for the people they abduct. In the past 20 days, the city of Damascus has been subjected to 1,000 missile and mortar attacks. Some Council members have manipulated the principles of the United Nations Charter and violated its provisions by giving orders to their regional partners to invest all they can in media and materials to support armed terrorist groups, by issuing Wahabi fatwas for the shedding of Syrian blood, by opening their borders to facilitate the entry into Syria of tens of thousands of mercenary terrorists from more than 100 Member States of this Organization, by setting up training camps in neighbouring States and by calling these terrorists moderate Syrian opposition.”

“Today those mercenary terrorists who come from more than 100 states are simply called Syrian opposition. It seems that their DNA has been altered, and now they are just the Syrian moderate opposition. It is no secret that this support to the terrorists has cost those States $137 billion, as confirmed by the former Prime Minister of Qatar. It is also no secret that the former United States Ambassador to Syria confirmed that his country had spent $12 billion over the four years from 2014 to 2017 in order to change the regime in Syria, as officials in Washington, D.C., want to do in Baghdad, Libya, Syria, Venezuela and Iran.”

“WikiLeaks documents have revealed the policies of successive American Administrations and shown that the United States Government has been opposed to my country since the American and British invasion of Iraq. Those countries have manipulated the principles of the Charter and violated its provisions by giving armed terrorist groups toxic chemicals to use against innocent civilians, subsequently manipulating the locales of such incidents and providing the investigation mechanism with concocting false information and fake testimony to accuse the Syrian Government in order to find an excuse to attack it.”

“There are 136 letters in the dossier I hold here, sent to the Member States by the Syrian Government and containing very important information on the acquisition of chemical substances outside Syria by terrorists for their use in Syria. Those chemicals were indeed used in Syria and, as I just said, 136 letters were written about them. The Council has the letters, but only a few of its members were interested in reading them. One of the most important political magazines, the American Newsweek, published an article on 8 February written by Ian Wilkie entitled “Now Mattis Admits There Was No Evidence Assad Used Poison Gas on His People”. The United States Secretary of Defence admits in that article that there is no proof of the use of toxic gas by the Syrian Government against it people, neither in Khan Shaykhun nor in Al-Ghouta in 2013.”

“The French Minister of Defence, Florence Parly, also said yesterday, like her American counterpart, that there is no documented proof of the use of chlorine gas by the Syrian Government. Yet the words of the French Minister did not prevent her President from threatening to stage an aggression against my country, Syria, as the former United States Administration did.”

“These countries have manipulated the principles of the Charter and breached its provisions when they tried to legitimize the recurring attacks perpetrated by the forces of what is called the International Coalition, led by the United States, the most recent of which was this illegitimate coalition’s attack on 8 February on northeastern Deir ez-Zor, against Syrian popular forces fighting terrorist Da’esh. This region, which is 30 kilometres wide and 65 kilometres long, and which was attacked by the Syrian popular forces against Da’esh, is under United States protection. Da’esh, which we defeated in Deir ez-Zor and Albuqmal, left these two cities under American protection and entrenched its presence in the region along the Syrian-Iraqi borders.”

“When the Syrian popular forces attacked Da’esh there, they were shelled by the United States Air Force. This is clearly yet another example of the Coalition’s real mission and the role played by Washington, D.C. in supporting the terrorist organization Da’esh, as it has done in the past, when the United States targeted Syrian Arab Army sites in Jabal Al-Thardah, near Deir ez-Zor, on 17 September 2016, enabling Da’esh to advance and occupy areas in Jabal Al-Thardah. The Coalition has deliberately destroyed 90 per cent of the Syrian city of Raqqa and has failed to uphold its commitment to defusing tens of thousands of mines left behind by Da’esh before abandoning the city and perpetrating terrorist acts under its two umbrellas — the United States, east of the Euphrates, and Turkey, north of Afrin.”

“It is unfortunate that in his statement, to which I listened carefully, the Special Envoy made no mention of the occupation of various areas in my country by the United States and Turkey. He did say that there was a cross-border dispute in Afrin, but did not mention the illegitimate Turkish presence in my country and the attack on the Syrian city of Afrin. These States have manipulated the principles of the Charter and violated its provisions when they stayed silent, along with the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, with regard to the repeated attacks by Israel’s occupation forces on areas of the Syrian Arab Republic, the most recent being their act of aggression on 10 February, which my United States colleague has attempted to justify by claiming that it was a response to an Iranian drone’s flight over occupied Palestinian territory.”

“That is not true; it is false and misleading. It is not the first time that we have witnessed Israeli acts of aggression against the sovereignty of my country. Every member of the Council is aware that Israel continued to violate my country’s sovereignty until one of its military planes was brought down by a Syrian rocket over occupied Palestine. Israel has consistently violated my country’s sovereignty — and I would like to remind the Council and the Department of Peacekeeping Operations of that.”

“The Council has been prevented from issuing statements condemning terrorist attacks by military organizations and their launching of more than 1,000 missiles and mortars, most recently targeting residential streets and suburbs, diplomatic missions, infrastructure and churches in Damascus and other cities. Those acts of aggression have resulted in dozens of civilian deaths and hundreds wounded, most of them women and children. These States have manipulated the principles of the Charter and violated its provisions when they talk about what they call besieged areas in eastern Ghouta and the Damascus countryside.”

“They have forgotten that the residents of eastern Ghouta have been besieged from within by armed terrorist groups that are operating from there, using civilians as human shields and attempting to divert humanitarian convoys for the benefit of their supporters or to sell their supplies to desperate people at exorbitant prices, as happened in eastern Aleppo.”

“At the time when the United States first decided unilaterally and illegitimately to intervene militarily in my country, Washington stated that its goal was fighting Da’esh. After that, it changed its mind, saying that it was in Syria to establish permanent military bases for safeguarding the strategic security of the United States and its allies. It later changed its mind once again, saying that the purpose of its presence in Syria was to establish armed militias in opposition to the Syrian Government and to enable them to exploit oil, gas, water and hydrocarbons and other resources in Syria — in other words, they wanted to establish a mini-State.”

“Subsequently, it changed its thinking once more, stating that it would remain in Syria even if Da’esh was defeated. It said the same thing about Iraq, in order to justify the presence of their forces there. It has continued to change its mind, saying that it would leave Syria only if a political settlement was reached and the security of its allies was assured. Most recently, it has stated that it is in Syria to fight Iran, Hizbullah and Russia. It has shifted its nuclear strategy and is considering the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Tomorrow, perhaps, it will tell us that it is in Syria to fight Martians from the Milky Way.”

“The Syrian Government commends the Russian Federation’s efforts, and specifically President Vladimir Putin’s initiative in hosting the Syrian National Dialogue Conference in Sochi, which was yet another demonstration of the fact that the only way to achieve the aims of the political process in Syria is with Syrian oversight and with no foreign interference of any kind. The conference participants represented every sector of Syrian society — political, social, cultural, economic, and more. Two documents were adopted by an overwhelming majority, a final statement and a document calling for the establishment of a constitutional committee.”

“I very much hope that the results that Sochi has produced will not be misinterpreted. The final statement, voted on and amended by the Syrian participants, was adopted unanimously by a broad majority through a democratic vote, based on the procedures established for the conference. It represents the basic pillar of the political process that will produce future dialogue and discussion, rooted in a solution that, assuming no foreign interference, will be entirely Syrian-led. The final statement represents a legitimate foundation for any political process, especially considering that it reflects national principles that have unanimous support in Syria and cannot be questioned — respect for Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and the Syrian people’s right to choose their own political and economic system and to maintain the Syrian Arab Army and armed forces.”

“Given the principle that the Syrian people themselves must determine their future and their Constitution, participants in the Syrian National Dialogue Congress in Sochi adopted a resolution to establish a constitutional committee. Consequently, the committee should be established according to the resolution voted on by the Syrians. The resolution identified the tasks of the committee, and the participants in the Congress did not grant the Special Envoy to Syria any tutelage, delegation or authority to establish the constitutional committee. We in Syria are committed to the decision taken by the participants of the Congress. We are not concerned with any committee set up by foreign stakeholders, and will not deal with the results of its discussions or with anything related to it.”

“The constitutional issue is a sovereign one. The Government of the Syrian Arab Republic remains committed to any political course that would end the bloodshed of the Syrian people, preserve my country’s unity and independence, ensure its sovereignty and uphold the principle of the Syrian people to determine their own future through Syrian dialogue. This firm principle has been underscored by all relevant Security Council resolutions on the Syrian crisis.”

“In conclusion, I would like to respond to my colleague of the United States, who called for peace in Syria and the implementation of resolution 2254 (2015), which was approved by her country. The resolution underscores the need to maintain the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of my country, Syria.”

“Given that the resolution, which was approved by Washington, D.C., underscores the need to maintain the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of my country, Syria, then why does the United States have forces in parts of my country? Has the United States of America not violated the very resolution that its delegation voted in favour of in the Council, where it was unanimously adopted?”

“Thank you for your attention.”

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(Thank you to The Syrian Mission to the United Nations at YouTube)

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2018: The Year Of Peace.

A Plea to Reinforce Peace: Calling for Activation of the International Criminal Court’s Exercise of Jurisdiction over the Crime of Aggression

(Cross-posted from Coalition for the International Criminal Court)

By Jutta F. Bertram-Nothnagel September 2017

The long-awaited decision by the Assembly of States Parties to enable the International Criminal Court’s exercise of jurisdiction over the crime of aggression is urgently needed and cannot happen soon enough. As spelled out with more detail by article 8 of the Rome Statute, the crime is committed by a person in a position effectively to control or to direct the political or military action of a State and requires the planning, preparation, initiation or execution of a State act of aggression which, by its gravity, character and scale, amounts to a manifest violation of the Charter of the United Nations: The armed force of a State is unleashed upon another State with no justification in sight. Not at all in the defense of a country, not at all in the defense of a people, but in the service of a crime that cries to heaven, soldiers are ordered to shoot and bomb a made-up ‘enemy’. Without good cause under the law of nations, they are misused as tools of the crime and turned into its cannon fodder.

Heroism and comradeship are exploited for hypocrisy and the expansion of power. The victim State is trampled, its territorial integrity, sovereignty and political independence smashed into conceptual smithereens. Lives are ruined and families decimated. The human right to peace must not be recognized! Freedom is the freedom of the aggressor. Nightmares keep morphing into relentless reality, – See Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (last amended 2010), art. 15 bis (3), 15 ter (3); see also Resolution RC/Res.6 of the Review Conference of the Rome Statute, pp 6. “Nightmares keep morphing into relentless reality, – combatants returning in wheel chairs or body bags, sailors sunk in the oceans, pilots ripped from the skies, and civilians sacrificed and euphemized as ‘collateral damage’ ”.  Instead of laughter from fields and gardens, last prayers from ditches and rubble. All ‘normal’ war, – no war crimes necessary!

The degradation and slaughter of body and soul violate human dignity to its very core. The urgency for activating the Court’s authority over the crime can scarcely be exaggerated. Everything possible must be done, and must be done now, to prevent crimes of aggression. First, the world is faced with catastrophic threats to its environmental, social and economic sustainability, requiring global cooperation to address them. Each armed conflict disrupts such cooperation. Second, we are sitting on the most horrific powder keg of all times. Since the dawn of the age of nuclear weapons, the numbers of civilian deaths argued to be proportionate to military objectives and thus acceptable ‘collateral damage’ has crept up into the unfathomable. We are talking crimes against humanity that make the devil blush.

Continue reading “2018: The Year Of Peace.”

Ending War Now: A Proposal.

By Jerry Alatalo

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“Not one statesman in a position of responsibility has dared to pursue the only course that hold out any promise of peace, the courage of supra-national security, since for a statesman to follow such a course would be tantamount to political suicide.”

– ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955) Last written words, April 1955; quoted by Otto Nathan and Heinz Norden in “Einstein on Peace.”

iven the massive shift of world collective consciousness emergent after, among other astonishing developments, U.S. President Donald Trump’s arguably intended-to-provoke and dangerous Jerusalem announcement – and especially considering the dramatic response by member states at the United Nations (UN), now would seem the perfect storm, confluence-of-events time for the world’s genuine peacemakers to conduct an energetic push towards long-overdue reform of the UN, and making wars of aggression punishable. Or, in plain-speak, now is the opportune time to end forever in all its dimensions impunity for war criminals.

In the United States, as an example, the Constitution allows for adjustments by the people as time goes by and societal conditions evolve, and the supreme U.S. law-of-the-land document has endured the amendment process several times when deemed necessary. Similarly and invariably, the world and humanity evolves and conditions change to the point of requiring necessary actions correspondent to newly developed circumstances.

Let us call the proposed United Nations reform to the UN Charter a similar legally binding amendment, or treaty, or instrument, but – no matter the name and/or process necessary for bringing about truly effective legal enforcement on a global level – the vital point of such an initiative is making wars of aggression an action individuals (historically, in most instances the wealthiest and most powerful) will certainly think long, hard and twice about, because they are (now) subject to prosecution and punishment. This describes the basic foundation of deterrence, the legal term fully understood by any man or woman with a reasoning, functioning brain.

The reform we propose is as simple as simple gets, yet at the same time tremendously consequential in its potential:

Make it mandatory for each United Nations member state to sign the Rome Statute and agree to come under the legal jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, or face their nation’s expulsion from the United Nations – period. Perhaps it is beneficial at this point to look at the history-changing example of what the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) and its hundreds of global support groups accomplished:

  • An unprecedented, binding United Nations treaty passed in July 2017 making nuclear weapons illegal
  • The Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee’s deciding upon and rightly honoring ICAN as the recipients of the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

May we suggest that a similar effort to end impunity for war criminals, embodied in and anchored on the simple United Nations reform just described, led by a new globally supported organization with the name “International Campaign to Abolish War”, would become the next recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize for year 2018? It’s safe to say every human being on Earth would gladly welcome elimination of both nuclear weapons and wars of aggression from the Earth.

Most men and women who pass this way and read these words feel the extraordinary nature of current events in aspects equally historical, international, and spiritual, and especially in the sense of intensifying inevitableness. Both ICAN’s Executive Director Beatrice Fihn and 85-year old survivor of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack, Setsuko Thurlow, spoke passionately to the world after accepting the organization’s richly-deserved 2017 Nobel Peace Prize.

NORWAY – International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) leaders Setsuko Thurlow (center) and Beatrice Fihn (right) accept the 2017 Nobel Peace Prize

In her acceptance speech on behalf of ICAN, Ms. Fihn clearly and powerfully articulated that widespread, growing sense of inevitableness, when she said:

“Will it be the end of nuclear weapons, or will it be the end of us? One of these things will happen.”

ICAN’s name suggests the sole goal of the organization is abolition of nuclear weapons from the face of this Earth. But it could reasonably be asserted: given the likelihood any escalation of violence today approaching the destructive levels of World War I and World War II would involve the use of nuclear weapons – so in the ultimate, classic logic sense ICAN’s vision is all about total abolition of both nuclear weapons and war.

Many are comparing the international situation today as more dangerous than that which existed during the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, and it’s likely somewhere in the 90-99% range that men and women who come to read these words will agree. One senses that humanity is closing in fast on the time of its greatest moral decision, or has even already arrived at its most crucial collective rendezvous with destiny in recorded history. The decision upon which civilization now will depend for their very lives to continue, and begin again for those to come in future generations, is whether to take right action or not.

Creating a workable plan to effectively abolish war forever is clearly taking right action.

There is only one human family. Arguably, an overwhelming majority of people the world over wish to carry out their lives in human-created conditions guaranteeing their opportunities for experiencing some significant level of love, peace and harmony. War is undeniably in the way, and represents the absolute obstacle to achieving humanity’s highest vision. There is only one simple, yet immeasurably profound and unavoidable question. Why not take right action toward ending war; taking into account the current dangerous, worrying state of world affairs and international relations, shouldn’t such necessary action be starting now?

End The 9/11 Nightmare.

By Jerry Alatalo

“But the peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth; if wrong, they lose what is always as great a benefit – the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.”

– JOHN STUART MILL (1806-1873) English political economist, philosopher

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THE BOBBY MCILVAINE WORLD TRADE CENTER INVESTIGATION ACT

Resolved,

SECTION 1. ESTABLISHMENT.

There is hereby established the Select Committee on the investigation of the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 (hereinafter referred to as the “Select Committee”).

SEC. 2. COMPOSITION.

(a) The Speaker shall appoint 12 Members to the Select Committee, five of whom shall be appointed after consultation with the minority leader.
(b) The Speaker shall designate one Member to serve as chair of the Select Committee.
(c) Any vacancy in the Select Committee shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.

SEC. 3. INVESTIGATION AND REPORT ON THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WORLD TRADE CENTER TWIN TOWERS AND BUILDING 7.

(a) The Select Committee is authorized and directed to conduct a full and complete investigation and study and issue a final report of its findings to the House regarding—
(1) the likely technical cause or causes of the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7, including a full inquiry into the possible use of explosives and/or incendiaries that may have been the actual cause of the destruction;
(2) the circumstances surrounding the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7 that would have allowed for their destruction by means of controlled demolition using explosives and/or incendiaries;
(3) the validity, or lack thereof, of the findings and conclusions of the investigation conducted by the National Institute of Standards and Technology;
(b) In addition to the final report addressing the matters in subsection (a), the Select Committee may issue such interim reports as it deems necessary.

SEC. 4. PROCEDURE.

(a) Rule XI of the Rules of the House of Representatives shall apply to the Select Committee except as follows:
(1) Clause 2(a) of rule XI shall not apply to the Select Committee.
(2) Pursuant to clause 2(h) of rule XI, two Members of the Select Committee shall constitute a quorum for taking testimony or receiving evidence and one third of the Members of the Select Committee shall constitute a quorum for taking any action other than one for which the presence of a majority of the Select Committee is required.
(3) The chair of the Select Committee may authorize and issue subpoenas pursuant to clause 2(m) of rule XI in the investigation and study conducted pursuant to section 3 of this resolution, including for the purpose of taking depositions.
(4) (A) The chair of the Select Committee, upon consultation with the ranking minority member, may order the taking of depositions, under oath and pursuant to notice or subpoena, by a Member of the Select Committee or a counsel of the Select Committee.
(B) Depositions taken under the authority prescribed in this paragraph shall be governed by the procedures submitted by the chair of the Committee on Rules for printing in the Congressional Record.
(5) The chair of the Select Committee may, after consultation with the ranking minority member, recognize—
(A) Members of the Select Committee to question a witness for periods longer than five minutes as though pursuant to clause 2(j)(2)(B) of rule XI; and
(B) staff of the Select Committee to question a witness as though pursuant to clause 2(j)(2)(C) of rule XI.
(b) The Select Committee shall take testimony from no fewer than three experts in engineering or related fields who present evidence supporting the theory that explosives and/or incendiaries were used in the destruction of the World Trade Center Twin Towers and Building 7.

SEC. 5. RECORDS; STAFF; FUNDING.

(a) Any committee of the House of Representatives having custody of records in any form relating to the matters described in section 3 shall transfer such records to the Select Committee within 14 days of the adoption of this resolution. Such records shall become the records of the Select Committee.
(b) (1) (A) To the greatest extent practicable, the Select Committee shall utilize the services of staff of employing entities of the House. At the request of the chair of the Select Committee in consultation with the ranking minority member, staff of employing entities of the House or a joint committee may be detailed to the Select Committee without reimbursement to carry out this resolution and shall be deemed to be staff of the Select Committee.
(B) Section 202(i) of the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 (2 U.S.C. 4301(i)) shall apply with respect to the Select Committee in the same manner as such section applies with respect to a standing committee of the House of Representatives.
(2) The chair of the Select Committee, upon consultation with the ranking minority member, may employ and fix the compensation of such staff as the chair considers necessary to carry out this resolution.
(c) There shall be paid out of the applicable accounts of the House of Representatives such sums as may be necessary for the expenses of the Select Committee. Such payments shall be made on vouchers signed by the chair of the Select Committee and approved in the manner directed by the Committee on House Administration. Amounts made available under this subsection shall be expended in accordance with regulations prescribed by the Committee on House Administration.

SEC. 6. DISSOLUTION AND DISPOSITION OF RECORDS.

(a) The Select Committee shall cease to exist 30 days after filing the final report required under section 3.
(b) Upon dissolution of the Select Committee, the records of the Select Committee shall become the records of such committee or committees designated by the Speaker.

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(Thank you to AE911Truth at YouTube)