Bennett: Middle East Neocon Dream Turned Nightmare.

by Jerry Alatalo

“There are no warlike people – just warlike leaders.”

– RALPH BUNCHE (1904-1971) American diplomat

whitekeys4-1Former American military psychological operations officer Scott Bennett appeared on Press TV recently and strongly suggested high government, military and intelligence officials from the United Kingdom and United States, including Tony Blair and George W. Bush, need to become investigated for war crimes for their actions leading up to and during the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.

Most readers are well aware of the horrific facts surrounding the Iraq War, so no need to repeat them here. However, after the worldwide media storm generated by Tony Blair’s “some elements of truth” statements to the media recently, many are anticipating imminent and increasing numbers of disclosures of truth having the potential of leading to International Criminal Court (ICC) investigations into what anyone with a modicum of awareness recognizes as the most serious, large-scale  execution of war crimes on Earth in the 21st century.

Scott Bennett’s analysis arrives at the truth, and it is perhaps impossible for any person to find fault or error in his estimate of the issue. Men and women on other media outlets have in the past days called for Tony Blair’s appearance at the Hague and ICC for what they unanimously agree are clearly actions reaching the level of war crimes.

More and more people have come to accept the disturbing and sobering fact that such is the truth and no longer deniable. One woman may have said it best for all people around the world who’ve come to a full realization of the truth: “If Tony Blair’s actions associated with the Iraq War don’t make him a war criminal, there is no such thing as a war criminal.” In America, citizens following these developments are most likely asking the same questions about George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and others responsible and accountable for the Iraq War as the British now with Blair, and – unfortunately or fortunately depending on one’s perspective – coming to the same conclusion.

Jeb Bush will withdraw from the race for President in the very near future.

Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.

(Thank you to Press TV News Videos at YouTube)

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Veterans For Peace Message To Drone Operators.

(Originally posted at Veterans For Peace)

March 04, 2015

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To our brothers and sisters, sons and daughters at Creech Air Force Base,

This week, veterans of the U.S. wars in Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan are arriving in Nevada to join protests outside Creech Air Force Base against Drone Warfare.  We are not protesting against you, the airmen (and women) who are drone operators and support personnel.

We are reaching out to you because we understand the position you that you are in.  We were once in that position ourselves, some of us quite recently.  We know what it feels like to be caught up in strange and brutal wars not of our own making, and not clearly in the interests of our nation.  We want to share some of our hard won truths, and to offer you our support.

We know that drone operators and support personnel have a tough job.  We understand that you are not playing video games, but rather engaging in life and death situations on a daily basis. You are not targeted and don’t have to worry about being killed and wounded.  But you are human beings with feelings who suffer nonetheless.  You have a conscience too.

It is not normal or healthy for human beings to kill other human beings.  Many veterans continue to suffer from PTSD and “moral injury” for the rest of their lives.  The suicide rate for active duty GI’s and veterans is extremely high.

No matter how you spin it, your job involves killing other human beings, thousands of miles away, who are not threatening you.  No doubt you want to know who these people are.  According to recent independent research, the identity of only one out of 28 victims of drone strikes is known beforehand.  Though officials deny it, the majority of those killed by drones are civilians.

As veterans who have served in many wars and on many military bases, we have been educating ourselves about what goes on at Creech AFB.  In 2005, Creech Air Force Base secretly became the first U.S. base in the country to carry out remotely controlled assassinations using the MQ-1 Predator drones.  In 2006, the more advanced Reaper drones were added to its arsenal. Last year, in 2014, it was leaked that the CIA’s drone assassination program, officially a separate operation from the Air Force’s, has been piloted all along by Creech’s super-secret Squadron 17.

The U.S. wars and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have been disasters for the people of those countries.  These wars have also been a disaster for the soldiers, marines, airmen (and women) who were forced to fight them, as well as their families.

The ISIS terrorist threat of today would not exist if the U.S. had not invaded and occupied Iraq.  Likewise, the U.S. drone war in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia is creating more terrorism, not eliminating it.  And, as many veterans have painfully discovered, these wars have been based on lies, and have more to do with rich men’s dreams of empire than they do with the defense of our country and the well being of the common people.

So what can you do about it? You are in the military now.  There are serious consequences for those who dare to question the mission.  That is true.  But there are also serious consequences for those who do not.  We have to be able to live with ourselves.

YOU ARE NOT ALONE

We encourage you to think carefully about your place in the scheme of things.  Can you, in good conscience, continue to participate in killing other human beings, no matter how remotely?

If, after serious soul-searching, you come to believe you are against all wars, you can apply for a discharge from the Air Force as a Conscientious Objector.

If you need advice, there are conscientious objector organizations that can help you.

Military personnel have the right and the responsibility to refuse to participate in war crimes,according to international law, U.S. law and the Uniform Code of Military Justice.  And then there are the higher moral laws.

If you decide to refuse illegal orders or to resist illegal wars, we are here to support you.

Please also consider joining us to make common cause with fellow veterans who are working for peace at home and peace abroad.  We welcome active duty members.

You can find out more at the websites listed below.

Veterans For Peace
www.veteransforpeace.org

Iraq Veterans Against War
www.ivaw.org

Center on Conscience and War
www.centeronconscience.org/

Courage To Resist
www.couragetoresist.org

GI Rights Hotline
http://girightshotline.org/

United Nations Action In Congo Offers Hope.

Rape has been used as a weapon of war in both ...
Rape has been used as a weapon of war in both the First Congo War and Second Congo War. Original caption states: “Photo: USAID/Leah Werchick; Rape victims who have been successfully reintegrated into their communities assemble in a “peace hut” near Walungu, South Kivu in DRC.” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Posted November 6, 2013

by Jerry Alatalo

The long-suffering people of the Congo have been given some relief in the past few weeks thanks to military actions taken by the United Nations to halt the crimes of so-called M23 rebels in that country.

First, let me say that before the last few days I had no idea how horrific events in the Congo were. It can safely be said that, as an estimated 6,000,000 Congolese men, women, and children have been killed from 1996-2013, the situation in the Congo is an African holocaust. I have no explanation for there being no focus by mainstream news organizations on what has been occurring in the Congo. One can only guess. My guess is that absence of reporting on the Congo has something to do with the country’s tremendous natural resource wealth.

Let me ask you the reader. Were you aware that a literal holocaust has been occurring in the Congo? If not, why not? This is a very significant question which leads one to wonder if the events in the Congo from 1990 until today in 2013 have been censored by the mainstream media. Speaking for myself, I am astonished that I have not heard about how horrific the situation in that country has been, and that the unimaginable suffering of the people of the Congo is not in the minds of every man and woman on Earth.

How is it that the recent events regarding a possible escalation of war in Syria was front page, headline grabbing news for weeks, with hour upon hour upon hour of reports and commentaries, yet the Congo, where the world sees a literal genocide occurring, receives no mention? Surely there are managers and editors at these news outlets who have been aware of the horrific situation in the Congo. Just minutes ago the CBS Evening News headlined their program with the results of Virginia and New Jersey governor elections. Here is the issue and what has me so confounded. I do not recall a single mainstream report on the Congo – ever.

Pardon me for remaining on this media issue of choosing, deciding what is important to report. Let me say that the situation in Syria is tragic as well, and deserves journalistic attention. I am trying to wrap my mind around the lack of media attention and reporting on the Congo. My first thought is that there are men and women who are sitting on the boards of directors of both corporations that are involved in business surrounding the tremendous natural resource wealth of the Congo and mainstream media corporations.

My second possible explanation for media avoidance of reporting on the Congo-Rwanda-Uganda state of affairs is that there are potential consequences for media corporations if they tell the truth about Central Africa. Consequences like loss of advertisement revenue from corporations doing business in that region of Africa. Consequences like negative publicity for both corporations and the US government’s history in the wealthy, resource-rich region, leading to complications which have to do with criminal responsibility and prosecution.

United Nations correct to intervene militarily in the Congo.

If ever there were a correct application of the United Nations’ principle of “right to protect” (R2P), the Congo situation met the requirements. R2P has been somewhat controversial because there is debate about when the concept matches conditions in a region or country. My view is that there should be a push for a world military force overseen by the UN to carry out actions regarding situations which are severe enough to trigger R2P. I imagine every UN member state ceding their nation’s military operations to a planetary military force, or police force, if you will, comprised of men and women from every nation..

If and when all UN member states agree to such a planetary military arrangement, the United States would become able to reduce it’s defense spending significantly. If one can imagine a world police agency, this is my suggestion. The UN’s actions in the Congo recently, which halted the rebel group M23, is an example of the actions such a world police force would carry out.

A legal entity mirroring the Nuremberg Trials should be convened to prosecute those responsible for the African holocaust in Central Africa.

Given the death statistics of the ongoing war in Central Africa, one can conclude that the events there rise to the level of being perhaps the largest mass murder in human history. After the Second World War those responsible for the holocaust were tried in Nuremburg, Germany for crimes against humanity and genocide.

The Congolese people, who have suffered the loss of over 6,000,000 mothers, fathers, sisters, and brothers – after those who have been responsible are prosecuted and receive appropriate punishment – can try to begin living normal lives.

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