UN investigation to probe ‘unlawful killings’ by drones in Palestine, Pakistan and Yemen

Israel/PalestineMiddle EastUS Politics
on 16 Comments
Drone A US operated drone launches a missile (File photo via Al Arabiya)

An independent United Nations expert has announced that an investigation into US, UK and Israeli drone strikes will commence. The investigation into the drone strikes will be led by Ben Emmerson, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism.

The areas covered by the investigation include the occupied Palestinian territories, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen and Afghanistan, the main countries that bear the brunt of drone strikes. The United States carries out drone attacks on Somalia, Yemen, Afghanistan and Pakistan, while the UK has also carried out drone strikes in Afghanistan and reportedly assisted the US with striking Pakistan. And Israel is the country that carries out drone strikes in the Palestinian territories.

In a press statement (pdf here) posted online by Foreign Policy magazine, Emmerson said he would be focusing on 25 “cases studies from Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories] and to examine the evidence in detail with a view to determining whether there is a plausible allegation of unlawful killing.” If there is a finding that some of the attacks were unlawful, Emmerson said, it could trigger the “international law obligations to investigate.”

Emmerson will be assisted by a number of experts, including Yemeni human rights activist Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani and New York University’s Sarah Knuckey, one of the authors of a groundbreaking report on the civilian impact of drones in Pakistan.

Here’s more from Emmerson:

The Inquiry that I am launching today is a direct response to the requests made to me by States at the Human Rights Council last June, as well as to the increasing international concern surrounding the issue of remote targeted killing through the use of UAVs. The exponential rise in the use of drone technology in a variety of military and non-military contexts represents a real challenge to the framework of established international law and it is both right as a matter of principle, and inevitable as a matter of political reality, that the international community should now be focussing attention on the standards applicable to this technological development, particularly its deployment in counterterrorism and counter-insurgency initiatives, and attempt to reach a consensus on the legality of its use, and the standards and safeguards which should apply to it.

The plain fact is that this technology is here to stay, and its use in theatres of conflict is a reality with which the world must contend. It is therefore imperative that appropriate legal and operational structures are urgently put in place to regulate its use in a manner that complies with the requirements of international law, including international human rights law, international humanitarian law (or the law of war as it used to be called), and international refugee law.

The results of the investigation will be presented to the UN General Assembly in October 2013.

News of the inquiry was praised by civil liberties advocates. “We welcome this investigation in the hopes that global pressure will bring the US back into line with international law requirements that strictly limit the use of lethal force,” said Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU’s National Security Project, in a statement sent to a variety of media outlets. “Virtually no other country agrees with the U.S.’s claimed authority to secretly declare people enemies of the state and kill them and civilian bystanders far from any recognized battlefield. To date, there has been an abysmal lack of transparency and no accountability for the US government’s ever-expanding targeted killing program.”

The United States is by far the current leader in the use of drone strikes, as The Guardian’s Ryan Devereaux noted. But it is Israel that pioneered the use of drones, dating back to 1970. Israeli drone strikes have pummeled the Gaza Strip and frequently hover in the sky over the coastal enclave even when there is no fighting. The Washington Post documented Israel’s use of drones in Gaza in a 2011 report:

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights says 825 people have been killed by drones in Gaza since the capture of Shalit, who was released in October. Most of those killed, according to the organization, have been civilians mistakenly targeted or caught in the deadly shrapnel shower of a drone strike…

Across northern Gaza, the response to the arrival of drones overhead is swift and, for some, almost involuntary. Their near-constant presence shapes life beneath them in a thousand ways — from how Islamist militants communicate to the color of exercise clothes chosen for a morning jog to the quality of satellite-television reception.

When the buzz begins, an unemployed tailor in the hilltop village of Ezret Abed Rabbo walks to his window and opens it — one, then another, until the glass in all of them is safe from what he expects to be an imminent blast. The most recent rocked the area in late October when Israel responded with drones and F-16s to the attack on Ashkelon, killing nine Palestinian militants.

“For us, drones mean death,” said Hamdi Shaqqura, a deputy director of the human rights center. “When you hear drones, you hear death.”

And Human Rights Watch in 2009 documented how Israeli drone strikes during Operation Cast Lead, the 2008-09 assault on Gaza, resulted in the deaths of civilians. Here’s one Israeli drone strike on Gaza Human Rights Watch documented:

In one daytime attack on December 27, the first day of the Israeli offensive, an IDF drone-launched missile hit a group of students who were waiting for a bus in central Gaza City, across the street from the headquarters of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), killing nine students, two of them women, and three other civilians. The IDF has failed to explain why it targeted the group on a crowded central street with no known military activity in the area at the time.

The launch of the UN investigation also comes as public discourse in the US has seen an uptick in interest in drones, as the Inter Press Service‘s Jim Lobe documents here. The Obama administration has relied heavily on the use of drones to carry out military operations against suspected “militants” in Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, drone strikes have killed 2,152 people, including 290 civilians, in Pakistan during the Obama administration.

Civilians have also been killed by the U.S. in Yemen. In Jeremy Scahill’s and Rick Rowley’s new movie Dirty Wars, currently premiering at Sundance, the attack on al-Majalah in Yemen is documented. “The first bombing that happened, on December 17th, 2009, where President Obama directly authorized the strike, was on this village of al-Majalah in southern Yemen, and 46 people were killed, including two dozen women and children, in that strike,” Scahill explained in an interview on Democracy Now!

The Obama administration has recently moved to codify the use of targeted killings by drones by developing a so-called “playbook” that would determine the “legal principles” for when U.S. citizens could be targeted by drone and the “sequence of approvals required when the CIA or U.S. military conducts drone strikes outside war zones,” as the Washington Post reported last weekend. But there’s a gaping hole in the “playbook”: the CIA’s current campaign of drone strikes will be exempted for at least a year. The CIA is responsible for conducting drone strikes in Pakistan, which is at the epicenter of the US drone campaign. That means that the controversial use of so-called “signature strikes,” or strikes that the CIA carries out in Pakistan based on “patterns of life” without knowing the identity of those they are targeting, will be exempt from the Obama “playbook.”

The news of the UN investigation also comes amidst an escalation in US drone strikes this year. In a five-day span this month, 24 Yemenis were killed by U.S. drones.

16 Responses

  1. Blownaway
    January 26, 2013, 12:39 pm

    The UN is just a tool for the US to justify whatever it and its allies want to do. Everything else is simply ignored

  2. JeffB
    January 26, 2013, 12:50 pm

    I’m having a tough time seeing what comes out of this investigation. The UN has been pretty clearly opposed to the notion of a “global war on terror” that the USA and Al-Qaeda are conducting a war with more or less the entire world as one big battlefield. I don’t think even most people in the USA consider this entirely legal. The UN is generally rather ham handed and uncreative when it comes to the exigent circumstances that require countries to come up with new solutions.
    The dialogue is pretty predictable:

    UN: This is bad you shouldn’t do it.
    USA: I agree. What is your suggestion
    UN: We don’t have one. But the assassination program is bad you shouldn’t do it.

    Far better than an investigation since the facts are well known would be a viable international framework for dealing with Al-Qaeda. A good answer to how to deal with them. We can’t have a military organization operating in 40 countries:
    * assassinating everyone from aid workers to ambassadors
    * conducting horrific acts of terrorism to get maximum publicity
    * and every now and then backing one side in civil wars and taking control of weak countries
    * recruiting from all over the world to create domestic disturbances

    What’s needed are alternatives not obvious statements of disapproval.

    • Hostage
      January 27, 2013, 3:12 am

      I’m having a tough time seeing what comes out of this investigation.

      See:
      *’Avoiding the Handcuffs’: George Bush Cancels Swiss Trip, After Human Rights Groups Seek Arrest on Torture Charges. link to thenation.com

      *Italy’s high court upholds convictions of 23 Americans in kidnapping of Egypt terror suspect
      link to foxnews.com

      *The judgment of the UK Supreme Court in Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs v. Rahmatullah which held that the US is illegally detaining prisoners it transferred to Guantanamo Bay in violation of Article 49(6) of the 4th Geneva Convention. See also “UK Supreme Court Rejects Jack Goldsmith’s Interpretation of GC IV”
      link to opiniojuris.org

      I could go on, but there are already more than 50 countries seeking the arrest of US officials in connection with criminal charges stemming from the so-called war on terror. Maybe you are a slow learner, but that is the way the rest of the world sends messages of disapproval and work together to isolate pariah states. They can even bring down super powers just a notch or two that way.

      • JeffB
        January 27, 2013, 7:42 am

        @Hostage

        I know about the 23 CIA agent case in Italy, so I’ll focus on that one. Italy has a long tradition of an out of control judiciary. Berlusconi ran several times on this issue, but because they kept charging him with corruption (which might have been true) and a hooker scandals his motives on this were mixed.

        People of Freedom however agrees with him broadly. Rocco Girlanda who heads the Italy-USA foundation has trashed the Italian courts and intervened in many cases where the people involved got trials.

        In the Italian case you would be looking at throwing CIA officers in jail, based on a trial in which no defense was presented (more or less), where the prosecution didn’t present individual evidence for a sentence assigned and then raised with the defendants not even present. And this is the case that they would be sticking to when enormous diplomatic pressure was applied.

        The Italian government, People of Freedom, was fully in line with Bush’s rendition program. The Italian left (Democratic Party and further left) that control the courts want to embarrass the right by keeping this in the news. No one in Italian politics wants the political, economic and military consequences of actually to enforce these judgement. The Italians are not insane.

        Were they to try and enforce them, it is hard to think of a case better for the right wing government of Italy to attack the courts with than this case.

        _________

        As for the UK. Every time the courts have tried to apply Universal jurisdiction to Israelis much less Americans the government has quite aggressively undermined them. The UK can petition for a prisoner back, that’s SOP but that is quite different from arresting Americans.

        _____

        Everyone wants to avoid the embarrassment of arresting a US official and holding them for a few days. But that’s all that is going to happen. The UK cases about Universal Jurisdiction made that absolutely clear that the governments were not willing to tolerate the level of blowback the courts were trying to create. Talk to me when a country arrests and holds a US official for a week and then I’ll take that seriously.

      • Hostage
        January 29, 2013, 7:08 am

        I know about the 23 CIA agent case in Italy, so I’ll focus on that one. Italy has a long tradition of an out of control judiciary.

        Hasbara fail! The Italian Court was simply enforcing the existing statutes against kidnap and torture that were adopted by the Parliament. FYI, the acts of the CIA and US Air Force Security Police violated the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) and the treaty on extradition between the United States and Italy. It’s pretty obvious who was “out of control” and it wasn’t the Italian Judiciary.

        The Italian government, People of Freedom, was fully in line with Bush’s rendition program.

        They obviously forgot to ask the EU Council, the Italian Supreme Court, the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights if kidnapping and torture could be legalized by simply rebranding the crimes in question as “rendition”?

        Every time the courts have tried to apply Universal jurisdiction to Israelis much less Americans the government has quite aggressively undermined them.

        The requests for arrest warrants will be coming from the State of Palestine or through the ICC/Interpol in the future. The government doesn’t have any discretion in the latter case. FYI, when one of the state parties to the Rome Statute or any state that has filed an Article 12(3) declaration is “unwilling or unable” to prosecute a suspect due to lack of cooperation from another state party, that actually serves to automatically trigger the jurisdiction of the ICC to intervene and exercise its complimentary jurisdiction.

        Talk to me when a country arrests and holds a US official for a week and then I’ll take that seriously.

        LOL! Nonetheless, former President Bush and the CIA agents have cancelled their foreign travel plans. The US Supreme Court has ruled that former government officials do not enjoy immunity from lawsuits when they violate customary prohibitions against torture, kidnap, murder, & etc., since those are not lawful acts of state.

        In the Italian case you would be looking at throwing CIA officers in jail, based on a trial in which no defense was presented (more or less), where the prosecution didn’t present individual evidence for a sentence assigned and then raised with the defendants not even present

        That sort of thing happens in plenty of cases where defendants engage in unlawful flight to avoid criminal prosecution or waive entry and appearance when they have been provided with advance notice of the Court date and refuse to obey the summons and defend their actions.

      • JeffB
        January 29, 2013, 2:20 pm

        @Hostage

        Hasbara fail!

        You may want to start checking your paranoia. I know about this case because I’m an American. This case had nothing to do with Israel.

        It’s pretty obvious who was “out of control” and it wasn’t the Italian Judiciary.

        That’s for the people to Italy to decide. The leftists are likely going to win in February so we’ll see if they start acting against CIA officers operating in Italy or cooperate with them.

        They obviously forgot to ask the EU Council, the Italian Supreme Court, the UK Supreme Court, the European Court of Human Rights, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights

        Yes they did. And if these people were ever arrested they would likely also obvious forget to ask those courts when they deliberate botched the arrest or let the CIA know the exact route they would transferring the prisoners on so that they could be rescued or… however they choose to not enforce this order. Or maybe they just do it legally and the President of Italy issues a pardon for the sake of international relations.

        The Italian Judiciary couldn’t handle the heat from the Amanda Knox case. Italian judges and prosecutors are used to being able to casually charge anyone with calunnia that dares challenge to aggressively challenge them. They were none too found of US political culture where judges and prosecutors can be freely attacked in the mainstream press. And with Amanda Knox the country was split. There would be no split in the case of a CIA arrest and it wouldn’t be true crime drama shows and Lifetime covering the case. The heat from a CIA arrest would be 100x what it was from Amanda Knox.

        No they have no intention of doing anything. We’ve been talking about standing up to Israel. You are now talking about standing up to the United States in a way that is likely to escalate, fast. Like I said, talk to me when they’ve held an American for a week.

        The former US Vice President of the United States has stated openly he authorized enhanced interrogation and he supervised the renditions program. Whatever you may think of it, those agents were under orders from the executive and properly reported their acts to both House and Senate Intelligence committees as members have repeatedly testified. These were acts of the United States not of individuals.

        Further, why would they ever check with the UK Supreme court.

        The requests for arrest warrants will be coming from the State of Palestine or through the ICC/Interpol in the future. The government doesn’t have any discretion in the latter case.

        Going back to the previous case I suspect that Interpol is clipped by member countries if the ICC starts acting out of control. No country is anxious for Interpol to start arresting political criminals. How many people in the Italian government and Italian cooperated with the CIA renditions program?

        Now in terms of Israelis, that is at least plausible. On the other hand Israeli non cooperation with Interpol would be bad. I think on balance Interpol is not going to act against an important member state.

        But even if they did. I still suspect the problem once the case went to trial would be to construct a specific case. Israel could present some rather impressive counter evidence to a trial of individuals where alternative witnesses come forwards and say they authorized the thing the person on trial is accused of authorizing. I’m not sure how the ICC gets around reasonable doubt.

        So I think the whole thing is unlikely.

        Nonetheless, former President Bush and the CIA agents have cancelled their foreign travel plans.

        Yes and just like in Britain and Belgium the reaction of the government was to weaken the law. The prosecution now has a burden of proof to show delocalization is warranted. Which is going to be their out.

        Switzerland is a country which for 700 years has carefully avoided taking actions that could draw it into war is not going to try and hold a former US President for a long period of time.

        Human rights groups announced that Bush cancelled because of them. Maybe he did to avoid embarrassment. Maybe he had a cold.

        Oh and there has even been one of those universal jurisdiction war crimes trials in absentia where they were found guilty.
        link to foreignpolicyjournal.com

        The US Supreme Court has ruled that former government officials do not enjoy immunity from lawsuits when they violate customary prohibitions against torture, kidnap, murder, & etc., since those are not lawful acts of state.

        Yep. And there have been how many successful torts?

        That sort of thing happens in plenty of cases where defendants engage in unlawful flight to avoid criminal prosecution or waive entry and appearance when they have been provided with advance notice of the Court date and refuse to obey the summons and defend their actions.

        It never happens here. There are 0 US cases of trials in absentia in the USA. Those sorts of differences are not going to be shrugged off if a CIA agent is ever held. And they are not going to be shrugged off in Italy.

        For example Italy is the leader in the European anti-death penalty movement. I can remember an Italian anti-death penalty activist complaining about getting laughed at during the Amanda Knox issue. The aide to Rick Perry asked him if he was going to send a representative from North Korea in next. One of the arguments inside Italy was that Italy’s ability to lobby the US was gone as long as Amanda Knox was held. And remember she wasn’t even all that important, and Americans were divided.

        Face it . The Italian trial was a symbolic trial, blaming a bunch of Americans, that no one ever intends to enforce.

      • Hostage
        January 31, 2013, 7:46 am

        Hasbara fail!

        You may want to start checking your paranoia. I know about this case because I’m an American. This case had nothing to do with Israel.

        The Hasbara Fellowship is a US organization. The domain is registered to a guy in New Jersey with an Aish email account.
        link to hasbarafellowships.org

        You are using all the shopworn spin techniques from their play book in an attempt to make Courts that simply enforce criminal laws against kidnapping and torture look like the villains. But you just look silly in the process.

        It never happens here. There are 0 US cases of trials in absentia in the USA. Those sorts of differences are not going to be shrugged off if a CIA agent is ever held. And they are not going to be shrugged off in Italy.

        LOL! No we just let the CIA and DoD arrest and detain people forever without the right to any trial whatsoever.

        FYI under the Rules of Federal Procedure, the accused only needs to appear at the preliminary hearing. If the defendant flees after that point, he or she is presumed to have waived their rights and the trial can proceed to its conclusion without them. See Crosby v. the United States link to law.cornell.edu

        Going back to the previous case I suspect that Interpol is clipped by member countries if the ICC starts acting out of control. No country is anxious for Interpol to start arresting political criminals.

        The UK government has a treaty obligation to arrest and surrender criminals after a warrant has been issued by the ICC or another state, like Palestine. The changes to the UK law dealt with cases involving a private right of action. All of the ICC defendants so far have been political types.

        FYI, the majority of states have joined the ICC and it was specifically created in order to put and end to the impunity enjoyed by criminals, especially politicians and heads of state who commit war crimes and crimes against humanity.

        For all of her bombast about being willing to go to the UK to be arrested as a test case, Tzipi Livni never made any travel plans that included the UK until after her arrest warrant there was quashed. She was “all show and no go”.

        We do have treaties on extradition with our NATO allies. A former IDF JAG even warned the IDF commanders named as defendants in the Turkish Mavi Marmara trial against traveling to the USA:

        Asked about any concerns the four Israelis may have about traveling overseas, Mandelblit said, “Naturally they have no reason to travel to Turkey because they won’t be able to return and they should definitely stay away from the US.

        link to ynetnews.com

  3. Don
    January 26, 2013, 3:21 pm

    That means that the controversial use of so-called “signature strikes,” or strikes that the CIA carries out in Pakistan based on “patterns of life” without knowing the identity of those they are targeting, will be exempt from the Obama “playbook.”

    This is morally twisted; really sick.

  4. just
    January 26, 2013, 4:17 pm

    It’s far past time that this “investigation” get underway.

    October seems an awful long time away though, considering the evidence presented here and elsewhere.

    • Hostage
      January 27, 2013, 6:11 am

      It’s far past time that this “investigation” get underway.

      Clarification: This is just the announcement of an additional investigation by the UN Special Rapporteur on Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights.

      Since the early 1980s, the UN Commission/Council on Human Rights has had a mandate holder, the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions who does investigate and report on this subject fulltime.
      link to ohchr.org

  5. DICKERSON3870
    January 26, 2013, 5:10 pm

    RE: “The United States is by far the current leader in the use of drone strikes, as The Guardian’s Ryan Devereaux noted. But it is Israel that pioneered the use of drones, dating back to 1970.” ~ Alex Kane

    MY COMMENT: Down, down, down we go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.

    SEE: “Obama’s kill list policy compels US support for Israeli attacks on Gaza”, By Glenn Greenwald, guardian.co.uk, 11/15/12
    The US was once part of the international consensus against extra-judicial assassinations. Now it is a leader in that tactic.

    [EXCERPTS] Israel’s escalating air attacks on Gaza follow the depressingly familiar pattern that shapes this conflict. Overwhelming Israeli force slaughters innocent Palestinians . . .
    . . . Meanwhile, most US media outlets are petrified of straying too far from pro-Israel orthodoxies. . .
    . . . Obama had no choice but to support these attacks, which were designed, in part, to extra-judicially assassinate Hamas military leader Ahmed al-Jabari as he was driving in his car. . .
    Extra-judicial assassination – accompanied by the wanton killing of whatever civilians happen to be near the target, often including children – is a staple of the Obama presidency. That lawless tactic is one of the US president’s favorite instruments for projecting force and killing whomever he decides should have their lives ended: all in total secrecy and with no due process or oversight. There is now a virtually complete convergence between US and Israeli aggression, making US criticism of Israel impossible not only for all the usual domestic political reasons, but also out of pure self-interest: for Obama to condemn Israel’s rogue behavior would be to condemn himself.
    It is vital to recognize that this is a new development. The position of the US government on extra-judicial assassinations long had been consistent with the consensus view of the international community: that it is a savage and lawless weapon to be condemned regardless of claims that it is directed at “terrorists”. From a 15 February 2001 Guardian article by Brian Whitaker on the targeted killing by Israel of one of Yasser Arafat’s bodyguards [emphasis added]:
    “International opprobrium was directed at Israel yesterday for its state-approved assassinations of suspected terrorists – a practice widely regarded as illegal. . .
    . . . “The United States, while also condemning Palestinian violence, made clear its disapproval of the assassinations. . .
    “State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said: ‘The use of Israeli helicopter gunships, Palestinian attacks against settlements and motorists, the use of mortars by Palestinians and the targeted killings by the Israeli Defence Force … are producing a new cycle of action or reaction which can become impossible to control. . .

    . . . As the Council on Foreign Relations documented in April of this year:

    “The United States adopted targeted killing as an essential tactic to pursue those responsible for the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The Pentagon and the Central Intelligence Agency have employed the controversial practice with more frequency in recent years. . .

    In essence, what we find, yet again, is that the governments of the United States and Israel arrogate unto themselves the right to execute anyone they want, anywhere in the world, without any limitations, regardless of how many innocent civilians they kill in the process. . .

    ENTIRE COMMENTARY – link to guardian.co.uk

    • DICKERSON3870
      January 26, 2013, 11:15 pm

      P.S. RE: “Down, down, down we go into the deep, dark abyss; hand in hand with Israel.” ~ me (above)

      A MIDWINTER EVENING’S MUSICAL INTERLUDE, sponsored by the makers of new Ziocaine Über-Xtreme®: It’s guaran-damn-teed to rock your effing world!™

      “I don’t trust myself
      I’m trapped drowning in despair, I’m poisonous
      I slammed the door and locked it shut and now disaster
      plagues my thoughts
      Let’s drink to the dead, ‘cheers to what’s ahead’
      I’m poisonous

      Sweet temptress, I can see it in your eyes
      You’re moving on without me
      So it ends tonight, I guess this is goodbye
      Selfishly you say you’re better off without me
      And it ends tonight…well baby save your breath

      Won’t you please have mercy?
      Before you push me away let me try to change your mind
      Oh wanderer,
      If you think this is fun, just you wait till I’m done! . . .

      . . . Imprisoned soul seized in a chamber of feculent horror
      Suffer all you must but suffer silently
      Still your cursed tongue, stay your blighted abandon
      In your eternal death you hunger for rotten mire
      For in your mortal life it was this which was your gift
      to man
      Prepare to walk hand in hand with the damned . . .” ~ Alesana

      Alesana – Hand In Hand With The Damned [VIDEO, 04:37] – link to youtube.com
      Alesana – Hand In Hand With The Damned [LIVE] @ Wuk Vienna, Austria 20.1.2012 [VIDEO, 05:05] – link to youtube.com

      FROM WIKIPEDIA [Alesana]: Alesana (pronounced /ˈælɨs ˈænə/ Alice-Anna) is an American screamo[3][7] band from Raleigh, North Carolina. . .
      . . . During the beginning of 2011, the band confirmed that plans for a new record were already in the works . . . The name of the album was then announced to be titled, A Place Where the Sun Is Silent, and was released on October 18.[21] . . .
      . . . The album thematizes Dante Alighieri’s 14th-century epic poem, Inferno.[24] . . .

    • gingershot
      January 27, 2013, 7:12 am

      It’s the ‘Israelification’ of American policy – it is a deliberate ploy to get the US to do everything that Israel does to the Palestinians/Arabs and then attack critics as ‘anti-Semitic’ if someone criticizes Israel over it’s policy.

      This is a very typical Israeli psychological warfare/hasbara ploy which people at a place like Mondoweiss see right thru but which still catches up the bulk of America and the FOX news demographic

      Israel has made America the black kettle so she can get away with being the black pot –

      Israel normalized/’got us used to’ killing Arabs by the Israeli Lobby hoaxing us into Iraq. It preps the ‘homefront’ (such an alien-sounding term before the Israelification brainwashed the deeper levels) for knee jerk Islamophobia thru an intense Israeli Lobby campaign. It gets us ‘used to’ ‘Israeli-style targeted assassinations on Muslims’/drone strikes (remember the days we had problems with the Israelis doing that in Gaza/the WB? – well Israeli solved that little PR problem too)

      Israel has made her enemies OUR enemies. ‘Mission Accomplished’, Mr Bush – you were one useful tool.

      The list goes on and on – we have made ourselves an increasing quasi-police-state to continue our Israeli Lobby directed foreign policies that led to 911 and then morphed into the ‘Perpetual War for Israel’/GWOT – with Israeli-bought security devices to go along with our new Israeli-style conceptionings of ourselves

      All towards securing the Israeli Realm and the Apartheid state she runs – that’s the job Israel now outsources to us and makes us do on our dime.

      Israel and her Lobby have played us like a violin – we have essentially acted as her mercenary army and her ‘mercenary’/bought diplomatic cover at the UN, and WE PAY HER to continue to run her agenda

      It’s like we are the ‘Big Palestinians’ and our ‘leaders’ are like her ‘boys in Ramallah’ Abbas and Fayyad are the ‘Little Palestinians’.

      We pay Israel for the honor of being ruled by her now (- since the Little Palestinians don’t have their own money they get it thru the UN, EU and US)

      We have been played up one side and down the another -

  6. Inanna
    January 26, 2013, 9:30 pm

    You mean there’s an international body that’s not just going to target Africans? If anything actually comes of this it’ll be a real threat to my cynicism.

    Edited to add: really enjoying your stuff lately Alex.

  7. Taxi
    January 27, 2013, 1:48 am

    It’s The Constitution Stupid!

    “The other set of important questions around armed drones are constitutional in nature. The people being targeted by the drones are not an enemy army of a state on which the US has declared war. They are suspected criminals or terrorists. But they haven’t been put on trial” – Juan Cole.
    link to readersupportednews.org

  8. Citizen
    January 27, 2013, 5:22 am

    This “war on terror” has to be the biggest rubber-band in all of history to fit the mask of Democratic Justice. In an internet-connected post-Orwell world yet.

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