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US far in the lead in violating international law

The United States has repeatedly disregarded the UN Charter since its founding, leading to the superpower’s increasing isolation in global affairs.

Shane Quinn

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In the Western mainstream North Korea is continually classified as a “rogue nation”, a “reclusive state” or, best of all, “the nuclear state”. The sense of irony has been lost entirely it seems. Such titles are more applicable to the United States and its right-hand man in the Middle East, Israel. It is conveniently forgotten that the US possesses the largest nuclear weapons arsenal of all.

North Korea are continuing to pose a real dilemma for the US, in what is one of the greatest energy producing regions on earth. Donald Trump’s threat to “totally destroy North Korea”, in his inaugural UN speech, reportedly drew gasps from the audience. Few pointed out, however, that the US President neglected to put the word “again” at the end of his sentence.

A little over two generations ago, the US completely destroyed North Korea (1950-53) in what was “one of the deadliest wars in modern history”. Much of the destruction was inflicted upon the North, and was so severe that it even “shocked and disgusted the American military personnel who witnessed it”.

General Douglas MacArthur served as the US Army’s Chief of Staff during the 1930s – he was a five-star general and Medal of Honour recipient. Of the Korean War MacArthur said, “I shrink – I shrink with a horror that I cannot express in words at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea. The war in Korea has already almost destroyed that nation of 20 million people. I have never seen such devastation”.

MacArthur continues, “I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach the last time I was there [in Korea]. After I looked at the wreckage and those thousands of women and children and everything, I vomited… If you go on indefinitely, you are perpetuating a slaughter such as I have never heard of in the history of mankind”.

These words were uttered in 1951, with two years of the conflict still to run. Bearing in mind, this was not the account of a fresh-faced cadet exposed to war for the first time. It was the testimony of one of the most distinguished soldiers in American history. MacArthur oversaw major battles in both world wars, notably serving as commander of US Army Forces in the Far East (1941-45). General George S. Patton described MacArthur as “the bravest man I ever met”, the two having fought alongside each other during the First World War.

Patton further said of his colleague that, “I was the only man on the front-line except for MacArthur who never ducked a shell”. Come the closing stages of the Great War General Charles T. Menoher, MacArthur’s superior, described him as “the bloodiest fighting man in this army”. Yet the Korean War had reduced the indomitable MacArthur to a bewildered wreck.

In another account John H. Kim, a US Army Veteran and Chair of the Korea Committee of Veterans for Peace, said of the Korean War, “The US Army, Air Force and Navy were directly involved in the killing of about three million civilians in Korea”. Historian and author Bruce Cumings said, “…we [the US] destroyed more cities in the North than we did in Japan or Germany during World War II”.

And privileged Westerners wonder aghast why North Korean governments act recklessly at times? Perhaps it is not so surprising after all – also when under persistent threats to the present from their old foe.

The crimes committed by the US in this forgotten conflict blatantly violated the United Nations Charter – which entered into force in October 1945. In its opening sentences the UN Charter outlines that its existence is intended “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind – and to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women, and of nations large and small…”

The US was one of the first signatories of the UN Charter, being among the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. Yet it is the US who has breached this treaty time and again in the elapsing 72 years, often in the most flagrant manner.

The most severe example of American aggression could be witnessed during the invasion of Vietnam – initiated less than a decade after the Korean War ended, finally finishing in 1975. By the early 1970s, the US had also attacked the rest of Indochina, resulting in the deaths of millions – and its consequences continuing to the present. There was a disregard towards “faith in fundamental human rights” or for “nations large and small”.

At home, the war against Vietnam was viewed as “a noble cause” – when it later began to turn sour it was recast by American intellectuals as “our blundering efforts to do good”, and finally that it “wasn’t worth it”. To this day, there is little internal criticism in the US in its lead role in the Vietnam and Indochina conflicts.

There are then other overt breaches of international law, led by the US – be it the waging of conflicts such as the Gulf War, the invasion of Iraq or Libya, the support of various dictators, hostility towards Iran, and so on.

It is hardly surprising the US has seen itself become so isolated on the international scene. The superpower is virtually alone whether regard its stance on climate change, the Israel-Palestine conflict, its marginalisation at Western hemispheric meetings (such as the 2015 Summit of the Americas).

It represents quite a reversal for a country that for so long practically ran Latin American affairs. Sadly for US elites, they no longer possess the unchallenged means of imposing governments that will quietly take orders from Washington.

In Asia too, the US has been cast adrift as nations flock towards China’s rising influence in the region – with even Britain being drawn to the China-based Asian Infrastructure Development Bank. Appalled by such British moves, a US official told the Financial Times, “We are wary about a trend toward constant accommodation of China”. It seems the “constant accommodation” of the US is far from a guarantee anymore.

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colum
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colum

Well…Fuck ’em. Reap what you sow. If they actually want to show humility and ask for help by all means help then, but until then…

Seán Murphy
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Seán Murphy

Are you saying the the Korean people reaped what they had sown? Would you like to clarify your comment?

colum
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colum

Talking about the US. Sorry for the confusion.

Godfree Roberts
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“The Commission expresses, its belief that those responsible for the crimes committed against the Korean people must be charged as war criminals as defined by the Allied Declaration of 1943 and must be brought to trial by the peoples of the world, as was defined by the same Declaration. The people of Korea are subjected by American occupants to a merciless and methodical Campaign of extermination which is in contradiction not only with the principles of humanity, but also with the rules of warfare as laid down, for instance, in the Hague and the Geneva Conventions. This is being done… Read more »

Alexandra
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Alexandra

Substitute Korea for the Ukraine and you get the same picture of what the Americans through their Ukrop Nazis are doing in the Donbas. So disturbing!

André De Koning
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André De Koning

Overall, especially when we include the enormous fraudulent propaganda at the end and after WWII, it looks like the USA is the nr 1 war criminal on the globe. Quite a few million, most of whom were civilians, have been killed and it would normally mean properly held Tribunals than the charades and abuse of power during the Nuremburg Tribunals (falsification of data, tampering with photos and witness statements etc. Absence of forensic research for decades around what they accused to enemy of (in spite of their horrible regime, it is dwarfed by what the US has done for decades).… Read more »

my2Cents
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my2Cents

Hear, hear!!!

Vera Gottlieb
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Vera Gottlieb

So what else is new? And I am sure the US leads in many other fields – not exactly complimentary.

james
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james

I found the quotes by General Douglas MacArthur striking.

He, himself, is surely responsible for much of what he describes of the war of 1950-1953 against Korea. MacArthur’s record in the Second World is also questionable. Between 3 February and 3 March 1945, between 100,000 and 240,000 Filipino civilians were killed in the Battle of Manila ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Manila_(1945) ).

Just possibly, as had retired General Smedley Butler (1881-1940) in 1935, General MacArthur may have found his conscience again when he spoke the truth about the Korean war.

Mr Misanthropic
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Mr Misanthropic

about time nations realised what the US is all about

john vieira
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john vieira

When ‘lawmakers’ exempt themselves or place themselves ‘beyond’ the law ipso facto there is NO law!!!

Daisy Adler
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Daisy Adler

“The United States has repeatedly disregarded the UN Charter since its founding”

And US was the founder of the Charter and first signatory.
Since the end of WWII, the US waged wars and military interventions in 39 foreign country and it is responsible for the death of estimated 10 to 14 million people.
Encore un petit effort, and US will equal the count of fatalities of nazi Germany in Europe.

my2Cents
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my2Cents

May I suggest dear Daisy that your opinions are seen in the context of your Avatar which represents a regime that has for the past 72 years engaged in greater genocide and war crimes against the Palestinians than Germany ever did to the Jews, Holocaust propaganda/hoax notwithstanding. .

Helga Fellay
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Helga Fellay

I have a feeling the US has surpassed the count of fatalities of Nazi Germany years ago. It’s that the former is exaggeration way out of proportion, and the latter is either not mentioned or denied.

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

The well known, indisputable fatalities data:
Korean war – 4 million deaths
Philippines war – 1 million

Vietnam/Indochina war – 5 million

The two Iraq wars (in 1990 and 2003) – 2 million

Afghanistan war – 500,000
And myriad other victims elsewhere…

Daisy Adler
Guest
Daisy Adler

“I shrink – I shrink with a horror that I cannot express in words at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea.”

And that from the same general, who wanted to use atomic bombs on Korea and Manchuria, and lay nuclear waste on the border of Korea-China.

permopin
Guest
permopin

Well, isn’t it so obvious why the North Koreans would rather eat grass?

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European Court of Justice rules Britain free to revoke Brexit unilaterally

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled that Britain can reverse Article 50.

RT

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The UK is free to unilaterally revoke a notification to depart from the EU, the European Court has ruled. The judicial body said this could be done without changing the terms of London’s membership in the bloc.

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) opined in a document issued on Monday that Britain can reverse Article 50, which stipulates the way a member state leaves the bloc. The potentially important ruling comes only one day before the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit deal with the EU.

“When a Member State has notified the European Council of its intention to withdraw from the European Union, as the UK has done, that Member State is free to revoke unilaterally that notification,” the court’s decision reads.

By doing so, the respective state “reflects a sovereign decision to retain its status as a Member State of the European Union.”

That said, this possibility remains in place “as long as a withdrawal agreement concluded between the EU and that Member State has not entered into force.” Another condition is: “If no such agreement has been concluded, for as long as the two-year period from the date of the notification of the intention to withdraw from the EU.”

The case was opened when a cross-party group of British politicians asked the court whether an EU member such as the UK can decide on its own to revoke the withdrawal process. It included Labour MEPs Catherine Stihler and David Martin, Scottish MPs Joanna Cherry Alyn Smith, along with Green MSPs Andy Wightman and Ross Greer.

They argued that unilateral revocation is possible and believe it could provide an opening to an alternative to Brexit, namely holding another popular vote to allow the UK to remain in the EU.

“If the UK chooses to change their minds on Brexit, then revoking Article 50 is an option and the European side should make every effort to welcome the UK back with open arms,” Smith, the SNP member, was quoted by Reuters.

However, May’s environment minister, Michael Gove, a staunch Brexit supporter, denounced the ECJ ruling, insisting the cabinet will not reverse its decision to leave. “We will leave on March 29, [2019]” he said, referring to the date set out in the UK-EU Brexit deal.

In the wake of the landmark vote on the Brexit deal, a group of senior ministers threatened to step down en masse if May does not try to negotiate a better deal in Brussels, according to the Telegraph. The ministers demanded that an alternative deal does not leave the UK trapped within the EU customs union indefinitely.

On Sunday, Will Quince resigned as parliamentary private secretary in the Ministry of Defense, saying in a Telegraph editorial that “I do not want to be explaining to my constituents why Brexit is still not over and we are still obeying EU rules in the early 2020s or beyond.”

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Seven Days of Failures for the American Empire

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn.

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Authored by Federico Pieraccini via The Strategic Culture Foundation:


On November 25, two artillery boats of the Gyurza-M class, the Berdiansk and Nikopol, one tugboat, the Yany Kapu, as well as 24 crew members of the Ukrainian Navy, including two SBU counterintelligence officers, were detained by Russian border forces. In the incident, the Russian Federation employed Sobol-class patrol boats Izumrud and Don, as  well as two Ka-52, two Su-25 and one Su-30 aircraft.

Ukraine’s provocation follows the advice of several American think-tanks like the Atlantic Council, which have been calling for NATO involvement in the Sea of Azov for months. The area is strategically important for Moscow, which views its southern borders, above all the Sea of Azov, as a potential flash point for conflict due to the Kiev’s NATO-backed provocations.

To deter such adventurism, Moscow has deployed to the Kerch Strait and the surrounding coastal area S-400 batteries, modernized S-300s, anti-ship Bal missile systems, as well as numerous electronic-warfare systems, not to mention the Russian assets and personnel arrayed in the military districts abutting Ukraine. Such provocations, egged on by NATO and American policy makers, are meant to provide a pretext for further sanctions against Moscow and further sabotage Russia’s relations with European countries like Germany, France and Italy, as well as, quite naturally, to frustrate any personal interaction between Trump and Putin.

This last objective seems to have been achieved, with the planned meeting between Trump and Putin at the G20 in Buenos Aires being cancelled. As to the the other objectives, they seem to have failed miserably, with Berlin, Paris and Rome showing no intention of imposing additional sanctions against Russia, recognizing the Ukrainian provocation fow what it is. The intention to further isolate Moscow by the neocons, neoliberals and most of the Anglo-Saxon establishment seems to have failed, demonstrated in Buenos Aires with the meeting between the BRICS countries on the sidelines and the bilateral meetings between Putin and Merkel.

On November 30, following almost two-and-a-half months of silence, the Israeli air force bombed Syria with three waves of cruise missiles. The first and second waves were repulsed over southern Syria, and the third, composed of surface-to-surface missiles, were also downed. At the same time, a loud explosion was heard in al-Kiswah, resulting in the blackout of Israeli positions in the area.

The Israeli attack was fully repulsed, with possibly two IDF drones being downed as well. This effectiveness of Syria’s air defenses corresponds with Russia’s integration of Syria’s air defenses with its own systems, manifestly improving the Syrians’ kill ratios even without employing the new S-300 systems delivered to Damascus, let alone Russia’s own S-400s. The Pantsirs and S-200s are enough for the moment, confirming my hypothesis more than two months ago that the modernized S-300 in the hands of the Syrian army is a potentially lethal weapon even for the F-35, forbidding the Israelis from employing their F-35s.

With the failed Israeli attack testifying to effectiveness of Russian air-defense measures recently deployed to the country, even the United States is finding it difficult to operate in the country. As the Washington-based Institute for the Study of War confirms:

“Russia has finished an advanced anti-access/area denial (A2AD) network in Syria that combines its own air defense and electronic warfare systems with modernized equipment. Russia can use these capabilities to mount the long-term strategic challenge of the US and NATO in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and the Middle East, significantly widen the geographic reach of Russia’s air defense network. Russia stands to gain a long-term strategic advantage over NATO through its new capabilities in Syria. The US and NATO must now account for the risk of a dangerous escalation in the Middle East amidst any confrontation with Russia in Eastern Europe.”

The final blow in a decidedly negative week for Washington’s ambitions came in Buenos Aires during the G20, where Xi Jinping was clearly the most awaited guest, bringing in his wake investments and opportunities for cooperation and mutual benefit, as opposed to Washington’s sanctions and tariffs for its own benefit to the detriment of others. The key event of the summit was the dinner between Xi Jinping and Donald Trump that signalled Washington’s defeat in the trade war with Beijing. Donald Trump fired the first shot of the economic war, only to succumb just 12 months later with GM closing five plants and leaving 14,000 unemployed at home as Trump tweeted about his economic achievements.

Trump was forced to suspend any new tariffs for a period of ninety days, with his Chinese counterpart intent on demonstrating how an economic war between the two greatest commercial powers had always been a pointless propagandistic exercise. Trump’s backtracking highlights Washington’s vulnerability to de-dollarization, the Achilles’ heel of US hegemony.

The American-led world system is experiencing setbacks at every turn. The struggle between the Western elites seems to be reaching a boil, with Frau Merkel ever more isolated and seeing her 14-year political dominance as chancellor petering out. Macron seems to be vying for the honor of being the most unpopular French leader in history, provoking violent protests that have lasted now for weeks, involving every sector of the population. Macron will probably be able to survive this political storm, but his political future looks dire.

The neocons/neoliberals have played one of the last cards available to them using the Ukrainian provocation, with Kiev only useful as the West’s cannon fodder against Russia. In Syria, with the conflict coming to a close and Turkey only able to look on even as it maintains a strong foothold in Idlib, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the United States are similarly unable to affect the course of the conflict. The latest Israeli aggression proved to be a humiliation for Tel Aviv and may have signalled a clear, possibly definitive warning from Moscow, Tehran and Damascus to all the forces in the region. The message seems to be that there is no longer any possibility of changing the course of the conflict in Syria, and every provocation from here on will be decisively slapped down. Idlib is going to be liberated and America’s illegal presence in the north of Syria will have to be dealt with at the right time.

Ukraine’s provocation has only strengthened Russia’s military footprint in Crimea and reinforced Russia’s sovereign control over the region. Israel’s recent failure in Syria only highlights how the various interventions of the US, the UK, France and Turkey over the years have only obliged the imposition of an almost unparalleled A2AD space that severely limits the range of options available to Damascus’s opponents.

The G20 also served to confirm Washington’s economic diminution commensurate with its military one in the face of an encroaching multipolar environment. The constant attempts to delegitimize the Trump administration by America’s elites, also declared an enemy by the European establishment, creates a picture of confusion in the West that benefits capitals like New Delhi, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran who offer instead stability, cooperation and dialogue.

As stated in previous articles, the confusion reigning amongst the Western elites only accelerates the transition to a multipolar world, progressively eroding the military and economic power of the US.

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Is Silicon Valley Morphing Into The Morality Police?

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

The Duran

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Authored by Adrian Cohen via Creators.com:


Silicon Valley used to be technology companies. But it has become the “morality police,” controlling free speech on its platforms.

What could go wrong?

In a speech Monday, Apple CEO Tim Cook said:

“Hate tries to make its headquarters in the digital world. At Apple, we believe that technology needs to have a clear point of view on this challenge. There is no time to get tied up in knots. That’s why we only have one message for those who seek to push hate, division and violence: You have no place on our platforms.”

Here’s the goliath problem:

Who gets to define what words and phrases protected under the First Amendment constitute hate — a catchall word that is often ascribed to any offensive speech someone simply doesn’t like?

Will Christians who don’t support abortion rights or having their tax dollars go toward Planned Parenthood be considered purveyors of hate for denying women the right to choose? Will millions of Americans who support legal immigration, as opposed to illegal immigration, be labeled xenophobes or racists and be banned from the digital world?

Yes and yes. How do we know? It’s already happening, as scores of conservatives nationwide are being shadow banned and/or censored on social media, YouTube, Google and beyond.

Their crime?

Running afoul of leftist Silicon Valley executives who demand conformity of thought and simply won’t tolerate any viewpoint that strays from their rigid political orthodoxy.

For context, consider that in oppressive Islamist regimes throughout the Middle East, the “morality police” take it upon themselves to judge women’s appearance, and if a woman doesn’t conform with their mandatory and highly restrictive dress code — e.g., wearing an identity-cloaking burqa — she could be publicly shamed, arrested or even stoned in the town square.

In modern-day America, powerful technology companies are actively taking the role of the de facto morality police — not when it comes to dress but when it comes to speech — affecting millions. Yes, to date, those affected are not getting stoned, but they are being blocked in the digital town square, where billions around the globe do their business, cultivate their livelihoods, connect with others and get news.

That is a powerful cudgel to levy against individuals and groups of people. Wouldn’t you say?

Right now, unelected tech billionaires living in a bubble in Palo Alto — when they’re not flying private to cushy climate summits in Davos — are deciding who gets to enjoy the freedom of speech enshrined in the U.S. Constitution and who does not based on whether they agree with people’s political views and opinions or not.

You see how dangerous this can get — real fast — as partisan liberal elites running Twitter, Facebook, Google (including YouTube), Apple and the like are now dictating to Americans what they can and cannot say online.

In communist regimes, these types of folks are known as central planners.

The election of Donald Trump was supposed to safeguard our freedoms, especially regarding speech — a foundational pillar of a democracy. It’s disappointing that hasn’t happened, as the censorship of conservative thought online has gotten so extreme and out of control many are simply logging off for good.

A failure to address this mammoth issue could cost Trump in 2020. If his supporters are blocked online — where most voters get their news — he’ll be a one-term president.

It’s time for Congress to act before the morality police use political correctness as a Trojan horse to decide our next election.

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