The United Nations General Assembly vote on regulation of the international arms trade purports to be a modest step away from violence in the world, but is in fact the very opposite. The newly approved Arms Trade Treaty is conceived and designed as a facilitator of war by its main sponsor, the United States.
At the core of the treaty is a ban on arms exports to countries that are under U.N. embargoes, or that are accused of promoting genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. But such language is only a tool of war in the hands of the U.S. The cold fact is that, since the establishment of the United Nations to this very day, the United States and its allies, clients and proxies have been the worst perpetrators of crimes against humanity. From Vietnam to East Timor to Guatemala to Iraq to Somalia and to Congo, the U.S. has caused the deaths of well over ten million people over the past 60 years.
While the tenth anniversary last month of Washington’s invasion of Iraq provoked overwhelmingly negative reviews of the adventure except among its most die-hard neo-conservative proponents, a more recent – albeit far less dramatic and costly – intervention has faded almost completely from public notice.
Nonetheless, nearly 18 months after Western-backed rebels killed Moammar Gaddafi in the city of Sirte, the intervention by the U.S. and its NATO allies in the civil war in Libya appears increasingly costly on several levels.
The operation took place under the auspices of the Responsibility to Protect but it turned into a mission of regime change, and that has made the Russians and Chinese feel that they were deceived.
That assessment applies not only to Libya and its North African neighbours, especially Mali, but also to relations among the great powers – most immediately with respect to Syria, where Russia and China have firmly resisted any western effort in the U.N. Security Council to undermine the government of President Bashar al-Assad or support the insurgency against him.
"In early March, the U.S. and South Korea launched an expanded set of war games on the Korean Peninsula, prompting concerns in some circles that the military exercises might touch off an escalation of tensions with North Korea.
Christine Hong, a professor at the University of California at Santa Cruz, worried that the U.S. “was lurching towards war” since “the military exercises that the U.S. and South Korea just launched are not defensive exercises” but rather appear to promote a “regime change” strategy.
Those military pressures have, indeed, led to threats of escalation from North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jong Un, and have set the Korean security situation at “hair-trigger dangerous,” Professor Hong said in the following interview with Dennis J. Bernstein.
Russia is not looking to oust Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad and wants the conflicting parties to negotiate and stop the “massacre,” putting an end to the “catastrophe” in Syria, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.
Prime Minister David Cameron has a secret about Lockerbie. It’s a secret that explains why the PM was desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi blamed personally for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, and to have Gaddafi executed without a trial.
Three months after the Lockerbie bombing, the then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the rising star in Conservative Research Department, David Cameron, visited apartheid South Africa.
The past and future British Prime Ministers made a point of visiting the Rössing Uranium Mine in Namibia (illegally occupied by apartheid South Africa in defiance of UN Security Council Resolution 435). In 1989, the Rössing mine was jointly owned by Rio Tinto Group and the Iranian Government, and was supplying uranium to develop Iran’s nuclear programme. Mrs Thatcher was so impressed with the Rössing Uranium Mine that she declared it made her "proud to be British", a sentiment echoed by Mr Cameron.
It has recently been reported that Margaret Thatcher and David Cameron concluded a secret nuclear deal with the apartheid regime during their visit in 1989.
On 21 December 1988, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, was the most prominent of the 270 victims of the Lockerbie bombing. In the months leading up to his death, Carlsson had warned that he would start proceedings against the countries and firms which had been defying UN law over many years by stealing billions of pounds-worth of Namibia's natural resources. Among those facing huge UN compensation claims were Rio Tinto Group, the government of Iran, the diamond mining giant De Beers and the apartheid regime. Because the UN Commissioner for Namibia was killed at Lockerbie, none of those prosecutions ever took place.
The latest evidence suggests that Iran and apartheid South Africa targeted UN Commissioner for Namibia, Bernt Carlsson, on Pan Am Flight 103 and that Libya was not responsible for the Lockerbie bombing, which might explain why Cameron was desperate to have Colonel Gaddafi blamed personally for the sabotage of Pan Am Flight 103 on 21 December 1988, and to have Gaddafi executed without a trial at the International Criminal Court.
The leader of the Cuban revolution Fidel Castro has urged North Korea and the USA to avoid confrontation and warned that if a war broke out on the Korean peninsula it would affect over 70 per cent of the planet’s population.
Rouge entered Phnom Penh. In the calendar of fanaticism, this was Year Zero; as many as two million people, a fifth of Cambodia's population, were to die as a consequence. To mark the anniversary, the evil of Pol Pot will be recalled, almost as a ritual act for voyeurs of the politically dark and inexplicable. For the managers of western power, no true lessons will be drawn, because no connections will be made to them and to their predecessors, who were Pol Pot's Faustian partners. Yet, without the complicity of the west, Year Zero might never have happened, nor the threat of its return maintained for so long.
Declassified United States government documents leave little doubt that the secret and illegal bombing of then neutral Cambodia by President Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger between 1969 and 1973 caused such widespread death and devastation that it was critical in Pol Pot's drive for power. "They are using damage caused by B52 strikes as the main theme of their propaganda," the CIA director of operations reported on 2 May 1973. "This approach has resulted in the successful recruitment of young men. Residents say the propaganda campaign has been effective with refugees in areas that have been subject to B52 strikes." In dropping the equivalent of five Hiroshimas on a peasant society, Nixon and Kissinger killed an estimated half a million people. Year Zero began, in effect, with them; the bombing was a catalyst for the rise of a small sectarian group, the Khmer Rouge, whose combination of Maoism and medievalism had no popular base.
The Poorer Nations: A Possible History of the Global South by Vijay Prashad
It is not so far-fetched to imagine Walter Benjamin's Angel of History succumbing to the temptation, and stressing that the time of the Global South has finally come.
Oh yes, it will be a long, arduous and winding road. But would the Google/Facebook generation need only one textbook detailing the stuff of dreams, trials and tribulations of the developing world in the early 21st century, this would be it, Vijay Prashad's just published The Poorer Nations.
They are a familiar sight to anyone who has been on the frontlines in the embattled Syrian city of Aleppo: striped sheets that once blocked the harsh sunlight or a neighbor’s prying eyes, now acting as shields against more lethal threats.
A few days ago I mentioned the great challenges humanity is currently facing. Intelligent life emerged on our planet approximately 200,000 years ago, although new discoveries demonstrate something else.
This is not to confuse intelligent life with the existence of life which, from its elemental forms in our solar system, emerged millions of years ago.
A virtually infinite number of life forms exist. In the sophisticated work of the world’s most eminent scientists the idea has already been conceived of reproducing the sounds which followed the Big Bang, the great explosion which took place more than 13.7 billion years ago.
This introduction would be too extensive if it was not to explain the gravity of an event as unbelievable and absurd as the situation created in the Korean Peninsula, within a geographic area containing close to five billion of the seven billion persons currently inhabiting the planet.
This is about one of the most serious dangers of nuclear war since the October Crisis around Cuba in 1962, 50 years ago.
In 1950, a war was unleashed there [the Korean Peninsula] which cost millions of lives. It came barely five years after two atomic bombs were exploded over the defenseless cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki which, in a matter of seconds, killed and irradiated hundreds of thousands of people.
General Douglas MacArthur wanted to utilize atomic weapons against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. Not even Harry Truman allowed that.
It has been affirmed that the People’s Republic of China lost one million valiant soldiers in order to prevent the installation of an enemy army on that country’s border with its homeland. For its part, the Soviet army provided weapons, air support, technological and economic aid.
I had the honor of meeting Kim Il Sung, a historic figure, notably courageous and revolutionary.
If war breaks out there, the peoples of both parts of the Peninsula will be terribly sacrificed, without benefit to all or either of them. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was always friendly with Cuba, as Cuba has always been and will continue to be with her.
Now that the country has demonstrated its technical and scientific achievements, we remind her of her duties to the countries which have been her great friends, and it would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet.
If a conflict of that nature should break out there, the government of Barack Obama in his second mandate would be buried in a deluge of images which would present him as the most sinister character in the history of the United States. The duty of avoiding war is also his and that of the people of the United States.
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