Monday, September 29, 2014

Obama's Phony War on Islamic State Militants

Obama's Phony War on Islamic State Militants

by Stephen Lendman

Obama murders civilian men, women and children he calls militants. Terrorists. Eyewitnesses explain otherwise. More on this below.

He lied claiming he'll degrade and destroy IS's fighting capability. He supports it instead. Previous articles explained.

They're US proxies. Shock troops. Foot soldiers. Boots on the ground. US special forces and CIA operatives train them in Jordan and Turkey.

They're taught effective ways to kill. Dirty ways. Using chemical weapons. Committing atrocities. Including beheadings and other barbarian acts.

Syrian targets struck aren't Islamic State ones. They include vital infrastructure, oil facilities, grain silos with food, empty buildings, residential homes and noncombatant men, women and children.

Exact numbers killed and injured aren't clear. Various estimates differ. The toll rises daily.

On September 23, the Los Angeles Times headlined "Syrians say civilians killed in US airstrikes," explaining:

Video evidence from Northwestern Syria "shows Idlib province residents going through motions that have become all too familiar in three years of civil war between antigovernment rebels and the forces of President Bashar Assad…"

They're "surveying the remnants of flattened homes and picking through the debris."

"This time" Washington bears full responsibility. One Syrian perhaps spoke for others, saying:

"Mass destruction (was inflicted on) civilian homes as a result of the strikes of the Western alliance on the civilians in the western Idlib suburbs. Look, it is all civilian homes."

So-called Pentagon photographic evidence is fake. Claiming IL targets were struck is false.

Scores of so-called attacks against it in Iraq haven't scratched its capability. Nor have they in Syria. Nor will they. Nor are they intended to. Obama lied claiming otherwise. 

According to the Times:

Syrians say "as many as two dozen civilians were killed…" As of six days ago. Likely dozens more perished in daily strikes since then.

Washington considers civilians legitimate targets in all its wars. Millions perished in Afghanistan. Millions more in Iraq Wars I, II plus years of sanctions.

Libya claimed well over 100,000 lives. Perhaps double or triple that number. No one knows for sure.

Obama's Iraq and Syrian wars may claim millions before they end.
Washington doesn't keep body counts. Independent sources estimate best they can.

Syrians fear US bombings for good reason. They're in harm's way. They're afraid they'll be struck.

One Syrian resident said IS fighters dispersed. So did other militants. They left areas likely to be targeted. Civilians suffered most casualties.

Lt. General William Mayville heads US Joint Chiefs of Staff operations. He lied claiming no knowledge "of any civilian casualties."

He's fully briefed on daily operations. "If any reports of civilian casualties emerge, we will fully investigate," he said.

So-called Pentagon investigations cover up, deny and obfuscate. It's longstanding operational procedure. 

It suppresses crimes of war and against humanity. It conceals dirty war. Its atrocities. Without mercy. Without restraint. Without regard for rule of law principles, standards and norms.

On September 28, Human Rights Watch (HRW) headlined "US/Syria: Investigate Possible Unlawful US Strikes," saying:

Idlib airstrikes killed at least eight civilians. They "should be investigated for possible violations of the laws of war."

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby lied, claiming "no credible reporting from operational sources" of civilian deaths. Syrians able to observe dead men, women and children explained otherwise.

"Three local residents told Human Rights Watch that missiles killed at least two men, two women, and five children, in the early morning hours on September 23 in the village of Kafr Deryan in northern Idlib," said HRW.

US wars normalize the unthinkable. Civilian lives don't matter. Crimes of war and against humanity are considered collateral damage.

Residents said missiles struck two homes in Kafr Deryan. They killed at least five children, two women and two men…"

According to HRW: "The reported killing of at least seven civilians in strikes in which there may have been no legitimate military target nearby raises concerns that the strikes were unlawful under the laws of war and should be investigated."

Expect whitewash instead. It's standard US practice. Hegemons don't admit culpability. Or say they're sorry. They blame victims for their crimes.

Residents said "there there were no Jabhat al-Nusra buildings, checkpoints, or vehicles in the vicinity of the strike in the village," said HRW,

Pentagon officials knew it. They spent weeks gathering intelligence. Choosing targets. 

Striking homes with civilians shows contempt for human lives. It shows America wages dirty wars. It kills indiscriminately.

Its sanctimonious objectives are false. Hypocritical. Big Lies. War crimes and then some. Expect lots more ahead.

HRW listed victims by names. They weren't terrorists. They were innocent victims in harm's way.

"Video footage posted on YouTube on September 23 by a local activist who spoke to Human Rights Watch shows some of the civilians injured in the strikes and the aftermath of the attacks," said HRW. 

"Another video posted by the Shaam News Network showed three children, two who appear to have been killed, and one who appears to have been injured in the missile strikes." 

"An additional video, posted on YouTube by the local activist who spoke to Human Rights Watch, shows two children being rushed to receive medical treatment in the aftermath of the attack, and another shows an adult victim being pulled out of the rubble."

A Kafr Deryan resident said "six additional civilians - three children and three women - were also killed in the strikes on the villages but Human Rights Watch was unable to verify this claim," according to HRW.

"He said that approximately 15 others, including women and children, were injured."

Three Kafr Deryan residents said "civilians were all killed when missiles struck their homes directly, and two of the residents said they had seen weapons remnants at the site of the destroyed homes, suggesting that the strikes directly caused the fatalities," according to HRW.

Another said "he was at the scene of the attack on the two residences about 10 minutes after the strikes and that he and other activists collected the remnants from the weapons used in the strikes and videotaped them and posted some of the footage of the aftermath of the strikes on YouTube." 

HRW said it "reviewed his footage and has identified the remnants as debris of a turbofan engine from a Tomahawk cruise missile, a weapon that only the US and British governments have."

"Witness accounts suggest that the attack on the village harmed civilians but did not strike a military target, violating the laws of war by failing to discriminate between combatants and civilians, or that it unlawfully caused civilian loss disproportionate to the expected military advantage," it added.

"The US government should investigate credible allegations of violations of the laws of war, such the strikes on Kafr Deryan, and publish its findings…"

"In the event of wrongdoing, the United States should ensure accountability and provide appropriate redress." 

"Further, the United States should take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians in future attacks."

Obama ordered Iraqi and Syrian airstrikes lawlessly. He did so preemptively. With no legal authority. 

No Security Council approval. No congressional declaration of war. No adversary threatening America. Doing so constitutes high criminality against peace.

Indiscriminately killing noncombatant men, women and children adds more high crimes to his rap sheet. He's guilty as charged. 

He remains unaccountable. He operates this way. He gives rogue leadership new meaning. He's unapologetic. He blames victims for his crimes.

Expect lots more mass slaughter and destruction before his Iraqi and Syrian wars end. High crimes against peace. The supreme crime. Genocide. It's the American way.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

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