Khmer Rouge & Cambodia

An interview with Noam Chomsky on the UN-sponsored war crimes tribunal in Cambodia. While much of the Western media hail the trials as a “landmark genocide tribunal” holding out “hope” for justice for the Cambodian people, the genocidal crimes of the Nixon-Kissinger administration are dispatched down the Memory Hole.

March27, 2009 — Top Khmer Rouge (KR) leaders are going on trial in Cambodia. You have some history with Cambodia and have written extensively on the KR. Do you believe a United Nations trial is the best way forward, or should it be left to the Cambodian people?

I think it should be left to the Cambodian people. I can’t imagine a UN, international trial. But then it shouldn’t be limited to the Cambodians – after all, an international trial that doesn’t take into account Henry Kissinger or the other authors of the American bombing and the support of the KR after they were kicked out of the country – that’s just a farce – especially with what we now know about the bombing of Cambodia since the release of the Kissinger-Nixon tapes, and the release of declassified documents during the Clinton years. There has been a very different picture of the scale and intensity of the bombing and the genocidal scale of it. For an international trial to omit this would be scandalous.

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Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald on Bill Moyers Journal

Bill Moyers talks with alternative media heavyweights Glenn Greenwald and Amy Goodman about what can and can’t be addressed in big corporate media. Amy Goodman and Glenn Greenwald are the first recipients of the Park Center for Independent Media Izzy Award (named for I.F. Stone).

Resist or Become Serfs

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is overseeing the use of billions of taxpayer dollars to protect Wall Street financiers from their bad investments. (AP photo / Susan Walsh)

‘If we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate,’ writes Chris Hedges. ‘The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them.’

America is devolving into a third-world nation. And if we do not immediately halt our elite’s rapacious looting of the public treasury we will be left with trillions in debts, which can never be repaid, and widespread human misery which we will be helpless to ameliorate. Our anemic democracy will be replaced with a robust national police state. The elite will withdraw into heavily guarded gated communities where they will have access to security, goods and services that cannot be afforded by the rest of us. Tens of millions of people, brutally controlled, will live in perpetual poverty. This is the inevitable result of unchecked corporate capitalism. The stimulus and bailout plans are not about saving us. They are about saving them. We can resist, which means street protests, disruptions of the system and demonstrations, or become serfs. Continue reading “Resist or Become Serfs”

Changing the rules of war

An excellent article by George Bisharat, Professor of Law at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, on the possibly disastrous implications of Israel’s latest attack on Gaza for international law. Israel has long sought to frame its actions as falling under the legal doctrines of ‘armed conflict’ instead of ones governed by the laws of occupation – the former permitting far greater uses of force. Bisharat warns that “this shift, if accepted, would encourage occupiers to follow Israel’s lead, externalizing military control while shedding all responsibilities to occupied populations.”

The extent of Israel’s brutality against Palestinian civilians in its 22-day pounding of the Gaza Strip is gradually surfacing. Israeli soldiers are testifying to lax rules of engagement tantamount to a license to kill. One soldier commented: “That’s what is so nice, supposedly, about Gaza: You see a person on a road, walking along a path. He doesn’t have to be with a weapon, you don’t have to identify him with anything and you can just shoot him.”

What is less appreciated is how Israel is also brutalizing international law, in ways that may long outlast the demolition of Gaza.

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Focus on Gaza – White Phosphorous

In this week’s show we hear how Human Rights Watch accuses Israel of war crimes for it’s unlawful use of white phosphorous. Mike Kirsch a town in the US where white phosphorous is manufactured and shows locals the true human cost of the weapon.

Survivors of the war in Gaza take legal action and we meet a mother burnt by white phosphorous who tells her story.

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US Delivers Massive New Weapons Shipment to Israel

The Following from Amnesty International USA:

Amnesty International today revealed that the United States has sent a massive new shipment of arms to Israel — about 14,000 tons worth — despite evidence that U.S. weapons were misused against civilians in the Gaza attacks. The unloading of the shipment in Israel was confirmed by the Pentagon. The human rights organization called on President Obama to suspend future arms shipments to Israel until there is no longer substantial risk of human rights violations.

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Israeli exports hit by European boycotts

The Guardian reports that “A fifth of Israeli exporters report drop in demand as footage of Gaza attacks changes behaviour of consumers and investors.”

Israeli companies are feeling the impact of boycott moves in Europe, according to surveys, amid growing concern within the Israeli business sector over organised campaigns following the recent attack on Gaza.

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Our leaders still aren’t facing up to the scale of the crisis

Seuman Milne: “It’s hardly surprising that some want to trash the City, but to claim that the G20 protesters have no alternative is nonsense.”

When mass protests exploded on the streets of Seattle in 1999 against the kind of globalisation embodied in the World Trade Organisation, their anti-capitalist message was widely portrayed as utopian. A decade on, as anti-capitalist demonstrators vented their fury yesterday on the social and ecological vandals of the City and prepared to do battle today outside the G20 meeting in the heart of what was once London‘s docks, it looks more like common sense.

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Fake faith and epic crimes

In his latest column for the New Statesman, John Pilger describes a worldwide movement that is ‘challenging the once-sacrosanct notion that imperial politicians can destroy countless lives and retain an immunity from justice’. In Tony Blair’s case, justice inches closer.

These are extraordinary times. With the United States and Britain on the verge of bankruptcy and committing to an endless colonial war, pressure is building for their crimes to be prosecuted at a tribunal similar to that which tried the Nazis at Nuremberg. This defined rapacious invasion as “the supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole”. International law would be mere farce, said the chief US chief prosecutor at Nuremberg, Supreme Court justice Robert Jackson, “if, in future, we do not apply its principles to ourselves”.

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