Archive for the 'conventional weapons' Category

The murder continues.

Afghan police are saying today that over 100 people were killed in this week’s US air strike in Farah Province. 25 to 30 are suspected Taliban, while the vast majority were civilians. A Red Cross investigative team confirmed the findings, saying they had seen “dozens” of bodies in two separate locations and that civilians were still digging through the rubble of their mud-brick homes looking for others.

http://news.antiwar.com/2009/05/06/us-strikes-in-afghanistan-kill-100-mostly-civilians/

Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;

–The Lord

http://scriptures.lds.org/en/dc/98/16

Our traditions have been such that we are not apt to look upon war between tow nations as murder… Does it justify the slaying of men, women and children that otherwise would have remained at home in peace, because a great army is doing the work? No: the guilty will be damned for it.

–Brigham Young

https://theradicalmormon.wordpress.com/2007/09/07/war-and-the-gospel-of-jesus-christ-2/

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Obama wants the strongest military in the world… the fool.

President-Elect Obama declared today:

“To ensure prosperity here at home and peace abroad, we all share the belief we have to maintain the strongest military on the planet.”

Ah, what foolish words.  He also said that he is:

“absolutely committed to eliminating the threat of terrorism”.

Which is bizzare other-world language for saying that we are going be at war forever since we are going to battle with a concept where every battle fought feeds our so-called ‘enemies’ with a thousand new recruits.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/3540167/Barack-Obama-says-US-will-maintain-strongest-military-on-planet-as-Clinton-confirmed-top-diplomat.html

Why is it so hard to find a man of peace to lead our nation?  Wise men have spoken on our foolish endeavors to be stronger than anyone else in the world.  President Spencer W. Kimball lamented the resources we use on building up our military strength, lamenting the:

“vast resources to the fabrication of gods of stone and steel ships, planes, missiles, fortifications and depend on them for protection and deliverance.”

Brigham Young declared:

“A large share of the ingenuity of the world is taxed to invent weapons of war. What a set of fools!”

In another place he said:

“Much of the skill, ingenuity, and ability of the Christian nations are now devoted to manufacturing instruments of death. May we be saved from the effects of them! As I often tell you, if we are faithful, the Lord will fight our battles much better than we can ourselves.”

Unfortunately, those at the head of our government don’t have the faith of a prophet.

“But President Young… shouldn’t we be ready to defend ourselves and build up an army so noone can bully us around and we can get the bad guys?”  Pres. Young answers:

“When the nations have for years turned much of their attention to manufacturing instruments of death, they have sooner or later used those instruments. Our nation, England, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, and other nations have for years exercised their inventive skill, and expended much means in inventing and fabricating instruments of death… From the authority of all history, the deadly weapons now stored up and being manufactured will be used until the people are wasted away, and there is no help for it. The spirit of revolution goes on through the nations: it never goes back.”

In an official declaration from our First Presidency during WWII, we have this:

“We repeat our warnings against the terrifying arms race in which the nations of the earth are presently engaged. We deplore in particular the building of vast arsenals of nuclear weaponry.”

Men of wisdom, men of God, have spoken on this topic very clearly.  The foolishness of relying on military strength and building it up will bring about the calamities foretold for thousands of years, or will at least provide the tools for wicked men to bring about the extermination of our race.  God save us from our foolishness.

Obama is President, and we keep bombing wedding parties in Afghanistan

So now we have Obama for a President.  And what is going to be one of his first moves?  He wants to send something like 15,000 more troops into Afghanistan where we incredibly, again today, bombed a wedding party, killing up to 2 dozen kids… and as many as 40 innocent afghanistanis in total:

Two dozen children are said to be among the dead after US warplanes reportedly bombed a wedding party in Afghanistan. US military officials said the incident, in which up to 40 civilians were reportedly killed and the bride wounded, was being investigated. The party was taking place close to where Taliban militants took cover.

 

A US spokesman said that if “innocent people were killed in this operation, we apologise and express our condolences”. But the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, called on the US and its president-elect, Barack Obama, to stop civilian killings.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/us-warplanes-bomb-afghan-wedding-party-994922.html

Abdul Zahir, 24, the brother of the bride, said fighting broke out between Taliban and international troops near a crossroads in the village early on Monday. Wedding guests first heard shots from the mountain about 4 p.m. Air strikes followed about half an hour later and lasted about five hours, he said.

While Mr. Zahir was not injured, his sister was severely hurt, as were three of his young cousins, Noor Ahmad, Hazrat Sadiq and Mohammad Rafiq, who range in age from three to five years old. During the interview, they lay sprawled out next to him on tiny hospital cots. Mr. Zahir said that in all eight members of his family were killed, including two of his brothers, Qahir and Twahir, and his grandmother. Fourteen other family members were injured.

The bombing wasn’t the end of the ordeal, witnesses said. When the air strikes were over, they said, international troops arrived in three sand-coloured armoured vehicles.

Villagers reported they were intimidated and prevented from leaving to seek medical treatment while the soldiers took pictures.

The governor of Kandahar province will hold a press conference on the incident Wednesday morning, a spokesman said.

“We are collecting information right now about this incident. It’s not complete,” the spokesman said.

 

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20081104.wafghan1105/BNStory/International/home

Let’s see how many wedding parties will be bombed under Obama’s leadership.

Update 11/5/08:  Some sources are now saying that we killed as many as 90 people at the wedding party:

http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/530904

US Venezuelan policy, looks to continue under the next leader of the Empire

Just noticing these days how nothing much has changed with the Empire’s rhetoric toward Venezuela and Chavez.  In the Presidential race, McCain has ruled out talks with Chavez saying he’s a charlatan and thug:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/02/uselections2008.usa?gusrc=rss&feed=networkfront

and Obama is fairly inflammatory towards Venezuela himself saying that Chavez is an enemy of the US and calling out for sanctions against him.  Most recently he said that Venezuela “is a destructive force in the region” because of its alleged support for the Colombian guerilla group, the FARC, its “anti-democratic practices,” and its “incendiary rhetoric” against the U.S.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/3657

This sort of talk is uninformed and unfortunate.  It is fairly clear that Chavez has not supported the FARC’s armed struggle, nor has he supported the FARC financially as Colombian liar Uribe would like us to believe.  Obama would do well to take a look at how destructive US foreign policy has been in Latin America for the last century.  Yet, he continues to play the game and support US imperial design on the riches of Latin America.  I guess it only makes sense since the people that pay for his campaign are at least partially made up of companies which make a killing on trade with Latin American countries.  Ah what a refreshing thing it would be to see someone with a backbone running for president for once.  Then again, we already have such men as Nader and Paul, but they are marginalized by the press (which is owned by the same people who give financial support to the two major candidates) and are seen as non-viable wierdos.

Chavez, of course, is no dummy in all of this:

“The two candidates for the US presidency attack us equally, they attack us defending the interests of the empire,” Chavez said at a meeting of his socialist party. “Let’s not kid ourselves, it is the empire and the empire must fall. That’s the only solution – that it comes to an end.”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/jul/17/venezuela.usa

Also notable in US/Venezuelan relations is the old charge championed previously by Rumsfeld that Venezuela buying arms from Russia is an unnecessary and suspicious activity:

“We’ve repeatedly communicated concerns with Russia about Chavez’s arms build-up in the past, and we’re going to continue to do so,” Gonzalo Gallegos, a US State Department spokesman said.

“We continue to question … whether such acquisitions are in line with Venezuela’s legitimate defense needs,” Gallegos added.

http://www.hindustantimes.com/StoryPage/StoryPage.aspx?sectionName=HomePage&id=265ce87e-dc86-4aaa-baf9-a378d992682f&MatchID1=4735&TeamID1=8&TeamID2=6&MatchType1=1&SeriesID1=1194&PrimaryID=4735&Headline=US+criticises+Russia-Venezuelan+arms+deal&strParent=strParentID

Remember Rumsfeld’s concerns from 3 years ago?

After the meeting, Mr. Rumsfeld told journalists the United States was troubled by reports that Venezuela is seeking to buy 100,000 assault rifles and 10 military helicopters from Russia.

“I can’t imagine what is going to happen to 100,000 AK-47s,” he said.  “I don’t understand why Venezuela needs 100,000 AK-47s.”

http://www.voanews.com/english/archive/2005-03/2005-03-23-voa82.cfm?CFID=16536995&CFTOKEN=56773369

These concerns are unfounded and are most likely politically motivated as pointed out here:

However, one military expert said that Venezuela is merely replacing old equipment rather than than increasing its stocks. Anna Gilmour of the well known defense magazine, Jane’s, said, “ Venezuela has increased indeed its military purchases over the last three years. But it is replacing obsolete weapons and military equipment, instead of just buying new equipment or new weapons.” She also hinted that Rumsfeld may have “political” reasons for making the comments about Venezuela.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez has also inserted himself into the row. He called Rumsfeld a “war dog” and said that the U.S. is threatening Venezuela, something Rumsfeld denies, “ The dog says in a cynical way that he knows no one who is threatening Venezuela, so he does not know himself. We should give the little dog a mirror so that he can see his face,” said Chávez.

Chávez also made a polite request to Colombian President Álvaro Uribe that he make a comment on Rumsfeld’s remarks. Colombia borders Venezuela and, although relations between Uribe and Chávez are good, the border area is renowned for military and paramilitary activity on both sides. Chávez wants Uribe to say whether he is one of those “neighbors” with “concerns.”

According to the news agency EFE, Uribe was asked today in a radio interview how he would respond to Chavez and merely stated that Colombia has “very good relations” with the countries of South America, among these Venezuela, and with the United States.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/1988

The Vice President of Venezeula, Jose Vicente Rangel was very eloquent in pointing out the absurdity of Rumsfeld’s preoccupation with the Venezuelan government’s military purchases:

The Lord of War, Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of Defense of the United States made some statements following the same line of repeating the usual impertinences about Venezuela. These impertinences inspired by the goal of getting involved in the internal politics of other nations and violate our sovereignty, continue being utilized systematically by U.S. officials.

In Venezuela we are worried about the elevated military spending by the United States, which stands around 450 billion dollars, representing a spending that surpasses that of the 18 other military powers that follow them. The U.S. alone absorbs 36% of the world’s military spending. This has generated great preoccupation in the majority of the countries around the world, since there is no justification for the building of so many devices for war.

As the government of that country has said in repeated opportunities, they are the greatest military power in history, and its objectives are to control and assure its hegemony over the rest of the world. What are they fearing in order to justify such increase in military spending? Can anybody believe such country could be invaded by a foreign power?  What is really happening is that the U.S. has developed a very new doctrine through which they justify their arms buildups. This is the frequently mentioned preventive war. For them it is not about peace, but about preventive war. This is the doctrine that has the whole world worried because, as we all know, it has already been put into practice.

That is the big difference with the arms purchase which we are doing in an act of political sovereignty, with the only goal of defending our independence and guaranteeing the self-determination of our people. These weapons, as everybody knows, don’t have the potential for aggression against anybody. They are exclusively for defense, to which we have a right as all nations of the world do.

We have to say even more: in this moment the U.S. has started a new phase in its imperialist aggression against our homeland. They started with a propaganda war, and now they increase their attack, using one of the promoters of the so called Star Wars, who seeks to create enemies for Venezuela, among our friends. The North American strategy is aimed at destroying Latin American unity, and take possession of our energy resources. Venezuela is just one step in their global ambitions.

The escalation of these attacks confirms the existence of a plan by the U.S. government against Venezuela. This plan was tested on April 11 of 2002, with the coup d’etat against President Hugo Chavez, and continued developing with the strike and oil sabotage starting December 2, 2002, with systematic statements by spokespersons of the Bush administration, with a media campaign such as those that the empire has unleashed through history whenever they want to consummate an aggression, or through the assassination attempts of that have been detected, and other series of efforts to destabilize.

Definitely, the U.S. is worried because Latin America is liberating itself. This preoccupation is that of the slave owner who does not accept the liberating struggles of the oppressed peoples. The U.S. preoccupation with Venezuela is because our country is building a true democracy of equals, something that the U.S. does not carry through neither with their own people, nor with the international scene.

The U.S. preoccupation arises because we are building another world, a world in which other worlds can fit. They are worried that the South also exists.

From the south we respond, with dignity as our flag, and understanding the big responsibility we have as the descendants of San Martin, Artigas, O’Higgins, Abreu e Lima, and Bolivar.

http://www.venezuelanalysis.com/news/1019

“Drop weapons” in Iraq. Handy tool to escape murder charges by our soldiers.

This is pretty lame.  We apparently plant “drop weapons” on innocent civilians we’ve killed in Iraq so that we can kill indiscrimantly and not get in trouble.  Sounds similar to the story the ex-Colombian soldier told me about what he used to do to peasant villages after the military or paramilitary massacred the peasants in a Colombian village.

Tell me ye who doubt any sort of spin in the US media… Why don’t we hear of this in western media? 

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza, Tutu visits the Athamneh home, and Omer writes an excellent article

Amnesty International has criticized Israel’s seige on Gaza as the gravest humanitarian crisis yet.  Aside from the direct military killing of over 370 people in 2007 it’s findings included:

Aside from the killing of civilians and the destruction of over 100 Palestinian homes, the report states that “in June, the Israeli government imposed an unprecedented blockade on the Gaza Strip, virtually imprisoning its entire 1.5 million people population, subjecting them to collective punishment and causing the gravest humanitarian crisis to date.”

The report further stated that “more than 550 Israeli military checkpoints and blockades restricted or prevented the movement of Palestinians between towns and villages in the West Bank,” and that “40 Palestinians died after being refused passage out of Gaza for urgent medical treatment not available in local hospitals.”

Illegal construction in the settlements was also cited, as well as the construction of the separation fence, which detached many Palestinians from their lands and families.

It went on to say that “thousands of Palestinians were arrested, most of whom were released without charge. Those charged with security-related offences often received unfair trials before military courts.” Those convicted were often held in Israeli prisons contrary to humanitarian laws, and were often subjected to abuse and torture.  

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3548730,00.html

At the same time, Archbishop Desmond Tutu is in Gaza on a UN fact-finding mission on the massacre 2 years ago of the Athamneh family by Israel.  He spoke to Ismail Haniyeh and condemned the seige:

“What I have seen and heard is bigger than the ability of human beings to conceive. The blockade, which is imposed on the Gaza Strip, is illegal and should immediately stop,” Tutu told the reporters.

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2008-05/29/content_8272959.htm

He also met with the patriarch of the massacred family.  He was spared death as he was out to prayers when the missile hit:

Then he stepped forward to the warm embrace of a tearful Saad Athamneh, 55, who lost three of his sons, all of them fathers, 18 months ago. “The siege is continuing,” he told the venerable South African in a short speech of welcome outside the family home. “The US is controlling the Middle East. The Israelis killed my children while I was praying. Please come in and see what happened.”

Leaving the house the Archbishop would only say: “We are quite devastated. It is not something you would wish on your worst enemy.”

Earlier the Archbishop, who has condemned Qassam rocket fire, stood in respectful silence as Usama Athamneh told him simply: “My wife, my mother, my sister, were all killed.” One of his sons, Mustafa, 12, must live with the memory of escaping after his mother fell dead beside him. Another standing beside him, said Mr Athamneh, had shrapnel in the brain. Thanks to treatment in an Israeli hospital “he’s recovered, he’s OK”.

The Israeli military’s investigation into the shelling found that “the injury of the Palestinian civilians was not intentional and was directly due to a rare and severe failure in the artillery fire control system”. But in their June 2007 report recounting their failure to visit the scene, the UN mission – which must also assess the victims’ current needs – said that “whether the casualties at Beit Hanoun were caused by a mistake, recklessness, criminal negligence or were wilful, those responsible must be held accountable”.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/archbishop-tutu-meets-devastated-gaza-family-835867.html

I’m not quite sure why this particular massacre is being investigated above all of the other deaths Israel has caused, including the February attacks which killed around 130 Palestinians.  The talented young writer, Mohammed Omer has a new article out which humanizes the tragedy suffered in that attack:

“My son, my son Ahmed!” Karima Salamah cried, still in disbelief, upon arriving at the ICU room where her son lay critically injured, bandaged, unmoving. “I shook his bed, and when he awoke and opened his eyes I told him, ‘This is your mother, I’m here with you.’”

Tears flowed down Ahmed’s cheeks as he lay immobile, his condition still dangerously tenuous. The missile that had struck him left Ahmed with severe brain damage and missing pieces of flesh.

Just after Ahmed had walked out his front door on Saturday, March 1, his mother said, he was hit by an Israeli F-16 missile. It was a day in which more than 55 Palestinians were killed, many of them civilians and children. Ahmed’s parents ran from one hospital to the next, unable to find any news of their son. Finally, after three days of worrying and wondering, they were called by a local hospital and told that the body of a boy believed to be Ahmed was in the hospital morgue. It was not easy to identify him, Karima recalled, as the boy’s body had been torn into unrecognizable pieces of flesh. The only option was to assume that it was her son’s corpse.

The mutilated and unidentifiable corpse which the Abu Salamah family had mistakenly buried was actually that of Mohammed Hejazi, a 17-year-old who lived in the same neighborhood. Meanwhile, Mohammed’s mother, Aminah Hejazi, and family came and sat outside Ahmed’s ICU room everyday for two weeks, believing that the injured boy inside was their Mohammed.

With his face covered in bandages and his body being of similar size, it was easy for the Hejazi family to hope this was Mohammed. “At first I doubted whether this was really my son,” Aminah revealed, “but I felt the need to be close to him anyway.” After her initial doubts, Aminah Hejazi became convinced that Mohammed truly was the boy inside the ICU room. Her hopes remained alive until the injured boy’s actual mother came to the hospital and identified him as her son Ahmed.

Read the rest of his story here:

http://www.wrmea.com/archives/May-June_2008/0805010.html

How fruitless is the act of killing ones so-called, “enemy.”  Whenever we put our faith in a military solution, we are murdering our brothers and sisters with whom we’ve lived with forever.  How can we countenance this war?  How can followers of Jesus Christ, in particular, members of the Mormon Church, who believe in the premortal existence, engage in or support such atrocities?  Please God, help us to see the humanity, the divine in our fellow earth-dwellers, our brothers and sisters, and help us to be wise.

US kills Iraqis from the air and gain new enemies.

For those of you who don’t know, we’ve been up to our old forms of killing in Iraq lately, namely that of massive aerial bombardment of residential neighborhoods.  We are taking the business of killing Iraqis to new levels.  It is important that we know this kind of stuff… such as when our government murders Iraqis in our name.  This is directly from Raw Story:

A surge in US airstrikes within densely populated areas of Iraq has led to a dramatic rise in civilian casualties.

According to the Washington Post, ever since an attempted crackdown on Shi’ite militias by the Iraqi government in March, which led to increased attacks on the Green Zone in Baghdad that killed some Americans, the US military has been firing missiles almost every day into the crowded Shi’ite slum of Sadr City.

Residents describe the attacks as indiscriminate and say they have led to many civilian deaths. However, the US Army states that they choose their targets carefully and often refrain from firing for fear of civilian casualties.

“On Wednesday, eight people, including two children, were killed when a U.S. helicopter opened fire on a group of Iraqis,” the Post reports. “The U.S. military said in a statement that it had targeted men linked to a suicide bombing network. ‘Unfortunately, two children were killed when the other occupants of the vehicle, in which they were riding, exhibited hostile intent,” the statement said.”

CNN reports further on Iraqi victims of US gunfire, noting that “anger against the Americans is only increasing.”

http://rawstory.com/news/2008/U.S._airstrike_kills_8_Iraqi_civilians_0523.html


Just Foreign Policy Iraqi Death Estimator
Impeach Cheney