Stop US drone attacks on Yemeni civilians

This video says about itself:

Drone attacks in Yemen mostly hit civilians

17 July 2013

US drones strikes in Yemen nearly tripled last year compared to the year before, from 18 to 53, according to the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there have been up to 154 strikes by US drones in Yemen since 2002, that has killed almost 800 people. But it is mostly civilians who are often injured or killed in these attacks. Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports from the village of Subul in Northern Yemen.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 3 September 2015


A YEMENI family whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike have appealed to a German court to ensure that a US base in the country is not used for further attacks, which might endanger their lives.

In May 2014, a court in Cologne heard evidence from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a, following revelations that Ramstein air base is used by the US to facilitate American drone strikes in Yemen.

Mr Jaber is bringing the case against Germany – represented by international human rights organisation Reprieve and its local partner the European Centre for Human Rights (ECCHR) – for failing to stop the bases on its territory from being used for the attacks that have killed civilians.

Although the court ruled against Mr bin Ali Jaber in the May hearing, it gave him immediate permission to appeal the decision, while the judges agreed with his assertion that it is ‘plausible’ Ramstein air base is crucial in facilitating drone strikes in Yemen.

Today’s appeal, filed at the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, asks the German government to end the country’s complicity in the extrajudicial killings. Mr Jaber lost his brother-in-law Salim, a preacher, and his nephew Waleed, a local police officer, when a US strike hit the village of Khashamir on 29 August 2012.

Salim often spoke out against extremism, and had used a sermon just days before he was killed to urge those present to reject Al Qaeda. Kat Craig, Legal Director at Reprieve, said: ‘It is now clear that US bases on German territory, such as Ramstein, provide a crucial hub for the launching of drone strikes in countries like Yemen – leading to scores of civilians being killed.

‘Faisal bin Ali Jaber and the countless other victims like him are right to call for an end to European countries’ complicity in these terrible attacks. The German courts have already signalled their serious concerns – now the government must be held accountable for allowing the use of German soil to carry out these killings.’

Andreas Schüller of the ECCHR said: ‘Drone strikes carried out outside of conflict zones are nothing but extrajudicial targeted killings – the implementation of death sentences without any trial. German authorities are under an obligation to protect individuals – including people living in Yemen – from suffering harm caused by breaches of international law involving Germany, but the exchange of diplomatic notes between the German and US government has to date proven to be wholly unsuitable. There needs to be a public debate on whether Germany is really doing enough to prevent violations of international law and the murder of innocent people.’

Background information on Faisal bin Ali Jaber’s case:

Faisal bin Ali Jaber is an engineer from Yemen. His brother-in-law Salem and nephew Waleed were killed by a US drone strike in 2012. Salem was an imam who was known for speaking out against al-Qaeda in his sermons, and Waleed was a local policeman.

Faisal’s relatives were given a bag containing $100,000 in US dollar bills as compensation, but the US has never admitted responsibility. ‘Our family are not your enemy. In fact, the people you killed had strongly and publicly opposed al-Qaeda. Salem was an imam.

‘The Friday before his death, he gave a guest sermon in the Khashamir mosque denouncing al-Qaeda’s hateful ideology. It was not the first of these sermons, but it was his last.’ Faisal went to Washington, DC, where he met with members of Congress and members of the National Security Council, and told his story to a number of journalists.

In July 2014, one of Faisal’s relatives was offered a bag containing $100,000 in US dollar bills at a meeting with the Yemeni National Security Bureau (NSB). The NSB official told a family representative that the money was from the US and that he had been asked to pass it along.

The payment came after the Yemeni government confirmed in writing that the US carried out the drone strike, and that the deaths of Faisal’s relatives were ‘a mistake’. The US has never publicly admitted that the strike that killed Waleed and Salem was a mistake.

The killings have never been investigated and the US has never apologised to Faisal and the rest of his family. ‘My family received money from the US government as an admission of their guilt for “mistakenly” killing our relatives in a drone strike. But this is not justice. There are many other families in Yemen who have lost innocent relatives in US drone strikes but do not receive hush money for speaking out,’ said Faisal bin Ali Jaber.

The Friday before he was killed, Salem had given a sermon at the mosque in the village of Khashamir, denouncing al-Qaeda’s ideology. A few days later, some strangers arrived in the village, demanding to speak with him. Salem eventually agreed to meet them, and took Waleed with him.

The two men went to meet the strangers near the local mosque, where they had parked their car. The whole group was then hit by a US drone missile, killing all of them. The strike took place on the second day of family wedding celebrations, which Salem and Waleed were attending.

Cori Crider, Reprieve’s Strategic Director and Faisal’s attorney, said: ‘President Obama is as reluctant as ever to admit the full extent of the US drone programme in Yemen – but money talks, even if the White House won’t.

‘Cash payments without full accountability won’t quell the outrage about civilian drone deaths, and continued US strikes will only bring further instability to Yemen. The victims’ families want and deserve an explanation, while the American people need to hear the truth about what is being done in their name.

‘In October 2014, we helped Faisal take legal action in the German Constitutional Court. We had discovered that German military bases were being used to facilitate drone strikes in Yemen – including the strike that killed Faisal’s relatives.

‘Our claim asked that the German administration stop the use of German territory for illegal actions by the US in Yemen. We argued that the German government is acting in breach of the country’s constitution by permitting the US to use its Ramstein airbase for illegal drone attacks abroad.

‘In May 2015, the court ruled against us, but the judge gave us immediate leave to appeal. This is a rare move, and means that our case could be heard again within months. This is the first time that the crucial role of Ramstein in facilitating the US drone programme has been challenged in court.

‘Without Germany – and other Western allies – the US could not fly the drones that kill innocent people. In June 2015, we heard that the German Federal Prosecutor’s office – Germany’s highest prosecuting office – has launched a “monitoring process”, which will investigate possible violations of international law involving Ramstein.

‘They have requested documents from government agencies, including the Ministry of Defence, that might indicate that they had an idea about what was happening in Ramstein. This is the first step of a much bigger journey towards making sure that people like Faisal and his family are able to live in peace, without the constant fear of drones hanging over them. We will continue to seek justice for Faisal and his family, and demand an end to US-led drone strikes.’

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are carrying out a secret drone missile assassination program in Syria, the Washington Post reported late Tuesday: here.

Corbyn ‘insane’ for not invading Iraq, Tony Blair says

Tony Blair, Jeremy Corbyn, and the Iraq war

From the British satirical site The Daily Mash:

Corbyn insane not to invade Iraq, says Blair


JEREMY Corbyn’s lack of a plan to invade Iraq would spell disaster for Labour, Tony Blair has claimed.

The former prime minister attacked Corbyn’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ politics, saying Labour would be unable to win future elections without a huge war instigated by right-wing Americans.

Blair said: “He clearly has no plans for an invasion of Iraq, which is an insult to British voters who so wisely put their faith in me, George W. Bush and Jesus.

“He needs to ditch this drivel about taxing the rich and set out his bombing plans. Right now, I don’t know who he wants to bomb, or if he even wants to bomb at all.”

He added: “In politics you’ve got to be realistic. That’s why the next Labour leader needs to re-invade Iraq using these special robot soldiers I’ve drawn and coloured in myself.

“They’re nuclear and have lasers.”

British King Charles II used child soldiers, archaeologists discover

This video, recorded in Scotland, says about itself:

The Battle of Dunbar

27 August 2010

On a hill in Scotland, I remember the distant relative whose ill fate became my good fortune.

From daily The Independent in Britain:

Skeletons of Scottish prisoners provide evidence of child soldiers in Britain’s civil wars

Troops at the brutal Battle of Dunbar in 1650 may have been as young as 12

David Keys, Archaeology Correspondent

Wednesday 02 September 2015

Physical evidence that children were used as soldiers in Britain’s mid-17th century civil wars has been discovered by archaeologists.

Investigations in Durham have identified the remains of up to 28 skeletons as Scottish prisoners of war including a dozen teenage soldiers, five of whom were aged 12 to 16.

They were taken prisoner after English parliamentarian forces defeated the pro-Charles II Scottish Presbyterian army at the Battle of Dunbar on 3 September, 1650.

Scientific and other investigations carried out by the Durham University show that they almost certainly died of malnutrition, disease and dysentery.

One 13-15 year old boy who may have been suffering from scurvy had infections in his leg and foot bones.

A 14-15 year old appears to have been suffering from malnutrition for several years – and had had severe tooth decay and a leg infection.

A 12-16 year old had leg and foot infections – and probably also suffered from rickets.

The Battle of Dunbar was short and brutal. After less than an hour, a 12,000 strong English parliamentarian army, under the command of Oliver Cromwell, defeated the 11,000 strong Scottish covenanting army who supported the claims of Charles II to the Scottish throne.

Between 1,000 and 2,000 Scottish soldiers were killed by Cromwell’s forces who only lost 20 men.

The Scottish army had suffered from desertion, political purges and a severe lack of fighting age recruits. That almost certainly explains the presence of child soldier prisoners-of-war, unearthed in Durham.

Around 6,000 Scots were taken prisoners after the Battle of Dunbar. A thousand were immediately released because they were sick or wounded. The remainder were marched 100 miles south towards Durham where they were to be incarcerated in the castle and cathedral. Around a thousand died on the march – from hunger, exhaustion and dysentery. A few were executed. Some others escaped.

Around 3000 finally arrived in Durham, of who some 1700 then died of dysentery or disease at the rate of around 30 per day.

The identification of the Durham skeletons as Scottish prisoners taken at the Battle of Dunbar has involved detailed scientific and historical research – including isotopic tests showing that the individuals came from Scotland.

“Taking into account the range of detailed scientific evidence we have now, alongside historical evidence from the time, the identification of the bodies as the Scottish soldiers from the Battle of Dunbar is the only plausible explanation,” said Dr. Andrew Millard, Senior Lecturer at Durham University’s Department of Archaeology.

After war in eastern Ukraine, neo-nazis make another civil war in the capital

This 2014 video shows neo-nazi indoctrination of Ukrainian children. At 0:50 in the video, they do nazi salutes, shouting ‘Sieg Heil‘.

By Alex Lantier:

Ultra-right Maidan forces riot in Kiev over eastern Ukrainian autonomy law

2 September 2015

On Monday, elements of the Ukrainian far right rioted in Kiev outside the Verkhovna Rada, the Ukrainian parliament, as it passed a law on eastern Ukrainian autonomy.

The protest was called by forces in and around Ukraine’s US- and NATO-backed government, who denounced the bill as an intolerable concession to Moscow and Russian-backed separatists fighting the Kiev regime’s forces in eastern Ukraine. The protest was led by Svoboda, a fascist party that played a key role in last year’s Maidan protests and the ensuing coup that brought the current regime to power. Elements of the Radical Party, part of the government coalition led by President Petro Poroshenko, also reportedly joined the protest.

Several thousand people gathered before the Verkhovna Rada, which was ringed with riot police. Clashes between a few dozen toughs and security forces escalated as news emerged that the parliament had adopted the bill. Far-right protesters threw at least one grenade at the riot police and there were reports of fascists shooting at police.

According to a report by Ukrainian Interior Minister Arsen Avakov on Facebook, “One person was killed, 125 were injured, 12 people are being operated on, and one soldier is in deep coma. Doctors have refused to give any forecasts on the condition of another five people.” He added that Deputy Interior Minister Vasily Paskal, Ukrainian TV journalists, and one French journalist were among the injured.

Later, reports emerged that two of the injured Ukrainian National Guardsmen had died.

In a press conference, Avakov said most of the casualties were caused “by several explosive devices thrown by people wearing Svoboda Party T-shirts, who provoked clashes with the National Guard in front of the Rada.” He added, “Thirty people have already been detained. But there will be more arrests. The grenade thrower has been captured, several grenades, including a maximum damage F1 grenade, have been seized from him.”

Avakov said he “directly blames” Svoboda party leader Oleh Tyahnybok for the riot, calling it “a crime, not a political stance.”

Ukrainian fascist organizations responded by denouncing the government and blaming it for the murder of the riot police. “I say that today we saw that Poroshenko has shed this blood,” Artem Skoropadskiy, the spokesman of the fascist Right Sector militia, told 112 Ukraine TV.

In a statement, Svoboda said that “responsibility for the attack near the parliament … lies with the current government,” calling it a “pre-planned provocation against Ukrainian patriots.”

The riot underscores the reactionary character of Washington’s client state in Ukraine. The US and Germany led the push for regime-change in Kiev in order to swing Ukraine into the geo-strategic orbit of NATO and the European Union. They supported the Maidan protests, led by a thin layer of far-right parties committed to waging all-out war against Russia and against ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine, which toppled the pro-Russian regime of the elected president, Viktor Yanukovych. The right-wing nationalist regime that was then installed pledged to carry out a free-market restructuring and austerity offensive aimed at the working class.

This operation had no substantial support outside these far-right parties and their allied paramilitary militias. These forces subsequently emerged as NATO’s key supports in prosecuting a civil war against opposition in mainly Russian-speaking areas in eastern Ukraine. Their militias are financed by various oligarchs and trained by the armed forces of NATO countries, including Poland and the United States.

The Kiev government glorifies the genocidal history of Ukrainian fascism. It has banned all reference to communism and granted formal recognition and pensions to the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), the World War II-era fascist army that aided the Nazis in massacring Jews and Poles in occupied Ukraine. The Radical Party, led by Oleh Lyashko, includes Yuri Shukhevych, whose father, Roman, was the UPA’s leader.

Nonetheless, the Kiev regime is unable to control the various fascist formations, such as the Right Sector and Svoboda. They represent a faction of the Ukrainian political establishment, with close ties to US and European military and intelligence agencies, that is seeking to push the NATO powers into a policy of outright war with Russia, a nuclear power.

They are incensed by any attempt to make concessions to ethnic Russian interests in the context of the Minsk truce between the Kiev regime and the eastern Ukraine separatists, which was brokered by Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine in February.

The law passed yesterday is part of a broader series of bills aiming to create the legal framework for autonomy in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine. Separate legislation would allow Russian to be the chosen language of people living in separatist-held areas and potentially allow them to form their own separate courts and militias. It would also grant amnesty to separatist forces who took part in military action against the Kiev regime.

The second reading of the bill passed Monday is expected by the end of the year. It is unclear whether the bill will pass, as it will need at that stage a two-thirds majority of 450 delegates. The bill passed Monday with only 265 votes.

Numerous Kiev regime parliamentarians said they opposed the bill, claiming it played into Russia’s hands and would lead ultimately to the Kiev regime totally losing control in the east. While the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are the only ones to have staged armed revolts against the Kiev regime, the government is broadly unpopular, particularly in cities of eastern Ukraine such as Kharkiv.

Victoria Voytsitska, a member of parliament from the Samopomich party, told the Guardian she was concerned that the granting of autonomy to Luhansk and Donetsk could set off a “domino effect,” with other parts of the country demanding autonomy. “For me, it’s like introducing cancer cells into a body that is already not as healthy as it should be. The cancer can spread very fast,” she said.

Former Prime Minister Yulya Tymoshenko said, “This is not a road to peace and not a road to decentralization. This is a diametrically opposite process, which will lead to the loss of new territories.”

Ukrainian Svoboda neo-nazis kill three National Guardsmen

This video, by the (pro-present Kyiv government) Euromaidan PR says about itself:

Grenade Blasted Near Verkhovna Rada In Kiev Ukraine

31 August 2015

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Officer killed as far right clashes with Kiev police

Tuesday 1st September 2015

CLASHES erupted between Kiev police and members of the far-right Svoboda Party yesterday, with one officer being killed by a grenade.

Alongside the even more extreme neonazi Right Sector, Svoboda played a key role in overthrowing the elected Viktor Yanukovych government in 2014 and replacing it with the current regime.

It has also assisted Kiev in its war against anti-fascist resistance in Donbass — but has grown increasingly prone to turning on the authorities when it doesn’t get its way.

Parliament was discussing constitutional reforms that Svoboda opposes when masked thugs carrying sticks and truncheons attacked police outside the building.

Communist Party leader Petro Symonenko said there was “fierce competition” between the “clans” of the far right and noted that they had had tactical disagreements in their joint “dirty war in the Donbass” already.

Perhaps Svoboda was inspired by the violence of their fellow nazis in Heidenau and elsewhere in Germany …

Translated from daily De Volkskrant in the Netherlands:

Third death after riots in Kiev

The violent protests in the Ukrainian capital Kiev on Tuesday killed another two military men. Two members of the National Guard died on Tuesday at the hospital from injuries they had sustained a day earlier when a grenade exploded in clashes between protesters and riot police. On Monday also a soldier had died.

September 1, 2015, 12:03

About 130 people are still in hospital, five of them critically injured. Eighteen people arrested on Monday were still in custody on Tuesday.

The riots broke out after the parliament voted for a bill which provides more independence to the regions that are in the hands of the pro-Russian rebels.

Supporters of ultra-nationalist parties like Pravy Sektor (Right Sector) and Svoboda (Freedom) then tried to storm the parliament building, but encountered a hedge of members of the National Guard. They attacked the guards with bottles and stones and beat them with clubs. The leader of Svoboda, Oleh Tjahnibok, also took part in the fighting. Earlier, he had vainly tried to sabotage the vote in parliament, along with the ultra-nationalist deputy Oleh Lyashko.