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18 November 2017

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Klaus Weiß

When the Palestinians considered this step after the 2014 killing spree in Gaza, Netanyahu threatened Abbas with the immediate and complete annexation of the West Bank. Now, the Americans have taken over. Nice.

Silveron

Its justice for Jews only. And its not just the Palestinians who are getting shafted. There is currently a massive effort underway to deplatform right-wing/conservative voices across the internet spearheaded by the same people. Blogs like this might be targeted next.

Imagine

43 Senators suggest law making it a severe federal felony to criticize Israel by boycotting it or furnishing information about boycotting, with up to 20 years in federal prison, and fines of $250,000-$1M. A similar bill has gotten 234 Congressmen supporting in the House. Is there any reason why this law cannot be made retroactive?

https://theintercept.com/2017/07/19/u-s-lawmakers-seek-to-criminally-outlaw-support-for-boycott-campaign-against-israel/
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-piece-of-pro-israel-legislation-is-a-serious-threat-to-free-speech/2017/07/24/0752d408-7093-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html

Israel goes full Minority Report, arrests and jails Palestinians for crimes that they might do in the future. “Unlike terrorists who belong to Hamas or the Islamic Jihad, if you get to their house a week before the attack the kid doesn’t know that he is a terrorist yet”.

https://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/.premium-1.792206

Israel tells U.S. to lean on U.N. report that Israel qualifies as an apartheid nation because of "ethnically-based torture and murder, arbitrary arrest and illegal imprisonment, curtailment of fundamental human rights, such as freedom of speech, assembly or religion, denial of political, cultural and economic participation, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment 'committed for the purpose of establishing and maintaining domination by one racial group of persons over any other racial group of persons and systematically oppressing them.'” Report is withdrawn and silenced. Director of UN department is allowed to resign.

https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2017/03/31/israel-is-an-apartheid-state-even-if-the-un-report-has-been-withdrawn/

Raiser

Well deserved reaction.

turcopolier

Silveron

Any time. Any time. pl

Will2.71828

Full Annexation would be a blessing. Then the discussion could move to full civil rights in a unitary state. But the PLO would oppose losing its sinecure.

kooshy

Colonel Lang did you see this news ,what is your opinion, can he refuse the order taking order of POTUS

"A top nuclear commander in the United States says he would resist an “illegal” nuclear attack order from President Donald Trump.

The head of US Strategic Command, General John Hyten, told an audience at a security forum on Saturday that he would tell Trump he couldn’t carry out an illegal strike, CBS News reported.

"I provide advice to the president, he will tell me what to do," Hyten said. "And if it's illegal, guess what's going to happen? I'm going to say, 'Mr. President, that's illegal.'”
http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2017/11/18/542675/US-politics-nuclear-war-Donald-Trump-illegal-order-commander-John-Hyten

Yeah, Right

Not going to happen, of course, but the USA could cut this off by spearheading a move in the UN Security Council to refer the (il)legality of Israeli colonization of occupied territory to the International Court of Justice.

That would lead to an Advisory Opinion by the ICJ that would, without any doubt, confirm that the settlements are illegal and therefore the entire Israeli leadership - past and present - have presided over a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law.

That would tick all the boxes:
The Palestinians would get a massive leg-up in terms of any (hypothetical) future negotiations, the Israelis get their main argument ("facts on the ground") kicked out from under them, and the USA can argue that this is simply legal mumbo-jumbo.

Or put another way: The Palestinians get a much-needed helping hand, the Israelis get a well-deserved knee in the groin, and the Americans get to shrug their shoulders.

What's Not To Like?

Lemur

internet 3.0 is coming. sites like gab.ai are developing distributed hosting. If you're familiar with bit-torrent protocol, where files are shared horizontally across multiple devices, the same principle applies to 'sharing' a website. Once this happens, there will be no bottle necks where access to creating or accessing content can be moderated.

turcopolier

Kooshy

And what would be an illegal order? There is no legal basis for this man refusing an order from the Commander in Chief. pl

kgw

One based on a personal view that has no basis...simple.

turcopolier

kgw

Simple minded actually, in the military a subordinate, even a four star general, does not have the legal right to refuse an order. It is not his legal right to question the reasoning of his superior once a decision has been made unless he thinks the order itself was illegal. He can refuse the order in that circumstance but should expect to face a general court-martial for his refusal under Article 92 of UCMJ. pl

kooshy

Colonel, I also thought he will be prosecuted for refusing CC' order based on his personal judgment, I am also sure he already knows that, but to talk about this, his own judgment openly is something new that I hadn't seen from an active military rank. I am not sure if military benefits ( should let it go) this guy' announced pre judgment on his CC' orders.

Babak Makkinejad

Is there not a saying atttibuted to Jesus to not take the side of the weak against the strong?

turcopolier

babak

Very funny. pl

turcopolier

kooshy

He has stated his intention to disobey an order on the basis of substituting his judgment for that of his commander. Although he could take that step and face the consequences his statement that he intends to disobey should cause his relief from command, even in the air force. pl

Green Zone Café

In basic training at Fort Knox in 1975, we trainees were shown a film obviously based on Calley's platoon at My Lai. It posed a hypothetical situation in which a soldier is ordered to kill noncombatant civilians. A "what would you do?" ending.

At the end of the film, a captain got on stage and said "You have the right and duty to disobey an illegal order" and summarized some aspects of the Law of War. I was very impressed and proud that we had that class. I wonder if and how they teach it now.

The Bundeswehr has the doctrine of Innere Fuhrung in which a soldier's moral compass informed by the Law of War can supersede illegal orders.

turcopolier

GZC

Yes. Yes, but you still would be tried for disobedience of an order. Would you be acquitted? That would depend on how good your counsel was and how egregious the order had been. Don't kid yourself with thinking everyone would pat you on the head and say "good lad! You showed the bastard." BTW it was always the case that you were not supposed to obey an illegal order like, "shoot those civilians, they are in the way," but after the Calley/Medina stupidity they started emphasizing that in all training and schools. pl

Yeah, Right

Just out of curiosity, but if an officer is given an order that he believes to be illegal then is there any recourse available to him other than "his own judgement" regarding the illegality of that order?

I assume that there is no independent counsel that he can appeal to, nor can he expect to go over the head of his superior officer to someone higher up the chain of command i.e. he is expected to refuse that order and then to defend that decision in his inevitable trial.

Or do I have that wrong?

Paul McKeigue

Col Lang

While we are on this topic, what offence, if any, would be committed by generals who misled their C-in-C, causing him to order an attack on another country and possibly start a world war?

On 7 April, before the missile attack on Shayrat airfield had been ordered, the Pentagon showed a map of the flight track of what appeared to be two Syrian aircraft in the early morning of 4 April. The caption stated that "an aircraft originating from Shayrat airbase was over Khan Shaykhun at approximately 0337Z and 0346Z". Superimposing this image on a detailed map showed only one east-west pass just south of the town, no closer than 2 km from the alleged impact point of a chemical munition.

The report of the UN-OPCW Joint Investigative Mechanism (JIM) (https://reliefweb.int/report/syrian-arab-republic/seventh-report-organisation-prohibition-chemical-weapons-united-nations) states that they had access to the Pentagon's map and to "another aerial map" which "indicated that the closest to Khan Shaykhun that the aircraft had flown had been approximately 5 km away". No image of this map is shown, but the description of the flight track appears to match the image of the flight track shown by the Pentagon. It's difficult to explain how a jet flying on an east-west path could have projected four free-fall bombs (one chemical, three high-explosive and one unidentified device that emitted white smoke) 5 km to the north. Nevertheless the JIM found an expert who was prepared to state that "depending on a number of variables such as altitude, speed and the flight path taken, it would be possible for such an aerial bomb to be dropped on the town from the aforementioned distances." This conclusion was not surprisingly disputed by the Russian Defence Ministry ((http://tass.ru/armiya-i-opk/4699218) but the press conference was held in Russian only, with no English transcript.

Clearly the Pentagon should have known by the morning of 6 April that it was highly unlikely that the Syrian air force had carried out an air strike on Khan Sheikhoun with chemical weapons or anything else. It is also unlikely that Trump would have ordered the missile attack if he had been made aware of this - apart from anything else, he would have been exposed if the generals had testified to Congress on the advice they had given him. This may raise constitutional issues for the US that are as serious as those raised for the UK by the letter from the Joint Intelligence Committee on 29 August 2013 that misled the Prime Minister and the House of Commons by withholding evidence that the opposition had sarin.

LondonBob

There was a puff piece in neocon godfather Rupert Murdoch's Sunday Times on the foreign policy quartet of Friedman, Powell, Kushner and Greenblatt, and their Middle East adventures. They are doing such an incompetent job so far that I think there is a limit to how much damage they do. I don't know how committed Trump is to their activities, or indeed the rest of the administration, but Congress will always applaud on cue. The sooner Russia takes over the role of mediator of the Israel Palestine dispute the better.

English Outsider

Boycotts are home-made sanctions. As with sanctions they can hit the wrong people in the target country. They are a rough and ready means of trying to avoid supporting injustice but are really only a means of expressing views that it is impossible to express in the normal democratic way.

I can't believe I just said that. "Normal democratic way". Oh well.

But seriously - I buy such things as American rotovators and German chainsaws even though I disapprove of neocon policies. No such moral conflict about buying English products of that sort because there aren't a lot of them to buy, but I'm certainly not going to stop buying locally produced food because we have a dud government here too.

I just have this feeling in the back of my mind that one shouldn't be frittering away energy on the back door of gesture politics when there's a front door there to be used: the ballot box. As far as I know that still operates without too much faking and one doesn't yet get penalised for using it. The normal democratic way doesn't have to be a sour joke.

Else we just sit around waiting for the nutters to take over. They're there, waiting, if the present mechanisms get stressed to failure.

Though, to be thoroughly inconsistent, when using the local supermarket is unavoidable I sometimes cause quiet consternation by asking them to check where those avocados come from.

turcopolier

Yeah, Right

There could conceivably be a situation in which someone farther up the chain of command is available to hear a complaint of illegality in an order but it may well be that that higher superior does not reverse the order. In that case the conscience stricken is well and truly screwed. In most cases and especially in combat the individual officer must decide to obey or not and bear the cost afterward. pl

JJackson

OE
"The normal democratic way doesn't have to be a sour joke."
I wonder about that. If the system is not already beyond repair from within it cannot be far from it. As system wholly dependent upon funding, when that funding can only come from one source, is only going to offer options acceptable to that source. Corbyn, Sanders and, to a lesser extent, Trump were unacceptable to the money and none have been treated very well by the controllers of the system. The electorate are only offered 'no-win' options and when they try and break the system by changing the rules those that benefit from the status quo use all means to thwart them.

The Beaver

Colonel

This Twitter thread about the PLO is very informative: she provides atimeline of what and who and why :
https://twitter.com/LaraFriedmanDC/status/932276927020388352

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