13 March 2012

Snapshots of the accuser

The United States of America talks a lot about accountability.  It has put together a new lexicon to deal with the subject, in fact.  That is, when it comes to their own ‘excesses’, which itself is a misnomer considering the fact that ‘excessing’, if you will, has always been the norm when it comes to dealing with designated enemies.  Oh yes, the usual ‘regrets’ are trotted out whenever someone gets caught, along with promises to investigate and bring to book offender.  I thought it might be pertinent to highlight some of the more prominent cases with a couple of ‘today’ stories thrown in to show the chasms that exist between word and deed. 

On March 16, 1968, US soldiers of ‘Charlie Company’ killed between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians in South Vietnam (‘The My Lai Massacre’).  On November 17, 1970, the United States Army charged 14 officers, including Major General Samuel W. Koster, the Americal Division's commanding officer, with suppressing information related to the incident. Most of those charges were later dropped. Brigade commander Henderson was the only officer who stood trial on charges relating to the cover-up; he was acquitted on December 17, 1971.  Captain Medina, Calley was convicted on March 29, 1971, of premeditated murder for ordering the shootings. He was initially sentenced to life in prison. Two days later, President Nixom had Calley released, pending appeal of his sentence. Calley's sentence was later adjusted, so that he would eventually serve three and one-half years under house arrest.  Captain Medina was acquitted of all charges.

[Comment: This is the Medina Standard that has overshadowed the ‘accountability’ process in the USA with respect to violations of international conventions on military activity].

 ‘The U.S. government is legally justified in killing its own citizens overseas if they are involved in plotting terror attacks against America.  In this hour of danger, we simply cannot afford to wait until deadly plans are carried out, and we will not.’  -- US Attorney General Eric Holder (March, 2012)

[Comment: So much for due procedure, fundamental rights and self-righteous posturing about elimination of terrorism]

 ‘Al-Qaeda is working alongside Syria’s armed opposition, while Washington considers extending support to the rebels.’ -- US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (February 2012)

[Comment: So much for ‘Zero tolerance of terrorism’]

‘I am disappointed that the United States government has not closed the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and at the failure to ensure accountability for serious human rights violations, including torture that took place [there].’ – Navi Pillay, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (March 2012)

[Comment: There have been NO resolutions against the USA for these and other abuses, and no ‘Expert Panels’ to report to UNSG on a) the widespread use of torture in interrogation, b) police-driven bombing of areas with a high civilian population in Afghanistan and Pakistan, c) the acknowledged illegal invasion of Iraq (confessed to by the Deputy PM of Britain, Nick Clegg) and the countless war crimes perpetrated in that country.]

Towards the end of the Second World War, with Japan about to surrender, the USA bombed Nagasaki and Hiroshima, killing hundreds of thousands of people. 

[Comment: It was an unmitigated act of revenge and the most horrendous crime against humanity perpetrated by allied forces in the war.  The USA has been involved in 20 wars since then and as a matter of policy targetted the assassination of leaders of countries who did not toe the US line]




Anonymous said...

Afghanistan: NATO airstrike killed eight children Feb 8th 2012

NATO response: .... there has been a 'situation'. A joint assessment team went there to identify the situation".

Nothing has been heard since

(The USA and Canada are members of NATO)

Anonymous said...


25/26th November 2011. Pakistani soldiers at a border post in Pakistan's border with Afghanistan were killed by US airstrikes.

US response:
Both sides were to blame!! '....US forces did not know that the two relatively new Pakistani outposts – spare structures constructed with stacked gray stones – had been set up on the border.'

The Pakistanis have disputed both of these points, saying their troops did not fire first and that they had given Nato maps that clearly marked where the outposts were located on a mountain ridge in the Mohmand tribal area.

NATO officers have admitted that '.... US forces failed to determine who was firing at them and whether there were friendly Pakistani forces in the area because they used inaccurate maps and mistakenly provided Pakistan with the wrong location where they said fighting was taking place – an area almost nine miles away.'

So far we know the USA has not 'accounted' for the incident nor identified who had 'blundered.'

Anonymous said...


The Bombing of Dresden was a strategic military attack on the city of Dresden, the capital of the German state of Saxony, that took place in the final months of the Second World War. In four raids between 13 February and 15February 1945, 1,300 heavy bombers of the British Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) dropped more than 3,900 tons of high-explosive bombs and incendiary devices on the city. The resulting firestorm destroyed 15 square miles (39 square kilometres) of the city centre and caused many civilian casualties.

Anonymous said...

Was it not a Canadian person who behaved in that uncivilized fashion trying to ostracize Maj. Gen. Shavendra Silva?

Hope this jogs her memory about events of Feb 8th.

Anonymous said...

Whilst on the subject could someone clarify what provision of IHL (or CIHL) underpins the rules of engagement of military operations conducted in Afghanistan?

Does the presence of the Taliban among the population of a village make the village or its inhabitatnts justifiable targets? According to the UNSG's 'experts' such an area is 'predominently of a civilian nature.'

Taking that line of analysis further; what of a hostage rescue situation? Like the recently botched rescue attempt by SBS troops in Nigeria? Or for that matter Entebbe, Mogadishu, Iranian Embassy London? Were the targets civilian or military? Does CIHL apply? Remember hostages were killed by Israeli fire in Entebbe.

Bottom line: Is the USA (and NATO allies) guilty of IHL and CIHL violation?

fayaz said...

Now no more words; just lets see some action.. www.http://shahamat-english.com/

should give u ample information on US Marine body counts..

no wonder they are eager to leave.. heh heh.

Anonymous said...

In Vietnam the USA sprayed the chemical Orange-T all over North Vietnam. This has no purpose other than rendering the soil useless for thousands of years. These reports came to light because USA allowed independent reporters inside Vietnam. They got wiser in Iraq - only embedded reporters were allowed to go with the soldiers and all others had to report only what was handed out at the briefings. Wikileaks released a video of Reuters reporters (not embedded) being shot down deliberately from a US helicopter.