War & Conflict

Palestinians Submit Israel ‘war crime’ Evidence to ICC

by Zena Tahhan – Four Palestinian groups allege high-level Israeli officials are responsible for war crimes and crimes against humanity. Four Palestinian human rights groups have submitted a 700-page communication to the International Criminal Court (ICC), alleging that high-level Israeli officials have been complicit in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. In a statement on Wednesday, the groups urged the ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda to “urgently open a full investigation into the situation in the occupied Palestinian territory” as a “necessary step to ending the culture of impunity that has long prevailed in regard to Israeli crimes and to hold high-level political and military officials accountable”. The groups that submitted the dossier are al-Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights and Aldameer Association for Human Rights – all based in the occupied territories. “This communication, which is based on factual information...

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UN’s Antonio Guterres Warns Against North Korea War

World leaders should take threat of ‘nuclear peril’ seriously, says UN chief, discouraging ‘fiery talk’ on North Korea. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has warned world leaders against war with North Korea, calling on them to take the threat of “nuclear peril” seriously. “We must not sleepwalk our way into war,” said Guterres on Tuesday at the annual summit of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York. “When tensions rise, so does the chance of miscalculation. Fiery talk can lead to fatal misunderstandings,” he said in his first state-of-the-world report since taking the top job at the UN on January 1. “The solution must be political. This is a time for statesmanship.” Who is Antonio Guterres? His message on “fiery” rhetoric was implicitly directed at North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but also at the United States and President Donald Trump, who later warned of “totally destroying North Korea” if it does not back down. “The United States...

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Trump Threatens to Exterminate 25 Million People on the Floor of UN (VIDEO)

by D. Parvaz – Far from stressing diplomacy, Trump aims to cut peacekeeping missions around the world. In his first appearance before the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), President Donald Trump used the podium intended to spread messages of peace and diplomacy to threaten to “destroy North Korea” and quibble about how much the United States pays for the United Nations.  “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” Trump said. “Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.” Trump then went on to threaten Iran and Venezuela.  The speech was an astonishing one for a sitting U.S. president to make before an institution meant to keep international peace — and follows threats the Trump administration has made about cutting funds to the United Nations. Compared to the rest of the U.N....

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‘Very bloody, very fast’: What Military Action Against North Korea Would Look Like

by D. Parvaz – A majority of Americans support “military action”, but most have no idea what that means. Amid escalating tensions with North Korea over its ballistic missile and nuclear program, results of a Gallup poll released on Friday show that the majority of Americans favor military action against Pyongyang. The poll, conducted last week, indicates that 58 percent of those surveyed support war in the event that sanctions and diplomatic efforts fail to reign in Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions. The results were starkly divided between political parties: 82 percent of Republicans polled favor military action, with only 37 percent of Democrats saying the same. Fifty-six percent of Independents polled also support military action. Additionally, “50%, believe nonmilitary pressure can work, while nearly as many, 45%, are skeptical.” …or perhaps they won’t do nearly enough to curb Pyongyang’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. Americans, who have not seen war on their own soil...

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Trump Claims He has Done More Against ISIS Than Obama, the Scorecard Says He is Lying

by Stephen D Foster Jr – After a terrorist attack in London, Donald Trump used the occasion to brag about himself and smear President Obama. The United States has been fighting ISIS since 2014. Most of that fighting has been done under the leadership of President Obama. But nine months into his own presidency, Trump is now declaring that he has done more against ISIS than President Obama. Donald J. Trump   ✔@realDonaldTrump We have made more progress in the last nine months against ISIS than the Obama Administration has made in 8 years.Must be proactive & nasty! 7:00 AM – Sep 15, 2017 But, as usual, Trump is completely full of shit. Under Obama’s strategy and leadership, the United States military killed over half of the commanders ISIS had and various military strikes wiped out well over 26,000 ISIS fighters (some reports say over 50,000), all while reducing ISIS’ territory from a...

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NATO Isn’t Too Happy With Russia’s War Games This Week

by E.A. Crunden – A wide-scale military drill targeting a fictional country isn’t going over well with Western powers. Russia kicked off a series of war game exercises on Thursday, much to the concern and alarm of its European neighbors, as well as NATO. In a controversial mock battle, Russia, along with Belarus, a dictatorship serving as one of Russia’s only regional allies, will spend six days fighting against the fictional state of Veishnoriya. According to Russian news agency TASS, the large-scale drills will involve 138 tanks, 231 armored fighting vehicles, 40 aircraft, and 241 artillery and missile systems in total. While NATO members argue the numbers are higher, Russia says around 12,700 troops are expected to take part in the effort, which will take place across six Belarusian training ranges and three in Russia. Known as Zapad-2017, a reference to the West (“zapad”), the exercise traces its roots back to the 1970s...

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North Korea Tensions: All the Latest Updates

All the latest developments since the latest UN sanctions imposed on North Korea Here are all the latest developments since the latest “toughest” UN sanctions imposed on North Korea on August 4: September 15, 2017 North Korea has fired a ballistic missile from the capital Pyongyang that has flown northern Japan. Yoshihide Sug, Japan’s chief cabinet secretary, said the projectile was launched at 6:57am local time on Friday (21:57 GMT Thursday) and flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido before falling into the Pacific Ocean – 2,000km east of Cape Erimo. It splashed down at 7:16am local time (22:16 GMT). “Japan protests the latest launch in the strongest terms and will take appropriate and timely action at the United Nations and elsewhere, staying in close contact with the United States and South Korea,” Suga said. South Korea’s defence ministry said the missile travelled about 3,700km and reached a maximum altitude of...

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Slow and Unsteady: The Path to Justice for Victims of 9/11

by Marin Kirk – On September 11th, 2017, a rally will be held at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC. As our summer draws to a close and ushers in a cool and rainy September, there is a solemn chill in the air marking the approaching anniversary of the infamous attacks on the World Trade Center that took place September 11th, 2001 – nearly sixteen years ago. The memories are still fresh for the survivors and the family members of victims who are to this day living with their losses while continuing to fight for accountability through both the military court in Guantanamo, where individuals involved in the attacks have been tried or are still facing painstakingly slow trials. This upcoming sixteenth anniversary of 9/11 will be the first time since the attacks that the families now have another legal recourse for seeking accountability not only from individuals but...

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Hydrogen Bomb vs Atomic Bomb: What’s the Difference? (VIDEO)

Experts say the fundamental difference between a hydrogen and atomic bomb is the detonation process. North Korea has long sought the means to deliver an atomic warhead to the United States, its sworn enemy, and Sunday’s nuclear test followed reports it could load a hydrogen bomb onto an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Hydrogen bombs, or H-bombs, are far more powerful than the relatively simple atomic weapons North Korea was believed to have tested so far. As opposed to the atomic bomb – the kind dropped on Japan by the US in the closing days of World War II – the hydrogen bomb can be 1,000 times more powerful. North Korea’s first three nuclear tests from 2006 to 2013 were atomic bombs on roughly the same scale as the ones used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, which together killed more than 200,000 people. However, Sunday’s test is estimated to have a yield of about 100 kilotons,...

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Human Rights Group Calls Conditions in Gaza ‘Unlivable’ for One Million Children

by Julia Conley – “We shouldn’t have to be demanding such a basic service as electricity for the children of Gaza. A couple of hours of power a day is just not acceptable in 2017.” Save the Children called on Israel to lift its blockade of the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, reporting that one million children there are coping with “unlivable” conditions, as schools and households struggle to function with limited basic services and the constant threat of conflict. While the United Nations warned in 2012 that the Gaza Strip would become unlivable by 2020 if Israel’s blockade was not lifted, the humanitarian group finds that the area has already descended into uninhabitable conditions. The U.N. has reported similar findings, with its top humanitarian official in Gaza, Robert Piper, saying last week, “for most of us that unlivability point has already been passed. And yet somehow the Gazans soldier on.” Following the seizure of the...

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Putin Opposes Military Action Against North Korea

Russian president criticizes US diplomacy in the crisis, cautioning that tougher sanctions would be counterproductive. Imposing tougher sanctions on North Korea over its nuclear missile programme would be counterproductive, and threats of military action could trigger “a global catastrophe”, Russian President Vladimir Putin has said. Putin, speaking on Tuesday after a BRICS summit in Xiamen, China, also criticised US diplomacy in the crisis and renewed his call for talks, saying North Korea would not halt its missile testing programme until it felt secure. “Russia condemns North Korea’s exercises; we consider that they are a provocation … ramping up military hysteria will lead to nothing good. It could lead to a global catastrophe,” Putin said. UN Security Council ‘strongly condemns’ North Korea nuclear test “There’s no other path apart from a peaceful one.” Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, said on Monday that North Korea’s leadership is “begging for war” as she called on the...

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Trump Turns Ire on Ally South Korea as Pyongyang Tests Another Nuclear Device

by Mark Hand – President accuses South Korean government of “appeasement.” On the same day as reports of another North Korean nuclear weapons test surfaced, President Donald Trump criticized U.S. ally South Korea, accusing its new president of “appeasement” for supporting dialogue to avoid nuclear weapons proliferation on the Korean Peninsula. “South Korea is finding, as I have told them, that their talk of appeasement with North Korea will not work, they only understand one thing!” Trump tweeted Sunday morning. Trump’s comments came a day after reports emerged that the president instructed advisers to prepare to withdraw the United States from a free-trade agreement with South Korea. As president, Trump has promised to fight what he views as unfair trade competition. But the Washington Post reported Saturday that the president’s top national security and economic advisers are pushing him to abandon his plan to sever trade ties with South Korea, saying it would hamper U.S....

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UN: Israel Settlements Big Hurdle to Two-State Solution

Antonio Guterres condemns ‘illegal’ Israeli settlement construction, calling it an ‘obstacle’ that needs to be removed. Antonio Guterres, secretary-general of the United Nations, has lashed out at Israel’s illegal settlement activity, calling it a “major obstacle” to achieving a two-state solution and peace with the Palestinians. “There is no plan B to the two-state solution,” he said on Tuesday after meeting Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah in the West Bank city of Ramallah. “A two-state solution, end to occupation, creating conditions to end the suffering of the Palestinian people are the only way to guarantee that peace is established,” Guterres added. His remarks came a day after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to never uproot any West Bank settlement – just days after a White House envoy was in the region trying to restart peace talks with the Palestinians. “We have returned here for good,” Netanyahu said. “There will...

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China: Korean Tensions at ‘tipping point’ (VIDEOS)

Beijing urges US, South Korea to halt military exercises, as White House considers ‘all options’ after missile launch. China has warned that tensions on the Korean peninsula have reached a “tipping point” after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan, a move Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe described as “unprecedented” and a “grave threat” to his country’s security. Hua Chunying, spokeswoman for the Chinese foreign ministry, urged all sides on Tuesday to avoid provocations, repeating Beijing’s call for Pyongyang to suspend missile tests, while proposing that the United States and South Korea China halt ongoing joint military exercises. The situation is “now at a tipping point approaching a crisis. At the same time there is an opportunity to reopen peace talks”, Hua told reporters in Beijing. “We hope relevant parties can consider how we can de-escalate the situation on the peninsula and realise peace and stability on the peninsula,” she...

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North Korea is not Soviet Union and Trump is not Kennedy (VIDEO)

by Richard Klass – There are critical differences between the Cuban Missile Crisis and the current situation on the Korean Peninsula. It has become popular to describe the current situation on the Korean Peninsula as a “slow motion Cuban Missile Crisis”. The temptation to do so is understandable since there are significant similarities between the two. For instance, both occurred because the militarily weaker power made a strategic move to even the balance. In 1962, the Soviets tried to sneak missiles into range of the United States to offset their lack of reliable intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). Today, North Korea is undertaking an accelerated ICBM and associated nuclear warhead programme to deter the overwhelming conventional and nuclear superiority of the US. Yet, there are critical differences that make the North Korean situation more intractable. WATCH: South Korea holds drills to prepare for potential attack by North (2:27) To begin with, this is the first foreign policy...

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We Are Taking Trump to Court to Stop His Illegal and Cruel Ban on Transgender Service Members

by Chase Strangio, Staff Attorney, ACLU LGBT & HIV Project – When President Trump took to Twitter on the morning of July 26 to issue a series of lies about transgender individuals serving in the United States armed forces and announce a ban on open transgender service, he disrupted the lives and careers of thousands of transgender troops. His announcement came as a shock to almost everyone, including members of Congress, military experts, and the Secretary of Defense. While he claimed to have consulted with his “Generals and military experts,” that was not the case. Instead, he allied himself with Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council who dismissed the service of transgender individuals as the “social experimentation of the Obama era that has crippled our nation’s military.” We hoped that the ill-advised ban would languish on the president’s Twitter feed, but unfortunately, he turned the tweets into a directive banning open transgender...

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Lessons on North Korea From the Cuban Missile Crisis

by Mitchell Zimmerman – Amid the tensions, the Soviet leader secretly offered Kennedy good advice: Let’s not tug on “the knot of war.” Nearly 55 years ago, in October 1962, I was a college student who’d just turned 20. The Cuban Missile Crisis began the day after my birthday, and it seemed entirely possible that I (along with tens of millions of other people) might die in nuclear fire and fury before I got to 21. But Russia blinked first, and we survived — though we came closer to World War III than most of us realized. But now I have to wonder, is there a chance I won’t make it to my 75th birthday this year because of a nuclear war? Living on the West Coast, we’re said to be within range of North Korea’s missiles. But I’m more afraid of our own impulsive president than of the allegedly irrational Kim Jong-Un....

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Draft White House Memo Details Trans Military Ban

by Zack Ford – It’s exactly as bad as it sounds. The White House is finalizing a two-and-a-half page memo this week that will outline implementation of a ban on transgender military service, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal Wednesday evening. Here are the aspects of the proposed plan: Transgender people will continue to be denied admittance to the military. The military will stop spending on medical treatment regiments for transgender people who are currently serving. Defense Secretary James Mattis will determine whether to let transgender military personnel who are already serving keep their jobs based on their “deployability” to a war zone. Mattis has six months to implement the ban as directed. News of the memo is in line with Mattis’ comments last week, in which he claimed there was still no official guidance from the President on the matter. However, it also appears to contradict his claim that the...

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Here Are the Hard Numbers on the War in Afghanistan Trump Left Out of His Speech

by Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report – Last night, President Trump was expected to announce that he would be sending several thousand more troops to Afghanistan, where the United States has been at war for 16 years and violence and corruption have become a way of life. Instead, he outlined a vague strategy meant to appease both a public weary of endless war and the military generals who are now among his top advisors. In his address to the nation from Fort Myer, Trump did not say how many more troops he would send to Afghanistan, or how much more money he is willing to spend on the war. He only said that restrictions on wartime spending would be lifted, and that military commanders would have the freedom to launch attacks without waiting for approval from Washington. Trump also refused to give a timetable for withdrawing American forces, saying only that the...

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The American People Deserve More Answers on Afghanistan

by Michael Fuchs, Hardin Lang, and Vikram Singh – Eight months into his term, President Donald Trump is finally paying attention to the ongoing Afghanistan War, where thousands of U.S. soldiers are currently fighting. Trump’s new plan seems a lot like the old ones, with even less detail about how the war—or American involvement in it—will end. For 16 years, America has been fighting terrorists in Afghanistan and trying to help stabilize the country. America’s longest war has claimed the lives of more than 2,400 U.S. troops and 1,136 allied troops, with tens of thousands wounded. In addition to the loss of life, combat in Afghanistan has cost the American taxpayer an estimated $841 billion (if the fiscal year 2018 budget request is met) in defense costs alone. The Afghanistan War has shaped the lives of an entire generation of American service members and their families. The rest of America—and, until now, President Trump—have seemed to hardly realize...

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