FADED CELEBRITY BARRY O DECLARED YESTERDAY IT WAS 'TIME TO TURN THE PAGE' ON THE AFGHANISTAN WAR.
THE WORLD RESPONDED, "NO, DUMMY! IT'S TIME TO CLOSE THE BOOK!"
REACHED FOR COMMENT, BARRY O RESPONDED, "DUMMY? REALLY? DUMMY? IS THIS BECAUSE I NEED SO MUCH HELP JUST TURING A PAGE? PAGES ARE HEAVY. AND I ALWAYS GET A PAPER CUT. TIKI, MY MANICURIST, SAYS I NEED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF MY HANDS!"
FROM THE TCI WIRE:
Starting with War Crimes. They've been taking place non-stop in Iraq. Ava and I noted Sunday:
Early last week, we were noting how the world press looks the other way as Iraq's chief thug and prime minister Nouri al-Maliki kills Iraqi civilians. He's long labeled Falluja -- where he is deeply unpopular -- a city where 'terrorists' have a foothold. At the end of December, he began assaulting Anbar Province (whose big cities include Falluja and Ramadi), a Sunni dominant province which fueled the long standing charges that Shi'ite Nouri targets the Sunni population.
Labeling Falluja a hot bed of terrorism, Nouri began bombing it.
Falluja is a major city. It has a huge population.
Nouri began bombing residential neighborhoods in Falluja at the start of January.
This bombing continues all these months later.
Even if you believe there are 'terrorists' in Falluja, you are not allowed to kill civilians.
This is what is known as "collective punishment." It is a legally defined War Crime and has been for decades. The US government recognizes it as a War Crime in various laws and treaties.
Nouri is committing War Crimes.
Each day people are injured and/or killed.
And no one in the US government speaks out, the western press offers no fiery editorials. At one or three dead a day, it doesn't apparently seem that much. But as the days turn to weeks and as the weeks turn to months, the tolls of the dead and wounded add up.
Nouri's also bombed hospitals in Falluja repeatedly. This too is a War Crime.
And yet, all we get is silence.
Saturday, National Iraqi News Agency reported 1 civilian was killed and six more injured when Nouri bombed their Falluja home and another round of bombings of residential neighborhoods left 4 civilians dead and sixteen more injured. In addition, Al-Faouq Omar Mosque was bombed as was the Falluja Water Department. Sunday, National Iraqi News Agency reported one bombing left 4 civilians dead and nine injured and another left 9 dead and sixteen injured. Monday, National Iraqi News Agency reported Falluja General Hospital received twenty-seven victims today -- 7 dead civilians and twenty injured. Today? Alsumaria reports the latest bombings of Falluja's residential neighborhoods resulted in the death of 1 child and 2 other civilians with three more injured. A second bombing, NINA reports, left 3 civilians dead and eighteen injured.
These are War Crimes and they are being ignored outside of Iraq.
Every day the death and wounded toll grows higher. NINA speaks with Falluja Teaching Hospital's Dr. Ahmed al-Shami who explains at least 461 civilians have been killed in the last five months and 1466 injured from these bombings:
Al-Shami told the National Iraqi News Agency / NINA / that / 461 / civilians, 18% of them children, and 11 % women were killed, adding that the number of wounded reached / 1466 / people, 19% of them children, and 17 % of them women .
So nearly 100 children have been killed by Nouri and the world outside of Iraq has pretty much stayed silent. Human Rights Watch issued "Iraq: Government Attacking Fallujah Hospital" today. Excerpt:
Iraqi government forces battling armed groups in the western province of Anbar since January 2014 have repeatedly struck Fallujah General Hospital with mortar shells and other munitions, Human Rights Watch said today. The recurring strikes on the main hospital, including with direct fire weapons, strongly suggest that Iraqi forces have targeted it, which would constitute a serious violation of the laws of war.
Since early May, government forces have also dropped barrel bombs on residential neighborhoods of Fallujah and surrounding areas, part of an intensified campaign against armed opposition groups, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Sham (ISIS). These indiscriminate attacks have caused civilian casualties and forced thousands of residents to flee.
“The government has been firing wildly into Fallujah’s residential neighborhoods for more than four months, and ramped up its attacks in May,” said Fred Abrahams, special adviser at Human Rights Watch. “This reckless disregard for civilians is deadly for people caught between government forces and opposition groups.”
The armed groups fighting against government forces in Anbar, including ISIS, say they have executed captured Iraqi soldiers. ISIS has also claimed responsibility for suicide and car bomb attacks against civilian targets in other parts of Iraq in response to the assault on Fallujah. Human Rights Watch has found that ISIS abuses probably amount to crimes against humanity.
In Fallujah, ISIS has planted improvised explosive devices along the main highway and other parts of city, and is operating prisons in Fallujah and elsewhere, Fallujah residents said.
Six witnesses Human Rights Watch interviewed, three of them hospital staff, gave credible accounts of repeated strikes by government forces on Fallujah’s main hospital since January that have severely damaged buildings and injured patients and medical staff. An Iraqi government security officer based in Anbar, who spoke to Human Rights Watch on condition of anonymity, said government forces have targeted the hospital with mortars and artillery on 16 separate occasions.
The three hospital employees said mortar shells and projectiles had at various times struck the emergency room, the intensive care unit, the central air conditioning unit, a trailer that housed Bangladeshi hospital staff, and other parts of the hospital. The attacks injured four Bangladeshi workers, three Iraqi doctors, and an unknown number of patients, they said.
Such accounts of repeated strikes over four months, corroborated by photographs of apparent damage to the hospital, strongly indicate the hospital has been targeted, Human Rights Watch said.
Two witnesses to the hospital attacks, one of them a hospital employee, said that non-ISIS anti-government fighters were guarding the hospital and that wounded fighters were receiving treatment there. The Anbar-based government security official said that, according to information he received through his work and from hospital staff, ISIS has partly taken over the hospital, using the second floor to treat wounded fighters and administrative offices to detain high-level local officials.
All hospitals, whether civilian or military, are specially protected under the laws of war. They may not be targeted, even if being used to treat enemy fighters. Under customary international law applicable to the fighting in Anbar, hospitals remain protected unless they are used to commit hostile acts that are outside their humanitarian function. Even then, they are only subject to attack after a warning has been given setting a reasonable time limit, and after such warning has gone unheeded. Armed groups should not occupy or use medical facilities.
Witnesses and residents of Fallujah also described indiscriminate mortar and rocket attacks that have killed civilians, and damaged or destroyed homes, at least two mosques, and one school that were not being used for military purposes.
Accounts from witnesses, residents and the government security official indicate that, since the beginning of May, these indiscriminate government attacks have included the use of barrel bombs, dropped from helicopters, on populated areas of Fallujah. The Anbar-based security official said the army has been using barrel bombs since about May 2 in Fallujah, as well as in the towns of Garma, Saqlawiyya, Ibrahim Ibn Ali, and surrounding areas. “They started using them [barrel bombs] because they want to cause as much destruction as possible,” he said. “My government … decided to destroy the city instead of trying to invade it.”
At today's State Dept press briefing, the cowardly press refused to ask about the HRW report. The State Dept is over the US mission in Iraq. But the cowardly reporters didn't think the above was anything to ask about.
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