Category Archives: International Law

Iran Foreign Ministry: Time for intl. community to stop US war machines

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US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

The file photo taken on September 8, 2003 shows US forces manning a checkpoint in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. (By AFP)

Iran says it is high time the international community stood up to Washington’s historical warmongering policy, commenting on the Memorial Day in the US that remembers America’s wartime fatalities.

“Time to stand against US violence, warmongering, as remembering millions of lost lives,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry tweeted on Tuesday, a day after the United States commemorated the occasion, which is marked annually on the last Monday of May.

“Regretful that 100,000 American soldiers killed in battles waged because of US leaders’ instrumental rationality & insatiable greed,” the tweet read. “US war machines have just led to killing, destruction, [and] atrocities.”

America’s history of armed incursions is as old as the country, whose very foundation is owed to the deadly invasion of North American territories.

Across modern history, the US’s militarism has most notably been reflected in the Vietnam War (1955-1975), which is bitterly brought to the fore on Memorial Day. Estimates of the fatalities resulting from the war go as high as 4.2 million people, including 58,209 US forces.

In what has become the longest war in its history, the US along with its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of a so-called war on terror. The invasion — which is still underway — toppled the Taliban regime but the Afghan group’s militancy remains resilient to this day. The chaos has also led to the rise of Daesh, the world’s most notorious terror outfit, in the Asian state.

According to the latest figures, over 2,400 US military deaths have been recorded in the war, while over 20,000 American service members have been wounded.

More than 100,000 Afghans have also been killed or wounded since 2009, when the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

Washington’s first major incursion in the Middle East came in the form of the Persian Gulf War in the early 1990s in favor of Saudi Arabia. A decade afterwards, the US began planting its jackboot far more firmly in the region by invading Iraq in 2003, a wholesale war that turned the country into a scene of rampant violence.

Nevertheless, Washington has never fallen short of finding excuses to militarily intervene in the region along with its allies

The most recent bout of US-led operations in the Middle East came in 2014, when the US and its allies began a military campaign in Iraq and Syria under the guise of uprooting Daesh, which had risen amid the chaos resulting from Washington’s own wars in the region.

Washington has, throughout its history, also been lending immense political and military support to the regional regimes that are responsible for killing and displacing tens of thousands of people in pursuit of their political agendas.


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US Pirates of the Caribbean

“American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.”
sputniknews.com
May 21, 2020

You have to be amused at this headline: “US masses planes at Japan airbase to show foes and allies it can handle coronavirus,” reports Reuters.

So, let’s get this straight. At a time when the US is leading the world with deaths and infections from the disease, the Pentagon views flexing muscles with warplanes in the Asia Pacific is somehow a demonstration of American potency.

While the American public is crying out for more resources to cope with the pandemic, Washington sees fit to ramp up militarism not just in the Asia Pacific, but also in the Arctic region, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.

US warships despatched to the Caribbean are said to be on a mission to counter-narcotic trafficking. Few people will buy that pretext. The military force is deployed as a threat to Venezuela and its socialist government which the Trump administration has openly targeted for regime change.

A failed coup attempt earlier this month involving a private US mercenary outfit may or may not have had official support from the White House.

But one thing is clear: when Russia proposed a statement of support for Venezuela at the UN Security Council this week in which the failed coup was denounced as a violation of the UN charter forbidding aggression, the draft statement was “killed” by Washington’s envoy.

The implication is that Washington’s public position sees nothing wrong with aggression despite the flagrant violation of international law that it involves.

In that case, it could be expected that the US will attempt to block Iranian oil tankers en route to Venezuela. If aggression is acceptable to Washington then why not also a bit of high-seas piracy?

Five Iranian-flagged tankers are due to dock in the South American country in the coming days. They are reportedly ferrying $45 million worth of gasoline to alleviate Venezuela’s crippled economy as it struggles like many other nations to control the coronavirus pandemic.

Venezuela is a major exporter of crude oil but due to US sanctions its capacity to refine fuel has been decimated. This has caused severe shortages for Venezuelan transport which has, in turn, exacerbated the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Both Venezuela and Iran have warned the US to not interfere in the sea passage of the oil tankers. Both countries have been burdened with American sanctions, but they are legally entitled to conduct bilateral trade. If US warships impede the transport, then it will be viewed by Venezuela and Iran as an act of piracy. We might add that the rest of the world will view it that way too. An act of piracy compounding acts of economic aggression under heartless US sanctions.

Given the pandemic crisis, Iran’s supply of vital fuel to Venezuela is not merely a normal trade transaction, but a courageous act of solidarity and humanitarian aid.

The Trump administration has mischievously indicated it will do something to stop the Iranian ships reaching Venezuela. What that something is open to guesswork. Will it use its warships in the Caribbean to mount a blockade?

Iran has warned it will retaliate. Perhaps by attacking American warships in the Persian Gulf, where skirmishing has already taken place.

Venezuela says it is sending naval forces to escort the Iranian tankers once they arrive in its territorial waters.

In the next coming days, a showdown awaits which could have explosive repercussions, not least because the Iranian tankers are reckoned to contain 1.5 million barrels of gasoline.

The US head of Southern Command, Admiral Craig Faller, this week played down the probability of an armed confrontation with the Iranian vessels.

He is quoted as saying: “You have to ask yourself what interest Iran has in Venezuela, where we have seen recent indications of Iranian military and state support?”

Eh, let’s guess Admiral Faller, maybe simply an act of solidarity by two nations who are under the boot of American imperialism and illegal sanctions that amount to a crime against humanity.

American global power right now is seen as a farce. It has been devastated by a virus and shown to be a lying cheat over its attempt to smear China and the World Health Organization. Its sanctioning against nations struggling with a deadly disease is barbaric terrorism; and while millions of Americans are facing poverty, the US is sending warships and warplanes to all corners of the world.Washington won’t dare do piracy in the Caribbean at this juncture. Because it can’t afford another fiasco. Its global image is already in tatters.

The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Trump’s team considered 1st NUCLEAR TEST since 1992 as show of strength to Russia & China – reports

These American imbeciles do not get that nuclear power is not something you play political games with.  Do the testing in downtown New York ye troglodytes!
rt.com
Trump's team considered 1st NUCLEAR TEST since 1992 as show of strength to Russia & China – reports
US authorities considered whether to carry out a “rapid” nuclear test – the first for almost three decades – to use as a bargaining chip in dealing with Russia and China, according to media reports.

The proposal to cause a controlled nuclear explosion is “very much an ongoing conversation,” a high-ranked official within the administration of Donald Trump told the Washington Post on Saturday.

It was assumed that a “rapid test” could prove useful in making Moscow and Beijing negotiate a nuclear-weapons-related trilateral deal with Washington, the paper’s sources said.

The rationale behind the United States holding its first test of this kind since 1992 involves a convenient allegation that Russia and China have resumed testing low-yield nuclear munitions. So far, however, there is no publicly available evidence substantiating the claims, the Post itself noted.

US is stuck in Cold War thinking; Plan to spend Russia & China ‘into oblivion’ in arms race will bankrupt only America

The plan was apparently floated on May 15, but it was ultimately decided to shelve the resumption of nuclear testing for now.

“There are still some professionals in the room who told them this is a terrible idea, thank God,” an unnamed congressional aide told the Guardian. The scheme, dismissed as “unworkable and dumb,” received critical acclaim from the National Nuclear Security Administration and State Department, which refused to come “on board.”

Putting nuclear devices on trial is generally prohibited under the 1996 Nuclear Testing and Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, signed by 184 nations. Russia ratified the accord four years later. The US didn’t do so but chose to adhere to its moratorium on nuclear tests, which is still in force for the time being.

Washington has already rid itself of two vital arms control agreements in recent years. In 2019, the Trump administration quit the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, which banned short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. The US cited alleged violations by Moscow, a claim that Kremlin denied, pointing out that ditching the landmark accord was a pre-planned action by the US administration.

ALSO ON RT.COMTrusted NATO ally Germany set to abide by Open Skies Treaty even after US pullout, calls on others to make it stay

This week, Trump announced that the US will pull out of the Open Skies Treaty, which allows its 35 signatories, among them Russia and NATO members, to conduct surveillance flights of each other’s territories.

The last major arms control pact still standing is the 2010 New START agreement, which was aimed at halving US and Russian missile launchers. Set to expire in February next year, it is now in jeopardy, with Washington threatening to “spend Russia into oblivion” if an arms race breaks out, while also unwilling to extend the pact without bringing China into the negotiations.

Pompeo warns the International Court of Justice (ICC) of ‘consequences’ if it probes Israeli war crimes

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US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

Israeli snipers target Palestinian protesters near the separation fence on March 30, 2018.

 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has threatened that Washington will “exact consequences” if the International Criminal Court (ICC) moves ahead with a potential war crimes investigation into Israel.

Pompeo’s warning came after the ICC prosecutor decided to consider Palestine a state with the ability to submit complaints that could trigger probes into war crimes it says Israel committed in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip.

In December, ICC chief prosecutor Fatou Bensouda announced that a five-year preliminary examination of the “situation in the state of Palestine” had provided her with a “reasonable basis to believe that war crimes were committed” by Israel.

Before launching an investigation, Bensouda had asked the Hague-based court’s pre-trial chamber to confirm whether the ICC had jurisdiction over alleged offenses committed there.

In a critical statement on Friday, Pompeo described the ICC’s investigations “illegitimate” and deemed the international tribunal a “political body, not a judicial institution”.

“This unfortunate reality has been confirmed yet again by the ICC Prosecutor’s attempt to assert jurisdiction over Israel, which like the United States, is not a party to the Rome Statute that created the Court,” the statement read.

Pompeo said the US does not “believe the Palestinians qualify as a sovereign state”.

“The United States reiterates its longstanding objection to any illegitimate ICC investigations,” he said, adding, “If the ICC continues down its current course, we will exact consequences.”

Pompeo’s statement came two days after his trip to Israel for a meeting with prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss Tel Aviv’s plans to annex parts of the occupied West Bank.

The US and Israel have previously claimed that the ICC does not have jurisdiction over Israel and Palestine, that Tel Aviv is being “targeted unfairly” and that Palestine does not qualify as a state.

On Wednesday, a bipartisan group of US House and Senate legislators sent separate letters to Pompeo urging him to defend Israel, a firm US ally, against ICC investigations, saying the tribunal’s assertion amounted to a “politicization” of the court’s mission.

Palestine was accepted as an ICC member in 2015, three years after signing the court’s founding Rome Statute, based on its “observer state” status at the United Nations.

Both Israel and the US have refused to sign up to the ICC, which was set up in 2002 to be the only global tribunal trying the world’s worst crimes, war crimes and crimes against humanity.

Both have claimed they have credible legal systems that can properly adjudicate human rights violations which make ICC intervention dispensable.

Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump’s administration has backed Israel in its battle against the court.

The Trump administration maintains a tense relationship with the ICC, having previously revoked Bensouda’s visa when she intended to investigate potential war crimes by US soldiers in Afghanistan.

Bensouda previously dismissed Australia’s demand that the tribunal halt an investigation into war crimes committed by the Israeli regime in Palestine.

She affirmed that negative speculations surrounding the probe would not influence the ICC’s work and that the Palestine case would be conducted with “utmost professionalism, independence and objectivity in strict conformity with the Rome Statute”.

“Any insinuation or assertion to the contrary is simply misled and unfounded,” Bensouda said.


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China Will Not Accept Any US Invasion in Venezuela: Spokeswoman Hua Chunying

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China repudiates the United States’ attempt of a naval invasion of Venezuela and all interventionist maneuvers against the sovereignty of any country.

Through a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Hua Chunying, stressed again this Wednesday her rejection of the United States’ aggression against Venezuela and has emphasized that Beijing will not accept any US invasion plan in the South American country.

“We reject the violation of the sovereignty of Venezuela by any means or excuse, in addition, we call to prioritize the welfare of the people, work together to safeguard national stability and promote the peaceful resolution of the situation in the Caribbean country,” stressed the spokeswoman of the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

China, reads the note, has always been in favor of respecting the Charter of the United Nations (UN) and the basic rules that govern international relations against the policies of hostility of the United States towards the Maduro government.

The government of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro has denounced the recent incursion of mercenary forces for being organized from Colombia and supported by the United States with the aim of creating chaos to provoke a coup against Maduro, the legitimate and constitutionally elected president.

The new adventure of the USA and Colombia against Venezuela on Sunday May 3rd, takes place almost a year after the coup attempt, led by opposition deputy Juan Guaidó – self-proclaimed interim president of Venezuela – with full backing from Washington, against the Chavista government.

On the other hand, the Chinese diplomat, referring to the rifle attack against the Cuban embassy in the United States, has claimed that “her government firmly opposes any violent action perpetrated against official diplomatic offices.”

Likewise, she has urged Washington to take the necessary measures to guarantee due protection to the headquarters and diplomatic personnel present in its territory from any damage, as provided by the Vienna Convention of 1961.

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Featured image: Spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Hua Chunying / Photo; File