Tag Archives | War

Global Epidemic: Every 5 Minutes a Child is Killed by Violence

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.  (Image: UNICEF UK)

The UNICEF report reveals that the vast majority of children are killed outside warzones and that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities. (Image: UNICEF UK)

Jon Queally writes at Common Dreams:

Violence against children is a global epidemic in which a young person is killed by violent conflict every five minutes, according to a new study released Tuesday by U.K. branch of UNICEF.

The global assessment—titled “Children in Danger: Act to End Violence Against Children”—reveals that an estimated 345 children under the age of twenty-years-old die nearly every day across the world. According to the report, the vast majority of these young victims are killed outside war zones, indicating that physical, sexual and emotional abuse is widespread with millions of children unsafe in their homes, schools and communities.

“We live in a world where some children are too scared to walk out of their own front doors or play on their streets,” said David Bull, executive director of UNICEF UK.

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Our Souls Turned into Weapons

By Jayel Aheram via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Jayel Aheram via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Robert C. Koehler writes at Common Dreams:

“During basic training, we are weaponized: our souls turned into weapons.”

Jacob George’s suicide last month — a few days after President Obama announced that the US was launching its war against ISIS — opens a deep, terrible hole in the national identity. George: singer, banjo player, poet, peace warrior, vet. He served three tours in Afghanistan. He brought the war home. He tried to repair the damage.

Finally, finally, he reached for “the surefire therapy for ending the pain,” as a fellow vet told Truthdig. He was 32.

Maybe another war was just too much for him to endure. Military glory — protection of the innocent — is a broken ideal, a cynical lie. “Times for war veterans are tough because we know exactly what is going to happen with the actions that Obama talked about in his recent speech,” his friend Paul Appell told Truthdig.

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As ISIS Slaughters Kurds in Kobani, the U.S. Bombs Syrian Grain Silos

By fw_gadget via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By fw_gadget via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Ajamu Baraka writes at CounterPunch:

The U.S. is conducting a curious humanitarian war against ISIS in Syria. While Kobani, the largely Kurdish district that straddles the border with Turkey is being attacked by ISIS forces and facing the very real possibility of mass civilian killings if it falls, U.S. military spokespersons claimed that they are watching the situation in Kobani and have conducted occasional bombing missions but that they are concentrating their anti-ISIS efforts in other parts of Syria. Those other efforts appear to consist of bombing empty buildings, schools, small oil pumping facilities, an occasional vehicle and grain silos where food is stored to feed the Syrian people. Turkey also seems to be watching as the Kurds of Kobani fight to the death against ISIS.

The humanitarian concerns of officials in the U.S. with the plight of Kurds in Kobani could not be more different than what occurred in Iraq when ISIS forces made a push into Kurdish territory.

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US Relaxing Standards for Killing Civilians in Iraq and Syria

By Marc Veraart via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

By Marc Veraart via Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Sarah Lazare writes at Common Dreams:

The Obama administration has admitted that it is relaxing its standards for avoiding civilian deaths when it comes to ongoing air bombardments on Iraq and Syria.

Yahoo News reported Tuesday that Caitlin Hayden, a spokesperson for the National Security Council, told the news outlet that a standard imposed last year by President Obama, which requires “near certainty” that civilians will not be harmed in drone strikes, does not apply to the expanding war on Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Iraq and Syria.

Journalist Michael Isikoff reports:

The “near certainty” standard was intended to apply “only when we take direct action ‘outside areas of active hostilities,’ as we noted at the time,” Hayden said in an email. “That description — outside areas of active hostilities — simply does not fit what we are seeing on the ground in Iraq and Syria right now.”

Hayden added that U.S.

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“And prove to me, America, that you care. And prove to me, America, you’re aware” – ‘Is It For Freedom?’ by Sarah Thomsen

via chycho

A message to the citizens of the United States of America regarding your doctrine of endless war, delivered through song by Sara Thomsen.

“Is It For Freedom?” by Sara Thomsen

Below you will find the Lyrics for “Is It For Freedom?” from the 1999 album “Fertile Ground”.

Rulers of the nations as you fuss and fight
Over who owns this or that and who has the right
To design, build, sell and store and fire
All the bombs and guns to defend your holy empire

There are children hungry, children sick and dying
There are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers crying
They’re only pawns in your play of power and corruption
Slowly starve them, your new weapon of mass destruction


And prove to me, America, that you care
And prove to me, America, you’re aware
Who’s dying for your freedom in this land
Who pays the cost for the liberties you demand

Is it for freedom, or our comfort and convenience
Is it to profit for big business we pledge our allegiance
Are we prisoners in the land of the brave and the bold?

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A Nervous China Is ‘Interested’ In A Possible Role In The Fight Against ISIS

Screenshot_of_Abu_Bakr_al-Baghdadi

via Business Insider:

BEIJING, China — The Islamic State is flush with cash, territorially ambitious and eager for recognition.

But is IS a threat to China?

That’s been a question on foreign policy minds since US National Security Adviser Susan Rice’s trip to Beijing earlier this month.

The trip, billed as preparation for President Obama’s trip to China in November, went off without serious glitches — other than a mildly embarrassing mix-up on state TV with that other Rice (Condoleezza).

But Rice’s visit was overshadowed by the unfolding chaos in Iraq and Syria, brought about by IS.

Would China be willing to lend its support to an international coalition against this growing threat to world security?

The official response from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) was boilerplate: “The Chinese government staunchly fights against any form of terrorism.”

Privately, “They are interested,” argues Chen Dingding, assistant professor of Government and Public Administration at the University of Macau.

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The Quick Slide From Hope to Despair As War Returns – If It Ever Went Away

On the Sunday, the world came together to demand climate justice with massive marches of solidarity and positivity.

South Bend Voice - 2014 People's Climate March crowd with banner.jpg

Photo: South Bend Voice (CC)

On the Monday, the UN prepared for its global climate summit with more than 100 Heads of State, some there as ornaments, others as advocates for changes in environmental conditions that threaten the survival of many nations and peoples.

On the Monday afternoon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called climate change Washington’s number number one priority.

On the Monday night, I was in New York with the visiting President of South Africa marking twenty years of freedom in that country after the overthrow of apartheid. I saw no American officials present.

Back home, later that evening, the news was out: the United States was then heavily bombing Syria for the first time with the support of a mélange of Arab dictators and theocracies, using planes we sold them, to make some point about western commitment to freedom.… Read the rest

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Body Counts Rise As Chaos Deepens: Is There A Way Out?

Logo of Boko HaramAs a journalist, I became something of a body count expert. It started with the Vietnam War, where I soon learned to distrust the exaggerated counts of enemy dead made by our self-styled “intelligence” agencies.

That didn’t mean that people, alas, weren’t dying in droves, but not quite the people they were claiming to have killed, even if the sheer number was desensitizing and hard to relate to.

It’s still like that, what with the daily drone victims, collateral damage estimates and killings on battlefields and villages from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria and Iraq.

Now we can add Nigeria to the countries in pain with massacres by the Boko Haram, and their own military goons, and, with the collapse of a mega church in Lagos that looked like the ‘planned demolition’ fall of Building 7, claiming the lives of 67 visiting South Africans and we still don’t know how many Nigerians. That House of God, known as a Synagogue Church, could not protect praying parishioners from the slaughter.… Read the rest

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