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VIDEO: Ukraine and Europe bans truth about MH17

Two and a half years ago, Ukrainian antiaircraft missiles brought down a Boeing 777 above Donbass. Many foreign citizens, who are fed up with recently announced fetched outcome of the investigation, are attempting to still know the truth. But Europe is not ready for the truth. Dutch police arrested two journalists who conducted an independent investigation at the crash site of the Malaysian Boeing.

Stefan Beck and Michel Spekkers spent eight days in Donbass. Over this time they made several interviews with the beholders of Boeing’s crash. They also collected plane fragments that were left in the area of the plane’s crash. However, having returned home, they were arrested in Amsterdam’s airport. All data storage devices were taken out.

“We had not only information about MH-17, but also many interviews of people who didn’t want to show their faces on the TV because they have reasons to worry. That’s why we’re concerned that this information will be given to the wrong places,” said Stefan Beck, independent Dutch journalist.

The journalist worries that the data collected will be shared with Ukrainian security service, which will use this witnessing to prosecute people who agreed to talk to the journalists.

In turn, Dutch police quickly justified their actions: “We had an impression that journalists were not going to deliberately give into government’s hands all the pieces relation to the investigation. That’s why their baggage was restrained and boarded at the airport.”

We recall that the crash of Boeing 777 took place on July 17, 2014. However, still nobody has been accused of it. There’s little information about it.

“MH-17 flight crush is the result of reentry vehicle’s explosion, which happened outside the plane.  The missile was fired from an area of 320 sq km in the east of Ukraine,” said  Tjibbe Joustra, the Chairman of the Dutch Safety Board.

Now investigators have a list of a hundred of suspects connected with the crash. Meanwhile, the time of investigation is limited to January 1, 2018.

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Donald Trump’s War Crimes

Just two and a half months into his presidency, Donald Trump has already distinguished himself as a war criminal. His administration is killing unusually large numbers of civilians, in violation of U.S. and international law.

The Trump administration began to kill civilians over inaugural weekend, with two drone strikes in Yemen that claimed 10 lives. One drone struck three people on a motorcycle. The other hit seven people riding in a car. Neither Trump nor Defense Secretary James Mattis admits to having approved the strikes. It is not clear who authorized them.

One week after his inauguration, Trump bemoaned the death of a U.S. Navy Seal in a botched raid he personally ordered in southern Yemen. Trump made no mention of the 30 people, including at least 10 women and children, killed by the U.S. bombers. The attack badly damaged a health facility, a school and a mosque.

Over the past month, the U.S.-led coalition has killed an inordinate number of civilians.

“Almost 1,000 non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March ― a record claim,” according to Airwars, a non-governmental organization (NGO) that monitors civilian casualties from airstrikes in the Middle East. “These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria.”

Airwars says that U.S. aircraft have inflicted most of the casualties in the coalition strikes.

Indeed, so many civilians have died from coalition airstrikes since Trump took office, Airwars is reducing its work on “alleged Russian actions in Syria ― so as best to focus our limited resources on continuing to properly monitor and assess reported casualties from the US and its allies.”

During the last part of March alone:

― U.S. drones bombed a mosque in Aleppo, Syria, claiming at least 47 civilian lives.

― U.S. aircraft bombed homes, a school and a hospital in Tabqah, Syria, killing 20 or more civilians.

― A U.S.-led coalition airstrike on a school that was housing 50 families displaced by the fighting near Raqqa, Syria, killed at least 33 civilians.

― A U.S. airstrike in Mosul, Iraq, may have killed as many as 200 people, causing the largest loss of civilian life since the United States began bombing ISIS in Syria and Iraq in 2014. The attack was approved somewhere in the Middle East, according to U.S. defense officials, probably by a one-star general or a team working under her or him.

Abu Ayman, who lives in Mosul, told Reuters he saw several flattened houses and severed limbs scattered around. “I ran to my next-door neighbor’s house and with others we managed to rescue three people, but at least 27 others in the same house were killed, including women and children of relatives who fled from other districts,” he said. “We pulled some out of the rubble, using hammers and shovels to remove debris. We couldn’t do anything to help others as they were completely buried under the collapsed roof.”

Another Mosul resident said, “Now it feels like the coalition is killing more people than ISIS.”

Chris Woods, director of Airwars, told the Washington Post, “Casualty numbers from western Mosul are absolutely shocking. In Syria it’s a car here, a family there. It happens every day.”

The coalition forces’ use of white phosphorous, a chemical weapon that burns to the bone, has been documented in Mosul. And the U.S. Central Command has confirmed that it has used depleted uranium, arguably a war crime, against ISIS in Syria.

Coalition Airstrikes Violate U.S. Law

The Trump administration, like its two immediate predecessors, justifies the use of armed drones and other forms of targeted killing with reference to the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) that Congress passed just days after the September 11, 2001, attacks. In the AUMF, Congress authorized the president to use force against groups and countries that had supported the terrorist strikes. But Congress rejected the Bush administration’s request for open-ended military authority “to deter and preempt any future acts of terrorism or aggression against the United States.” Deterrence and preemption are exactly what Trump is purportedly trying to accomplish by sending robots to kill “suspected militants” or those who happen to be present in an area where suspicious activity has taken place.

In 2013, the Obama administration promulgated a Presidential Policy Guidance for targeted killing “outside areas of active hostilities.”

The guidance allows the targeting of a person who poses a “continuing, imminent threat” not just to “U.S. persons” but also to “another country’s persons.” A 2011 Department of Justice white paper, leaked in 2013, said a US citizen could be killed even when there is no “clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S. persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” This makes a mockery of the “imminent threat” requirement. There is presumably an even lower bar for noncitizens.

In addition, the guidance requires “near certainty that an identified HVT [high-value target] or other lawful terrorist target” is present before using lethal force against him. Yet, like the Obama administration, the Trump regime probably mounts “signature strikes” that don’t necessarily target individuals, but rather all males of military age present in an area of suspicious activity.

And the guidance says there must be “near certainty that non-combatants [civilians] will not be injured or killed.” Given the large number of civilian casualties from drone strikes and other targeted killings, the Trump administration does not appear to be complying with this requirement.

Now, the Pentagon is proposing to expand “the battlefield” beyond Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, so that other designated countries won’t be considered “outside areas of active hostilities.” The threshold for protecting civilians would thus be lowered from “near certainty” that civilians won’t be injured or killed to a “reasonable certainty.” This will invariably result in even more civilian casualties.

Trump has designated three areas in Yemen, and will soon designate Somalia, “areas of active hostilities,” or “temporary battlefields.”

Moreover, the National Security Council is contemplating whether to rescind the Obama guidance altogether, eliminating the “continuing and imminent threat” requirement. It’s possible that it could modify the “near certainty” standard to apply only to women and children, but not to men of military age.

Trump has granted broad power to the CIA to conduct lethal drone attacks. Obama had largely limited that power to the Defense Department’s Joint Special Operations Command. The CIA, unlike the Pentagon, doesn’t have to report how many people it kills during a strike.

In mid-March, 37 former government officials and national security experts from across the political spectrum sent a letter to Defense Secretary James Mattis, warning the administration to proceed cautiously when reviewing the targeted killing guidance. The letter said, “Even small numbers of unintentional civilian deaths or injuries … can cause significant setbacks.”

Regardless of the guidance, however, the coalition is still constrained by international humanitarian law.

“Self-defense,” under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, is a narrow exception to the Charter’s prohibition of the use of force. Countries may engage in individual or collective self-defense only in the face of an armed attack. To the extent the United States claims the right to kill suspected terrorists or their allies before they act, there must exist “a necessity of self-defense, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation,” under the well-established Caroline Case. Trump’s targeted killings do not meet this standard.

Drone attacks off the battlefield violate well-established principles of international law. Targeted or political assassinations ― sometimes known as extra-judicial executions ― run afoul of the Geneva Conventions, which include willful killing as a grave breach. Grave breaches of Geneva are punishable as war crimes under the U.S. War Crimes Act.

The United States has ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states: “Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.” The Covenant also guarantees those accused of a crime the rights to be presumed innocent and to a fair trial by an impartial tribunal. Targeted killings abrogate these rights.

There is also a legal obligation to comply with the requirements of proportionality and distinction, two bedrock principles of international humanitarian law, as delineated in the First Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions.

Proportionality means an attack cannot be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage sought. The administration is using drones to take out convoys and is killing large numbers of civilians, compared with the number of “militants” it is targeting.

Distinction requires that the attack be directed only at a legitimate military target. The coalition has been targeting sites with no clear military purpose, including hospitals, schools, mosques and passenger ferries. And if the Trump administration is continuing Obama’s policy of launching signature strikes, bombs are being dropped on unidentified people located in an area of “suspicious” activity.

The Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court defines the following as war crimes: willful killing; willfully causing great suffering or serious injury; intentional attacks against civilians or civilian objects; and intentionally launching unjustified attacks, knowing they will kill or injure civilians.

U.S.-led coalition bombings of schools, hospitals, homes and mosques, resulting in high numbers of civilian casualties, constitute war crimes.

Mosul Eye, a monitoring organization, warned Iraqi troops that civilians were trapped in homes days before the U.S. airstrike, even sending the coordinates. Amnesty International concluded that the U.S.-led coalition should have known its airstrikes would cause many civilian casualties because the government had told people to remain in their homes.

Amnesty International said the coalition was not using sufficient precautions to avoid civilian casualties in Mosul, calling it a “flagrant violation” of international humanitarian law. “Disproportionate attacks and indiscriminate attacks violate international humanitarian law and can constitute war crimes,” Amnesty International noted.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is planning to deploy an additional 1,000 troops to northern Syria. There are roughly 500 U.S. Special Operations forces there already, as well as 200 Marines and 250 Rangers.

The administration reportedly plans to lift the troop caps of 5,000 in Iraq and 500 in Syria that were established by the Obama administration.

Trump is asking Congress to add $54 billion annually to the military budget for what he refers to as his “public safety and national security budget.”

Disturbingly, Trump has not ruled out the use of nuclear weapons as he prosecutes his “war on terror.” In an interview on MSNBC, he wondered, “Somebody hits us within ISIS [also known as Daesh], you wouldn’t fight back with a nuke?”

And Trump made the troubling assertion that he would consider killing innocent families of suspected terrorists, declaring, “When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families.” Targeting civilians violates the Geneva Conventions.

The Trump administration will likely relax the rules of engagement for targeted killing, resulting in the deaths of increasingly large numbers of civilians, in violation of U.S. and international law.

Under the doctrine of command responsibility, commanders ― all the way up the chain of command to the Commander-in-Chief ― can be liable for war crimes if they knew or should have known their subordinates would commit them and did nothing to stop or prevent them. Command responsibility is enshrined in Supreme Court case law and the U.S. Army Field Manual.

Trump and other high officials in his administration should be held accountable for war crimes.

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VIDEO: STOP US and Ukraine WAR CRIMES in Donbass!

Opponents of the U.S.-Ukraine war against the Donbass region of eastern Europe picketed at United Nations headquarters in New York.

THEY DEMANDED:
– STOP UKRAINE’S ATTACKS ON DONBASS NOW!
– Kiev must honor the Minsk agreements
– End U.S. funding and training for the Kiev regime & neo-Nazi groups
– Recognize the Donetsk & Lugansk People’s Republics
– International War Crimes Tribunal for Ukrainian President Poroshenko and his accomplices in Washington

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VIDEO: US airstrike on mosque near Aleppo in Syria kills 42 civilians

At least 42 people were killed and dozens more wounded on Thursday in airstrikes on a village mosque in northern Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“The raids by unidentified warplanes targeted a mosque in Aleppo province during evening prayers, killing 42 people, most of them civilians,” said the head of the Britain-based Observatory, Rami Abdel Rahman.

“More than 100 people were wounded,” he said, adding that many were still trapped under the collapsed mosque in the village of Al-Jineh, just over 30km west of Aleppo.

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The Victims of US War Crimes Must Pay “War Reparations”: Cambodia owed the US $500 million “War Debt”

Cambodian officials and commentators reacted angrily over the recurring demand by the US government through its ambassador in Phnom Penh to repay what Washington calls “war debt” granted to the US-backed Khmer Republic of General Lon Nol which existed between 1970 and 1975.

The US Department of Agriculture financed $274 million in purchases of US-produced cotton, rice, maize and flour between 1972 and 1974 to the Khmer Republic which was seen as an ally in the fight against of communism in Southeast Asia at that time.

The deliveries were made to avoid any public uprising in Cambodia and quell hunger riots which began as early as 1972. The food situation was desperate by 1973 that malnutrition was common among children particularly in the cities.

But at the same time, US forces bombed Cambodia in an effort to disrupt supply lines of the Vietcong and the upcoming Khmer Rouge. It is estimated that US B-52 bombers dropped more than 500,000 tonnes of explosives on Cambodia’s countryside, half of them in 1973 alone.

The pilots flew at great heights and were incapable of differentiating between a Cambodian village and their targets, North Vietnamese supply lines, the so-called the Ho Chi Minh trail. It is believed that half a million Cambodians died from the bomb attacks at that time.

However, just recently, US ambassador to Cambodia William Heidt claimed that Cambodia owed the US something in the region of $500 million for “assistance” given to Cambodia’s Lon Nol government during the war, money which he says represent the 1970s loans plus interest over four decades.

Cambodia’s government said through a spokesman “it is not pleased” by Heidt’s remarks.

“They destroyed us and demand us to pay the debt for it,” spokesman Sok Eysan said.

Records of the loans were annihilated after the Red Khmer took over in 1975, and when the country was restored after the Vietnamese occupation in 1993, Cambodia’s national assembly declared the Khmer Republic and its actions illegal.

Cambodia’s Prime Minister Hun Sen argues that Phnom Penh is not obliged to pay the money back.

“The US created problems in my country and is demanding money from us,” he said, adding that “we also don’t demand that the US pay for the damage and destruction caused by the war. We just want the US to be responsible for the problem of the debt.”

Hun Sen since has lobbied with both US presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump to write off the debt, but Washington said it could not be canceled as this was beyond the powers of the President and would take legislation from US Congress.

Former war correspondent James Pringle, who was bureau chief for Reuters in Ho Chi Minh City in the 1970s, covering the invasion of Cambodia and the fighting in Vietnam, in an angry comment for Cambodia Daily on March 8 said that the US should rather be quiet about this debt.

“Cambodia does not owe even a brass farthing to the US for help in destroying its people, its wild animals, its rice fields and forest cover,” he wrote, rhetorically asking “what will they give in return? Will they resurrect the children and others who died under that terrible US pounding from the air over the years?”

Hun Sen pointed out that craters still dot the Cambodian countryside and villagers are still unearthing bombs, forcing mass evacuations until they can be deactivated.

“There are a lot of grenades and bombs left. That’s why so often Cambodian children are killed because they don’t know that they are unexploded ordnance,” he said. “And who did it? It’s America’s bombs and grenades.”

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VIDEO: US-led coalition killed almost 200 civilians in Syria and Iraq

Oil tanker drivers and civilians trapped in Mosul among those confirmed dead.

The official number of civilians killed in the US-led coalition’s air strikes in Syria and Iraq has risen to 220 amid fears for up to 750,000 people trapped in Mosul.

Humanitarian organisations have warned that the real total may be far higher, with monitoring group Airwars counting at least 2,400 innocent men, women and children killed in the anti-Isis bombing campaign.