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05 October 2015 @ 08:11 pm
The Radically Changing Story of the U.S. Airstrike on Afghan Hospital: From Mistake to Justification  

Glenn Greenwald Oct. 5 2015

When news first broke of the U.S. airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan, the response from the U.S. military was predictable and familiar. It was all just a big, terrible mistake, its official statement suggested: an airstrike it carried out in Kunduz “may have resulted in collateral damage to a nearby medical facility.” Oops: our bad. Fog of war, errant bombs, and all that.

This obfuscation tactic is the standard one the U.S. and Israel both use whenever they blow up civilian structures and slaughter large numbers of innocent people with airstrikes. Citizens of both countries are well-trained – like some tough, war-weary, cigar-chomping general – to reflexively spout the phrase “collateral damage,” which lets them forget about the whole thing and sleep soundly, telling themselves that these sorts of innocent little mistakes are inevitable even among the noblest and most well-intentioned war-fighters, such as their own governments. The phrase itself is beautifully technocratic: it requires no awareness of how many lives get extinguished, let alone acceptance of culpability. Just invoke that phrase and throw enough doubt on what happened in the first 48 hours and the media will quickly lose interest.

But there’s something significantly different about this incident that has caused this “mistake” claim to fail. Usually, the only voices protesting or challenging the claims of the U.S. military are the foreign, non-western victims who live in the cities and villages where the bombs fall. Those are easily ignored, or dismissed as either ignorant or dishonest. Those voices barely find their way into U.S. news stories, and when they do, they are stream-rolled by the official and/or anonymous claims of the U.S. military, which are typically treated by U.S. media outlets as unassailable authority.

In this case, though, the U.S. military bombed the hospital of an organization – Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)) – run by western-based physicians and other medical care professionals. They are not so easily ignored. Doctors who travel to dangerous war zones to treat injured human beings are regarded as noble and trustworthy. They’re difficult to marginalize and demonize. They give compelling, articulate interviews in English to U.S. media outlets. They are heard, and listened to.

MSF has used this platform, unapologetically and aggressively. They are clearly infuriated at the attack on their hospital and the deaths of their colleagues and patients. From the start, they have signaled an unwillingness to be shunted away with the usual “collateral damage” banalities and, more important, have refused to let the U.S. military and its allies get away with spouting obvious falsehoods. They want real answers. As the Guardian‘s Spencer Ackerman put it last night: “MSF’s been going incredibly hard, challenging every US/Afgh claim made about hospital bombing.”

In particular, MSF quickly publicized numerous facts that cast serious doubt on the original U.S. claim that the strike on the hospital was just an accident. To begin with, the organization had repeatedly advised the U.S. military of the exact GPS coordinates of the hospital. They did so most recently on September 29, just five days before the strike. Beyond that, MSF personnel at the facility “frantically” called U.S. military officials during the strike to advise them that the hospital was being hit and to plead with them to stop, but the strikes continued in a “sustained” manner for 30 more minutes. Finally, MSF yesterday said this:

All of these facts make it extremely difficult – even for U.S. media outlets – to sell the “accident” story. At least as likely is that the hospital was deliberately targeted, chosen either by Afghan military officials who fed the coordinates to their U.S. military allies and/or by the U.S. military itself.

Even cynical critics of the U.S. have a hard time believing that the U.S. military would deliberately target a hospital with an airstrike (despite how many times the U.S. has destroyed hospitals with airstrikes). But in this case, there is long-standing tension between the Afghan military and this specific MSF hospital, grounded in the fact that the MSF – true to its name – treats all wounded human beings without first determining on which side they fight. That they provide medical treatment to wounded civilians and Taliban fighters alike has made them a target before.

In July – just 3 months ago – Reuters reported that Afghan special forces “raided” this exact MSF hospital in Kunduz, claiming an Al Qaeda member was a patient. This raid infuriated MSF staff:

The French aid group said its hospital was temporarily closed to new patients after armed soldiers had entered and behaved violently towards staff.

“This incident demonstrates a serious lack of respect for the medical mission, which is safeguarded under international humanitarian law,” MSF said in a statement.

A staff member who works for the aid group said, “The foreign doctors tried to stop the Afghan Special Operations guys, but they went in anyway, searching the hospital.”

The U.S. had previously targeted a hospital in a similar manner: “In 2009, a Swedish aid group accused U.S. forces of violating humanitarian principles by raiding a hospital in Wardak province, west of Kabul.”

News accounts of this weekend’s U.S. airstrike on that same hospital hinted cryptically at the hostility from the Afghan military. The first NYT story on the strike – while obscuring who carried out the strike – noted deep into the article that “the hospital treated the wounded from all sides of the conflict, a policy that has long irked Afghan security forces.” Al Jazeera similarly alluded to this tension, noting that “a caretaker at the hospital, who was severely injured in the air strike, told Al Jazeera that clinic’s medical staff did not favour any side of the conflict. ‘We are here to help and treat civilians,’ Abdul Manar said.”

As a result of all of this, there is now a radical shift in the story being told about this strike. No longer is it being depicted as some terrible accident of a wayward bomb. Instead, the predominant narrative from U.S. sources and their Afghan allies is that this attack was justified because the Taliban were using it as a “base.”

Fox News yesterday cited anonymous “defense officials” that while they “‘regret the loss’ of innocent life, they say the incident could have been avoided if the Taliban had not used the hospital as a base, and the civilians there as human shields.” In its first article on the attack, The Washington Post also previewed this defense, quoting a “spokesman for the Afghan army’s 209th Corps in northern Afghanistan” as saying that “Taliban fighters are now hiding in ‘people’s houses, mosques and hospitals using civilians as human shields.'” AP yesterday actually claimed that it looked at a video and saw weaponry in the hospital’s windows, only to delete that claim with this correction:

The New York Times today – in a story ostensibly about the impact on area residents from the hospital’s destruction – printed paragraphs from anonymous officials justifying this strike: “there was heavy gunfire in the area around the hospital at the time of the airstrike, and that initial reports indicated that the Americans and Afghans on the ground near the hospital could not safely pull back without being dangerously exposed. American forces on the ground then called for air support, senior officials said.” It also claimed that “many residents of Kunduz, as well as people in Kabul, seemed willing to believe the accusations of some Afghan officials that there were Taliban fighters in the hospital shooting at American troops.” And this:

Still, some Afghan officials continued to suggest that the attack was justified. “I know that there were civilian casualties in the hospital, but a lot of senior Taliban were also killed,” said Abdul Wadud Paiman, a member of Parliament from Kunduz.

So now we’re into full-on justification mode: yes, we did it; yes, we did it on purpose; and we’re not sorry because we were right to do so since we think some Taliban fighters were at the hospital, perhaps even shooting at us. In response to the emergence of this justification claim, MSF expressed the exact level of revulsion appropriate (emphasis added):
“MSF is disgusted by the recent statements coming from some Afghanistan government authorities justifying the attack on its hospital in Kunduz. These statements imply that Afghan and US forces working together decided to raze to the ground a fully functioning hospital with more than 180 staff and patients inside because they claim that members of the Taliban were present.

This amounts to an admission of a war crime. This utterly contradicts the initial attempts of the US government to minimize the attack as ‘collateral damage.’

“There can be no justification for this abhorrent attack on our hospital that resulted in the deaths of MSF staff as they worked and patients as they lay in their beds. MSF reiterates its demand for a full transparent and independent international investigation.”

From the start, MSF made clear that none of its staff at the hospital heard or saw Taliban fighters engaging U.S. or Afghan forces:

But even if there were, only the most savage barbarians would decide that it’s justified to raze a hospital filled with doctors, nurses and patients to the ground. Yet mounting evidence suggests that this is exactly what the U.S. military did – either because it chose to do so or because its Afghan allies fed them the coordinates of this hospital which they have long disliked. As a result, we now have U.S. and Afghan officials expressly justifying the consummate war crime: deliberately attacking a hospital filled with doctors, nurses and wounded patients. And whatever else is true, the story of what happened here has been changing rapidly as facts emerge proving the initial claims to be false.

* * * * *
Just as this article was being published, NBC News published a report making clear that even the latest claims from the U.S. and Afghan governments are now falling apart. The Pentagon’s top four-star commander in Afghanistan, Army Gen. John Campbell, now claims that “local Afghans forces asked for air support and U.S. forces were not under direct fire just prior to the U.S. bombardment” of the hospital. As NBC notes, this directly contradicts prior claims: “The Pentagon had previously said U.S. troops were under direct fire.”

See also from today: CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack

UPDATE: Responding to the above-referenced admission, MSF has issued this statement:

“Today the US government has admitted that it was their airstrike that hit our hospital in Kunduz and killed 22 patients and MSF staff. Their description of the attack keeps changing—from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government. The reality is the US dropped those bombs. The US hit a huge hospital full of wounded patients and MSF staff. The US military remains responsible for the targets it hits, even though it is part of a coalition. There can be no justification for this horrible attack. With such constant discrepancies in the US and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical.”

The U.S. seems to have picked the wrong group this time to attack from the air.

Glenns place https://theintercept.com/2015/10/05/the-radically-changing-story-of-the-u-s-airstrike-on-afghan-hospital-from-mistake-to-justification/

Earlier article:
CNN and the NYT Are Deliberately Obscuring Who Perpetrated the Afghan Hospital Attack
https://theintercept.com/2015/10/05/cnn-and-the-nyt-are-deliberately-obscuring-who-perpetrated-the-afghan-hospital-attack/

Well done Glenn.

 
 
 
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 07:18 pm (UTC)
Western operations include the use of Red Cross facilities. Does that make the Red Cross a legitimate target?
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 07:35 pm (UTC)
Some good news for a change
Hatred of the press is reaching toxic levels
By Ian Dunt Talking Politics
There is a very telling moment in Owen Bennett’s account of being spat at at an anti-Tory demo in Manchester yesterday. It’s not when the Huffington Post reporter is actually spat at. There are always aggressive lunatics on protests. They don’t indicate anything wider about their movement except that it, like all other movements, has its fair share of idiots. It comes afterwards, when police had separated him and fellow journalist Kate McCann off from a section of the crowd.
As Bennett recounts:
“I shouted out that we were journalists, and flashed my National Union of Journalists issued-press card. They didn’t leave us alone, apparently we were fair game. I deserved to be spat on, according to more than one person in the crowd. The police told Kate and I we needed to move out of the area or we would ‘get lynched’. I didn’t doubt it. The crowd was getting larger, and angrier.”
Similar accounts came in from a variety of journalists attending the conference, most of them not writing for publications which could be called right wing.
Journalists should not fool themselves into thinking that this is just a phenomenon on one side of the political divide. A day spent on Twitter will show you that Ukip supporters are every bit as viciously against the media as their counterparts on the left. As much as they hate the comparison and each other, the hard left and right share many of the same psychological instincts.
https://uk.news.yahoo.com/comment/talking-politics/hatred-of-the-press-is-reaching-toxic-levels-120843523.html
The good news isn't about the journos, but the fact that hatred of the media is growing. A signal that people are angry at being lied to over and over. Perhaps they'll wake up to the fact that we have an enemy government.
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 07:56 pm (UTC)
Overheard At The Pentagon:
ZH by Tyler Durden on 09/30/2015
Those who frequent these pages are well aware of what’s happened to Washington’s strategy in Syria over the past several weeks. Russia’s dramatic move to enter the fray has left the US trapped, as the West attempts to hang on to a narrative that’s no longer convincing even to a largely ignorant public.
Now, the only thing left to do is either stand down and let Moscow do as it pleases in support of the Assad regime, or else get on board and acquiesce to the inevitable.
Or, summed up in simpler terms...
Nancy Youssef, نانسى @nancyayoussef
Overheard at the Pentagon: "Right now, we are Putin's prison bitch."
4:26 PM - 30 Sep 2015
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-30/overheard-pentagon-right-now-we-are-putins-prison-bitch
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 08:21 pm (UTC)
Re gold confiscation (theft)
It's Time To Get Your Gold Out Of The U.S.
ZH Submitted by Ted Baumann via TheSovereignInvestor.com,
Most of us remember cowboy movies in which a lonesome desperado acquires a sack of gold coins that everyone else wants. It’s a thankless task that typically doesn’t end well.
I vividly recall the final scene from Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which a long rifle shot from Blondie (Clint Eastwood) severs the hangman’s noose holding Tuco (Eli Wallach), sending him face-first into a pile of gold coins. It’s still memorable even after I learned it was filmed in the Spanish plateau region of Burgos, not the U.S. Southwest.
Besides reminding us that gold has always been a much sought-after commodity, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’s multinational production process illustrates another key principle of the modern economy: People move around a lot when they’re making money.
And that creates the perfect opportunity for governments to get their greedy hands on your gold.
More http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-09-30/its-time-get-your-gold-out-us
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 08:28 pm (UTC)
Banks losing crime business to bitcoin?
Bitcoin loses shine in Australia
Australia hosts the first co-ordinated shutdown of bitcoin accounts by a country's banking system as fears over crime links hit the currency. Paul Chapman reports.
Vid https://uk.news.yahoo.com/video/bitcoin-loses-shine-australia-013758251.html
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 08:29 pm (UTC)
Rolls-Royce axes 400 more jobs
Yahoo AFP
British engine maker Rolls-Royce will axe another 400 jobs at its marine division, it said Monday, as slumping oil prices weighs on demand for vessels.
Rolls announced in a statement that it will reduce its number of employees by 400 by the end of next year, on top of 600 job cuts already unveiled in May.
"After many years of strong performance through to 2013, led by good growth in the oil and gas sector, our order book and profitability have been adversely impacted by the sharp and subsequently prolonged drop in the price of oil," said Mikael Makinen, President of Marine at Rolls-Royce.
More https://uk.news.yahoo.com/rolls-royce-axes-400-more-083733953.html
Mostly in Scandinavia.
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 08:59 pm (UTC)
This Is The Endgame, According To Deutsche Bank
ZH Submitted by Tyler Durden on 10/01/2015
DB's Jim Reid lays out the "endgame" scenario, one which this website first said is inevitable back in 2009. With Citi and Macquarie already on board, expect what was once merely the figment of a "deranged tinfoil conspiracy-theory blog's" imagination, to become global monetary policy. And yes, the real endgame is the one we have said from day one: total fiat (and conventional economics) collapse.
From Deutsche Bank's chief credit strateigst
Our thesis over the last few years has basically been that the global financial system/economic fundamentals are so bad that its good for financial assets given it forces central banks into extraordinary stimulus and for them to continue to buy assets in never before seen volumes. The system failed in 2008/09 and rather than allow a proper creative destruction cleansing, policy makers have been aggressively propping it up ever since. This has surely led to a large level of inefficiency in the system which helps explain weak post crisis growth and thus forces them to do even more thus supporting asset prices if not the global economy.
More http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-01/endgame-according-deutsche-bank
I get weary reading these reports. Until the global community detaches from the bank mafia and their politicians and creates a debt free currency controlled by the end users, and true free trade these seemingly interminable reports geared to create fear and swing stock prices will continue.
An admission that the private central bank cartel is only supporting the currency fraud and banks rather than the economy.
Improve the world, demolish the banks and the cartel and outlaw usury.
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 09:00 pm (UTC)
Stephen Cohen Speaks Out to Top German News Site, Rips Media Demonization of Putin
“This is a multi-million dollar venture…to discredit Putin.”
Says serious "Putinphobia" has broken out
This interview originally appeared in German Economic News. Translated by Werner Schrimpf for Russia Insider.

Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten: Mr. Cohen, you are “Professor Emeritus“ of Russian studies and policies in Princeton, political advisor to the U.S. government and member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Nevertheless U.S. main stream media are ignoring your opinion when it comes to assessing Russia. How come?
Stephen Cohen: President Bush invited me twice in the 1980s to Washington and Camp David to talk about Russia.
And concerning the Council on Foreign Relations? I am afraid you may have gotten the impression I would be in close touch with the U.S. elites which is definitely not the case. It is just the inner circle of the CFR who is representing the American elite and who has the power. Myself, I am just an ordinary member. In former times the objective of this organization was to get a balanced view of Russia but this has changed dramatically.
Meanwhile this organization is totally uninterested in Russia’s policy so I do not show up there any longer.
In the time frame between the 1970s and 1980s, partially in the 1990s, I had easy access to the mass media. But this ended during the 1990s and since the Putin era I hardly get invitations any longer. This was not only the case with me but with many American citizens who are opposing the current US foreign policy. We have been banned by the mass media.
DWN: According to your opinion what were the major defects of western policy after the collapse of the Soviet Union?
Stephen Cohen: I think that the current disaster in the Ukraine and the fall back to a new Cold War can be traced back to the 1990s in Washington. What were the biggest flaws? First, a mentality of final victory shown by both parties represented in the U.S. congress. They were convinced that the post Soviet Russia would be an obedient supplicant to the U.S. and the idea was that Russia would carry out all reforms requested by the United States.
The complete show was to have been run by the IWF, the World Bank and our ally Boris Yeltsin.
The second flaw was NATOs expansion toward Russian borders. The guys who are pushing this concept are stating this is all quite reasonable and they have problems understanding Russia’s dislike.
This is absolutely stupid. Just imagine a Russian military pact which arrives at the U.S. borders in Mexico or Canada. Any U.S. president not declaring war within a second in this case would be immediately removed from office.
DWN: …although at the turn of the millennium it seemed that there would arise some kind of detente between Russia and the U.S….
Stephen Cohen: Correct. After the assault on the twin towers Putin tried to support the US in their war against terror and the Taliban. But in a countermove George Bush and the US unilaterally terminated the Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty (ABM-treaty) which was in place to limit the deployment of these systems. This step was regarded as a broken promise or even as a betrayal, from a Russian perspective.
More http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/stephen-cohen-speaks-out-top-german-news-site-rips-media-demonization-putin/ri10167
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 09:26 pm (UTC)
Russian Navy May Blockade Syrian Rebels; Russian Air Force Owns the Skies
Meanwhile the two-faced Islamist-supporting Turks are cruisin' for a bruisin' and the US air force has been told to stay the heck on the ground
RI (Zero Hedge)
Russia's Black Sea fleet is ready to join the action
Last week, NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, General Philip Breedlove, suggested that Russia has effectively declared a no-fly zone in Syria.
That contention was supported by Moscow’s rather bold move to effectively instruct the US-led coalition to keep its planes out of the sky starting last Wednesday. Ultimately, The Kremlin has declared a monopoly on Syrian air space for the duration of Russia’s military campaign, marking an epic embarrassment for Washington, and serving notice to the anti-regime forces operating in Syria that there’s a new sheriff in town.
Well, don't look now, but in addition to the de facto no-fly zone, some experts are out suggesting that Russia is set to use its Black Sea fleet to enforce a blockade on the Syrian coast. Here's Sputnik:
Russia's Black Sea Fleet may be used in Syria to blockade the Syrian coastline and deliver armaments, as well as possibly deliver artillery strikes, the head of Russian State Duma's defense committee and former Black Sea Fleet commander Vladimir Komoyedov said.
“Regarding the large-scale use of the Black Sea Fleet in this operation, I don't think it will happen, but in terms of a coastal blockade, I think that it's quite [possible]. The delivery of artillery strikes hasn't been excluded; the ships are ready for this, but there is no point in it for now. The terrorists are in deep, where the artillery cannot reach,” Komoyedov said.
Komoyedov added that the size of the naval grouping used in the operation will depend on the intensity of the fighting. He noted that currently, the navy's Mediterranean flotilla is currently sufficient for actions in the given area.
Komoyedov also said that auxiliary vessels will certainly be used in the operation against ISIL to deliver armaments as well as military and technical equipment.
Meanwhile, the aerial bombardment continues unabated as Russian warplanes have reportedly destroyed “a terrorist base in the woods” where tanks - which are ironically Soviet made- were stationed. Here's RT:
The Russian Air Force in Syria has conducted 25 sorties on 9 Islamic State installations in the last 24 hours, eliminating a disguised terrorist base equipped with tanks, a command center and a communication hub, the Defense Ministry reported.
Russian bombers taking off from Khmeimim airbase knocked out a terrorist base hidden in the woods near the city of Idlib, eliminating 30 vehicles, among which were several Soviet-made T-55 tanks.
“Six airstrikes hit the base, and the terrorists’ equipment was fully destroyed,” Konashenkov said.
And here's the video which purportedly shows the attack on the hidden ISIS base:
Vid + more http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/russian-navy-may-blockade-syrian-rebels-russian-air-force-owns-skies/ri10247
The Turkish claimof Russian incursion being hyped on the BBC is mentioned. Turkey has a law that permits 'hot pursuit' across Syria's border. Turkish hypocrisy? Or NATO puppeteering?
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 09:49 pm (UTC)
CNN, SkyNews Run False Stories About Civilian Casualties from Russian Syria Strikes
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 09:54 pm (UTC)
CIA-Trained Rebels in Syria Call for (Moderate?) Terrorist Coalition Against Russia
More than 40 “insurgent” groups have called for a terrorist coalition to fight Russia and Syria
Rudy Panko
A new "coalition of the willing"?
This is charming:
More than 40 Syrian insurgent groups including the powerful Islamist faction Ahrar al-Sham have called on regional states to forge an alliance against Russia and Iran in Syria, accusing Moscow of occupying the country and targeting civilians.
The insurgents, including rebel groups under the umbrella of the Free Syria Army [i.e., the CIA], said such regional cooperation was needed to counter “the Russian-Iranian alliance occupying Syria”.
Last week Russian jets based in western Syria launched air strikes against targets Moscow has identified as bases of the hardline Islamic State group, but which President Bashar al-Assad's opponents say disproportionately hit rival, foreign-backed insurgents.
The joint rebel statement criticized what it described as the “Russian military aggression in Syria and the blatant occupation of the country” as well as the targeting of civilians with air strikes in the Homs countryside in western Syria.
“Civilians have been directly targeted in a manner that reminds us of the scorched earth policy pursued by Russia in its past wars,” the statement said, without specifying.
Even the CIA has a sense of humor.
http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/cia-trained-rebels-syria-call-moderate-terrorist-coalition-against-russia/ri10246
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 10:16 pm (UTC)
I Wasn’t Really Wrong When I Said Putin Would Retire
RI
Here's my rationalisation
I did not expect Putin to return for a third term and on August 2011 I said he would not. In September (that’s fast!!) I had to eat my words. But I wasn't happy to: while I thought Putin was a pretty effective leader – maybe the best Russia has ever had, in the last thousand years, anyway – every leader (and everything else) has a “best before” date. There’s a time when a leader runs out of ideas and creativity, a time when the sycophants figure out what buttons to push (“I know you don’t like flattery boss; that’s one of the things I admire about you”), a time when subordinates start plotting, a time when the Old Guy’s past it and it’s time to think about our futures and so on. Putin’s not there by a long shot, but it will come one day. Better to leave at the top of your game.
And, I have to admit, there was some personal embarrassment on my part – a US Congressman was ranting to me about how Putin was just power-hungry and I stopped him by saying: then why isn’t he president right now? Well, the last laugh’s on me, isn’t it? He’s president again and maybe he never really stopped being the real boss.
So why did he come back? Why does he risk becoming the Turkmenbashi of Russia?
I prefer to think that he’s not just the power-crazed dictator that the US Congressman thinks he is. And so fearlessly risking another episode of logophagy, I offer another theory which allows me to preserve my August 2011 idea and pretend to have been right all along while actually having been wrong. (A bit like being an op-ed writer, in fact. It’s nice to have a rolling memory that forgets when you were wrong. Take, for example, Der Spiegel, which now blames Merkel for the whole sorry mess in Ukraine without ever admitting its own responsibility for whipping up the hysteria. But I, unlike Official Journalists©, know that the Internet Never Forgets.)
So, why did Putin not take my advice and return to the presidency?
Libya, in a word. Consumers of Western media outlets who can still remember the dim, distant days of March 2011 will recall that Qaddafi “was bombing his own people”. First appearing, I think, on Al Jazeera, the story spread everywhere and was amplified by the West’s pet "human rights" N"G"Os. There doesn’t appear to have been any evidence that he was – and a later report concluded that he wasn't – but this was the mantra. And, it’s important to remember, “humanitarian bombing” episodes are always preceded by unanimity in the media; we’ve seen it in Kosovo and Syria and more recently in Ukraine – every news outlet saying exactly the same thing at exactly the same time.
“Bombing your own people” is a terrible, terrible thing and “something must be done”. (or, rather, it was then: not so important today in Ukraine). The US and its allies went to the UN and secured a resolution to create a “no fly zone” so as to stop Libyan government aircraft from “bombing his own people”. Russia (and China) abstained rather than veto.
To make a long story short, NATO paid no attention to the text of the resolution. They bombed everything, then they supplied weapons, then special forces trainers, then forward air controllers. At the end, after seven (seven!) months, Qaddafi was run to ground and brutally killed. Hillary Clinton’s cackle should not be forgotten.
More http://russia-insider.com/en/i-wasnt-really-wrong-when-i-said-putin-would-retire/ri10223
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 10:26 pm (UTC)
"Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene"
Policy Brief, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School
September 2013
Author: Alan Kuperman, Former Research Fellow, International Security Program, 2000–2001
Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Quarterly Journal: International Security
This policy brief is based on "A Model Humanitarian Intervention? Reassessing NATO's Libya Campaign," which appears in the Summer 2013 issue of International Security.
BOTTOM LINES
• The Conventional Wisdom Is Wrong. Libya's 2011 uprising was never peaceful, but instead was armed and violent from the start. Muammar al-Qaddafi did not target civilians or resort to indiscriminate force. Although inspired by humanitarian impulse, NATO's intervention did not aim mainly to protect civilians, but rather to overthrow Qaddafi's regime, even at the expense of increasing the harm to Libyans.
• The Intervention Backfired. NATO's action magnified the conflict's duration about sixfold and its death toll at least sevenfold, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If Libya was a "model intervention," then it was a model of failure.
• Three Lessons. First, beware rebel propaganda that seeks intervention by falsely crying genocide. Second, avoid intervening on humanitarian grounds in ways that reward rebels and thus endanger civilians, unless the state is already targeting noncombatants. Third, resist the tendency of humanitarian intervention to morph into regime change, which amplifies the risk to civilians.
A MODEL INTERVENTION?
Many commentators have praised NATO's 2011 intervention in Libya as a humanitarian success for averting a bloodbath in that country's second largest city, Benghazi, and helping eliminate the dictatorial regime of Muammar al-Qaddafi. These proponents accordingly claim that the intervention demonstrates how to successfully implement a humanitarian principle known as the responsibility to protect (R2P). Indeed, the top U.S. representatives to the transatlantic alliance declared that "NATO's operation in Libya has rightly been hailed as a model intervention." A more rigorous assessment, however, reveals that NATO's intervention backfired: it increased the duration of Libya's civil war by about six times and its death toll by at least seven times, while also exacerbating human rights abuses, humanitarian suffering, Islamic radicalism, and weapons proliferation in Libya and its neighbors. If this is a "model intervention," then it is a model of failure.
FLAWED NARRATIVE
Continues http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/publication/23387/lessons_from_libya.html
PDF http://belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu/files/Kuperman%20policy%20brief%20published%20version%202.pdf

I wonder how many lives would not have been prematurely ended had the MSM told the truth.

Edited at 2015-10-05 10:33 pm (UTC)
clothcapclothcap on October 6th, 2015 07:37 am (UTC)
Re: "Lessons from Libya: How Not to Intervene"
Cameron on BBC radio today - Were we right to prevent a massacre? Yes we were.
Evil badtard.
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 10:42 pm (UTC)
Reminder: The Actually Moderate Syria Rebels Have Re-Joined Assad
RI Staff
Or are mulling doing so
Obama is alleging that Russians are pounding “moderate rebels” because they're hitting the likes of Bin Ladenite al-Nusra Front. In reality while there once were reasonably non-crazy rebels they've overwhelmingly since gone over to the crazies or have switched their allegiance back to the government.
Fact is Assad is far closer to any real moderates than the Bin Ladenite salafis – those who are still around can be expected to defect and ally with Assad if the tide of war changes and they can do so without getting their head chopped off by ISIS and fellow travelers. Here are a few reminders from earlier this year:
By Rare, April 2015
Moderate Syrian rebels are switching their allegiance—to Assad
“Moderate” Muslims in Syria, both those aligned with the secular Assad regime and rebel groups backed by Western governments, suffered terrible blows in the month of March.
With international attention shifting from Assad to ISIS, support for the moderate rebels is waning. As the Syrian civil war continues into its fourth year, hopes for a secular democracy in Syria seem all but extinguished.
The moderate rebels’ decline started when Harakat Hazzm, the first Syrian rebel group to receive heavy weapons support from the U.S., dissolved. After it suffered heavy casualties, many Harakat Hazzm fighters defected to extremist groups like al Nusra, al Qaeda’s franchise in Syria.
Then just days later, two more contingents of the Free Syrian Army abandoned the rebellion and joined with the government. The al Anfai and Liwaa Hateen Brigade both defected while fighting government forces in the suburbs of Damascus. The head of al Anfai left amongst rebel infighting, as have several thousand other rebels, hoping to gain amnesty from the Assad regime.
This is a blow to Western governments, which focused their energies on arming rebel groups in the south instead of the north. Many northern Syrian rebels have close ties to extremist organizations, and the defections show that the momentum for ousting Assad in the south is faltering as well.
More http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/reminder-actually-moderate-syria-rebels-have-re-joined-assad/ri10215
clothcapclothcap on October 5th, 2015 10:52 pm (UTC)
How America's "Think Tanks" Are Compromised & Bought Off By Foreign Governments
ZH by Tyler Durden on 10/05/2015
"The think tanks do not disclose the terms of the agreements they have reached with foreign governments. And they have not registered with the United States government as representatives of the donor countries, an omission that appears, in some cases, to be a violation of federal law, according to several legal specialists who examined the agreements at the request of The Times... As a result, policy makers who rely on think tanks are often unaware of the role of foreign governments in funding the research."
More http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-10-05/how-americas-think-tanks-are-compromised-bought-foreign-governments
Hello Chatham ppl.
Is it MI6 would be committing treason if it did a foreign country or entity's bidding or would it be sub contracting?
The European Commission is a foreign entity as is Bilderberg.