Browsing: War and Terror

‘The government has caved in to increasing demands and will no longer train the armed forces of Myanmar (Burma), in response to the “ethnic cleansing” of the Muslim Rohingya minority group.

Prime Minister Theresa May said the Ministry of Defense (MoD) will “stop all defence engagement and training of the Burmese military” until it ends its security crackdown on the community.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) spokesman Andrew Smith told RT last week that Britain must stop “legitimizing human rights abusers” and halt its training of Myanmar’s soldiers.

The decision comes after UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein called the military offensive against the Rohingyas a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, May told Sky News: “We are very concerned about what’s happening to the Rohingya people in Burma. The military action against them must stop.’

Read more: UK buckles under pressure to stop training Myanmar troops amid Rohingya ‘ethnic cleansing’

‘Terrorism is being used as a “pretext” by governments and intelligence services to indiscriminately collect people’s personal data without making citizens any safer, according to award-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald.

As home secretary, Theresa May was a strong advocate of bulk data collection. She memorably said at the time: “We have to have a haystack to be able to find the needle that we need to keep the public safe.”

Now that she is Prime Minister, May has implemented the Investigatory Powers Act, dubbed the ‘snooper’s charter’ by its critics, which forces internet companies to retain people’s personal information for up to 12 months.

The Act also protects the ability of Britain’s domestic intelligence agencies, GCHQ and MI5, to bulk-collect communications data and hack into electronic devices.

However, speaking at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London on Tuesday evening, Greenwald said mass surveillance is actually counter-productive in efforts to pin down terrorists.’

Read more: Greenwald: Terrorism used as ‘pretext’ for mass data collection

‘For ten years during the Vietnam War, the United States used a toxic concoction of two herbicides, labeled ‘Agent Orange,’ to wipe out large areas of Vietnam which were covered by thick jungle. The aim was to enable easier and more effective bombing of enemy bases. The issue was, Agent Orange wasn’t just an herbicide — it was also a deadly weapon, as it contains large amounts of dioxin.

Agent Orange was discovered in the year 1943 by American botanist Arthur Galston. Between the years of 1962 and 1971, the US army “showered” the deadly chemical over Southern Vietnam as part of the military operation “Ranch Hand”, or “Trail Dust.” In total, more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange was used. Sadly, Agent Orange did more than contribute to the deforestation of vast areas of land. It also contaminated air, water, and food sources.

History Rundown reports that in high concentrations, dioxin can trigger severe inflammation of the skin, lungs and mucous tissues. Sometimes, the toxicity can result in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, pulmonary edema, and even death. The highly effective carcinogen is also known to affect the eyes, liver, and kidneys, and to cause laryngeal and lung cancer.’

Read more: Agent Orange: 24 Chilling Photos Of The War Crime The US Got Away With

‘The United Nations (UN) has launched a new initiative to break a political stalemate and help bring about peace and stability in Libya.

Ghassan Salame, the newly-appointed Libyan envoy to the UN, proposed the “Action Plan for Libya” in a meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Wednesday.

The measure reportedly aims to amend a current political agreement in the North African country and prepare the ground for a constitutional referendum and possibly general elections afterwards.

“Libyans want a process that they themselves own and lead,” Salame said, adding that the Libyan Political Agreement (LPA) “remains the only framework to end the Libyan crisis. The LPA is necessary but in its current state is not adequate. The first stage of the process is to amend the agreement.”

Salame said Libyans deserved “an end to uncertainty and unpredictability,” noting that the proposed plan was “in essence, a synthesis of their hopes and goals.”’

Read more: UN unveils new peace plan for Libya

‘Donald Trump says that Iran is a “murderous regime” and that the nuclear deal negotiated by his predecessor with the country is an “embarrassment”.

Mr Trump gave the harsh assessment of the Persian nation during his first address to the United Nations General Assembly as President.

“The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the US has ever entered into,” Mr Trump said. “Frankly, that deal is an embarrassment to the United States, and I don’t think you’ve heard the last of it. Believe me.”

The President characterised Iran as a violent and oppressive regime, and called on the country to release US and other foreign citizens currently held in prisons there.

“It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction,” Mr Trump said. “It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.”‘

Read more: Donald Trump calls Iran a ‘murderous regime’ in surprisingly hostile UN speech

‘US President Donald Trump urged nations to “embrace their sovereignty” in his first address at the UN General Assembly in New York, but promised that the US would challenge North Korea, Iran, Cuba and Venezuela for behaving in ways the US disapproves of.

“The United States will forever be a great friend to the world and especially to its allies. But we can no longer be taken advantage of or enter into a one-sided deal where the United States gets nothing in return. As long as I hold this office, I will defend America’s interests above all else.”

“In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather, to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch… In America, the people govern, the people rule, and the people are sovereign. I was elected not to take power, but to give power to the American people where it belongs. In foreign affairs, we are renewing this founding principle of sovereignty.”‘

Read more: ‘US doesn’t seek to impose its way of life on anyone’: Eight key quotes from Trump’s UN speech

‘A US carrier group led by the USS Ronald Reagan will join US-South Korean naval drills that will take place near the Korean Peninsula in October, Japanese media report, citing the South Korean Defense Ministry.

On Monday, the ministry revealed its plans in a report it submitted to the National Assembly, Japan’s Asahi Shimbun reports. According to the report, Seoul asked Washington to send the USS Ronald Reagan from the US Navy’s 7th Fleet, based in the Japanese town of Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, to join the exercises scheduled for October.

The ministry also planned to conduct joint missile defense exercise together with the US and Japan later in September or in October. The drills are expected to be another demonstration of force by the US and its allies as tensions around the peninsula continue to rise following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test on September 3.

Following the test, Seoul held massive live-fire naval drills in the Sea of Japan on September 5 and then conducted a separate joint anti-submarine drill with the US just days later.’

Read more: US aircraft carrier group to be dispatched to Korean Peninsula amid rising tensions

‘The editors at the Wall Street Journal have settled on a plan for ending the crisis in North Korea. Starve them to death.

I’m not kidding. In an article titled “Options for Removing Kim Jong In” the WSJ’s editorial board suggests that the US use “all of its tools to topple the North Korean regime” including, of course, vital food imports which keep women and children from facing an agonizing death by starvation.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“The North is especially vulnerable to pressure this year because a severe drought from April to June reduced the early grain harvest by 30%. If the main harvest is also affected, Pyongyang may need to import more food while sanctions restrict its ability to earn foreign currency….

While the regime survived a severe famine in the 1990s, today the political consequences of a failed harvest would be severe. …. The army was once the most desirable career path; now soldiers are underpaid and underfed. North Koreans will not simply accept starvation as they did two decades ago.

Withholding food aid to bring down a government would normally be unethical, but North Korea is an exceptional case. Past aid proved to be a mistake as it perpetuated one of the most evil regimes in history. The U.N. says some 40% of the population is undernourished, even as the Kims continue to spend huge sums on weapons. Ending the North Korean state as quickly as possible is the most humane course.”’

Read more: Starve Them to Death: Wall Street Journal’s Solution to North Korea

‘Saudi Arabia and Britain signed a framework deal for military cooperation, Saudi state media said on Tuesday, just two days after Gulf rival Qatar signed a deal to buy jet fighters from the European nation.

The agreement came after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman discussed security ties with visiting British Defence Secretary Michael Fallon in the Red Sea port city of Jeddah, the Saudi Press Agency said without disclosing details of the agreement.

“During the meeting, they reviewed bilateral relations particularly the mechanism… joint coordination in the field of defense. They also discussed… efforts to combat terrorism,” SPA said.

The agreement comes as Britain seeks to explore lucrative trade deals outside Europe, including energy-rich Gulf monarchies, after voting to leave the European Union.’

Read more: Britain and Saudi Arabia sign military cooperation deal

‘At least nine civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out an airstrike against a residential area in Yemen as the Saudi regime presses ahead with an atrocious military campaign against its crisis-hit southern neighbor.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said four women and five children lost their lives on Tuesday, when Saudi fighter jets bombarded a residential building in the Kushar district of the northwestern province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers northwest of the capital Sana’a, Arabic-language al-Arabi news website reported.

The sources identified the victims as members of the same family.’

Read more: Nine civilians dead as Saudi warplanes bomb North-West Yemen

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