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LieparDestin

The US supports illegal annexations by Israel and Morocco. Why the hypocrisy?

L
ast December, as Russian forces encircled Ukraine, the Biden administration and its allies delivered a stark warning to Vladimir Putin: “Any use of force to change borders is strictly prohibited under international law.” In January, as Russian troops massed even in even greater numbers, Secretary of State Antony Blinken added that “the inviolability of frontiers” was among the “guiding principles for international behavior.” Last month, after Russia’s parliament recognized the independence of two self-declared republics Moscow had cleaved from eastern Ukraine, Blinken called this infringement upon “Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity” a “gross violation of international law.”

All this is indisputably true. Remaking borders by force violates a core principle of international law. Which is why the Biden administration must do more than resist Russia’s aggression in Ukraine. It must stop violating that principle itself.

In 2019, the Trump administration made the United States the only foreign country to recognize Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 War. Tel Aviv University Law Professor Eliav Lieblich noted that the decision – which contradicted a unanimous United Nations Security Council resolution supported by the US itself – constituted a “significant departure from the bedrock legal prohibition of unilateral annexation.” Yale Law School’s Oona Hathaway called the move “outrageous and potentially destabilizing to the postwar international order.” The Russian government called it an “indication of the contempt that Washington shows for the norms of international law.”

After Trump’s move, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to explain the legal difference between Israel’s annexation of the Golan and Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, which had led the US to impose sanctions. Pompeo replied that “there’s international law doctrine on this very point. We don’t have time to begin to go through it today. But [I’m] happy to have a team go over and walk you through that.” When journalists followed up, the State Department cited no international law doctrine at all. To the contrary, a department spokeswoman declared, nonsensically, that “The US policy continues to be that no country can change the borders of another by force

Then, in 2020, the Trump administration followed up by making the United States the only foreign country to recognize Morocco’s annexation of Western Sahara, a territory Morocco invaded in 1975 after the territory’s Spanish colonial rulers withdrew. Former Secretary of State James Baker III called the decision an “astounding retreat from the principles of international law.” Once again, the United States contradicted Security Council resolutions it had supported itself. Once again, Russia blasted the US for transgressing a “universally recognized international legal” principle.

Since taking office, the Biden administration has reversed neither of these Trump decisions. To the contrary, the US continues to provide Israel almost $4 billion in military aid per year absent any human rights conditions even as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International allege that it is practicing apartheid. The Biden administration has also boosted arms sales to Morocco even though the US-based democracy watchdog Freedom House reports that people in Western Sahara enjoy fewer freedoms than people in China or Iran.

Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine gives the Biden administration a chance to reconsider this dangerous path. It can harness the current global revulsion against Putin’s aggression to rebuild the principle that no country should redraw another’s borders by force. But only if it reverses Trump’s decisions and proves that the US is willing to live by the standards it demands of Moscow. Politically, that won’t be easy since Israel, which enjoys strong support in Washington, benefitted from both of Trump’s decisions—his decision on the Golan Heights and his decision on Western Sahara, which helped convince Morocco to normalize diplomatic relations with the Jewish state. But international norms only remain strong if countries abide by them when they’re inconvenient. And if the US chooses continued hypocrisy, it will make Ukraine, Taiwan and every other weaker nation bordered by a rapacious neighbor more vulnerable.

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

Any idea when our major businesses are going to mobilize against Israel’s crimes against humanity?

polarbear4
polarbear4

❤️

Torabs
Torabs

That’s a good one!

LieparDestin

I wonder how much thought goes into where all the weapons flooding into ukraine will ultimately end up.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/11/putin-approves-russian-use-of-middle-east-fighters-against-ukraine

Vladimir Putin has given the green light for up to 16,000 volunteers from the Middle East to be deployed alongside Russian-backed rebels fighting in Ukraine, doubling down on an invasion that the west says has been losing momentum.

The move, just over two weeks after Putin ordered the invasion, allows Russia to deploy battle-hardened mercenaries from conflicts such as Syria without risking additional Russian military casualties.

At a meeting of Russia’s security council, the defence minister, Sergei Shoigu, said there were 16,000 volunteers in the Middle East who were ready to fight alongside Russian-backed forces in the breakaway Donbas region of eastern Ukraine.

Putin said: “If you see that there are these people who want of their own accord, not for money, to come to help the people living in Donbas, then we need to give them what they want and help them get to the conflict zone.”

Shoigu also proposed that western-made Javelin and Stinger missiles that were captured by the Russian army in Ukraine should be handed over to Donbas forces, along with other weaponry such as portable air-defence systems and anti-tank rocket complexes.

“As to the delivery of arms, especially western-made ones which have fallen into the hands of the Russian army, of course I support the possibility of giving these to the military units of the Luhansk and Donetsk people’s republics,” Putin said.

“Please do this,” he told Shoigu. The exchange was shown on Russian state television.

Shoigu said western arms were flowing into Ukraine in an “absolutely uncontrolled” way and that the Russian military planned to strengthen its western border after what he said was a buildup of western military units there.

“The general staff is working on, and has almost finished, a plan to strengthen our western borders, including, naturally, with new modern complexes,” Shoigu said.

Torabs
Torabs

Less than zero. Based on past experience, they know the weapons will end up in the hands of the worst people (likely the neo-Nazis they’ve abetted). They just don’t care.

polarbear4
polarbear4

polarbear4
polarbear4

TY Benny!

839A1079-2809-4CD4-900A-EA151F6431E9.jpeg
LieparDestin

Canadian pipeline groups spend big to pose as Indigenous champions

Oil and gas companies and lobby groups in Canada are heavily investing in campaigns to present themselves as defenders of Indigenous interests in the face of high-profile protests against a controversial natural gas pipeline on First Nation land, a new investigation by Eco-Bot.Net and the Guardian has found.

“I’m being a steward to my land and I’m being a defender,” read one of 21 ads targeting British Columbia in November 2021, quoting a Coastal GasLink worker from Nak’azdli Whut’en’ First Nation.

As the ad conveying Indigenous support for the pipeline appeared on the Facebook and Instagram feeds of people in the Canadian province, 30 Wet’suwet’en Nation members and supporters were being violently evicted from their territory along the pipeline. Police breached two cabins with an axe, chainsaw, dog unit and snipers aimed at the door.

“The thing I remember most is the dogs … barking and whining, pulling their leashes trying to get at you,” recounts Sleydo’ Molly Wickham, a member of the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en, who was arrested. A recording the police put out over their radios also left a strong imprint on her memory. “They were playing a horror film audio. You know, where the little child sings, ‘I know where you are, I’m gonna get you, I’m coming for you.’”

The fossil fuel groups spent some C$122,000 (US$95,249) on more than 400 targeted Facebook and Instagram ads over the past two years relating to various oil and gas projects throughout the country. The ads spiked last November during Indigenous land defense actions on the Coastal GasLink pipeline in British Columbia and solidarity protests across Canada. The vast majority of the ads, which were shown some 21m times in total, were linked to the Coastal GasLink pipeline, the site of intense protest and violent police crackdown in recent years.

..

Analysis of Facebook advertisements from January 2020 to the present by Eco-Bot.Net, a research project exposing climate crisis misinformation and corporate greenwashing online, has found a steady flow of “Indigenous-washing” ad campaigns from TC Energy, the company behind the pipeline, and associated oil and gas lobby groups. TC Energy accounts for almost three-quarters of the ad spend and impressions investigated. As recently as mid-February, the company ran two such ads – both of which were removed by Facebook for running without a disclaimer that includes information on who paid for the advert

..

About half of these ads were targeted at British Columbia, with some ads reaching viewers from within a small “estimated audience size”, indicating that ads used Meta’s interest-based micro-targeting tools. It is not possible to determine the precise audiences targeted, but one Indigenous activist interviewed reported being regularly bombarded with the ads

Working with Meta’s Ad Library, the investigation used keyword searches such as “Indigenous” or “First Nations” in conjunction with “pipeline” or “oil”, to identify Indigenous-washing actors in Canada. Journalists and disinformation researchers, including the two authors of this article, then analyzed all of the ads run by the accounts of these groups in 2020 and 2021.

Using terminology such as land “defender”, “eco-colonialism” and “reconciliation”, the ads employ buzzwords and phrases used in Indigenous rights discourse to portray the oil and gas companies as aligned with Indigenous groups.

“The very fact that they’re pushing [these ads] is like a drowning man getting caught in a swift river. A piece of straw goes by and he wants to grab it, hoping it’ll save him,” said the Wet’suwet’en hereditary chief Na’Moks, who opposes the pipeline.

polarbear4
polarbear4

Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death
Aint Supposed to Die A Natural Death

“Cuomo-W. Trump-L.”??? i went to the article. Still don’t get it.

polarbear4
polarbear4

I am unsure about those particular words, perhaps meaning Cuomo win and Trump lose?

I think the important thing is that Zuckerberg influenced the news and that one of the cnn people may have had a relationship.

orlbucfan

This CNN creep Zucker was having an affair with a woman who was a publicist for Andrew Cuomo. Zucker worked at NBC where he got to be good buds with tRump. When he went to CNN, he continued to push tRump. So, what that message means is a sound bite with Cuomo blew tRump’s sound bite away. Talk about scumbags. We’re talking 4 of them here. 💩

polarbear4
polarbear4

Other sources say that Russia gave them plenty of time to evacuate and the number dead that I have seen ranges from 0 to 3. I am skeptical of any videos from either side.

But the point here is she does look like she’s on drugs.

orlbucfan

She’s a damned corrupt flake, and the next female POTUS? Where’s my sh1t bag?

wi64

yep 🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

wi64

“Really can’t get worse than Joe Biden”. Counterpoint- We suffered thru Cult-45, Byedone is a marginal step up at best. Harris i don’t want to think about it 🙁

jcitybone

polarbear4
polarbear4

I didn’t know they liked to swim so much.

orlbucfan

🙂

jcitybone

https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-putin-news-03-11-22/index.html

Rosemary DiCarlo, UN undersecretary-general for political affairs, briefed the Security Council Friday and delivered a jarring report of civilian casualties while also citing credible reports of Russian forces using “cluster munitions” in “indiscriminate attacks.”

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has marked 1,546 civilian casualties, including 564 killed 982 injured, though they estimate the number is higher, DiCarlo said.

“OHCHR has received credible reports of Russian forces using cluster munitions, including in populated areas. Indiscriminate attacks, including those using cluster munitions, which are of a nature to strike military objectives and civilians or civilian objects without distinction, are prohibited under international humanitarian law,” she said.

WHO has verified 26 attacks on health facilities, causing 12 deaths and 34 injuries, she added, saying, “we condemn such attacks without reservation.”

“We cannot emphasize it enough: The targeting of civilians, of residential buildings, hospitals, schools, kindergartens, is inexcusable and intolerable … we are scaling up humanitarian aid in areas where security permits,” said DiCarlo.

Safe passage “must continue,” she said, noting that more than 51,000 people have reportedly passed through five of the six agreed-upon passages.

“Civilians should be duly and timely informed of the possibility to leave the concerned areas and on a voluntary basis and in the direction they choose,” she said.

The number of refugees from Ukraine has reached 2.5 million people and is increasing by the day, she said.

jcitybone

Mariupol is a horror story

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2022/mar/11/ukraine-russia-war-mariupol-evacuation

Ukrainian authorities are making a renewed effort to deliver urgent supplies to and evacuate people from the besieged city of Mariupol, where conditions are desperate and the population is struggling with no power, heat, little or no food and water.

After 10 days under siege, Ukraine’s deputy prime minister, Iryna Vereshchuk, said in a video message on Friday that authorities were trying once again to send vital supplies to the port city and evacuate people to Zaporizhzhia in the country’s interior.

Repeated attempts have failed, as aid and rescue convoys and fleeing families, have been targeted by Russian shelling.

“They have a clear order to hold Mariupol hostage, to mock it, to constantly bomb and shell it,” the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, said on Thursday in his nightly address to the nation. The Russians, he said, began a tank attack right where there was supposed to be a humanitarian corridor.

The few people who have escaped have reported corpses being left in the street, while other victims are buried in mass graves. The regional military administration estimates that 1,207 people have been killed, with many more likely under the debris.

Yulia, who fled Mariupol on 3 March, told Agence France-Presse that her mother-in-law had not been able to leave and could call only by making a “really dangerous” journey to a tower far from her home.

“She said she was OK but the attacks don’t stop,” the 29-year-old teacher told the news agency. “There are many corpses on the street and nobody buries them. They lie there for days. Sometimes utility services collect them and bury them all together in one huge grave.”

She also described her harrowing journey to escape the city, when she and her husband had to face checkpoints staffed by Russian troops, and thought they would die.

“On the road, we saw burnt-out civilian cars, some were overturned on the side of the road. We understood that Russians had shot them,” she said. “Two kilometres from Mariupol, we saw Russians, their military equipment marked with the letter ‘Z’. We thought that was our end, that they would kill us.”

On Thursday firefighters tried to free a boy trapped in the rubble. One grasped his hand. His eyes blinked, but he was otherwise still. It was not clear if he survived. Nearby, at a mangled truck, a woman wrapped in a blue blanket shuddered at the sound of an explosion.

polarbear4
polarbear4

orlbucfan

T and R x 3, Ms. Benny!! 🙂 Figured the Nest could use some tunes to get away from all the neoliberal/neocon BS!

jcitybone

polarbear4
polarbear4

and still the admin tacitly supports him.

Torabs
Torabs

As does the Dem leadership in the Senate.

jcitybone