The (what about) China syndrome

Tom Suarez

Democracy makes us responsible for what is done in our name.

It’s probably a good sign that Israel’s apologists are increasingly resorting to a sideways defense: What’s with you and Israel? I don’t hear you complaining about China or Syria or North Korea. Implicit in this mantra is an admission that any coherent defense of Israel is in short supply—the only “defense” left is to question why this particular bully is targeted from among the various nefarious bullies on the block. It’s a desperate line that is wielded effectively only because of its insinuation of some dark motive, innuendos that the other bullies cannot exploit. I’ve been doused with it by people as diverse as security agents at Ben Gurion airport to the music critic Norman Lebrecht.

Its absurdity is self-evident. If injustice can be shielded on the grounds that there is other injustice, everyone is silenced. We would disparage those fighting China’s savagery in Tibet on the grounds that they are not active against Sudan’s repression of its lgbt citizens. Those who struggled against Indonesian/US atrocities in East Timor would have been mocked because they were not active in the fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa. At best, only criticism of the single worst injustice (according to whatever chosen criteria) could be permitted: all others simply need point downward.

Nothing Civil about Washington's War on Syria

Stephen Lendman

Insurgents are Washington proxies. Key NATO partners, rogue Arab League states, and Israel are very much involved. The same dirty game repeats. Independent states are targeted for regime change. All options are used. They include full-scale war, mass killing, and turning nations into charnel houses on the pretext of liberating them. American-style freedom is slavery. Mainstream discourse doesn't explain. It repeats long ago discredited notions about humanitarian intervention and responsibility to protect (R2P). Protracted violence and bloodshed hardly reflect it.

Washington-led Western generated violence ravages Syria. On Sunday, The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) declared ongoing conflict a civil war. It's not civil when mostly imported proxies are used. Most Syrians deplore violence and oppose internal and external groups committing it. According to ICRC, Syria is involved in a

"non-international armed conflict." Previous statements said violence occurred only in certain hotspots. "Hostilities have spread to other areas of the country," [said ICRC.] "International humanitarian law applies to all areas where hostilities are taking place."

War rages in Syria. The laws of war apply. ICRC's statement changes nothing. In times of war, international law and international humanitarian law apply. Gertrude Stein's most famous quote is relevant. "A rose is a rose is a rose," she said. She meant "things are what they are." A war crime is a war crime is a war crime. So are crimes against humanity.

Suicide crisis mounts for US soldiers and veterans

Jack Hood

Conditions facing active military service members and veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan amount to nothing less than a social crisis. According to a report obtained from the Pentagon by the Associated Press, more American armed forces active service members have killed themselves in the first six months of 2012 than in the first six months of any of the previous 11 years.

The devastating report reveals that a total of 154 soldiers killed themselves in the first 155 days of 2012. The number of deaths by suicide is 50 percent higher than combat deaths in Afghanistan during the same period and represents an 18 percent increase over active service member suicides in the first six months of 2011.

Since the war in Afghanistan began in 2001, there has been an average of one suicide every 36 hours in the US armed forces. In 2011, 19.5 percent of all active duty deaths were suicides—the second highest cause of death. From 2005 to 2009 alone, over 1,100 soldiers killed themselves.

These disturbing statistics expose the inhumane hypocrisy of the American ruling class and their political representatives who have fanned the flames of war in Afghanistan and Iraq. To the ruling elite, soldiers are nothing more than disposable tools that deserve no attention when they return in shambles from the battlefield.

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