War on the Environment
U.S. Arab Disconnect
Edward S. Herman
Billionaire Phillip Anschutz
GAY & LESBIAN COMMUNITY NOTES
The San Jose Project
Labor Must Play Its Wild Card
Obama's Jobs Proposal
Court Allows U.S. Citizens to Sue Rumsfeld
The Filthy RIch
"Soft Power" in the Middle East
The World of Drones
NOTE: Z Magazine subscribers and sustainers have access to all Z Magazine articles here and in the archive. The latest Z Magazine articles available to everyone are listed in the Free Articles box at the top of the table of contents, and are starred in the list below. Questions? e-mail Z Magazine Online.
Assassination is as American as apple pie. The record-breaking case of assassination-targeting is Fidel Castro. The 1976 Church Committee report on “Alleged Assassination Plots on Foreign Leaders” listed “at least” seven attempts to kill Castro, but the book by Fabian Escalante, the Cuban former official in charge of protecting Castro, claimed that the number of tries ran into the hundreds. Duncan Campbell pointed out that Luis Posada Carriles was still living in Florida after his failed effort to murder Castro (among his other terrorist actions) and Campbell noted sardonically that Florida is “a place where many of the unsuccessful would-be assassins have made their home” (see “638 tries to kill Castro,” Guardian, August 3, 2006). It would be a mistake, however, to think that
It is, of course, well established that the
On the other hand, when
Even more interesting was the invasion of
Assassination rights follow in the same manner, flowing from military and economic power, arrogance, self-righteousness, and client status. As of early September 2011, it is not clear whether Moammar Kadaffi is dead or alive—or, if alive, will long survive—but it has been openly acknowledged that the United States and its NATO allies have more than once bombed Kadaffi’s compound in Tripoli in an effort to kill him, the first incident occurring as early as March 20, the second day of the war. This is by no means the first time that the West has tried to assassinate Kadaffi. The British and French both tried and the
Assassination of civilians violates numerous international prohibitions of such killing beyond military “necessity” and it violates a stream of U.S. executive orders that declare, for example, that, “No person employed by or acting on behalf of the United States Government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, assassination.” This is regularly ignored by
The rationales for ignoring law and executive orders can be funny. We can go after Kadaffi because he is “commander-in-chief” of the Libyan armed forces, hence a military target. One exposition of assassination law notes that “it seems fairly obvious that eliminating Qadaffi will go far toward bringing attacks on civilians to an end” (“Assassination under International & Domestic Law,” on the IntLawGrrls website, May 2, 2011). This might be especially true if his elimination would have ended NATO attacks on Libyan civilians, which, along with those of the NATO-supported insurgents, seem to have far exceeded those of Kadaffi and his forces.
Bringing a war to a quicker end has long been a rationalization for attacking civilians. During the bombing war against Yugoslavia in 1999, the stepped up attacks on Serbian civilian structures and civilian occupants was explicitly designed to force a quicker surrender and the bombing of the Belgrade state broadcasting station (16 killed) was explained on grounds that the station served up state propaganda and was, therefore, a quasi-military target whose destruction would hasten an end to the war. Then, of course,
Israel’s Assassination Rights
Or for our pitiful little client in the
In 2006, the Israeli assassination program received the imprimatur of the Israeli Supreme Court, which found that the assassinations of “terrorists,” who had not been tried in any court of law, were legal. “We cannot determine in advance that all targeted killings are contrary to international law,” the court ruled. “At the same time, it is not possible that all such liquidations are in line with international law.” But the Court did make it illegal to carry out an assassination attack where more than one victim was unidentified and was possibly an innocent (“Israeli court backs targeted killings,” BBC News, December 14, 2006). Of course, the non-innocence of the properly liquidated targets had not been determined in a court of law, but this extra-judicial decision-making, which flies in the face of international law, was acceptable to the court.
The court also required that, if feasible, the terrorists should be arrested rather than simply assassinated. If the target resisted arrest, killing them would be acceptable and assassinating them where an arrest was not practicle was also acceptable.
This was a de facto “license to kill,” that would only put the killing establishment to some minor pains to keep the record clean and lawful. “Targeted Assassinations—a License to kill” was, in fact, the title of an article published in Haaretz on November 27, 2008 by Uri Blau, using some IDF internal documents that described how the Israeli Supreme Court’s assassination-approving decision would only slightly inconvenience the IDF’s assassination program. Blau shows that the Israeli military regularly carried out assassination operations, planned in advance as targeted killings, under the guise of planned arrests.
Blau cites evidence that top Israeli officers approved in advance the killing of Palestinians defined as “wanted.” This has been a scandal in
With its greater capacity to kill on a global scale, the
Based on press reports dating back to June 17, 2004, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (UK) estimated that by the end of August 2011, between 2,309 and 2,880 persons had been killed in the
The press reports which form the basis of this research tend to repeat the
A photographic exhibit in
A lawsuit filed in
During the same speech, Brennan previewed the
Brennan was lying about the sure-sightedness of this method of kill. Six weeks later the New York Times helped him get-off-the-hook when he “adjusted the wording of his earlier comment on civilian casualties,” no longer saying that “there hasn’t been a single collateral death” in the past year, but that “American officials could not confirm any such deaths.” In an amazing gloss on the argument,
Given the monumental scale of the violence and of the death and destruction caused by U.S. military attacks against multiple countries around the world (formally or informally; in uniform or by hired-hands), the reported deaths in Pakistan to date are relatively small when compared to the deaths of one to two million Iraqis caused by the United States and its allies from August 1990 to the present. But perhaps the most important point to note is the institutionalization, growth, and normalization of the work of the
These, along with the Pentagon, have made the entire globe a free-fire- zone in which people are assassinated without trial at
But that seeming paradox rested on the belief that it was the Soviets who needed to be contained, rather than the
Edward S. Herman is an economist, media critic, and author of numerous articles and books. His latest is The Politics of Genocide (with David Peterson).
Z Magazine Archive
HUMAN RIGHTS - The U.S. Human Rights Network will celebrate its 10th anniversary with the Advancing Human Rights 2013 Conference, December 6-8, in Atlanta, GA.
Contact: 250 Georgia Avenue SE, Suite 330, Atlanta, GA 30312; email@example.com; http:// www.ushrnetwork.org/.
AFRICAN/SOCIALIST - The Sixth Congress of the African People’s Socialist Party USA will be held December 7-11, in St. Petersburg, FL.
Contact: 1245 18th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33705; 727- 821-6620; info@aps puhuru.org; http://asiuhuru.org/.
SCHOOLS - The Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC) will host a workshop on the DSC “Model Code on Education and Dignity: Presenting A Human Rights Framework for Schools” at the Mid-Hudson Region NY State Leadership Summit on School Justice Partnerships, December 11 in White Plains, NY.
Contact: http://www.dignityin schools.org/.
ANARCHIST/BOOKFAIR - The Humboldt Anarchist Book Fair will be held December 14, in Eureka, CA.
Contact: humboldtgrassroots @riseup.net; http://humbold tanarchist bookfair.wordpress. com/.
CLIMATE - The World Symposium on Sustainable Development at Universities is hosting a follow-up event to the 2012 Rio de Janeiro symposium. The gathering will be held in Qatar on January 28-30, 2014.
Contact: http://environment.tufts. edu/.
LABOR - The United Association for Labor Education (UALE) will host Organizing for Power: A New Labor Movement for the New Working Class in Los Angeles, March 26-29. Proposals are due December 15.
Contact: LAWCHA, 226 Carr Building (East Campus), Box 90719, Duke University, Durham, NC 27708-0719;lawcha @duke. edu; http://lawcha.org/.
MEDIA FELLOWSHIP - The Media Mobilizing Project is seeking applicants for the first annual Movement Media Fellowship Program. The Fellow will work with MMP to produce the spring season of Media Mobilizing Project TV. MMPTV is a news and talk show that tells the stories of local communities organizing to win human rights and build a movement to end poverty.
Contact: 4233 Chestnut St., Philadelphia, PA 19104; 215-821- 9632; milena@media mobilizing.org; http://www.media mobilizing.org/.
RACE - The 7th Facing Race: A National Conference will be held in Dallas, TX November 13-15, 2014. Organizers, educators, artists, funders and everyone interested in racial equity is invited to exchange best practices and learn about innovative models and successful organizing initiatives. Proposals must be submitted by January 24, 2014.
Contact: Race Forward, 32 Broadway, Suite 1801, New York, NY 10004; 212-513-7925; media @raceforward.org; http://race forward.org/.
VETERANS - They Were Soldiers: How the Wounded Return from America’s Wars - The Untold Story, by Ann Jones, is about the journey of veterans from the moment of being wounded in rural Afghanistan to their return home.
Contact: Haymarket Books, PO Box 180165, Chicago, IL 60618; 773-583-7884; http://www.haymarketbooks.org/.
LIBYA - Destroying Libya and World Order: The Three-Decade U.S. Campaign to Terminate the Qaddafi Revolution, by Francis A. Boyle, is a history and critique of American foreign policy from Reagan to Obama.
Contact: Clarity Press, Inc., Ste. 469, 3277 Roswell Rd. NE, Atlanta, GE 30305; 404-647-6501; firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www. claritypress.com/.
CHILDREN - Fannie and Freddie by Becky Z. Dernbach is about two bumbling villains who gamble away the savings of the people of Homeville.
Contact: fannieandfreddiebook @gmail.com; http://fannieand freddie.org/.
PROTEST/COMIC - Fight the Power!: A Visual History of Protest Among English Speaking Peoples, by Sean Michael Wilson and Benjamin Dickson is a graphic narrative that explains how people have fought against oppression.
Contact: Seven Stories Press, 140 Watts Street, New York, NY 10013; 212-226-8760; info@ sevenstories.com; http://www. sevenstories.com.
CHILDREN - Brave Girl by Michelle Markel and illustrated by Melissa Sweet is the true story of Clara Lemlich, a young Ukrainian immigrant who led the largest strike of women workers in U.S. history.
Contact: http://www.harpercollins childrens.com/Kids/.
FESTIVAL - The 2014 Queer Women of Color Film Festival will be held June 13-15 in San Francisco. The festival is currently accepting submissions until December 31.
Contact: QWOCMAP, 59 Cook Street, San Francisco, CA 94118-3310; 415-752-0868; email@example.com; http://www.qwocmap.org/.
IRAQ/REFUGEES - Ten years after the U.S.-led war in Iraq, thousands of displaced Iraqi refugees are still facing a crisis in the United States. The Lost Dream follows Nazar and Salam who had to flee Iraq in order to avoid threats by Al- Qaeda-affiliated groups and Iraqi insurgents that consider them “traitors” for supporting U.S. forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Contact: Typecast Films, 888- 591-3456; info@type castfilms. com; http://type castfilms.com/.
HUMAN RIGHTS - Lyrical Revolt! III will be held December 4 in Syracuse, NY. The event will feature hip-hop musician Anhel whose album Young, Gifted, and Brown was just released. The event is sponsored by ANSWER Syracuse, Liberation News, and SyracuseHip Hop.com. Performers and artists are encouraged to send submissions.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; http://www.answercoalition.org/syracuse/.
FOLK - Musician Painless Parker has released his album Music for miscreants, malcontents and misanthropes featuring “Fuck Yeah, the Working Class.”
Contact: email@example.com; http://painlessparkermusic.com/.
COMEDY - Political comedian Lee Camp’s new album Pepper Spray the Tears Away has been released.