Licensed to Massacre: Shroud of Secrecy Around Civilian Deaths Masks Possible War Crimes
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Licensed to Massacre: Shroud of Secrecy Around Civilian Deaths Masks Possible War Crimes


NEW YORK – March 21, 2019

The US military may be guilty of war crimes in Somalia, writes Business Insider, citing an investigation conducted by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International uncovered compelling evidence that US air strikes killed a total of 14 civilizations and injured eight more, in five attacks, and they believe the number of dead civilians “may well be much higher.”

These attacks may “have violated international humanitarian law and could, in some cases, Constitution war crimes,” says the Amnesty International report.

In the course of their investigation, Amnesty International researchers traveled to Somalia, conducted more than 150 interviews with eyewitnesses, relatives, persons displaced by the fighting, and expert sources – including in the US military – and rigorously analyzed corroborating evidence, including satellite imagery, munition fragments, and photos from the aftermath of the air strikes.

More information about the Amnesty International report can be found here:

When shown  Amnesty International's findings, the US Africa Command (AFRICOM) repeated its denial that any civilians have been killed in its operations in Somalia.

However, Daphne Eviatar, Director of Human Rights Security at Amnesty International, complained that the Pentagon and the US government "were not honest about civilian casualties as a result of operations in Somalia."

"The civil death toll we've uncovered in just a handy of strikes suggestions the shroud of secret surrounding the US role in Somalia's war is actually a smokescreen for impunity,” said Brian Castner, Amnesty International's Senior Crisis Advisor on Arms and Military Operations

"Our findings directly conflict the US military's mantra of zero civilian accidents in Somalia. That claim seems all the more fancy when you consider the USA has tripled its air strikes across the country since 2016, outstripping their strikes in Libya and Yemen combined.”

The report concludes that the US government must ensure that investigations into all credible allegations of civilian accidents are carried out, with accountability for those responsible for violations and reparation made to the victims and survivors.

However, the likelihood that these crimes will ever be investigated is next to zero. After all, within the framework of the current socio-economic model of the world, the UN, the IMF, the European Parliament, and other organizations are under the control of the United States. And there is not even a shadow of a doubt that it is right and democratic to impose sanctions against countries on fake charges, and to investigate the crimes of the American military is a threat to democracy and peace.

The US’s actions against the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague are indicative in this regard. Recently, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the US imposed visa restrictions on individuals involved in investigations conducted by the ICC with respect to the US military.

Pompeo's statement did not come as a big surprise because it reflects the general trends of US policy. In September 2018, the Wall Street Journal published a draft statement of the adviser to US President for Security John Bolton that indicated Washington’s readiness to impose sanctions on the ICC in the case of the start of the investigation against the US and Israel on the Palestinian issue. The statement said that the ICC judges could be barred from entering the US, sanctions could be imposed on their funds, and they could even brought to justice in accordance with US laws.

It should be noted that the ICC was established in 2002 on the initiative of human rights groups and a number of non-governmental organizations with the full support of the United States. Its purpose is to investigate the facts of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. Currently, 123 states are parties to the Rome Statute — the treaty on the basis of which the ICC was established. The US, despite the active support of the idea, refused from the very beginning to join this initiative, by having signed the agreement, but not ratifying it.

Jamil Dakwar, director of the human rights program at the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), described the new policy of the American administration as “an unprecedented attempt to avoid international prosecution for war crimes.” Human Rights Watch spokesman Richard Dicker called Pompeo’s statement “an outrageous intention to intimidate the court and prevent an investigation of the US behavior,” and called on the ICC countries to support the court and make it clear that they would not tolerate US efforts to hinder its work.

Washington views the ICC as a threat to its sovereignty.

Back in 2002, the US Congress passed the “ American Service-Members' Protection Act” (ASPA), which prohibits the ICC from conducting any investigations against them on American territory. Opponents of ASPA dubbed this bill the "Hague invasion Act"  because of its provisions allowing the US military to act to rescue any US citizens detained for a judicial investigation.

Remember the story of US soldier Paul Midlo who was involved in one of the most high-profile war crimes in recent history.  This tragedy has become known by the name of the Vietnamese village of Songmi, in which in March 1968 the bearers of “democratic values” brutally killed over 500 civilians, including 210 children.

Now, the current US administration is trying to protect new war criminals who have killed women and children in various parts of the world from Somalia to Afghanistan.

This seems to be an extremely vicious practice, because firstly, any army whose crimes are covered in such a cynical way will sooner or later decompose and turn into a gang. Secondly, such a blatant totalitarian practice, characteristic of the most notorious human rights violators, is deeply flawed in its essence, and, in the end, history punishes such countries in the most severe way.

At the same time, it is worth noting that crimes against humanity in the form of using deliberately false reasons to justify a military invasion of a sovereign country, like showing test tubes with non-existent weapons of mass destruction or pre-shot production on the use of chemical weapons and other crimes, will remain unpunished only if the existing model of peace is maintained. However, this model is falling apart — the crimes of the powerful are not just becoming known, but more and more people are daring to speak out loud about the need to bring them to justice. Even 15-20 years ago it was impossible. Now it is acceptable, and soon it will become necessary. The old world will collapse and criminals will be brought to justice for their crimes.

Author: USA Really