Posts Tagged ‘USA’

First published on 30/3/2015 in the series ‘news-tableaus’ on my Flickr site (now unreachable because of censorship, all m7 700 so and so images & texts marked as ‘adult content ‘by Yahoo the owner of Flickr, my protest against it have never been answered; there is no pornographic nudity whatsoever in any of my news-tableau pictures, which had a wide readership almost 3 million hits in a few years) Republished on this blog on 5/§1/10§7; Creative Commons: name the author Tjebbe van Tijen/Imaginary Museum projects and give a direct link to this address.

USA to Saudi Arabia Your turn to bomb the world_16769282077_o

“YOUR TURN” says USA Secretary of State John Kerry to Saudi’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Saud bin Faisal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud during a meeting in Riyadh on March the 8th and Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud (1980-) has his playground as the youngest Minister of Defense in the World to test his toys, like the Eurofighter Typhoon, with good results as can be seen also in this tableau picture, the top photograph published on March the 26th with this caption:

People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes Thursday near Sanaa Airport in Yemen. (Hani Mohammed/AP).

What has been hit here? The Newspaper header (The Columbian -on-line edition) says it: “Saudi Arabia, allies target Shiite rebels.” Because if the USA or Saudi Arabia is bombing there will be little change in reporting on the effects. An ‘enemy’ will be named and hit, collateral damage and victims will be just ‘unwanted exceptions’ that prove the rule of ‘pin-pointing’ precisely ‘military targets’ only. In other words: when you are hit you must be in the military class of ‘enemies’ because you are hit. (1)

Somehow all this far away rubble on the ground will produce ‘more safety’ elsewhere, if you like to believe so. (2)

Nobody seems to put the same amount of effort as goes into the bombing into a diplomatic and political solution. (4)

(1) We should be well aware of the realities of high tech warfare and the myth making of it being a kind of ‘humanitarian weapon’ affair, thanks to the newest equipment, good training and human rights being part of military planning. I cite here one of the many academic studies that prove the contrary:

Hostilities involving use of artilleries, mortars, air-delivery general purpose bombs, rockets and multiple launch rocket systems, among other explosive weapons, have taken a terrible toll on civilians, causing deaths, injury, disability and trauma. As the use of explosives in armed conflicts stands unacceptable according to the International Committee of the Red Cross, their deployment in the asymmetric warfare is becoming commonvii The hostilities recorded in Syria, Gaza Strip, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Ukraineviii, military occupation of territories in the Middle East, in Israel, Yemen, and others, the use of explosives targeting civilian objects has caused violations of the International Humanitarian Law. The protection of the civilians and the civilian objects has been increasingly defied. Civilians are the main victims in the proliferation of the Non-International Armed Conflicts. They are killed, maimed, traumatized, disabled and their objects are destroyed. This is in contravention of the Fourth Geneva Convention, rules and practice of the International Humanitarian Law, and the customary international humanitarian law on rules and practice.

[Peter Onyango Onyoyo “Explosive violence in densely populated areas menace to humanity”; School of Law, University Of Nairobi; (2015); p.23 (PDF version); www.academia.edu/11106468/USE_OF_EXPLOSIVES_IN_DENSELY_PO… ; p. 2. ]

(2) Another way of reporting can be found on the web-site of of Middle East Eye (4) of friday 27 March:

Cities and towns across Yemen were rocked by a second round of Saudi-led airstrikes overnight on Thursday.

Yemen’s Health Ministry, which is under control of the rebel Houthi movement that is being targeted by the strikes, said on Friday morning that at least 39 civilians had been killed since the bombing began late on Wednesday night.

Twelve of the victims were killed when a raid targeting a military base north of the capital, Sanaa, hit surrounding residential areas, according to the ministry.

Reporters on the ground say they fear that the death toll of Thursday night’s bombing may be the highest of the campaign so far.

The strikes continued into Friday afternoon, with strikes targeting a Houthi-controlled base in the central province of Marib and weapons depots in the southern city of Aden. The President Palace in the capital was also targeted by fighter jets on Friday afternoon, Reuters reported.

Amnesty International has so far confirmed that six children have been among those killed in the airstrikes, after speaking to medical sources and eyewitnesses.


Depending on which source one chooses the focus and the numbers and classification of victims quoted, differ. As an example this Iranian view on the web site The Iran Project, dated March 29th:

Doctor Ali Sarieh, the director of medical emergencies at the Yemeni Health Ministry, told the official military news service, 26september, on Sunday that the Saudi aerial attacks on Yemen have killed 35 people and wounded 88 others.

He added that Saudi military aircraft pounded areas in the Sana’a Province, where Ansarullah revolutionaries are in charge of the embattled seat of government, as well as the northwestern and western provinces of Sa’ada and Hudaydah.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday that negotiations “remain the only chance to prevent long, drawn-out conflict” in Yemen. There, however, was no sign of condemnation of the Saudi invasion in the UN chief’s remarks.


(3) References to the position of the Middle East Eye point to the founders coming from The Guardian and Al Jazeera and some ‘activists’ and yes, complex long term conflicts like rage in the Middle East has made it so that ‘objectivity’ is a rare thing to find when it comes to reporting topical events. I am following this source now and then since it’s founding in February 2014 and find it at least ‘less partisan’ in it;s views than many others. Of course also the reference given here – a Wikipedia page – should be read with this in mind.

(4) In an article in The Guardian by Nussaibah Younis (research associate at the Project on Middle East Democracy) of sunday the 29th of March, the issue of the Yemen intervention being a ‘proxy war’ and the future failure of military solutions is expressed:

…talk of a proxy war risks over-estimating the level of power Saudi Arabia and Iran wield, and overlooking the local actors who truly shape the conflicts in question. The Houthi movement has been able to advance across Yemen largely because of its alliance with the ancien régime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and because of its ability to tap into disillusionment with the poor performance of the Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi government. Though Iran may have helped to hone the effectiveness of the Houthi movement, it is neither the cause of nor a major player in the emerging Yemeni civil war.

That reality, however, is lost on a Saudi Arabia that is so fearful of Iran’s mounting influence in the region that it has instigated air strikes that are more likely to exacerbate than to resolve the conflict in neighbouring Yemen.

If Saudi Arabia genuinely wants to undercut Iran’s influence in the Middle East, it must acknowledge and address the pain and suffering of marginalised groups across the Middle East. Giving them their rights and bringing them to the negotiating table is the best way to insulate them from Iranian influence.


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I was reading yet another article about the case of the Chinese dissident Chen Guang Cheng (陈光诚) in Le Monde today which mentioned that his case may be head lines in the world, but not so in China itself (it almost sounds like a definition of what ‘a dissident’ actually is). Chinese media if mentioning the case at all are referring to him as “a marionette of the USA.”

The article brought some emblematic pictures to my mind and so I did an image search on Google on marionettes and ‘puppets on a string’ and the last one brought me the image that opens this small note. Paper puppets that when they act become puppets on a string. It is a typical ready-made image to be sold to web sites for may different uses. So I will put the allegory of the picture to my own use here….

Click picture to do a Google search on: ‘puppets on a string’

With the Chinese dissident case in the head lines of the “free world” we seem to be back all the way in the Cold War and its definition and use of ‘dissidents’ who would raise issues felt  as a danger to the existing rule in their own countries. There are always many more dissents around in far away countries than we will ever hear about, protesting paper puppets hidden from our view. The ones that manage to come on stage are the ones that will get strings attached to them, if they want it or not. The hand of the puppet player may change during the performance.

Smart and lucky dissidents would manage at one moment or another to get their message across their state  borders and raise enough attention elsewhere to create – at some moment in time – an opportunity to be shuffled into what is supposed to be a heroic exile.

The same kind of dissident criticism at home can also be applied to similar circumstances in any of the dissident hosting countries, but as courtesy and realism makes an exiled dissident cautious, exiled dissidents tend to be silent about their host. This is the sad fate of who – in order to safe his own life – is forced to become a hero-dissident, who will nevertheless have a hard time to defend her/himself against accusations of being just a marionette of a foreign power. The possible hosting country of Chen Guang Chen – the United States of America – does have a long long history of schizophrenic political morality and changing interpretations of the the word ‘freedom’. It is unavoidable that the shadow side of a rescuing power will reflect on a rescued dissident.

The manipulating hand of state power with the people as multiplied paper puppet marionettes in the picture is reflecting in the floor space and so the position of the expelled dissident elsewhere becomes a mere mirror image.

Chen Guang Chen – when he manages to get out safely – is said to get the opportunity to study law in the United States. He is not the first and certainly not the last getting such a chance. Imagine when all the world dissidents would gather in the United States and study, discuss and further their insight by exchanging experiences. Then, the mere quantity of dissidence could create a new quality and such a combined insight in world political matters could reflect back onto the United States itself. The marionettes would come alive and become players without strings.

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“AMERICANS SUPPORT ATTACK ON IRAN BECAUSE OF NUCLEAR BOMB” is the latest header here of our crazed daily De Volkskrant (The People’s Paper). ‘Because’ = the Dutch word ‘om’. What is next? ‘AMERICAN SUPPORT ATACK ON IRAN WITH NUCLEAR BOMB?” ‘WITH’ = ‘met’ in Dutch. The word “Americans” in the news paper header points to an opinion poll done for the news agency Reuters. 56% says to support an USA attack (in case nuclear bomb existence can be proven for Iran). A sickening development in “our” news media: war by popular consent. “WOHLT IHR DEN TOTALEN KRIEG?” was the opinion poll question by Joseph Goebbels on the 18. of February 1943 in the Sport Palace Building in Berlin. We may try to remember the results.

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