Posts Tagged ‘military’

CounterPsyOps

TEHRAN (FNA)- The Iranian version of the RQ-170 which has been manufactured through the reverse engineering of the US drone which was tracked and hunted down in Iran late in 2011, has been equipped by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) with bombing capability to attack the US warships in any possible battle.

This capability was revealed during Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei’s Sunday visit to an exhibition of the latest achievements of the IRGC Aerospace Force. The Supreme Leader had a two-hour tour of the IRGC’s Aerospace Exhibition where state-of-the-art equipment and hardware were showcased.

The advanced radar-evading US RQ-170 drone downed by the IRGC more than two years ago and its indigenized model developed by Iranian experts through reverse engineering were among the most important sections of the exhibition.

The US army uses the drone for reconnaissance missions but the IRGC Aerospace experts…

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PN

RT

Published time: April 24, 2014 09:05
Edited time: April 24, 2014 20:00

Ukrainian special forces take position in the eastern Ukrainian city of Slavyansk on April 24, 2014 (AFP Photo / Kirill Kudryavtsev)

Five anti-government protesters have reportedly been killed and one injured in the eastern Ukrainian town of Slavyansk after Kiev authorities sent tanks and armored vehicles against the local population.

Follow RT’s LIVE UPDATES on military operation in eastern Ukraine

“During the antiterrorist operation, three checkpoints erected by illegal military groups have been destroyed in the northeastern part of Slavyansk,” the Ukrainian Interior Ministry said, adding: “At least five terrorists have been killed. One policeman was injured.”

Witnesses report on Twitter Slavyansk self-defense forces are now burning tires to hamper the entrance of infantry vehicles from Kiev into the city.

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PN

By End the Lie
[Mar 19, 2014]

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Image credit: U.S. Embassy Kyiv Ukraine/Flickr)

Ukraine announced that they would pull their military forces out of Crimea while demanding the release of a naval commander after he was captured by armed men who seized a base in Sevastopol, Crimea, without resistance.

Read our latest: “Ukrainian PM calls Russian annexation of Crimea ‘robbery on an international scale’” and “Putin recognizes Crimea as independent state as Crimea moves closer to joining Russia

Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov warned that his country would take “appropriate measures” if Rear Admiral Sergei Haiduk and others are not released.

“If by 21:00 (local time) all provocations against Ukrainian troops are not ceased, and Admiral Haiduk and all other hostages, civilian and military, are not freed, the authorities will take appropriate measures,” Turchynov said…

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CounterPsyOps

 

An Iranian lawmaker says the upcoming war games by the United States and 20 other countries near the Persian Gulf will not have the slightest impact on the power of the Islamic Republic since Iran is fully in command of the region.

“Holding the maneuver certainly aims to boost morale among Western powers and some of their agents in the region. They are fighting tooth and nail to display their power to the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Vahid Ahmadi said on Wednesday.

The US has announced that it would hold demining drills near the Persian Gulf in cooperation with 20 other countries on September 16-27.

On Wednesday, Navy Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Rear-Admiral Ali Fadavi warned that should the US attempt the folly of staging an act of aggression in the Persian Gulf, such military action will cost the lives of all the American…

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PN

Infowars.com
September 1, 2012

Reporter Dan Bidondi uncovers the documented fact that Department of Defense and CIA experiments used our troops as guinea pigs, subjecting them to chemicals & drug cocktails, often without informing them about the true nature of the tests.

[hat tip: The Intel Hub]

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As originally Reported HERE

Published: 28 August, 2012, 02:13
Edited: 29 August, 2012, 10:05

 
A Palestinian girl sleeps in front of a house, destroyed during the three-week offensive Israel launched in the northern Gaza Strip October 16, 2009 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

A Palestinian girl sleeps in front of a house, destroyed during the three-week offensive Israel launched in the northern Gaza Strip October 16, 2009 (Reuters / Mohammed Salem)

Gaza will no longer be “livable” by 2020 unless urgent measures are taken to improve the area’s water supply, power, health and schooling, according to a UN report.
“Action needs to be taken right now on fundamental aspects of life: water sanitation, electricity, education, health and other aspects,” UN humanitarian coordinator Maxwell Gaylard told journalists.

Those services are “not keeping pace with the needs of the growing population,” the report states.

The document predicts the population of the Gaza Strip will increase from 1.6 million people today to 2.1 million people in 2020 – calling into question whether the region can actually sustain such growth.

At the moment, the region is suffering from its worst-ever fuel shortage and power cuts, as well as unemployment levels of around 45 per cent. But while the population grows, these problems are predicted to only get worse.

Gaza’s lack of clean drinking water should be the first thing that is addressed, according to UNICEF Special Representative Jean Gough.

The report estimates a 60 per cent increase in Gaza’s future water needs, while urgent action is already needed to protect the area’s existing water resources, Reuters says.

At present, only a quarter of Gaza’s waste water is treated. The rest, including raw sewage, goes straight into the Mediterranean Sea.

According to a report released in June by Save the Children and Medical Aid for Palestinians, the levels of water contamination in Gaza are around ten times higher than what is deemed safe for consumption. However, many poor families have no choice but to drink the water.

The coastal strip is extremely isolated due to an Israeli blockade which Tel Aviv refuses to lift, claiming it prevents arms from reaching Gaza’s governing Hamas organization.

And until the blockade is lifted, Gaza stands little to no chance of improving its situation, especially since it doesn’t have an airport or a sea port.

“Despite their best efforts, the Palestinians in Gaza still need help. They are under blockade. They are under occupation and they need our help both politically and practically on the ground,” Gaylard said.

Gaza is 80 per cent aid dependent – relying on foreign funding and a tunnel economy which brings in food, construction materials, electronics, and cars from Egypt.

But the current amount of outside help won’t be enough to sustain the region’s needs, according to Gaylard, who has called on international donors to increase their aid.

By 2020, Gaza will need 440 more schools, 800 more hospital beds and over 1,000 additional doctors, according to Robert Turner, director of operations of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

But it’s not just Gaza’s lack of accessibility to supplies that contributes to its less than promising future. Gaza’s border with Israel is tense, and the area is frequently hit by Israeli air strikes – often leading to civilian deaths.

Gaza will need to achieve both peace and security before the lives of its people can be improved, Gaylard said, and “it will certainly have to mean the end of blockade, the end of isolation and the end of conflict.”

But the goal of peace and security isn’t likely to be achieved anytime soon.

The Palestinian Authority currently refuses to negotiate with Israel unless the country agrees to a “freeze” on settlement building in the West Bank – something Tel Aviv will not do, even though the UN says the settlements go against international law.

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Antiwar literary and philosophical selections

RT
August 14, 2012

US military plan against China outlined in think tank report

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The paper confirms that the US has held talks with Thailand, the Philippines, and Vietnam over possible access to military bases.

The authors suggest placing a US nuclear aircraft carrier in Australia, doubling the number of nuclear attack submarines based in Guam, deploying combat ships to South Korea, and upgrading anti-missile defenses in Japan, South Korea, and Guam.

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As analysts around the world question whether the US is losing its superpower status, China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region is strengthening. But a new report has set out a strategy for America to increase its military presence in the area.

The paper, entitled “US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia-Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment,” suggests America is preparing for a possible conflict with China, one warship at a time.

The report was written by the…

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The Extinction Protocol

August 11, 2012INDIAINS Arihant, planned to be the first of five submarines of its class, will be ready to begin sea trials, said Admiral Nirmal Verma, the navy commander. When the vessel eventually becomes operational, India will be able to launch nuclear missiles from the sea, land and air, joining a handful of countries possessing the “nuclear triad.” The strategic aim is to deter China and Pakistan and establish India as the leading power in the Indian Ocean. “INS Arihant is steadily progressing towards becoming operational,” said Adml Verma. “We are pretty close to putting it to sea.” The navy was poised to “complete the triad, and our maritime and nuclear doctrines will then be aligned to ensure our nuclear insurance comes from the sea,” added Adml Verma. “Given our unequivocal ‘no first-use commitment,’ a retaliatory strike capability that is credible and invulnerable is an imperative.”…

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Sheila Velez

6 January 2010

The defence in the trial of alleged Congolese warlord Thomas Lubanga Dyilo – the first war crimes trial to be conducted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) – is scheduled to begin on Thursday. Ahead of the resumption of the case, Sheila Velez sketches the background.

The silence of the public gallery is interrupted only by the slow rise of the blinds. We are about to watch history in the making. Behind bulletproof glass a courtroom appears – the heart of the International Criminal Court. On the right, the prosecution. On the left, the defence, their sombre robes contrasting starkly with the courtroom’s pale wood furnishings. In their midst – dapper, calm, attentive – sits the eye of this storm: Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, the first person ever to face trial at the ICC.

Who is this man, and what has he done to earn his dubious distinction? Now quietly jotting notes, now leaning over to consult with one of his lawyers, take away the setting and he could be a businessman as unremarkable as any you encounter on the streets of London, Brussels or New York every day of the week. Hardly a Radovan Karadzic or a Pol Pot. Hardly a Josef Mengele, whose experiments on children left the few survivors scarred for life.

When the Second World War ended, nobody expected that we would ever again allow destruction on such a scale. Five decades later, so inured had we become to wholesale slaughter that five million people could die in a new Great War, the Second Congo War, and their untold sufferings would remain just that.

Until now. Because in the course of this landmark trial, not just experts but children who became the victims of this war are taking the stand to speak to the charges that as president of the Union des Patriots Congolais (UPC), between September 2002 and August 2003 Thomas Lubanga recruited, trained and used hundreds of young children to pillage, rape and kill.

Lubanga is a member of the Hema ethnic group from Ituri, a district in the northeast corner of the Congo which has about the same land area and population size as the Republic of Ireland. Born in 1960, he secured a degree in psychology from the University of Kisangani. Married, with seven children, by the late 1990s there was no particular indication that this family man would ever become a feared warlord. In fact well into the Second Congo War he was still working as a trader, selling beans in the market of Bunia, Ituri’s capital.

However, the war would set him on a path to power and notoriety, not so much for any personal military feats as for his dedication to an inherently ethnic view of politics in which the Hema as a group must either eliminate all threats or be eliminated.

From the late 1990s Ituri had become a particular focal point for violence as different factions involved in the wider war battled for control of its mineral wealth. Decades of mistrust between Ituri’s ethnic groups, particularly between the Hema and Lendu, were manipulated for political ends with deadly consequences.

In June 2000, hundreds of Hema soldiers in the Rassemblement Congolais, the movement then in control of Ituri, went to Uganda for two months’ military training. When they returned, tradesman Lubanga became their spokesman. It didn’t matter to them that he had no previous political experience. He was educated, an intellectual, and he would speak on behalf of his ethnic group. The seeds of the UPC had been planted.

In January 2001, Lubanga joined the Rassemblement Congolais government as commissioner for youth and sports. Later becoming defence commissioner, he recruited even more Hema troops. Sidelined by the Rassemblement Congolais from involvement in an April 2002 peace deal designed to end the war in the Congo, Lubanga broke away, taking his Hema soldiers with him.

Turning on his old masters, in August 2002 his forces chased the Rassemblement Congolais out of Bunia, launching attacks on the Lendu and anyone they identified as “Jajambu” (outsiders). Almost total anarchy ensued as the UPC and rival ethnic militias not only fought each other but killed civilians from opposing ethnic groups with indiscriminate barbarity. And all sides were using child soldiers.

Now, as evidence is led in an ICC courtroom at The Hague in the Netherlands, figures in green military fatigues, clapping and singing, fill screens in the public gallery. In the midst of the figures is a slightly slimmer version of the man now in the dock. The frame freezes. The deputy prosecutor’s voice cuts in.

“Witness, do you know the person who is on the screen?” The girl in the witness stand – identified only as “Witness Ten” and who even now can barely be out of her teens – confirms: “It’s Thomas Lubanga.” She adds, “There was one song. When we sang it, some people cried, like me, because I knew I didn’t have a family anymore and that I was all alone. I couldn’t really express the sadness I felt, and I couldn’t really say that I was afraid.”

By  September 2002, Thomas Lubanga had been appointed president of the UPC.  From then on he would brook no opposition. He would be not merely the president but the “Rais” – a king-like leader invested with permanent and sacred authority by his community; the protector of the Hema, in an existential war demanding the participation and contribution of every Hema man, woman and child.

Children were enticed, abducted, even given up by their parents for military training, the parents acting to protect themselves and their ethnic group. Many of the children were aged 10 to 15, some allegedly as young as five.

But why? What does a war machine gain from being fed with children?

Militias around the world in recent years have made a cynical calculation: that children can be exploited without payment; that they are loyal, obedient and unlikely to mutiny; that they show less fear in battle, are less capable of assessing risks and consequences than adults. And if they are girls, they are likely also to be useful as domestic servants and sex slaves.

“I used to be a virgin before I entered the UPC, but they took away my virginity. I saw the blood that completely destroyed my life,” Witness Ten tells the court. Murmured conversation in the public gallery falls silent. “I cry every day, for I have no mother or father. I’m alone and it’s hurting… When I think about it, I feel like killing myself.”

Elisabeth Schauer, a doctor in clinical psychology, and head of an NGO working on rehabilitation after trauma, addresses the court.

“Any experience where the perpetrator is physically close with a knife, with a gun, raping you, assaulting you; such experiences are more likely to cause us to develop psychiatric disorders,” she says. “Traumatic or emotionally important memories for us are burned into memory, right? Trauma doesn’t subside. Trauma doesn’t go away. You can be traumatised at age 11 and die with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder when you’re 70 years old.”

If the UPC was using child soldiers, it was doing nothing new. Hundreds of thousands of children are in service in armed conflicts around the world. Whatever its outcome for Thomas Lubanga, the message this trial sends is new: Use children as soldiers, even in a war as lawless as that in the Congo, and one day you may forfeit your liberty.  So for anyone who values children, the future of our world, this trial matters.

Sheila Velez is a freelance journalist and author of the “Lubanga Chronicles” which document the ICC trial.

via allAfrica.com: Congo-Kinshasa: Lubanga Trial Highlights Plight of Child Soldiers.