The government of Sudan charged that Israeli planes struck a convoy carrying arms which was in Sudan and headed to deliver their cargo to Gaza. According to a CBS report, 39 people were killed in the assault which occurred shortly after the invasion of Gaza concluded. “A convoy of vehicles carrying illegal weapons was bombed near the Sudanese-Egyptian border in mid-January,” according to a Sudanese official. Israeli army officials refused to comment. However, Israel newspapers claim there is an international network which has been organized to deliver weapons to Palestinians.
The unanswered question is whether Israel believes it has the right to strike any nation anywhere on grounds it is defending its national interests. Certainly, that is what George Bush claimed as justification for invading Iraq. The danger is at some point attacking other nations will result in a counter bombing which could escalate into wider war.
In light of recent air attacks which have resulted in the death of dozens of civilians, including numerous women and children, NATO has decided to revise the rules of engagement. General David McKiernan, NATO commander in Afghanistan. is reopening an inquiry into US drone strikes which have been responsible for numerous deaths of civilians. From now on, house searches will be led by Afghan troops and permission from homeowners first should be sought prior to entering homes. The size of bombs being used in Afghanistan will be reviewed. His order is to “sharpen tactical directives, to give more clarity to commanders on the ground.” He wants to re-educate officers about the need to exert greater care in employing deadly force when civilians are present in the area.
An ongoing problem is lack of sufficient troops in Afghanistan because Bush diverted attention from the primary object to the chaotic invasion of Iraq. As always, military rather than economic and political solutions form the basis of NATO and American policy.
Posted in Asia, Europe, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged Afghanistan, air attacks, NATO
The Sudan government is seeking about $6 billion in aid from the world to help rebuild its devastated nation, particularly Darfur, where 200,000 have died and 2.5 million been displaced. Yesterday, a Sudan Antonov plane hovered over the village of Shegeg Karo for several minutes, surveyed the scene, and then dropped bombs on the market place and on a primary school. At least seven children were killed when bombs hit their primary school classrooms. Villagers said: “the Antonov hovered for a long time and then bombed repeatedly.” At least 30 children were wounded in the attack and the bombing of the marketplace area resulted in six dead and 20 wounded.
The government of Sudan denies any bombing took place although it was confirmed by the UN/African Union peacekeeping mission. One can only assume the Sudan government wants to be compensated by the world for destroying its own nation with these repeated bombings of Darfur. The killing of rape of Darfur continues and what is most sad is the lack of any outcry on the part of Arab nations for the genocidal policies of the government of Sudan. Gaza yes, Darfur no.
Turkish war planes for the third time bombed bases of the outlawed Kurdish Workers Party(PKK) with indications such assaults would not cease in the forseeable future. A statement said:”The PKK will see and understand that there is no secure place left in Iraq’s north,and it will understand that it stands no chance against the Turkish republic.” Kurdish sources claim the civilian population go out of villages prior to the Turkish attack and none were killed. Massoud Barzani, who heads the Kurdish community, claimed the air attacks were really designed to crush his government.
The US State Department supported air attacks on Kurdistan on grounds of the “right of pursuit,” a doctrine the Bush administration uses to justify attacking other areas of the world. These air attacks serve as emotional aid to the Turkish government, but are of limited military value. It is difficult to cite a single example in 20th century history in which air assaults on rebel mountainous bases have achieved victory. Efforts of the Turkish government on economic assistance and aiding development of educational facilities in Kurdish areas of its nation are productive ways to defeat the PKK. The best way to defeat insurgents is gaining the confidence and support of the local population. Bombing their villages is the best guarantee they will support the rebels.
Posted in George Bush, Human Rights, Military, Multicultural, Peace, Politics, Turkey, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged air attacks, right pursuit, Turkey-Kurds, US
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates urged restraint on any military actions such as bombing Kurdish rebels until further information was obtained about where they were located in Kurdistan. Turkish planes and helicopters reportedly attacked Kurdish positions in Iraq yesterday. “Without good intelligence, just sending large numbers of troops across the border (from Turkey) or dropping bombs doesn’t seem to make sense to me.” Chief of Staff Michael Mullen questioned the desirability of US air strikes against Kurdish rebels because they were located in mountainous areas of Kurdistan. A senior defense official indicated growing concern among top level Bush officials regarding failure on the part of the Iraq government to curtail Kurdish rebels attacks on Turkey. Yesterday, Secretary of State Rice told Congress Turkish retaliatory attacks would have a “destabilizing effect” on the situation.
The comments of Rice about attacking across borders to curtail terrorists are ironic, to say the least, coming from a member of the Bush administration. Everything now being said by Rice and Bush applies to their erroneous response to supposed terrorism by Saddam Hussein. Actually, they never had any evidence of such actions by Saddam, but ordered an invasion of Iraq. Where were the voices of restraint in the Bush administration in 2003? Condi Rice was present, did she urge caution on President Bush?
Posted in George Bush, Iraq, Iraq War, Military, Peace, Politics, Turkey, US Foreign Policy, War, World News
Tagged air attacks, Bush, destabilizing Iraq, Kurdish rebels, Rice, Turkey