Irish Anti War Movement

LINDSEY GERMAN ON WW1 CENTENARY

A Generation of US and UK War Veterans Are Being Silenced by Joe Glenton

A Generation of US and UK War Veterans Are Being Silenced

by Joe Glenton, photos: Merle Jothe

Chris Vassey (right)

After the Remembrance Day parade, I repaired to a central London boozer with fellow veterans to stew my brain in ale. Pinned to chests all around us were glinting banks of medals.  A statistically improbable number of airborne maroon and commando green berets were on display. Groups of veterans bunched together, slurring war stories.

The soldierly clique is cultural. While trained to be aggressive we are also taught to be quiet, keeping dark deeds and informed opinions “in-house”. If spoken aloud our stories would make us appear mad and for some, leaving the heroic fantasy intact allows one to continue living at the centre of it. To break that tribal silence carries risks.

War fans say we have fought for freedom and democracy. Given this consensus one might think veterans are as entitled as anybody to contribute to the political discourse, as serving senior officers regularly do. Not so.

Torture inquiry 'finds UK intelligence officers knew of mistreatment'

Torture inquiry 'finds UK intelligence officers knew of mistreatment'

Gibson report, published next week, reportedly calls for further investigation of how far British ministers were responsible
Guantanamo

Intelligence officers were aware detainees were being mistreated at US-run facilities in Afghanistan and Guantánamo Bay (pictured). Photograph: Virginie Montet/AFP/Getty

Book review. The uselessness and ineffectiveness of bombing in WW2. IT 091113.

The uselessness and ineffectiveness of bombing. And that's in WW2 - http://www.irishtimes.com/culture/books/wreaking-havoc-from-the-skies-over-europe-1.1585978

Yemeni drones victim to visit Washington DC for meetings with Congress and activists

Yemeni drones victim to visit Washington DC for meetings with Congress and activists
 
A Yemeni civilian who lost his nephew and brother in law – respectively a local policeman and an imam who preached against Al Qaeda – to a US drone strike in 2012 is to visit Washington DC for meetings with Congress and US human rights activists.
 
Faisal bin ali Jaber, who is represented by legal charity Reprieve, is visiting the US capital from Thursday 14 to Wednesday 20 November in order to meet members of Congress and their staff, and to address a drones conference organised by peace group Code Pink.
 
Mr Jaber’s relatives were killed in a covert drone strike on Hadhramout in August 2012.  His brother in law, Salim bin Ali Jaber, was a preacher who, just days before his death, had used his sermon at Friday prayers to criticise Al Qaeda for targeting non-Muslim civilians, saying:  “I challenge al-Qaida to show me one piece of evidence in Islam that says killing is justified.”
 
The same strike – which may have been aimed at three strangers who had visited the village demanding to speak to Salim following his sermon – also killed Waleed bin ali Jaber, a local police officer who was with Salim at the time.
 
Mr Jaber, who will be accompanied by Reprieve Strategic Director Cori Crider, hopes to raise awareness of the impact of the drone programme on civilians, and the counter-productive nature of the campaign.

When will the abuse end? Shaker Aamer.

Sinead Nowak. 28 October 2013. Reprieve.

When will the abuse end?

If Shaker Aamer were American he would enjoy various rights: he certainly could not be tortured in violation of the Eight Amendment to the US Constitution. He would have the right to know the charges against him and to have a fair and public trial guaranteed by the Sixth Amendment.

But Shaker, a British resident now spending his twelfth year in Guantánamo Bay, does not enjoy the legal rights of an American. Indeed, because the US has not signed a single international convention that is enforceable on Shaker’s behalf, he has fewer rights than the iguanas that roam the US naval base in Cuba – at least they are protected by the US environmental laws.

In consequence, he has been held without charge for more than a decade; he continues to be held despite having been cleared for more than six years, first by the Bush and then the Obama Administration. He has suffered unceasing abuse at the hands of Guantánamo authorities. He is routinely subjected to the FCE, the acronym of the euphemistic forcible cell extraction which involves a gang of six burly soldiers bursting into his cell, shackling him and beating him up. All this for some petty act of disobedience – sometimes as inconsequential as refusing to allow the guards to watch him using the toilet in his cell.

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