Civilians Harmed Most in US War Theaters

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June 15, 2017
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June 15, 2017
Civilians Harmed Most in US War Theaters
by Stephen Lendman
Massacring civilians in US war theaters, deceptively called “collateral damage,” is perhaps the last refuge of ruthless imperial warmaking.
Civilians are harmed most in all wars, notably America’s – millions of lives lost post-9/11 alone, high crimes ignored in the mainstream.
Sociologist Emile Durkheim once said, “(t)he immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it.”
In America, it’s bipartisan complicity – top administration and Pentagon officials, along with Congress funding lawless aggression.
In his opening Nuremberg address, Justice Robert Jackson denounced the “men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberative and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched.”
He called them “men of station and rank (who don’t) soil (their) hands with blood.” They use “lesser folk” to do their dirty work, committing crimes of war and against humanity to enhance their status and privilege – the human toll of no consequence.
International, constitutional and US statute laws are flagrantly violated in all American wars – of choice, not in self-defense post-WW II, naked aggression each time waged.
Under the 1907 Hague Regulations, Fourth Geneva, Geneva’s Common Article III, and other international laws, civilians are protected persons.
So is civilian property and other nonmilitary-related sites. Attacking them is prohibited. War crimes are clearly defined. Principles of distinction and proportionality apply as follows:
Distinction refers to distinguishing between combatants and military targets v. civilians and non-military ones. Attacking latter ones are war crimes except when civilians take direct part in hostilities.
Proportionality prohibits disproportionate, indiscriminate force, likely to cause damage or loss of lives.
Precautions must be taken to avoid and minimize incidental loss of civilian lives, injuries, and damage to non-military sites. 
Under Fourth Geneva, noncombatants must be given “effective advance warning” and “neutralized zones” to be as protected as possible.
In all its war theaters, America flagrantly violates core laws on what’s prohibited in combat – committing naked aggression and high crimes against peace in all its conflicts.
Activist Vanessa Beeley spent much time in Syria, witnessing firsthand the horrors of Washington’s war, noting “the hypocrisy” in plain sight “from the US(-led) coalition.”
Terror-bombing Raqqa alone caused a “staggering loss of civilian life,” according to the UN Commission of Inquiry on the Syria war.
It remains ongoing, likely the worst to come, including use of white phosphorous able to burn flesh to the bone on contact, cluster bombs, depleted uranium and other banned weapons.
Beeley: “What we are seeing in Raqqa is no attempt to protect civilians” – the same horrors ongoing for months in and around Mosul, Iraq, thousands of civilians massacred in cold blood, by terror-bombing and US-supported ISIS terrorists.
America wages wars for conquest, dominance and profit. Claiming humanitarian intervention and democracy building justification are despicable Big Lies. Supported by media scoundrels compounds them.
US-led terror-bombing in all its war theaters flagrantly violates core rule of law principles.
Asked if a greater bloodbath in Raqqa than already is likely, Beeley explained it’s hard to know “because it is very hard to determine exactly how many civilians” remain in the city. So many were displaced by warfare.
The horror of what’s ongoing in all US war theaters is virtually unreported in the West.
High crimes are suppressed. Most Americans know nothing about the dark side of US imperial aggression – endlessly waged for power and profits, no other reasons.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.