Twenty Years After 9/11, ‘The Only Way To Effectively Counter Terror Is To End War’

As the United States on Saturday commemorates the 20th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks with plenty of patriotic zeal but perhaps too little introspection, peace advocates have marked the occasion by reflecting on the costs and bloody consequences of the so-called “Global War on Terror” as they reaffirmed that the best safeguard against further terrorism – as many warned at the time – is ending war and respecting human rights.

A sobering assessment 20 years after the 9/11 attacks lays bare a never-ending war abroad, an erosion of civil liberties and deadly neglect of dire social needs at home, and the further enrichment of corporations and wealthy investors – perhaps the only winners of perpetual conflict that progressive critics have long deemed unwinnable by design.

Just as it was on 9/11, Afghanistan is again ruled by the Taliban. The U.S. military prison at Guantánamo Bay, opened in 2002, still holds dozens of men, many of them imprisoned without charge or trial for over a decade. Much of Iraq, whose 2003 invasion was sold on a pack of lies, has been destroyed not once, but twice, by U.S.-led wars whose toxic detritus is still killing and poisoning people years later. More than 900,000 – and possibly many more – civilians have been killed in at least seven nations in the name of countering “terrorism” – a tactic, not an enemy.

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Israel Condemned for ‘Unambiguous War Crime’ After Destroying Gaza Apartment Tower

Israel’s military faced war crime accusations Tuesday after carrying out an airstrike that completely destroyed a high-rise apartment building in densely populated Gaza City, prompting a massive barrage of retaliatory rocket fire as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to further escalate violence that has already left over 30 people – almost all of them Palestinians – dead.

Israeli media and a United Nations official report residents of the 13-story apartment building in the Al-Rimal neighborhood of western Gaza City were repeatedly warned – including by telephone and a “roof-knocking” airstrike – of the impending attack, which occurred around 8:30 pm local time.

Video of the Israeli strike shows multiple explosions followed by the tower’s collapse. International observers promptly noted that the deliberate destruction of homes when not “imperatively demanded by the necessities of war” is a war crime.

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Peace Activist Interrupts General Dynamics Shareholder Meeting To Blast the Business of War

Antiwar activism met corporate gaslighting Wednesday as General Dynamics CEO Phebe Novakovic refused to acknowledge the deadly consequences of her firm’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other nations after CodePink cofounder Medea Benjamin interrupted a company shareholder meeting.

Benjamin attended the annual meeting in Reston, Virginia and calmly confronted Novakovic about her company’s weapons sales to countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt. She specifically mentioned a March 25, 2016 Saudi-led airstrike that hit a crowded marketplace in the Yemeni village of Mastaba, killing scores of civilians.

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Israeli Man Trying To Take Over Palestinian Home Says ‘If I Don’t Steal It, Someone Else’ Will

In what Palestinian observers and advocates call a glaring example of settler colonialism in action, a video circulating on social media this week shows a Palestinian woman confronting an Israeli man who admits he is trying to steal her family’s home in occupied East Jerusalem.

According toAl Jazeera, Palestinian activist Tamer Maqalda recorded the footage of the exchange between Mona al-Kurd and a man with a North American accent named Jacob, whom al-Kurd knows because his family has already stolen half of her home.

“Jacob, you know that this is not your house,” al-Kurd tells the man in her backyard, who replies: “What’s the problem? Why are you yelling at me?”

“I didn’t do this,” the man insists. “It’s easy to yell at me, but I didn’t do this.”

Al-Kurd then pleads, “You are stealing my house!”

Jacob replies: “And if I don’t steal it, someone else is going to steal it.”

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‘Is Our Blood Worth Less?’ Afghan Anguish After European Court Sides With Germany Over Airstrike That Killed 90 Civilians

Afghans and human rights advocates around the world expressed deep disappointment Tuesday after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Germany in a case brought by victims of a 2009 NATO airstrike that killed as many as 90 civilians.

The New York Times reports a 17-judge panel of the ECHR ruled unanimously that the German government adequately investigated a September 3, 2009 airstrike in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province that targeted two fuel tankers stolen by Taliban fighters. Believing the militants might use the trucks as a mobile bombs, Col. Georg Klein, the German commanding officer of a nearby NATO base, ordered U.S. warplanes to destroy the vehicles.

According to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, prosecutors said Klein made several calls to an informant to ensure there were no civilians present before the strike. However, scores of Afghan civilians including children flocked to the trucks – which were stuck on a sandbank in the Kunduz River – to siphon off fuel at the Taliban’s invitation.

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Press Freedom Groups Urge Biden DOJ To Drop ‘Disastrous’ Charges Against Assange

A broad coalition of progressive organizations on Monday sent an open letter to the Justice Department urging it to undo a “grave threat to press freedom” by ending efforts to extradite jailed journalist Julian Assange from Britain to the U.S. and dropping the charges against him.

The letter – organized by the Freedom of the Press Foundation and signed by two dozen groups including Amnesty International USA, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Human Rights Watch, Knight First Amendment Institute, and Reporters Without Borders – expresses “profound concern about the ongoing criminal and extradition proceedings relating to Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, under the Espionage Act and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.”

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