Palestinian human rights organizations and others have sued US President Joe Biden, Secretary of Defense Lloyd James Austin and Secretary of State Anthony Blinken for complicity in genocide and violating the duty to prevent genocide in relation to the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. The Center for Constitutional Rights filed the case Nov. 13 on behalf of Defense for Children International-Palestine, Al-Haq and individual plaintiffs affected by the conflict, asserting violations of the 1948 Genocide Convention and the 1988 Genocide Convention Implementation Act.
France issued arrest warrants on Nov. 15 for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his brother Maher al-Assad, de facto chief of the regime's elite 4th Armored division, as well as two high-ranking military generals. The warrants stem from an investigation into two chemical weapons attacks that occurred in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August 2013, resulting in the death of over 1,000 people. French officials launched the investigation in 2021 after the Syrian Center for Media & Freedom of Expression (SCM) and other nongovernmental organizations filed a complaint with the Specialized Unit for Crimes against Humanity & War Crimes of the Paris Judicial Court. The SCM argued that the use of chemical weapons is a jus cogens crime, implying an absolute prohibition with no immunity based on state sovereignty.
Three Palestinian human rights groups, Al Haq, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, and the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, filed a lawsuit Nov. 10 with the International Criminal Court (ICC) asking for an investigation into alleged crimes by Israel. The submission, which was made under Article 15 of the Rome Statute, accuses Israel of war crimes, genocide and incitement to genocide, in the context of the bombardment of the Gaza Strip. This submission follows mounting allegations of Israeli war crimes by international human rights groups, including the use of toxic white phosphorous on civilians and attacks on medical services.
A tankie agent carried out "false flag" vandalism of a synagogue and other Jewish targets in Detroit, attempting to blame it on the Azov Battalion and tar Ukrainians. She turns out to have been a member of the retro-Stalinist Workers World Party and a staff writer for openly dictator-shilling MintPress News—which has itself engaged in "false flag" disinformation, blaming the Syrian rebels for chemical attacks against their own strongholds by the Bashar Assad regime. MintPress has also received funding directly from the Assad Lobby. In Episode 176 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg examines this ultra-cynical propaganda nexus, and asks whether such agents are mere "useful idiots" for the Kremlin, or actual conscious assets operating in the "gray zone"—the sphere of "hybrid warfare" in which the line between state and non-state actors is blurred. Listen on SoundCloud or via Patreon.
The independent Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) on Jan. 16 released statistics finding that 522 protestors, including 70 children and youths, have been killed in Iran since the start of the national uprising in September. Authorities have arrested 19,400 people, including 168 children and youths. Of those detained, 110 are "under impending threat" of a death sentence. Four protestors have already been executed. Human Rights Watch additionally reported that authorities have fired assault rifles on protestors, and have subjected those in detention to torture, mistreatment and sexual abuse. (Jurist)
Kurdish communities in cities across Europe held protests Oct. 19, demanding action on claims that the Turkish military has repeatedly used chemical weapons in its ongoing intermittent air-strikes against strongholds of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Iraq. The Nobel-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) said it found evidence of chlorine and other "improvised chemical agents" during an investigative mission to Iraq. The IPPNW urged international bodies including the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) to launch formal investigations. The PKK has released the names of 17 guerrillas it says were killed by Turkish chemical attacks in Southern Kurdistan (northern Iraq) over the past year. The pro-Kurdish Fırat News Agency (ANF) published a video that has been circulating on social media, showing two PKK fighters apparently suffering under influence of a chemical agent.
In Episode 140 of the CounterVortex podcast, Bill Weinberg calls out former Pink Floyd creative genius Roger Waters as a propaganda agent for the criminal regimes of Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping and Bashar Assad. In his recent CNN interview, Waters blames Ukraine for getting invaded, falsely states that "Taiwan is part of China," and dismisses as "bollocks" that there are human rights abuses in China. He has the unmitigated chutzpah to send an open letter on social media to Ukrainian First Lady Elena Zelenska urging her to use her influence on her husband to "end the war"—to which she rightly responds: "If we give up, we will not exist tomorrow. If Russia gives up, war will be over." We've noted before Roger's spewing of genocide-abetting denialism about the Syria chemical attacks. And he disses his own fans who don't go along with his war propaganda. Roger Waters has become the fascist rock star he once satirized in The Wall. The public acrimony between Waters and his ex-bandmate David Gilmour has now become political, with Gimour's release (under the banner of Pink Floyd) of the song "Hey Hey, Rise Up," explicitly in support of Ukraine. David Gilmour is right, while Roger Waters is now just another brick in the wall.
Satellite images show significant damage from an Aug. 25 Israeli air-strike on the Assad regime's main center for conventional and chemical weapons development. Nine buildings of the Scientific Studies & Research Center (SSRC) were destroyed or heavily damaged, and a military captain was reportedly killed. The attack came as Russia removed the S-300 air defense system that it had positioned near the complex. The site, near Masyaf in northwest Syria, is also reportedly a base for Iranian forces and Iran-supported militias. (EA Worldview)