6 August 2011 — Stop NATO
- Media Coalition: NATO, Israel Breached Geneva Convention, Security Council Resolution
- NATO ‘Protects’ Libyan Civilians By Killing Them
- U.S. Navy Drone Shot Down Along Libyan Coast
- U.S. Marines Extend Counterinsurgency Front From Black To Caspian Sea
- Afghanistan: Four Killed In Anti-NATO Rally
- Georgia: U.S. Marines And Machine Guns
- New Japanese Defense White Paper A Ploy
Media Coalition: NATO, Israel Breached Geneva Convention, Security Council Resolution
Russian Information Agency Novosti
August 5, 2011
Media coalition says NATO, Israel may have breached Geneva Convention
A coalition of news organizations called on the United Nations on Friday to investigate reports that NATO and Israeli forces have targeted journalists in breach of international law.
The International News Safety Institute (INSI) said the international coalition conducting an air operation in Libya and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) may have violated the Geneva Convention and a Security Council resolution ‘which calls on all members states to protect journalists and media staff working in conflict zones.’
‘We call on NATO and the IDF to respect the safety of journalists and allow them to go about their business free from harm or threat of harm,’ INSI Director Rodney Pinder said.
‘It is doubly disturbing when attacks on journalists and news organizations are staged by democracies who assert the fundamental human right of free speech and freedom of information,’ he added.
Last Friday, Israeli forces reportedly used riot-control weapons on a dozen of press photographers during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.
A day later a NATO air strike on the headquarters of Libyan state broadcaster Al-Jamahiriya in the capital Tripoli killed three employees and wounded 21.
During a war or a conflict, journalists are regarded as civilians and are protected under the Geneva Convention. In addition, the UN Resolution 1738 condemns acts of violence against journalists and other media personnel in conflict situations.
NATO ‘Protects’ Libyan Civilians By Killing Them
August 5, 2011
NATO bombing raises ire
By Damien McElroy
NATO’s mission to protect civilian lives in Libya has been called into question after it admitted carrying out an air strike in a coastal town in which a mother and two children were killed.
The strike on a two-storey home in the suburbs of the town of Zlitan, 255 kilometres east of Tripoli, killed the wife and two children of Mustafa Naji, a physics teacher, and provoked local anger against the bombing campaign.
NATO’s efforts to assist advances by rebels from central Misrata have embroiled the alliance in an urban war for control of Zlitan. Bombed schools and flattened food warehouses are now in evidence in the town…
Despite the use of fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter gunships, and despite rebel claims that the town had fallen earlier this week, fighting raged yesterday on Zlitan’s eastern fringes. A handful of loud explosions were accompanied by the whine of jet engines on NATO aircraft.
The Naji home stood 16 km from the front line in the apparently quiet suburb of Kaim. Regime officials said the family were ordinary people who had feasted just hours before to celebrate the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
Its concrete floors had collapsed and the rooms were destroyed…Ibtisam Naji and her children, Mohammad, 5, and Muttasim, 3, were buried within hours at an emotional funeral next to a local mosque.
‘These people were not fighters, there is no military in this neighbourhood,’ said Ali Adil, a lawyer and neighbour. ‘NATO say they are protecting civilians but they are turning their weapons on us.’
A nephew pulled off the funerary shrouds to reveal the bloodied faces of the dead. ‘Those that are fighting with NATO are traitors against their country,’ said Mohammad Ali Berber, a cousin of the victim.
Adil said that he had seen helicopters in action where there were no soldiers deployed.
A NATO spokesman said the organization had struck a target in Zlitan and that it was investigating the allegations of civilian casualties.
U.S. Navy Drone Shot Down Along Libyan Coast
August 5, 2011
Navy says drone lost in Libya likely shot down
WASHINGTON: A Navy drone that disappeared along the coast in central Libya in June was probably shot down by forces loyal to…Moammar Gadhafi, a U.S. military investigation has concluded.
According to Lt. Cmdr. Mark Walton, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 6th Fleet, the investigation found that the unmanned Fire Scout that disappeared June 21 was not brought down by mechanical failure or operator error.
The U.S. has been providing drones for the Libyan conflict, including armed Predators that have been used to strike targets on nearly 70 missions.
According to officials, this is the first time a Navy MQ-8B Fire Scout has been lost in combat.
U.S. Marines Extend Counterinsurgency Front From Black To Caspian Sea
Azeri Press Agency
August 5, 2011
Azerbaijani soldiers to take part in Black Sea Rotational Force 2011
-This is the first time that Azerbaijani soldiers have participated in the Black Sea Rotational Force, where they will engage in peacekeeping and counterinsurgency training alongside 12 NATO partner nations, including Romania, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Greece, Montenegro, and Croatia. The exercise is overseen by elements of the 4th United States Marine Corps Division…’Experience gained at the Black Sea Rotational Force will enhance the Operational Capabilities Concept Battalion’s ability to conduct counterinsurgency operations and improve interoperability with NATO forces.
The US Embassy in Azerbaijan released a media advisory on Azerbaijani soldiers’ participation in the international training exercise in Romania.
The media advisory says:
‘On July 31, 99 soldiers from Azerbaijan’s Operational Capabilities Concept Battalion flew on two US military planes to Constanta, Romania, where they will participate in the Black Sea Rotational Force 2011 multi-lateral training exercise from July 30-August 12.
‘The troops were seen off at the Nasosnaya Air Base near Baku by US Embassy Defense Attache Officer Colonel Daniel Grillone and Ministry of Defence officials. This is the first time that Azerbaijani soldiers have participated in the Black Sea Rotational Force, where they will engage in peacekeeping and counterinsurgency training alongside 12 NATO partner nations, including Romania, Georgia, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Albania, Greece, Montenegro, and Croatia. The exercise is overseen by elements of the 4th United States Marine Corps Division, from San Diego, California.
‘This deployment is the product of over one year of joint planning between the US Embassy Defence Attaché Office, the US European Command, and the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defence.
‘Experience gained at the Black Sea Rotational Force will enhance the Operational Capabilities Concept Battalion’s ability to conduct counterinsurgency operations and improve interoperability with NATO forces.’
Afghanistan: Four Killed In Anti-NATO Rally
Voice of America News
August 5, 2011
Anti-NATO Rally in Afghanistan Turns Deadly
An anti-NATO demonstration in southern Afghanistan’s Zabul province turned violent Friday, when three Afghan civilians and a police officer were shot dead.
More than a 100 angry demonstrators had taken to the streets in Qalat to protest an overnight NATO operation that killed three suspected insurgents.
Afghans have long complained about the coalition’s use of night raids and airstrikes to target militants.
Violence has intensified in Afghanistan as foreign forces begin pulling out of the war-torn country and transferring security responsibility to their Afghan counterparts.
NATO said Friday that insurgents killed two of its service members in southern Afghanistan. No other details were given.
More than 320 international troops have been killed in Afghanistan so far this year.
Georgia: U.S. Marines And Machine Guns
United States European Command
August 5, 2011
Machine guns, Mustaches and Motivation
Cpl. Nana Dannsaappiah, Marine Forces Reserve
VAZIANI TRAINING AREA, Republic of Georgia: There are nine machine gunners in a regular infantry platoon, each one capable of unleashing 850 rounds per minute with their standard M249 squad automatic weapon. All gunners in a regular infantry platoon combined, that’s 7,650 rounds per minute rained upon the enemy. Multiply 7,650 rounds per minute seven times and you have the capability Machine Gun Platoon, Support Company, Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division based out of Chicopee, Mass.
There are machine gun sections with approximately 20 machine gunners each in regular infantry weapons companies but Machine Gun Platoon is the only unit where close to 70 machine gunners come together to train. The number of machine gunners and their employment of all three dominant machine guns, the M240B machine gun, the M2 .50 caliber machine gun, and the MK19 40mm machine gun, is what distinguish them from any other unit in the Corps.
Machine Gun Platoon’s mission is to have well trained gunners on tap to provide anytime the Corps asks. They send gun teams to support deployments whenever the Corps calls and currently have 26 Marines deployed in support of overseas contingency operations.
There is no consensus among the platoon of which one of their guns is better. Lance Cpl. Jovani Roman, a machine gunner with the platoon summed it up best when he said, ‘You got the best of all three worlds; why would you choose?’
‘The .50 cal is powerful, the MK19 blows everything up and the 240 is the most accurate so they all cause damage in their own way,’ added Roman, the Boston native. ‘It’s like having kids, you love them all.’
The gunners’ unity continues far beyond the firing lines on machine gun ranges and battlefields of Afghanistan…
New Japanese Defense White Paper A Ploy
August 6, 2011
Japan defense paper a ploy
Japan’s defense white paper for 2011 spares no pains in playing up the ‘China threat’ theory. In fact, Japan is using the so-called theory as an excuse for its ambitious military buildup and to revise its pacifist constitution, something that will harm regional stability and security.
Tokyo is anxious over Beijing’s rise because it is unwilling to accept the reality of a changing geopolitical landscape in the Asia-Pacific region and the fact that China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest economy.
Japan has been exploiting the ‘China threat’ theory and distorting China’s intentions to hasten the pace of strengthening its Self-Defense Forces into a de facto military, which violates its ‘exclusively defensive defense’ policy. Japan has two helicopter carriers, which it calls ‘destroyers’, in service and is developing its own stealth fighters. It has set up a military base in Africa, too, to boost its power overseas without bothering to clarify its intentions.
It is clear that Japan has been bluffing the international community by alleging that it faces ‘external threats’ and using the ploy for weapons’ buildup.
China is committed to working for peace and stability, and is not even a potential threat to another country. China’s development path, fundamental aims and history and culture show it has never used (and will never use) its military might against other countries. China’s pursuit of a defensive national defense policy is not temporary but permanent.
The Japanese document, full of carping and irresponsible comments against China’s defense policy, is detrimental to the smooth development of Sino-Japanese ties.
Besides alleging that China will try to make naval activities a routine affair in the waters off Japan, including the East China Sea and the Pacific Ocean, the Japanese document also has, for the first time, a separate section on China’s activities in the South China Sea. This is an overt attempt to stir up trouble between China and its Southeast Asian neighbors, which have territorial disputes in the South China Sea.
But the fact is China’s long-standing policy of building friendship and partnership with its neighbors has been welcomed by other countries and has created a favorable environment for its peaceful development.
Japan’s conjecture about threats or potential threats from China, Russia and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and its zero-sum mentality can only lead to its isolation. A country cannot choose its neighbors, but it can establish friendly relations with them to ensure mutual benefit. Pursuing a policy that treats a neighbor as a threat is nothing but myopic.
If Japan insists with its harsh policies, it will continue to fumble to come to terms with a rising and confident China. It’s time Japanese politicians understood that negative expectations can affect a person’s or country’s behavior, and realized that their indiscreet remarks on how China should deal with its neighbors can only be laughable.