Saturday, May 12, 2012

1379 Iraqis dead from violence since the start of the year

With the UN's Martin Kobler's efforts to spin the death numbers yesterday (see Friday's snapshot), we're going to make an effort to note the death count more often.  As of Friday, Iraq Body Count notes 58 dead so far this month, they noted 290 dead for the month of April, 295 for the month of March,  278 for the month of February and 458 for the month of January.  That's 1379 reported deaths from violence in Iraq since the start of the year. 

As Kat noted last night, "Today came the news that George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Alberto Gonzales, David Addington, William Addington, William Haynes, Jay Bybee were found guilt of Crime of Torture and War Crimes by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal."  Here's an exerpt of a presentation made at the Tribunal:

I am more an aid worker and a lecturer than a politician or an analyst. But by following and monitoring the situation of the Iraqi children I became  more and more  convinced of the fact that both must be linked.

Behind all the data, figures and numbers that I will present to you, are children with a name, a personality, they are sisters, brothers, daughters, a son, a grandchild, a friend. I regret to have to put them in tables and categories, each of them so vulnerable and fragile,  they became the victims of the greed and lust for power and oil. They didn’t deserve this treatment.

For two decades, Iraqi children, along with the rest of the population, have been subjected to grave human rights violations, caused by decades of war, foreign occupation and international sanctions.

Iraq has turned into one of the worst places for children in the Middle East and North Africa with around 3.5 million living in poverty, 1.5 million under the age of five undernourished and 100 infants dying every day.

This report will focus on the violations by the occupying forces and the Iraqi government of the Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, Geneva, 12 August 1949[2], and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Since the invasion in 2003, the Anglo-American occupation forces and the Iraqi government grossly failed to fulfil their most basic duties towards the children of Iraq in accordance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Resolution 25/ Session 44, November 1989.[3]

Principles of the CRC emphasizes the need to protect children’s rights to life and physical, mental, moral, and spiritual development in a safe environment.
The Occupying powers bear full responsibility for the violations of these provisions and Conventions related to children. They should be held fully accountable for the harm they have inflicted upon the Iraqi children. They have deliberately changed the social fabric of the country, used ethnic cleansing to break up the unity of the country, destroyed water purification systems, health and educational facilities and indiscriminately bombed dense populated areas, leaving the children extremely vulnerable on all levels. Living in a country at war also causes mental disturbance to virtually all children, and acute anxiety and depression if not psychosis in a considerable number.
The Iraqi institutions and mechanisms that should ensure physical, social and legal protection for women, children and youth are dysfunctional and unreliable. As a result, the most vulnerable are exposed to exploitation and abuse, such as killing and maiming, kidnapping, gender based violence, human trafficking, recruitment and use by armed groups, child labour and deprivation of liberty.[4]
The international community and  international Human Rights bodies also bear considerable responsibility for this alarming situation because they failed to adequately address the grave violations inflicted upon the young and vulnerable in the Iraqi society and failed to identify the real culprits.

Somehow Barack forgets that reality in all his speeches and commercials taking credit for the 'good' of the Iraq War. 

The following community sites plus the Los Angeles Times, the Center for Constitutional Rights, Chocolate City and Tavis Smiley --  updated last night and today:

There's a Blogger/Blogspot issue and Trina's site continues to fail to pop up with the latest entry.  Friday, she posted  "Basic Kitchen and Barbies" (with "Vesta" the day before).  We'll close with Michelle Richardson's "National Security Letters: A Note On Numbers" (ACLU Blog of Rights):

A new article in Wired covers the evolution of the gag orders that come with national security letters (NSLs), secret FBI demands for your communication, internet, financial and credit records in terrorism investigations. As we wrote on Wednesday, the FBI is now notifying NSL recipients of their right to judicial review as a result of years of ACLU client litigation.
It is important to note that the numbers Wired uses in its article are only part of the picture. That article relies on public reports from the Department of Justice that only include information on NSLs that request the records of US persons. When the Justice Department’s Inspector General audited the full number of NSLs including non-US persons and NSLs that requests subscriber information only, the number shot up to 40 to 50,000 a year. You can see a full breakdown in infographic form here.
Speaking of audits, former DOJ Inspector General Glenn Fine promised in 2010 to undertake NSL and Patriot Act 215 audits voluntarily, even though the statutory requirement to do so lapsed and Congress couldn’t pass a new directive to restart them. Where are they?

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