Shireen Abu Akleh, the Al Jazeera reporter with more than two decades of experience covering armed conflicts, knew the protocol. She and other reporters remained last Wednesday in the open, clearly visible to Israeli snipers about 650 feet away in a building. Her flak jacket and helmet were emblazoned with the word “PRESS.” There were three shots fired in her direction. The second bullet hit the Al Jazeera producer Ali al-Samoudi in the back. The third shot, al-Samoudi remembered, hit Abu Akleh in the face below the rim of her helmet. There were a few seconds when the Israeli sniper saw profiled in his scope Abu Akleh, one of the most recognizable faces in the Middle East. The 5.56 mm bullet from the M-16, designed to spin end over end upon impact, would have obliterated most of Abu Akleh’s head.
As I write these words, the world is trying to make sense of the brutal assassination of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was targeted by Israeli forces while covering yet another Israeli assault on Jenin. Furthermore, Israeli forces have now attacked the funeral procession leading Shireen to her final resting place. One wonders why is anyone surprised. How often have we seen innocent lives taken? How often have we seen the Israeli military attack funeral processions? And yet, for reasons that perhaps cannot be explained, awe, sadness, and despair have descended upon the world with this particular killing. This particular targeted killing of a journalist – not the first and sadly, probably not the last – touched us all. And the response of the Zionist establishment in occupied Jerusalem, as well as in Washington, is cold and full of excuses.
Thousands of Iranians took to the streets on Monday, January 3 to observe the second anniversary of the assassination of major general Qassem Soleimani. The largest procession was taken out in his hometown in Kerman. Iranian president Ebrahim Raisi also addressed the nation on the occasion and demanded a fair trial of former US president Donald Trump and his associates for the assassination. Calling the assassination a terrorist act which had implications on international peace and security, Iranian ambassador to the UN Security Council, Majid Takht-Ravanchi wrote a letter to the chair of the council asking it to “live up to its charter based responsibilities and hold the United States and the Israeli regime to account for planning, supporting and committing a terrorist act,” Press Tv reported.
Thousands of people have rallied in the Iraqi capital to mark the second anniversary of the killing of a revered Iranian commander and his Iraqi lieutenant in a drone attack by the United States. Chanting “Death to America”, the marchers filled a Baghdad square to honor Iran’s General Qassem Soleimani, who headed the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of the elite Revolutionary Guard, until his death on January 3, 2020. “US terrorism has to end”, read one sign at the rally by backers of the pro-Iranian Hashed, also known as the Popular Mobilisation Forces (PMF), a former paramilitary alliance that has been integrated into Iraq’s state security apparatus. “We will not let you stay after today in the land of the martyrs,” another placard read. US and Israeli flags were strewn on the ground, with people trampling them.
Earlier this year, reports surfaced detailing alleged plots in 2017 to either kidnap or assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, when he was five years into his political asylum inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London. At the time, Assange’s team hoped the revelation would helped their push to not have the publisher extradited to the US. Stella Moris, the fiancee of Julian Assange, accused the UK on Sunday of playing the “executioner” in a US “plot” to kill the WikiLeaks publisher. In a Statement to the Daily Mail Online, Moris stressed to the outlet that Assange’s “incarceration is having a catastrophic effect on his health”. “The US government plotted to kill him and have found a way to do so - get the UK state to play the role of executioner,” she said, adding that “this is a slow-motion Khashoggi playing out in the heart of London”.
Darnelly Rodriguez is the Centro Pazífico coordinator and the coordinator for the Francisco Isaías Cifuentes Human Rights Network (REDDHFIC)’s Valle Del Cauca chapter. On November 19 2021, she received the second of two death threats in two weeks. This threat came from the AGC paramilitary group. She was listed along with several other social movement and union leaders in a pamphlet that was left under the door of Cali’s largest labor federation.
As world leaders inside the COP26 conference centre in Glasgow boasted about pledges to slash greenhouse gas emissions and end deforestation, indigenous delegates gathered across the river Clyde to commemorate activists killed for trying to protect the planet from corporate greed and government inaction. At least 1,005 environmental and land rights defenders have been murdered since the Paris accords were signed six years ago, according to the international non-profit Global Witness. One in three of those killed were indigenous people. The dead include Berta Cáceres, winner of the prestigious Goldman prize for environmental defenders, who was shot dead at her home in Honduras in March 2016 for opposing the construction of an internationally financed dam on a river considered sacred by her Lenca people.
Muammar Gaddafi led his nation to become the wealthiest in all of Africa. A decade after his demise, it is riven by tribalism, terrorism and slavery, all because the West could not allow an Arab leader to succeed. There was never really an ‘Arab Spring’ in Libya the way there was in Egypt or Tunisia. Protests were much smaller, and as time went on to show, the biggest players turned out to be extremist groups and foreign actors, each trying to get a slice of the country. NATO’s bombing of Libya and support for rebels seeking to overthrow Gaddafi had little to do with wanting the country to prosper. Under the guise of ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’, the Western military alliance helped murder one of the Arab world’s most prominent leaders in order to steal Libya’s resources and protect Western hegemony.
Bolivia’s Interior Ministry has revealed that Colombian mercenaries, who participated in the assassination of President Jovenel Moise in Haiti, entered Bolivia days before the 2020 election. Fernando Lopez, Defense Minister under Jeanine Añez, was in contact with mercenary groups, with whom he intended to carry out a second coup.
Dag Hammarskjöld set the standard for integrity and independence that all United Nations secretaries-general are judged against. He pioneered direct diplomacy by a secretary-general to defuse crises, and created U.N. peacekeeping. Hammarskjöld forged an independence between the Cold War powers that upset both and may have led to his death 60 years ago on Saturday. The son of a Swedish prime minister, Hammarskjöld came from a privileged background, unlike the Socialist Trygve Lie, the first secretary-general. Hammarskjöld became a lawyer, an economist, Sweden’s finance minister and was a delegate to the Paris Marshall Plan conference. Hammarskjöld was surprised to be chosen as Lie’s replacement. He was acceptable to both blocs, as he was seen as an apolitical technocrat.
United Nations -The United Nations is considering reopening its investigation into the mysterious 1961 plane crash that killed then-U.N. chief Dag Hammarskjöld after new evidence of possible foul play emerged. The U.N. General Assembly put the case back on its agenda in March at the recommendation of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after more than half a century of speculation that the Swedish diplomat’s plane was either sabotaged or shot down. Mr. Ban’s recommendation came after a report by the independent Hammarskjöld commission, formed in 2012 with the participation of South African jurist Richard Goldstone. The report in September raised the possibility the National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies have a tape-recorded radio communication by a mercenary pilot who allegedly carried out an aerial attack on the secretary-general’s plane.
Haitian authorities have arrested Colombian mercenaries and Haitian-Americans and charged them with participating in the July 7 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. But murky questions still remain: Who organized the attempted coup? Who paid the mercenaries? Who will benefit?
A growing number of suspects in the assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse have US ties. At least one is a former DEA informant and several have received U.S. military training. Scholar Jemima Pierre of The Black Alliance for Peace discusses the unfolding mystery surrounding Moïse’s killing and the context of longtime US, foreign intervention and neocolonialism in Haiti.
The recent assassination of Haiti’s president Jovenel Moise has created a great deal of confusion, not only about the crime itself but about the role that the United States might play in that nation. Scant and contradictory information make it difficult to discern who benefits from his killing. Moise was the United States puppet president who refused to step down in February as Haiti’s constitution required, and despite massive protests across the country opposing the continuation of his administration. Questions about the assassination are relevant but they are not particularly helpful in analyzing the situation. Details about the plot are important but so is understanding the history of Haiti’s relationship with the U.S. and other countries. That history makes a mockery of any claim that the U.S. could be helpful at this moment.