Gavin Williamson, the defence secretary, has admitted that on March 26th, a British airstrike killed a motorcyclist who rode into its path in Syria by chance. It is the first confirmation of a civilian casualty by UK forces in the fight against Islamic State.
The unintentional death, described by Williamson as “deeply regrettable”, was confirmed during post-strike analyses of drone footage and other imagery.
The official position of the Ministry of Defence until yesterday’s announcement had been that it had seen no evidence of UK airstrikes causing civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria.
A source within the US-led coalition against Isis, however, told the BBC that he had seen evidence that British airstrikes had caused civilian casualties “on several occasions”. “To suggest they have not, as has been done, is nonsense,” the source added.
The coalition has begun an investigation and will issue a report. The airstrike was by a Reaper drone, remotely operated by pilots in the UK or at an airbase in the United States.
The defence secretary admits that RAF jets and drones have conducted more than 1,600 airstrikes in Syria and Iraq and Airwars, a group that has been monitoring civilian casualties, claimed it was likely that between 1,066 and 1,579 civilians had died in the fighting in Mosul. The US and Australia have accepted responsibility for civilian casualties. The coalition has admitted causing just over 350 civilian deaths in Mosul.
The deaths, in particular those of women and children, have helped to turn local populations against coalition forces and fuel insurgencies.
A Wimbledon reader sends news that Amnesty International has cited another civilian death: 68-year-old Mamana Bibi was picking vegetables in the family’s fields with her
grandchildren in Waziristan, northwest Pakistan. ’Out of nowhere’, she was hit during a double drone strike led by the US. Mamana is one of hundreds of civilians accidentally killed by US drone strikes. Strikes that the UK has been playing a crucial part in.
Despite the lack of coverage in many newspapers and on TV bulletins, a petition has been set up, calling for the UK government to launch a full public inquiry into its role in the US’s expanding drones programme:
To join this call for a full public inquiry into Britain’s role in the US’s expanding drones programme, go to https://www.amnesty.org.uk/actions/uk-stop-helping-deadly-and-secret-us-drone-strikes
In an earlier post it was noted that “Governments are balancing budgets on the backs of the poor” (John Grisham) 2.6 million women born in the 1950s will ‘lose out’ because of changes to pension law: “while corporations and the richest individuals receive tax breaks”.
Grahame Morris, MP for Easington, wrote earlier this month:
“Across Britain some 3.8 million women are affected by the increase to the state pension age. Though there is a good deal of sympathy for the aim of equalising the retirement age, what has taken place in practice has been appallingly unjust. Women Against State Pension Inequality (WASPI) agrees with equalisation, but does not agree with the unfair way the changes were implemented – with little or no personal notice (1995/2011 Pension Acts), faster than promised (2011 Pension Act), and no time to make alternative plans”.
Guy Opperman, work and pensions minister with responsibility for financial exclusion, failed to reassure women in their 60s, hit by changes to their pension, by advising them to get a job or take up “extended apprenticeship opportunities”.
“Raising the pension age for women, often with little notice and sometimes failing to notify people of the changes at all, is a recipe for disaster.
“Many Waspi women affected by state pension inequality have been working full time and paying national insurance since the age of 15 or 16. In my constituency of Easington, the government’s changes to the state pension age will harm some 4,542 women.
“The OECD has recently ranked Britain’s pensions system as the worst in the developed world – yet the Tories are attempting to deny Waspi women even a basic state pension” . . .
“Excluded from the winter fuel allowance, from the free bus pass and now from the state pension, this generation of women are now in numerous cases having to sell their homes, take on precarious poverty-wage jobs or rely on foodbanks . . .
“The government’s given reason for failing these 3.8 million women is that to give them their pensions would cost as much as £30bn – for six years of pensions.
“Yet research from Landman Economics suggests the cost of helping Waspi women would likely be a more modest £8bn”. Morris lists the wider context:
- Refurbishing Westminster will cost the taxpayer some £7bn,
- Britain’s airstrikes in Syria are estimated to reach a cost of around £10bn.
- Increased privatisation of the national health service is estimated to cost at least an extra £4.5-£10bn each year.
- There have been billions of pounds of needless tax cuts to the bank levy.
“In this context finding the money for Waspi women seems a sensible price to pay to give these women justice and stop poverty from rising to ever more tragic levels. We know and we can see that it isn’t equal, it isn’t fair and it isn’t justifiable – it’s driving down the incomes and the quality of life of countless women.
Morris: “The prime minister is herself a Waspi woman but I doubt she ever has or ever will be faced with a choice between heating or eating. Yet this doesn’t mean it is too late for the government to do the right thing”.
“The parliamentary ombudsman is currently investigating the Department for Work and Pensions for maladministration, by failing to notify women of the changes to their state pension age. If the ombudsman finds in favour of the Waspi women the government could have to pay compensation to the tune of billions of pounds”
The Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, SNP, Plaid Cymru, the DUP and 50 Tory MPs support the Waspi campaign.
So many have for years seen the soft power exerted by the US over the young to destabilise Middle Eastern countries; first items, ‘cool’ pop music, jeans,T-shirts and other trappings, then by lavish funding to build up openly or covertly subversive groups.
We suggest that this ‘special friend’ is to be set aside and no longer slavishly followed.
In a recent article, Aeneas Georg shows a YouTube Chinese video which indicates that the Chinese read the geopolitical chess game very well. It maps out 12 steps that the US uses for regime change and goes on to explain how these “regime changes” around the world and the antagonizing of Russia and China follow a pattern that could lead to World War III.
The 12 Steps to regime change, employed by the US are outlined in the sub-titled video:
- Dispatch CIA, MI6 and other intelligence officers as students, tourists, volunteers, businessmen, and reporters to the target country
- Set up non-governmental organisations (NGO) under the guise of humanitarianism to fight for “democracy” and “human rights” In order to attract advocates of freedom and ideals
- Attract local traitors and especially academics, politicians, reporters, soldiers, etc., through bribery, or threaten those who have some stain in their life
- If the target country has labour unions, bribe them
- Pick a catchy theme or color for the revolution. Examples include the Prague spring (1968), Velvet revolution (Eastern Europe, 1969), Rose revolution (Georgia, 2003), Cedar revolution (Lebanon, 2005), Orange revolution (Ukraine), Green revolution (Iran), Jasmin revolution, Arab Spring and even Hong Kong’s Umbrella revolution
- Start protests for whatever reasons to kick off the revolution. It could be human rights, democracy, government corruption or electoral fraud. Evidence isn’t necessary; any excuse will do
- Write protests signs and banners in English to let Americans see and get American politicians and civilians involved
- Let those corrupted politicians, intellectuals and union leaders join the protests and call upon all people with grievances to join
- The US and European mainstream media help continuously emphasize that the revolution is caused by injustice thereby gaining the support of the majority
- When the whole world is watching, stage a false-flag action. The target government will soon be destabilised and lose support among its people
- Add in violent agent provocateurs to provoke the police to use force. This will cause the target government to lose the support of other countries and become “delegitimized” by the international community
- Send politicians to the US, EU and UN to petition so that the target government will face the threat of economic sanctions, no-fly zones and even airstrikes and an armed rebel uprising.
”Anyone who has being paying just a little attention to the world events can recognise this pattern. Psychopaths are not that creative and therefore tend to use the same method again and again . . . And the public memory is conveniently very short, with all the distraction that Hollywood and the social media can come up with . . .
”Though the video blames it all on the Freemasons, it would be more correct to say the pathological elite. One of the key defining traits of this subspecies is the fact that they have no conscience and therefore care naught about human suffering and deaths . . . If the 12 steps above do not work, then the US will find an excuse to intervene militarily and overthrow the target government by force. In fact, these steps have proven to be very effective . . .
”The emperor is exposed as being naked, something that the BRICS countries and a number of other countries are becoming aware of. There is no doubt that greater cooperation among these countries has helped to spread knowledge about the psychopaths’ modus operandi. The above video is an example of the exposure of this pattern.
For more reading on the same website:
- The US’ pathetic attempt to cover up funding of Hong Kong’s “Occupy Central”
- US backed Hong Kong protests: Beware of staged violence
- Eyes wide open: China claims US behind Hong Kong protests
- U.S. would love to force China into “another Tiananmen Square” in Hong Kong