Thursday, 25 April 2013

UN expert: Boston Marathon bombings US retribution for foreign policy

A prominent UN expert says the recent bombings in the US city of Boston were a direct response to Washington's foreign policies around the world, specifically in the Middle East.

UN Human Rights Council’s Palestine monitor Richard Falk wrote in the online Foreign Policy Journal on April 21 that the Boston bombings were a direct result of Americans torturing Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib, and of US drone attacks on innocent women and children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

In the essay titled “A Commentary on the Marathon Murders,” Falk also blamed the United States’ one-sided support of Israel, at the expense of the Palestinians. 

“As long as Tel Aviv has the compliant ear of the American political establishment, those who wish for peace and justice in the world should not rest easy,” wrote Falk, who is also an American professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University. 

Falk described US President Barack Obama’s recent speech in al-Quds (Jerusalem) during his visit to the Middle East as a “love letter to the Israeli public” rather than a demonstration of his belief in peace. 

The UN Human Rights Council official also noted that the US has been fortunate not to experience even worse consequences of its actions around the world. 

"The American global domination project is bound to generate all kinds of resistance... the United States has been fortunate not to experience worse blowbacks, and these may yet happen, especially if there is no disposition to rethink US relations to others in the world,” the US academic added. 

He pointed out that US politicians lack “the courage to connect some of these dots," noting that, "Should we not all be meditating on W.H. Auden's haunting line: 'Those to whom evil is done/do evil in return.'"

Falk’s comments drew an angry response from the United States. 

Erin Pelton, spokeswoman for US mission to the United Nations, said in a statement on Tuesday that Falk’s comments on the bombings were “provocative and offensive.” 

“The United States has previously called for Mr. Falk’s resignation for his numerous outrageous statements, and these comments underscore once more the absurdity of his service as a UN special rapporteur,” Pelton said. 

In a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and US Ambassador to the UN Susan Rice, Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, said Falk’s comments are a blatant justification for “terrorism, insulting the memory of Boston’s dead and wounded, insulting the American people.” 

Rice also said Falk should be dismissed from the world body. 

On April 15, the twin bombings near the finish line of the Boston Marathon killed three people and injured more than 170. 

Nineteen-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving suspect in the bombings, has been charged with using a weapon of mass destruction. 

Dzhokhar was wounded and his 26-year-old brother Tamerlan was killed in a shootout with police on April 19. 

Meanwhile, The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that Dzhokhar cited the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as major influences for his role in the bombings. 

Experts argued that the pressure cooker-type bombs used in the bombings resembled weapons used by the US military, including antipersonnel land mines and internationally-banned cluster munitions, as bits of maiming steel are used to cause maximum widespread casualties and structural damage.

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