In the midst of a war-fueled water crisis, the Saudi Arabia-led coalition reportedly bombed a water bottling plant in northern Yemen on Sunday, adding to mounting civilian casualties as the military onslaught enters its sixth month.
"The corpses of 36 workers, many of them burnt or in pieces, were pulled out after an air strike hit the plant this morning," resident Issa Ahmed told Reuters of Sunday's bombing in the province of Hajjah.
The Yemeni Defense Ministry put the number of civilians killed at 34, with dozens wounded.
Coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri denied that the bombing hit a civilian target. However, this claim contradicts reports by residents and medical officials.
The apparent bombing follows a series of attacks targeting civilian infrastructure and neighborhoods. Coalition strikes killed 65 people in Taiz late last week, the vast majority of them civilians. Furthermore, the bombing of a milk factory in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida in July killed 65 people.
In a report released earlier this month, humanitarian aid agency Amnesty International criticized the coalition's "pattern of strikes targeting heavily populated areas including civilian homes, a school, a market and a mosque. In the majority of cases no military target could be located nearby."
A well-done article in the New York Times reminds us that four years after the United States assassinated American citizen and Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki (and his teenage son) in a drone strike, his influence on jihadists is greater than ever.
At the same time, the UK’s Guardian tells us about William Bradford, an assistant law professor at West Point, who argued in a peer-reviewed paper that attacks on Muslim scholars’ homes and offices, Middle Eastern media outlets and Islamic holy sites are legitimate and necessary to “win” the war on terrorism.
Bradford threatens “Islamic holy sites” as part of a war against radicalism. That war ought to be prosecuted vigorously, he wrote, “even if it means great destruction, innumerable enemy casualties, and civilian collateral damage. Other ‘lawful targets’ for the US military in its war on terrorism,” Bradford argues, “include law school facilities, scholars’ home offices and media outlets where they give interviews, all civilian areas, but places where a causal connection between the content disseminated and Islamist crimes incited exist.”
Judiciary Branch Has Self-Abolished
The US no longer has a judiciary. This former branch of government has transitioned into an enabler of executive branch fascism. Privacy is a civil liberty protected by the US Constitution. The Constitution relies on courts to enforce its prohibitions against intrusive government, but if the executive branch claims (no proof required) “national security,” courts kiss the Constitution good-bye.
Sexual Assault by the TSA is OK, Except in the Airport Bathroom
Here is some welcome news for travelers. There seems to be a limit to where Transportation Security Administration (TSA) employees can sexually assault travelers — at least at the New York City LaGuardia Airport. WABC-TV reports that a TSA agent was arrested Thursday for sexually assaulting an individual in a LaGuardia Airport bathroom.
Telling Your Child to Call 911 in an Emergency Can Be Dangerous
Cop Block co-founder Pete Eyre released a new video this week that, in just four minutes, explains clearly why telling children just to dial 911 is not the best means to ensure children’s safety in emergencies. Just as important, Eyre presents in the video several suggestions of other actions parents can take to prepare their children to deal with emergencies.
NY Times: Why Isn't Obama Backing Al-Qaeda in Syria?
Just fourteen years after al-Qaeda attacked New York, the New York Times is wondering why the Obama Administration is not cooperating more closely with al-Qaeda.
Idaho School Bans Confederate Flag On Student’s Car
We have previously discussed the ongoing controversy over the confederate flag as well as past cases of student speech being curtailed. This story combines those themes after Jordan Beattie, a student at Cossa Academy in Wilder, Idaho was banned from flying the confederate flag that his girlfriend had given him. He was told that the flag was interpreted to be a gang symbol.