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following articles are from the October 16-31, 2017, issue of People's
By Liz Rowley, leader of the Communist Party of Canada
A campaign by business interests aiming to derail the federal government’s effort to close tax loopholes benefitting the top 5% of incorporated small businesses, has gone largely unchallenged by the media, confused the public, and pressured Finance Minister Bill Morneau to backtrack on his very modest tax reform proposals.
At the centre of the opposition are the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB), and the very powerful Canadian Medical Association (CMA), representing doctors whose lucrative private practices are incorporated to cut their taxes. These are not small family farmers, or the Mom and Pop corner store owners or “start ups”, the vast majority of whom earn less than $73,000 annually. They are the surgeons and specialists whose average incomes are $461,000 a year; the 84,000 doctors providing medical services who are doing extremely well at public expense, collectively billing the government an average of $339,000 a year, or $25.7 billion. In fact only those making over $168,000 a year would see any difference in their tax bills.
What does it cost? About $3.6 billion in foregone government revenue that could be used to help fund Medicare, post-secondary education, a universal public childcare system, affordable social housing. The list is long - and urgent.
Not all doctors have drunk the cool-aid of medicine-as-business. Over 500 doctors and medical students oppose the CMA’s campaign and support closure of the tax loopholes. This group should receive a lot more public attention in the media; because (unlike the CMA and CFIB) their position represents the public interest.
In fact the government’s tax reform proposals are very modest and inadequate. The already skewed tax system increasingly benefits the corporations and the 1%, while starving the federal treasury of the funds needed to provide public services and to invest in jobs, the environment, and the economy.
Real tax reform would be based on ability to pay, putting the burden on the corporations and the wealthy, starting with doubling the corporate income tax rate, and introducing wealth and inheritance taxes on estates over $1 million. It would restore the capital tax, and tax capital gains at 100% of the gain (realized and unrealized). It would close all corporate loopholes, and collect unpaid and deferred corporate taxes at every level of government. It would also eliminate the regressive HST, eliminate income tax on incomes under $40,000, and restore multiple tax brackets, restoring progressivity to the tax system.
Real tax reform would also solve the problem of diminishing revenues, more than providing for the public good, for services, jobs, and investment.
The Liberals’ biggest
problem is in
The Liberals could say
no to the
The labour and people’s
movements have their work cut out. A broad-based opposition united in support
of policies and a program for a people’s recovery can stop the drive to the
The alternative is to continue further down the road of war and reaction, loss of sovereignty and democracy, mass unemployment, and mass impoverishment.
In fact, it’s no choice at all.
October 17 is the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. Despite claims that economic progress has lifted huge number of people world-wide above the poverty line, the World Bank estimated that in 2015, 705 million people were living on $1.90US per day or less.
Here are some facts and statistics about the current reality of poverty, taken from the website of Canada Without Poverty (formerly the National Anti-Poverty Organization), www.cwp-csp.ca/poverty/just-the-facts/.
The society cost of poverty across
Precarious employment has increased by nearly 50% over the past two decades. Between 1980 and 2005, the average earnings among the least wealthy Canadians fell by 20%.
People living with disabilities (both mental and physical) are twice as likely to live below the poverty line. Nearly 15% of people with disabilities live in poverty, 59% of which are women. Children with disabilities are twice as likely to live in households relying on social assistance
Estimates place the number of homeless individuals living with a disability or mental illness as high as 45% of the overall homeless population.
21% of single mothers in
Indigenous Peoples (including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples) are over-represented among the homeless population in virtually all urban centres. Among shelter users, 28%-34% are Indigenous.
One in five racialized families live in poverty in
Nearly 15% of elderly single individuals live in poverty.
Nearly 2 million seniors receive the Guaranteed Income Supplement, and live on
about $17,000 per year. This is below the most basic standard of living in
Children and youth under 18 are particularly vulnerable.
About 1.3 million children in
When food banks emerged during the recession of the early
1980s, people were shocked to see photos of children in the line-ups. Today,
more than one-third of food bank users across
Four million people in
The health effects of poverty are wide-ranging and can be difficult to see from the outside.
One in ten Canadians cannot afford to fill their medical
Estimates place the cost of socio-economic disparities in the health system to be 20% of all healthcare spending. It has been estimated that $1 invested in the early years of a child’s life can save up to $9 in future spending in the healthcare system. Food insecure households were 80% more likely to report having diabetes, 60% more likely to report high blood pressure, and 70% more likely to report food allergies.
Homelessness is the most obvious expression of poverty’s
effect on housing, but not the only one. Over the past 25 years,
Three million Canadian households are precariously housed (living in unaffordable, below standards, and/or overcrowded housing conditions). An estimated 235,000 people experienced homelessness in 2016, with roughly 35,000 people being homeless on any given night.
Almost 1 in every 5 households experience serious housing affordability issues (spending over 50% of their low income on rent) which puts them at risk of homelessness. Estimates place the number of homeless individuals living with a disability or mental illness as high as 45% of the overall homeless population.
Youth aged 16-24 make up about 20% of the homeless population. But the number of older adults and seniors experiencing homelessness is rising, making up a combined 4% of shelters users in 2016.
According to new research, spending $10 on housing and support for high-need chronically homeless individuals resulted in almost $22 of savings related to health care, social supports, housing, and the justice system.
Internationally, UNICEF has rated
PV Vancouver Bureau
Two decades of chronic underfunding have left public
But the new government is still scrambling to catch up
with the necessary levels of new public investment in the school system, and
OneCity School Board Trustee candidates, Erica Jaaf and Carrie Bercic, have pledged to be vocal advocates for ending public funding to elite private schools and returning those funds into public schools.
Despite the urgent demand for more public funding for our public schools, Jaaf points out that across the province, “$45 million of public money was spent funding elite private schools in 2015/2016.” These elite Group 2 schools are the wealthiest tier of schools in BC, and do not include independent schools for children with special needs, or religious and Montessori schools.
“At a time when parents across
As a long time public education advocate, Bercic pledged
that “a vote for OneCity candidates is a vote for champions of strong public
schools”. The failed
“OneCity will work tirelessly at all levels of government ensuring decision makers know how outraged voters are that private elite schools are getting government handouts,” commented Bercic.
Jaaf and Bercic say they will work tirelessly to hold the government's feet to the fire on ending education subsidies for the wealthy.
People’s Voice Editorial
The two largest opposition parties in Parliament have chosen new leaders, and the 2019 federal election is effectively underway. The big business Liberals have abandoned the progressive promises which won them a majority in 2015, and the Conservatives are now led by Andrew Scheer, who has close links to corporate boardrooms and far-right, racist forces. But the NDP has missed this opportunity to challenge the ruling class dogmas of neoliberal austerity and imperialist “humanitarian interventionism.”
Significantly, the NDP’s Jagmeet Singh is the first
racialized person to lead a federal party with seats in Parliament. This
outcome rejects the colonialist, racist, and neo-fascist narrative that
More fundamentally, in sharp contrast to
We also note that Singh takes pro-imperialist positions on international issues, including support for greatly expanded Canadian military spending. He is closely aligned with NDP foreign affairs critic Hélène Laverdière, who is a vocal backer of the anti-Palestinian American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a fierce enemy of Venezuela’s elected President Nicolás Maduro, and a supporter of NATO’s drive to encircle Russia.
In other words, under Jagmeet Singh, the NDP remains committed to putting a “human face” on capitalism. Working people deserve much better than this “more of the same.”
People’s Voice Editorial
The world watched in horror when Donald Trump vowed to
the UN General Assembly that the Democratic People’s Republic of
Trump has now escalated the danger. At a dinner photo op with top military brass at the White House on Oct. 5, he told journalists that this occasion was taking place during “the calm before the storm.” Defence Secretary James Mattis, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, Joint Chiefs of Staff chair Joseph Dunford and Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly were all present as Trump directed them to provide “a broad range of military options… at a much faster pace,” and “to overcome the obstacles of bureaucracy.”
The 27 million human beings who live in the DPRK are not
the only potential victims of this impending disaster. Trump’s illegal
aggression would bring immediate retaliation, with millions of civilian lives
Make no mistake about it. Donald Trump is not only talking about committing mass murder - he is preparing to launch a war that could kill billions and inflict catastrophic damage on human civilization. The urgent imperative today is to protest this madness, before it’s too late.
This Sept. 30 letter from
Keith Ellis, Coordinator of the 2017 Canadian Network on
Our campaign is off to a good start thanks to a spirit in which suggestions and initiatives are being taken in an organized way that keeps reminding us of one of Fidel's frequently repeated dictums: "cada soldado un comandante" (every soldier a commander). This spirit was abundantly evident in a very successful event held last Friday, September 22, in Toronto by the end of which, combined with other events, and including donations received from other parts of the country, we can say that we have so far collected $35,000.
We fully expect that this spirit will continue to be manifested here and throughout Canada, as we try to help the admirably courageous Cuban people who themselves are so deeply and intelligently involved in this recuperative effort against the terrible effects of Hurricane Irma.
You will be pleased to know that
For us, as simple human beings, not corrupted or
dehumanized by the big media, this response by
You will remember how prompt
Alas, a similar rapidity of response cannot be achieved
in the case of
During his slow, apparently reluctant, journey to the
nearby island, he is taking every opportunity to remind his 3.5 million
unfortunate compatriots there that they have a pre-hurricane debt of 70 billion
An interesting proposal aired by President Maduro is to
work toward making Puerto Rico eligible for membership in CELAC (the Community
of Latin American and
Let us remember always, as we raise funds for
Cheques should be written to "CNC," with the
following words on the memo line. – “Hurricane Relief”. They should be mailed:
c/o Sharon Skup, 56 Riverwood Terrace,
Un abrazo, Keith Ellis, Coordinator, 2017 CNC Hurricane Relief Campaign
Statement by the Central
Executive Committee, Communist Party of
The Communist Party of Canada condemns the savage violence of the Spanish government of Mariano Rajoy exercised against the Catalan population, in order to prevent voting in a referendum on October 1, 2017 to decide on their future as a nation.
According to the Catalan authorities, more than 800 people were wounded by police forces, including nearly 100 more severely.
While Rajoy rejoiced that the Spanish state had succeeded in preventing the referendum "with all its strength", the Catalan regional government announced that more than 90% of the 2.2 million ballots that could be counted supported the indpendence option. The police did manage to close 319 polling stations and seize the ballot boxes, so that approximately 770,000 ballots could not be counted. In total about 56% of the 5.3 million registered voters cast a ballot, or were prevented from voting by the repression.
This situation follows the Catalan regional parliament's
decision on September 6 to hold the Oct. 1 referendum on self-determination.
After the referendum was declared illegal by the
On September 20, the Spanish police stormed the Catalan
government, conducting searches and arresting a dozen senior officials,
including the Minister of Finance, under the pretext of
"disobedience", "prevarication" and "misappropriation
of funds" in connection with the organisation of the referendum. Again,
thousands went into the streets of
When the central government announced its intention to use force to prevent voting, thousands of people occupied the voting places. Although opinion polls initially did not give the majority of votes to the independence option, ironically, the authoritarian acts of the central government eventually seem to have rallied more and more people.
Following the vote, the Catalan authorities considered
that a majority had clearly expressed themselves in favour of secession. They
met behind closed doors to discuss the next steps in their plan to declare
independence and separation from
The authoritarian drift of the Spanish government,
according to the Communist Party of the Peoples of
The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) also supported the mobilizations to defend democratic freedoms and the right of national self-determination, calling for steps to restore normal democratic life, and for "an agreement between the [Spanish and Catalan] administrations that gives the Catalan people the right to vote peacefully with the full guarantee of being able to decide on the different ways of organizing themselves as a nation", and to guarantee the social and labour rights that the two governments have undermined since 2010. Following the repression of Oct. 1, the PCE called for the resignation of President Rajoy, and for mobilization of the social and democratic forces of the whole country to find a way out of the crisis and avoid any unilateral action that would deepen it.
Silence of foreign governments
The European Commission considers the referendum illegal,
and therefore supports the Spanish Government, declaring that this is an
internal matter which must be settled in accordance with the constitutional
Most countries in
Amnesty International has been content to deplore the use of excessive force employed by some police officers in the performance of their duties. According to AI, "the tensions are very strong, it is essential that Spanish legislation such as international human rights law be respected."
The Canadian government said that "the question of [
Strangely, that is not what the Canadian government has
said in the case of
On the other hand, in the
The real reason for this silence is that the Canadian
state does not recognize the right of self-determination for the nations that make
up this country, up to and including the right to secede. By not criticising
the force used by
While the Canadian state tolerated the holding of referendums
Among the various components of the working class in this
country, the Communist Party of
By Bennett Guillaume, in
If official media reports are to be believed, Xi Jinping, General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and President of the People's Republic, recently told the Politburo that a profound understanding of Marxism on the part of the country's leadership was essential. He warned his colleagues that any abandonment of Marxism would cause the CCP “to lose its soul and direction.”
As the CCP approached its 19th national congress in mid-October, he also suggested that the Chinese people, largely because of the profound social and economic changes their society has undergone in recent decades, are in a unique position to further develop those theories first elaborated by the authors of the Communist Manifesto.
I confess to being puzzled by academics, pundits and
ordinary followers of the global scene who casually affirm, as though it were a
Yet it is undoubtedly worthwhile to listen to what the Party itself says, to consider its own elaborations on the “Chinese road to socialism,” and to study what is actually occurring here. Party thinkers put matters quite simply and in terms that strike me as notably Marxist: the rapid and comprehensive development of the productive forces remains the primary task and the condition for present and future prosperity. The relative equality of pauperism, part of Mao's legacy, is not a communist vision; rather, decent remuneration according to work and, increasingly, services supplied on the basis of need, require a highly developed material base. And accelerated development is most effectively accomplished through a thorough integration in the world economy, which means wholehearted participation in markets – even as the State drives the process.
The results have been far from trauma-free, of course.
But these results include, over the past three decades, the greatest poverty
alleviation program in the history of the world, an initiative that has seen
perhaps half a billion people rise from destitution. Last year alone, more than
12 million rural citizens of
Even as the Party encourages private enterprise and
initiatives from civil society (in the shadow of such slogans as “
So-called productive sectors where the
Clearly, what can be expected in coming years is more of the same: continued State and Party control of key sectors alongside an ongoing effort to attract international capital; subsidies for public and domestic private players alike that appear capable of innovating and creating employment; and a well-publicized fight against corruption designed to shore up Party legitimacy and improve economic efficiency. The model is mixed ownership, with the State holding a decisive place in decisive spheres.
Meanwhile, looking beyond its borders,
And the workers?
Of course, any discussion of State and Party
control over socioeconomic life in
Having recently arrived in
Public transit is outstanding, in terms of reach, performance and affordability. One gets the distinct impression that if the Shanghainese are buying and driving new cars, and they are in alarming numbers, it is not due to a need to get around; the mammoth subway system will deliver one anywhere.
Also impressive from a public transit point of view is
that network built around a considerably simpler vehicular technology. Clusters
of brightly coloured bicycles abound. For a paltry sum you can take a bike from
anywhere and leave it anywhere, provided you lock it up. One would be tempted,
on this basis alone, to call
Nor is the sharing economy limited to bikes. In this region of regular rain, umbrellas may also be had in subway stations. Just remember to return yours to the rack.
By Nino Pagliccia
During four days,
September 16-19, I was in
However, this was not an ordinary invitation to an ordinary meeting. This was not an occasion for a photo op to be seen with famous Venezuelan people, and the dialogue did not just involve expressions of solidarity. This was an urgent call to the world to roll up our sleeves and work alongside the Venezuelan people anywhere we live.
Why such urgency and such a wide call?
There is a concerted
plan by the
Failing all of that, the level of violence, orchestrated by the rightwing Venezuelan opposition, increased reaching a peak in April-July of this year with 120 Venezuelans killed, some burned alive as suspected Chavistas. This tactic was used to destabilize the country and reach international visibility with the aid of corporate media, setting up the perfect excuse for the U.S. government to justify any intrusion in the name of the “poor suffering” Venezuelan people.
The sanctions come from
governments that want to strangle the Venezuelan economy for the purpose of
regime change; hence the call to the meeting “Todos Somos
During the four days we had an opportunity to hear from and exchange with President Nicolas Maduro; Jorge Arreaza, Minister of Foreign Relations; Delcy Rodriguez, former Minister of Foreign Relations and current President of the National Constituent Assembly; and Adan Chavez, brother of Hugo Chavez, vice president of the National Constituent Assembly, and United Venezuelan Socialist Party (PSUV) International Coordinator.
Among the international
delegates Evo Morales, President of
Now that all delegates have returned home, what next?
The Caracas Proclamation issued on the last day stated, “Our commitment to peace, sovereignty and the Bolivarian democracy is closely linked to the development of a broad and permanent conference of solidarity in each country, promoted by every political, social, religious and trade union organization of democratic nature that participates in this Conference.”
From the first day we were divided in several working groups with a clear mandate, to work on a draft declaration or proclamation; and to produce a plan of action.
The result was an “Action Plan to strengthen solidarity with the Bolivarian Revolution and to promote the emancipation struggles of the peoples.”
The general activities listed in the Action Plan include: collecting and distributing statements of support for Venezuela at all events and public activities; expanding the support base for the Bolivarian Revolution in the different sites of struggle; visits from activists willing to go to Venezuela to perform voluntary activities; coordinated international information campaigns on Venezuela’s government policies, National Constituent Assembly, call to peace, Venezuela’s participatory model, etc. The Action Plan calls to launch a collective and coordinated social media offensive; information on the website Venezuelanalysis.com can be used as a resource.
Some of the scheduled activities in
the Action Plan were already underway in the first half of October. These
included worldwide activities on the electoral process prior to the Governors’
elections of October 15 in
up soon, December 20, 2017, has been designated as the "International Day
against Imperialism", in commemoration of the invasion of
work plan is ambitious but it must be done for the sake of justice and to fight
(Nino Pagliccia’s next article about the
Statement by the Political Bureau of the
Iraqi Communist Party on September 30, 2017, on the referendum of the
the referendum in the
The insistence on holding the referendum unilaterally, despite the rejection it was met with on Iraqi, regional, Arab and international levels, and despite the pressing calls for its postponement and the exclusion of the disputed areas from its framework, led to severe reactions that were not difficult to foresee. This is especially so as our heroic armed forces were continuing their great task of pursuing terrorist Daesh, after completing the battle of putting an end to it in Nineveh province and achieving outstanding victories.
party, which has always expressed respect for the right of peoples, large and
small, including the Kurdish people and the people of
were further complicated after the referendum as certain quarters, internal and
external, resorted to muddying the waters, stirring up emotions and issuing
extremist and provocative calls aimed at preventing a rational and realistic
handling of the emerging situation on the basis of the Constitution. This
approach would secure the rights stipulated in the Constitution for the
citizens of all nationalities and sects, including the citizens of the
events and developments have shown that this new crisis is not isolated from
the general crisis that has been weighing on
On the other hand, our party believes that the formula of the federal state can still provide solutions that are satisfactory to all parties, and ensure the rights and interests of the Kurdish people and other social constituents in Kurdistan and the whole of Iraq, if political will exists among all parties and if the United Nations provides the necessary support.
In order to deal with the referendum crisis and overcome its interactions and repercussions, it is necessary to act on the basis of the public and national interest; the interests and rights of the Iraqi people with all its nationalities and other constituents, by exerting efforts to:
- Reject escalation in all its forms, curtail the “warmongers” and advocates of nationalist hatred, completely renounce the logic of violence and military force or hinting at their use, and to adopt the logic of reason and its language.
- Call on the Kurdistan Regional Government to cooperate in finding a safe and acceptable way out of the grave situation that has existed since the referendum, and to contribute seriously to this approach by taking positions that allow for dialogue within the framework of the Constitution.
- Reject the irresponsible demands by those who are pushing for imposing a kind of siege on the Kurdistan region, and avoid taking any action that may contribute to a collective punishment of the people of Kurdistan, which will ultimately hurt first and foremost the toilers and the poor.
- Embark as soon as possible on dialogue without preconditions, not only between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government, but also between all the Iraqi national parties, within the framework of a comprehensive national dialogue according to a clear agenda and with a specified time limit.
- Invite the United Nations to contribute to facilitating the launching of such a dialogue, facilitate reaching agreements on existing problems and provide guarantees for their implementation according to approved timetables.
- Take quick steps to address the factors causing tensions in the disputed areas, especially in Kirkuk and the Plain of Nineveh, and to develop formulas for their administration that guarantee the rights and participation of their whole population, until the completion of the implementation of the stages stipulated in Article 140 of the Constitution.
- Strengthen cooperation between the Federal Government and the Kurdistan Regional Government in the field of assistance to the displaced people, and accelerate their return to their areas, along with continuing the cooperation and coordination between the armed forces and the Peshmerga forces in the war against Daesh.
We are confident that such an effort to achieve a national solution to the current crisis, through serious and frank dialogue, would shut the doors on regional and international interference which only aims to serve the interests of their countries at the expense of the Iraqi people.
At the same time, however, we are aware that the series of crises will not end unless we get rid of the destructive policy based on the quota system and the corruption, mismanagement and misrule that are closely associated with it.
We therefore appeal to all the democratic civil forces, to all those who are keen to get the country out of its deep crisis and open promising horizons for its new generations, to strive relentlessly to reach common positions on tackling the current crisis and to unify their efforts in general. Only by doing so will they be able to play an effective role in shaping the balance of forces necessary to launch the process of reform and change towards building a democratic civil state; a state of citizenship that provides security, services, rights and freedoms and achieving social justice.
The three parties named an eight-member unification co-ordination committee, which includes CPN-UML president KP Oli, Maoist chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal — better known by his nom de guerre Prachanda — and New Force leader Baburam Bhattarai.
said a truly unified communist party was a “historic necessity solely in the
The new alliance hopes to win a landslide two-thirds majority in the 275-member lower house, overtaking the Nepali Congress party currently governing in coalition with the Maoists.
Prachanda reassured Congress over the alliance’s intentions. “This is not targeted at any force and the alliance is for the well-being of the people and the nation,” he said.
But India’s Hindustan Times reported that an emergency meeting of the Nepali Congress had accused the Maoists of “betraying” their coalition partners and resolved to take “serious steps” against them. Some unnamed Congress leaders told the newspaper that the aim of the new alliance was to force their party out of government.
The new lower house will have 165 members elected by the first-past-the-post system from constituencies and 110 by proportional representation in a single nationwide constituency.
The alliance has agreed that CPN-UML members will make up 60 per cent of the constituency candidates and the Maoists 40 per cent.
The restored Federal Parliament replaces the 593-seat Constituent Assembly that has governed since 2008.
The parliament has not sat since former king Gyanendra dissolved it in 2002 — triggering a crisis that ended with the overthrow of the monarchy in 2008.
News analysis by Marjorie Cohn, Truthout, September 29, 2017
Trump threatened to "totally destroy
threatening to attack
threat prompted North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho to state, "Given
the fact that this [threat] came from someone who holds the seat of the
added, "Since the
a move by
UN Charter requires peaceful dispute resolution
After two world wars claimed millions of lives, the UN Charter was adopted in 1945 "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." The Charter mandates the peaceful resolution of international disputes and forbids the use of force except in self-defense or with Security Council authorization.
Article 2 requires that UN members "settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered." Peaceful means are spelled out in Article 33: Parties to a dispute likely to endanger international peace and security must "first of all, seek a solution by negotiation, enquiry, mediation, conciliation, arbitration, judicial settlement, resort to regional agencies or arrangements, or other peaceful means of their own choice."
1953, after one-third of
stating the intention to totally destroy
his speech to the General Assembly, on top of his threats toward
UN Charter prohibits threats and preemptive use of force
2 of the Charter states that all members "shall refrain in their
international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial
integrity or political independence of any state." Trump's threat to
The only exceptions to the Charter's prohibition of the use of force are self-defense or approval by the Security Council.
Self-defense, under Article 51 of the Charter, is a narrow exception to the Charter's prohibition of the use of force. Countries may engage in individual or collective self-defense only in the face of an armed attack. In order to act in lawful self-defense, there must exist "a necessity of self-defense, instant, overwhelming, leaving no choice of means, and no moment for deliberation," under the well-established Caroline Case.
the Security Council has not authorized any country to use military force
Trump's threat to use military force against
The crime of genocide
stating the intention to totally destroy
The crime of "genocide," as defined in the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court, is committed when, with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, any of the following acts are committed: killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, or deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its destruction in whole or in part.
threat to totally destroy
Crimes against humanity
Under the Rome Statute, "crimes against humanity" include: the commission of murder as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population; or persecution against a group or collectivity based on its political, racial, national, ethnic or religious character, as part of a widespread or systematic attack against any civilian population.
threat to totally destroy
The crime of "collective punishment" is a grave breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention, which is considered a war crime. Collective punishment means punishing a civilian for an offense he or she has not personally committed.
Trump were to make good on his threat to totally destroy
"Proportionality" means an attack cannot be excessive in relation to the anticipated military advantage sought. "Distinction" requires that the attack be directed only at a legitimate military target.
total destruction of
First-strike use of nuclear weapons violates international law
In its 1996 advisory opinion, "Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons," the International Court of Justice (ICJ) determined that "the threat or use of nuclear weapons would generally be contrary to the rules of international law applicable in armed conflict, and in particular the principles and rules of humanitarian law."
The ICJ went on to say, "However ... the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be at stake." That means that while the use of nuclear weapons might be lawful when used in self-defense if the survival of the nation were at stake, a first-strike use would not be.
Trump's apocalyptic threat against
Copyright, Truthout.org. Reprinted with permission
(Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the US National Lawyers Guild and deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers. Her books include The United States and Torture: Interrogation, Incarceration, and Abuse; Cowboy Republic: Six Ways the Bush Gang Has Defied the Law and Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues. Visit her website: MarjorieCohn.com.)