USA Illegally Shuts Off Water to Own People while Illegally Spending 1 Trillion on Nuclear Bombs

Monday, a US federal judge ruled that water will continue to be cut off to disadvantaged residents of Detroit, Michigan.  Water has been cut off to “50,000 low-income households since January 2013 and continues at the pace of 400 households a day.”

Shutoffs will continue, the judge said, because there is no such thing as a “fundamental right” to water.

He added that access to water is “based on ability to pay.”

The rulings from the US federal representative are violations of international human rights law.

On July 18, 2014, Amnesty International, the world’s largest and most respected human rights organization, stated:

Detroit: Access to Essential Water is a Human Right

The disconnection of water service to households which are struggling in Detroit’s current economy and cannot pay their water bill is a violation of the right to water.

It is imperative that the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department restore service of water to any occupied home or residence…

According to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Leilani Farha, the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, and the Special Rapporteur on the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation, Catarina de Albuquerque, “Disconnection of water services because of failure to pay due to lack of means constitutes a violation of the human right to water and other international human rights.”

...impoverished families [are having] their water shut off … even as sports arenas, a golf course and half the city’s commercial users – all also behind on payments to the tune of $30 million—have reportedly not received notices

The rights to water and sanitation require that they be available, accessible, safe, acceptable and affordable for all without discrimination.  According to international human rights law, it is the State’s obligation to provide urgent measures, including financial assistance, to ensure access to essential water and sanitation.  States are required to ensure everyone’s access to a sufficient amount of safe drinking water for personal and domestic uses, defined as water for drinking, personal sanitation, washing of clothes, food preparation, and personal and household hygiene.

Also condemning the criminal US federal assertion that access to water is based on the ability to pay, the 2014 UN Development Report asserted that “access to certain basic elements of a dignified life ought to be delinked from people’s ability to pay. … The state has the primary responsibility to extend social services to the entire population, in a basic social contract between citizens and state”, and called for “universal access to basic social services“.

As the USA cuts off water to its own poor people and keeps water flowing to rich residents who are also behind on payments (not to mention almost completely subsidizes and bails out corporate billionaires who fail in the free market through criminality and recklessness), the USA is illegally (and frighteningly) devoting massive amounts of tax dollars to its global violence and domination expansion enterprises.

Thousands of examples can be cited.  Here are two (and see here for more):

1) The USA is currently illegally committing 1 to 1.5 trillion dollars (the most of any regime ever) to nuclear bomb development, in violation of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires immediate disarmament.

The US is the world’s biggest stockpiler of WMD and biggest violator of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation treaty (more info here).

2) The USA is also committing hundreds of millions (most likely billions) of dollars to try to overthrow Syria using both proxy and US forces, in violation of international law and the UN charter, in part of a terrorism campaign the US has ceaselessly waged against Syria since 1948.

Declaration on Principles of International Law, concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States (October 24, 1970)

No State shall organize, assist, foment, finance, incite or tolerate subversive, terrorist or armed activities directed towards the violent overthrow of the regime of another State, or interfere in civil strife in another State.

Article 2, UN Charter:

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.

Finally, here are examples of the USA’s globally isolated stance of shameless rejection of nourishment as a human right:

  • A 1981 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 135 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
  • A 1982 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 131 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
  • A 1983 UN General Assembly resolution declaring that education, work, health care, proper nourishment, national development, etc are human rights went 132 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
  • Under the Clinton administration, in 1996, a United Nations-sponsored World Food Summit affirmed the “right of everyone to have access to safe and nutritious food”. The United States took issue with this, insisting that it does not recognize a “right to food”. (William Blum)
  • A 2007 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to food went 186 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.
  • A 2008 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to food went 184 to 1, the USA casting the isolated “NO” vote.

Once Obama assumed power, the UN stopped voting on right-to-food resolutions, saving the Nobel “Peace” winner the embarrassment of having to reject them.  However, with the Obama regime in power, the UN has voted on the right to water:

  • A 2010 UN General Assembly vote affirming the human right to water went 122 to 0, with the USA abstaining.

Obama’s global isolationism and democracy shunning also includes dozens of resolutions condemning Israeli/US war crimes, ethnic cleansing, extermination and annexation operations against the Palestinians, such as:

  • A 2011 UN Security Council (15 members) resolution calling for a halt to the illegal expansion of Israeli settlements in the illegally Israeli-Occupied West Bank of Palestine.  The vote went 14 to 1, Obama the sole “NO” vote.

Robert Barsocchini is an investigative journalist focusing on global force dynamics.  He also writes professionally for the film industry.  Here is his blog.  Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities.  Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
  • Carl_Herman

    Nice, Robert; thank you. That’s how our .01% roll; they “in your face” violate the Non-proliferation Treaty, attack our own poor, and scream, “More war!”

    Iran is in compliance of this treaty. As Robert documents, the US obviously is not. Here’s something I wrote on this in 2009:

    • Robert Barsocchini

      Thanks, Carl. I remember reading that! 🙂 Another excellent piece.

  • TJF

    So, I should stop paying my water and sewer bill because it is my right to get those services for free?

    • unheilig

      Depends. Do you live in a city that’s illegally declared itself bankrupt to avoid paying the little people, that is, the workers who labored diligently for decades to keep the city functioning, what they were promised and what they are owed for their years of service?

      • TJF

        So, is clean water a right or is something to be earned through years of diligent labor? You seem to making a different argument than the original posting. I thought the post was making the point that it is a right to have clean water, but you seem to be saying that you should get clean water if you pay (or have paid in advance) for it.

        Could they put in a fountain and let the people haul their clean water in buckets or does the “right” to clean water also mean having it piped into their homes complete with a functioning sewer system and associated water treatment facility?

        Do they have a right to hot water? Is it illegal to cut off gas or electricity for non-payment if those services are being used to power a water heater?

        I’m not necessarily siding with the City of Detroit here, just pointing out how saying that clean drinking water is a right may sound like a good thing to say, but in practice it’s not so easy. What if I moved to the middle of Death Valley. Could I sue the State of California if they do not provide me clean water?

        • thulsa doom

          He is saying only poor colored people have a right to free water, white people should still pay no matter the income.

          • unheilig

            Are you just a racist, a troll, a racist troll, or somebody that’s trying to be ironic and has no clue?

        • unheilig

          I’m saying it’s a lot more complicated than your remark would indicate. Do water or other utility companies have a right to profit from other peoples’ misery?

    • Robert Barsocchini

      This is a perceptive comment. You are getting at a deeper issue than what I discussed, here. Just as I don’t want to be forced, under threat of being hurt, to fund certain things, like an evil empire, I would never want to force you, under threat of being hurt or caged, to fund things you don’t want to fund, like the water issue discussed here.

      Thank you for raising this wider philosophical point, which people should absolutely think about and research.

    • MCB

      It’s much more complex than that TJF, although on the surface what you said is true.

  • unheilig

    It’s perfectly logical. If you’ve been blown to crap by indiscriminate bombing or droning, your need for food, water or anything else is pretty minimal.

  • Bev

    So infuriating. Child Protective Services should get involved on behalf of children affected and charge city government with abuse and get that water turned back on. Further, to try to remedy so much gone wrong, Detroit citizens please considering attending AMI Monetary Conference:

    The American Monetary Institute announces its 10th Annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference
    October 2 – 5, 2014 at University Center in downtown Chicago
    Register by Phone at 224-805-2200 : Register by e-mail at
    Discounts for Students & Teachers
    If finances are making it hard for you to attend our Conference, let me know (by phone or email) and we’ll work it out together.

    The AMI, The American Monetary Institute, conference is less than 1 WEEK away, and features Michael Hudson, Steve Keen, Kaoru Yamaguchi, Joseph Huber among other economists. We need the debt-free money to fix our economies, jobs, resource allocation, and urgently to attempt to reduce the terrible damage of Fukushima, New Mexico’s WIPP and to reverse Climate Change momentum. These projects will take many generations and huge money to engineer. We must begin.


    What do we want?

    Decent lives for ourselves, our families, our friends, our neighbors–for all of us.

    An end to debt slavery–student debt, underwater mortgages and out of control credit card debt, when being late on one payment can jack your interest rate to 25-30%. Of course, it is easy to miss a payment when we live with an economic system that is incapable of providing jobs for all its people. And so many of the jobs that we can get now only pay about half of what life’s basic necessities cost.

    Put the 9 million American families that have been either foreclosed and torn from their homes or are in the process of foreclosure back into homes.

    A clean, sustainable environment–transitioning from energy that pollutes air, water, soil and threatens future human life on earth as we know it to renewable alternatives. With the Fukushima nuclear disaster as an example of the inability to safely contain nuclear energy and waste, we can be assured that nuclear energy and bombs for that matter are anathema to human life and peace of mind.

    An end to U.S. militarism, war and empire–in service not to the American people, but rather to the military/industrial/Congressional/banking complex.

    These are all things that we want, but as the song says “You can’t always get what you want.” Why? In our present monetary system there is never any money for these and other programs that would actually benefit the people.

    “But if you try sometime

    You just might find

    You get what you need.”

    Bringing the voices of peace, anti war, anti nuclear, environmental, Fight for $15, anti foreclosure, labor, debt jubilee, universal basic income, national healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, anti racist, LGBT activists, etc together in one voice, committed to struggle, we can get what we need.

    And what we need is The NEED Act!

    Meanwhile, our legislators from both political parties are hopelessly frozen within a debt money paradigm, unable to provide the things that we need and want for our society and the health of our mother earth because they can’t borrow anymore and they can’t tax anymore. It’s up to us to tell them that we will no longer accept austerity. America needs The NEED Act!

    Dear Friends of the American Monetary Institute,

    We proudly announce our tenth annual AMI Monetary Reform Conference, and bring together some of the world’s most serious advocates of real and achievable monetary reforms.

    The banking disaster, created and facilitated by false economic and monetary ideas, used by some very bad people, actually poses a real danger to the survival of the species. We must transform the ongoing disaster into an opportunity to achieve real and lasting monetary reforms for mankind. These are the reforms indicated as necessary by decades of study and centuries of experience.

    Regular working people understand that a moral approach is needed to lead to a future worthy of humanity. Around the world they are way ahead of their leadership, which ignores moral considerations, seeming to rely on media dominance to hold onto undeserved privileges for a tiny minority of the population. But clearly, in order for the financial crisis to have occurred, thousands of financiers had to break our nation’s very serious laws; and yet not a single one of them has been charged for those crimes.

    The main cause of the problem is using debt in place of money when the banks make loans, as our present system does. That single error, promoted by those really trying to block monetary reform, and by some economics professors trying to keep their salary checks coming, is all it takes to wreck any monetary system, and begin the insane concentration of wealth, into exactly the wrong hands, as we now see in our society! The conference shows why money must be created by our government and spent into circulation on infrastructure, healthcare, and education. The conference highlights recent important moves in that direction by key people, and institutions, around the world.

    We have a once in several generations opportunity to fix an obviously flawed money system that is causing so much pain and hardship among a growing section of our people. It is clearly time to fix our monetary and banking system! Come and find out how, and the role you can play in that process.

    In addition to top notch “real monetary reform” speakers, we’ll focus on some important themes:

    The Student Debt Crisis

    This tragedy has the potential to wreck the lives of an entire generation of young people! That would wreck our nation. We are not going to let that happen – we are going to look at adjusting Kucinich’s N.E.E.D. Act ever so slightly so that it will forgive all student debt. The Act as written already pays for education – adjustments will be discussed to also make that retroactive. Sounds unbelievable? This conference will look at that question in complete detail.

    Remember how Students demonstrated against the Viet Nam War? They didn’t want to be drafted and killed. The student debt question can have a similar effect. We can imagine an army of young people(and their parents!) who will promote monetary reform, and force Congress to end their student debt.

    We made a special effort to bring students into the conference and offered them scholarships at only $49 to attend the whole conference. Several are doing this, and we are looking forward to helping get them started on monetary reform. They are able to stay at the HI Youth Hostel across the street from University Center, at $35 a night, after arriving in Chicago inexpensively on Megabus! Please help finance this by donating to the American Monetary Institute. Believe me if students (and their parents) are in serious debt and not seriously employed, their outlook is bleak.

    And Teachers Are in Trouble Too

    Not only in Chicago, but around the country Teachers are under attack, because they are still making a living wage, and that’s no longer allowed; and their earned pensions are threatened. Remember the Chicago Teacher’s Union supports Kucinich’s N.E.E.D. Act. We are making a special effort to bring in teachers to this conference. If telling people about monetary reform is an educational task, who better to help us do that than the professional educators? Please help spread the word among teachers.

    And What About You? We’d like you to consider attending this conference. There is very little time left to make all the arrangements. And the registration fee has been kept low for a long time but must now rise to the full $395 level. SO Think, and Act NOW! If you can’t come, please make a donation to help us offer those student scholarships at only $49! Click a donate button at our homepage

    And one more thing!: The sequester and austerity gang are really trying to do damage to our people and others around the world. They are operating under cover of pretending they don’t understand how destructive and evil their actions are – pretending to be trying to do good for the country. Folks – Don’t buy that “cover story” for a minute. They know exactly the damage they are doing! If finances are making it hard for you to attend our Conference, let me know (by phone or email) and we’ll work it out together.

    We won’t be stopped by such maneuvers! Do not be afraid – and remember “Action dispels fear.”

    Thanks and Warm regards, Hoping to see you in October!

    Warm regards,
    Stephen Zarlenga
    Director, AMI

  • “.01% scream, ‘More war!’ as a million children die from poverty every month; are you demanding arrests NOW?” -> I’m glad you contrasted the two points, that’s essential. The gov-media likes to box-off topics as to not contrast them like that. Like: AUSTERITY/FISCAL CLIFF is never mentioned in the run-up to congress bipartisan passing the latest war funding. Then after the war funding passes, here comes AUSTERITY/FISCAL CLIFF again from the gov-media. Never the two are mentioned simultaneously by the GOV-MEDIA.

  • clarioncaller

    All this while the Nestle Corp. sucks millions of gallons of water from Lake Michigan, and the CEO declares that people do not have a right to water. Nestle is a Swiss Corporation.

  • Human Relations 1932

    Their priorities give them away, time after time.

  • MCB

    This is simply more operant conditioning from the power elite to get people to accept a new normal of total statism and tyranny. It’s being played out just like Yuri Bezmenov predicted and spoke about ad nauseum all throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Good opted piece Robert and so relevant and disgusting as to how little respect they have for us 99% as they persistently create these manufactured crises continually foisted upon us as we descend into 2nd world nation status.

  • MCB

    This is simply more operant conditioning from the power elite to get people to accept a new normal of total statism and tyranny. It’s being played out just like Yuri Bezmenov predicted and spoke about ad nauseum all throughout the 1970’s and 1980’s. Good post and so relevant and disgusting as to how little respect they have for us 99% as they persistently create these manufactured crises continually foisted upon us as we descend into 2nd world nation status.

  • thulsa doom

    F the UN. The UN has got noooo business in American affairs time to kick the UN’s free loadin a$$ out of New York.

  • thulsa doom

    Black people destroyed detroit, how hard is it to walk to lake michigan and grab drink, they have access like mf. Its not like they are not on top of the worlds largest supply of fresh water.

  • Libertybelle

    The feds have no authority over this matter. It is an issue between the city, county, and state. And only a moron believes a human has no right to water. It is an unalieanble right.