by Alan Nairn
Obama seems to have killed more civilians during his first year than Bush
did in his first year, and maybe even than Bush killed in his final year,
because not only has Obama kept the machine set on kill, but he had his
special project, which is Pakistan and Afghanistan.
. . . the issue is not the safety of Americans. The issue is the safety of
people. All people. You have to count not just the American deaths and
potential American deaths, but the deaths everywhere . . . And the best
solution is the one that protects the maximum number of people. And if you
happen to be the party that is committing the largest number of killings in
the world, as the US is now, then the solution is easy: stop committing the
In this case, in the present moment in history, that would have the added
side benefit of most likely making Americans safer, as well, because you
would take away the main provocation. Tom Brokaw, on TV this weekend, made a
very interesting comment. He described what the US was engaged in as the
"war against Islamic rage." That's actually the most telling definition I've
seen. I mean, think about it. In Afghanistan, Karzai, the US/UN-installed
president, basically the man thought of as a US puppet, the man previously
lionized by the US press before he started speaking out against the US
aerial killings of civilians, Karzai started to get enraged after a series
of bombings of wedding parties by the US and NATO forces. Think about it.
Somebody bombs your wedding, a foreign air force bombs your wedding. How are
you supposed to react? Are you supposed to be delighted? Rage is the normal
human response. If you stop that, you lower the rage, and you probably get
fewer attacks on Americans.
You know, there's a man named Kilcullen, who's Australian by origin, who's
now one of the main intellects behind the US counterinsurgency policy. He
advises Secretary Gates, who of course was Bush's Defense Secretary, as
well. He said that if he were a Muslim today in a Middle Eastern country, he
would probably be a jihadist. Robert Pape, the leading academic specialist
on suicide bombings who studied the entire database of all the suicide
bombers in recent years, said it's a consequence primarily of occupation.
So, you stop committing mass murder overseas, and you immediately,
immediately, just by that action, achieve the main goal, which is minimizing
the overall deaths of people, and you most likely get the side benefit of
also minimizing the deaths of Americans . . .
we mentioned before some of the places where the US is bombing and
attacking. Less known, these are some examples of the machine being set on
kill, repressive - what in RAND's words - RAND Corporation's words, repressive
regimes being backed by the US: Algeria, where they annulled an election,
they stole an election, they do systematic torture; Ethiopia, where there's
mass hunger among the population, but where the US is building up the
Ethiopian army and using them against Somalia; Saudi Arabia, the most
religious extremist, anti-woman dictatorship in the world; Jordan, a torture
center - the Jordanian intelligence outfit was, in the words of George Tenet,
owned by the CIA, and both the CIA and Israel use it for torture; Rwanda,
whose army and paramilitaries have been pillaging and raping and massively
killing in the eastern Congo; Congo itself, Secretary of State Clinton went
there and made a good denunciation of rape by the Congolese army, and as
that was happening, the US was delivering weapons and training to that same
Congolese army; Indonesia, where the army now de facto occupies and
terrorizes Papua and has recently resumed assassinations in Aceh, the other
end of the archipelago; Colombia, where army and army-backed militaries are
the world's number-one killer of labor activists; Uzbekistan, massive
torture backed simultaneously by the US and Russia; Thailand, where officers
who - US officers who I spoke to use their US training in what they call
"target selection" to assassinate and disappear Muslim rebels in the south;
Nepal, where US Green Berets for years created old Guatemala-style civil
patrols that carried out lynchings against pro-Maoist forces and civilians
in the countryside; India, where the police do daily torture and where their
own officers talk about using terror against villages in the Naxalite rebel
areas; Egypt, one of the world's leading torture states and Israel's
accomplice in the blockade and hungering of Gaza; Honduras, where the army
recently staged a coup when the oligarchy's president, Zelaya, turned
against his fellow oligarchs; Israel, which committed aggression against
Gaza using US white phosphorus and cluster bombs as the US was - the US was
shipping in new materiel as this, you know, attack was underway; and the
Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, where, as the British Guardian just
reported, the security forces are doing systematic torture of Hamas people
and other dissidents under CIA sponsorship. And that's only a partial list.
We'd need another twenty-minute segment to complete the list.
But in not one of these cases has Obama decided to comply with US law,
comply with international law, and cut off the killer forces. . . .
Michael Hudson, "The Obama
Letdown," Antiwar.com, November 26, 2008
Craig Whitlock, "European Nations
May Investigate Bush Officials Over Prisoner Treatment," Washington
Post, April 22, 2009
Eric Margolis, "CIA Claims of
Cancelled Assassination Campaign are Hogwash," Toronto Sun, July 19,
Gordon Prather, "The U.S. Is Violating the NPT
-- Not Iran," Antiwar.com, September 26, 2009
Ray McGovern, "Answering Helen
Thomas on Why They Want to Harm Us," CommonDreams.org, January 9,
[The American colossus continues to stumble ever deeper into the Muslim
world's violent, tangled affairs at a time when Washington is bankrupt and
only runs on Chinese loans. In 2009, the U.S. deficit was $1.4 trillion US.
American soldiers are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. U.S. special forces,
air units and CIA mercenaries are involved in combat operations in Pakistan,
Somalia, Yemen, West Africa, North Africa and the Philippines. A new U.S.
base at Djibouti is launching raids into Yemen, Somalia and northern Kenya.
U.S. forces aided the failed Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. New U.S. bases
are planned in oil-producing West Africa.
The Red Sea littoral is America's next major headache. Somalia's
anti-western Shebab movement controls much of that nation's south and
centre. Yemen is a hotbed of jihadist activity that increasingly threatens
neighbouring Saudi Arabia, a vital American ally. Somali pirates could turn
from plundering to striking at western interests.--Eric Margolis, "How bin Laden lured U.S. into costly, bloody
war," Toronto Sun, January 10, 2010]
[It was Osama bin Laden himself, in his declaration of war in 1998,
published in London, who gave al-Qaeda's reasons for war:
First, the U.S. military presence on the sacred soil of Saudi Arabia.
Second, U.S. sanctions causing terrible suffering among the Iraqi people.
Third, U.S. support for Israel's dispossession of the Palestinians. "All
these crimes and sins committed by the Americans are a clear declaration of
war on God, his Messenger, and Muslims," said Osama. . . .
America lost 4,000 soldiers in six years in Iraq, with 30,000 wounded. Yet
not one American of the 125,000 soldiers in Iraq was killed in December. Why
not? Because we no longer conduct raids, patrol streets, kick down doors,
and pat down suspects. We have ended our combat operations, withdrawn to
desert bases, and seem anxious to go home. When we stopped fighting and
killing them, they stopped fighting and killing us. . . .
Why are the Taliban killing our soldiers? Because we threw them out of
power, took over their country, and imposed the Hamid Karzai regime, and our
troops, some 100,000 by fall, are the force preventing them from recapturing
their country. . . .
Hamas has used terrorism, but not against us. Hezbollah has used terrorism,
but not against us since the bombing of the Marine barracks, a
quarter-century ago. And our Marines were attacked in Lebanon because we
were in Lebanon, intervening in their civil-sectarian war.--Patrick J.
Buchanan, "Why Are They at War With Us?," antiwar.com, January 12,
[As intelligence agencies rush to connect more dots on a page so crowded
with dots that they already almost touch, Americans need to focus on the
real problem, our foreign policies. We have made ourselves the enemy of over
a billion people, nearly a quarter of the world's population. . . .
As many Muslims see it, Washington kills innocent civilians all the time.
American hypocrisy enrages them almost more than our bombs, no matter how
much we claim that we only aim at bad guys.--Jon Basil Utley, "Too
Many Dots, Too Many Enemies," antiwar.com, January 12, 2010]
[The United States plans to unveil later this decade a new conventional
"Prompt Global Strike" (C-PGS) system. It will enable the US to instantly
carry out a massive conventional attack anywhere in the world in an hour or
less.--Peter J Brown, "US's strike
threat catches China off guard," atimes.com, February 4, 2010]
[The Senate is trying to force Obama's hand, box him in, restrict his
freedom of action, by making him impose sanctions that would cut off the
negotiating track and put us on a track to war - a war to deny Iran weapons
that the U.S. Intelligence community said in December 2007 Iran gave up
trying to acquire in 2003.--Patrick J. Buchanan, "Will Obama Play the War Card?," antiwar.com, February
[Judges in Great Britain, Spain, Australia, Poland and Lithuania are
preparing to hear allegations that their governments helped the CIA run
secret prisons on their soil or cooperated in illegal U.S. treatment of
terrorism suspects. Spanish prosecutors also have filed criminal charges
against six senior Bush administration officials who approved the harsh
interrogation methods that detainees say were employed at U.S. military
prisons in Afghanistan, Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and other sites.--Shashank
Bengali, "Other countries probing Bush-era torture - Why aren't
we?," McClatchy Newspapers, August 18, 2010]
Paul Craig Roberts, "The Stench of American Hypocrisy,"
foreignpolicyjournal.com, November 18, 2010
[Friday's filing provides Judge Velasco with the legal framework for the
prosecution of government lawyers - a prosecution that last took place
during the Nuremberg trials--Michael Ratner, "Bringing the 'Bush Six' to Justice: If those responsible
for the Bush administration's torture policy will not face charges in the
US, then in Spain it must be," Guardian, January 7, 2011]
[This is how one of the darkest chapters in U.S. counterterrorism
ends: with practically every instance of suspected CIA torture dodging
criminal scrutiny.--Spencer Ackerman, "CIA Exhales: 99 Out of 101 Torture Cases
Dropped," wired.com, June 30, 2011]