Search results for blowback (18)
It’s a scary world and there are a lot of very angry people in it. To the people out there who want to protect America/Israel/Europe/wherever by bombing people in Iran/Afghanistan/Yemen/wherever, “I get it!” I really do. It’s scary as hell thinking about a nuke going off on a civilian population (unless it was in Japan and “it saved good Americans lives and ended WW2,” right?).
I don’t blame you for wanting to defend our country and innocent people around the world by trying to attack our enemies before they attack us, it’s fight-or-flight; human nature.
However I do passionately advocate a balanced, objective view before deciding to sign and drive the “Kill ‘em all, let God sort them out!” train.
Here is yet another foreign policy expert detailing the incredible risks that policy poses and the counter-productive reality of our foreign policy.
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. -Albert Einstein
Drone attacks create terrorist safe havens, warns former CIA official via theguardian.co.uk
A former top terrorism official at the CIA has warned that President Barack Obama’s controversial drone programme is far too indiscriminate in hitting targets and could lead to such political instability that it creates terrorist safe havens.
Obama’s increased use of drones to attack suspected Islamic militants inPakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia and Yemen has become one of the most controversial aspects of his national security policy. He has launched at least 275 strikes in Pakistan alone; a rate of attack that is far higher than his predecessor George W Bush.
Defenders of the policy say it provides a way of hitting high-profile targets, such as al-Qaida number two, Abu Yahya al-Libi. But critics say the definition of militant is used far too broadly and there are too many civilian casualties. The London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates up to 830 civilians, including many women and children, might have been killed by drone attacks in Pakistan, 138 in Yemen and 57 in Somalia. Hundreds more have been injured.
Now Robert Grenier, who headed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center from 2004 to 2006 and was previously a CIA station chief in Pakistan, has told the Guardian that the drone programme is targeted too broadly. “It [the drone program] needs to be targeted much more finely. We have been seduced by them and the unintended consequences of our actions are going to outweigh the intended consequences,” Grenier said in an interview.
The excellent Ben Swann reports in the below video on Romney and Obama’s claims about the economy, our deficit, and how they plan to reduce it.
After listening to their plans to cut and keep certain programs; but never deal with our insanely over-funded and counter productive military presence around the world, or the entrenched but thoroughly un-Constitutional departments of commerce, education, energy, etc., neither candidate comes up with numbers stand up under fire.
Who did come up with a plan to reduce the deficit by $1T first-year, cut back our military offense while maintaining our defense, give young people a way out of the Social Security Ponzi Pit and BALANCE THE BUDGET in three years!?
Readers of this blog will likely not wonder long to come up with the answer: the honorable and wise, Dr. Ron Paul. Ben Swann reported on Dr. Paul’s plan a few months back as well.
…but is it really just because of an indescribably awful movie?
Or is it because of blowback and the obvious consequences produced by the arrogant, violent, mostly unprovoked actions of our military that occupies The Middle East and the world at large?
Have there been plenty of crazy Arab attacks over “acts of Mohammed humiliation?” Absolutely. But we must remember the effects of our presence in the area; you certainly aren’t going to hear them in the media that seeks to rally us into a fervor to support yet another war.
Even good ol’ Noam Chomsky chimes in on the topic citing government documents to back up the theory.
Dr. Paul nails it in the vid below while Mr. Soetoro closes with his unique brand of handsome hubris: “We are the one indespensible nation in the world.” Wow.
Surely, there are many terrorists in the world who seek to do us harm. Many will act out of religious insanity; far more will seek to maim, kill and destroy in my belief due to blowback from our military adventures and hundreds of bases circling the globe.
If another major terrorist event happens around the world, it may be useful to remember the following admissions of state-sponsored terror so that when we are urged to rally around our governments, there may be reason for skepticism, deep thought and research as to who is to blame.
Forget the claims and allegations that false flag terror - governments attacking people and then blaming others in order to create animosity towards those blamed – has been used throughout history.
This essay will solely discuss government admissions to the use of false flag terror.
- A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to justify the invasion of Poland. Nazi general Franz Halder also testified at the Nuremberg trials that Nazi leader Hermann Goering admitted to setting fire to the German parliament building, and then falsely blaming the communists for the arson
- The CIA admits that it hired Iranians in the 1950′s to pose as Communists and stage bombings in Iran in order to turn the country against its democratically-elected prime minister
- Israel admits that an Israeli terrorist cell operating in Egypt planted bombs in several buildings, including U.S. diplomatic facilities, then left behind “evidence” implicating the Arabs as the culprits (one of the bombs detonated prematurely, allowing the Egyptians to identify the bombers, and several of the Israelis later confessed) (and see this and this)
Read the civilian death tolls and decide for yourself how you would feel if your family among the estimated 500-1000 civilians killed in anonymous drone-based airstrikes.
Also, please remember that unlike Afghanistan, Iraq or Iran, Pakistan has nuclear weapons.
The nuclear power chillingly declared it “has the means” to retaliate unless the carnage ceases.
Pakistan’s High Commissioner to Britain Wajid Shamsul Hasan told The Sun in an exclusive interview that his country’s relations with America are at their lowest ebb.
He said: “Patience is definitely reaching exhaustion levels.”
Mr. Hasan said Pakistan backs the War on Terror waged by Britain and the US. But he urged PM David Cameron to condemn US drone attacks on al-Qaeda and Taliban training camps in the north west of his country — dubbing them as “war crimes” and “little more than state executions”.
Tough-talking Mr Hasan also declared Pakistan would have no choice but to support Iran if “aggressive” Israel attacks it.
But his immediate concern is the drones known to have killed 535 civilians, including 60 children, in three years.
Pakistan claims the real death toll is more than 1,000. The unmanned aircraft blast missiles at targets, directed by a computer thousands of miles away. The High Commissioner said: “I think time is running out until the Pakistan government can take a stand.” They will have to at some stage take punitive actions to stop them. They have got means to take such actions to defend their own frontier and territories.
“But that will inflame the situation and stop the War on Terror and that is not what we want.”
The US military claim drones have “decimated” the al-Qaeda leadership since 2008 with no reported civilian casualties.
But Mr Hasan said: “We know the damage — destroyed schools, communities, hospitals. They are civilians — children, women, families. Our losses are enormous.
“Generally people think that deaths caused by drone attacks should be treated as war crimes. There is so much animosity that perhaps the Americans are the most hated people in the minds of the people in Pakistan.”
Mr Hasan urged Britain to tell the US its drone strikes are counter-productive.
On Iran, Mr Hasan said: “We would not like Israel to attack any country, irrespective of whether it’s Iran or any nuclear country. We wouldn’t like to be seen as part of Israel’s campaign against any country. If Israel attacks Iran, it will have an impact on Pakistan as well.
He warned that India and Gulf countries could also get involved in any conflict.
Historian Mark Almond said of Mr Hasan’s declarations: “This represents an escalation in tension.”
He’s also painfully un-hip on economics, does not grasp the free market and is in favor of bailouts: “Some quantitative easing (bailouts) made sense.” (see video).
To top it off he’s a meddling do-gooder who thinks that good behavior and morality are the result of good laws, not inspiration from God, strong character or even will power: “Individuals can’t go it alone. There is no society that I’m aware of where we have had radical individualism and succeeds as a culture.” (again, in the vid).
One candidate has true differentiation. One candidate understands our economy and has an amazing track record of predicting the future of the world, one candidate has the most support from the troops because he understand’s the primary drivers of terrorism and is a veteran himself.
I rest my case, for the day.
“Why conservatives must adopt Ron Paul’s foreign policy”
Many Republicans love Ron Paul’s limited-government philosophy but have problems with his foreign policy. This is understandable given the state of today’s Republican Party. But what many Republicans probably don’t realize is that Paul’s foreign policy is part of his limited-government philosophy — and it’s a crucially important part. If the American right does not begin to at least consider Paul’s foreign policy, it will continue to forfeit any hope of advancing a substantive conservatism.
As the Founders understood well, it is hard-to-impossible to preserve limited government at home while maintaining big government abroad. History and experience tell us that one always begets the other. This certainly rings true as we spend trillions of dollars on domestic programs that we match with trillions more overseas.
The Founders’ talk of “entangling alliances” requiring “standing armies” was recognition of the inherent dangers of war — and especially permanent war. “Mr. Republican” Sen. Robert Taft would echo similar sentiments a century and a half later in his battles against New Deal liberals. President Dwight Eisenhower’s warning about the “military-industrial complex” reflected the same concerns within a 20th-century, post-WWII context.
Almost alone, Ron Paul today carries on this important Republican tradition. Like every other conservative, Paul believes that America must have a strong national defense — he simply believes we can no longer afford our current irrational offense.
Unfortunately, unlimited Pentagon spending remains the big government too many Republicans still love. During the Reagan era, when we were fighting a global superpower that possessed thousands of nuclear weapons, this made sense. It does not make sense anymore. Today, we are fighting individuals, or collections of individuals, with infinitely less military capabilities and no particular attachments to nation-states.
Ask yourself this: What, exactly, does having thousands of troops stationed in Afghanistan do to prevent some sick individual from trying to blow up his underwear on an airplane? Just as important, ask this: Does having thousands of troops in places like Afghanistan make it less likely — or more likely — that some sick individual will try to blow up his underwear on an airplane? Our own military and CIA intelligence tells us that our overseas wars actually encourage terrorist attacks.
A majority of the members of the U.S. military agree, or as a Pew Research Poll of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans published in October revealed: “About half (51 percent) of post-9/11 veterans say that the use of military force to fight terrorism creates hatred that breeds more terrorism.”
These are basic questions that Americans desperately need to ask. Ron Paul is asking them. The other candidates don’t even consider them questions.
Which brings us to conservatism’s fate. Want to know why Paul is the only GOP presidential candidate who has proposed substantive spending cuts — $1 trillion in the first year? It’s because only Paul addresses Pentagon spending, the largest portion of our budget after entitlements. What the Republican candidates who eschew Paul’s foreign policy are essentially saying is this: We support limited government in theory but in practice it’s simply too dangerous.
Paul continues to make the same argument that former Chairman of the Joints Chief of Staff Mike Mullen has made: that our debt is the greatest threat to our national security. Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and the other GOP candidates do not see our debt as a similar threat — if they did, they would be calling for bigger spending cuts.
Iranian students are responding after the death of another nuclear scientist.
Report: 1000 Iranian students enroll in nuclear science
Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, an official at the Natanz nuclear facility, was killed when a motorcycle-borne assailant attached a magnetic bomb to his car and rode way before the explosion. Iran continues to pursue what it calls a “right” to “peaceful nuclear energy,” even in the face of U.S. and other Western opposition.
“A number of students at the Sharif University of Technology have announced their readiness to work in the nuclear industry promising to rob the enemies of sleep, Mehrdad Bazrpash, an official at the university, said on Monday,” reported the Tehran Times.
Natanz was the site of the STUXNET cyber attack, which destroyed 1,000 uranium enrichment centrifuges. Iran has purported evidence of CIA involvement in the killing of Roshan. The accusations of American involvement in Roshan’s assasination come as U.S.–Iranian tensions over the Straits of Hormuz run high.
Recently, Tehran also announced the death sentence of former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati. Tehrabn — an employee of Kuma Games, a New York-based video game development company — who was arrested and accused of spying.
“Minister of Science, Research, and Technology Kamran Daneshjo also told a press conference on Monday that “three hundred talented students at Sharif university and about a thousand brilliant students at the country’s universities have applied in recent days to change their major and start studying nuclear physics and nuclear engineering,” reported the Tehran Times.
Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2012/01/17/report-1000-iranian-college-students-change-majors-to-nuclear-physics/#ixzz1kCTx37fW
If we will force ourselves to look at the hard and ugly evidence proving that we are killing, maiming and terrorizing exponentially more innocent people (and causing their families to become hard-nail terrorists) than we are eliminating real terrorists, we will see that our profoundly sick foreign policy masquerading as logic is a massive shame upon us and needs to be ended now.
For more, read former Chalmers Johnson’s definite text: “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.”
You can also check out more articles on blowback here.
In a New York Times Op-Ed yesterday, international human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith describes a meeting he had in Pakistan with residents from the Afghan-Pakistani border region that has been relentlessly bombed by American drones; if I had one political wish this week, it would be that everyone who supports (or acquiesces to) President Obama’s wildly accelerated drone attacks would read this:
The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey. . . .
On the night before the meeting, we had a dinner, to break the ice. During the meal, I met a boy named Tariq Aziz. He was 16. As we ate, the stern, bearded faces all around me slowly melted into smiles. Tariq smiled much sooner; he was too young to boast much facial hair, and too young to have learned to hate.
The next day, the jirga lasted several hours. I had a translator, but the gist of each man’s speech was clear. American drones would circle their homes all day before unleashing Hellfire missiles, often in the dark hours between midnight and dawn. Death lurked everywhere around them. . . .
On Monday, [Tariq] was killed by a C.I.A. drone strike, along with his 12-year-old cousin, Waheed Khan. The two of them had been dispatched, with Tariq driving, to pick up their aunt and bring her home to the village of Norak, when their short lives were ended by a Hellfire missile.
My mistake had been to see the drone war in Waziristan in terms of abstract legal theory — as a blatantly illegal invasion of Pakistan’s sovereignty, akin to President Richard M. Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia in 1970.
But now, the issue has suddenly become very real and personal. Tariq was a good kid, and courageous. My warm hand recently touched his in friendship; yet, within three days, his would be cold in death, the rigor mortis inflicted by my government.
And Tariq’s extended family, so recently hoping to be our allies for peace, has now been ripped apart by an American missile — most likely making any effort we make at reconciliation futile.
This tragedy repeats itself over and over. After I linked to this Op-Ed yesterday on Twitter — by writing that “every American who cheers for drone strikes should confront the victims of their aggression” — I was predictably deluged with responses justifying Obama’s drone attacks on the ground that they are necessary to kill The Terrorists. Reading the responses, I could clearly discern the mentality driving them: I have never heard of 99% of the people my government kills with drones, nor have I ever seen any evidence about them, but I am sure they are Terrorists. That is the drone mentality in both senses of the word; it’s that combination of pure ignorance and blind faith in government authorities that you will inevitably hear from anyone defending President Obama’s militarism. As Jonathan Schwarz observed after the U.S. unveiled the dastardly Iranian plot to hire a failed used car salesman to kill America’s close friend, the Saudi Ambassador: “I’d bet the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. has closer ‘ties’ to Al Qaeda than 90% of the people we’ve killed with drones.”
Opinion: I’m a confused man tonight. I don’t know how we can self-righteously glare out at the world through glazed, defiant eyes watching the wild fury of our wars around the world and not choose to stand up and push against our war machine. Somehow we’ve become believers, somehow we’ve become convinced that we are “doing the right thing,” somehow we think there won’t be bold, organized, long-term blowback to our actions.Article: We Americans have to decide what kind of country we want to have. Chalmers Johnson summarized the dilemma. “A nation can be one or the other, a democracy or an imperialist, but it can’t be both. If it sticks to imperialism, it will, like the old Roman Republic, on which so much of our system was modeled, lose its democracy to a domestic dictatorship.”
Many Americans are rightly appalled at what has happened over the past ten years. A culture of fear has taken hold nationwide and there are regular accounts of swat teams kicking in the wrong door in the middle of the night and killing a homeowner seeking to defend his family from unknown intruders. Neighbors have been encouraged by the government’s Department of Homeland Security to look at those living next door to see if they might be terrorists.
Recently, questionable provisions of the Patriot Act have been extended for an additional four years, without any debate at all. It all means that many constitutional liberties that were taken for granted for more than two hundred years have recently been relegated to the dust bin of history.
And there is considerable danger that the “overseas contingency operations,” as the Obama Administration refers to its war on terror, will increase in number. A section of the current $690 billion Defense Appropriation bill referred to as the “Authorization for the Use of Military Force” will permit the president to wage war against anyone anywhere without any specific approval by congress, an expansion of the executive authority authorized by the legislature to pursue al-Qaeda which was granted in the aftermath of 9/11.
The fact that neither group actually threatens the United States appears to be irrelevant. Congressman Buck McKeon, the drafter of the relevant section of the appropriation bill, has said “the threats posed by al-Qaeda cells in Yemen and Africa underscore the evolving and continuing nature of the terrorist threat to the United States.”