If so, ok–I’ll respect that based upon an apparently objective process of arithmetic.
Terrorists – Dead Terrorists = Less Terrorists.
May I offer some other objective data points?
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recently concluded that from June 2004 to September 2012, between 2562 and 3325 people were killed by drone strikes in Pakistan.
Of those, The BIJ estimates that 474-881 were civilians, and 176 were children; however given ease with which we can classify someone as a “militant” I am very skeptical of the low number of civilians in that quote.
What would you do if your friends, family members or loved ones were wrongly killed in a terrorist attack? Would you retaliate?
General David Petraeus’ former advisor describes the tendency of Muslims to do exactly that.
“Every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement…” -David Kilcullen, fomer advisor to Gen David Petreaus.
Just how insane have we become?! What kind of propaganda have we fallen for? Why have we accepted it so WILLINGLY?!
Our military is destroying lives, ruining our credibility and stoking the fires of war relentlessly around the world by killing these innocent people and all we can think to say in response is, “Well, they shouldn’t be hangin’ around with no damn terrorists then!”
The number of high-level targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%. - Peter Bergen & Megan Braun, CNN
The below mini-documentary Living Under Drones is a superb and heart-rendering piece of journalism from Professor James Cavallaro of Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, and Professor Sarah Knuckey of the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law.
Their recently released report with the same title is available for free download here; it is shocking and an absolute must-read, must-spread far and wide piece of journalism.
This disaster of humanity is ours to end.
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.
Harvard and Columbia Ph.D. Tom Woods is as clear, concise and conscientious as ever in this brilliant critique.
His LibertyClassroom.com is a marquee source to discover the true roots of economic prosperity and history that strikes fear into the heart of every statist and allows the free spirit of man to create a far better society than any government could dream.
Twenty years ago, as I was completing my freshman year in college, I was a full-blown neoconservative. Except I didn’t know it. Having concluded that I was not a leftist, I simply decided by process of elimination that I must be a Rush Limbaughian.
Like most people, I was unaware that any alternative to those two choices existed, or that in some ways they were two sides of a common statist coin. In particular, I embraced a neoconservative foreign policy with gusto. The way to show you weren’t a commie was by supporting the U.S. military as it doled out summary justice to bad guys all over the world. And frankly, it was exciting to watch it all unfold on TV.
I never gave the human cost of war a second thought and became impatient with anyone who did. War was like a video game I could enjoy from the comfort of my home. Devastation and human suffering were quite beside the point: the righteous U.S. government was dispensing justice to the wicked, and that was that. What are you, a liberal?
The Persian Gulf War of 1991 was the first U.S. conflict of my college career. During the months-long U.S. military buildup in the Gulf known as Operation Desert Shield I eagerly promoted the mission to anyone foolish enough to listen.
When war came, it was swift and decisive. Very few American casualties were suffered, while the Iraqi forces were destroyed. Some 100,000 were burned alive by a chemical agent or buried alive in the desert while making a retreat.
Believe it or not, that actually bothered me, in spite of how voracious a consumer of war propaganda I was. No one defended Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait, which he launched in response to that country’s slant oil drilling, but was the outcome of the Persian Gulf War not a terrible tragedy for the Iraqi people – virtually none of whom had had anything to do with Saddam Hussein’s fateful decision – all the same? A far poorer country than ours suddenly had a lot more widows and orphans, not to mention a great many civilian deaths to grieve over and much destruction to repair.
…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.
When credible, experienced individuals such as those from Pilots for 9/11 Truth cite evidence that puts serious doubt on the “official story” of 9/11 it is—despite the unlikely nature of their theories, and many reasons to believe the official story—intellectually dishonorable to ignore them.
The below video is a CGI demonstration, brief discussion and interview with professional airmen who doubt that the alleged hijackers could have pulled off the attacks, after they themselves couldn’t duplicate it. A more complete version of the interview is linked here.
Pilots for 9/11 Truth has produced another mini-documentary called 9/11 Intercepted that cites other issues and contradictory evidence.
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)
thanks to Glenn Greenwald at Salon.com
Shortly prior to the start of the London Olympics, there was an outburst of hysteria over the failure to provide sufficient security against Terrorism, but as Harvard Professor Stephen Walt noted yesterday in Foreign Policy, this was all driven, as usual, by severe exaggerations of the threat: “Well, surprise, surprise. Not only was there no terrorist attack, the Games themselves came off rather well.” Walt then urges this lesson be learned:
[W]e continue to over-react to the “terrorist threat.” Here I recommend you read John Mueller and Mark G. Stewart’s The Terrorism Delusion: America’s Overwrought Response to September 11, in the latest issue of International Security. Mueller and Stewart analyze 50 cases of supposed “Islamic terrorist plots” against the United States, and show how virtually all of the perpetrators were (in their words) “incompetent, ineffective, unintelligent, idiotic, ignorant, unorganized, misguided, muddled, amateurish, dopey, unrealistic, moronic, irrational and foolish.” They quote former Glenn Carle, former deputy national intelligence officer for transnational threats saying “we must see jihadists for the small, lethal, disjointed and miserable opponents that they are,” noting further that al Qaeda’s “capabilities are far inferior to its desires.”
In the next paragraph, Walt essentially makes clear why this lesson will not be learned: namely, because there are too many American interests vested in the perpetuation of this irrational fear:
Mueller and Stewart estimate that expenditures on domestic homeland security (i.e., not counting the wars in Iraq or Afghanistan) have increased by more than $1 trillion since 9/11, even though the annual risk of dying in a domestic terrorist attack is about 1 in 3.5 million. Using conservative assumptions and conventional risk-assessment methodology, they estimate that for these expenditures to be cost-effective “they would have had to deter, prevent, foil or protect against 333 very large attacks that would otherwise have been successful every year.” Finally, they worry that this exaggerated sense of danger has now been “internalized”: even when politicians and “terrorism experts” aren’t hyping the danger, the public still sees the threat as large and imminent. As they conclude:
… Americans seems to have internalized their anxiety about terrorism, and politicians and policymakers have come to believe that they can defy it only at their own peril. Concern about appearing to be soft on terrorism has replaced concern about seeming to be soft on communism, a phenomenon that lasted far longer than the dramatic that generated it … This extraordinarily exaggerated and essentially delusional response may prove to be perpetual.”
Which is another way of saying that you should be prepared to keep standing in those pleasant and efficient TSA lines for the rest of your life, and to keep paying for far-flung foreign interventions designed to “root out” those nasty jihadis.
Many of the benefits from keeping Terrorism fear levels high are obvious. Private corporations suck up massive amounts of Homeland Security cash as long as that fear persists, while government officials in the National Security and Surveillance State can claim unlimited powers, and operate with unlimited secrecy and no accountability. In sum, the private and public entities that shape government policy and drive political discourse profit far too much in numerous ways to allow rational considerations of the Terror threat.
The video addresses some of the catalysts of terrorism and why “normal” people often turn into violent criminals.
His story, if accurate, is a shocking tale of corruption and power that is hidden from our eyes. Confessions and The Secret History of The American Empire were incredible wake up sirens to me when I read them close to 10 years ago now (wow, time flies). The world is far more beautiful and far more cruel than it appears.
Here’s another great interview with Mr. Perkins detailing a series of alleged assassinations of South American leaders at the hands of the corporations and politicians he once represented. One asterisk on the above video: it’s with Zeitgeist, an organization I do not support as they’re basically techno-marxists. However the video includes a series of valuable points about the mutant form of fascist capitalism (an leviathan mix of governments, corporations and paramilitary forces colluding to deliver their will to the world).
Americans Are as Likely to Be Killed by Their Own Furniture as by Terrorism
Today, the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC) released its 2011 Report on Terrorism. The report offers the U.S. government’s best statistical analysis of terrorism trends through its Worldwide Incidents Tracking System (WITS), which compiles and vets open-source information about terrorism–defined by U.S. law as “premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents.”
Although I invite you to read the entire thirty-one page report, there are a few points worth highlighting that notably contrast with the conventional narrative of the terrorist threat:
- “The total number of worldwide attacks in 2011, however, dropped by almost 12 percent from 2010 and nearly 29 percent from 2007.” (9)
- “Attacks by AQ and its affiliates increased by 8 percent from 2010 to 2011. A significant increase in attacks by al-Shabaab, from 401 in 2010 to 544 in 2011, offset a sharp decline in attacks by al-Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI) and a smaller decline in attacks by al-Qa’ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and al-Qa’ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM).” (11)
- “In cases where the religious affiliation of terrorism casualties could be determined, Muslims suffered between 82 and 97 percent of terrorism-related fatalities over the past five years.” (14)
- Of 978 terrorism-related kidnapping last year, only three hostages were private U.S. citizens, or .003 percent. A private citizen is defined as ‘any U.S. citizen not acting in an official capacity on behalf of the U.S. government.’ (13, 17)
- Of the 13,288 people killed by terrorist attacks last year, seventeen were private U.S. citizens, or .001 percent. (17)
According to the report, the number of U.S. citizens who died in terrorist attacks increased by two between 2010 and 2011; overall, a comparable number of Americans are crushed to death by their televisions or furniture each year. This is not to diminish the real–albeit shrinking–threat of terrorism, or to minimize the loss and suffering of the 13,000 killed and over 45,000 injured around the world. For Americans, however, it should emphasize that an irrational fear of terrorism is both unwarranted and a poor basis for public policy decisions.
This article originally appeared at CFR.org, an Atlantic partner site.