Drone warfare: The death of precision

by James Rogers

Bulletin of The Atomic Scientists | May 12, 2017

During the Obama presidency, precision was not just about hitting the right target, and it was more than mere accuracy. It was an ethos, one that enshrined the liberal-American desire to be just in times of war while still ensuring victory. Armed drones and the precision missiles they deployed were said to epitomize this desire. Drones were, the president stated, part of a “just war—a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense.”

These claims were contentious. People such as Nobel laureate Desmond M. Tutu declared that these weapons undermined America’s “moral standards,” and non-governmental organizations such as Airwars—which monitors civilian casualties resulting from airstrikes in Iraq, Syria, and Libya—exposed the true cost of precision. For the Obama administration, though, drones continued to offer the alluring ability to kill at a distance while mitigating the cost to innocent life. Although mistakes were made, in an age when the United States led the world in the use of drones, these weapons appeared to offer a simple and unrivaled solution to the complexities of war.Read More »

An Interview With William Engdahl

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The Ancient Greeks knew: “Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by rulers as useful.” No less a figure than the late Zbigniew Brzezinski and the CIA made use of this saying by recruiting the Muslim Brotherhood to fight a proxy war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, which led to the withdrawal of the Soviets from the Hindu Kush. Since then, the CIA used the mercenaries to fight more proxy wars in the Balkans, Chechnya, and Azerbaijan. Due to the wars of aggression against Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen the US and its vassal states created sectarian violence that led to civil wars. Right now, the CIA and the Muslim Brotherhood are present in the form of ISIS in Syria and Iraq.Read More »

Intervention: Inter-Parliamentary Union’s No To The imperialist Procedure [Part I]

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Countercurrents.org | May 17, 2017

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The Venezuela government has recently accused the US of financially propping up violent opposition groups in the country: Promoting an “unprecedented and systematic attempt” to intervene in the internal affairs of Venezuela. A statement of the foreign ministry of Venezuela said: “US financing and logistical support for violent groups in Venezuela have facilitated an armed sedition”. The statement added: “The US system of power relies on frequent and repeated statements, unilateral extraterritorial sanctions, economic financing of organizations in Venezuela for terrorist purposes, financial blockade, threats of military intervention […] to mask an open process of intervention marked by a rude meddling and violating international law.”Read More »

Intervention: Inter-Parliamentary Union’s No To The Imperialist Procedure – Part II

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Countercurrents.org | May 19, 2017

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The costs to be calculated

The most important part of these intervention-costs lacking in most of these calculations are the cost and price the intervened countries, the societies and the people in these countries had to pay/are paying. In any of the countries going through intervention process, there’s no scope of pursuing productive, democratic, and educational-cultural-intellectual activities in usual, normal way. “Libya War: The Unknown Costs and the Indemnified Interventionists” (Farooque Chowdhury, Countercurrents.org, June 30, 2015) discusses the costs in context of Libya.Read More »

Civil War—Fueled by US Bombs—Is Driving Yemen into Crisis.

Oxfam International | June 08, 2017

WASHINGTON – The Yemeni people are on the brink of famine after two years of conflict. In this time, millions of people have been displaced from their homes. And without adequate access to medical supplies or facilities, every ten minutes a child dies in Yemen due to preventable disease.

Yet at a time when the Yemeni people desperately need an end to violence, President Trump is proposing to sell nearly $510 million worth of weapons, including precision-guided munitions, to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia’s use of these munitions in Yemen has fueled the conflict in Yemen, creating a humanitarian catastrophe. Tomorrow, Congress will vote on this arms deal that would be used to fuel the war in Yemen. The Yemeni people need peace – not more bombs.Read More »

‘Literal Colonialism’: Blackwater Founder Calls for ‘American Viceroy’ to Rule Afghanistan

by Jake Johnson, staff writer

Common Dreams | June 02, 2017

Despite the fact that private contractors have a long record of abuse and deadly criminality, Prince believes that they should have a stronger presence in Afghanistan. (Photo: Melissa Golden/Redux)

Displaying what one commentator called “sheer 19th century bloodlust and thirst for empire,” Erik Prince, founder of the private mercenary firm Blackwater, argued in The Wall Street Journal this week that the United States should deploy an “East India Company approach” in Afghanistan.

The country, he wrote, should be run by “an American viceroy who would lead all U.S. government and coalition efforts—including command, budget, policy, promotion, and contracting—and report directly to the president.”

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In Iraq and Syria, US-Led Coalition Killing Increasing Number of Civilians

Common Dreams | June 04, 2017

Relatives mourn next to bodies of Iraqi residents of west Mosul killed in an air strike targeting ISIS on 17 March 2017. (Photo: AFP/Getty)

With its latest official declaration estimating the number of innocent people killed by airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. military has admitted killing 484 civilians since beginning a bombing campaign and ground operations to unseat the Islamic State (ISIS) from strongholds in the two countries.

Though that number is far lower than estimates put forth by independent monitoring groups, the death toll reveals rising casualty levels as the U.S.-led coalition has reportedly loosened restrictions and engagement protocols under President Donald Trump.

Read More »

Let’s never forget why Muammar Gaddafi was killed

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Glimpses of life: Intervention-devastated Libya

A Journal of People report

Life in Libya, devastated with imperialist intervention, is difficult: factional fights, blood spilling, death, destruction. Fighting factions have carved up the fourth largest country in Africa into fiefdoms. Uncertainty is permanent company of citizens there in Libya. Many wonder: is the economy operating?

A few media reports present a glimpse of life in the vast and oil-rich country embroiled in violence since the 2011 imperialist intervention toppled and killed Mummar Gaddafi.Read More »

US and Turkey: The Balkanization of the Middle East

by James Petras

Dissident Voice | May 15, 2017

For the past 20 years Washington has aggressively pursued the age-old imperial strategy of ‘divide and conquer’ throughout the Middle East, Southwest Asia and East Africa. Frustrated at its inability to control national policy of various independent nation-states, Washington used direct and indirect military force to destroy the central governments in the targeted nations and create patchworks of tribal-ethno-mini-states amenable to imperial rule. Tens of millions of people have been uprooted and millions have died because of this imperial policy.Read More »