Monthly Archives: July 2013

Suspected “Militants”: Unnamed, Unknown, but “Mutilated” Anyway…

As usual when it comes to the U.S. Government’s drone war in Pakistan, the headline is misleading:

US drone strike kills six militants in Pakistan, officials say

For the casual reader, whose eyes sweep the headlines but only sometimes dip into the body text of an article, the message is clear: the murder and mayhem of six militants (or “terrorists”) has finally come to an end, thanks to unmanned drone technology. Chalk another victory up to the “Americans” against the tribals along the Af-Pak border.  USG 6, Bad Guys 0.

A more thorough reading of the article, however, reveals that the dissonance between what the unnamed “officials” claimed and what actually happened might be greater than the headline suggests. It turns out that the six mutilated bodies later found at the scene belong to “unidentified” individuals. That’s right: neither the invisible USG “officials” nor Pakistani ones know who these people are. They don’t even know where they come from. According to local “officials”: “the militants killed in the attack could be from Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan, but their exact nationalities are yet to be ascertained.” And then an addendum: “The identities of the militants could not be verified because the dead bodies were badly mutilated.”

(Let’s save for another day the fact that these people were mutilated by super-expensive missiles paid for by American tax slaves, whether or not those tax slaves actually support drone strikes in Pakistan; after all, if the tax slaves don’t pay, they face cages and guns.)

Many of these “foreigners” (if indeed they were foreigners; how is anyone supposed to know?) are simply freedom fighters, originally seeking to push out the communists from their homelands (and hence one-time U.S. allies) but now seeking to push out the Americans and their allies. This was the original plan, and the Afghans (under the nascent Taliban) were the first homegrown force to do it. Even Zia ul-Haq, Pakistan’s dictator-president, mulled over the idea of forming around the Pathan an army that could clear Muslim Central Asia of its Western (at the time, almost entirely communist) overlords. And so training camps were built in Afghanistan, so that other local fighters (Chechens from Chechnya, Uzbeks from Uzbekistan, Uighurs from East Turkestan, et alia) could do what the Afghan Pathans had done in their own homelands. Under different circumstances, this might seem like a noble endeavor. But within the context of the “War-on-Terror” world in which we now live, all these guys are baaaaaaaaaaaad. Forget the fact that there was a time when the Taliban were supported by many in Washington, that Zia’s idea of a Muslim jihadist army sweeping through Central Asia to defeat the evil of communism had cheerleaders in the Pentagon, at Langley, and in the White House. Now these same people are ipso facto baaaaaaaaaaaad.

The sovereignty of Pakistan was violated, engendering bitterness from millions of Pakistanis (I’m sure Sean Hannity is right, however–they hate us for our freedom!), for the sake of blowing away six individuals of unknown name, affiliation, or origin. One of them could have been an uncle over for tea after the breaking of the fast. Or a neighbor who’d promised to help fix the ceiling fan. Doesn’t matter. They’re all militants now, because they were killed by a drone’s missile. There may be hundreds, thousands of normal, everyday people in the area, mostly farmers, but these guys were baaaaaaaaaad, even if we don’t know who they were or where they came from. We do know that Shawal is cool in the summertime, so “militants” have been known to “migrate” there. And since Shawal is cool, and militants like to be cool in the summer, it’s bombs away in the Shawal valley.

Google Map the Shawal valley. There are cultivated fields, houses (or “compounds,” if you’re writing for a Western newspaper or working for the U.S. or Pakistani governments).  Dropping a bomb here is virtually guaranteeing the murder of innocents. People here are all armed (even little girls), though, and that means that through the grainy, green-tinted video feed communicated by a drone, anyone could look like a “bad guy.” Light ’em up.

How long would Americans put up with Chinese drones blowing away “compounds” in Montana, or North Dakota, or Maine in some ambiguous war with Canada, and despite massive protests in major cities across the USA?

How is this foreign policy making the world safer for my children? All I see are millions more anti-Americans created with each dropped bomb, not to mention hundreds, perhaps thousands, of life-long blood enemies.

Where in the Constitution is the federal government granted permission to carry out acts of war in a country at which we are not at war?

Where is the outrage from American patriots?

 

 

 

Chris Christie Needs a Reading List, Too

At a recent Republican Party fundraiser event in Aspen, Colorado, NJ governor Chris Christie decided to take one from the Giuliani playbook. His target: libertarians who have the gall to resent Fourth Amendment-shredding, due-process crushing NSA surveillance practices and the rubber-stamp FISA court system. Like all good neo-cons, he invoked September the 11th.

“These esoteric, intellectual debates — I want them to come to New Jersey and sit across from the widows and the orphans and have that conversation,” Mr. Christie said. “And they won’t, because that’s a much tougher conversation to have.”

Wow. This is one of the slimiest statements I’ve ever heard from a politician–and that, of course, is saying something. How dare those “libertarians” concern themselves with matters of freedom, liberty, and Constitutional protections? We live in a post-9/11 world now, baby. This is a time of crisis. Constitutional limits on government simply don’t apply. Sure–on Day One I took an oath to defend and uphold the Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic (just as every NSA employee has done), but we’re talking about the greater good. Widows and orphans, widows and orphans. Oaths be damned.

September 11th was the best thing that ever happened to big-government types. At least, back in the day, they had been forced to concoct plausible-sounding “Constitutional” justifications for their misdeeds–exercises in rhetorical gymnastics, sure, but at least they’d felt some compunction. Not anymore; now anytime anyone in Washington wants to trample on the rights of the people, they simply invoke the memory of the World Trade Center collapsing, of “the widows and the orphans.” They point to 9/11, as if saying, “See?” And the lemmings are supposed to nod, understanding dawning in their little brains as they careen over the edge of the cliff.

There are many problems with Christie’s logic, of course. Terrorism on a mass scale is a created monster, not a phenomenon that developed naturally in a vacuum. Decades of U.S. Government intervention in the “Muslim world” has (understandably if not justifiably) culminated in resistance by whatever means are possible. I’m not defending bin Laden or his murderous minions, but simply pointing out what the CIA has already officially recognized: that years and years of meddling–of toppling democratically-elected leaders, of propping up dictators, of putting shahs and kings and presidents on the Agency payroll, of manipulating elections, of arming Group A to fight Group B, then arming Group B to fight Group A, of dropping bombs, funding fundamentalists, training mujahidin, strangling millions through sanctions, and stationing troops in holy places–are sure to elicit “blowback,” or unintended consequences. This is just common sense. It’s a product of a very, very flawed (and highly unconstitutional, and, I would add, extremely “un-American”) foreign policy. It’s a flat-out betrayal of founding principles.

It’s a tragedy that the land of “the glorious Cause” has fallen so far, and often to the cheers of millions of voters and tax slaves.

Mr. Christie, though, apparently has a very short memory. None of this history means anything to the man, it would seem. No: the answer, he appears to be suggesting, is not only more of the same (during the Aspen event he praised Obama for continuing Bush’s “War-on-Terror” policies  “’cause they work”) but even a ramping up. That’s right: the very policies that got us here, the policies that helped fuel the 11 September tragedy and that give impetus to what would otherwise be the most fringe of fringe groups, the policies that have driven millions–hundreds of millions–to hate Americans, the policies that took a tiny “Islamic” terrorist group called al-Qaeda and sent recruits by the thousands running into its ranks, the policy bankrupting the U.S. Government and spawning a host of civil liberty issues, the policy that turned a largely pro-American Middle East into a maelstrom of anti-Americanism, the policy that routinely murders innocents in the mountain villages of Pakistan, the policy that has put American boots on the ground in over 120 countries (engendering bitterness from locals almost everywhere they go)–that policy works. That policy will make the world safer for my children. Yes: based on precedent, this man could make a good presidential run in the new America.

According to CBS: “Mr. Christie warned that those advocating a crackdown on the surveillance programs, instituted under President George W. Bush and now being carried out under Mr. Obama, would regret it.”

Then Christie said: “The next attack that comes, that kills thousands of Americans as a result, people are going to be looking back on the people having this intellectual debate and wondering whether they put —” And then the big man cut himself off, apparently struggling with his emotions.

So the “next attack” (and I don’t doubt it will come) will apparently be the fault of libertarians worried about NSA Constitution-trampling. It won’t be the fault of the Republicrat regimes who have carried out interventionist foreign policies in the “Muslim world” since the early 1950s (nor their Western imperial precursors), no. It will have nothing to do with those who decided to station U.S. troops in Saudi Arabia, or to train the mujahidin of Afghanistan and Pakistan, or to let Arab oil dictate American “interests” in the region (whatever the human cost), or to enmesh the CIA in the domestic affairs of pretty much every “Muslim” country in the world (all on the tax slave’s dime, and all while denying the whole thing to said tax slave; “it was the Soviets!” Johnny Dulles cried…).

No. The next attack will be the libertarians‘ fault!

This guy is genius. No, I mean it–he is a political genius. But “genius” has never been synonymous with “virtuous.”

How dare Chris Christie preemptively blame the libertarians (the only group that has been against the foreign policy of terrorist cultivation since the get-go) for the “next attack,” and invoke the plight of the widows and orphans of 9/11 (who would be wives and non-orphans had the USG listened to the libertarians on foreign policy) in the process.

This is the only group that might have prevented the emergence of the “War-on-Terror” world in which we now live. And according to Christie, they’re the ones to blame. Meanwhile, his answer is “more of the same, more of the same.” More of the same immoral, unconstitutional foreign policy that created the mess we’re in in the first place. “More, more.” It’s spawned terrorists worldwide; “more, more.” It’s shredded civil liberties at home; “more, more.” It’s bankrupted the state and turned out hundreds of millions of anti-Americans, thus stifling the freedom message; “more, more.”

Governor, perhaps its time for you to read a few books.  Or just Google “Allen Dulles” to start.

(Where is the outrage? Why aren’t CIA and NSA employees, most of whom are good people–and all of whom took an oath to defend the Constitution–staging sit-ins or lodging protests en masse?  Because the old America, the America of “the glorious Cause,” is dead, or barely breathing.)