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Monday, August 16, 2010


 

Another day, another war


The New York Times and the rest of the corporate media gets lots of justifiable flak from this blog (and plenty of other sources), but it is also a fact that they do serve a valuable function, as exemplified by yesterday's report of the latest "secret assault of terrorism [sic]", describing the latest U.S. war (by drone and cruise missile), this one in Yemen. The article correctly describes the CIA as a "paramilitary organization," which certainly isn't a term heard very often from the corporate media.

The whole article is interesting, but I thought this was the single most interesting paragraph:

Obama administration officials point to the benefits of bringing the fight against Al Qaeda and other militants into the shadows. Afghanistan and Iraq, they said, have sobered American politicians and voters about the staggering costs of big wars that topple governments, require years of occupation and can be a catalyst for further radicalization throughout the Muslim world.
So the "benefits" of conducting secret wars is, just as was the case decades ago in Cambodia and Laos, not that they are secret from the targets and victims of those wars, but that they are secret from those pesky American people who might actually object. Democracy, anyone?

The article talks a lot about the pitfalls of this approach (killing the "wrong" people and making more enemies than are killed). And, as if on cue, the same day brings us the latest news, this time from Pakistan:

Suspected U.S. missiles killed 12 people Saturday in a Pakistani tribal region filled with Islamist insurgents bent on pushing Western troops out of neighboring Afghanistan, intelligence officials said.
Now note the "framing" of that story, supplied by "intelligence officials" and dutifully transcribed by AP: the region where this strike occurred is "filled with Islamist insurgents bent on pushing Western troops" out of Afghanistan. But what is the reality of this strike?
The two intelligence officials...said at least two of those killed in the house hit by missiles were suspected militants, but they did not know the identities of the others.
So of 12 people dead, 10 were killed without a clue as to who they might be, they were just random brown people who might or might not have done anything wrong, even by the standards of the U.S. government. And the other two? Well, they were "suspected" militants, so they might or might not have actually been militants, whatever that means exactly, and even if they were, they might or might not have been "guilty" of anything more than trying to avenge the deaths of friends and family against the American terrorists who keep dropping bombs on them.


Why stop here? There's more...

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