Americans, and the rest of the world in general, are told very little about drone strikes, and are largely left in the dark as to the method in which they operate. Most people are under the incorrect assumption that there is some precision to using this method to assassinate a “terrorist”. But the strike is only as good as the intelligence fed into it. How would Americans feel knowing that their government, in their name kills a score of men, women and children for every attack they make, and that most of the time, the attack on the intended target is not successful?
A recent study by a UK based institute called Reprieve has determined that for every “bad guy” the US goes after, some 28 unknown people, women, men, children, are unilaterally terminated in the process. The group found that in many cases, the media went on to report that the subject had been killed, which in fact was a complete fabrication. A cover up, and a silencing of the suffering of countless people who had their lives turned upside down by the loss of a mother, a child, a husband. The fact of the matter remains today that the policy of drone strikes in foreign countries is creating a situation that is building more hatred and animosity than it is solving in the world.
In a recent Guardian article, it was asserted that “Attempts to kill 41 men resulted in the deaths of an estimated 1,147 people, as of 24 November.”
Can anyone really say that none of the friends and family of those 1147, or the countless others who have been killed since the atrocious middle east conflicts began? Could anyone really not see the rise of ISIS under the conditions the US left the region in? Ron Paul has been saying the same thing for 30 years, regarding what he calls “Blowback”, being the definition of the rise of resistance to the aggression of another power.
The US has held too much influence in the region, artificially conflating and deflating the cost of the precious black gold that gushes forth from the sands in the area, working in collusion with the major exporters to keep the numbers game always in their favor. They operate under the guise of fighting “terrorism”, when in reality, the “terrorism” that occurs in the region is a direct result of their meddling policy that results in family after family raising their own fists in resistance and swearing retaliation for a lost loved one.
One piece of incredibly befuddling information surrounding this story is that each of the 41 men being hunted by the US drone machine had actually been reported dead at one time. 7 of them are actually still alive. The inability of the US drone machine to actually accomplish a “precise” strike is not being covered, and never will be. The memory hole in the public conscious is very strong. A report someone somewhere heard about some strike in a far away land that took out the “Jack of Hearts” or the “Ace of Clubs” will be all that person needs to stand at the watercooler on Monday morning in the office and defend the drone strikes, being the ultimate apologist for the horrific, completely arbitrary collateral damage to another country and the lives of its inhabitants.
The price of foreign entanglements is less overall security, certainly less freedom, and a continuation of a mindless culture of death and perpetual war. This can only lead to a country tenuously teetering at the edge of a moral high ground pretending to police the world. That country is inevitably pulled, screaming, from its perch and laid to waste.
Tomorrow, Russia: Old threat or new?
By BILL ROGGIO – September 16, 2012
AV-8B Harriers operating in Afghanistan. Image from the US Department of Defense.
Friday night’s “well-coordinated” suicide assault on Camp Bastion
resulted in the destruction of six US Harrier strike aircraft and significant damage to two others. The members of the suicide assault team wore US Army uniforms and “appeared to be well equipped, trained and rehearsed,” the International Security Assistance Force said
The nighttime attack, in which a suicide assault team penetrated the perimeter of Camp Bastion, a sprawling base in the Desert of Death in Helmand province, resulted in the death of two ISAF soldiers. Eight other ISAF troops and a civilian contractor were wounded in the attack. Fourteen members of the assault team were killed and one more was wounded and captured.
“The attack commenced just after 10 p.m. when approximately 15 insurgents executed a well-coordinated attack against the airfield on Camp Bastion,” ISAF said in a statement that provided additional details on the attack. “The insurgents, organized into three teams, penetrated at one point of the perimeter fence.”
The members of the jihadist assault team were “dressed in U.S. Army uniforms and armed with automatic rifles, rocket propelled grenade launchers and suicide vests.”
Once inside the perimeter, the assault team “attacked coalition fixed and rotary wing aircraft parked on the flight line, aircraft hangars and other buildings.”
ISAF confirmed that six AV-8B Harrier strike aircraft “were destroyed” and two more “were significantly damaged.” Although ISAF did not state which country owned flew the aircraft, the US Marine Corps is the only military branch flying Harriers in Afghanistan. The aircraft cost an estimated $30 million each.
Additionally, “three coalition refueling stations were also destroyed. Six soft-skin aircraft hangars were damaged to some degree.”
ISAF said on the day of the attack that it “has determined that despite the damage, there will be no impact to ground or air operations from Camp Bastion.”
However, a US Marine aviation officer familiar with operations in southern Afghanistan disagreed. The Harriers are used to provide close air support for Coalition forces conducting combat and counterinsurgency operations in the south, and with eight of the aircraft taken offline, there will be less to support these missions.
“Our resources in the south — including aircraft — are already stretched,” the officer told The Long War Journal. “We couldn’t afford this loss, and our troops on the ground are going to feel this.”
Friday’s complex attack on Bastion is very similar to a host of other assaults on major bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan that have taken place over the years. An alliance of jihadist groups, that include the Pakistani and Afghan Taliban, al Qaeda, Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami, Jaish-e-Mohammed, and other terror groups have penetrated bases and targeted aircraft and other personnel. [See LWJ report, Jihadists launch complex assault on Camp Bastion in Helmand, for a list of the more significant attacks since 2009.]
Correction/update: the article was updated to note that the Harriers were from the US Marine Corps. The British military retired its Harriers two years ago. In the past, Harriers were stationed in Afghanistan.
Read more: http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2012/09/6_harrier_jets_destr.php#ixzz26mWi9ufY
TEHRAN — The top commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard warned Sunday that his country’s missiles will ensure “nothing will remain” of Israel if it takes military action against Tehran over its controversial nuclear program.
Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari also warned that Iran might close the Straits of Hormuz if it is attacked, withdraw from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and hit U.S. bases in the Middle East.
Such warnings and references to Israel’s destruction have been made before by Iranian officials. But Gen. Jafari’s comments to a Tehran news conference were an unusually detailed, strongly worded and comprehensive listing of the means that Iran says it has to retaliate against a strike on its nuclear facilities.
The U.S. and Israel have left open the possibility of such a strike if Iran does not back down from what they say are a push to develop nuclear weapons. Iran says its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
“Our response to Israel is clear: I think nothing will remain of Israel (should it attack Iran). Given Israel’s small land area and its vulnerability to a massive volume of Iran’s missiles, I don’t think any spot in Israel will remain safe,” he said.
He said Iran’s response to any attack will begin near the Israeli border. The Islamic Republic has close ties with militants in Gaza and Lebanon, both of whom have rocket arsenals that could be used for cross-border strikes.
He said he did not believe however that Israel would attack on its own. Should the U.S. launch a strike, Jafari suggested that Iran could respond with missile salvos at U.S. bases in the Gulf.
“The US military bases sprawled around Iran are considered a big vulnerability. Even the missile shields that they have set up, based on information we have, could only work for a few missiles but when exposed to a massive volume of missiles, the shields will lose their efficiency and will not work,” he said.
He also said that Iran warned that oil shipments through the strategic Strait of Hormuz will be in jeopardy if a war breaks out between Iran and the United States. Iranian officials have previously threatened to close the waterway, the route for a fifth of the world’s oil, but less frequently in recent months.
“If a war breaks out where one side is Iran and the other side is the West and U.S., it’s natural that a problem should occur in the Strait of Hormuz. Export of energy will be harmed. It’s natural that this will happen,” he said.
Gen. Jafari said that, if attacked, Iran will no longer be committed to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, under whose terms U.N. inspectors visit Iranian nuclear sites. He said however that this does not mean that Iran would build a nuclear weapon.
“If the world and international organizations fail to prevent such an attack, it’s natural that Iran’s commitments (to the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty) would naturally change and the situation would be different from the past. These are the risks and consequences that such an attack will bring about, and these matters would be a deterrent.”
Jafari’s comments come as U.S.-led naval forces from the West and Arab allies gather for naval maneuvers in the Persian Gulf that include mine-sweeping exercises.