Tag Archives: Pakistan

Lawsuit Seeks to Force Disclosure of Trump Administration’s Secret Kill List

The Trump admin is now facing legal challenges demanding the release of details related to the secret kill list and rules which allow for the assassination of American citizens. 

By Derrick Broze. Published 12-28-2017 by Activist Post

Photo: cfr.org

On December 22 the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration in an attempt to force the release of newly established rules related to the U.S. military’s secret program of killing. The program was established during the Obama Administration and now expanded under Donald Trump. Recent reports from the New York Times (12) allude to the fact that the Trump administration is loosening the already flimsy protections established by the Obama admin. These protections were reportedly put in place to minimize injury and deaths of civilians. Continue reading

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Nation That Says It Can’t Afford Medicare for All Has Spent $5.6 Trillion on War Since 9/11

Because, as new study notes, wars force the question: “What we might have done differently with the money spent?”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for CommonDreams. Published 11-8-2017

“From the civilians harmed and displaced by violence, to the soldiers killed and wounded, to the children who play years later on roads and fields sown with improvised explosive devices and cluster bombs, no set of numbers can convey the human toll of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, or how they have spilled into the neighboring states of Syria and Pakistan, and come home to the U.S. and its allies in the form of wounded veterans and contractors,” the new report states. (Photo: Lynn Friedman/flickr/cc)

new analysis offers a damning assessment of the United States’ so-called global war on terror, and it includes a “staggering” estimated price tag for wars waged since 9/11—over $5.6 trillion.

The Costs of War Project at Brown University’s Watson Center says the figure—which covers the conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, and Pakistan from 2001 through 2018—is the equivalent of more than $23,386 per taxpayer. Continue reading

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Thanks to Congress, Trump Will Have Nearly Unlimited Power to Wage War

“Trump will have a free hand to use the law meant for the perpetrators of 9/11 to wage war around the world, fashioning it to different enemies at his command”

By Deirdre Fulton, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 12-29-2016

“You could easily see him wanting to ramp up the war on terror and take it to new parts of the globe,” one US lawmaker said of President-elect Donald Trump. “There are few limits on what he can do.” (Photo: Debra Sweet/flickr/cc)

The failure of U.S. Congress to pass a formal authorization for the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) means incoming President Donald Trump—whose brash and impulsive approach to foreign policy has raised alarms—will have effectively unlimited war powers, Politico reported Thursday.

In the absence of such a resolution, President Barack Obama has relied on the existing Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF), passed in the wake of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, as justification for military action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen. Attempts to replace or rein in the AUMF have failed. Continue reading

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ACLU Forces US Government to Release Secret Drone Playbook

The long-awaited guidelines provide “a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president,” said ACLU deputy legal director

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 8-6-2016

Three years and thousands of deaths later, the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama late Friday finally made public its guidelines for conducting lethal drone strikes.

The release of the Presidential Policy Guidance (PPG), also known as “the Playbook,” came in response to a lawsuit filed last year by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) seeking the framework—which Obama said at the time was created in the interest of greater transparency and oversight over the expansive targeted killing program Continue reading

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Germany: Thousands Surround US Air Base to Protest the Use of Drones

Over 5,000 Germans formed a 5.5-mile human chain to surround the base

By Common Dreams staff. Published 6-11-2016

Thousands took to the streets in Germany to protest at U.S. Base in Ramstein

Thousands took to the streets in Germany to protest at U.S. Base in Ramstein

Demonstrators have formed a human chain near a US air base in western Germany to protest against lethal drone strikes.

The demonstration was organized by the alliance “Stop Ramstein – No Drone War“, which says the Ramstein base relays information between operators in the US and unmanned drone aircraft on missions over Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Syria and other places.

Organizers said that 5 to 7 thousand people took part in the chain near the Ramstein Air Base, the principal US Air Force facility in Europe, on a rainy Saturday. Continue reading

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‘I am on the Kill List’

“Singling out people to assassinate, and killing nine of our innocent children for each person they target, is a crime of unspeakable proportions.”

By Andrea Germanos, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 4-13-2016.

An MQ-1 Predator drone. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt Col Leslie Pratt)

An MQ-1 Predator drone. (U.S. Air Force photo/Lt Col Leslie Pratt)

“Stop trying to kill me.”

That’s the message a man from Waziristan, Pakistan’s border area with Afghanistan, has brought to the UK this week, saying that the U.S. has targeted him for death by placing him on the so-called kill list.

In an op-ed published Tuesday at the Independent, tribal elder Malik Jalal explains he’s in England “because I decided that if Westerners wanted to kill me without bothering to come to speak with me first, perhaps I should come to speak to them instead. I’ll tell my story so that you can judge for yourselves whether I am the kind of person you want to be murdered.” Continue reading

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Failed US Policy in the Middle East

By Ellen Rosser. Published 2-29-2016 by Common Dreams

(Photo: Mark Holloway/flickr/cc.)

(Photo: Mark Holloway/flickr/cc.)

The United States has been involved in the Middle East for almost one hundred years because of the vast oil reserves there, and the US has been militarily involved since 1967, when the US began supplying Israel with weapons with which to defend itself. However, the US has only been involved in the “quagmire” of Middle East wars since 2001. Continue reading

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Seventy Years After Little Boy – Have We Learned Anything?

Seventy years ago today, the world as we knew it changed forever. On that day, the United States became the only country to ever use nuclear weapons against another country.

At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

At the time this photo was made, smoke billowed 20,000 feet above Hiroshima while smoke from the burst of the first atomic bomb had spread over 10,000 feet on the target at the base of the rising column. Photo public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

Somewhere between 45,000 and 80,000 people died that day, and between 19,500 and 40,000 people died in Nagasaki three days later. The same number would die as a direct result of the two bombs over the next four months.

The genie had been let out of the bottle. What had been accomplished could be duplicated. The Soviets, who already had a nuclear program underway, made the acquisition of a nuclear weapon a top priority. The arms race had come to “peacetime,” and the military-industrial complex grew in power by leaps and bounds.

Of course, you need delivery systems for these weapons. Besides strategic bombers, the United States and the Soviet Union both had missile development programs. Where did that knowledge come from? Scientists who worked for the Nazis at places such as the Peenemünde Army Research Center. Here in the US, the recruitment was known as Operation Paperclip.

Since Truman’s order authorizing Operation Paperclip expressly excluded anyone found “to have been a member of the Nazi Party, and more than a nominal participant in its activities, or an active supporter of Nazi militarism,” the Joint Intelligence Objectives Agency (JIOA) created false employment and political biographies for the scientists, while also erasing from public record the scientists’ Nazi Party memberships and régime affiliations. Once that was done, the scientists were granted security clearances by the U.S. government to work in the United States.

So, not only did we (the United States), kill thousands of people in a horrific manner never used before or since, we also brought in war criminals to make the weapons even more deadly. But wait! There’s more…

We hear from various media outlets about the dangers of relaxing sanctions against Iran, and how this will lead to Iran getting nuclear weapons. Where did Iran get its nuclear technology to begin with? If you guessed the United States, you guessed right. Under the “Atoms for Peace” program proposed by President Eisenhower in the early 1950s, American Machine and Foundry (AMF) built nuclear reactors in Iran, Pakistan and Israel. Notice that the only country of those three that hasn’t built a nuclear weapon is Iran…

The memorial at Ground Zero, Nagasaki. Photo by Dean S. Pemberton (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The memorial at Ground Zero, Nagasaki. Photo by Dean S. Pemberton (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It’s been seventy years, and the horror is still present. There’s still close to 200,000 people alive today that are classified by the Japanese government as hibakusha; a Japanese word that literally translates as “explosion-affected people,” and refers to people who were exposed to radiation from the bombings.

We in the United States claim to be the only judge of who can or can’t have nuclear weapons, while at the same time we’re responsible for the spreading of nuclear technology to the very countries who we worry about, and we’re the only country to ever use one. Our hypocrisy can be staggering at times.

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When it comes to ‘Islamic State,’ the west just doesn’t get it

There is much the west does not understand about its latest enemy, in which it faces more than ‘just’ extremists.

By Abdel Bari Atwan. Published July 9, 2015 at openDemocracy.

Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

As the US ramps up airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Raqqa—the self-styled Caliphate’s capital—and the UK mulls further military involvement, it is surely time to ponder the effectiveness of bombarding densely populated areas, causing civilian deaths and casualties and laying waste to homes and infrastructure.

After fourteen years in Afghanistan and ten in Iraq (not to mention the drone campaigns in Yemen and Pakistan), isn’t it obvious that a military solution is impossible and that, in terms of ‘hearts and minds’, such missions are counter-productive, often propelling ‘moderate’ Muslims into the arms of the extremists?

It seems to me that there is much the west does not understand about its latest enemy.

Islamic State (IS) continues to expand—en masse in Iraq and Syria, and in smaller enclaves elsewhere from Sinai and Libya to Afghanistan. It has demonstrated a burgeoning ability to strike outside its territories, with attacks in Tunisia, Kuwait and France marking the first anniversary of the declaration of ‘the Caliphate’ last month. Continue reading

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‘You Have a Choice’: Veterans Call On Drone Operators to Refuse Orders

Joint statement signed by 45 US military veterans urges drone operators to follow their consciences and say ‘no’ to surveillance and assassination missions

By Sarah Lazare, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published June 19, 2015

Drone operators at Balad Camp Anaconda, Iraq, August 2007. (Photo: Air Force/public domain)

Drone operators at Balad Camp Anaconda, Iraq, August 2007. (Photo: Air Force/public domain)

Dozens of U.S. military veterans released an open letter this week urging drone operators to “refuse to fly missions” or support them in any way—and letting them know that if they say “no” to surveillance and assassination orders, there is a whole community rooting for them.

“At least 6,000 peoples’ lives have been unjustly taken by United States drone attacks in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, the Philippines, Libya and Syria,” states the letter, which was organized by the education and advocacy organization KnowDrones.com.

“Those involved in United States drone operations who refuse to participate in drone missions will be acting within accordance of Principle IV of the Principles of International Law Recognized in the Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal and the Judgment of the Tribunal, The United Nations 1950,” states the letter. “So, yes, you do have a choice—and liability under the law. Choose the moral one. Choose the legal one.” Continue reading

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