Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Jeremy Scahill On The Dirty (Little) War

[Three Five Zero Zero...]


Jeremy has a lengthy post up over at The Nation detailing what he's learned of the covert -- and often overt -- acts of the Dirty War that's been under way against... terr-r...  for lo these many years now, focusing on the al-Awlakis, father and son, droned to death in separate actions two weeks apart in 2011 in the Yemen. It's a nasty business that's become normalized and seems to have become fetishized by  Our Rulers to the point where the extermination of various threats to the security of the High and Mighty has become a high-stakes game played by proxies on video terminals in Florida and Nevada and who knows where else, against... whoever the war-gamers decide are suspect, wherever in the world they may be. Including, potentially, right here at home, "against American citizens on American soil," though we are repeatedly assured that is not the case... for now. The High and the Mighty excitedly look on and direct the actions of their proxies, to kill and kill again from above, certain in their righteousness and glory.

The anguish over the use of drones in this endeavor seems a bit over the top to me; somehow the squads of murderers who would be -- and sometimes are -- deployed in the place of drones give me no comfort.

Perhaps the idea is that the murder squads would be able to employ more appropriate judgement and thus the number of collateral killings in pursuit of designated targets would be reduced. Perhaps. The problem is that when these squads were heavily utilized in places like Vietnam and Central America (by proxy), and currently in Iraq and Afghanistan and who knows wherever else in the world they are deployed, tens to hundreds of thousands were murdered most of whom had nothing to do with the supposed targets at all. They were either in the way or they were simply targets of opportunity. Why not murder them? Who would care? As long as it was no one who mattered, slaughter away. It's the way these things are done these days.

Jeremy has been one of the most vocal and consistent exposers and objectors to this New Model warfare by proxy and drone murder of any and all who fall under the gaze of the gamers. It is the cause, he thinks, of the very "terrorists" it is meant to exterminate. The more the murder by drone and death squads, the more the victims respond in kind.

Stop the drone wars, stop the murder squads, and who knows, mayhem in general, and particularly mayhem by "terrorists" might decline... You, the Rulers, will never exterminate them all... and by trying, you may well be producing something worse.

Some of what's been revealed about the Brothers Tsarnaev's motives -- at least as they are being presented in the "news" -- should come as a cautionary and warning to those who are so devoted to the game. Of course, they won't, but that's another issue.

Such motives of the brothers in Boston as have been suggested or revealed are what Jeremy has been getting at for years:  the slaughter -- euphemistically called "collateral damage" -- from the murder squads and drone wars in parts of the Muslim world radicalized the elder brother to the point where he believed he had to do something about it, something dramatic.

It had apparently nothing to do with the Chechen rebellion; it had to do with what the United States has been doing in the Muslim world for years and years now, targeting and murdering hundreds of innocents year in and year out, on no authority but "suspicion". Anybody who is in the way, too bad, so sad.

Apparently, the more he learned about what was going on, the more enraged and determined he became to do something about it. The resulting actions, bombing the Boston Marathon and various shootouts, seemed inexplicable and bizarre without some sort of manifesto or at least a YouTube of some sort, and thus seemed much more in line with typical domestic terrorist behavior than what we're used to in connection with the Global and Glorious War on Terror.

But no, apparently the bombings were motivated by stories -- such as Jeremy Scahill's -- of slaughter, murder and mayhem by Americans among the innocent Muslims of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq (among other places where these tactics are utilized) .

It's a dirty little war that has become perpetual.

The logic of it -- if you want to call it that -- is completely circular and thus never-ending.

"They" did something terrible, "we" respond with something even more horrible, "they" then ramp up their terrible response, "we" in our wisdom then do likewise. These sorts of campaigns can go on seemingly forever without resolution, in part because they are relatively low-key compared to conventional warfare, and it serves the interests of Power to maintain them in perpetuity -- as long as there is a "threat" from above or wherever, the Power players are assured their supremacy indefinitely.

If there is to be a resolution, there has to be bold action to reverse the course of the endless struggle. With few exceptions, resolution comes -- if it comes -- from the unilateral stopping of the violence by the more powerful player in the game, followed by the resistance ceasing (most of) its violence against the more powerful player.

Certainly that was the case in Vietnam, and it seemed to work in Ireland and Northern Ireland, as well as in most of the rest of the colonial outposts in days of yore. The more powerful -- ie: the colonial power -- stopped.

I've said many times that the current wars and their resistance are mostly about restoring Empire, and part of that process is "getting right" some of the failed Imperial Projects of times gone by. That includes Iraq, Afghanistan (in spades), the Yemen, parts of Africa and the Middle East and eventually Persia/Iran.

That's why the British government are so keen to participate in the current Imperial crusade -- it was essentially their Empire that fell to pieces, and it is essentially their failed colonies where the new Anglo-American Imperial Project has been instituted.

There's an internet tradition that asserts we are living at the End of the Empire. America is in permanent decline from which there can be no recovery, the American Empire is nearly kaput, and so on and so forth, yadda yadda. To me, this meme if you will, is absurd and for all intents and purposes, it has things backwards. The Empire is fine, ever-expanding, and as Empires tend to be, it is very rapacious and cruel.

The American People are facing decline -- from which there is no apparent recovery -- as the Republic expires and the economy is looted (partially to fund the Empire) with speed and abandon. The same sort of thing happened domestically in Britain during the hey-day of their Empire. The British People faced untold hardship while their lords and ladies exploited not only colonial outposts but the domestic population as well. In the process, the People's rights and privileges were simply taken away. And for generations, protest against this state of affairs was ineffective.

The Empire flourished, while the People were en-miserated.

That's how these things go, and that's how it's going once again.

As is his way, Jeremy tends to be thorough and correct in his descriptions and assessments of American Imperial actions at home and abroad. His tales about the appalling things being done in our names can curl your hair. The story of the extermination of the al-Awlakis, father and son, in the Yemen, both of whom were American citizens, is -- or should be -- deeply disturbing, but of course, because they were officially designated targets for White House sanctioned murder, the best we can hope for right now is ambivalence. Before we can even become ambivalent, however, we need knowledge.

Knowledge of these things is so carefully controlled and manipulated from On High, however, that even when we "know" about something, we don't really know anything.

Jeremy has a book out, "Dirty Wars, the World is a Battlefield," and the movie is making the rounds.

There is much more to learn and understand. Go, see, read, learn.

Jeremy Scahill on Democracy Now! today:

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