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Greenwald: Yemen Cruise missile attacks part of a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle

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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 12:50 AM
Original message
Greenwald: Yemen Cruise missile attacks part of a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle
Salon

By Glenn Greenwald

Given what a prominent role "Terrorism" plays in our political discourse, it's striking how little attention is paid to American actions which have the most significant impact on that problem. In addition to our occupation of Iraq, war escalation in Afghanistan, and secret bombings in Pakistan, President Obama late last week ordered cruise missile attacks on two locations in Yemen, which "U.S. officials" say were "suspected Al Qaeda hideouts." The main target of the attacks, Al Qaeda member Qasim al Rim, was not among those killed, but: "a local Yemeni official said on Sunday that 49 civilians, among them 23 children and 17 women, were killed in air strikes against Al-Qaeda, which he said were carried out 'indiscriminately'." Media reports across the Muslim world -- though, not of course, within the U.S. -- are highlighting the dead civilians from the U.S. strike (one account from an official Iranian outlet began: "U.S. Nobel Peace Prize laureate President Barack Obama has signed the order for a recent military strike on Yemen in which scores of civilians, including children, have been killed, a report says").

For many people, the mere assertion by anonymous U.S. Government officials that these attacks targeted "suspected al-Qaeda sites" will be sufficient to deem them justified. All credible reports confirm that there is indeed a not insignificant Al Qaeda presence in Southern Yemen, so that claim, at least, seems at least grounded in reality. Yet arguments about justification to the side for the moment, here we have yet another violent attack by the U.S. which -- even under the best-case scenario -- has killed more Muslim civilians than it did "Al Qaeda fighters," and failed to kill the main target of the attack. When it comes to undermining Al Qaeda -- both in Yemen and generally -- isn't it painfully obvious that the images of dead Muslim women and children which we constantly create -- and which we again just created in Yemen -- will fuel that movement better than anything else we can do?

-snip

Whatever else is true, and even if one believes it's justified to lob cruise missiles into more countries where we claim "suspected Al Qaeda sites" are located, one thing seems clear: all of the causes widely recognized as having led to 9/11 -- excessive American interference in the Muslim world, our alliance with their most oppressive leaders, our responsibility for Israel's military conflicts with its Muslim neighbors, and our own military attacks on Muslims -- seem stronger than ever. As we take more actions of this sort, we will create more Terrorists, which will in turn cause us to take more actions of this sort in a never-ending, self-perpetuating cycle. The U.S. military, and the intelligence community, and its partners in the private contractor world will certainly remain busy, empowered, and well-funded in the extreme.

whole thing...


bold mine
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:04 AM
Response to Original message
1. Yemen Requested Help
The US provided firepower and intelligence to help the Yemeni government launch a series of deadly raids against suspected al-Qaeda bases in the country, the New York Times has reported.

Barack Obama, the US president, approved the military and intelligence support after receiving a request from the Yemeni government, the newspaper reported late on Friday, citing officials familiar with the operations.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2009/12/20...
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Doesn't mean it was a good idea. nt
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 09:14 AM
Response to Reply #2
12. Agree completely
Just providing full info is all.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:37 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. We aided a dictator, Al Saleh, who is heavily supported by KSA...
These guys have their own agenda which includes the destruction of all political opposition.
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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:47 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. This unfortunately continues to be our MO.
We align with and intertwine ourselves with repressive regimes galore, all justified now by terror threat rather than cold war. We are doing the same in Somalia with our deep involvement with the thugs running Ethiopia. North Africa offers a chance for us to do differently than we did in the Middle East these last 50 years by locking ourselves into self-destructive relationships with dictators. Yet we never learn.
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:58 AM
Response to Reply #6
9. Same as it ever was...
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 09:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
13. Aid them, fight them,
doesn't seem to matter which way we go with it.
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bahrbearian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Does that mean Obama is easily duped?
If Yemen and Lieberman can do it,,,
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JCMach1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 03:57 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. It's the National Security Complex... Dems and Repugs have surrendered to it
:(
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:29 AM
Response to Original message
3. K&R
The war on terror, or by whatever name anyone wants to call it, where the war zone is defined as being anywhere and everywhere the US claims harbors terrorists, will (indeed) continue to create more terrorists.


That hasn't changed from the day the war on terror was launched.

You blow up my entire family, don't go blowing smoke up my ass about how it was done to give me a better future. Won't matter how many schools you build, how much "compensation" you pay out - you're still the people that murdered my family.

Even if I don't seek revenge, others will use the death of my family to rally those that will.

The US likes to claim that evidence of torture/war crimes (pictures) would only be used as a "recruiting tool" for terrorists - yet it never seems to make that connection about dead civilians.

The US doesn't want to deal with the fact that it committed war crimes (as evidenced by the lack of prosecutions) - so it chooses to hide the evidence.

The US wants people to just accept that civilians are killed, so it chooses to overlook how the civilian dead could be used to rally others.

Funny thing about that "recruiting tool" talking point - the dead on September 11, 2001 continued to be used as a "recruiting tool" - as evidenced by the constant use of the "911" talking point....the US has justified every crime it has committed since that day by using the deaths of all the people that died that day.

I guess it's OK when we do it.



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Truth2Tell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 01:41 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. You nail it Solly Mack...
It strikes me that there are very few things America could do to reduce the risk of terrorist attack more than to hold some people really accountable for past American abuses.
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
14. I think it would help greatly
Such would put actual meaning to the words (rule of law, no one is above the law, support human rights, etc..)
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 05:22 AM
Response to Reply #3
10. Great post
:hi:
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Solly Mack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 10:58 AM
Response to Reply #10
15. Hey malaise
:)
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JohnyCanuck Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-22-09 05:48 AM
Response to Original message
11. K&R n/t
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