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Tag Archives: militarism
Former US Army specialist Josh Steiber
A former US Army specialist, who was part of the same unit that killed Iraqi civilians from a helicopter in 2007, says dehumanization is part of basic US army training.
In an interview with Press TV, Josh Steiber explained the three years he spent in the US Army before he asked to be released as a conscientious objector.
Steiber said “the dehumanizing of people from other countries” was the main reason that he quit the Army.
“As far back as basic training, we were singing songs as we were marching around, joking about killing women and children,” he told the Press TV correspondent in Washington.
By ZOLTAN GROSSMAN Counterpunch
The so-called “Global War on Terror” is quickly growing outside the borders of Iraq and Afghanistan, into new battlegrounds in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and beyond. The Pentagon is vastly increasing missile and gunship attacks, Special Forces raids, and proxy invasions–all in the name of combating “Islamist terrorism.” Yet within all five countries, the main targets of the wars are predominantly “tribal regions,” and the old frontier language of Indian-fighting is becoming the lexicon of 21st-century counterinsurgency. The “Global War on Terror” is fast morphing into a “Global War on Tribes.”
Tribal regions are local areas where tribes are the dominant form of social organization, and tribal identities often trump state, ethnic, and even religious identities. Tribal peoples have a strongly localized orientation, tied to a particular place. Their traditional societies are based on a common culture, dialect, and kinship ties (through single or multiple clans). Although they are tribal peoples, they are not necessarily Indigenous peoples–who generally follow nature-centered spiritual and cultural systems. [sic*] Nearly all tribal communities in the Middle East and Central Asia have been Islamicized or Christianized, but they still retain their ancient social bonds.
Yet modern counterinsurgency doctrine only views tribal regions as festering cauldrons of lawlessness, and “breeding grounds” for terrorism, unless the tribes themselves are turned against the West’s enemies. The London Times (5Jan10), for example, crudely asserts that Yemen’s “mountainous terrain, poverty and lawless tribal society make it… a close match for Afghanistan as a new terrorist haven.” This threatening view of tribal regions is, of course, as old as European colonialism itself.
The security-policymaking community in the U.S. works in very predictable ways. Any time a country no one in the U.S. is really familiar with comes up in the news due to some plausible connection to organized terrorism, the following things happen:
1. There is indignation and disgust directed at the government du jour. Government du jour, you see, has been concentrating on Country X With Lots Of Brown People for the longest time, but what it has missed is that Country Y — which, incidentally, also has Lots Of Brown People — is also crucial to the war on terrorism.
2. People who have no idea about Country Y With Lots Of Brown People suddenly feel the need to opine on it. This, by the way, is the most entertaining step — as long as you’re not from Country Y With Lots Of Brown People. Nothing is funnier than watching an entire industry of pundits, writers, op-edders, think tankers, cable news invitees, foreign policy “experts” and bloggers pretend to know what the fuck they’re talking about.
Of course, if you happen to be from Country Y With Lots Of Brown People, you begin to get worried, because any time the American punditocracy starts talking about you, only bad things happen. This is why I cried myself hoarse during the Pakistan hysteria in the middle of last year, and why I am thoroughly enjoying the Yemen hysteria now.
Information Clearinghouse “Veterans Today” — When General Petraeus asked for the “surge” in Iraq, he also opened negotiations with top Sunni and Shiite militia leaders, opened not only “negotiations” but started passing out cash. This combined with the “hammer” of a powerful new military force was the temporary military solution he had been tasked with, one that was, within limits, successful. The lack of real diplomatic negotiations after that has bogged the US down in Iraq where it now looks like we may spend years.
Dear Barack . . . Mr. President . . . brilliant, courageous (I once thought) guy I voted for:
You’re great. I mean the way you put words together. As I listened to you on Tuesday night, I thought about the interlocking, dovetail-joint perfection of your language: the crisp-edged certainty of your delivery, the clean precision of your logic, even an acknowledgement of some of the big values (peace, human dignity) so beloved by your voting base.
It is easy to forget that when this war began, we were united — bound together by the fresh memory of a horrific attack, and by the determination to defend our homeland and the values we hold dear. I refuse to accept the notion that we cannot summon that unity again. President Barack Obama, December 1
President Obama made this appeal for unified support of his Afghanistan policy at the very end of his speech at West Point last night. It seems awkwardly placed at the conclusion of a long and fairly cerebral oration. After reviewing the arguments for his policy, the placement may make some sense.
Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to war we go! Pound the drums loudly, stand with your country proudly!
Wait, wait, wait — hold it right there. Cut the music, slow the rush, and let’s all ponder what Barack Obama, Roberts Gates, Stanley McChrystal and Co. are getting us into … and whether we really want to go there. After all, just because the White House and the Pentagon brass are waving the flag and insisting that a major escalation of America’s military mission in Afghanistan is a “necessity” doesn’t mean it is … or that We the People must accept it.
I came to Honduras to participate as a human rights observer of the electoral climate in a delegation organized by the Quixote Center. Several delegations converged, connecting some 30 U.S. citizens with dozens more from Canada, Europe and Latin America.
By Paul Joseph Watson
American Police Force, the paramilitary unit patrolling a small town in Montana, has been exposed as being a front group for the disgraced private military contractor Blackwater, now called “Xe”.
PITTSBURGH — A new world order is emerging at the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh with a decision by the group to become the premier coordinating body on economic issues. Continue reading