Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Obama's Drone Wars Going Global Contravening International Law & Common Decency & Expanding the American Empire

UPDATED: 5:59 PM, October 19, 2011.

  International humanitarian law is in part , what you and I and the rest of the peopleon this planet determine it to be. In the lead up to future wars -throughout the ongoing occupation of Iraq-we should insist that all countries uphold the strict standard of international humanitarian law, not because it is expedient but because it is right.  --- Quote by Michael Byers War Law: Understanding International law and Armed Conflict. pub. 2005 , p. 126.

First a word from Jon Stewart making fun of the GOP's hypocrisy about the Occupy Wall Street Protest

Jon Stewart Rips Into GOP Hypocrisy on 99%ers: Claim to Love Country, Hate its People ( via

GOP was all for US citizens taking to the streets to take America back from Obama and his supporters ala The Tea Party but are against US citizens joining the Occupy Wall Street protests because it is divisive and is unAmerican pitting the wealthy 1% against the 99% who represent the rest of America. GOP loves millionaires and billionaires and merely and cynically only appeals to the rest of Americans in order to garner their votes.

NOTE #OWS  54% of Americans support the Occupy Wall Street                  protests
                         73% of Americans support raising taxes on those who earn 1 million or more a year.

And now Obama's and other war crimes and crimes against humanity.

 Unmanned drone firing missile and contravening international laws by knowingly killing innocent civilians in order to target suspected terrorists. Weddings and other community gatherings have been targeted by the US drones.

There have been protests in Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan etc. against the use of American  Unmanned Drones

Yemeni boys shout slogans as they attend a pro-regime rally in Sanaa on September 30, 2011, after a U.S. drone strike in Yemen killed Al Qaeda agent Anwar al-Awlaki, who had dual American and Yemini citizenship. (Mohammed Huwais /AFP/Getty Images)

For instance :
US drone war in Yemen riles anti-government protesters and separatists alike. Jeb Boone , Global October 10, 2011

SANAA, Yemen — While Americans debate the ethics of killing American citizens abroad without a trial, as happened when a U.S. predator drone targeted U.S.-born Al Qaeda campaigners Anwar Al-Awlaki and Samir Khan last month, there has been little talk about the ethics of killing civilians.

In Yemen, however, the subject is on everyone's mind.

Although drones have been flying over the country for almost a decade, the frequency of the attacks have increased significantly in recent years. Locals in southern Yemen, where the drone strikes are primary concentrated, said that these days, the U.S. drones have been bombing on a near daily basis.

The practice of using unmanned aerial vehicles to target suspected terrorists in southern Yemen has had myriad repercussions, beyond just civilian casualties. Local government officials say outside of the psychological impact of hearing the endless buzz of drones flying overhead, they have had an economic impact on the region, as well as a political one.

Despite the claims of large numbers of civilian deaths, Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a controversial U.S. ally in the war on terror, has always supported the drones. As a result — and likely the reason for his continued support, analysts say — the United States remained largely quiet during the massive protests that engulfed the country earlier this year, only backing an internationally-brokered plan for a transfer of power after his security forces opened fire on unarmed activists in Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

Saleh's cooperation with the United States, and his support of the air strikes, has further enraged average Yemenis and is often cited as one of the reasons why millions of people have risen up against his government over the last eight months.

“The Saleh regime allowed the U.S. to intervene and desecrate our homeland from end to end,” said a local politician in the rural village of Muajala, located in southern Abyan Province, speaking on the condition of anonymity. “Yemen has been turned into Afghanistan and its people, either in mountains or valleys, were turned into [members] of Al Qaeda.”

Pakistan: unlawful US drone war kills 140 innocent civilians for 1 CIA-alleged terrorist January 9, 2010

Pakistan’s government reported US drones killed only civilians in 39 of 44 attacks on their country in 2009; with over 700 innocent civilians killed, according to Pakistan's most widely-read English newspaper. Pakistan has repeatedly publicly denounced the US attacks, making the US guilty of War Crimes as they do not have explicit permission from Pakistan’s government.

...The US refuses to discuss the program, calling its CIA-managed program "covert." New York University law professor Philip Alston, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial, Summary, or Arbitrary Executions since 2004, reports his requests for US legal justification for apparent extrajudicial executions are always denied. The US claims its secret program is legal, despite the obvious violation from Pakistan’s public refusal of permission.

In the clip below from PBS News Hour the Pro-Drone defender General Dunlap is enthused about the use of armed drones to spare US personnel's lives and is dismissive of the deaths of innocent people as mere Collateral Damage yet the UN and Geneva Conventions insist that all parties in a conflict have an obligation to do all that is necessary to protect the lives of innocent civilians. So when in doubt the Drones should not fire their missiles on the one hand and in fact the intel upon which strikes are conducted is more often than not reliable.
So the US should not use drones wherever innocent civilians are at high risk of being wounded or killed.
The other way to tackle these situations as in past should be done by other means than by unmanned Drones or helicopter gunships at a distance of a couple of miles or kilometers away.
As we have seen in numerous incidents the most graphic is that of the Baghdad massacre or the attacks on civilians in Fallujah in which the US declared Fallujah a free fire zone once again contrary to International Laws of War or plain common sense and common decency.

For instance the US has used armed drones against people in Afghanistan and Pakistan with little or no concern for the killing of innocent civilians such as attacking a wedding taking place in a village which may have one or more Taliban , Al Qaeda or other terrorists in attendance the other hundred or more wedding guests are merely considered by the US military and the Obama Regime as the casualities of war.
If you don't want get blown up then don't invite Taliban or other terrorists to the wedding or other such gatherings.

" : The great debate (VIDEO)
PBS Newshour talks to Maj. Gen. Charles Dunlap and David Cortright to get both sides of the argument."
Peter GellingOctober 11, 2011

The Occupy Wall Street movement should be concerned about the on-going Global War on Terror as billions are spent on a dubious perpetual war and the expansion of the number of US military bases and those capable of deploying the Unmanned Drones .

This is typical of the neo-colonial powers such as the US and Britain and other Western Nations who continue to expand their of what is or is not a threat to National Security and their nations sovereignty which they argue they have a right to defend -self-defense is the right of all nations but it must be performed in a fashion in adherence to International Law.

The Occupy Wall Street protesters should also be concerned that Obama is more interested in going to war with Iran than with economic, political, and social justice in America. His administration has also been involved in increasing and upgrading its over 1,000 military bases world wide to enforce the American Empire's will on the rest of the world.

The United States and other Western Nations argue that they have a right to protect their interests abroad by military force if necessary.
But their defining of these interests is being stretched in order to justify their political, economic and military interference in foreign sovereign nations.

These Western powers along with the United States as neo-Colonial powers believe the protection of their interests supercedes the rights of non-Western nations and their peoples.

So they believe they have a right to defend American and Western corporate access to other nation's natural resources such as oil or a cheap labor force to enhance the profits of overseas businesses.

The so called 1% do not merely keep millions of Americans and Europeans from prospering but also the hundreds of millions of people who constitute the 3rd world labor force who are not much better treated than slaves.

The Obama Regime is not scaling down US military presence around the globe but rather doubling down on extending US military presence around the globe to enhance America's Empire and American hegemony. The U.S. as has been revealed has anywhere from 750 to over 1,000 military bases around the globe. So America's military presence is unrivaled by any other nation. The U.S. appears to be involved in world wide stealth conquest as it threatens and intimidates countries around the globe. This is an ominous development given that even under the Obama Regime the world has been warned that the U.S. believes it has the right to self-defense and so can attack without warning or the approval of any sovereign nation any perceived threat even if the threat is by individuals or groups based in foreign sovereign nations .

The Bush doctrine of unilateralism and pre-emptive and disproportional strikes and the rejection of international agreements from the Geneva conventions to the non-proliferation treaties has continued under the Obama Regime.

The Obama Regime like the Bush Regime rejects the jurisdiction of the United Nations and the International Criminal Court and all international treaties and agreements which in any way interferes with America's right to protect its national security and its interests in any part of the globe based upon America's singular interpretation of these issues.

As we have seen the U.S. during the Bush Regime and continued under the Obama Regime  argues  that in the war on terror the U.S. policies have changed considerably given the nature of the enemy mostly made up of terrorists and insurgents who do not play by the international standards and rules regarding the laws of war. So they believe they are justified in using extraordinary   renditions, targeted assassination, drone attacks , carpet bombing the use of questionable weapons such as White Phosphorous, Cluster Bombs, land mines. the use deleted uranium weapons   and the torture of Prisoners of War are all  needed to protect its own security and its interests abroad. America's peace and security and protecting its interests abroad trumps any and all humanitarian concerns or the slavish adherence to international regarding war.

 President Obama like former president George W. Bush and former VP Dick Cheney believing in American exceptionalism , manifest destiny and America as being favored by Natural Law and God's Law that no other nation or international body has the right to judge or interfere with America's actions. While the U.S. insists that other nations can not abuse or torture American personnel or those of its allies the U.S. insists that it has the right to abuse and torture Prisoners of War or detainees as it sees fit.

If any other nation made the same claims and backed it up with military force the U.S. would refer to such a sovereign state as a " rogue state " and a threat to the world's peace and security.

But America on the other hand we are told has only good intentions whereas any other nation increasing its military presence or developing new weapon systems or attempting to amass Weapons of Mass Destruction such as chemical, biological or nuclear weapons is to be considered as a threat to the U.S. and other nations. While the U.S. insists that other nations such as Iran should not be allowed to develop Nuclear weapons the U.S. refuses to acknowledge Israel's nuclear capability of some 200 or so nukes. So if Israel felt threatened by any country in the middle east or elsewhere according to the Bush/Obama doctrine Israel would be permitted to launch a nuclear attack on said nation(s).

While the US has extended its presence around the globe by establishing some 700 to over 1,000 military it is now engaged in increasing that number while making more bases capable of  launching unmanned Drones the new extremely destructive which is not as precise as its proponents claim. Each and every Drone Strike results in the killing of civilians that is non-combatants while taking out one or more enemy targets or sometimes  just civilians. The main reason for the use of Drones no matter how inaccurate or indiscriminate in whom it wounds or kills is that by using Drones American personnel are kept out of harm's way.

In this recent expose at & TomDispatch America has  increased it's  world wide military presences by the increase in the number of military bases which are capable of launching American armed Drones. Deployed drones can target areas inside other nations and kill or murder hundreds or thousands of individuals while not putting American personnel at risk . But America's risk assessment does not include the risk of "Blow Back" as in more attacks such as 9/11.

America’s Secret Empire of Drone Bases: Its Full Extent Revealed for the First Time by Nick Turse via &TomDispatch, October 16, 2011

A ground-breaking investigation examines the most secret aspect of America's shadowy and maps out a world of hidden bases dotting the globe.

...Run by the military, the Central Intelligence Agency, and their proxies, these bases -- some little more than desolate airstrips, others sophisticated command and control centers filled with computer screens and high-tech electronic equipment -- are the backbone of a new American robotic way of war. They are also the latest development in a long-evolving saga of American power projection abroad -- in this case, remote-controlled strikes anywhere on the planet with a minimal foreign “footprint” and little accountability.

Using military documents, press accounts and other open source information, an in-depth analysis by AlterNet has identified at least 60 bases integral to U.S. military and CIA drone operations. There may, however, be more, since a cloak of secrecy about drone warfare leaves the full size and scope of these bases distinctly in the shadows.

...Even if the Pentagon budget were to begin to shrink in the coming years, expansion of America’s empire of drone bases is a sure thing in the years to come. Drones are now the bedrock of Washington’s future military planning and -- with counterinsurgency out of favor -- the preferred way of carrying out wars abroad.

During the eight years of George W. Bush’s presidency, as the U.S. was building up its drone fleets, the country launched wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and carried out limited strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia, using drones in at least four of those countries. In less than three years under President Obama, the U.S. has launched drone strikes in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, and Yemen. It maintains that it has carte blanche to kill suspected enemies in any nation (or at least any nation in the global south).

According to a report by the Congressional Budget office published earlier this year, “the Department of Defense (DoD) plans to purchase about 730 new medium-sized and large unmanned aircraft systems” over the next decade. In practical terms, this means more drones like the Reaper.

For more on Drone Wars & the killing of innocent civilians   "Non-Combatants " see:

At the website Child Victims of War more info can be found about the Drones and their deployment and the disproportionate murder and wounding of civilians including the elderly, children and women . Which is in violation of international law and even common sense & common decency. Under International Law and by a consensus of opinion of civilized nations the Drone attacks do not pass muster and therefore their use is unacceptable and immoral .

The Weapons: Drones at Child Victims of

The Civilians
Drones are terrorizing the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and Libya. In areas of frequent drone attack, people are always looking to the skies with fear and apprehension. In one part of Afghanistan “thirty high schools have shut down because the parents say that their children are distracted by the drones flying overhead and that it’s unsafe for them to gather in the schools.”

also see What are drones? by Chris Cole and Jim Wright, was originally published in Peace News in January 2010

and : US Expands Unlawful Drone War in Pakistan – Violates Letter & Spirit of all US and UN War Laws by: ewingsc via ⋅ December 11, 2009

also see:

: Attacks fuel anger in Yemen

US drone war in Yemen riles anti-government protesters and separatists alike. Jeb Boone , Global October 10, 2011

and President Obama using the foiled assassination plot to gin up support for strikes and possibly all out war against Iran. That should get people's minds off of the disastrous econonomic situation and those pesky #OWS protests.

Cheney defends Obama's attack in Yemen
Former Bush VP says Obama was justified in ordering killing of Al Qaeda agent. News Desk at, October 2, 2011

America’s Foreign Dictatorship By Jacob G. Hornberger October 18, 2011

The FBI Goes Rogue On Iran By Lawrence Davidson Information Clearing House" October 18, 2011

U.S. Hawks Behind Iraq War Rally for Strikes Against Iran By Jim Lobe October 18, 2011 -- WASHINGTON, Oct 17, 2011 (IPS)

Iran Says Plot was Mujahedin Put-Up Job By Michael Rubin October 18, 2011 "Commentary" via Information Clearing House, October 18, 2011

and so it goes,

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