Storming Yemen

For nearly a decade the United States has used drones to target and kill suspected members of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in Yemen.   Among others, US drones have killed busloads of civilians, guests attending weddings, taxi drivers, diners at a birthday party, people attending funerals and men attempting to reason with AQAP members.   When we complained about these practices, in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and other places, one response was that it was better than carpet bombing like we did in World War II.   That always seemed rather odd because World War II was a war, and the cities carpet bombed were ‘enemy’ cities.

I would say that, well, the places where the killer drones are operating are not places where it would be possible or ‘legal’ to carpet bomb.   There would be no way to explain such a serious divergence from humanitarian law, the laws of war.   They’ve made a fine point about targeting a globally dispersed enemy force, a point that I strongly disagree with though many are ready to buy it.   One would think it would be beyond imagination to justify heavy bombing, carpet bombing in the same circumstance.

But Yemen has turned the world of ‘legal’ warfare on it’s head.   Since last March, a Saudi led coalition of Gulf Emirates with US technical and political backing have been ferociously bombing Yemen

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Export of Armed Drones Approved

The United States government has just eased regulations on selling drones to other countries.  According to the New York Times, “The Obama administration is amending its regulations for weapons sales to allow the export of armed military drones to friendly nations and allies.”    In a later article they say that State Department Officials say “sales must be made through government […]

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Valentines Day and Never Ending Wars

Syria ** Iraq ** Pakistan ** Afghanistan ** Venezuela ** Ukraine ** Russia Obama has requested an authorization for war on ISIS  in Iraq and Syria.     While Congress is gearing up to talk about it, the U.S. is already bombing there daily.  We have several hundred ‘advisors’ on the ground, who admit to engaging in battle at times.  The U.S. […]

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Cultural Racism and Ferguson

An Ugly Truth Surfaces in Ferguson It was a long hot summer for the black youth of St. Louis this year.  After 18 year old Michael Brown was killed by a white Police Officer in a St Louis Suburb, the people in the neighborhood stood up and said a resounding ‘NO’ to racists violence perpetrated by a largely white police […]

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The Non-Useful Atrocities

 by Eva Bartlett reprinted from Zero Anthropology  This article  looks into the dark side of the Syrian war.  It begins with names and stories of Middle Eastern reporters killed by rebel forces, reporters like Yara Abbas, who is pictured below.   Eva,  goes on to report civilian descriptions of atrocities committed by opposition forces in Syria.    And this is just a […]

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The aggressive spread of ISIS through Iraq and Syria has been a game changer in the region.   In all of the Arabic countries, ISIS is referred to as DAISH, which is short for ‘Dawlat al-Islamiyah f’al-Iraq wa al-Sham’, Arabic for the Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (Syria).  What makes the Arabic acronym interesting is that the Arabic word  […]

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Turkey Struggling with Shifting Plans in Syria

President Erdogan of Turkey has, under extreme US pressure, allowed Iraqi Kurds into Syria to fight with the PYD (Syrian Kurds) for the city of Kobane.   The international press has been following the desperate fight in Kobane with intense interest for the last few weeks, though most of the population has abandoned the city some time ago.   While the fate […]

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The Futility of Asking Congress to Block the Next Gate

There are those who want to support emerging bills in Congress that would limit the administration’s ability to put ‘boots on the ground’ and give Obama an authorization for the current air war with an expiration date. I very much disagree with this strategy and believe that even promoting it is counter productive. Sometimes, instead of supporting a new law […]

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US Ambassador Visited Al Nusra/FSA Hostages in March

A report from my friend Lilly Martin in Latakia: I bring to your attention a very serious bit of information about the 24 elderly Syrian Christians kidnapped in March 2014 from their homes in Kassab, a Syrian town on the Turkish border with a predominantly Armenian Christian population.   The destruction and occupation of Kassab began at 6 AM on March 21, […]

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