Lloyd Gardner’s new book is an in depth historical analysis of President Obama’s foreign policy during his first 5 years in public office. In 2008, many Americans had deep trust that President Obama was going to bring significant change into the White House and guide our country to a place of more “rightful” and lawful foreign policy strategies by putting an end to torture, drawing down the illegal Iraq War, and closing down Guantanamo prison. President Obama promised the American public more transparency and accountability, and adherence to the rule of law, without “looking back”.
|By: Toby Blome Sunday January 5, 2014 1:59 pm|
|By: Tom Engelhardt Tuesday January 8, 2013 6:25 pm|
In late December 2001, not long after Washington’s second Afghan War began, there was that wedding celebration in eastern Afghanistan in which 110 of 112 villagers were reportedly killed by American B-52 and B-1B bombers using precision guided weapons. Then there were the more than 40 Iraqi wedding celebrants (27 from one extended family, including 14 children) who died when U.S. planes struck their party at a village near the Syrian border back in May 2004, and the Afghan bridal party of 70 to 90 who were taken out by a U.S. airstrike on a road near the Pakistani border in July 2008. (The bride and 46 of those accompanying her died, according to an Afghan inquiry, including 39 women and children.)
Added to this list should be the 24 unarmed Iraqi men, women, and children, ranging in age from 3 to 76, murdered by U.S. Marines in November 2005 in the long-forgotten Haditha massacre. And the 14-year-old girl whom American soldiers gang-raped and murdered along with her family in Mahmudiya, south of Baghdad, the next year. And then there was the headline-grabbing case of those 16 civilians, nine of them children, 11 from one family, reportedly slaughtered (and some of their corpses burned) by Staff Sergeant Robert Bales in two southern Afghan villages in the course of a single night in March 2012.
|By: John Feffer Saturday June 2, 2012 1:59 pm|
Drone warfare, as global activist Medea Benjamin persuasively explains in her new book on the subject, is a quantum leap in military affairs. It has reshaped the day-to-day waging of war in ways more profound even than the last great technological leap in warfighting, nuclear weapons. The use of unmanned aerial vehicles has transformed not only the techniques of war but also the ethical, political, and psychological context of war. And it has done so largely by stealth. Drones have snuck up on us, and we’ve barely had a chance to discuss their implications.
|By: Siun Sunday March 11, 2012 6:00 pm|
Today’s news is full of reports of a “Rogue” US soldier who reportedly left his base in the Panjwayi district near Kandahar and shot up three or more houses in a nearby village killing 16 civilians, including nine children and three women. These reports closely followed the official line given out by ISAF (International Security Assistance Force) press officers but reports from local sources make this lone “rogue” report quite suspicious.
|By: Siun Sunday February 12, 2012 6:00 pm|
So far, no condemnation or concern about international law has been heard from the White House.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 31, 2012 11:15 am|
It’s a sad commentary on our media that the President had to answer questions yesterday about drones for the first time, and the questions didn’t come at a White House press briefing or major print interview, but in a virtual YouTube town hall with members of the public. FDL’s Kevin Gosztola covered this at The Dissenter last night, but there’s more to say about the disconnect between the concerns of the media and the concerns of ordinary Americans in that.
|By: David Dayen Monday May 30, 2011 9:30 am|
Memorial Day is often a time to reflect on the soldiers who die in war. Why not also the civilians? Why not these five girls, seven boys and two women killed in their sleep from an object dropped on them at 10,000 feet, without warning? Don’t they deserve a memorial? Don’t their families and countrymen deserve to be free of a life in fear that they could be the next target of a poorly aimed bomb from the sky?
|By: David Dayen Tuesday March 29, 2011 7:35 am|
It took a whistleblower to bring down the kill team, but senior Army leadership knew from battlefield reports and complaints from the local population about their exploits. It took a long time for them to act. So while there’s some solace in the fact that these soldiers are being held accountable for their crimes and that the process began well before the articles were released, it’s not like the punishment was swift. And the unit commander continues to operate freely, despite what was occurring in his ranks. Only the lower-level troops have been arrested. In fact, the article intimates that the squad leader, Calvin Gibbs, who was generally the ringleader for a lot of this conduct, learned the behavior while working in the security detail for a top colonel named Harry Tunnell, who pushed his troops to relentlessly attack the enemy.
|By: Siun Sunday March 27, 2011 6:00 pm|
As we watch the NATO actions in Libya and listen to the discussions about “the responsibility to protect,” it does make you wonder who is looking out for the civilians of Afghanistan.
|By: David Dayen Wednesday March 23, 2011 4:12 pm|
Jeremy Morlock, part of the Army Stryker “kill team” in Afghanistan, plead guilty today to killing three Afghan civilians in an Army court-martial case. Photos of Morlock and his colleagues posing with Afghan corpses were published in the German magazine Der Spiegel this week, stirring controversy about abuse, torture and defilement carried out by enlisted men and women during the occupation.