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Boardman writes: "Now we know exactly how many members of the U.S. House of Representatives care enough about American terrorism to attend a Congressional briefing about a U.S. drone attack that followed a classic terrorist pattern in killing a grandmother and wounding nine children in Pakistan. Five."

Sidewalk chalk art. (photo: SF Bay View)
Sidewalk chalk art. (photo: SF Bay View)

US Is a State Sponsor of Terrorism

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

05 November 13


Drone attacks are raw terror tactics that terrorize civilian populations

ow we know exactly how many members of the U.S. House of Representatives care enough about American terrorism to attend a Congressional briefing about a U.S. drone attack that followed a classic terrorist pattern in killing a grandmother and wounding nine children in Pakistan. Five.

Five members of "the people's house" came to the briefing, and one of them was there for the full 90 minutes.

When one of the witnesses expressed disappointment at the turnout, a congressman reassured him: this was better than we expected. They were all Democrats.

Had any other American lawmakers joined the audience of somewhat more than 100, they would have heard some of the survivors describe the inexplicable (and unexplained, because the CIA does not explain) attack in which the first drone missile blew up a 67-year-old midwife as she was picking okra and wounded two of her grandchildren. Others came out of a nearby house to see what had happened and the second drone missile wounded seven more children.

This is a classic terrorist tactic, sometimes called the "double tap," using the first explosion to draw a crowd of first responders and onlookers as targets for the second explosion. Typically the double tap attack rings up a higher score.

In a sane world there might be more outcry against the world's only superpower using terrorist tactics on civilian populations in a half dozen or more countries, based on the rationale of a global war on terror (no longer the official name) that, so far, seems only to have added death and chaos to an already deadly, chaotic world because no one in authority seems capable of coming up with a less destructive way of defending our homeland at the expense of any other homeland we select.

The Pakistanis keep telling us to stop killing their people

Even the organizer of the briefing, Rep. Alan Grayson of Florida, who showed great sympathy to the family of the assassinated grandmother, somehow thinks the killings are ultimately Pakistan's fault. In a strange application of blame-the-victim, Grayson told the BBC that drone strikes were not possible without the approval of the Pakistani government.

"Pakistan has a strong air force which has the power to impose a restriction on its borders whenever it chooses to," Grayson said, leaving listeners free to infer that he had no objection to Pakistani planes shooting down American drones. He also claimed that the Pakistani army of a million soldiers should be able to control hundreds of militants easily, perhaps looking back to the swift American success against counter-insurgencies elsewhere in the region.

Pakistan's information minister, Pervaiz Rashid, promptly rebutted Grayson and reaffirmed the Pakistani government's rejection of drone attacks as violations of Pakistani sovereignty that were most effective in creating more militants. He spoke of Pakistani unanimity in opposition to drone attacks, of growing international opposition to drone attacks, and of his hope that his government would succeed in ending drone attacks soon.

Like Grayson, Rashid avoided the central fact of drone attacks around the world: the United States is an outlaw nation that continues to violate international law with impunity; it is a rogue state that others cannot control at a cost they are willing to bear. (Other states currently waging drone warfare include Great Britain in Afghanistan and Israel in Gaza.)

The day after the Grayson terror-strike briefing, Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif met with President Obama at the White House and reiterated Pakistan's opposition to drone attacks in his country. Publicly, the prime minister put the issue in the broader context of the war on terror:

"Pakistan and the United States have a strong, ongoing counterterrorism cooperation. We have agreed to further strengthen this cooperation. I also brought up the issue of drones in our meeting, emphasizing the need for an end to such strikes." [emphasis added]

Obama doesn't talk about secret wars, even when everyone knows about them

President Obama did not show enough respect for Sharif even to acknowledge publicly that America's drone war might be an issue for those being attacked.

This was the same lack of response the president earlier gave another Pakistani emissary, Malala Yousafzai, the 16-year-old Taliban shooting victim. Malala visited the White House October 11 for a chat with the president and a photo op with his daughters. The only public acknowledgement of the American drone war came in Malala's statement after the meeting:

"I thanked President Obama for the United States' work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people."

The cover story for the president is that the CIA runs America's drone wars, so they're by definition secret, regardless of how many people know about them. This is a doublethink decision that was made by the Bush administration when the drone war began, which is thought to be 2004. Any self-respecting war crimes tribunal would explore this issue in detail and assign accountability accordingly. Until then, American drones can kill indiscriminately in a bombing campaign that officially doesn't exist, even though everyone knows it does and many officials talk about it publicly (but anonymously).

The result can sometimes be unintended hilarity, as when the president, in his unresponsive comments about Prime Minister Sharif, said that they had talked about "senseless violence, terrorism, and extremism," which is certainly a usefully euphemistic phrase that describes the U.S. drone wars, among other terrorist activities. The president compounded this dark joke by going on to say with a straight face that "we need to find constructive ways to … respect Pakistan's sovereignty."

Respecting other nations' sovereignty really isn't the American Way

The president wouldn't have to go whole hog into respecting Pakistani sovereignty – he could start with a gesture, a small offer of good faith, like forbidding the CIA to exercise the pure terrorism of the double tap technique. Pakistani doctors and nurses and good Samaritans might not be grateful, but they'd be alive.

Or the president could start even smaller, he could just forbid the CIA from blowing up the mourners at funerals of earlier missile attack victims. That would show respect at least on a traditional Mafia level.

The United States doesn't admit that it employs these terrorist tactics in its terror war on terrorism. But there's a sweet spot in that – the president would not have to admit he's stopped them, either.

William M. Boardman has over 40 years experience in theatre, radio, TV, print journalism, and non-fiction, including 20 years in the Vermont judiciary. He has received honors from Writers Guild of America, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Vermont Life magazine, and an Emmy Award nomination from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News. your social media marketing partner


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+14 # 2013-11-05 10:03
The Drone Killings are part of the "transparency" of this administration. Aren't you glad you voted them in again ?
How about THAT for "hope and change" you can believe in?

Don't you wonder why they pushed a bogus video about Benghazi (then stonewall Congress), and yet announce the drone killings with pride ?

Who ARE these people you voted into office?
+4 # Jiovanna 2013-11-05 10:48
There Big rats.
+1 # Akeel1701 2013-11-05 15:22
some democracy!
+8 # futhark 2013-11-05 19:13
This is precisely why I never supported or voted for Barack Obama. He revealed himself to be the willing tool of the military industrial complex and the state surveillance apparatus when he voted for FISA in 2008 while in the U. S. Senate. I was paying attention but it appears that a lot of you weren't. I dearly wish I had been wrong about him and take little pleasure in gloating. Only three candidates for president that year gave us any real hope for change from a policy of continued military atrocities: Dennis Kucinich, Ron Paul, and Cynthia McKinney, all of whom I advocated, while the media was busy marginalizing and denigrating them. Be careful what you wish for...
+44 # Inspired Citizen 2013-11-05 10:09
Double tap attacks are war crimes. The US is a criminal state, but when the backlash happens, as it did when the hostages were taken in Iran or when the trade towers were knocked down, the memory and information free American public will call for revenge.

The American Empire is an evil that must be deconstructed before it destroys itself as they all have in the past, all but one that is.

The Soviet Union peacefully disassembled itself. It's long past due for the US to follow suit and radically reduce its strategic footprint.
+2 # David Starr 2013-11-07 16:45
@Inspired Citizen: This is a very good and valid summation.
+41 # Trish42 2013-11-05 10:12
This will not stop until a critical mass of Americans demand that it does. There are so many critical issues looming for this country that the deaths of a few non-Americans don't make even a dent in our awareness. What you'll hear instead is "I don't know these people---and they're foreigners. And our government wouldn't target them unless they were terrorists." Funny how the same people that defend our military don't think the government can do anything right domestically... .
+38 # tedrey 2013-11-05 10:39
And when drones start hitting Americans, the rest of the world will say "Well, of course," but Americans will say "How could anyone be so evil?"
+29 # Jiovanna 2013-11-05 10:50
The whole matter is tragic, shameful. We must evolve or diminish into the sunset.
+34 # jwb110 2013-11-05 11:10
Things would not have changed had Romney been elected so I think we can get off that soap box.
This is happening because of the the extraordinary powers that have been pushed for since Nixon by the GOP. So nobody's hands are clean on this.
I think that it might also be prudent that we, as American citizens, are guilty of this behavior. The Gov't characterizes us in the world and to make that change, we must accept our own part in this, instead of blaming the gov't or the administration. Uncomfortable as that may seem, it is true. Hiding behind a "moral highroad" is a cowardly thing to do. We the People are the only force that can stop this and we should find very effective ways to challenge this and stop grousing about gov't policy'
This administration and the administration before it have sullied us, as individual. To let that continue makes the unethical behavior of a rogue gov't continue to use the drones.
I for one, will not abdicate my part in this.
I am an unrepentant liberal and am very unhappy how the Congress has behaved on this and many other issues. I am making it known to my Democratic Reps that they should start to look for other jobs. I am also looking for alternative candidates to consider. The face of Congress has to change because we have become a one party system.
-49 # arquebus 2013-11-05 11:45
Apparently the author has forgotten that we have 3,000 dead innocents in our streets thanks to Middle Eastern "terrorists" and they continue to try to target us.

If these radicals would stop there efforts to kill us and/or if the local population would throw them out and refuse them the base of operations they have, there would be no need for the US to attack anyone.

And, which makes more sense--risk the life of a pilot and an expensive airplane or send an inexpensive drone to kill terrorists and their supporters.

Interesting that the author seems to value Middle Eastern lives more than the lives of Americans.

And, lest you forget---they started this whole thing on 9/11.
+22 # Maturus 2013-11-05 11:57
Really? I think you need to read a bit further into history. Or not, if it suits your intellect to remain uninformed.
-30 # arquebus 2013-11-05 12:05
Really. Are you saying that Middle Eastern radicals didn't knock down the WTC and killed thousands?
+30 # WBoardman 2013-11-05 12:58
arquebus seems to imply that
since mostly Saudi terrorists
killed American innocents on 9/11
[or so the story goes]
that it's OK for Americans to kill
Pakistani innocents as long as we feel like it.

arquebus seems to assume that everyone we kill
is a terrorist,
which is comforting and convenient,
but also false.

arquebus falsely asserts that I value ME lives
more than Am lives (not that it's relevant to
international law) -- 12 years after 9/11,
it's not even a cogent eye-for-eye argument.
But for the record: no human life is inherently
more valuable than any other
(not that that can be proved, but at least
it's a belief a notch above savage tribalism).

Anyone who thinks
"they started this whole thing on 9/11"
doesn't have a grip on who "they" are and
ignores years, decades, centuries, eons of history.
+22 # Inspired Citizen 2013-11-05 13:19
arquebus is an example of the memory-free American I was referring to above. The problem, William, is that there are many like him. Remember the outrage when the Iranian students took US diplomats hostage? No memory of the CIA-sponsored coup that overthrew democratically elected Prime Minister and installed the dictator Shah.

You keep writing; we'll keep sharing.
-17 # arquebus 2013-11-05 17:18 is absolutely true that the Brits and Americans whispered in the ear of the then Shah of Iran and pointed out that he had the legal power to shut down Mossadegh and Parliment. Now, why would they do this. As it turns out...Iran wanted to nationalize its oil fields---fields in which American and British companies had invested millions--witho ut compensation. Think "eminent domain" without the fairness of compensation for the taking. And, it was Iranian generals who put Mossadegh under house arrest. if the Iranians would have been willing to play fair and pay back what had been invested in good faith, unlikely any of that would have happened.

However, whispering is a nabob's ear is not in the same league as invading the embassy of any country...that is an act of war.

Until the Gulf war, the US didn't have a significant number of troops in the Middle East since WWII other than a handful of people as part of UN peacekeeping efforts.

It is a tragedy that non-combatants are killed whether in the Middle East or in Berlin circa 1944 when Allied bombing killed thousands in an attempt to get Nazis. Or,were they innocents?

If I harbor a terrorist as is happening in many parts of that area, am I not a criminal also or am I an innocent?

War is hell said Sherman and he was right. And, when a group plans war against the US they should expect hell to come calling.

Think about 9/11, no attack in Afghanistan or anyplace else in the Mideast.
+6 # Inspired Citizen 2013-11-06 08:12
Well, your imperialistic attitude is informed, albeit immoral and despicable.

We are harboring a terrorist. He lives in the White House.
-7 # arquebus 2013-11-06 17:57
Lessee....immor al. Hmm. Say you tell me I can build a house on your property in which to live and AFTER I spent all the money to get it built you put a fence around it and tell me I can't use it. Is that moral? I wonder because that is pretty much what happened to the British and American investors who developed the Iranian oil fields. The Iranians basically said "thanks suckers now get out".
+3 # jifster 2013-11-07 12:00
“ is absolutely true that the Brits and Americans whispered in the ear of the then Shah of Iran and pointed out that he had the legal power to shut down Mossadegh and Parliment.”

FACT: The Shah was pretty much of a bystander in the whole nasty Mossadegh overthrow action. The dirty work was done by the CIA and a bunch of bribed locals.

“As it turns out...Iran wanted to nationalize its oil fields---fields in which American and British companies had invested millions--witho ut compensation. Think "eminent domain" without the fairness of compensation for the taking.”

FACT: The brits extracted BILLIONS in Iranian oil over the years. I’d call that more than fair return on investment.

“If the Iranians would have been willing to play fair and pay back what had been invested in good faith, unlikely any of that would have happened.”

FACT: Mossadegh offered to split the oil 50/50, but the Brits turned it down. (After the Shah took over, they got only 40%.)

“However, whispering is a nabob's ear is not in the same league as invading the embassy of any country...that is an act of war.”

FACT: What the CIA did in Iran in 1953 was a whole lot more than “whispering”.

“Think about 9/11, no attack in Afghanistan or anyplace else in the Mideast.”

You don’t think Dubya would have found reason to attack Iraq? Please.
-3 # Caliban 2013-11-05 22:19
Military violence does indeed have "eons of history", but the "drones" that everybody--part icularly Mr Boardman--seems so worked up about have nothing of the sort. A drone is a bomb. How it is delivered has nothing to do with the fact that bombs kill, whether delivered in a parked truck, from a B1 bomber, or from a ship-mounted missile launcher.

The real problem is not the drone. It is the war. Persuade everybody--incl uding the Taliban and al-Qaeda--to come to the peace table, and then perhaps these terrible deaths can cease.
-3 # arquebus 2013-11-06 14:10
+4 # neohip 2013-11-06 16:30
We have a need for perpetual war to keep the haves of this economy wealthy. They do not want peace. Peace, as of yet, is not profitable. The drone program is sure to get al-Queda to the table. This hasn't nothing to do with terrorism, it has to do with war being good business.
-1 # WBoardman 2013-11-07 10:01
Actually, a drone is NOT a bomb,
it is an unmanned aerial vehicle (uav)
that has multiple possible uses,
one of which is assassination by missile,
in conjunction with surveillance.

Drones are not "delivered,"
they are a means of delivery.

Of course war is the underlying problem,
and so is chicked/egg reasoning.
0 # Caliban 2014-05-12 17:46
On drones, Mr. Boardman is correct. Careless writing on my part. That said, drones are new only in that they are pilotless surveillance and weapons delivery systems. Piloted aerial delivery systems have been around for decades. My point is simply that "drone" has become a political buzz word being used to try to make President Obama specifically look like a monster for using some horrific new weapon when in fact the drone is just a new version of an old weapon--the classic fighter/bomber of yesterday and today.

I'm not sure what the mention of chicken/egg reasoning is. If it is a denigration of negotiation over armed combat, I'll have to stick to my own stated preference.
+2 # dandevries 2013-11-06 20:47
Thanks to Boardman, not only for his writing, but participating in the response.

The USA truly is a rogue state, and calling any other political entity that is an act of wondrous hypocrisy. But isn't that what rogue statism is all about?
+11 # engelbach 2013-11-05 14:58
And the United States in return has killed many thousands more innocent people.

Do you even bother to try to understand the difference between people who commit crimes and others who just happen to live in the same country?
-13 # arquebus 2013-11-05 17:21
So, in your opinion, we should not have fought the Nazis and the Japanese warlords because we might have killed innocent Germans or Japanese? Funny--killing innocents didn't bother them any more than it bothers Mideast radicals.

Rather than fight back, maybe we should disband the US and let the radicals pick over our carcasses. After all that is what they destruction of the US and its people.
+4 # Akeel1701 2013-11-07 07:21
You fought Nazis? I believe that during the most intense fighting from 1939 - 1941, you guys were happily watching the European War munching popcorn before Japan got your attention in December 1941
+1 # Akeel1701 2013-11-05 15:29
Quoting arquebus:
Really. Are you saying that Middle Eastern radicals didn't knock down the WTC and killed thousands?

it was an inside job - definitely - there are too many unanswered questions and no real forensic investigation before everything got quickly carted off and melted down - disposing of the evidence - so to speak. Not saying the US Gov't was behind it, but the corporates have more power in the US.... I'll bet the whole thing was planned in a corporate boardroom somwehere
0 # neohip 2013-11-06 16:24
+13 # Anarchist 23 2013-11-05 13:36
9/11 was a false flag.. At least 5 of the so-called hijackers are still alive..and hydrocarbon fires (jet grade kerosene in a dirty or 'open air' burn)don't melt steel, at least not in the universe I live in. There are plenty more anomalies..wher e was NORAD? Where is any evidence of the plane that supposedly hit the Pentagon..lugga ge? bodies? burn marks? skid marks? engines? wings? tail section? The list is endless.
Maybe it was the 'magic' bullet of 50 years ago that killed JFK and wounded Gov. Connolly, still not admitted to yet...the Official State History is a lie.
+8 # tovangar2 2013-11-05 14:36
Do you recall, after 9-11, that many thought the planes must have been remotely controlled?

There was ferocious denial, calling such an idea, a "Buck Rogers fantasy". Two years later the drone attacks began.
-1 # Caliban 2013-11-05 22:28
Remote controlled aircraft have been around for decades. My little brother had one when he was 9 years old.

And "tovanger2", "Anarchist23", and (my favorite) our Scots-spouting "Akeel701" must be somebody's bad idea of an absurdist joke.
+3 # Inspired Citizen 2013-11-05 15:39
Nothing you wrote comports with the facts.

None of the hijackers are alive.

There was more burning than hydrocarbons once the fire started.

NORAD jets were late.

There was evidence of a jet hitting the Pentagon. All but about 5 of the remains were identified. Parts of the aircraft were found. The list is endless. There were no skidmarks because the landing gear was still up. Witnesses saw a passenger plane slam into the Pentagon.

Truthers can't handle the truth.
+3 # Firefox11 2013-11-05 20:01
It is exactly like the magic bullet, complete with a Presidential Commission to sanction the cover-up. The American people have been lied to by their government for so long they are used to it and see their fellow citizens who question/debate these so-called answers as "enemies of the state".
+7 # engelbach 2013-11-05 14:56
Yes, I value innocent Middle Eastern lives more than the lives of professional soldiers.

The latter are trained killers and are engaging voluntarily. They know the risks. Of course I care about their lives — but not at the expense of the innocent.

"They" didn't start anything on 9/11. All the 9/11 perps are dead — as well as untold thousands of innocent people who had nothing to do with 9/11.
-3 # Akeel1701 2013-11-05 15:23
9/11 wasnae the start - it was a red-herring
+4 # Akeel1701 2013-11-05 15:27
Quoting arquebus:
Apparently the author has forgotten that we have 3,000 dead innocents in our streets thanks to Middle Eastern "terrorists" and they continue to try to target us.

Not to play a numbers game or anything, but 3000 is tiny drop in the ocean compared wi' how many thousands of people (also innocents) the Yanks have killed in the Middle East?

Or do you actually think those 3000 lives are worth at least ten-thousand times more than the ones not on American Soil?
-12 # arquebus 2013-11-05 17:21
+8 # Akeel1701 2013-11-05 18:18
Pillock! And you wonder why the rest of the world hates Yanks?
Wi' an attitude like that, nae bloody wonder!
+11 # Firefox11 2013-11-05 19:56
Not all Americans agree with this super aggressive infiltration of the US military on foreign soil. Unfortunately, those of us who want a more sensible approach have been unable to alter the course of history. This year is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of President Kennedy who intended to bring an end to the Vietnam War, which he never wanted to begin with. Kennedy also established the Peace Corps which sought to bring American know-how to other countries, without a gun. It is absolutely tragic that American leaders who have sought a more peaceful foreign policy have been eliminated, one way or another. (Robert Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Former President Jimmy Carter).
+1 # phrixus 2013-11-08 10:11
4,486 US service people were killed in Iraq 2003-2012. Depending upon the data source, total casualties vary from a low of 110,000 to slightly over 1,000,000.

It's obvious that the US government, as a result of lying America into an unnecessary war, killed more US military personnel than the 3000 deaths you quote as a result of 9/11. Now add in the civilian casualties and the question of whom the real terrorists are is quickly resolved.

"... send an inexpensive drone to kill terrorists and their supporters."

You've (conveniently) left out the innocent men, women and children killed in these attacks. I suppose that's pretty easy to do when you don't have to get YOUR hands dirty.

"... the author seems to value Middle Eastern lives more than the lives of Americans."

Or is it the case that you value American lives more than Middle Eastern lives?

"...they started this..."

Translation: "Mommy, Johnny hit me first!"

Maybe it's time to take a step back and reassess the failure of our current policies. Statistically you are four times as likely to be killed by lightning than terrorist activity. Of course those numbers will change as we continue to spawn more terrorists as a result of murdering innocent non-combatants whom may have simply been harvesting okra in the family garden when we bombed them.
+29 # David Starr 2013-11-05 11:59
Unfortunately, the U.S. has been a sponsor of terrorism in its imperial foreign policy for decades.

Yet, the "terrorist" label has been practically a mantra for U.S. leaders as they point their accusing fingers.
+2 # Firefox11 2013-11-05 19:47
Pure projection.
+15 # Old Man 2013-11-05 12:18
War has come to this. Soon other countries will be doing the same to us.
Then what???
+10 # David Starr 2013-11-05 13:35
@Old Man: You are correct...
+18 # kendo56 2013-11-05 12:39
Thank you Mr Boardman for calling people by their true name and naming them who they really are! Criminals and the real terrorists! It is important that we stop being afraid of the consequences of speaking the truth straight to their criminal fucking faces. They are criminals that need to be, and will be stopped!!! You guys are doing incredible job exposing their crimes against humanity! Thank you for being brave. keep up the good incredible work. We need heroes like you! It take guts to do what you are doing! Thank you from the bottom of my heart! J
+8 # WBoardman 2013-11-05 13:14

An email from Rep. Grayson's office this morning informed me that, in addition to the five Representatives who attended the briefing, there were also staffers there from more than 30 Congressional offices.
+3 # randrjwr 2013-11-06 11:31
Quoting WBoardman:

An email from Rep. Grayson's office this morning informed me that, in addition to the five Representatives who attended the briefing, there were also staffers there from more than 30 Congressional offices.

Staffers? Insulting. That's like sending your secretary to represent you at your mother's funeral.
+10 # Anarchist 23 2013-11-05 13:40
A fig leaf of decency. The victorious Allies hanged Nazis at Nuremberg for what we are now doing ourselves. And we have been doing it since we fire bombed our enemies cities and civilians in that war and during our wars of expansion and conquest since 1492...a very heavy dose of karma..I don't think we have enough offsets to avoid the awful fate we have brought about that is bearing down upon us.
0 # Salus Populi 2013-11-07 13:32
Quoting Anarchist 23:
And we have been doing it since we fire bombed our enemies cities and civilians in that war.

Lest anyone forget, as the Official historians of our proto-fascist state obviously have, the first firebombing of cities was not during World war II. The terrorist overthrow of the Spanish Republic was partly accomplished by Franco's forces' bombing of Guernica, immortalized by Picasso's painting. But that revolting act was preceded by another, with a different actor: The United States. In 1927, during the suppression of Sandino's freedom fighters in Nicaragua, then illegally occupied by U.S. Marines, five DH-4 planes carrying machine guns and four 25-pound bombs each bombed and strafed the townspeople and Sandino's soldiers in Ocotal, killing over 300, most as they ran from the town and were strafed and bombed by the U.S. planes; the U.S. Naval Institute historian in 1962 characterized the civilians killed as having "paid the price of fleeing in the open under an air attack."
+3 # Donna Fritz 2013-11-05 17:03
Documents released by WikiLeaks in 2010 showed that senior Pakistani officials consented to the strikes in secret to American diplomats, but at the same time condemned them in public.
+3 # WBoardman 2013-11-05 18:07
That changed definitively no later that April 2012
when the Pakistani parliament voted unanimously
for a resolution to halt drone attacks.

But even when the Pakistanis were playing both sides,
so what?

It's not as though Pakistan has a free choice
when it comes to accepting American attacks
on its territory and sovereignty.
-1 # Pikewich 2013-11-08 17:42
The Pakistanis can't shoot down unmanned attack vehicles, why?

Because the US military would attack Pakistan Next? Or is the money?
-6 # arquebus 2013-11-05 18:18
Seems the gist of these posts is the US should just lay down and not fight back and let the radicals kill thousands more our citizens as they have vowed to do. Great Idea.

Perhaps someone can tell me how you separate the innocents from thugs from 10,000 feet....or for that matter from 5 feet.
+6 # Firefox11 2013-11-05 19:45
Good question and the answer is that you can not, therefore, bombing is not the answer; neither is indiscriminate killing. Check out the history of Vietnam where whole villages were mowed down by the U.S. military (My Lai). Read Keys to the Kingdom by former Governor, Senator, and Chairman of the Intelligence Committee, and member of the 9/11 Commission Bob Graham, in which he questions who the radicals are that perpetrated 9/11. Hint: our friends the Saudis. Thus, the attacks on other countries, such as Iraq and Afghanistan, were off target.
+3 # Caliban 2013-11-05 22:45
Firefox11 is not totally off-base, except in as much as he puts the guilt on "our friends the Saudis", implying the Saudi nation and government.

This is a major problem when discussing "terrorists" and "terrorism". By all normal definitions groups like al-Qaeda are made up of members from more than one nation, and they deliberately subjugate political nationalism to religious unity. In the case of al-Qaeda, the unifying bond is Islamist extremism and its motivation is religious conquest by non-traditional military action.

So, were the 9/11 attackers Saudis? Sure, but it is much more important that they were radical religious jihadists--and they were certainly not our "friends".
+3 # WBoardman 2013-11-06 10:38
Caliban makes reasonable points,
but the sticking point for me,
the fact that throws all the rest into question,
is the Bush administration mass evacuation
in the wake of 9/11
of all the Saudis the FBI et all
wanted to question.

That's certainly not the behavior of friends,
but what is it exactly?
+2 # Pikewich 2013-11-08 17:46
Let's not forget the chemical signature residue in the dust from the "collapsed" buildings that is found in demolition explosives (thermate) and IS NOT FOUND IN OFFICE BUILDINGS OR AIRCRAFT.
0 # randrjwr 2013-11-06 11:38
Quoting Caliban:

So, were the 9/11 attackers Saudis? Sure, but it is much more important that they were radical religious jihadists--and they were certainly not our "friends".

Neither are the Saudis who are badgering us to bomb Iran and Syria.
+1 # arquebus 2013-11-06 14:20
Many may remember the movie--A Bridge Too Far--where faulty intel caused a disaster (no one knew a Panzer division was just outside of the target area). Thus the Iraq unnecessary war brought on by faulty intel and not enough due diligence.

As to Afghanistan.... that is where the Al Quida training camps were. Made sense to go in and destroy those camps. Didn't make a lot of sense to stick around for 10 years engaging in futile "nation building".

So if we aren't going to bomb the guilty knowing we are killing innocents or send in the Marines with the same result, how do you suggest we defend ourselves from the radicals who most assuredly would carry their battle to the US.
0 # WBoardman 2013-11-06 19:44
when people assume, as arquebus does,
that we be afraid of any possible attack,
and let that serve as our excuse for killing innocents,
what does that make us?

How does one argue with those
who know the unknowable with such certainty?
+2 # Salus Populi 2013-11-07 13:52
The Iraq war, as anyone who is familiar with the roots of it knows, or should, was not due to "faulty intelligence," but to a deliberate plan to attack the country in an act of naked aggression, exactly what we hanged the Nazi and Japanese leaderships for, and pledged ourselves to abstain from precisely that conduct. The Downing Street Memos state clearly that in Washington, "the intelligence is being fixed." Within a day of the 911 attacks, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was ordering his subordinates to find a way to blame the attack on Iraq, although it was already known in official circles that none of the hijackers was either Iraqi or Afghani.

It was also clear from as early as 1995, when Saddam's son-in-law defected to the West, that Iraq had no meaningful WMDs; this was confirmed further by the United Nations team which the United States used to select target areas for Bill Clinton's 1999 bombing foray. There are too many additional assumptions and errors of fact in arquebus's post to do justice in 1500 characters; books have been written by experts.

But a few words are in order about Afghanistan. Aside from the history of that country's woes, deliberately undertaken by the Carter and Reagan administrations , there is the arguably salient fact that when Osama was living in the Sudan, the government there offered to share intelligence with the Clinton administration that would facilitate his capture -- and was turned down.
+1 # Mrcead 2013-11-06 03:31
Yeah, you're right. The solution? Use a nuke to incinerate mud huts and hope the radicals are visiting their relatives. It worked on 2 cities made mostly of bamboo and rice paper. (that was sarcasm, to the emotionally colour blind)

Sir if you cannot distinguish innocents from radicals, you are certainly not fit for the job.

But that should go without saying.
-2 # arquebus 2013-11-06 14:24
Pray tell how do you tell a radical from an innocent? Do they have an extra eye in the middle of the forehead or a third arm or perhaps are purple. Mao pointed out that guerrillas (terrorists)exi st as a fish in a school of fish indistinguishab le one from the other. So...seems it appears you consider yourself "fit" for the job, please enlighten and tell how you distinguish a radical from an innocent?
0 # Mrcead 2013-11-06 17:30
I in no way, shape, form or fashion, made any inclination suggesting I was fit to tell radicals from innocents. That's is well above and beyond my function on this planet.It is arrogant to even suggest such a thing.
-4 # arquebus 2013-11-06 17:53
An isolationist I see. Look the other way while radicals kill and maim...a mall in Kenya, a hotel in Mumbai, couple of office buildings in NY. Yep...can't see them so I don't have to judge or take action.
0 # Mrcead 2013-11-07 02:53
You must suck at tennis because you can't even deflect properly. Stay on topic.

The issue here is your attitude toward collateral damage to weed out radicals, not speculation of what I may or may or think. I've already told you what I think in my first post. Your way causes far more destruction than necessary and does nothing to stop the radical movement because you cannot stop an ideal with conventional weapons nor conventional means. So the answer is incineration and a shoulder shrug to those unfortunate enough to be in the blast radius? That sounds like the reasoning of a radical. But one must presume you already know all of this but choose not to care. Extermination amongst humans is the most heinous crime of all. It matters not what you call yourself.
0 # cwbystache 2013-11-06 06:36
Might those five attenders (especially the one who stayed through ninety minutes) be that "small group" of Margaret Mead's who are "the only thing that ever has" changed the world?
+3 # WBoardman 2013-11-06 10:47
Alan Grayson, Fla., organized the event
and stayed throughout.

The other four were:

John Conyers, Mich
Jan Schakowsky, Ill
Rush Holt, NJ
Rick Nolan, Minn

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