Trump Complies with War-Hawk Wishes

President Trump is plunging ahead with expanded Mideast wars, with emerging escalations in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere, building on the bloody policies of his predecessors, as retired Col. Ann Wright explains.

By Ann Wright

The militarization of U.S. foreign policy certainly didn’t start with President Donald J. Trump; in fact, it goes back several decades. However, if Trump’s first 100 days in office are any indication, he has no intention of slowing down the trend.

A Predator drone firing a missile.

During a single week in April, the Trump administration fired 59 Tomahawk missiles into a Syrian airfield, and dropped the largest bomb in the U.S. arsenal on suspected ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan. This 21,600-pound incendiary percussion device that had never been used in combat — the Massive Ordinance Air Blast or MOAB, colloquially known as the “Mother of All Bombs”—was used in the Achin district of Afghanistan, where Special Forces Staff Sergeant Mark De Alencar had been killed a week earlier. (The bomb was tested only twice, at Elgin Air Base, Florida, in 2003.)

To underscore the new administration’s preference for force over diplomacy, the decision to experiment with the explosive power of the mega-bomb was taken unilaterally by General John Nicholson, the commanding general of U.S. forces in Afghanistan. In praising that decision, President Trump declared that he had given “total authorization” to the U.S. military to conduct whatever missions they wanted, anywhere in the world — which presumably means without consulting the interagency national security committee.

It is also telling that President Trump chose generals for two key national security positions traditionally filled by civilians: the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor. Yet three months into his administration, he has left unfilled hundreds of senior civilian governmental positions at State, Defense and elsewhere.

While President Trump has not yet enunciated a policy on the subject of political assassinations, there has so far been no indication that he plans to change the practice of relying on drone killings established by his recent predecessors.

Back in 1976, however, President Gerald Ford set a very different example when he issued his Executive Order 11095. This proclaimed that “No employee of the United States government shall engage in, or conspire to engage in, political assassination.”

President Ford instituted this prohibition after investigations by the Church Committee (the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, chaired by Sen. Frank Church, D-Idaho) and the Pike Committee (its House counterpart, chaired by Rep. Otis G. Pike, D-New York) had revealed the extent of the Central Intelligence Agency’s assassination operations against foreign leaders in the 1960s and 1970s.

Permitting Assassinations

With a few exceptions, the next several presidents upheld the ban. But in 1986, President Ronald Reagan ordered an attack on Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi’s home in Tripoli, in retaliation for the bombing of a nightclub in Berlin that killed a U.S. serviceman and two German citizens and injured 229. In just 12 minutes, American planes dropped 60 tons of U.S. bombs on the house, though they failed to kill Gaddafi.

President Ronald Reagan leading a meeting on terrorism on Jan. 26, 1981, with Secretary of State Alexander Haig, Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger and White House counselor Edwin Meese. (photo credit: Reagan library)

Twelve years later, in 1998, President Bill Clinton ordered the firing of 80 cruise missiles on al-Qaida facilities in Afghanistan and Sudan, in retaliation for the bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The Clinton administration justified the action by asserting that the proscription against assassination did not cover individuals whom the U.S. government had determined were connected to terrorism.

Days after al-Qaida carried out its Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, President George W. Bush signed an intelligence “finding” allowing the Central Intelligence Agency to engage in “lethal covert operations” to kill Osama bin Laden and destroy his terrorist network. White House and CIA lawyers argued that this order was constitutional on two grounds. First, they embraced the Clinton administration’s position that E.O. 11905 did not preclude the United States’ taking action against terrorists. More sweepingly, they declared that the ban on political assassination did not apply during wartime.

The Bush administration’s wholesale rejection of the ban on targeted killing or political assassinations reversed a quarter-century of bipartisan U.S. foreign policy. It also opened the door to the use of unmanned aerial vehicles to conduct targeted killings (a euphemism for assassinations).

The U.S. Air Force had been flying unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), since the 1960s, but only as unmanned surveillance platforms. Following 9/11, however, the Department of Defense and the Central Intelligence Agency weaponized “drones” (as they were quickly dubbed) to kill both leaders and foot soldiers of al-Qaida and the Taliban.

The United States set up bases in Afghanistan and Pakistan for that purpose, but after a series of drone attacks that killed civilians, including a large group gathered for a wedding, the Pakistani government ordered in 2011 that the U.S. drones and U.S. military personnel be removed from its Shamsi Air Base. However, targeted assassinations continued to be conducted in Pakistan by drones based outside the country.

The Obama Approach

In 2009, President Barack Obama picked up where his predecessor had left off. As public and congressional concern increased about the use of aircraft controlled by CIA and military operators located 10,000 miles away from the people they were ordered to kill, the White House was forced to officially acknowledge the targeted killing program and to describe how persons became targets of the program.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. troops at Bagram Airfield in Bagram, Afghanistan, Sunday, May 25, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Instead of scaling the program back, however, the Obama administration doubled down. It essentially designated all military-age males in a foreign strike zone as combatants, and therefore potential targets of what it termed “signature strikes.” Even more disturbing, it declared that strikes aimed at specific, high-value terrorists, known as “personality strikes,” could include American citizens.

That theoretical possibility soon became a grim reality. In April 2010, President Obama authorized the CIA to “target” Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen and a former imam at a Virginia mosque, for assassination. Less than a decade before, the Office of the Secretary of the Army had invited the imam to participate in an interfaith service following 9/11. But al-Awlaki later became an outspoken critic of the “war on terror,” moved to his father’s homeland of Yemen, and helped al-Qaida recruit members.

On Sept. 30, 2011, a drone strike killed al-Awlaki and another American, Samir Khan — who was traveling with him in Yemen. U.S. drones killed al-Awlaki’s 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman al- Awlaki, an American citizen, 10 days later in an attack on a group of young men around a campfire. The Obama administration never made clear whether the 16-year-old son was targeted individually because he was al-Awlaki’s son or if he was the victim of a “signature” strike, fitting the description of a young military-age male. However, during a White House press conference, a reporter asked Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs how he could defend the killings, and especially the death of a U.S.-citizen minor who was “targeted without due process, without trial.”

Gibbs’s response did nothing to help the U.S. image in the Muslim world: “I would suggest that you should have had a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well-being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al-Qaida jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.”

On Jan. 29, 2017, al-Awlaki’s 8-year-old daughter, Nawar al-Awlaki, was killed in a U.S. commando attack in Yemen ordered by Obama’s successor, Donald Trump.

Weddings and Funerals

Meanwhile, the media continued to report incidents of civilians being killed in drone strikes across the region, which frequently target wedding parties and funerals. Many inhabitants of the region along the Afghan-Pakistan border could hear the buzz of drones circling their area around the clock, causing psychological trauma for all those who live in the area, especially children.

Aftermath of the U.S. destruction of the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz, Afghanistan. (Graphic credit: RT)

The Obama administration was strongly criticized for the tactic of “double-tap” — hitting a target home or vehicle with a Hellfire missile, and then firing a second missile into the group that came to the aid of those who had been wounded in the first attack. Many times, those who ran to help rescue persons trapped inside collapsed buildings or flaming cars were local citizens, not militants.

The rationale traditionally offered for using drones is that they eliminate the need for “boots on the ground” — whether members of the armed forces or CIA paramilitary personnel — in dangerous environments, thereby preventing loss of U.S. lives. U.S. officials also claim that the intelligence UAVs gather through lengthy surveillance makes their strikes more precise, reducing the number of civilian casualties. (Left unsaid, but almost certainly another powerful motivator, is the fact that the use of drones means that no suspected militants would be taken alive, thus avoiding the political and other complications of detention.)

Even if these claims are true, however, they do not address the impact of the tactic on U.S. foreign policy. Of broadest concern is the fact that drones allow presidents to punt on questions of war and peace by choosing an option that appears to offer a middle course, but actually has a variety of long-term consequences for U.S. policy, as well as for the communities on the receiving end.

By taking the risk of loss of U.S. personnel out of the picture, Washington policymakers may be tempted to use force to resolve a security dilemma rather than negotiating with the parties involved. Moreover, by their very nature, UAVs may be more likely to provoke retaliation against America than conventional weapons systems. To many in the Middle East and South Asia, drones represent a weakness of the U.S. government and its military, not a strength. Shouldn’t brave warriors fight on the ground, they ask, instead of hiding behind a faceless drone in the sky, operated by a young person in a chair many thousands of miles away?

Insider Attacks

Since 2007, at least 150 NATO personnel have been the victims of “insider attacks” by members of the Afghan military and national police forces being trained by the coalition. Many of the Afghans who commit such “green on blue” killings of American personnel, both uniformed and civilian, are from the tribal regions on the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan where U.S. drone strikes have focused. They take revenge for the deaths of their families and friends by killing their U.S. military trainers.

Done “pilots” launch an MQ-1 Predator unmanned aerial vehicle for a raid in the Middle East. (U.S. military photo)

Anger against drones has surfaced in the United States as well. On May 1, 2010, Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad attempted to set off a car bomb in Times Square. In his guilty plea, Shahzad justified targeting civilians by telling the judge, “When the drone hits in Afghanistan and Iraq, they don’t see children, they don’t see anybody. They kill women, children; they kill everybody. They’re killing all Muslims.”

As of 2012 the U.S. Air Force was recruiting more drone pilots than pilots for traditional aircraft — between 2012 and 2014, they planned to add 2,500 pilots and support people to the drone program. That is nearly twice the number of diplomats the State Department hires in a two-year period.

Congressional and media concern over the program led to the Obama administration’s acknowledgment of the regular Tuesday meetings led by the President to identify targets for the assassination list. In the international media, “Terror Tuesdays” became an expression of U.S. foreign policy.

To many around the world, U.S. foreign policy has been dominated for the past 16 years by military actions in the Middle East and South Asia, and large land and sea military exercises in Northeast Asia. On the world stage, American efforts in the areas of economics, trade, cultural issues and human rights appear to have taken a back seat to the waging of continuous wars.

Continuing the use of drone warfare to carry out assassinations will only exacerbate foreign distrust of American intentions and trustworthiness. It thereby plays into the hands of the very opponents we are trying to defeat.

During his campaign, Donald Trump pledged he would always put “America First,” and said he wanted to get out of the business of regime change. It is not too late for him to keep that promise by learning from his predecessors’ mistakes and reversing the continued militarization of U.S. foreign policy.

Ann Wright spent 29 years in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, retiring as a colonel. She served 16 years in the Foreign Service in Nicaragua, Grenada, Somalia, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Sierra Leone, Micronesia and Mongolia, and led the small team that reopened the U.S. embassy in Kabul in December 2001. She resigned in March 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq, and is co-author of the book Dissent: Voices of Conscience (Koa, 2008). She speaks around the world about the militarization of U.S. foreign policy and is an active participant in the U.S. anti-war movement. [ This story first appeared at The Foreign Service Journal at ]


77 comments for “Trump Complies with War-Hawk Wishes

  1. June 23, 2017 at 03:58

    Trump doesn’t do weddings and funerals like Obama did.

  2. R Davis
    June 20, 2017 at 06:42

    Germany is considering redeploying some of it’s troops from Turkey to Jordan. Aren’t they worried that the conflicts of the Middle East could spill over into the European Union – look at how many young & fit male refugees from the Middle East now reside across the EU.
    Saudi Arabia
    Just one big happy family.
    Oh ! & Iran.

  3. backwardsevolution
    June 19, 2017 at 19:05

    Trump needs to tell the American people that he was elected to stop the wars, and stop the wars he will.

    Trump needs to tell the American people that the investigations into his so-called dealings with Russia (including his colleagues) can continue, but he’s now going to order all troops out of the Middle East.

    Trump needs to tell the American people that the Rule of Law is the most important thing a country can have, and with that in mind he is now going to direct the Attorney-General to start investigations into Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and others.

    Trump needs to tell the American people that he is going to enforce the already existing monopoly laws against the media, the healthcare industry, etc.

    Trumps needs to assure the American public that he is working hard to secure the borders and to protect them against possible terrorism.

    Trump needs to tell the American people that he will now devote his time to ensuring that jobs return to the U.S. through “fair trade” deals, not unfair deals that benefit the U.S. multinationals who took the jobs to Asia.

    And most of all, Trump needs to tell the American people (just as Eisenhower and Kennedy did) that there are nefarious forces working against the good of the country and that, as the President, he will rid the country of these people.

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 20:29

      Now if we could just channel that into Trump’s brain. But I forgot – his head is stuffed with straw like in the Wizard of Oz.

    • Draxx
      June 19, 2017 at 23:46

      I’m sorry, but I think you’ve confused Trump with somebody who actually believes what he says.

    • Draxx
      June 19, 2017 at 23:58

      To be more specific:

      “Trump needs to tell the American people that he was elected to stop the wars, and stop the wars he will.

      Yeah, if that’s what he believes he probably shouldn’t have decided to give the military free reign to set policy in Afghanistan.

      “Trump needs to tell the American people that the investigations into his so-called dealings with Russia (including his colleagues) can continue, but he’s now going to order all troops out of the Middle East.”

      If that’s what he wants to do he should probably quite b*tching about Muller and actually order all troops out of the Middle East. In stead of, y’know, $110 billion arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

      “Trump needs to tell the American people that the Rule of Law is the most important thing a country can have, and with that in mind he is now going to direct the Attorney-General to start investigations into Loretta Lynch, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, John Brennan, James Clapper and others.”

      Right. Because Americans are really going to believe the Bill Clinton compromised an FBI investigation with a 15 minute chat but Trump didn’t by actually FIRING the FBI director.

      “Trump needs to tell the American people that he is going to enforce the already existing monopoly laws against the media, the healthcare industry, etc.”

      If that’s what he wants he probably shouldn’t have come out against net neutrality.

      “Trumps needs to assure the American public that he is working hard to secure the borders and to protect them against possible terrorism.”

      If that’s the case, he should probably ban travelers from Saudi Arabia and not a bunch of countries who have never contributed to terrorism on American soil.

      “Trump needs to tell the American people that he will now devote his time to ensuring that jobs return to the U.S. through “fair trade” deals, not unfair deals that benefit the U.S. multinationals who took the jobs to Asia.”

      Please, if he gave two fucks about American workers he’d be supporting miner safety rules instead of ingratiating himself to the CEOs of coal companies who don’t lose a minutes sleep over downsizing their workforce or eliminating pensions.

      “And most of all, Trump needs to tell the American people (just as Eisenhower and Kennedy did) that there are nefarious forces working against the good of the country and that, as the President, he will rid the country of these people.”

      If he wants to get rid of “nefarious forces working against the good of the country” he’s free to resign.

    • Typingperson
      June 20, 2017 at 01:42

      Yep. Totally agree. Ain’t gonna happen. Trump ain’t that guy.

  4. June 19, 2017 at 18:54

    F. G., remarkable lyrics that must be sung at events, must get widely circulated. What did you title it? “Ballad of the Drone Operators” doesn’t sound quite right. And, Dr. Soudy, I am in agreement with you that the antiwar movement must get stirred up again because such hideous evil must be opposed no matter the difficulty in doing so. I’m moving to a city from a semirural area where people are simply consumers and just want entertainment.

    Just allowing the mindless pink pussy marchers to be thought of as activists with such moral decay as of the USA here is intolerable, this evil must be opposed. Dr. King’s statement echoes, “The nation that, year after year, spends more money on military weapons than on programs of social uplift, is approaching spiritual death”. It is clear that the rulers of USA are spiritually dead. To see that photo of drone operators sitting in comfortable chairs completely disconnected from their actions is definite evidence of spiritual death. And Barack Obama is definitely spiritually dead, too, and ought to give back his Nobel Peace Prize. Trump is a pawn in the game because he has no moral center.

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 20:26

      Exactly right Jessica. The problem is in our minds. If we can fix that, all will be well; otherwise not. Big order, but there is no substitute.

  5. backwardsevolution
    June 19, 2017 at 18:49

    Re the downing of the Syrian plane:

    “Later, a Syrian government Su-22 attacked the SDF forces with bombs. ‘In accordance with rules of engagement and in collective self-defense of coalition-partnered forces, (the Syrian jet) was immediately shot down by a US F/A-18E Super Hornet,’ the coalition statement said. The shootdown was the first of a Syrian aircraft by the US military since it began fighting ISIS in the country in 2014.

    The Syrian military called the action a ‘flagrant aggression’ that affirmed the United States’ ‘real stance in support of terrorism,’ according to Syrian Armed Forces.

    The statement from the US-led coalition said it is operating in Syria to fight ISIS, which has taken over areas of Syria during the country’s civil war, and not the Syrian regime or its partners. But the coalition said it would defend itself and its allies. ‘The demonstrated hostile intent and actions of pro-regime forces toward coalition and partner forces in Syria conducting legitimate counter-ISIS operations will not be tolerated,’ the coalition statement said.”

    Is this so-called “coalition” there by invitation of Syria? Are they legally in Syria? They should just get the hell out and let Russia, Syria and Iran tackle ISIS in Syria. But they don’t want to do that, do they? Because they don’t want Syria getting the upper hand and taking ISIS out. Their motive is to take out Assad and take over Syria.

    • incontinent reader
      June 19, 2017 at 22:21

      See, also, Moon of Alabama’s most recent article related to the U.S. downing of the Su-22, at: AND see also: wherein the Russian Ministry of Defense is quoted as saying: “[t]he command of the coalition forces did not use the existing communication channel between the air commands of Al Udeid Airbase (in Qatar) and the Khmeimim Airbase to prevent incidents in Syrian airspace” AND see:

      In other words, contrary to the US DOD statement, the Su-22 was NOT attacking coalition forces- they were not in the vicinity- and the US military lied about notifying the Russian military through the agreed upon channels.

    • Typingperson
      June 20, 2017 at 01:40

      “Conducting legitimate counter-ISIS oprations,” sayeth the US. Huh whut? The US arms, funds and trains ISIS in Syria. And why is US there in the first place? What lying hypocrites.

  6. Virginia
    June 19, 2017 at 18:35

    Let’s see, …The Constitution gives the President power regarding foreign relations; the President has given this power over to the military; the Senate has voted to take away some foreign decision making away from the President and give it to Congress! That sounds about right.

    Isn’t there something illegal about all that at every level?

  7. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 17:54

    Bilderberg Group: clueless deluded bigshots. These guys in charge of the fate of the world is God’s sick joke on mankind. But if you could somehow blow them all up, they would regenerate with new names, and worse than ever. They represent some kind of bad seed cursing all life.

  8. Dr. Ibrahim Soudy
    June 19, 2017 at 17:48

    The History of America is a story of “WARS”…..Get used to it OR get serious and form a TRUE Anti-War Movement to change the course of the American History…………………YES, there are American Antiwar individuals but they certainly CANNOT be called a Movement unless it is a non-moving movement……………..In America, war is a BUSINESS…………….

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 18:01

      Absolutely right Doctor. Now if we can only get the patient to take the medicine……

  9. F. G. Sanford
    June 19, 2017 at 17:43

    Sung to “Ballad of the Green Berets”. I highly recommend the Dolly Parton version on Youtube if you really want to overdose on “schmaltz”. By the way, there’s a really good reason why they station the pilots ten thousand miles from the targets. It ain’t because the air conditioning is cheaper in Colorado.

    Joystick soldiers at a desk
    Battlefield so picturesque
    Killers by remote control
    Fearless men on the Drone Patrol

    Silver wings upon their chest
    They have passed the game-boy test
    There’s no dirt in their foxhole
    They’re assigned to the Drone Patrol

    Trained to handle a joystick
    Rockets fly with one mouse click
    Men who fight from a console
    Courage deep from the Drone Patrol

    Wedding parties are fair game
    Kids and grandmas look the same
    Fired from ten thousand feet
    Missiles spatter human meat

    Centcom and the CIA
    Pick the targets where they play
    Signatures define the strike
    Executions sportsmanlike

    Body parts and putrescine
    Survivors riddled with gangrene
    They don’t smell the battle stench
    From their office joystick bench

    Back at home, a young wife waits
    Her drone soldier met his fate
    He was brain dead, comatose
    In his car from an overdose

    Silver wings upon their chest
    Moral scruples are repressed
    Psychic trauma takes its toll
    Joystick heroes rock and roll

    Murder by remote control
    Seems benign but takes a toll
    Payback prices escalate
    Victims may retaliate

    Joystick soldiers at a desk
    Battlefield so picturesque
    Killers by remote control
    Fearless men on the Drone Patrol

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 17:59

      You have a real poetic talent F.G.! I want to see this at the top of the charts………!

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 18:07

      Sanford – Bravo!

  10. Dunno
    June 19, 2017 at 17:21

    Something seems to blowing in the wind and it may just be a partial answer to Baby Huey’s belligerent behavior, within the borders of sovereign nations, into which the NATO’s thugs, such as the US military, were not invited. At the top of the agenda at the recent Bilderberg meeting in Chantilly, VA (not too far Huey’s new part-time residence at 1600 avenue de PA) was the cheeky-sounding top agenda item for this June’s meeting of the board of directors of the world, aka, Bilderberger Group for Good Global Governnance (BGGGG or just BG4).The item was entitled: “The Trump Administration: a progress report.” In case you missed this story, the title of the Guardian article about this June’s meeting wais “Bilderberg 2017: a secret meeting of global leaders could prove problematic for Trump.” Could this mean that the Don may flunk out of office?

    I recently received my free copy of “Foreign Affairs” [Darn it all, why don’t they just offer me a free membership to the CFR?]. On the cover was the headline: What now? Trump’s Next Steps.” I hope that our beloved crime boss is listening the noise because some very powerful movers and shake ‘n bakers seem to be screaming at the little be-ach of Bibi and the Saud Royal family.

    Check out the article on New Eastern Outlook’s website, which it written by Martin Berger; it is entitled: “Bilderberg Group Is Calling Shots in the Middle East.” As the late Baron Denis Healey, who served as both the Secretary of State for Defense and as the Chancellor of the Exchequer for the United kingdom, so elegantly and aptly put reality: “World events do not occur by accident: They are made to happen, whether it is to do with national issues or commerce; and most of them are staged and managed by those who hold the purse strings.” Yes, like the ones that old and pull Trumpinello’s puppet strings.

    As Thierry Meyssan has pointed out on Voltaire net: “The Bilderberg Group was created in 1954 by the CIA and MI6 in order to support the Atlantic Allianca [NATO].”; and [I may add] it has been doing one heck of job so far. Who would have thought that Joseph Retinger’s charming little dream of a united Europe would ever have become the modern reality that it has become today toda? I mean that “Toady Joe” Retinger had to go and ask his former adversary in WWII, Prince Bernhardt of the Netherland, who had to get Hitler’s permission in order to marry Queen Beatrice of the Netherlands because Bernie was serving as colonel, at the time, in the Waffen SS. Courtesy of another pliable Dutch boy, FDR, Hitler was obliterated, but not all of the useful Nazis were treated so harshly as Adolph was, q.v., “MI6: Inside the Covert World of Her Majesty’s Secret Intelligence Service”, by Stephen Dorill. It is a massive tome, but it is worth owning and perusing. He explains how the Bilderberg Group actually came about. Anyways, The Don is due to be run out of office soon enough, i.e., if he is not fired first. Doggone Don gone!

    • Typingperson
      June 20, 2017 at 01:25

      I am totally with you on all that. But then, um, we get Pence. Worse than Trump by my lights. Saving grace of Trump’s “governance” is how dysfunctional and ineffective it is. Pence might could actually get things going. None of them good. : (

  11. June 19, 2017 at 17:09

    I believe the War Hawks/ Criminals are running amok.
    We are the war criminals, and we are free
    We destroyed a number of countries across the sea
    We have “honorable” fancy titles and appear on the world stage
    We get the serfs to do the fighting in the wars we wage

    We invaded Iraq and thousands are still dying
    It had no weapons of mass destruction, we were bloody lying
    Then we attacked Libya and NATO did the bombing
    Now that country is in chaos after all our plotting

    Then we sent ISIS terrorists into Syria, as well
    Now that country is reduced to a living hell
    Hundreds of thousands are dead or maimed
    And we refuse to admit, to having any blame

    Now we are bombing in Yemen and thousands are dead
    We are part of the coalition that is bringing more bloodshed
    The children of Yemen are starving, and there is Cholera too
    That country is in ruins because of what we do

    We are the war criminals too powerful to jail
    We rule the countries that caused all this hell
    We talk about “law and order” and the “land of the free”
    This is who we are: because war criminals are we…

    [much more info at link below]

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 17:30

      Good poem as usual Stephen. I hope your work gets wide readership.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 18:09

      Stephen – excellent poem!

  12. exiled off mainstreet
    June 19, 2017 at 17:02

    The US is definitely the rogue elephant in the foreign policy china shop, and the latest Syria plane shootdown has the potential to lead us to the final countdown. Whether Trump has to prove he is anti-Russian enough because of the fascist conspiracy theories propagated by the discredited democrats and other neocon bozos, or because of his lack of ability to rein in the militarists he has hired to organize his foreign policy, things certainly do seem to be headed in the same wrong direction which electing the harpy was certain to result in. It is disappointing for those who went for Trump simply because he wasn’t the harpy and appeared to have more common sense than the failed nihilist lamestream foreign policy consensus. He needs to face the media storm which taking a new foreign policy approach would require. He’s not going to succeed by doing what the yankee neocon consensus demands of him. If this continues, it is certainly terminal if not this week or next month, certainly within a year or two.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 18:04

      exiled – “He needs to face the media storm which taking a new foreign policy approach would require.” Yep, if Trump is going to become a man, this is the time, He needs to step up right here.

      • Typingperson
        June 20, 2017 at 00:10

        P.S. Agreed. And he’s not going to. Only silver lining to all this is further unmasking of Deep State and spy agency / war contractor control over U.S. foreign activities.

  13. Joe Tedesky
    June 19, 2017 at 15:46

    “In 1936 Denny met General W.S. Thiele at Fort MacArthur in Los Angeles, who complained that it cost $300 to have an aircraft tow a target for gunnery practice. He also noted that the target flew in a straight line, which made it unrealistic.[5] Denny suggested that a radio controlled model might be a more cost-effective solution.[7] In an effort to interest the US Army in the design, they had demonstrated the RP-1 at Dale Dry Lake on 21 February 1938,[8] but the radio failed and it crashed.[6]

    In spite of the crash, the Army agreed to purchase three models for $11,000 if they met certain performance requirements. In 1938 they purchased a new aircraft design by Fred Hardy and its associated engine from Walter Righter, who had supplied the engines for their previous designs. They began marketing them as the “Dennyplane” with the “Dennymite” engine.[9] After continued development, they demonstrated the design to the Army in March 1939 as the RP-2, and this was far more successful.[6]”

    See the link about Hollywood actor Reginald Denny pioneered the Radioplane. Also see the links at the bottom of the Radioplane Wikipedia page.

    Also check out Radioplane employee Norma Jeane Dougherty.

  14. Tom Welsh
    June 19, 2017 at 15:45

    “Of broadest concern is the fact that drones allow presidents to punt on questions of war and peace by choosing an option that appears to offer a middle course, but actually has a variety of long-term consequences for U.S. policy, as well as for the communities on the receiving end”.

    To put it more plainly, those mass murders cause the name of the USA to stink in the nostrils of the world. Decades of apparent impunity – such pinpricks as 9/11 hardly count – do not negate or diminish the guilt or the liability.

    “Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord”. Don’t think you have immunity because you are American. To the Lord, we are all equal – whatever individual humans may think.

  15. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 15:40

    What has happened is that the worst, criminal, evil people are in power and in charge of America. And yet these evil people are at great pains to present themselves as the best of the best, and that everything they do is done for the well being of others. In their expensive suits and gowns they live behind a façade of blatant lies. The laws they write are crimes against all of us, disguised as justice. These people, our rulers, have no conscience. The only law they follow is might makes right. Until we can rid ourselves of these subhuman monsters, our lives will continue to get worse and worse – until perhaps some final apocalypse takes us all out of our misery.

    The mass of people have had the clarity of their conscience so diminished, that they are essentially blind to what is being done to them and others. Unless we can awaken enough people to their true sense of conscience and real values, nothing will really change for the better – and we will just all degenerate together…..

    • Virginia
      June 19, 2017 at 18:25

      So right!

      We’re giving the warning! We need to ask, What more is being demanded of us?

    • Cal
      June 19, 2017 at 18:25

      ” Until we can rid ourselves of these subhuman monsters, ……… ”

      And how do you propose to do that?

  16. Tom Welsh
    June 19, 2017 at 15:38

    Again, Colonel Wright does not mention Bill Clinton’s mighty feat in annihilating one of the few pharmaceutical factories in Sudan.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 16:02

      Tom Welsh – just taking out the competition. I agree, disgusting.

      • Virginia
        June 19, 2017 at 18:47

        Back, this is a reply to your last reply to me. I wasn’t thinking so much about how Trump just fell into it. I was thinking about how the public did (the Russia hoax). The American people have become the enablers for the many horrible atrocities the US is commiting — in fact, they applaud them. That’s also why we here at CN have so much difficulty explaining the facts, sharing the truth, with our acquaintances. We’re all having the same problem there.

        And thank you so much for your kind remarks. I’ll brave on then.

        • backwardsevolution
          June 19, 2017 at 19:43

          Virginia – oh, yes, I totally agree that the majority of the American public are swallowing this Russia business up. Can’t really blame them, though, can we, as everything they hear and read is devoted to depicting Russia as our new enemy, depicting Trump as a Putin lover, calling for Trump’s impeachment (for what, I don’t know).

          The Democrats and the intelligence community started the rumors, the media has gone to town vilifying Trump, and the rest is history. You can really see why some governments do end up banning the media, can’t you? If all they’re doing is telling lies. Yes, I wish everyone could read Consortium News.

          Virginia, please do brave on. You won’t agree with everything I say and I probably won’t agree with everything you say, but hopefully we learn from each other and the other great commenters here on this site.

        • DoomGuy
          June 19, 2017 at 22:29

          I completely agree with you, both Virginia and backwardsevolution, on this Russiagate propaganda. It’s really very crude, but Hillary’s “Putin’s Puppet” phrase has been devastatingly effective. I watched Rachel Maddow one night and thought she was a total spazz as she discussed her Russiagate conspiracy theory, but she has a huge following among Liberals.

          I would think that anyone who’s read Chomsky and Herrman’s “Manufacturing Consent,” and who also has a fair knowledge of what the CIA, USAID and NED have done over the decades, along with the IMF and World Bank, or who understands that roughly 10 million people were killed in Asia alone as the result of American Cold War policy — we could go on — would not be taken in. They should think, “Who benefits?”

          Of course, in this case, Mr. Putin had a clear motive to avoid a Hillary presidency. Hillary has a world-wrecking appetite for war, and what’s happening now in Syria with the Navy shooting down a Syrian plane, and American soldiers on that road just outside of Syria, might have happened earlier with Hillary. One way or another, the plan is underway. I always understood that it wasn’t just Hillary going after Russia. It is the policy of the Establishment, or at least the most powerful faction of same. Hillary is an eager spear-carrier and possibly a true believer in the ultimate goal. The bottom line, though, is that I remain open-minded and figure I’m 85% likely to be right that there’s no collusion between Trump and Putin. It’s not quite the same thing as Iraq WMD, which we in the antiwar community knew for certain didn’t exist. This one’s a little more wiggly.

          The real tragedy is that Americans, primarily Liberals rather than Leftists like myself, are falling in line. The external enemy, even a made-up enemy, is always sexier than an internal one like the Republicans with all their voter suppression, or the suddenly oracular IC and MIC whose idiotic schemes get us into so much trouble and cause so much misery around the world. With the American populace stirred up, they’ll easily fall in line as the Deep State prepares an invasion of Syria, soon to be followed by the invasion of Iran. Mr. Putin has done a great job playing a weak hand. If he did undertake shenanigans in the 2016 election, which IMO can be seen as retaliation for all that Uncle Sam has done to and within his country, that would be a mistake.

          At this point, I have a hard time seeing a way to stop the madness.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 19, 2017 at 23:56

            DoomGuy – great comments. I saw some talking head say that ISIS is on the ropes and it’s a given they’ll be gone in the not too distant future, but he said the question is: who will control the rest of Syria when it’s over. He seemed to intimate (quite clearly) that Assad had very little support (that’s not true), that somehow Syria should be carved up, and that the U.S. should be able to carve it up to its liking! Anything east of the Euphrates River is apparently up for grabs. What arrogance!

            Get the hell out of Syria, I say, and let Assad handle it. The U.S. has not even been invited to the dance.

          • Typingperson
            June 20, 2017 at 00:03

            Rachel Maddow is ridiculous. She makes $18M per year doing so. She knows where her bread is buttered. It’s all political theater.

            And all the liberal Dems I know unquestioningly buy this crap. Even tho they are quite smart, well-intentioned and well-educated. They are also financially secure / rich / privileged professional class who don’t give a damn re US wars.

            My own mother is a perfect example. Classic liberal Dem. Daily newspaper subscriber her entire adult life. Watches Nightline regularly.

            Joined a local Resistance group. I pushed her on US wars. Not something she knew anything about. She buys Russia meddling–cause corporate media she imbibes says it’s happening.

            “What is the problem with Russia,” I asked.

            “Well they’ve invaded other countries,” she said.”They’re aggressors.”

            “Like who,” I asked.

            “Like Ukraine,” she said. I told her Ukraine was a neo-fascist / Nazi coup backed by USA–her bud Hillary Clinton plus Zionist Victoria Neuland–and that Crimeans asked Russia to take them in.

            “I don’t know anything about that,” she said.

            So sad.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2017 at 03:44

            Typingperson – that is funny (or sad) re your mother, but very common. And she’s even joining a Resistance group without a good understanding, it seems, of what’s actually going on. I guess you’ve got to love her for her passion, though. This is not unlike my family at all, who believe what they hear on the news is the gospel truth. How did we come from these people? Maybe we realized early that with parents like them, we had better be looking out for ourselves. Good people, just not well informed.

  17. Tom Welsh
    June 19, 2017 at 15:36

    “In just 12 minutes, American planes dropped 60 tons of U.S. bombs on the house, though they failed to kill Gaddafi”.

    I notice that Colonel Wright does not mention that the US attack was not altogether fruitless. According to Wikipedia, “One of the Libyan dead was a baby girl, who was reported to be Gaddafi’s daughter, Hana Gaddafi. However, there were doubts as to whether she was really killed, or whether she really even existed”.

    The doubts cast on this unfortunate child’s very existence are typical of the heartless brutality of the USA. As if it wasn’t bad enough to snuff out her young life with a shower of bombs, they go on to deny her very existence. Swine.

    • David Smith
      June 19, 2017 at 19:42

      Libya’s air defense shot down a USAF F-111 that was part of that raid. Denied, of course, and good luck finding anything on the Internet’s “cone of silence”. The Libyan’s released a photo of a USAF pilot’s helmet they recovered that reached the US media to the sound of crickets. Search ” M1 Abrams losses” for a video released by The Iraqi Resistance. I counted 82 burnt out hulks. Check out the forums where posters twist themselves into knots saying it didn’t happen.

  18. Tom Welsh
    June 19, 2017 at 15:30

    “President Trump declared that he had given “total authorization” to the U.S. military to conduct whatever missions they wanted, anywhere in the world…”

    Has he given them the nuclear football? If you wait long enough, life always outdoes fiction. Even Stanley Kubrick would have baulked at such a scenario in “Dr Strangelove”.

  19. June 19, 2017 at 15:07

    NeoMcCarthyism by the DemoNeoCons may be the the catalyst that pushes rabbit T into commencing a vast conflict with Russia.

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 15:59

      BannanaBoat – yes, I think you’re right. The warmongers, with all of this Russia nonsense and by labeling Trump a traitor, are in essence trying to force Trump to prove his patriotism. “Show us you’re with us, President Trump. Prove it.” Trump is falling into the trap.

      I’ve fallen into this trap before, as I’m sure everyone here has. You get accused of something you didn’t do, and then you go overboard trying to prove your innocence or your allegiance to the accuser. The damage is always done just with the accusation alone. It takes awhile to realize, if you ever do, that they were just playing you, trying to coerce you to do what they want.

      Not unlike the CIA when they convince some psychotic loner that they are their friend, and then entice them to take a shot at their common enemy. In this case, they befriend the assassin. In Trump’s case, they accuse him of being in league with the enemy and then watch him try to distance himself from this accusation by becoming an assassin himself.

      Ann Wright, good article! I think Trump can pull back from this insanity, but he must open his eyes to what’s happening, how he is being set up. He’s not stupid, so he should see this. Let’s hope so.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 19, 2017 at 16:36

        Of course, this accusing someone of something bad only works with people who value their image, who want people to think well of them. These are the people, like Trump, like myself, that this method works on. Well, my old self.

        This accusing someone and then seeing them go out of their way to disprove what you’ve accused them of DOES NOT work against people like John Brennan, Victoria Nuland, Hillary Clinton types, who really could care less what you think of them. These types of people are always the accusers, who do not hesitate to tell lies and then see the other person twist. This is their power. They are liars, schemers, manipulators of the worst sort.

        • Virginia
          June 19, 2017 at 17:54

          Hey, Back. I’m thinking the Deep State is very surprised at how well their Blame-Russia/Putin-for-Everything scheme is working, and therefore have seen the opportunity to excellerate their Take-Over-the-World plans exponentially. Is that just too far out for anyone to think but me? If so, excuse me. I’ll try to be quiet.

          The US took out another Syrian aircraft When will other nations draw the red line? Where will they draw it? Or will they just keep re-
          or with-drawing it? I don’t think other nations have yet realized that the US Deep State does not intend to stop.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 19, 2017 at 18:29

            Hi, Virginia – I wonder if the Deep State are surprised at their “blame Russia for everything” tactics or whether they had a pretty good idea that it would work on Trump from the get-go. I think they know Trump better than he knows himself, psychologically speaking.

            I think they knew if they accused him of being a traitor that he would have a knee-jerk reaction and go the other way in order to prove his loyalty. This is exactly what Trump has done. Trump is someone who wants people to like him. Once the Deep State got a bead on this, they went for blood. They would have used personality profilers, just like are used in the court system by defense counsel, to understand how to manipulate Trump.

            This is a make or break moment for Trump. Trump is against war, but only because he is a businessman who would rather do business, make trade deals. He is not a fighter, but a deal maker. Because he has been concerned only with business his whole life, he has not paid attention to foreign affairs other than to say that lives are wasted and a lot of money is being spent on wars that could better be spent on getting along and doing business together.

            He was not aware of the politics involved in war, the money made off of it, the backstabbing, assassinations, coups, overthrows, color revolutions, deceit, corruption…..I could go on and on. He has not directed his mind to this subject. A person like this is easily led, for awhile anyway, that is until they start to see the various factions and the instigators of war for what they are. This takes time, though.

            Trump must make it his business right here and now to get up to speed quickly on the psychopaths who are ruling him and the world. He must step up. Of course, Virginia, we don’t know what he’s really up against. These people may have threatened Trump, his children, his grandchildren. I wouldn’t put it past them as this is how they operate, viciously.

            I am greatly alarmed to hear about this Syrian plane taken down. The U.S. and its allies just keep chipping at Syria and Russia, trying to provoke them. It’s a dangerous mess.

            Virginia, never be quiet. Your opinions are valued.

      • exiled off mainstreet
        June 19, 2017 at 17:05

        That is also my take on it. Trump showed his weakness when he did not stick by Flynn. Now it appears to be a slow descent into armageddon, albeit that the slide down lasts a couple of more months than it would have if the harpy had won as expected.

        • Typingperson
          June 19, 2017 at 23:04

          To Backwardsevolution: I agree with your assessment re Trump. But, sadly, I don’t think he has the perceptiveness, wherewithal or savvy to push back against the warmongers manipulating him. Most importantly, I don’t think he cares enough about doing the right thing. He wants to go along and get along–be liked and approved of by the Powers that Be. Sad…

          • backwardsevolution
            June 19, 2017 at 23:42

            Typingperson – you might be right. I agree that Trump is not a very perceptive person. I guess he’s never had to be. He just saw some land and built a building; no perception required there. I don’t think he really sees these psychopaths for what they are. He may still, but I’m only holding out small hope. He’s apparently perceptive enough to see that they’re screwing him (as evidenced by his tweets), but he must go further and see them for the evil they are. He needs to take control and take their power away from them. Slim chance.

  20. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 14:54

    The celebration of violence on TV and in video games is sickening and disgusting. A nation that fosters these obscenities is unfit to exist in a civilized world. Now we have all these young people being trained to be drone murderers. No wonder some of them are beginning to commit suicide.

    • DoomGuy
      June 19, 2017 at 22:03

      “The celebration of violence on TV and in video games is sickening and disgusting. A nation that fosters these obscenities is unfit to exist in a civilized world. Now we have all these young people being trained to be drone murderers. No wonder some of them are beginning to commit suicide.”

      The TV and video game violence accusation gets debunked every time it’s brought up. Indeed, one of the great purveyors of this falsehood is Anton Chaitkin, a founding member of the Lyndon LaRouche cult. He was able to weave a theory about John Romero, one of the designers of the game Doom, into the typical LaRouche theory that the British Royal Family secretly rules the world. In this case, Romero, the son of an Air Force officer, was exposed to British flying simulators when he was a teenager as a result of his father being stationed in England. Based on this, Chaitkin spun a story that MI6 helped train Romero as a programmer with the end goal being the production of violent video games — “murder simulators” — that would turn American youth into heartless killers eager to join the military and kill real people. Based on previous LaRouche conspiracy theories, we can presume that the targets of the American military’s new breed of game-deranged psychopaths would be assigned by the Queen of England.

      A big problem with all these theories is that murder, and indeed most forms of violence, have declined among the teenage population since violent video games were introduced. The same is true in regards to violent films and TV programs. But cultural products such as comic books, pornography and so on and so forth, always serve as a useful target for such as The Keefauver Commission, The Meece Commission and The Parent’s Music Resource Center. It comes down to a monkey-see, monkey-do view of humanity, so if you prevent monkey from seeing, you will prevent monkey from doing.

      But when one looks at the perpetrators of the violence supposedly fueled by video games and movies, they turn out to have mental and/or socialization problems. For example, Michael Carneal, who killed 3 girls at his high school when he was 14, and who was supposedly driven to kill by the film “The Basketball Diaries” plus a cultural strew of internet porn and violent video games, turned out to be a bullied paranoid schizophrenic. The $33 million dollar lawsuit lodged by the family against numerous film and game companies was dismissed.

      I understand that people want clear and easy answers, but the campaign against violent art is nothing more than censorship, and in the end it tends to favor the interests of the ruling class, who can easily move to censor dissident art and activity. We have a First Amendment in the United States. It’s well worth defending.

      For fun, here’s one of the articles Chaitkin wrote for Executive Intelligence Review on Romero, Doom, and other violent games. And as you can see from my nick, I’m actually rather fond of that game. ;)

      • backwardsevolution
        June 20, 2017 at 00:05

        DoomGuy – my son and all of his friends played video games constantly. They lived and breathed video games, yet they’re not violent. As a parent, I say “thank goodness for video games”. At least I knew where my son and his friends were every single waking hour. Probably was a good outlet for any aggression that teenagers build up.

        I like to cite the study they did of doctors who had played video games growing up; they became much better surgeons because they were used to making split second decisions, and they had to be precise.

        • Skip Scott
          June 20, 2017 at 09:14

          I watched the Three Stooges when I was a kid, and I never even once tried to poke anyone in the eye. NYUK, NYUK, NYUK. My concern with video games is the same concern I have for too much TV, it dulls the imagination. It relieves kids of the need to creatively engage with the world around them to free themselves from boredom, and leads to passive consumerism. I think there also may be a link to the rise in autism.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2017 at 14:14

            Skip – yes, kids probably play video games too much, but I know my son has made really great friends (really!) online while playing the games. Talk about a Band of Brothers! These guys will be friends for life; there is that much of a bond.

            And it also can be very creative. I believe the game my son used to play a lot was called Mine Crafters, which is highly creative. In fact, when my son wasn’t blowing an opponent up, he was playing creative building games (he really should be an engineer, but he doesn’t know it yet!)

            We played totally outside as kids. Talk about being creative, but we had our neighborhood wars too. We built and warred in the bush. Not much different really.

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2017 at 14:17

            I’ve read several good articles on autism where they placed the blame on two nerds/computer geeks getting together and having children. At least they noticed that rates of autism appeared to increase around the tech industry.

          • Skip Scott
            June 21, 2017 at 15:09


            I suppose I’m an old fuddy-duddy wondering what’s wrong with kids these days. I depresses me whenever I take my dog for a walk in the park and see all these young people staring at their phones and avoiding eye contact, or person to person conversation. I strongly suspect that these devices, starting with TV, has changed the wiring of our brains somehow. I also see people spending more and more time absorbed by some form of entertainment, and spending less time paying attention to important aspects of their lives, like issues of war and peace. I have mentioned this book previously to others, but it really gets to the heart of the matter. “Amusing Ourselves to Death” by Neil Postman of NYU.

  21. mike k
    June 19, 2017 at 14:48

    The United States of America is the greatest purveyor of violence in the world. (Martin Luther King)

  22. Bill Goldman
    June 19, 2017 at 14:48

    Ann Wright’s background indicates a long career in carrying out clandestine warfare. I am glad that she finally saw the light and now realizes that “war is a racket” that serves the rich and the corporations. Her advice to Trump falls on deaf and dumb ears. He is resuming regime change and his American Firstism is comparable to that of the nazi Bund.

    • mike k
      June 19, 2017 at 14:50

      Yes Bill, Trump is at heart a fascist. And of course a racist – they go together.

      • WC
        June 19, 2017 at 15:34

        Trump is a plutocrat. Whether or not he becomes a fascist will depend on the bubble economy remaining inflated. With the middle class running out of money, the banksters will relax/improve credit scores to encourage more borrowing and spending. This may help to kick the can down the road for a while longer, but in the end it will bust. When that happens plutocrats quickly become fascists.

      • backwardsevolution
        June 19, 2017 at 16:45

        mike k – “Trump is at heart a fascist. And of course a racist – they go together.” What?

        Because he wants to ends globalization and bring jobs back home, he’s a fascist?

        Because he wants to secure the borders so that Americans have jobs and don’t end up paying for the education/medical costs of the illegals, he’s a racist?

        Because he wants to protect the American people against refugees coming from countries that are unable to properly vet these refugees, he’s a racist?


        And even though his daughter is married to a Jew and has converted to Judaism, he’s probably a closet Jew-hater too?

        Racist, fascist, traitor? What’s next?

        • Draxx
          June 19, 2017 at 22:50

          Oh give me a break. Even if you cut off both of his hand, billionaire kleptocrat Trump would still have enough fingers left to count how many fucks he ever gave about “bring jobs back home.”

          • backwardsevolution
            June 20, 2017 at 00:08

            Draxx – I actually think Trump does give a care. Whether he’ll be able to do anything about it is quite another story.

          • Draxx
            June 20, 2017 at 00:52

            Call my cynical, but I think Trump is the biggest phony since Bill Clinton said it was “consensual.” I suppose it’s possible I’m wrong, but I honestly can’t point to anything Trump has done during his 8 decades of existence that makes me think he cares about anyone other than himself.

        • June 20, 2017 at 05:27

          Whatever Trump is as person is now irrelevant.
          He is the “bubble” which will destroy the US when it gets popped.
          Already Americans are shooting Americans over their political leanings.
          “Muricans” are the fuse attached to the “powder keg” sitting under the US,
          and I think that fuse has been lit.
          If we do not nuke the globe, we will be broke, entirely broke.
          Good luck to us all.

        • June 20, 2017 at 12:57

          Fascist is the reverse side of the same coin as socialism. It is the coin of Collectivism. That is why all the left call their opponents fascists and the right calls it’s opponents, socialists. The coin is un-democratic and anti-individualist.

    • Sam F
      June 19, 2017 at 16:43

      Yes, Ann Wright makes important criticisms of secret operations, and she writes well.

      Drone warfare certainly could have valid applications in cases like WWII, where the US defends itself or allies against foreign invasion. But in the modern era it poses problems:

      1. It is primarily applied to insurgencies, in which the US has never made any mature analysis of right and wrong. The US has attacked primarily socialist anti-colonial rebellions (e.g. Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Colombia) and socialist governments (Chile, Cuba, Venezuela, Nicaragua, Libya, Iran, Iraq), never publicly declaring a valid purpose.. All of these appear to have been basically immoral wars conducted by US right wing fanatics in secret, by simply inventing national security scares. This shows a fatal defect of US democracy, a right wing disease far advanced.

      2. As applied to “terrorism” the problem and potential solutions are again never defined. Terrorism is a military tactic that serves both sides in many Mideast struggles, and those who blow up civilians for strategic effect on a superpower, are not necessarily less moral than those who blow up civilians for strategic effect on an insurgency. Yet we are never told the causes of the “terrorists,” how the US caused their anger, or other ways of dealing with them, just that they mysteriously want to behead anyone who disagrees. No doubt they think that the US is a terrorist power, and probably find the US GWOT a great recruiting tool.

      3. Without public debate that protects all viewpoints, even those that are hostile and seemingly indefensible or inconvenient, and a humanitarian consideration of the goals of all people and factions, we can have no humanitarian purpose in foreign wars. This is born out by the failure of the US to establish democracies elsewhere, its failure to sponsor humanitarian aid of more than a tiny fraction of its military budget, and its failure to understand or care about the cultures where it seeks change by military intervention.

      All US wars since WWII are unconstitutional power grabs by tyrants of the oligarchy, and NATO and AUMFs have become their primary means to demand power and subvert the Constitution. All AUMFs giving war powers to the president are unconstitutional, as there is no authority for the US to conduct foreign wars. NATO must be renegotiated to be strictly defensive, and warmaking powers taken back by Congress.

      • exiled off mainstreet
        June 19, 2017 at 17:08

        I concur with this but state that such AUMF’s are more than unconstitutional, they constitute war crimes. Drone killings obviously constitute murder.

      • Typingperson
        June 19, 2017 at 22:39

        Good comment, Sam F, except I would go further. NATO needs to be abolished. There is no reason for it anymore; its purpose in Cold War was to protect European states against USSR, which disbanded in 1991–26 years ago. At that time, USSR also disbanded countervailing Warsaw Pact.

        CIA, established in wake of WWII, also needs to be abolished. JFK stated that as a goal–and advocated for peace–and then was summarily assasinated. By whom? Hmm. Lee Harvey Oswald, acting independently–or a stooge for the CIA? (I used to think this was tin foil hat stuff. In light of current spy agency activities, it’s looking increasingly plausible.)

        Stating opposition to US spy agencies in this country, especially when you are president, is dangerous indeed. As Trump is quickly learning. Hazardous to one’s health. MLK, also very vocally anti-CIA, anti-US wars and a powerful proponent for peace–uncoincidentally, a target of FBI blackmail attempts and dirty tricks–was similarly assasinated. As was RFK. Espousing peace / advocating against war is dangerous in the USA.

        The FBI’s informant program also needs to be kiboshed. They have 7,000 paid informants–many dubious and creepy–whose main goal seems entrapping mentally unstable, isolated men into ginned-up, contrived terrorism or online porn plots. Weird indeed. UnAmerican, my younger self would say. I’m starting to see that this is what America is.

        And I want no part of it.

        • backwardsevolution
          June 19, 2017 at 23:34

          Typingperson – good comments.

        • H. Beazley
          June 21, 2017 at 03:24

          Lee Oswald did not kill Kennedy. All medical evidence proves that the President was killed by shots from the front. Consult the works of Doug Horne and David Mantik. Watch ‘A Coup in Camelot’ available at Amazon. Oswald was an intelligence asset who had been sent to the Soviet Union as a false defector and was set up as a patsy by elements within the CIA and the military. Experts to consult about this tragedy include David Talbot, John M Newman, James Douglass, Jim DiEugenio and Gaeton Fonzi. You may find their books on Amazon and their interviews on YouTube.

        • Curious
          June 22, 2017 at 01:49

          America has become a war machine complete with propaganda and the entire “game” as the military calls it has become a sick culture and we are only starting to get a taste of the “converted”. It will get much worse.

          The US doesn’t want peace and I don’t even know an area of the world which they have brought peace within the last 30 years. And ‘typingperson’ it is not just the prominent politicians who are the mark. Let’s remember John Lennon who sang about Let’s give Peace a Chance and how he was vilified by none other than the peaceful USA with some help from JEH and Lydon Johnson. Let us not forget Kent State, where students were murdered and carried no arms. Our National Guard murdered these students in cold blood.

          The good ol Military is protecting us from 10,000 miles away because those children have to be a threat someday. Imagine living in a place like most of the middle ease for 15-16 years and all you’ve known is bloodshead. Should we really be surprised by the fact the better nature in most humans have been altered? And we, the USA have altered them. One doesn’t even need a class in psych 101 to know how ruinous US policy is, as and long as they can still create believers here (everyone in the military is a hero) this ruinous cancer will spread. This aggression will never be contained. And the military apologists in this country will only make the thinking, that killing is ok, far worse than it already is.
          Let’s all eat chocolate cake, launch a fortune in tomahawks while our schools are cut, and enjoy the carnage. That must be one hell of a cake.

      • Seer
        June 19, 2017 at 22:55

        ALL wars are about resources.

        Empires require exponential growth. Growth is ONLY possible via increased acquisition of resources.

        Perpetual growth on a finite planet is not possible.

        ALL empires collapse.

        People should have paid closer to Dick Cheney’s “The American way of life is non-negotiable” statement. Death is essential for “American” “life.”

    • backwardsevolution
      June 19, 2017 at 17:20

      Bill Goldman – “…his American Firstism is comparable to that of the nazi Bund.” The Bund started out as the Friends of New Germany, and they formed in 1933 in response to the Jewish boycott on all German goods in the U.S. They disbanded before World War II because “Congress in 1938 passed the Foreign Agents Registration Act requiring foreign agents to register with the State Department” and because:

      “On March 1, 1938 the Nazi government decreed that no Reichsdeutsche [German nationals] could be a member of the Bund, and that no Nazi emblems were to be used by the organization. This was done both to appease the U.S. and to distance Germany from the Bund, which was increasingly a cause of embarrassment with its rhetoric and actions. The organization received no financial or verbal support from Germany.”

      At its height, the Bund consisted of 20,000 German-Americans out protesting against the Jewish boycott of German goods.

      I notice you do not mention AIPAC, who to this day refuses to register as a foreign agent. These are the people who own and control the United States, lock, stock and barrel, the people who believe in Israel Firstism. Talk about a Bund!

      • Typingperson
        June 19, 2017 at 22:46

        Interesting. Stuff I never learned in high achool–or college…

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