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Saturday, July 9, 2011

Six wars, nothing left for U.S. common defense, general welfare

Re-reporting, compiled and edited with comment by Carolyn Bennett

On KPFA’s “Flashpoints” program this week Kevin Pina with guests Laura Wells and Roger Harris described  a U.S. foreign policy “template,” a modus operandi of demonization, destabilization, flood of non-grassroots organization (NGO, charity) plunderers, and perpetual repression applied equally — as suits the whim of U.S. foreign policy makers (or “executioners”) — against “democratic” and “autocratic” regimes.

U.S. officials also use a version of this template of U.S. foreign policy against the people of the United States, separating them from one another with wedge issues then opening the gates to plunder and repression by counter-constitutional public-private partnerships. 
“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”  — has indeed gone to hell.
 In a July 4 piece at Le Monde diplomatique, Tom Engelhardt writes — “With the latest news … that the U.S. has launched a significant ‘intensification’ of its secret air campaign against Yemeni tribesmen believed to be connected with al-Qaeda, the U.S. is now involved in no less than six wars — Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, and what used to be called the Global War on Terror….

“… While the Obama administration officially discarded the Bush-era name, it expanded the war and the forces meant to fight it in places like Somalia. U.S. special operations forces now pursue war-on-terror tasks in at least 75 countries and who knows how many CIA and other intelligence agents are involved as well.”

This is “a mix-and-match version of war that increasingly integrates civilian branches of the government. like the State Department; an evermore warlike CIA (once known as ‘the president’s private army’); the regular Army, Marines, and Air Force; ever-growing drone air power (split between an officially civilian intelligence agency and the military); and a secret combined military force of perhaps 20,000 special operatives.

“With the face of American war changing in striking ways and at least six wars, none going particularly well, on or off the books, no one should be surprised if… Washington as a war capital increasingly looks like a new kind of town.”


Last week in the eastern province of Khost, U.S.-NATO bombs [the U.S. contributes 75 percent of NATO funding] killed at least 14 Afghan civilians. Among the dead were eight children.

 May was the deadliest month for civilians in Afghanistan since the UN began compiling statistics of casualties four years ago.

Al Jazeera reports, “Eleven civilians were killed after an IED [improvised explosive device] hit their vehicle” in the morning hours of last Saturday.  The dead had been “en route to Ghazni province from Pakistan through Zabul’s border area.” Mohammad Jaan Rasulyar, the deputy provincial governor of Zabul, told the AFP news agency on Saturday that the dead were “five men, four women and two children — all members of the same family — thought to be Afghan refugees returning from Pakistan.”

Last month Al Jazeera reported a new study released by Refugees International that said, “More than 250,000 people have been displaced in the last two years of fighting in Afghanistan and ‘local police’ programs sponsored by NATO [have worsened] the problem  by arming militias.

“Most of the internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled ‘international and Afghan military forces’ operations against the Taliban,’ the report found. It also concluded that many IDPs are not receiving adequate assistance from the Afghan government or the United Nations.”

Unlike earlier displacement increases under invasions of this country, the report said, “‘Now, people are increasingly unwilling to return home because they fear their villages are no longer safe.’ … The IDP problem has grown particularly acute in northern Afghanistan.” This year 30,000 people were displaced from their homes, “a seven-fold increase over last year.” Since last year’s 33,000 U.S. troops began ‘surging’ into Afghanistan, “security in northern Afghanistan has deteriorated.”  

Shoot to kill U.S. style
Pakistan’s largest city, Karachi, is home to more than 18 million people. The city reportedly has a long history of ethnic, religious and sectarian violence. A recent report from the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan said 1,138 people were killed in Karachi in the first six months of 2011, of whom 490 were victims of political, ethnic and sectarian violence.

On Wednesday, at least 10 bus passengers were killed and 20 others injured when armed men opened fire on two buses in Karachi. A wave of violence had begun on Tuesday and since then, according to police reports, up to 98 people have been killed and more than 150 wounded.

The U.S ambassador to Pakistan released a statement “condemning the violence.”  This weekend Karachi police issued a “shoot on sight” order.


Since March 1,400 people have died and 10,000 have been detained reportedly as a result of a crackdown by Syrian security forces. According to Human Rights Watch’s reports of interviews they conducted, “Defectors of Syria’s security forces have described receiving orders from their superiors to fire live rounds at protesters to disperse them.… The soldiers also reported participating in and witnessing the shooting and wounding of dozens of protesters, and the arbitrary arrests and detentions of hundreds of civilians.”


NATO warplanes this week continued “to pound Libya with airstrikes. Of 140 air sorties carried out on Wednesday, NATO says nearly half were strike missions.

As anti-government combatants “come under heavy fire as they renew their push against government forces,” Libyan President Muammar Qaddafi “has threatened to take the war in Libya to Europe.”

In a speech on Libyan television, the Libyan president “threatened to send hundreds of Libyans to carry out attacks in Europe in revenge for the NATO-led military campaign against him.” A preacher, Ali Abu-Sowah, reportedly told worshippers that Libya could implement reform without the intervention of the West and accused the [anti-government combatants] of being Western stooges. “‘How can we allow such meddling,’” he asked, “‘when we see what happened in beloved Iraq and Afghanistan?’”

In the Green Square of Libya’s capital, Tripoli, today, “thousands of Qaddafi supporters” reportedly  “rallied  for Friday prayers, underscoring his refusal to step down after four decades in power and five months of fighting. Large numbers also turned out in the desert town of Sabha, 800km to the south, in an apparent attempt to show that Qaddafi still enjoys support in the areas of Libya he still controls.

NATO issued a denial that it had, contrary to a Libyan government charge, intentionally carried out air raids to aid anti-government combatants’ advances.


Following a televised speech late Thursday by Yemen’s wounded president Ali Abdullah Saleh, tens of thousands of anti-Saleh protesters rallied on Friday.

Eleven people died. Protesters were declaring the 69-year-old leader ‘politically dead’ and denouncing Yemen’s alleged dependence on the United States and Saudi Arabia. Hundreds of protesters reportedly have died and thousands have become refugees since the onset of anti-government protests.

Casualty sites reporting July 9, 2011
(Accurate totals unknown)
Anti-war dot com Casualties in Iraq since March 19, 2003
[U.S. war dead since the Obama inauguration January 20,
2009: 243] Information out of date
Wounded 33,082-100,000
U.S. veterans with brain injuries 320,000
Suicides estimated: 18 a day
Latest update on this site: July 9, 2011
Iraq Body Count
The worldwide update on civilians killed in the Iraq war and occupation
Documented civilian deaths from violence
101,795 – 111,215
Full analysis of the WikiLeaks’ Iraq War Logs may add 15,000 civilian deaths.  http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
ICasualties figures:
1, 658 United States
2,575 Coalition
IRAQ: 4,471 United States
4,789 Coalition

It appears, with no stretch at all, that U.S. foreign policy, United States’ wars and occupations, interference and arming are not only unwanted by peoples against whom they are perpetrated, are abusive to human rights and are killing and displacing millions; but this foreign policy template is also killing the people of the United States, destroying their institutions and breaching domestic and international laws.

Sources and notes

Honduras two years after a coup deposed the democratically elected government of President Manuel Zelaya (posted July 07, 2011, by Flashpoints), guests: Mahdi Nazemroaya-Flashpoints special correspondent on the ground in Libya, Richard Becker of the International Action Center, Miguel Rodriguez from the First Congregational Church of Winter Park, Laura Wells-Organizer of the East Bay Social Forum for 2012 and 2010 Green Party Candidate for Governor of California, and Roger Harris-Past President of the Marin Task Force on the Americas, http://www.flashpoints.net/

“Six Wars and Counting” (Tom Engelhardt), July 4, 2011, http://mondediplo.com/openpage/six-wars-and-counting

“Afghans Protest Deadly U.S.-Led Air Strike Hundreds of people rallied in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Khost Thursday over a U.S.-led NATO air strike that killed at least 11 civilians. The attack was one of the deadliest by the U.S.-led occupation force against Afghan civilians this year. Protester: ‘I ask Karzai to pull out these American and NATO forces from our country, if he is able. If Karzai does not listen to our request, we will call for a jihad against America, just as we did against Soviet Russia. You can come and look at those killed in this bombing: three men and eight children, including a one-year old and a two-year old,’ Democracy Now Headlines, July 8, 2011, http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/8/headlines
Democracy Now Headlines, July 7, 2011, http://www.democracynow.org/2011/7/7/headlines

“Deadly roadside blast hits Afghanistan  — Members of family travelling through Ghazni reportedly killed, a day after a similar attack in Nimroz left 13 dead,”  July 2, 2011,

 “250,000 Afghans ‘flee homes in two years’ —  New report from Refugees International blames NATO air strikes and home raids for Afghanistan's growing IDP crisis,” June 28, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/06/2011628131923580846.html

“‘Shoot on sight’ orders in Karachi  — As death toll mounts to at least 98, provincial official issues shoot-at-sight orders in Pakistan's largest city,”  July 9, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2011/07/2011781134141875.html

Karachi is the capital of Sindh province, southern Pakistan. Located on the coast of the Arabian Sea immediately northwest of the Indus River Delta, Karachi is Pakistan’s largest city and principal seaport and is a major commercial and industrial center.

The impetus to Karāchi’s development originally came from its role as the port serving the Indus River valley and the Punjab region of British India. The development of air travel subsequently increased Karāchi’s importance.

Karachi is also the port serving the landlocked country of Afghanistan.

Area city: 228 square miles (591 square km); Greater Karāchi: 560 square miles (1,450 square km). Pop. (1998) city: 9,269,265; (2007 est.) urban metropolitan: 12,130,000  [Britannica note]

“Syrian forces ‘ordered to shoot to kill’ —Rights group releases testimonies of defectors from security forces who say they took part in crackdown on protests,” July 9, 2011,

“Qaddafi vows to take fight to Europe  — Libyan leader gives fresh warning as artillery fire slows advance on two fronts by fighters seeking to end his rule,” July 9, 2011,

“Saleh’s speech ignites deadly protests   — At least 11 people dead in Yemen in protests that erupted a day after injured Ali Abdullah Saleh broke his silence,” July 8, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/middleeast/2011/07/2011781555561432.html


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