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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Eight countries, eight wars

In the midst of promised unyielding war precedent, protests finally come home
Compiled, re-reported, edited with comment by Carolyn Bennett

U.S. Violent Global Aggression 
1.     Afghanistan – combat, occupation, drones
  1. 2.     Bahrain – arms, occupation, proxy
  2. 3.     Iraq -  combat, occupation
  3. 4.     Libya – combat, drones
  4. 5.     Pakistan – combat, occupation, drones
  5. 6.     Palestine/Israel, arms proxy occupation
  6. 7.     Somalia – arms, drones, proxy
  7. 8.     Yemen – arms, drones, proxy


U.S. enters year 11—
U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan waged in 2001

Under the pretext of a ‘war on terror’ and an aim of dethroning elements with which in earlier years it was allied, the United States government in 2001 began its invasion of the sovereign nation of Afghanistan. Today foreigners on this land and throughout the region continue to destabilize and displace native peoples and groups, build walls and set them against one another, traumatize them and keep dependent, needlessly uncertain and suspicious of their neighbors and kin.

After a decade in which U.S. heads of state and members of legislatures squandered billions of dollars, Afghanistan is poorer and more insecure and battling rising human suffering, militancy and effects of a production and trade in narcotics that feed the addictions of its invaders and occupiers.

Today it is impossible to think of Afghanistan without at the time thinking of Pakistan (and, in fact, U.S. nuclear armed and supported India together with U.S. nuclear-armed and in conflict with Pakistan).

Analysts have said “curbing militancy and bringing peace,” the official line from Washington, was never the aim in the South/Central Asian region. Having spurned multilateralism and talking diplomacy, United States politicians, one after another, in positions of power are looking for and finding excuses to expand U.S. military operations “to secure bases near Russia and China.”

Russia sees the U.S. seeking to surround its Federation.

Ten years terrorizing Afghanistan and the entire region is unstable. Militancy expands into Pakistan and Washington’s relations with Kabul and Islamabad deteriorate daily.

On Thursday, the eve of the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of their country, thousands of Afghans reportedly turned up in the capital city of Kabul to demand immediate withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan.

On Friday morning, people described as “militants” detonated a car bomb near the gate of Margah base in Paktika Province, which borders Pakistan, after, in coordinated attacks, 22 rockets hit the U.S. military facility [Associated Press]. Dozens of rockets reportedly fell on the United States’ Tillman, Boris and Orgun-E bases in Afghanistan during the attacks that started shortly after 6 a.m. local time. The attacks continued for several hours.

The press on Saturday reported an unnamed official of the Afghan Presidential Office and Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, commenting that the Afghan people “are losing their patience” and “the United States should put more pressure on Pakistan to take firm steps against militants who allegedly carry out operations against Afghanistan from its soil.”


Since mid-February, thousands of anti-government protesters have been staging regular demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling on the U.S.-backed Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.

In response, Manama reportedly has sentenced 32 female protesters to 15 years in prison. In recent days, the National Safety Court made up of a military and civil panel has sentenced more than 100 opposition activists and medics to jail for participating in anti-government protests in the country.

Yesterday in the Bahraini capital of Manama, anti-regime protesters entered a major hunger strike to show solidarity with detained political activists and opposition leaders.

In the past two days, Saudi-backed Bahraini forces have attacked anti-regime protesters in the city of Diraz. An attack came on Friday during a funeral procession for a 16-year-old boy whom regime forces the day before had shot in the chest at close range. The incident happened in the village of Abu Saiba near the capital.

Friday’s attack on thousands of mourners marching on the city’s main Budiya Highway left several people wounded and more thrown into jail.  

In the tiny U.S-allied-with-regime Persian Gulf country, scores of people have died, according say local sources, and authorities have arrested hundreds.

“One must ‘separate U.S. political rhetoric from its action,’” international security analyst Bob Ayers said today in a Press TV interview from London. Ayers accused U.S. officials of hypocrisy in U.S. dealings with Bahrain and like “allied” countries.

Despite constantly rising anti-government protests and the Bahraini government’s retaliatory abuses and crackdowns, Ayers said, “I don’t think you are going to see much influence exerted by the Emirates [United Arab Emirates]. The power in the region lies with Saudi Arabia while the international power in the region lies within the U.S. Those are the two critical players and until they change, there will be no significant change in the way the [international community treats] the government of Bahrain.

U.S. armed and dangerous to protesting Bahrainis —

In September, the U.S. Defense Department (the Pentagon) told the U.S. Congress it had approved the sale of $53 million in weapons to Bahrain. In this deadly mix were “more than 44 armored vehicles and 300 missiles of which 50 have [as in U.S. sales to Israel] “bunker busting capability.”

Known contractors of this lethal mix, according to Pentagon overseers of foreign arms sales, are AM General and Raytheon Co. In thirty days (September 14-October 13), the U.S. Congress has the option of passing a resolution opposing the sale.

At least two U.S. lawmakers have expressed concerns about the United States’ arming another country in civil conflict in a region in conflict.

Yesterday Ron Wyden representing Oregon in the U.S. Senate and James McGovern representing Massachusetts in the U.S. House introduced resolutions aimed at preventing the weapons sale ‘until meaningful steps are taken [in Bahrain] to improve human rights.’

Wyden noted that ‘selling weapons to a regime that is violently suppressing peaceful civil dissent and violating human rights is antithetical to [U.S.] foreign policy goals and the principle of basic rights for all …”


More than one million Iraqis died during the U.S. invasion, according to the California-based investigative organization Project Censored.

Approximately 43,500 U.S. troops currently deploy in Iraq.

Under a 2008-clinched bilateral security accord, known as the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), all the troops are required to leave Iraq by the end of 2011.

This week the U.S. Secretary of Defense [outrageously] demanded that the Iraqi government grant immunity from local prosecution to U.S. troops who remain in Iraq after the 2011 withdrawal deadline. Leon Panetta made this demand in the face of Iraqi officials’ persisting resistance to the idea. “Washington seeks to hammer out an agreement with Baghdad on keeping some 5,000 of the troops under the pretext of training local Iraqi forces.”

On Tuesday, under continuing intense pressure from Washington, Iraqi leaders again refused to grant immunity for U.S. troops who may remain in Iraq beyond the 2011 deadline. 


Anti-government Libyan “revolutionaries” backed by the United States, France and Britain reportedly began protests yesterday in Benghazi demanding “the expulsion of immigrant Jews from this post-revolutionary North African country.”

Marching Friday in the eastern port city, the revolutionaries (said the Islamic Republic News Agency citing a local news website) “condemned the settling of Jews in Libya following the 1967 Israeli aggression against some Arab countries.”

It seems there had been earlier reports of Jewish immigrants’ attempting to participate in the future administration of Libya. Earlier in October, the new leaders had said Islam will be the main source of legislation in the new Libya.


Pakistani experts tell the press, “most of American diplomats traveling across Pakistan without legal documents are agents of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and that these agents are “trying to destabilize the Asian country.”

In February, a CIA contractor called Raymond Davis, claimed by the U.S. to have been consulate staff, was arrested after he killed two local people in the southern city of Lahore. After a trial and after the U.S. government reportedly paid blood money to the family of the victims, Pakistani authorities released Davis. However, the incident “soured relations between Washington and Islamabad.”

The experts who suspect U.S. CIA involvement in destabilizing their country also believe that violence in the northwest of Pakistan decreased after the government limited the movements of the Pakistan-based U.S. officials.

As Washington-Islamabad tensions continued to rise, Pakistani authorities yesterday arrested four U.S. nationals in Pakistan’s eastern province of Punjab on suspicion of espionage.

The individuals arrested were reportedly “roaming around military bases in Punjab’s northern city of Jehlum” and authorities took them “to an unknown location for investigation.”

U.S. destabilizing, stirring up old conflict and aggression

Pakistan and India have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and the pact is believed to continue fueling a fire of long-standing hostility between the two neighbors.

While both Afghanistan and Pakistan are under U.S. aggression, and Pakistan and India are in historical hostilities, Afghanistan suddenly enters into a “strategic partnership pact” with India. This move comes as tensions are increasing not only between Washington and Islamabad but also between Kabul and Islamabad.
Quite naturally, Pakistan on Thursday expressed outrage over this partnership pact. Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf “accused India of trying to ‘create an anti-Pakistan Afghanistan’ with the aim of dominating the region and urged the archenemy to stop it.”

Also on Thursday, Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry representative, Tehmina Janjua, said, “At this defining stage when challenges have multiplied, as have the opportunities, it is our expectation that everyone, especially those in position of authority in Afghanistan, will demonstrate requisite maturity and responsibility.” “This critical juncture, AP quoted the Pakistani official, “is ‘no time for point scoring, playing politics or grandstanding.’”

Pakistan-Afghanistan relations soured following the September 20 assassination of former Afghan president and head of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, Burhanuddin Rabbani. Kabul believes the killing was plotted in Pakistan.


Israeli police this week are shown in a video brutally beating a Palestinian family in the occupied territories. Press TV reported today that human rights activists released the video showing police using excessive force against a defenseless woman in front of a child and minutes later kicking a young boy whom they detained.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on Thursday released a report that found “Israel has since 1967 detained about 750,000 Palestinians including some 12,000 women and tens of thousands of children.… Israel currently holds some 6,000 Palestinians in prisons, including 35 women and 285 children.

“One or more members of almost every Palestinian family have been detained by the Israeli police, according to the report, and more than 200 detainees have since 1967 been killed as a result of medical negligence, torture or murder by Israeli soldiers and prison guards.”

On Friday, the people of Gaza staged a mass rally of about 12,000. The democratically elected Hamas government called for the rally “to express solidarity with Palestinian prisoners who are on a hunger strike for the second consecutive week in response to harsh measures used against them.”



Washington claims erroneously that the airstrikes target militants but most of such attacks have killed civilians.

Today, Press TV reports, a U.S. drone strike killed at least 16 civilians and injured 50 others in southern Somalia near the border with Kenya.

Somalia brings to six the number of countries known to be under attack by the United States’ deadly remote-controlled aircraft.


U.S.-allied Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in power in Yemen for more than 33 years and he has repeatedly refused to sign a power transfer deal brokered by the (Persian) Gulf Cooperation Council.

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets the day the Nobel Committee announced one of their own, Tawakul Karman, among the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

In the Yemeni capital Sana’a and in Ibb on Friday, demonstrators continued to demand the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh, despite lethal force being used by forces loyal to Saleh.

Yemeni activist and journalist now Nobel laureate Tawakul Karman has vowed to press ahead with her campaign until Saleh steps down. At word of the award, she said,  “‘I dedicate my prize to all freedom seekers. I dedicate it to all Yemenis who preferred to make their revolution peaceful by facing the snipers with flowers.

“‘It is for the Yemeni women, for the peaceful protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, and all the Arab world.’”

In the face of eight wars and 

rampant domestic neglect


Starting most recently at Manhattan’s Wall Street, U.S. activists are protesting “corporatism, unemployment, poverty and social inequality.”

On Thursday, activists kicked off the ‘October 2011’ protest by occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday, activists reported U.S. anti-corruption protests begun four weeks ago have spread to 847 U.S. cities. Among the leading web activists are “Occupy Together,” a hub for nationwide events in solidarity with “Occupy Wall Street.”

Sources and notes

“US-led Afghan war enters 11th year,” October 7, 2011,   http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203204.html
“Four U.S. bases attacked in Afghanistan,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203396.html
“Kabul seeks US pressure on Pakistan,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203450.html

“U.S. silent on rights abuse in Bahrain,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203478.html
“Bahrainis go on major hunger strike,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203443.html
“Bahraini forces attack mourners in Diraz,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203378.html
Press TV caption to Bahraini funeral/protests: Thousands of Bahrainis participate in the funeral of 16-year-old Ahmed Jaber al-Qattan, who was killed by Saudi-backed regime forces, in Diraz, Bahrain, Friday, October 7, 2011
“U.S. politicians seek to halt Bahrain arms deal — concerned about the kingdom’s response to a popular uprising, members of Congress aim to bloc a $53 million sale,” October 8, 2011, http://english.aljazeera.net/news/americas/2011/10/2011108151612369878.html

“U.S. defiant, demands Iraq force immunity.” October 7, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203176.html

“Libyan fighters demand Jews’ expulsion,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203391.html

“Four U.S. nationals arrested in Pakistan,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203410.html

“New footage shows Israeli brutality,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203466.html
Also: “Israeli army replicates war call-up — The Israeli military has simulated a war call-up for an offensive drill in order to test its readiness for possible conflicts, a report says,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/section/3510202.html

“U.S. drone strike kills 16 in Somalia,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203413.html
Also: October 5, 2011— “U.S. drone strike kills six in Somalia.” http://www.presstv.ir/detail/202894.html

“We will press on: Yemeni Nobel laureate,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203365.html
“Yemen’s Saleh says will step down soon — After months of protests demanding the ouster of Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen, the unpopular president reportedly announces he will resign in the “‘coming days,’” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/section/3510202.html

“U.S. protests spread to 847 cities,” October 8, 2011, http://www.presstv.ir/detail/203434.html

Casualty sites reporting October 8, 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: 249] Information out of date
Wounded 33,151-100,000
U.S. veterans with brain injuries 320,000
Suicides estimated: 18 a day

Iraqi deaths due to U.S. invasion: 1, 455,590

Latest update on this site: September 30, 2011
Iraq Body Count
The worldwide update on civilians killed in the Iraq war and occupation
Documented civilian deaths from violence
102,868 – 112,419
Full analysis of the WikiLeaks’ Iraq War Logs may add 15,000 civilian deaths.  http://www.iraqbodycount.org/
ICasualties figures:
1,802 United States
2,754 Coalition
IRAQ: 4,477 United States
4,795 Coalition

Caption dronewarsuk.files.wordpress.com
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Maps Britannica images

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