Drones, Lynch Mobs and Occupation…
More Outrages and Crimes from the Self-Proclaimed Global Champion of Human Rights

by Alan Goodman | October 19, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper | revcom.us


The rulers of the United States and their media constantly brand themselves as bringing democracy and human rights to the world. Three outrages in the past week shine a light on the REAL nature of what the U.S. brings to the world: mass murder by drones, a devastating occupation of Afghanistan, and backing their ally Israel in a reign of terror against Palestinians.

Mass Murder and Terror by Drone in Yemen and Pakistan

This week, an important series of exposes in The Intercept—based on documents leaked by a whistleblowerrevealed that as many as 90 percent of those killed by U.S. drone strikes are not even the intended targets.

Barack Obama claims the use of drones by the CIA and the U.S. military in places like Pakistan and Yemen is “heavily constrained” and targets only “high-value al Qaeda targets” or “forces that are massing to support attacks on coalition forces.” In reality, U.S. drone strokes are raining massive and indiscriminate terror on the people of Yemen and Pakistan.

The official criteria for drone assassinations authorize murder completely outside anything resembling a judicial process. For example, not only did the CIA illegally assassinate U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, a separate CIA drone attack a week later assassinated his son—who was never accused of anything and had not been in contact with his father for two years. A spokesman for Obama justified the murder by saying al-Awlaki’s son should have had “a far more responsible father.”

But not only do official criteria allow the U.S. to kill anyone without judicial review, the majority of those killed are not the intended victims. The U.S.'s obscenely named “Operation Haymaker” killed more than 200 people between January 2012 and February 2013, and by the military's own account, only 35 of the dead were intended targets. During one five-month period of “Haymaker,” almost 90 percent of the people killed by U.S. drones were not intended targets.

In the dehumanizing jargon of the U.S. military, people killed by drones on purpose are referred to as “jackpots” while unintended deaths are referred to as “EKIAs”Enemies” Killed in Action—a category that includes women, children, and people bombed in homes or at social gatherings.

The fact that the U.S. military refers to people they murder by accident as enemies killed in action shines a gruesome light on the actual nature of the U.S. drone program: mass murder and indiscriminate terror, where anyone and everyone who happens to be in the way of a drone is counted as the “enemy.”

Protesters in Houston expose the murder of Fadi Alloun by a mob of Israelis and police. Credit: Special to Revolution

Lynch Mobs and Massacres in Israel

Thirty-seven Palestinians have been killed in October, and hundreds more have been seriously injured by Israeli forces firing live ammunition at demonstrators and carrying out on-the-street extrajudicial executions of Palestinians suspected in being involved in knife attacks that killed seven Israelis this month.

And Israeli authorities and media have whipped up a lynch mob atmosphere where rabid settlers hunt down Palestinians. On October 4, 19-year-old Fadi Samir Alloun was killed after a stabbing attack that wounded an Israeli teenager. There is no evidence that Alloun had any involvement in the stabbing, but he was chased down by a mob shouting “Shoot him! He’s a terrorist! Shoot him!” and “Death to the Arabs!” Instead of intervening to stop the lynch mob, Israeli police executed Fadi Samir Alloun in cold blood.

Even though it means taking some hits to their image as the self-proclaimed champions of human rights, the rulers of the U.S. all agree on maintaining a “special relationship” with Israel. That “special relationship” is one of shared “values” of genocide and oppression, and a partnership where Israel has consistently served as a relatively stable and reliable hitman for the U.S. in the region and around the world.

As Israeli mobs and police were terrorizing and killing Palestinians, the new chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff went to Israel to meet the commander-in-chief of the Israeli Defense Forces and others. A U.S. military spokesman said the visit was to reaffirm America's commitment to Israel.

Extending the U.S. Occupation of Afghanistan

On October 15, Barack Obama announced 10,000 U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan until and beyond when he leaves office. The U.S. invasion Afghanistan in 2001 led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians, combatants, and people who died as a result of battered infrastructure and poor health conditions, loss of food supply, and economic devastation.

Amnesty International investigated nearly a dozen instances of mass killings by the U.S. and its allies in Afghanistan between 2009 and 2013. The crimes include murdering people in a SWAT-style raid on a birth celebrationincluding two pregnant women who tried to protect other guests, and the massacre of up to 140 people gathering fuel from an abandoned oil tanker by U.S. bombers. Amnesty reported, “None of the cases that we looked intoinvolving more than 140 civilian deathswere prosecuted by the U.S. military,” and “Evidence of possible war crimes and unlawful killings has seemingly been ignored.”

Obama justifies keeping U.S. troops in Afghanistan because “The bottom line is, in key areas of the country, the security situation is still very fragile, and in some places there is risk of deterioration."

But nobody is supposed to ask: How did we get here?

In 2001, powerful sections of the U.S. ruling class saw the 9/11 attacks as a moment they could, and had to, seize to knock down and subordinate Islamic fundamentalist forces, and to solidify the role of the U.S. as the world’s sole superpower. They invaded Afghanistan, and two years later rolled into Iraq. Twelve years later, the U.S. is still fighting in Afghanistan. A large section of Iraq is occupied by virulent Islamic fundamentalists. And the aftershocks of the U.S. invasion continue to uncork and strengthen reactionary jihadist forces in a vast region of the world.

The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan made conditions in a desperately poor, brutally oppressed country worse. Life for women in regions controlled by the pro-U.S. Islamist regime is—outside a few places in the largest cities—no better than life under the Taliban. And the death toll in the war between the U.S.-backed regime and the Taliban is growing. After 13-plus years of U.S. invasion and occupation, there were a record number of civilian deaths and injuries in 2014—more than 10,500. One out of every ten Afghans is a refugee.

* * *

The absence of mass, determined protest within this country against the U.S. occupation of Afghanistanand other U.S. crimes in central Asia, North Africa, and the Middle Eastfeeds a vicious cycle where jihadists claim the crimes of the U.S. government represent the people of this country. That has to change. It is essential that the people of the world see much more protestinvolving all sections of people in this countryagainst the crimes of “our” government around the world.




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