Category Archives: War

Saudi Coalition Attacks School Bus A Day After State Department Justifies Airstrikes On Yemeni Towns, by Tyler Durden

If Saudi Arabia and its partners are this bloodily incompetent in Yemen, why does anybody in the Trump administration think they’ll be much use against Iran? From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Though we are no longer shocked at the callous and indiscriminate nature of Saudi coalition attacks on Yemeni towns, we are surprised that major US networks like CNN have actually decided to cover coalition war crimes for a change.

Early on Thursday a coalition air attack scored a direct hit on a school bus packed with children as it drove through a crowded market place.

CNN provides the following disturbing details:

The bus was struck as it was driving through a market in the rebel-held province of Saada, according to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah TV.

At least 43 people were killed and 63 injured in the strike, according to the Houthi-held health ministry.

The International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) said that a hospital it supports in Saada had received 29 dead bodies of “mainly children” under 15 years of age, and 40 injured, including 30 children.

Some of the images to come out of area hospitals currently treating the wounded confirm that it’s mostly children among the casualties.

Image source: Ansar Allah Media Center cia CNN

International media featured photographs of wounded children being treated in area hospitals in the aftermath of the airstrike, which happened in Dahyan, in the rebel-held north of Yemen; however, most of the images of dead and wounded released by Yemeni media accounts are too graphic and disturbing to show.

To continue reading: Saudi Coalition Attacks School Bus A Day After State Department Justifies Airstrikes On Yemeni Towns

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US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms, by Tyler Durden

Seventeen years after Al-Qaeda supposedly blew up the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon, the US is cooperating with them in Yemen…as it did in Syria and Iraq. From Tyler Durden at zerohedge.com:

Perhaps we could simply shrug our shoulders and say it’s better late than never for the mainstream media.

A new Associated Press report confirms what was long ago detailed by a number of independent investigative journalists, and even in some instances buried deep within sporadic mainstream reports of past years: the US-coalition in Yemen is actually cooperating with al-Qaeda terrorists in the campaign to dislodge Shia Houthi militants.

The AP report begins dramatically as follows:

Again and again over the past two years, a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has claimed it won decisive victories that drove al-Qaida militants from their strongholds across Yemen and shattered their ability to attack the West.

Here’s what the victors did not disclose: many of their conquests came without firing a shot.

That’s because the coalition cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.

And contrary to the normative response of US officials to such allegations, which as in the case of US support to jihadists in Syria typically runs something like “we didn’t know” while hiding behind a system of ‘plausible deniability’  in the case of Yemen officials involved have now admitted to the AP that coalition allies knowingly allowed al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to survive and flourish. 

Somewhat surprising for the AP, its report underscores this with zero ambiguity, even illustrating for the reader the terrorists’ linkage to 9/11:

These compromises and alliances have allowed al-Qaida militants to survive to fight another day — and risk strengthening the most dangerous branch of the terror network that carried out the 9/11 attacks. Key participants in the pacts said the U.S. was aware of the arrangements and held off on any drone strikes.

To continue reading: US Coalition Cooperates With Al-Qaeda In Yemen, Associated Press Confirms

Would War With Iran Doom Trump? by Patrick J. Buchanan

War with Iran would be a disaster, not just for Iran and the US, but for Donald Trump. From Patrick Buchanan at buchanan.org:

A war with Iran would define, consume and potentially destroy the Trump presidency, but exhilarate the neocon never-Trumpers who most despise the man.

Why, then, is President Donald Trump toying with such an idea?

Looking back at Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, wars we began or plunged into, what was gained to justify the cost in American blood and treasure, and the death and destruction we visited upon that region? How has our great rival China suffered by not getting involved?

Oil is the vital strategic Western interest in the Persian Gulf. Yet a war with Iran would imperil, not secure, that interest.

Mass migration from the Islamic world, seeded with terrorist cells, is the greatest threat to Europe from the Middle East. But would not a U.S. war with Iran increase rather than diminish that threat?

Would the millions of Iranians who oppose the mullahs’ rule welcome U.S. air and naval attacks on their country? Or would they rally behind the regime and the armed forces dying to defend their country?

“Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail,” warned President Hassan Rouhani in July: “War with Iran is the mother of all wars.”

But he added, “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace.”

Rouhani left wide open the possibility of peaceful settlement.

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Trump’s all-caps retort virtually invoked Hiroshima: “Never, ever threaten the United States again or you will suffer consequences the like of which few throughout history have suffered before.”

When Trump shifted and blurted out that he was open to talks — “No preconditions. They want to meet? I’ll meet.” — Secretary of State Mike Pompeo contradicted him: Before any meeting, Iran must change the way they treat their people and “reduce their malign behavior.”

To continue reading: Would War With Iran Doom Trump?

Trump’s Peace Train: Next Stop, Afghanistan, by Justin Raimondo

Trump has an opportunity to do what the two presidents before him couldn’t do: get the US out of Afghanistan. From Justin Raimondo at antiwar.com:

The Christmas truce of 1914 was something truly miraculous. There, in the midst of a vicious war – really the first modern war, in which air power and advanced gunnery both played a part for the first time – the two sides not only laid down their arms, but they also consorted and celebrated the pause in the senseless interminable slaughter. When it was over, they went back to destroying European civilization, but for a moment there a vision of what peace would be like if people took their fate into their own hands was readily apparent. Yes, we always drag out this example, every Christmas, as a lesson in what might be and should be – but could anything like that legendary truce happen today?

Well, it has happened, and in the most unlikely place imaginable – the wilds of Afghanistan, whose stony landscape has absorbed so much blood that I’m surprised the earth itself hasn’t liquefied. As the Washington Post reports:

“A first possible breakthrough in the 17-year Afghan conflict came in June, when a brief cease-fire during a Muslim holiday produced a spontaneous celebration by Afghan troops, civilians and Taliban fighters. The nationwide yearning for peace became palpable.”

Unlike the World War I version, however, it looks like something may come of this spontaneous rebellion against a long and futile war:

“Now, in a development that could build on that extraordinary moment, a senior American diplomat and Taliban insurgent officials have reportedly held talks for the first time, meeting in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar and agreeing to hold further sessions. According to Taliban officials, they discussed reprising the truce in August.”

The US, bypassing the barely functional Afghan “government” — which controls only the territory around Kabul – is negotiating directly with the Taliban, whose leaders are enthusiastic about the talks. While the White House is laconic about the negotiations, the insurgents are more forthcoming: one described the talks as “very positive,” and averred that “We agreed to meet again soon and resolve the Afghan conflict through dialogue.”

To continue reading: Trump’s Peace Train: Next Stop, Afghanistan

VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

The Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), the group that warned George W. Bush that the Iraq intelligence was cooked, is issuing a similar warning to Trump concerning the Iran intelligence. From VIPS at consortium news.com:

As drums beat again for war — this time on Iran—-the VIPS’ warning is again being disregarded as it was before the Iraq debacle and this time VIPS fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC.

MEMORANDUM FOR: The President

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: 
Intelligence on Iran Fails the Smell Test

Mr. President:

As the George W. Bush administration revved up to attack Iraq 15 years ago, we could see no compelling reason for war.  We decided, though, to give President Bush the benefit of the doubt on the chance he had been sandbagged by Vice President Dick Cheney and others.  We chose to allow for the possibility that he actually believed the “intelligence” that Colin Powell presented to the UN as providing “irrefutable and undeniable” proof of WMD in Iraq and a “sinister nexus” between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda.

To us in VIPS it was clear, however, that the “intelligence” Powell adduced was bogus.  Thus, that same afternoon (Feb. 5, 2003) we prepared and sent to President Bush a Memorandum like this one, urging him to seek counsel beyond the “circle of those advisers clearly bent on a war for which we see no compelling reason and from which we believe the unintended consequences are likely to be catastrophic.”

We take no satisfaction at having been correct — though disregarded — in predicting the political and humanitarian disaster in Iraq. Most Americans have been told the intelligence was “mistaken.” It was not; it was out-and-out fraud, in which, sadly, some of our former colleagues took part.

Five years after Powell’s speech, the Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee minced few words in announcing the main bipartisan finding of a five-year investigation. He said:  “In making the case for war, the Administration repeatedly presented intelligence as fact when in reality it was unsubstantiated, contradicted, or even non-existent.  As a result, the American people were led to believe that the threat from Iraq was much greater than actually existed.”

Iran Now in Gunsight

As drums beat again for a military attack — this time on Iran, we Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity and other experienced, objective analysts are, by all appearances, being disregarded again.  And, this time, we fear the consequences will be all-caps CATASTROPHIC — in comparison with the catastrophe of Iraq.

To continue reading: VIPS to Trump: Intel on Iran Could be CATASTROPHIC

The Said That? 7/31/18

From The Deer Hunter, directed by Michael Cimino, written by Deric Washburn, (1978):

Nick: I hope they send us where the bullets are flyin’ and the fightin’s the worst, huh?

Green Beret veteran: Fuck it.

Michael: Well, what’s it like over there? Will you tell us anything?

Green Beret veteran: Fuck it.

Hiroshima Revisited: Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films, by John W. Whitehead

Needless to say, none of the movies listed are pro-war. From John W. Whitehead at rutherford.org:

“The horror… the horror…”—Apocalypse Now (1979)

Nearly 73 years ago, the United States unleashed atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 200,000 individuals, many of whom were civilians.

Fast forward to the present day, and the U.S. military under President Trump’s leadership is dropping a bomb every 12 minutes.

This follows on the heels of President Obama, the antiwar candidate and Nobel Peace Prize winner who waged war longer than any American president and whose targeted-drone killings continued to feed the war machine and resulted in at least 1.3 million lives lost to the U.S.-led war on terror.

America has long had a penchant for endless wars that empty our national coffers while fattening those of the military industrial complex. Since 9/11, we’ve spent more than $1.6 trillion to wage wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

When you add in our military efforts in Syria and Pakistan, as well as the lifetime price of health care for disabled veterans and interest on the national debt, that cost rises to $5.6 trillion.

Even with America’s military might spread thin, the war drums continue to sound as the Pentagon polices the rest of the world with more than 1.3 million U.S. troops being stationed at roughly 1000 military bases in over 150 countries.

To this end, Americans are fed a steady diet of pro-war propaganda that keeps them content to wave flags with patriotic fervor and less inclined to look too closely at the mounting body counts, the ruined lives, the ravaged countries, the blowback arising from ill-advised targeted-drone killings and bombing campaigns in foreign lands, or the transformation of our own homeland into a warzone.

Nowhere is this double-edged irony more apparent than during military holidays, when we get treated to a generous serving of praise and grandstanding by politicians, corporations and others with similarly self-serving motives eager to go on record as being pro-military.

Yet war is a grisly business, a horror of epic proportions. In terms of human carnage alone, war’s devastation is staggering. For example, it is estimated that approximately 231 million people died worldwide during the wars of the 20th century. This figure does not take into account the walking wounded—both physically and psychologically—who “survive” war.

War drives the American police state.

The military-industrial complex is the world’s largest employer.

to continue reading: Hiroshima Revisited: Memorializing the Horrors of War with 10 Must-See War Films