“Success” in GWOT: Evacuated Embassies in Yemen, Open Season on Muslims in US

You can bet that the “he was just a disturbed person who snapped, don’t look at it as a trend” pieces to start flowing any minute, but how can we see the brutal, senseless murders of Deah Barakat, Yusor Mohammad and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha as anything other than the natural consequence of over 13 years of the US targeting Muslims around the world? Just this week, despite his own role in the carnage of brown people, when Barack Obama tried to dial things back a bit by noting that violence has been perpetrated in the name of Christianity, we had shocking defenders of the Crusades rush into the debate.

As I noted back in December, the evidence is strong that a military approach to terrorism is almost always doomed to failure. And yet, the US just cannot let go of this military-industrial-antiterror complex. It leads to exceptionally deluded thinking. Obama was claiming as recently as September that Yemen was an example of “success” in the approach to terror. We knew even then that the claim was bullshit. The US got played as a dupe early there when Saleh dialed up a drone hit on a rival. There was ample evidence that the drone strikes were a boon to AQAP recruitment. The US even stooped so low as to kill a teenaged US citizen in a drone strike there.

That shining beacon of antiterror success in Yemen is folding now just as surely as our failures in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and beyond. France and the UK are joining the US in closing embassies as Yemen crumbles further.

The war on Muslims has created a United States that is polarized to the point of taking up arms against innocent victims. It has created factions that defend atrocities both in the past and in current events. We reward Hollywood with near-record profits for a movie in which the we vicariously shoot Muslim evil-doers from a sniper’s perch.

How different would the world be today if the US had chosen to respond to 9/11 as a police matter rather than a military mission?

Many years ago, Jim got a BA in Radiation Biophysics from the University of Kansas. He then got a PhD in Molecular Biology from UCLA and did postdoctoral research in yeast genetics at UC Berkeley and mouse retroviruses at Stanford. He joined biosys in Palo Alto, producing insect parasitic nematodes for pest control. In the early 1990’s, he moved to Gainesville, FL and founded a company that eventually became Entomos. He left the firm as it reorganized into Pasteuria Biosciences and chose not to found a new firm due a clash of values with venture capital investors, who generally lack all values. Upon leaving, he chose to be a stay at home dad, gentleman farmer, cook and horse wrangler. He discovered the online world through commenting at Glenn Greenwald’s blog in the Salon days and was involved in the briefly successful Chris Dodd move to block the bill to renew FISA. He then went on to blog at Firedoglake and served a brief stint as evening editor there. When the Emptywheel blog moved out of Firedoglake back to standalone status, Jim tagged along and blogged on anthrax, viruses, John Galt, Pakistan and Afghanistan. He is now a mostly lapsed blogger looking for a work-around to the depressing realization that pointing out the details of government malfeasance and elite immunity has approximately zero effect.

6 replies
  1. der says:

    Adding to your piece, from The Intercept: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/02/10/logic-behind-obamas-rhetoric-terrorism-islam/

    “Republican presidential hopeful and Fox News personality Mike Huckabee attacked Obama for his alleged hostility to “Christians [and] Jews in Israel,” as well as what he described as an “undying” support for American Muslims. Rep. John Fleming, a Louisiana Republican, explicitly accused Obama of “defending radical Islam” and suggested that he had referred to Islamic State members as “freedom fighters.”

    Republican Senator Lindsay Graham, who has repeatedly and explicitly stated that the U.S. is in a “religious war,” has also criticized the President’s refusal to use religious terminology in defining the conflict, characterizing his decision as a conscious denial of reality. Alabama Republican Congressman Mo Brooks, for his part, suggested that Obama’s refusal to use terms like “Islamic terrorism” is likely “an unfortunate byproduct of the days when he was in a Muslim school.””

    The Director of the FBI: “… like all 50 states it has troubled souls that might look to find meaning in this sick, misguided way. The challenge that we face in law enforcement is that they may be getting exposed to that poison and that training in their basement,” Comey said. “They’re sitting there consuming and may emerge from the basement to kill people of any sort, which is the call of ISIL, just kill somebody.”

    “… We’re drifting into a place where there are going to be large swaths of this country beyond the reach of the law.”

    Because of that, Comey said, citizens need to be constantly on the watch.
    http://www.digbysblog.blogspot.com/2015/02/runferyerlives-terrorists-are-everywhere.html

    Pat Lynch might say: “In a press conference … Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association president Pat Lynch used similar language … “There’s blood on many hands tonight.”

    “Those that incited violence on the street, under the guise of [defending the Homeland] … “We tried to warn—’it must not go on, it cannot be tolerated.’ That blood on the hands, starts on the steps of City Hall, in the office of the mayor.”

    Later, he said, “When these funerals are over, those responsible will be called on the carpet and held accountable.”
    – As if, ruled by chicken shit fools.

  2. Don Bacon says:

    And the weapons — the US has sold or leased equipment including helicopters, night-vision gear, surveillance equipment, military radios and transport aircraft to Yemen, according to the Guardian. Since 2006, the US military has provided more than $400m to Yemen, according to research estimates prepared for Congress. “We continue to monitor the situation in Yemen closely and, as the security environment permits, we will continue working with the Government of Yemen to ensure equipment granted or sold to the Government of Yemen by the United States remains accounted for,” the [US defense] official said.
    .
    Which reminds of Afghanistan. news report:
    Back in 2009, The New York Times examined a sample of ammunition markings from the rifle magazines of dead Taliban insurgents and found that more than half were identical to the weapons provided by the U.S. to the Afghan military. Just last year, a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a government watchdog, found that around 40 percent of the small arms shipped to Afghanistan—hundreds of millions of dollars worth—were unaccounted for. The most common explanations for the missing weapons are theft and corruption.
    .
    Responsible people back in the 2001 era warned that “terrorism” is a law enforcement and intelligence matter, not amenable to military means. But there’s no money in that for the Pentagon, so we have this ongoing and worsening mess while the arms merchants smile all the way to the bank.

  3. TarheelDem says:

    What it is is the ultimate extension of Richard Nixon’s Southern-and-urban-ethnic-Catholic strategy of scaring them of crime extended to overseas theater. The murders in Chapel Hill did not happen in a quintessential redneck community. And it is not clear yet where Hicks is from. Likely something similar could happen in Madison, Ann Arbor, or even Eugene. In the midst of constant FBI warning of lone wolves, here was a lone wolf who acted out of hate that his intimidation over weeks was not causing his Muslim next-door neighbors to move. Forty years ago, that would be a reaction more like Southie, Cicero, or Bensonhurst than places in the South. A hundred years ago the reaction would be to fabricate an offense and burn the whole neighborhood down, as was done in Detroit and Wilmington NC.

    It very clearly is media-inspired and political demagogue-inspired domestic terrorism. Hicks is receiving a public defender as an indigent. Bet he doesn’t get the Tsarnaev treatment. Right now it’s first-degree murder and Hicks “is cooperating with authorities”.

    Meanwhile, Hicks’s wife and public defender have had a news conference to spin the story. The DA has had a news conference. Waiting for transcripts.

    • P J Evans says:

      Apparently, according to the various neighbors, he was angry all the time, mostly about the parking. Just the kind of guy you want to have firearms. (Or any other kind of weapon, really.)

  4. galljdaj says:

    Who are the ‘best buyers’ for the industrial complex(es) like Carlye? The American Taxpayers! How much? Sixty nine cents of every tax dollar is given to the industrial few!

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