This is a first in a semi-regular, perhaps extremely sporadic and certainly not comprehensive round-up of news and analysis related to American wars, Empire, imperialism, the National Security State, the Military-Industrial Complex, and the Great War of Terror. I'll pay particular attention to the abhorrent, the asinine, and the absurd because, well because my subject is war.
This covers mostly last week -- I meant to publish it over the weekend. In any case, I won't feel bound by the calendar. I just like the name, This Week in War.
It was also about war profiteering. And "projecting dominance" over world affairs. And the deliberate militarization of American society to facilitate authoritarian rule at home and endless war abroad. And the psychosexual anxieties of witless, pampered elites who crave a specious identification with "National Greatness" (expressed through vast arrays of military hardware employed to murderous effect against largely defenseless human beings) in order to fill the holes in their withered little souls.
Floyd also touches on an uncomfortable truth for those who want to believe that the west's intervention in Libya is nobler than other such actions.
you can bet your bottom dollar that the same kind of "conversations" revealed in the Independent are going on right now, hugger-mugger, between politically connected oil companies and the great statesmen of the West as they seek "a fair slice of the action" in Libya's oil fields.
Here's what Haliburton CEO Dick Cheney said after his company pleaded guilty to violating laws banning companies from doing business Libya.
"The good Lord didn't see fit to put oil and gas only where there are democratic regimes friendly to the United States."
Speaking of Libya, Admiral Mullen acknowledged what's been clear for weeks, that the war is in stalemate. This doesn't concern Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, who's looking forward to a pleasant retirement.
He also was asked if he’s worried that Libya would be thrown into a stalemate. But Gates, who is expected to leave his job this year, joked, “Well, the worry will be my successor’s.”
Hahaha - Oh, Robert, you card.
The U.S. is hoping to break the stalemate by using predator drones, which General Cartwright said, are -- I shit you not -- "uniquely suited for urban areas."
WCGW? (What could go wrong?)
Fresh off the angry rancor between US Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Michael Mullen and his Pakistani counterpart Gen. Parvez Kayani, the US has launched another drone strike at North Waziristan Agency. The latest strike targeted a “suspected militant compound” killing at least 26 people.
Though some of the slain are still being referred to as “suspects,” the missile strikes also destroyed some nearby homes killing at least nine civilians, five women and four children. Large numbers of people were also wounded according to local officials.
The news out of Libya was not all bad, as the brutalized people of Misrata received some relief when government forces retreated. Gadhafi's forces continue to shell the city, however. It's unclear whether they are continuing to use cluster bombs.
The use of cluster bombs in populated areas has sparked condemnation from NATO countries. Secretary of State Clinton has been particularly outspoken. She's yet to condemn herself, however, for voting against a ban on using cluster bombs in civilians areas. Then-senator Barack Obama voted for the ban, to his credit. To his discredit, he did this as president (via):
A US cruise missile armed with cluster ammunition was used in an attack in Yemen in December which resulted in the deaths of 52 people, more than half of them women and children, according to a human rights watchdog.
As usual, nil is the credibility of the United States to speak out against horrors like the use of cluster bombs in civilian areas.
The U.S. and its NATO allies continue to maintain, as they must, that the purpose of the Libya mission is to protect civilians, even as they openly state that the mission will continue until it forces Gadhafi out, even as they drop bombs on Gadhafi's compound.
All along the leaders of NATO countries have been at a loss (nor have they often been pressed) to explain the Libyan intervention. So many unanswered and unasked questions. Why here and not elsewhere? How many people would Gadhafi have likely slaughtered had he taken Benghazi? Proof for that? If protecting civilians is the goal, why are you dropping bombs on Gadhafi's compound? What's the plan should Gadhafi fall? Do you pledge to leave Libya alone if and when he does? Do you think we're idiots?
In other words, it's hard not to conclude (even if some in positions of power argued for the intervention on humanitarian grounds) that it's straight out of the imperial playbook. Indeed, Jonathan Schwarz points me to an unusually honest quote by Obama's Deputy National Security Adviser Denis McDonough:
[W]e don't make decisions about questions like intervention based on consistency or precedent. We base them on how we can best advance our interests in the region.
Kinda clears it up, doesn't it?