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American Drone Operators Are Quitting in Record Numbers (link)


The US drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis, and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake: drone pilots are quitting in record numbers.

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Afghan Mission Accomplished: More Heroin for the World
Global Research, April 07, 2015

The Guardian reports statistics on opium agriculture in Afghanistan:

“…the US counternarcotics mission in Afghanistan stands out: opiate production has climbed steadily over recent years to reach record-high levels last year.”

“Far from eradicating the deep-rooted opiate trade, US counternarcotics efforts have proven useless, according to a series of recent official inquiries. Other aspects of the billions that the US has poured into Afghanistan over the last 13 years of war have even contributed to the opium boom.”

“In December, the United Nations reported a 60% growth in Afghan land used for opium poppy cultivation since 2011, up to 209,000 hectares…”

“…the [uN] inspector general also noted that US reconstruction projects, particularly those devoted to ‘improved irrigation, roads, and agricultural assistance’ were probably leading to the explosion in opium cultivation.

“’[A]ffordable deep-well technology turned 200,000 hectares of desert in southwestern Afghanistan into arable land over the past decade,’ the inspector general found, concluding that ‘much of this newly arable land is dedicated to opium cultivation’.”

Who’s kidding who?

In Colombia, the US government proved it could eradicate coca and opium-poppy growing fields. One of the solutions was an herbicide called Roundup. You may have heard of it.

But in Afghanistan, the US just didn’t remember that. It skipped their mind. Oops.

Suddenly, the Afghanistan mission became one of good will. Mustn’t upset the farmers. In Colombia, upsetting the farmers was perfectly all right.

When you can lessen a problem but choose not to, you want the problem to persist. It’s simple.

And at that point, the problem becomes an opportunity—it always was.

More opium poppy; therefore, more heroin. More trafficking, more profits.

Since the US government has been consciously facilitating the growth of opium farming in Afghanistan, it stands to reason that government players have been taking their cut of the action.

If the US government, which has been fighting a full-scale war in Afghanistan, wanted to destroy the opium-heroin business in that country, it had the ideal opportunity.

The mission would have been far easier than waging “the war against drugs” in Mexico, where US military intervention has been limited.

In Afghanistan, there were US troops on the ground. There were air attacks. What else would you need?

Pentagon planners spend their lives working out multiple scenarios for possible wars in various regions of the planet. They take into account all aspects and contingencies.

In planning for a war in Afghanistan, what to do about the opium-poppy growing fields would have been high on the list of options.

So opium-poppy farmers were no “delicate problem” the US invading force encountered after entering the country. There were no surprises.

Since the US invaded Afghanistan, the Army knowingly undertook operations that would definitely expand opium-poppy agriculture.

Of course, the CIA’s connections to the drug trade in Afghanistan go back a long way, so it’s no surprise that the US war in Afghanistan has facilitated and expanded opium-poppy production.

Peter Dale Scott, in his essay, “Drugs, Contras, and the CIA,” writes:

“[Circa 1980], the CIA was arming and advising heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan. Its preferred leader, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, became for a period one of the leading heroin suppliers in the world.”

“In 1979, when the U.S. first established contact with heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan, no heroin from the so-called Golden Crescent on the Afghan-Pakistan border was known to reach the United States. By 1984, according to the Reagan Administration, 54 percent of the heroin reaching this country came from the Afghan-Pakistan border.”

” [CIA officer] John Millis had served for thirteen years as a case officer supplying covert CIA aid to the heroin-trafficking guerrillas in Afghanistan…At least one of the airlines involved in the Afghan support operation, Global International Airways, was also named in connection with the [uS] Iran-Contra scandal…”

The war against drugs? A towering joke.

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US Wars Kill Mostly Civilians

By Stephen Lendman

Post-9/11 alone, millions of civilians perished in US direct and proxy wars. They were either in harm's way, deliberately targeted, or perished from war related violence, preventable diseases or deprivation.

Washington, like Israel, considers noncombatant civilians legitimate targets. International law calls killing them a war crime.

Obama's Iraq war and Syria bombing aren't against IS terrorists. They're US recruited proxy foot soldiers, supported by American air power.

Washington's Friday's Aleppo area bombing murdered dozens of noncombatant civilians - not a single IS terrorist. None were targeted.

Noncombatant civilians alone were in the Birmahle area struck - no IS terrorists. No clashes were reported.

US CENTCOM lied reporting "no indication that any civilians were killed in these strikes." It claimed "several ISIL fighting positions (were) destroy(ed)." It said "more than 50 ISIL fighters" were targeted.

It bears repeating, ONLY civilians were killed - no IS terrorists. None were present - nor any IS "fighting positions."

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) issued a statement "condemn(ing) in the strongest terms this massacre committed by the US led coalition under the pretext of targeting the IS in the village, and we call the coalition countries to refer who committed this massacre to the courts, as we renew our calls to neutralize all civilians areas from military operations by all parties."

Since US warplanes began terror-bombing Syria last September, mostly noncombatant civilian men, women and children died.

Reuters said US attacks "had little impact on the hardline Islamic State group…(It) fail(ed) to weaken it in areas it controls."

Bombing supports its US proxy force mission to topple Bashar al-Assad. Obama wants a convenient US stooge replacing him.

Washington' strategy includes murdering civilians in all its wars. In the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Ukraine, endless so-called humanitarian wars murdered millions of noncombatants advancing America's imperium.

Horrific war crimes go unreported or are denied. When investigations are conducted they whitewashed.

High-level government and Pentagon culpability doesn't matter. Millions of corpses attest to America's barbarity.

During US-led NATO's terror-bombing of Libya, British Civilians for Peace (BCP) spokesman Dale Roberts said he "witnessed the effects of bombing on civilians."

"This has included schools, hospitals, infrastructure and (other) civilian areas" unrelated to military sites.

So-called Pentagon "Kill Teams" murder with impunity. US death squads have been used since WW II.

In Korea, tens of thousands were murdered in cold blood. In Vietnam, Operation Phoenix was the most indiscriminate mass slaughter campaign since Hitler's death camps - exceeded in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.

US terror-bombing since America entered WW II killed millions of noncombatants. Sociologist Emile Durkheim (1858 - 1917) once said "(t)he immorality of war depends entirely on the leaders who willed it."

If alive today, he'd have Bush and Obama in mind. Immanuel Wallerstein calls America "the most dangerous loose gun."

In his opening Nuremberg address, Justice Robert Jackson denounced the "men who possess themselves of great power and make deliberative and concerted use of it to set in motion evils which leave no home in the world untouched."

He called them "men of station and rank (who don't) soil (their) hands with blood."

They use "lesser folk" to commit crimes of war and against humanity to enhance their status, privilege, wealth and power.

In Afghanistan and Iraq, Pentagon commanders ordered US forces to kill all military-aged men on sight.

During training, enemies are vilified, dehumanized to make killing easy. Recruits are programmed (brainwashed) to feel guiltless about cold-blooded murder - on the ground, from offshore or from 30,000 feet.

Yet international and US laws are clear. US Army Field Manual incorporates Nuremberg Principles as well as the 1956 Law of Land Warfare.

FM's paragraph 498 states any person, military or civilian, who commits a crime under international law is responsible for it and may be punished.

Paragraph 499 defines a war crime. Paragraph 500 refers to a conspiracy, attempts to commit it and complicity with respect to international crimes.

Paragraph 509 denies the defense of superior orders in the commission of a crime.

Paragraph 510 denies the defense of an "act of state" as absolution for war crimes.

These provisions apply to all US military and civilian personnel to the highest levels, including the president, defense secretary and joint chiefs chairman.

It doesn't matter. American forces commit horrific atrocities and other war crimes in all US wars.

Mass murdering noncombatant civilians is standard operating procedure.

Obama claims he has moral authority to attack any nation he wishes on the pretext of humanitarian intervention.

Commenting on US-led NATO's rape of Yugoslavia, the late Harold Pinter said:

"When they said '(w)e had to do something,' I said: Who is this 'we' exactly that you're talking about?"

"Under what heading do 'we' act, under what law? And also, the notion that this 'we' has the right to act,' I said, presupposes a moral authority of which this 'we' possesses not a jot! It doesn't exist!"

The same holds for all US wars - lawless imperial ones pursued for global conquest and dominance.

Lunatics in Washington make policy - waging endless wars on humanity, raping one country after another, murdering millions, claiming a divine right to rule.

International laws, norms and standards don't matter - nor US constitutional and statute laws.

No nation in world history threatens world peace more than America. None more risk ending life on earth.

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US Approves Saudi Use Of Banned Cluster Bombs (But Only If They're Extra Careful)

Published: May 8, 2015



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U.S. Policy in Afghanistan Created Hundreds of Little Dictators

Author and journalist Anand Gopal discusses the legacy of the war in Afghanistan at the Hosftra Conference on the George W. Bush Presidency - March 30, 2015



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Why Elites Love Drones



Saturday, 23 May 2015, 11:45 am
Article: Robert J. Burrowes

Why Elites Love Drones

Robert J. Burrowes

I sometimes read that drone strikes are counterproductive to western security interests because each person killed by a drone results in more new 'terrorists'. See, for example, 'The more civilians US drones kill in the Mideast, the more radicals they create'.http://rt.com/op-edge/252705-drone-operation-us-strategy-military/

However, this analysis completely fails to understand what is driving elite military policy, carried out by the United States elite and key elite allies within NATO and elsewhere. In brief: drone strikes work precisely because they provoke violent responses which help elites to 'justify' their perpetual war to secure control of the world's diminishing supplies of fossil fuels, water and strategic minerals while tightening control of domestic populations through expansion of the security and surveillance state.

Elites want more violence. They are unconcerned that innocent civilians are killed. In fact, they kill civilians deliberately. See, for example, 'Israel "directly targeted" children in drone strikes on Gaza, says rights group' http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/israel-directly-targeted-children-drone-strikes-gaza-says-rights-groupand '41 men targeted but 1,147 people killed: US drone strikes – the facts on the ground'. http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/nov/24/-sp-us-drone-strikes-kill-1147

Violence, particularly by demonised 'others' who often have to be seriously provoked into responding with violence, makes it easier to scare domestic populations into accepting restraints on their civil liberties, massive military expenditure at the cost of domestic social and environmental programs, military attacks against innocent 'foreigners' and massive profits for those few corporations and individuals who benefit from military spending.

Attacks by drones on innocent civilians, such as wedding parties in Afghanistan, serve the purpose of provoking retaliatory responses brilliantly. And by not mentioning the violence that provokes the retaliations while emphasising the retaliations themselves, elites and their agents are able to 'justify' western military policy for those not paying much attention or gullible enough to believe the warped perspective presented by compliant academics and the corporate media.

So do elites want to kill people just to make a profit? No. It's not that simple. Elites want to kill people because they are insane. See 'The Global Elite is Insane'.

If you think this is overstated, it is only because you have spent a lifetime unconsciously adjusting to absurd and dysfunctional behaviours that you could not explain: an outcome of suffering the 'invisible' and 'utterly invisible' violence that adults inflicted on you during your childhood. See 'Why Violence?' http://tinyurl.com/whyviolenceand 'Fearless Psychology and Fearful Psychology: Principles and Practice'. http://anitamckone.wordpress.com/articles-2/fearless-and-fearful-psychology/

Until we participate in comprehensive strategies to resist elite (and other) violence exclusively with strategically applied nonviolence, we will continue to be their 'complementary doubles', and thus victims, in the use of violence. Activists, scholars and others who do not realise this are simply playing into elite hands.

Of course, having the emotional and intellectual capacity to resist violence with strategically applied nonviolence is a big 'ask' of anyone. But while our fear gets in the way of us learning how to intelligently analyse and strategically resist the psychology that drives violence, we condemn ourselves to perpetual victimhood and assist elite efforts to victimise us even further.

While we play the game by elite rules and rely on violence to confront them, we ensure our own defeat: the military-nuclear-industrial complex is under their control and the smaller weapons we have at our disposal are only useful as tools for them to use to scare us into fighting each other or to justify their violent attacks, including by their police, on us.

If you are interested in devoting your emotional and intellectual capacities to a strategy that makes violence irrelevant in the medium term, you might consider signing the online pledge of 'The People's Charter to Create a Nonviolent World'http://thepeoplesnonviolencecharter.wordpress.comand participating in 'The Flame Tree Project to Save Life on Earth'.http://tinyurl.com/flametree And if you want to develop nonviolent strategies to resist elite military violence, see 'The Strategy of Nonviolent Defense: A Gandhian Approach'. http://www.sunypress.edu/p-2176-the-strategy-of-nonviolent-defe.aspx

We might fail. But I would prefer to implement a strategy that can work rather than repeat, for the umpteenth time, a strategy that history teaches us never works. And history does teach us that violence never works although elites work hard to convince us that, in this or that context, violence succeeded.

This is a delusion. Violence always sows the seeds for the next bout of violence (World War I led to World War II which led to...) and/or shifts the violence to the structural domain (where, for example, economic structures cause poverty) and/or the cultural domain (so that, for example, 'ending' slavery in the US gave way to institutionalised racism).

So I invite you to consider participating in a comprehensive strategy that is designed to undermine violence, in all of its manifestations, and to break the cycle that is driving us to extinction.

The Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. once said: 'The enemy is violence.' But I believe the true enemy is our fear: the fear of nonviolently resisting violence, in all of its manifestations. Are you afraid?

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The New Guantanamo”: The Psychological Impact of US Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Vijay Luhan, May 16 2015
This content was written by a student and assessed as part of a university degree. E-IR publishes student essays & dissertations to allow our readers to broaden their understanding of what is possible when answering similar questions in their own studies




EXCERPT // see link for article

The significance of this study serves to add additional depth to the existing discussion on the use of drones. Specifically, it focuses on the knowledge that militants in the FATA region are aware of the Pakistani government’s tactic of plausible deniability of drones and their complicity to the U.S. drone programme.[10] David Kilcullen has noted that the public outrage of drone strikes in the Pashtun-dominated FATA region is not limited to northwest Pakistan, but has spread to a broader population throughout the country. This risks spreading extremism to the more liberal parts of Pakistani society. This heightened sense of radicalisation and destabilisation in Pakistani society caused by drones has to be addressed in order to understand its counter-productivity in combating terrorism operations in the long run. This will enable long-term strategic success rather than short-term tactical gains to be made in Pakistan. My study aims to address these problems.

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US Drones Attack Afghanistan Funeral, Killing 34 Mourners
Afghan Govt Claims All Slain Were Taliban

by Jason Ditz, June 05, 2015


On Friday, US drones attacked a funeral in Afghanistan’s Khost Province, tearing through a crowd of mourners and leaving at least 34 of them dead. The funeral was reportedly for a Taliban fighter, and the Afghan government insisted that by extension, all the mourners must’ve been Taliban too.

Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid confirmed the strike, but insisted a number of the victims were innocent civilians from the nomadic tribe the slain fighter was a member of . Afghan MPs from the region similarly claimed a number of civilians were slain.

Oddly, while everyone else was reporting the attack was on a funeral inside a cemetery, Khost provincial police claimed the US strike was against Taliban forces who were “running away” from the police along the Pakistan border.

Civilian tolls in US strikes have posed a huge problem for Afghan governments in the past, and former President Hamid Karzai’s feckless criticism both angered locals (since it never seemed to stop future attacks) and alienated him from the US. So far, President Ghani seems to be trying to avoid comment on such incidents.

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Veterans Urge Drone Operators to Refuse Orders to Fly



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We all have a responsibility to watch this film.
The War You Don't See. (Updated after being censored on YouTube)
By John Pilger. John Pilger Website & You Tube
You Tuibe
Saturday, Oct 12, 2013

Editor's second update: John Pilger's film documentary, "The War You Don't See" has been repeatedly censored and taken off the internet by those who don't want it to be seen. But it's like the Whac-a-Mole game and it keeps popping up. The movie and DVD are censored in US theatres with the DVD only available in England and Australia. The last time we published it was in September, 2011 and that was censored by Vimeo. We found it again today on You Tube and republish with this update on Axis of Logic.

- Axis of Logic

Editor's update: September, 2011. Axis of Logic reader and friend, "The Dream," found the first copy of this powerful John Pilger film documentary for publication on Axis of Logic. After only one month, the film was removed by our source, Vimeo in an act of brazen censorship (see copy of the removed video below). The banning of the film in every form in the US is a testament to its power.

Anyway, Dream kindly found another copy for us to replace the first. Not if but when they remove this one, he promises to find us another. Essentially, our enemies in the media war are confronted with a mallet & mole game, hammering down one mole only to have another pop up! Thanks to all fighters out there are working to keep the truth revealed and powerful. A big thanks to The Dream!

- Axis of Logic

Editor's Note: Up until now we have only been able to publish the trailer for this movie. John Pilger's film documentary has been widely censored in the United States. But our intrepid Axis readers who offer penetrating insights in our Readers Comment section, The Black Widow and The Dream found it on Vimeo after a long and tedious search. We are grateful to them for finding the full movie and sending it to us. The Dream reports that it is listed as "See the Video Free Online" in many places on the web, only to find that it had been removed. Pilger's film is definitely one that you'll want to see and one the real state terrorists don't want you to see. A description of the film can be found below the video.

- Axis of Logic

John Pilger says in the film:

"We journalists... have to be brave enough to defy those who seek our collusion in selling their latest bloody adventure in someone else's country... That means always challenging the official story, however patriotic that story may appear, however seductive and insidious it is. For propaganda relies on us in the media to aim its deceptions not at a far away country but at you at home... In this age of endless imperial war, the lives of countless men, women and children depend on the truth or their blood is on us... Those whose job it is to keep the record straight ought to be the voice of people, not power."

see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDutkYQF9d8

Censored by VIMEO
In English with Portuguese subtitles
Em inglês com legendas portuguesas

In an extraordinary alliance of TV and cinema, John Pilger's new film, 'The War You Don't See', opened in the UK mid-December. Having premiered at The Barbican on Tuesday 7 December 2010, the first Pilger film since 2007 started its UK run at Curzon Soho in London on Sunday 12 December.

On Tuesday 14 December, ITV1 broadcast 'The War You Don't See' at 10.35pm and on Sunday 10 April 2011, the Australian broadcaster SBS aired the film nationally. The DVD is now available to buy in the UK and in Australia.

'The War You Don't See' was nominated for the 'Documentary Award' at the 2011 One World Media Awards.

Further UK screenings with Q&As will take place on Sunday 15 May at Hampstead Everyman, Monday 23 May at Clapham Picturehouse, Sunday 10 July at Duke of York's Picturehouse in Brighton and Sunday 21 August at Cameo Picturehouse in Edinburgh.

The film is a powerful and timely investigation into the media's role in war, tracing the history of 'embedded' and independent reporting from the carnage of World War One to the destruction of Hiroshima, and from the invasion of Vietnam to the current war in Afghanistan and disaster in Iraq. As weapons and propaganda become even more sophisticated, the nature of war is developing into an 'electronic battlefield' in which journalists play a key role, and civilians are the victims. But who is the real enemy?

Source: MDDVTM TV11 on Vimeo

© Copyright 2014 by AxisofLogic.com

This material is available for republication as long as reprints include verbatim copy of the article in its entirety, respecting its integrity. Reprints must cite the author and Axis of Logic as the original source including a "live link" to the article. Thank you!
Edited by Steven Gaal
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Retired General: Drones Create More Terrorists Than They Kill, Iraq War Helped Create ISIS

site PatriotRising

“The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict”


Retired Army Gen. Mike Flynn, a top intelligence official in the post-9/11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, says in a forthcoming interview on Al Jazeera English that the drone war is creating more terrorists than it is killing. He also asserts that the U.S. invasion of Iraq helped create the Islamic State and that U.S. soldiers involved in torturing detainees need to be held legally accountable for their actions.

Flynn, who in 2014 was forced out as head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, has in recent months become an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s Middle East strategy, calling for a more hawkish approach to the Islamic State and Iran.

But his enthusiasm for the application of force doesn’t extend to the use of drones. In the interview with Al Jazeera presenter Mehdi Hasan, set to air July 31, the former three star general says: “When you drop a bomb from a drone … you are going to cause more damage than you are going to cause good.” Pressed by Hasan as to whether drone strikes are creating more terrorists than they kill, Flynn says, “I don’t disagree with that.” He describes the present approach of drone warfare as “a failed strategy.”

“What we have is this continued investment in conflict,” the retired general says. “The more weapons we give, the more bombs we drop, that just … fuels the conflict.”

Prior to serving as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Flynn was director of Intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his time in Iraq, Flynn is credited with helping to transform JSOC into an intelligence-driven special forces operation, tailored to fight the insurgency in that country. Flynn was in Iraq during the peak of the conflict there, as intelligence chief to Stanley McChrystal, former general and head of JSOC. When questioned about how many Iraqis JSOC operatives had killed inside the country during his tenure, Flynn would later say, “Thousands, I don’t even know how many.”

In the upcoming interview, Flynn says that the invasion of Iraq was a strategic mistake that directly contributed to the rise of the extremist group the Islamic State. “We definitely put fuel on a fire,” he told Hasan. “Absolutely … there’s no doubt, I mean … history will not be kind to the decisions that were made certainly in 2003.”

Over his 33 years in the Army, Flynn developed a reputation as an iconoclast. In 2010, he published a controversial report on intelligence operations in Afghanistan, stating in part that the military could not answer “fundamental questions” about the country and its people despite nearly a decade of engagement there. Earlier this year, Flynn commended the Senate Intelligence Committee report on CIA torture, saying that torture had eroded American values and that in time, the U.S. “will look back on it, and it won’t be a pretty picture.”

He echoed these statements in his Al Jazeera appearance. Before his tenure at JSOC, operatives of the force had already become notorious for operating secretive prison facilities in Iraq where the torture of detainees had become routine. In his interview, Flynn denied any personal role in these abuses, while calling for accountability for U.S. soldiers who had been responsible. “You know I hope that as more and more information comes out that people are held accountable,” Flynn says. “History is not going to look kind on those actions … and we will be held, we should be held accountable for many, many years to come.”


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