How the Pentagon Removes Entire Peoples

The Past is Never Dead

by DAVID SWANSON, CounterPunch
US Military Bases In The Middle East. The Number Has Exploded Over The Past Decade. Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/the-15-maps-that-explain-the-world-in-2012-2012-6?op=1#ixzz2VY3KNvyr

US Military Bases In The Middle East. The Number Has Exploded Over The Past Decade.
Map from: http://www.businessinsider.com/

If we think at all about our government’s military depopulating territory that it desires, we usually think of the long-ago replacement of native Americans with new settlements during the continental expansion of the United States westward.

Here in Virginia some of us are vaguely aware that back during the Great Depression poor people were evicted from their homes and their land where national parks were desired.  But we distract and comfort ourselves with the notion that such matters are deep in the past.

Occasionally we notice that environmental disasters are displacing people, often poor people or marginalized people, from their homes.  But these incidents seem like collateral damage rather than intentional ethnic cleansing.

If we’re aware of the 1,000 or so U.S. military bases standing today in some 175 foreign countries, we must realize that the land they occupy could serve some other purpose in the lives of those countries’ peoples.  But surely those countries’ peoples are still there, still living — if perhaps slightly inconvenienced — in their countries. Continue reading

India: How deep, and how intelligent, is “deep intelligence”?

[When the Indian State is caught committing massacres of adivasis, their spokesmen and mouthpieces routinely retreat to Wizard of Oz claims of legitimacy and authority, stating that their actions were based upon secret and dependable sources which cannot be revealed.  This argument is designed for the arrogant, privileged, and gullible–to enable them to dismiss adivasi experience and suffering, and to endorse the malicious acts of the state as necessary and justifiable.  This article digs into these claims of “deep intelligence,” of “collateral damage” and of the need to disregard the victims, who have been used as “human shields,” as the official invented stories go.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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“Deep Intelligence” in Bastar: Mapping The Maoists From The Skies

By Trevor Selvam

07 July, 2012
Countercurrents.org

The Chiefs of the Indian Police Paramilitary Forces have repeatedly stated
that their operations against Maoists guerillas in the Bastar/Dantewada
area are reinforced by “deep intelligence.” Initially, I had glossed over
the expression and did not pay much attention. Then I noticed it a second
and a third time. And something rang a bell or rather hit a warm spot, as
you shall soon see. It was as if something was being held up by the Para
military Police Chiefs as “irrefutable evidence” which they were not
prepared to discuss any further. They had confidently emphasized that there
was no way the 20 villagers who were killed were not Maoists. Because,
again, they had “deep intelligence.”

My curiosity had by now peaked. What was this “deep intelligence” that they
had repeatedly cited? Did they have plants amongst the villagers who were
the eyes and ears of the police? Did they have plain clothes Selwa Judum
types who had been operating in the outskirts of the jungle areas, where
the Maoists have their strongholds? Are there tribal folks whom they have
promised land and other benefits in exchange for information on the wily
Naxalites/Maoists?

For the love of deep intelligence, a term used once upon a time in the
computer world, for embedded intelligence in microchips, I was deeply
intrigued by the repetition of this term. Mr. Chidambaram, the depressing,
lugubrious Indian Home Minister has also used similar terminology in
asserting the authenticity of the now totally discredited news that
“hardcore Maoists” were killed in this spat. He also said that he had
absolute authoritative evidence that hardcore elements had been eliminated.
Mr. Chidambaram, normally, judiciously avoids commentary on such
situations. He waits for investigations to reach his desk, before he
delivers his Harvardian mulch-chewing manifests. Turns out that even the
names of the hardcore elements were disclosed to ensure that the public
understood that there was hard work done by the sleuths before they opened
up with their Galils and Tavors on the villagers. They knew who they were
targeting! They went after their kill with method and precision. These were
11-year old girls, some seventeen year old “toppers” in the local high
school, majority of them teenagers. Hellfire visited them at 10 pm that
night as they sat in a circle to discuss sowing. Of course there must have
been Maoists around. Of course the Maoists are close to them. And as one of
the villagers clearly stated, “We have no problems with Maoists. They help
us.” Continue reading

Japan: 58 Years later, “Bikini” Atomic Test experience speaks to Fukushima victims today

by Mamoru Shishido, Evening Edition Department, Mainichi Daily News, Mainichi, Japan

February 20, 2012

‘Bikini incident’ survivor’s story relevant today as Fukushima crisis continues

Matashichi Oishi, 78, talks about his experience as a crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru at his home, where he has a photo with author and anti-nuclear activist Kenzaburo Oe hanging on the wall. (Mainichi)

Matashichi Oishi, 78, talks about his experience as a crew member of the Daigo Fukuryu Maru at his home, where he has a photo with author and anti-nuclear activist Kenzaburo Oe hanging on the wall. (Mainichi)

Eleven months since the outbreak of the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), with people still living in fear of radiation exposure, I went to hear what a man who was exposed to radiation 58 years ago, had to say.

Matashichi Oishi, 78, was a crew member of the fishing boat Daigo Fukuryu Maru, or “Lucky Dragon 5,” which one day in 1954 found itself covered in the “ashes of death” from a nuclear experiment being conducted in the Pacific by the U.S., off the Bikini Atoll.

“Many people were exposed to blasting winds and extreme heat by the atomic bombs that were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” Oishi said. “As for us, we were covered in radioactive white powder that rained down from the sky, and suffered internal radiation exposure.”

It was Feb. 11, and Oishi was speaking to an audience of about 60 people attending a study session co-hosted by a civic group and the Nishitokyo Municipal Government. He’d shut down the dry cleaning business that he’d run for years in Tokyo at the end of 2010.

“I’d always been trying to share my experiences through spoken and written words, but no one would listen to a mere former fisherman-turned-launderer. But ever since the disaster in Fukushima broke out, what I have to say is no longer ‘someone else’s pitiful story,'” he said.

That Oishi characterized his ordeal — an incident which sparked Japan’s anti-nuclear activist movement — as having been viewed as “someone else’s pitiful story” is testament to the turbulent road he’d been forced to take. Continue reading

India: Counter Insurgency forces are mis-directed by Israeli surveillance drones, highly over-rated

[As imperialist and reactionary governments have placed exaggerated reliance on drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles or UAV’s) for remote-controlled surveillance and  bombing missions, the growing number of civilian casualties (“collateral damage”) from armed missions (in Pakistan and Afghanistan), and confused surveillance intelligence (as reported below, and elsewhere) is generating growing doubts in counterinsurgency circles about this supposedly accurate tool.  They have invested a lot in the promise of this weapon, so they do not want to give it up.  —  Frontlines ed.]

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by Yatish Yadav, India Today, in  New Delhi, January 3, 2012

Images provided by drones are not actionable since it cannot penetrate foliage.

Heron drone proves a dud in tracking Maoists in Chattisgarh

In the second week of December, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flew over the Maoist-hit areas of Dantewada district in Chhattisgarh, picking up images of village dwellings and human movement.

At the National Technical Research Organisation (NTRO) control room the information was treated as a major breakthrough since the drones deployed in the area had so far failed to provide sufficient intelligence inputs.

The state and paramilitary forces were also convinced that the images were of a Naxal camp. An operation was immediately planned. Surprise and speed were to be the key elements.

The operation was to be similar in nature to the ones successfully undertaken by the US-led allied forces in Afghanistan and Pakistan. A surrendered Maoist was also quizzed to clear the doubts about the target location.

Armed with the visuals provided by the Heron drone, a team of two units, comprising paramilitary was dispatched on foot to encircle and sanitize Teriwal village in Dantewada.

Another 125 personnel were to be air dropped at the assembly area which was some kilometres away from the presumed Naxal camp at Teriwal, as was indicated by the footage relayed by the UAV.

But on December 19, an air force MI-17 helicopter with armed personnel on board came under fire while it was carrying out its 10th sortie. Two shots hit the rotor of the helicopter. The men had a lucky escape.

The sudden attack on the chopper caught the forces off guard. The UAV images clearly did not provide any indication of Maoist movement in the area, which was chosen to drop security personnel and was far away from the presumed rebel camp.

The drone image virtually led the forces into a trap. The suspicion about the images grew when it was discovered that the presumed Naxal camp was a nondescript village.

“Several huts and human movement were captured by the UAV cameras in Teriwal village. So it was presumed that it could be a Naxal camp,” a government source said.

Chhattisgarh inspector general of police (Bastar range) T. J. Longkumer said: “Given all the factors, the operation was successful. I will not be able to comment on the UAV images. But it is very difficult to differentiate between a Naxal hideout and a normal settlement.” Continue reading

Pakistan: CIA Drones Kill Large Groups Without Knowing Who They Are

November 4, 2011

  • Drone warfare-The expansion of the CIA’s undeclared drone war in the tribal areas of Pakistan required a big expansion of who can be marked for death. Once the standard for targeted killing was top-level leadership in al-Qaeda or one of its allies. That’s long gone, especially as the number of people targeted at once has grown.This is the new standard, according to a blockbuster piece in the Wall Street Journal: “men believed to be militants associated with terrorist groups, but whose identities aren’t always known.” The CIA is now killing people without knowing who they are, on suspicion of association with terrorist groups. The article does not define the standards are for “suspicion” and “association.”

Strikes targeting those people — usually “groups” of such people — are called “signature” strikes. “The bulk of CIA’s drone strikes are signature strikes,” the Journal’s Adam Entous, Siobhan Gorman and Julian E. Barnes report.

And bulk really means bulk. The Journal reports that the growth in clusters of people targeted by the CIA has required the agency to tell its Pakistani counterparts about mass attacks. When the agency expects to kill 20 or more people at once, then it’s got to give the Pakistanis notice.

Determining who is a target not a question of intelligence collection. The cameras on the CIA fleet of Predators and Reapers work just fine. It’s a question of intelligence analysis — interpreting the imagery collected from the drones, and from the spies and spotters below, to understand who’s a terrorist and who, say, drops off the terrorists’ laundry. Admittedly, in a war with a shadowy enemy, it can be difficult to distinguish between the two.

Fundamentally, though, it’s a question of policy: whether it’s acceptable for the CIA to kill someone without truly knowing if he’s the bombsmith or the laundry guy.

The Journal reports that the CIA’s willingness to strike without such knowledge — sanctioned, in full, by President Barack Obama — is causing problems for the State Department and the military. Continue reading

Robert Fisk: As usual “the Arabs knew” about US-inflicted civilian deaths in Iraq

The Independent UK, October 24, 2010

The Shame of America

by Robert Fisk

As usual, the Arabs knew. They knew all about the mass torture, the promiscuous shooting of civilians, the outrageous use of air power against family homes, the vicious American and British mercenaries, the cemeteries of the innocent dead. All of Iraq knew. Because they were the victims.

Only we could pretend we did not know. Only we in the West could counter every claim, every allegation against the Americans or British with some worthy general – the ghastly US military spokesman Mark Kimmitt and the awful chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, come to mind – to ring-fence us with lies. Find a man who’d been tortured and you’d be told it was terrorist propaganda; discover a house full of children killed by an American air strike and that, too, would be terrorist propaganda, or “collateral damage”, or a simple phrase: “We have nothing on that.”

Of course, we all knew they always did have something. And yesterday’s ocean of military memos proves it yet again. Al-Jazeera has gone to extraordinary lengths to track down the actual Iraqi families whose men and women are recorded as being wasted at US checkpoints – I’ve identified one because I reported it in 2004, the bullet-smashed car, the two dead journalists, even the name of the local US captain – and it was The Independent on Sunday that first alerted the world to the hordes of undisciplined gunmen being flown to Baghdad to protect diplomats and generals. These mercenaries, who murdered their way around the cities of Iraq, abused me when I told them I was writing about them way back in 2003. Continue reading

US Drone Strike Destroys House Full of Children in Pakistan

Predator unmanned aerial vehicle

By Jason Ditz

24 August, 2010, AntiWar.com

The Obama Administration’s policy of escalating drone strikes took another hit today, after the explosion from a drone attack against the house of “suspected militants” in North Waziristan also destroyed a neighboring house full of women and children.

The combined toll from the blast was 20 people killed, with at least four women and three children among the slain. At least 13 other civilians were also reported wounded, including a number of other children.

Pakistani intelligence officials say most of the “suspects” killed in the attacks were Afghans, but it is unclear how much evidence they had of wrongdoing. Large numbers of Afghan civilians have been living as refugees in the tribal areas since the 2001 US invasion.

The large numbers of civilians (700 in 2009 alone) killed in the US drone strikes has fueled considerable anti-American sentiment in Pakistan. When pressed during a previous visit Secretary of State Hillary Clinton shrugged off concerns about the civilians, saying only “there’s a war going on.”