Afghan civilians killed by RAF drone

In every war there is a loss of life, and sometimes that loss of life are the innocent.  People who are just like us – they just want to live their lives.  How long does America think that we can carry on this charade?  Or as one person that I read one time wrote “war itself is terrorism.”

Four Afghan civilians were mistakenly killed and two others injured in an attack by a remotely controlled RAF “drone” targeting insurgent leaders in Helmand province, the Guardian has learned.

The airstrike marks the first confirmed operation in which one of the UK’s Reaper aircraft has been responsible for the deaths of civilians, and comes amid growing concern on both sides of the Atlantic about increased use of drones in combat zones.

The revelation may also complicate the task of British commanders in the province as they try to secure the trust of local people ahead of “transition” – the symbolic moment later this month when Afghan forces take the lead for security in areas currently under UK control.

However, the British military remain convinced about the use of Reapers and insist the civilian deaths were due to intelligence failures on the ground rather than problems with the aircraft. Military officials have told the Guardian it is possible that almost one third of the RAF could be made up of remotely controlled aircraft within 20 years, such is the confidence in their capability.

The airstrike that caused the civilian casualties was meant to kill a Taliban commander who was being tracked on the ground in the Now Zad district of north Helmand. According to sources, the leader was correctly identified and the Reaper, which was flying close by, was instructed to attack. The Reaper pilots were thousands of miles away at a US Airforce base in Nevada when they were given the all clear to fire on two trucks.

Both vehicles were destroyed – at least one of them is thought to have been packed with explosive. An insurgent commander and an associate were killed, but it soon became clear that civilians were also in the vehicles.

“It was extremely unfortunate that the civilians were killed,” said a Whitehall source. “The attack would not have taken place if we had known that there were civilians in the vehicles as well.”

The incident took place on 25 March this year and an inquiry was launched by investigators from the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

ISAF confirmed that “civilians were discovered in the vehicles following the airstrike during a battle damage assessment”; this was conducted by soldiers sent to confirm what had happened.

“This is the first case when civilian deaths have been caused by one of our Reapers,” said the source. “There has been a comprehensive investigation to ensure it doesn’t happen again.”

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “Any incident involving civilian casualties is a matter of deep regret and we take every possible measure to avoid such incidents. On 25 March a UK Reaper was tasked to engage and destroy two pick up trucks. The strike resulted in the deaths of two insurgents and the destruction of a significant quantity of explosives being carried on the trucks. Sadly, four Afghan civilians were also killed and a further two Afghan civilians were injured. There are strict procedures, frequently updated in light of experience, intended to both minimise the risk of casualties occurring and to investigate any incidents that do happen.

“An ISAF investigation was conducted to establish if any lessons could be learnt from the incident or if errors in operational procedures could be identified; the report noted that the UK Reaper’s crews actions had been in accordance with procedures and UK Rules of Engagement.”

The families of the civilian victims will be entitled to compensation if they report to a British base and can prove their identity.

Chris Cole, a campaigner who runs the Drone Wars UK website, which monitors the development of unmanned weapons systems, said he was concerned at the time it took for the attack to be made public.

“The secrecy and lack of accountability surrounding the use of British armed drones is a matter of great concern. There needs to be a full and public investigation of all the issues raised by the increasing use of armed unmanned drones by British forces.”

The RAF has been piloting Reapers from Creech Air Force base in Nevada since late 2007. The MoD bought the aircraft as an “urgent operational requirement” to help in the fight against the Taliban. Since then the Reapers have flown a total of 23,400 hours and fired 176 missiles and laser guided bombs. Last year David Cameron said 124 insurgents had been killed by UK drones during their Afghan deployment.

The RAF’s leading expert on Reapers, Wing Commander Chris Thirtle, told the Guardian some pilots in the future may never have to actually fly aircraft, beyond their initial training. Instead, they will be trained to use remote controlled aircraft for combat missions.

Most of the concern about drones has centred on their extensive use by the CIA and American military commanders to attack al-Qaida commanders in Pakistan. Some studies have estimated that hundreds of civilians have also been killed in these strikes.

In 2009 an RAF drone fired on suspected insurgents in Sangin, helping Royal Marines who were patrolling in the area. The attack is thought to have injured two children, who were flown to the British base at Camp Bastion for treatment.


It’s Official: “Arab Spring” Subversion U.S. Funded

Tony Cartalucci
April 16, 2011

As American bombs rain down upon Libya on the premise that Qaddafi was brutalizing indigenous pro-democratic demonstrators, the accusing fingers of Libya, Iran, China, Syria, Belarus, and a growing number of other nations are pointing at Washington for funding and plotting regime change against their respective governments. Either in an act of absolute hubris or to spin emerging evidence that the US indeed has been funding and preparing the ground for the Arab Spring for years, New York Times has recently published  U.S. Groups Helped Nurture Arab Uprisings.

Essentially throwing these activists under the bus, New York Times exposes that the April 6Youth Movement in Egypt, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, and Entsar Qadhi of Yemen amongst others, received training and financing from the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, and the Neo-Conservative lined Freedom House.

The New York Times goes on to explain that these organizations are in turn funded by the National Endowment for Democracy which receives 100 million USD from Congress while Freedom House receives most of its money from the US State Department. While the New York Times asserts no one doubts that the Arab uprisings are home grown, leaders of groups now admittedly funded and trained by the US are anything but home grown.  The most prominent example is the April 6 Movement of Egypt led by Mohamed ElBaradei of the International Crisis Group. ElBaradei sitting along side George Soros, Kenneth Adelman, Wesley Clark, and Zbigniew Brzezinski, within a US foreign policy think-tank engenders a considerable amount of doubt.”

Also conceding involvement is the Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED), chaired byvarious Council on Foreign Relations and Brookings Institute alumni. POMED claims that they helped protesters develop skills and to network. Such training has taken place annually starting in 2008 where Egypt�s April 6 movement among many others, learned techniques to subvert their government. of course is sponsored by a conglomerate of corporate and government agencies including the US State Department, Google, MTV, the Edelman public relations firm, Facebook, CBS News, MSNBC, Pepsi, and others. Despite the claim that such meddling is promoting democracy, looking at the sponsors and war mongering interests involved in this operation, it appears to be more about promoting global military and economic hegemony.

The role of NGOs and the so called �civil society  used to support the unrest is also included in the New York Times piece, as well as the displeasure expressed by Arab leaders berating the US for meddling in their internal affairs. Such accusations have now reach a crescendo withChina, Iran, Syria, and Belarus making similar claims.

The New York Times piece ends by describing cables indicating that many activists who became aware of US involvement in funding and directing the movements became disenfranchised. Such activists were ousted.  Training was conducted outside of target countries, including in Jordan, Morocco, Serbia, and the United States. What the New York Times omits are the similar connections and involvements of corporate special interestssteering human rights organizations in support of this operation as well. Such involvement organizations had amply laid the rhetorical groundwork to justify the ever expanding war in Libya.

Of course, one needs only remember the feigned ignorance exhibited by the US State Department, Hillary Clinton, and Barak Obama, along with the litany of lies purveyed by the mainstream media to see a disingenuous plot in motion. This is because everyone from the US State Department and the corporate owned media had been involved, for years, preparing to bring the Arab Spring to fruition. With open admissions now being made by a global corporate-financier mouthpiece like the New York Times, one must consider the serious implications of what may come next.

Behold the circus that is the mainstream media. MSNBC feigns ignorance and confusion over unrest they had been involved in engineering since at least 2008.

Surely this information is going to incite a counterrevolution. In Egypt, suspicion over Mohamed ElBaradei has already seen the interloping globocrat pelted with rocks and his agenda derailed. Many activists truly believed in their cause and risked their lives for the idea that they were fighting not only their own corrupt dictatorships, but the West as well who had been propping them up for years. Such a perception was exasperated during the early stages of the of the uprisings with the West lavishing support on embattled regimes in order to maximize the disenfranchisement of the people. With ongoing operations to seize Libya by force, and to see through similar US backed uprisings in Syria, Yemen, Iran, and even as far asThailand and China, it will be interesting indeed to see how nation-states tailor their response to what is now clearly foreign funded subversion.

In what manner this realization will manifest itself in is not certain. However, it would be wise for activists, pundits, politicians, and concerned citizens genuinely interested in truth, to think very carefully before making their next move. As George Bush had once attempted to say, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Ultimately, and upon examining the architects behind this global gambit of deceptive destabilization, we must look past the puppet politicians and the disingenuous liars that presume to give us the news.  We must see the global corporate-financier empire as the source of the problem and its removal and replacement as the solution.

Globalists Seek to Hijack Middle East Revolution

US military-industrial complex looks to exploit demonstrations to weaken Ahmadinejad’s regime

Paul Joseph Watson
Monday, February 21, 2011

While the current global revolt sweeping across the Middle East and North Africa is born out of a universal human cry for freedom, food security and a decent standard of living, it is important to understand that the global elite are waiting in the wings to exploit the chaos as an opportunity to re-order the geopolitical landscape in their image, particularly by exploiting the demonstrations as a vehicle through which to weaken and topple the Iranian government.

The primary reason why the US military-industrial complex and other western nations appear to be supporting revolutions which directly threaten the tenures of dictators loyal to them, Hosni Mubarak being a prime example, is that such consequences are a price worth paying if the number one target of the globalists – Iran – gets toppled in the process.

Prominent neo-con David Frum made this point clear in an article entitled America Can’t Afford to Ignore the Chaos in Bahrain, writing, “Always and ever: Iran is the big play in the Middle East…Every regional decision has to be measured against the test: Is this moving us closer to—or further from—a positive change in the Iranian political system? That test should guide decisions about Bahrain, and about a lot more than Bahrain.”

Similarly, the The New York Times’ David Sanger highlighted the fact that it’s in the interests of the US military-industrial complex to allow the revolutions to spread in order to weaken the stability of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

In an interview with National Public Radio, Sanger noted that the Obama administration was looking to exploit the protests to create, “an alternative narrative to Iran that the United States ought to make use of.”

“It is in this context that we should understand why the Obama Administration, literally seven hours after Omar Soliman announced that Hosni Mubarak would step down as Egypt’s President after all, called the White House press corps back in and, as Sanger put it, “all but urged the protestors” in Iran, such as they were, “to get out and do more”. The Administration has clearly decided, as America’s strategic position in the Middle East erodes before our eyes, to “push back” against the Islamic Republic, in multiple ways,” write Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett.

Indeed, several top ranking former U.S. military officials have now called on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to “rescind the 14-year-old designation of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq Organization, or MEK, as a terrorist group.”

As prominent New Yorker investigative reporter Seymour Hersh has documented, the US government has already been providing hundreds of millions of dollars to MEK as a means of fomenting instability inside Iran.

“The strategic thinking behind this covert operation is to provoke enough trouble and chaos so that the Iranian government makes the mistake of taking aggressive action which will give the impression of a country in acute turmoil”, said Hersh. “Then you have what the White House calls the ‘casus belli’, a reason to attack the country. That is the thinking and it is very crazy.”

As former CIA Director Michael Hayden notes, governments in the Middle East “are not dominoes, these are very different regimes,” with the Iranian regime undoubtedly being the most immune to the wave of revolutions currently spreading like wildfire across the region.

That’s why the US military-industrial complex is relying on MEK to become the vanguard of the Iranian opposition movement, because as Retired Gen. Hugh Shelton, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Bill Clinton, notes, “Iran’s current regime is currently a government that needs to change,” that is, it needs to change from the perspective of the US military-industrial complex, and they will resort to any means, including bankrolling terrorist organizations while framing them as an “opposition movement,” to make it happen.

The true scale and number of revolts now sweeping the Middle East and North Africa preclude any simple explanation that they were all kick-started as a result of US geopolitical manipulation. However, that’s not to say that such revolutions were not actively forseen and prepared for by the same forces now trying to exploit the fallout.

For example, we know that as far back as December 2008, the US Embassy was aware of plans to overthrow Mubarak in 2011 and had begun secretly funding rebel leaders to spearhead the campaign.

From a wider perspective, the fact that the outcome of the financial collapse would be food riots, revolts, revolutions and even civil war was understood years in advance.

As we wrote back in February 2008, six months before the economic collapse, the UN was “Warning of a food shortage crisis and drawing up plans for food rations which will hit even middle-class suburban populations as inflation and economic uncertainty causes the prices of staple food commodities to skyrocket.” This would lead to “food riots,” we warned, simply reporting the statements of UN officials at the time.

Soaring food prices have been cited as one of the primary drivers behind the revolts in the Middle East and North Africa.

In addition, we reported on an April 2007 British Ministry of Defence document which warned of a “mass revolt on behalf of the middle classes.” which now seems to be unfolding in Wisconsin as well as “Endemic unemployment, instability and threat to the social order,” across the world.

The fact that the revolutions we now witness enveloping the Middle East and North Africa will grow and evolve is without doubt, the only question that remains is whether those revolts will simply lead to another form of tyranny, such as the military dictatorship that has taken over Egypt, whether the outcome will provide the opportunity for the global elite to accelerate their new world order, or whether people power will truly triumph and genuine freedom will prosper as a result.

How Foreign Aid Creates Instability and Isolates America

Ron Paul at the 2007 National Right to Life Co...
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The events in Egypt of late have captured the attention of the world as many thousands of Egyptians take to the streets both in opposition to and favor of the current regime. We watch from a distance hoping that events do not spiral further into violence which will destroy lives and threaten the livelihoods of average Egyptians caught up in the political turmoil. I hope that Egyptians are able to work toward a more free and just society. Unfortunately, much of the blame for the unrest in Egypt and the resulting instability in the region rests with U.S. foreign policy over the past several decades. The U.S. government has sent more than $60 billion to the Egyptian regime since the Camp David accords in 1978 to purchase stability, including more security for the state of Israel.

We see now the folly of our interventionist foreign policy. Not only has that stability fallen to pieces, with the current unrest, but the years of propping up the corrupt regime in Egypt has led the people to increase their resentment of both America and Israel. We are both worse off for the decades of the intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs. I wish I could say that we have learned our lesson and will no longer attempt to purchase or rent friends in the Middle East, but I am afraid that is being too optimistic. Already we see evidence that while the U.S. historically propped up the Egyptian regime, we also provided assistance to groups opposed to the regime. So we have lost the credibility to claim today that we support the self-determination of the Egyptian people. Our double dealing has not endeared us to the Egyptians who now seek to reclaim their independence and national dignity.

Diplomacy via foreign aid transfer payments only makes us less safe at home and less trusted overseas, but the overriding reality is that we simply cannot afford to continue a policy of buying friends. We face an ongoing and potentially deepening recession at home, so how can we justify to the underemployed and unemployed in the United States the incredible cost of maintaining a global empire? Moral arguments aside, we must stop sending hundreds of billions of dollars to foreign governments when our own economy is in shambles.

American media and talking heads repeatedly pose the same loaded questions. Should the administration encourage the Egyptian president to remain or to resign? Should the U.S. ensure Mohamed ElBaradei or current Vice President Omar Suleiman succeed current president Mubarak? The best answer to these questions is that we should just do nothing, as Eisenhower did in 1956. We should leave Egypt for Egyptians to figure out.

Some may claim that this is isolationism. Nothing could be further from the truth. We should enthusiastically engage in trade, allow travel between countries, but we should stay out of their internal affairs. We are in fact more isolated from Egypt now than ever because the regime we propped up appears to be falling. We have isolated ourselves from the Egyptian people by propping up their government as we isolate ourselves from the Tunisians, Israelis, and other recipients of foreign aid. Their resentment of our interventionist foreign policy makes us less safe because we lose our authority to conduct meaningful diplomacy when unpopular regimes fall overseas. We also radicalize those who resented our support for past regimes.

Let us hope for a more prosperous and peaceful era for the Egyptians and let us learn the lessons of our 30 year Egyptian mistake.

It Ain’t Just Mubarak – 7 of the Worst Dictators the U.S. is backing to the Hilt

Joshua Holland
Alter Net
Feb. 6, 2011

From Saudi Arabia to Uzbekistan to Chad, the U.S. keeps some very bad autocrats in power.

Embattled Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, whose regime has received billions in U.S. aid, has been in the global media spotlight of late. He’s long been “our bastard,” but he’s not alone.

Let’s take a look at the other dictators from around the planet who are fortunate enough to be on Uncle Sam’s good side.

1. Paul Biya, Cameroon

Biya has ruled Cameroon since winning an “election” in 1983. He was the only candidate, and did pretty well, getting 99 percent of the vote.

According to the country’s Wikipedia entry, “The United States and Cameroon work together in the United Nations and a number of other multilateral organizations. While in the UN Security Council in 2002, Cameroon worked closely with the United States on a number of initiatives. The U.S. government continues to provide substantial funding for international financial institutions,

such as the World Bank, IMF, and African Development Bank, that provide financial and other assistance to Cameroon.”

Amnesty International details unlawful executions, journalists being thrown in jail and a host of other nasty business.

As part of a strategy to stifle opposition, the authorities perpetrated or condoned human rights violations including arbitrary arrests, unlawful detentions and restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Human rights defenders and journalists were harassed and threatened. Men and women were detained because of their sexual orientation.

2. Gurbanguly Berdymuhammedov (or Berdymukhamedov), Turkmenistan

Berdymuhammedov came to power in 2006 when his predecessor died and the constitutionally mandated successor was thrown in jail.

Full article here

Are the Globalist’s begging for War between the Koreas?

The ‘Forgotten War’ has been over for the last fifty years, so why is there need for U.S. involvement?  By being on the Korean peninsula and trying to be the intermidiary, the United States has contributed to an already fragile situation.  Maybe the greatest thing that can be contributed to U.S. foreign policy is that on the day that we turn away from out interventionist foreign policy, we will find that the world can take care of itself.


Seoul, Dec 23 (DPA) South Korea held large-scale ground and air live-fire drills Thursday close to the border with North Korea, which sharpened its tone and threatened a ‘sacred war’ with nuclear weapons.

The manoeuvres at a firing range in Pocheon, around 30 km from the inter-Korean border, involved more than 100 types of weapons, officials were quoted as saying by the South’s Yonhap News Agency.

Artillery, anti-aircraft guns, attack helicopters and fighter jets took part, the report said. Around 800 troops were involved, and the firing lasted about two hours, a military spokesman said.

Thursday also saw the second day of a three-day firing exercise by the navy in the Sea of Japan to the east of the peninsula, about 100 km south of the maritime border with North Korea.

Kim Young Chun, minister of the North Korean People’s Armed Forces, accused South Korea of preparing for war with the Sea of Japan exercises, according to the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.

‘The revolutionary armed forces of the DPRK are getting fully prepared to launch a sacred war of Korean-style justice based on the nuclear deterrent at any time necessary to cope with the enemies’ actions, which are deliberately pushing the situation to the brink of a war,’ Kim was quoted as saying, referring to his country by the acronym of its official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

Seoul has been toughening its stance against its neighbour after domestic criticism over what was perceived as a weak response to the shelling of a South Korean island by the North Nov 23, which left two soldiers and two civilians dead.

South Korean President Lee Myung Bak said Thursday that a tough response to North Korean attacks was necessary to maintain peace on the Korean Peninsula.

‘I thought patience would bring peace to this land, but it was not so,’ Lee said on a visit to troops in Yanggu and a post about one kilometre from North Korea.

The president said he then came to realise that only a strong reaction to North Korean attacks would deter it from further belligerent acts and stave off war.

The US, a major ally of South Korea, had urged the North not to respond to Thursday’s drills.

‘I think exercises that have been announced well in advance, that are transparent, that are defensive in nature should in no way engender a response from the North Koreans,’ White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said late Wednesday.

He added that Washington was ‘obviously supportive of the Republic of Korea,’ using the formal name for South Korea.

South Korea has held a series of live-fire exercises since the artillery bombardment of Yeonpyeong island. This week also saw live-fire exercises off the country’s west coast.

North Korea does not recognise the maritime border, drawn up by the UN, the US and South Korea after the 1950-53 conflict with the North ended in a ceasefire, not a peace treaty, leaving the two Koreas technically still at war.

The South Korean military, meanwhile, lowered its level of readiness along the border by one notch from the top level, a Joint Chiefs of Staff official was quoted as saying Thursday by Yonhap.

The forces had been on highest alert for live-fire drills Monday at Yeonpyeong and for the illumination of a large Christmas tree near the North Korean border, which Pyongyang has denounced as psychological warfare.