Obama administration at large in the world

Updates for Obama administration at large in the world
Updates:
The Raymond Davis case, out of control CIA contractor on the loose, killing people.

U.S. – South America relations:

Waffling on coup in Honduras
Military pact with Colombia

The ongoing U.S. elaboration of the ‘war on terror’ narrative:

The Bush administration decided to bomb Afghanistan to smithereens in response to the Sept.11 attacks in the U.S. This response perhaps made sense in some sort of American emotional construct but did nothing to catch the perpetrators (or their support system since the perps were dead) or prevent future attacks. Bush said, in effect, better to try to smash the bastards than think.

Thus began the ‘war on terror’. Bush could have chosen to employ a limited concentrated police action in Afghanistan to catch those denominated guilty for the attacks. The notion that we are at war allows for actions to be taken that are possibly beyond the vale, if not the law itself. We are employing unmanned drones to kill people called terrorists, which is seen as legal since they are ‘terrorists’. We employ torture on people called ‘terrorists’ and the logic of the ‘war on terror’ sees the use of torture as legal and proper.

Gigantic military actions are seen by previously rational people of all slants as justifiable as it occurs within the logic of the ‘war on terror’. Israel bombs to smitereens its prison population of Gaza as a step in its ‘war on terror’. People who can not move freely, can not go to hospitals without passing checkpoints, who are being denied electricity and food and building materials, are called terrorists when they attempt to change the situation.

If Obama is indeed an agent of change,

The attempted underwear bombing

Blackwater and the privatization of military forces
The use of outsourcing war activities was a proominent feature of the Bush/Cheney administration. One of the prime recipients of these mercenary contracts is Blackwater or whatever silly name they are using now. In the last weeks they nave succeeded in drawing the pubic light of notoriety upon themselves in the form of court cases and participation in operations in Afghanistan.

A Federal court judge dropped charges against Blackwater for the killing of 17 Iraqis in Baghdad’s Nisoor Square. Two Blackwater contrqactors have been charged with second degree murder and attempted murder and firearms violations which took place in Afghanistan. German authroities are investigating a report that Blackwater worked with the CIA on a plan (nver realized)to assassinate a man alleged to have been involved in the financing of the 911 attacks.

And two Blackwater contractors were killed at the CIA base in Khost, Afghanistan. Fox news reported that “Two of the CIA workers killed in Afghanistan were private contractors with the security company formerly known as Blackwater.”.

Odd way to put it, that the Blackwater contractors were CIA workers, as if the line between the CIA and Blackwater had been erased.

Democracy Now has an excellent interview with Jeremy Scahill who has perhaps done more than anyone to investigate and publicize the questionable activities of Blackwater.

Drones

The drones are coming, the drones are coming.

It appears that the U.S. use of drones, unmanned aerial vehicles, to attack and kill Al Qaida and Taliban menbers is increasing, as evidenced by a sampling of news reports on drone attacks:

Despite warnings, military’s use of drones on the rise in Afghanistan
Washington Post – Joshua Partlow – ‎2 hours ago‎
It was one of two such drone attacks on the same day. Since taking over as the top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal has cautioned his …
Drone attacks UPI.com
US Kills 16 in Rare Afghanistan Drone Attacks Newser
2 drone strikes kill 16 insurgents in Afghanistan Los Angeles Times
RTT News – Monsters and Critics.com

Reuters
Suspected US drone strike kills 4 in Pakistan
Xinhua – Fang Yang – ‎Jan 10, 2010‎
But the drone attacks are fueling anti-American sentiments in Pakistan and Pakistani government seeks drone technology from the US authorities. …
US drone war delivers results, but at what price? AFP
Pakistan renews call for end to US drone strikes Reuters

Drone attacks raise troubling questions:

  • Do civilians like being killed, do they wish to cooperate with the invaders of their country who are killing their families?
  • How are the targets pøicked out? Can the schmuck sitting in Arizona, having said goodbye to his children as they go merrily off to school, see who exactly he is pinpointing on his video game monitor before he kills them and returns home for his dinner with his wife and kids?
  • Are the sources on the ground, both the inhabitants and military, reliable? Might the fingering of a target be a revenge action, a settling of a clan dispute, a means to take over the neighbours property?
  • No one is resonsible for the death of civilians. The killing inherent in war becomes too riskless and too easy. Both moral and practical barriers disappear, increasing the lilkelihood that the use of these instruments of destruction will increase, increasing in turn the likelihood that the recipients of these death dellivering missles will further resist and plan for revenge. Winning heats and minds has never been farther away. Blowback becomes ever more operative.
  • How many of us would appreciate being particpants in someone else’s video game and losing our parents and children to yet another schmuck sitting in the home country of the occupers of our country?
  • Drones are morally and practically reprehensible.
  • Stop using drones. You want to fight, go out and do it in person.
  • Use of military power and the death of civilians

    April 21, 2010 – NATO kills four Afghan civilians returning from a volleyball game.