by Rita Lazar of September Eleventh Families for Peaceful Tomorrows
A sargent who showed us the holding cells in which the prisoners are
kept between leaving their prison cells and entering the courtroom also
showed us the chairs in which those being chained and force fed and
asked us if they weren’t “nice and comfortable looking”.
moment reminded me of the marine guard, behind the gates to the newly
opened american embassy in Kabul in Jan. 2002 who told me to “have a
nice day” after I brought a grieving Afghan woman who had lost 8 members
of her family when one of our bombs missed its target and hit her home,
to deliver her translated written story to the ambassador, since she
had been turned away from that gate the day before and told “go away, we
don’t admit beggars”.
and check out the article by her daughter in Rolling Stone: What Happens to Justice in a Perpetual War?
The Chechnya that gave the world the Boston Bombers. Chechnyans are also moving
forcefully in Syria. I like the version where about 10,000 years ago a gang
left the Fertile Crescent and settled in what is now Chechnya. They had what one
can only call a strong sense of possession of their adopted lands. Other groups,
gangs, and nations tried to conquer them, but they are stubborn. They beat the
Mongols off twice. Finally Russia’s expansion brought them under Soviet
control, which they have resisted forcefully since the arrival of the Cossacks.
forcefully I’m talking about a traditionally clan-based culture with a deep
tradition of terrorism that has been active for more than 20 years. The bombs
have even reached Moscow.
no, I’m not saying that all Chechnyans are terrorists. That’s a bit like saying
all Muslims are terrorists, forgetting just how small the tiny percentage of terrorists
yes, I’m saying that from this traditionally clan-based society came the Jeish
al-Muhajireen wal Ansar, the group formerly known as the al-Muhajireen Brigade,
and they just attacked the critical Minnigh military airport in Syria's Aleppo
governorate. It has been said that they are allied with al-Nusrah Front which
has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda.
yet another group believing in the al-Qaeda Global Narrative is taking part in
what once was a peaceful demonstration against a disliked ruler. I don't envy Obama as he tries to build the list of 'the good guys’ to deliver weapons to. Soon the
list will be very short as the anti-American jihadists shift and shake things up. They are excellent fighters, and other groups may have to rely on them for support. And what about the weapons we already delivered…or did
I make that up?
The view from the ground is clearly not what the American people are fed. How many new enemies will it take for the U.S. to comprehend the psychological effects on innocent civilians? Drones are the needle in our addiction to easy answers. Take a look at the needle and the damage done in Farea al-Muslimi's article: Executive Magazine
Unlike the Algerians (whose people are being held for ransom) and many other nations who refuse to negotiate with terrorists, Obama has chosen, at the worst possible time, to negotiate with the Pakistani supported Taliban of Afghanistan.
Anti-terror-craft wisdom says one should not negotiate with terrorists unless they are psychologically and physically weak and see no other option than to come to the table. It is inadvisable to negotiate unless the other side of the table is strong. It is dangerous to negotiate when the terrorists can garner political gain from the talks.
Obama blew it on all three counts. He negotiates with the Taliban at a time when their power is increasing.The 'other side' is not only weak, but Karzai is about to leave office and no promises he makes to the Taliban are guaranteed once he is out. The beautiful Qatar building housing the Taliban representatives was dubbed the home of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", immediately giving the Taliban an image of legitimacy they did not have before.,
The Taliban's disdain for Obama and his ideas was clearly demonstrated hours after the Qatar office was opened. They launched suicide and weapons attacks on both the heart of the Karzai government (the Presidential Palace) and and the local CIA offices. The clumsy rush to get America out of Afghanistan is a betrayal of Obama's promise to help rid Afghanistan of the Taliban.
Actions based on dreams and simplistic solutions only hurt the innocent civilians suffering in the conflict. Those advising Presideent Obama need to be removed and replaced
with people who are at least in touch with the realities of dealing with
The past few months marked a tragic return to sectarian violence in Iraq not seen
since 2006-2007. Over 2,000 people died across the country since the start of
April, most in Baghdad, as al-Qaeda’s ugly footprint further crushed the spirit
of a population long weary of death.
Although Sunni, Shia, Turkomen, Christians, and Kurds are
targeted, it seems that al-Qaeda is targeting Shia more than any other group as
it piggybacks on the resentment of the Sunni community to Maliki’s uneven
handed government. The terrorists seek the disruption and dissolution of the
On Monday ten car bombs killed over 40 people in Baghdad
alone. Yesterday saw gunmen attack a church in the al-Amin neighborhood. Recently
one of the deadliest attacks saw 11 killed and 25 wounded when a suicide bomber
blew himself up inside a cafe packed with young people in the largely Shiite
neighborhood of al-Ameen in southeastern Baghdad. [Huffington
What lies ahead may be even worse. An annual target of terrorists is gathering in the Shia holy
city of Karbala. The Shabaniyah festival gathers tens of thousands marking the
birth of the Hidden Imam, a revered Shia leader. It has proved to be a targeted
environment in the past.
As the death toll continues to climb in Iraq, the U.S. military supply chain continues to profit. It ight be a good time to buy FLIR stock...it's climbing.
FLIR Systems Inc. of Wilsonville, Ore. was awarded a total contract value of $43 million. Army Space and
Missile Defense Command in Huntsville handled the contract for Expeditionary Targeting and Surveillance Systems, Cerebus and Cerebus Lite systems [IraqBusinessNews] This is in addition to its 43 million dollar contract with the Navy and the 81 million dollar army contract recently awarded.
$355,080,049,827 in contracts have been awarded since 2006. From the 18th to the 25th of this month over a billion dollars have been awarded to military contractors. It adds up quickly. $76 billion was awarded from january through March of this year.
As the American infrastructure cont inures to crumble along with education and social supports, the government still finds ways to feed the insatiable military industrial complex. The U.S. is spending more than ever on death and less than ever on life. And the American people bury themselves in reality TV that has little to do with reality.
Caught between Iraq and a hard place, President Obama has chosen to select who to arm and who should die.
Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, and the hundreds of drone sites attacked all left a legacy of innocents killed and increased hatred for the United States.
Dear Mr. President: the Assad opposition is riddled with actors who are not on our side. Arming them strengthens our enemies. Don't take the politically easy way out. Please decide not to send more arms and ammunition to anyone. Your policies have already strengthened al-Qaeda's recruitment song.
May you have the courage of thr right path to more peaceful tomorrows without the delusions of short-term solutions. Inshallah
The rise of physiological and
psychological explanations for terrorist behavior in the 1940’s and 1950’s
involved Freudian theories. This and post-Freudian group psychology led helped
explain violent behavior in terms of personality disorders. Then psychotherapy
gave way to behaviorism. By the 1970’s cognitive interpretations of behavior
rose in prominence. Studies and experiments began to paint a more scientific
An individual’s acceptance of
indiscriminate violence for social aims was related to the ‘slippery slope’ of
psychological mechanisms that could lead one to the point of embracing terrorism
But U.S. policy makers, among
others, clung to earlier and more politically useful views. Science funded by
the government leaned on earlier theories which ignored political and logical
motivations. This was convenient for those wishing to avoid any indication that
foreign policy had anything at all to do with reasons terrorists attacked
America. Born of this need for a narrow viewpoint, the Radicalization Theory of
Terrorism was developed.
After the events of 9/11 governments
were eager to embrace non-political theories to absolve themselves of any guilt
associated with terrorist motives. A need for a discourse to serve these ends
was filled with new views, research, and publicity about Radicalization. Without
proof, but with an ‘authoritative’ voice, ‘Radicalization’ as it became known, attributed
terrorism to a path that flowed from increased religiosity. The New York City
report, “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” was loaded with
unsupported statements like, “Self Identification is the phase where
individuals, influenced by both internal and external factors, begin to explore
Salafi Islam.” It may seem ludicrous now, but in the rush to ‘do something’ the
report’s simplistic answers were quickly adopted and made manifest in policy.
There was seen no need to consider
the fact that most people who become extremely religious are not violent. All
that was needed was to track Muslims, note those who became more and more
religious, and that would produce suspects for investigation. Of course this
led to intrusive spying and a backlash from the Muslim community.
New York City’s program became a
national model that other cities now follow. This infection of misunderstanding
has spread, and like any other program, is self-perpetuating in ideology and
funding. As a result the overall response of the U.S. is flawed and weaker than
it could be because of false assumptions, special interests of policy makers,
and a need to appear strong and unwavering to their constituents.
It’s not too late to change.
Incorporation of more science into policy is possible. But policy makers will
have overcome inertia, and that is never easy.