The Reasoned Review

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Posts Tagged ‘warfare

Quote of the Day

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The chief reason warfare is still with us is neither a secret death-wish of the human species, nor an irrepressible instinct of aggression, nor, finally and more plausibly, the serious economic and social dangers inherent in disarmament, but the simple fact that no substitute for this final arbiter in international affairs has yet appeared on the political scene.

- Hannah Arendt

Written by pavanvan

February 12, 2010 at 12:01 am

CIA Revenge

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Well it looks like the good ol’ CIA is busy getting revenge for those 8 members who were killed in Afghanistan back in December. The Times gave this some pretty good coverage, certainly emphasizing the “revenge” aspect of these new US attacks – but in the process gives us some darkly funny quotes.

Bill Roggio, for instance, likens this dispute to a schoolyard fight – with bombs:

“For the C.I.A., there is certainly an element of wanting to show that they can hit back,” said Bill Roggio, editor of The Long War Journal, an online publication that tracks the C.I.A.’s drone campaign.

An unnamed official apparently thinks he’s in an action movie:

After the Khost bombing, intelligence officials vowed that they would retaliate. One angry senior American intelligence official said the C.I.A. would “avenge” the Khost attack. “Some very bad people will eventually have a very bad day,” the official said at the time, speaking on the condition he not be identified describing a classified program.

But leave it to the CIA to get the message right (except for that part about “lawful, precise and effective):

A C.I.A. spokesman, Paul Gimigliano, declined to comment on the drone strikes. But he said, “The agency’s counter-terrorism operations — lawful, aggressive, precise and effective — continue without pause.”

Now that’s more like it.

In describing the US strikes, The Times also evokes some bizarre imagery:

The assault has included strikes on a mud fortress in North Waziristan on Jan. 6 that killed 17 people and a volley of missiles on a compound in South Waziristan last Sunday that killed at least 20.

Let that sink in a bit. The US is using Predator Drones

in order to attack mud huts

Does this seem crazy to anyone else?

Written by pavanvan

January 23, 2010 at 11:34 am

At War With…. Everyone

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The New York Times’ jingoist At War blog gives us a fantastic proposition, starting with the observation that Yemen is not the only “haven” out of which Al Qaeda might operate.

But there is nothing new about Yemen. It has long been a base for Al Qaeda. Osama bin Laden’s family comes from Yemen, the U.S.S. Cole was attacked in Yemen in 2000, many Yemeni fighters were either killed or captured in Iraq, and, during the last decade, the US has helped the Yemeni government fight.

As a side note, will we ever forget this USS Cole incident? It happened a decade ago, and only killed 17 soldiers. I’m willing to bet more die per year in just run-of-the-mill accidents. Taking that aside, this intrepid blogger continues:

But there are many havens for radical militants who follow the violent tenets of Al Qaeda — from North Africa to Europe to Asia.

Today, the front line of the war against terror can be anywhere in the world. Mr. Abdulmutallab was radicalized, recruited and trained in three continents before attempting to explode the Detroit-bound plane.

Yes, that is the solution – instead of rethinking our parameters in this “war against terror”, we must infinitely expand them! But of course this would not be The New York Times without the assumption of the justice of our goals:

The war against terror did not begin with the Bush administration and it will not end during President Obama’s. The battle has started, but I do not see any end. The release of Guantanamo’s prisoners has not helped to deter attacks. President Obama’s use of soft power, the withdrawal plan from Iraq, his Cairo speech, his alteration of the semantics of war, by dropping the term “war against terror,” have not stemmed the flow of would-be suicide bombers.

Imagine! A slight change in semantics (following no real change in murderous policy) failed to staunch the anger against the US! Who would have thought?

Of course, all this war-mongering must have some kind of internationalist counterweight, so our intrepid blogger throws this line in at the very end:

The U.S. cannot unilaterally wage this war. The war against terror is universal; it has no specific zone because the entire world is its war zone. Who will be the next: Yemen or Somalia or Nigeria, or…….? It is a long list.

This is one of the most insidious articles I’ve ever seen out of the Times.

Written by pavanvan

January 7, 2010 at 11:29 am