Saturday, May 29, 2010

Drug Gangs and Jihadis: Our Self-Created Permanent Demons


by Tom Hayden

To the Long War against Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan must be added the globalized Long War against drugs and street gangs.  Without being declared national policy, counterinsurgency is beginning to define both foreign and domestic government approaches.

A Long War is a permanent war over many decades against an enemy so demonized that political solutions are rendered unthinkable, off the table. Such a war is virtually permanent, greatly clandestine, beyond democratic accountability, and its enormous casualties and budgetary costs little discussed.  [See]

Welcome to the joining of domestic and foreign policy through a single national security apparatus, in which former issues seen as political and economic have been redefined as crime, drugs and terrorism.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Drones: Why Don't We Want to Know?

Drones and Democracy



(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t)
By Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier
Truthout Report

Islamabad - On May 12, the day after a US drone strike killed 24 people in Pakistan's North Waziristan, two men from the area agreed to tell us their perspective as eyewitnesses of previous drone strikes.

One is a journalist, Safdar Dawar, general secretary of the Tribal Union of Journalists. Journalists are operating under very difficult circumstances in the area, pressured by both militant groups and the Pakistani government. Six of his colleagues have been killed while reporting in North and South Waziristan. The other man, who asked us not to disclose his name, is from Miranshah city, the epicenter of North Waziristan. He works with the locally based Waziristan Relief Agency, a group of people committed to helping the victims of drone attacks and military actions. "If people need blood or medicine or have to go to Peshawar or some other hospital," said the social worker, "I'm known for helping them. I also try to arrange funds and contributions."

Both men emphasized that Pakistan's government has only a trivial presence in the area. Survivors of drone attacks receive no compensation, and neither the military nor the government investigate consequences of the drone attacks.