Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
a book by Jeremy Scahill
(our site's book review)
Scahill tells us that "the neoconservatives had long advocated a posture that, in the wake of the Cold War, the United States was the lone superpower and should exert its weight aggressively around the globe, redrawing maps and expanding empire. At the center of their vision was a radical increase in US military spending, plans for which were drawn up by Cheney and his aides when he was defense secretary in 1992. The Cheney draft Defense Planning Guidance [a document that was leaked to the NY Times back in 1992, explains in detail "the Neocon wet dream of world domination," as John Amato likes to say], the neocons asserted in PNAC’s founding document, 'provided a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests. . . . The neocons also envisioned further asserting US dominance over natural resources globally and directly confronting nation-states that stood in the way. Regime change in multiple countries would be actively contemplated, particularly in oil-rich Iraq.'" See also Wolfowitz Doctrine.
U.S. Black Ops
Scahill also tells us that "Cheney and Rumsfeld and their neoconservative deputies were busy plotting a global war. This war would extend to the home front with warrantless wiretapping, mass arrests of Arabs, Pakistanis and other Muslim immigrants and a prodigious rollback of the civil liberties of American citizens. To wage it, they would have to dismantle and manipulate a bureaucracy of oversight and legal review that had been built up over successive administrations. All this would open the door for an array of tactics that had been used before but could now be deployed on an unprecedented scale: covert action, black ops, secret prisons, snatch operations and what amounted to a blanket rebranding of assassinations as 'High Value Targeting.'" And drone-based assassinations.
The number of drone-based assassinations under Obama's leadership has shot through the roof
On September 14, 2001, the House and Senate gave President Bush unprecedented latitude to wage a global war, passing the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF). It stated that “the President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” The use of the term “persons” in the authorization was taken by the administration as a green light for assassinations. See The Secret History of the American Empire: Economic Hit Men, Jackals, and the Truth about Global Corruption.
The U.S. is a cruel, paranoid, authoritarian bully out to punish anyone complaining about our attacks
The author describes Cheney and Rumsfeld as cruel, paranoid, authoritarian bullies that seemed to want to find anyone on the planet that wasn't happy with the U.S.'s unprovoked interventions, assaults, and assassinations, and monitor them for hostile words or actions, after which our Special Operations Forces such as JSOC would kidnap them and get them to black sites for enhanced interrogation (torture). Cheney and Rumsfeld were often eager to keep military commanders and the CIA out of the loop, since then there'd be accountability issues and legal issues, and Cheney and Rumsfeld were trying to keep their ugly programs from prying eyes and away from the chain of command which tended to slow things down or try to stop things.
The very definition of how bureaucracy operates is CYA (cover your ass) by actually doing nothing to rock any boat
Officers in the command structure either had no idea what these rascals—Cheney and Rumsfeld—were up to or wished to avoid cooperating with such activities since, like all government workers, they were more interested in CYA (cover your ass) tactics that kept them clear of boat rockers (a nono) like Cheney and Rumsfeld, than they were in taking the chance of aiding them with their dubious and nefarious deeds that seemed likely to create blowback on participants sooner rather than later. They were aware that if the excrement hit the fan someday, those with the most power (i.e., Cheney and Rumsfeld) would likely skate but scapegoats would be found lower down the chain of command, since blame is a frequent flyer in all authoritarian systems, and as everyone who's ever had the dubious pleasure of serving in the military or any other bureaucracy knows: poop flows downhill.
As everyone who's ever had the dubious pleasure of serving in the military or any other bureaucracy knows: poop flows (or rolls) downhill
The more Scahill describes Cheney and Rumsfeld, the more it feels like we're dealing with a couple of paranoiacs whose elevators do go all the way to the top—to be sure—however, the problem is that their elevators GO OVER THE TOP! They overdo everything, like Joe McCarthy. McCarthyism is the practice of making accusations of subversion or treason without proper regard for evidence. Cheneyism is (our opinion), similarly, the practice of thinking that everyone who dislikes being mistreated by the USA is thereby out to get us, so we need to torture out of them how, when, where, and with whom do they plan to get us. We'll get them first! This is proactive, which is good in a war, but is it reasonable? or fair? or legal? or moral? or ethical? or smart? or just? or . . . we could go on.
"We have created one hell of a hammer, and for the rest of our generation this force will be continually searching for a nail"
“We have created one hell of a hammer,” a confidential source, obscured in shadows with his voice altered, tells Scahill during a Deep Throat–ish encounter. “And for the rest of our generation ... this force will be continually searching for a nail.” (Source: ‘Dirty Wars’ Review: A Skillful Piece of Polemical Moviemaking)
The War on Terror farce is actually a terrorist factory—for every terrorist we kill, 10 more (friends, relatives) take his place
Jeremy Scahill has been dubbed a “one-man truth squad”. The American journalist has spent more than a decade reporting on what he describes as the “so-called war on terror,” from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.
“We are encouraging a self-fulfilling prophecy,” Mr. Scahill said. “We are making more new enemies than we are killing actual terrorists. . . . At the end of the day, US policy makers and the general public must all confront [an] uncomfortable question: Are our own actions, carried out in the name of national security, making us less safe or more safe? Are they eliminating more enemies than they are inspiring? . . . The war on terror had become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The question all Americans must ask themselves lingers painfully: How does a war like this ever end?"
Predator drone operators
As Scahill and hundreds of other authors have recognized. If there's a terrorist and we mistreat or kill him and we create 10 angry friends and relatives who swear vengence and we find and mistreat these folks as well and we create 10 angry friends and relatives of each of these 10 folks, or 100 people who swear vengence, and we find and mistreat these folks as well and we end up with 1000, then 10,000 then 100,000, fairly soon and very logarithmically all the folks in the Middle East have turned into vengeful terrorists. Additionally, since targeting based on iffy intel frequently resulted in dozens of dead innocents, women and children, al Qaeda wasted no time using pictures of dead and mutilated women and children in their literature, social media, blogs and websites, and they would send photos to every media outlet in the world letting everyone see how U.S. was prosecuting a war on Islam. Moreover, the various murderous raids that JSOC and other U.S. forces pulled off in Yemen and Afghanistan were pushing thousands of Muslims towards the Taliban and al Qaeda. This is not how to win a war but logarithmically increasing the numbers of enemy forces is absolutely a great way to lose it or prolong it forever. Excerpts from an April 2006 report compiled from sixteen U.S. government intelligence agencies has strengthened the claim that engaging in Iraq has increased terrorism in the region.
Bush and Obama love playing God, swatting to death anyone they don't like the looks of and making the U.S. look like the Great Satan the Islamics see us as
And somewhere along this ugly self-fulfilling prophecy cycle we need to realize that something is very, very wrong with our strategy, as it is exactly demonstrating the truth of Islamic claims that the U.S. is at war with Islam, which is a wrong and evil activity for us to pursue. Why do we want another Crusade? Upon further investigation we find the Religious Right extremists in the U.S. are backing this Crusade and they are a potent political force in this country and politicians snub them at their peril. They even got Dubya thinking in Crusades terms as in a speech he called the war effort a Crusade. He even hired Blackwater as Crusading soldiers since their leadership also believes he wants to engage in a Crusade in the name of Christendom. See Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army.
Dubya the Crusader
Anyway, nut jobs aside, the worst way to attack the terrorist problem is to make it multiply, while the best way is to get the U.S. out of the Middle East where it has no business being. We would no longer be creating terrorists that hurt and kill Western infidels and we'd give the situation a chance to cool down. We need people here in the USA to protect the USA, not people to traverse the globe getting everyone on Earth furious with us so we keep getting more 9/11s.
9/11 terrorist attack
The problem, as hundreds if not thousands of people have observed, is that our government was foolish enough to let murderous neocons get control of our country and its military and its foreign policies. We've had several unnecessary wars that are little more than neocon wet dreams writ large. To see how these radical warmongers grabbed power, see Shadow Elite: How the World's New Power Brokers Undermine Democracy, Government, and the Free Market. Contractors deeply involved in intelligence, homeland security and defense policy are positioned to influence those policies to their liking on even the most sensitive government functions. The result is that our security can be jeopardized and our nation's sovereignty eroded. See National Security and Double Government, The Rise of the American Corporate Security State, and Shadow Government: Surveillance, Secret Wars, and a Global Security State in a Single-Superpower World.
Our government was foolish enough to let murderous neocons get control of our country and its military and its foreign policies—so now we're controlled by a Shadow Government
The Shadow Government neocons are pulling out all the stops seeing how fast they can push the world off a cliff—so are we going to let them, or grow a pair and STOP them!
"In the first 100 pages, Scahill traces the rise of the neocon movement back to Watergate, and then shows how the neocons, through US defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, worked to take covert operations out of the hands of the CIA and into the hands of the more secretive JSOC. Rumsfeld and former US vice-president Dick Cheney saw the CIA as too rule-bound and wanted a paramilitary unit – directly under their authority – in charge of covert operations." [And the Obama administration had embraced the neoconservative vision of the world as the battlefield, and the kill lists they built would encompass the globe.] (Source: Jeremy Scahill, Dirty Wars: The World as a Battlefield)
In areas where the U.S. is trying to overthrow governments, it’s good at doing that. What it’s not any good at is establishing a viable governmental structure. In other words, it is good at destroying but not at aiding, building, creating or empowering. Strangely enough, this also describes the terrorists they're fighting against who they are calling "evil." It makes one think. Another U.S. talent—unmatched in the modern world—is driving people to al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Shabab, and ISIS. And the Americans are really good at causing blowback, where they try to do something to prevent something but it blows up in their faces and they get the opposite of what they wanted. See Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.
Mausoleum of assassinated President Omar Torrijos of Panama—guess who killed him?
"The CIA had orchestrated the overthrow of populist governments in Latin America and the Middle East, backed death squads throughout Central America, facilitated the killing of rebel leader Patrice Lumumba in the Congo and propped up military juntas and dictatorships. The spate of assassinations had become so out of control that a Republican president, Gerald Ford, felt the need to issue Executive Order 11905 in 1976, explicitly banning the United States from carrying out 'political assassinations,'" says Scahill (Source: Political Books: Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield )
Constitutional lawyer and syndicated columnist Glenn Greenwald said, once he'd learned that a U.S. Predator Drone had used a Hellfire missile and had killed American citizen Anwar Awlaki, “Remember that there was great controversy that George Bush asserted the power simply to detain American citizens without due process or simply to eavesdrop on their conversation without warrant. Here you have something much more severe. Not eavesdropping on American citizens, not detaining them without due process, but killing them without due process. And yet many Democrats and progressives, because it’s President Obama doing it, have no problem with it and are even in favor of it.” Greenwald added: “To say that the President has the right to kill citizens without due process is really to take the Constitution and to tear it into as many little pieces as you can and then burn it and step on it.”
To say that the President has the right to kill citizens without due process is really to take the Constitution and to tear it into as many little pieces as you can and then burn it and step on it
This book, Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield, is an incredibly detailed account of the mischief that government and shadow government neocons, as well as Blackwater and the CIA, JSOC, Special Ops, and people such as Cheney, Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, David Addington, Stephen Cambone, Lewis“Scooter” Libby, John Bolton, Elliott Abrams, Dubya, Obama, George J. Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, and Cofer Black got into in pursuit of organizations like al Qaeda, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Shabab, and ISIS, and people like Osama bin Laden, Richard Reid, Shaykh Libi, Anwar Awlaki, Zardari, Zarqawi, and Zacarias Moussaoui and other terrorists. Which of the following people have created the most terrorism on the planet? (If you had to think to answer, the mainstream media has successfully blinded you to the illegal, immoral military actions this century by the U.S. and the fact that fanatic neocon liar Cheney was the cheerleader for much of it. "Few political figures in history have been so reviled," says The Atlantic, which calls him "a self-aggrandizing criminal . . . [who] passed on to the public false information about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, and became directly complicit in a regime of torture for which he should be in jail".)
Osama bin Laden
Neocon Warmonger Dick Cheney