Archive for September, 2014

’Syria Becomes the 7th Predominantly Muslim Country Bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate‘ by Glenn Greenwald [The Intercept]

Posted in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Libya, Nobel Peace Prize, Obama, Pakistan, Pentagon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE - United Arab Emirates, US imperialism, USA on September 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

23 Sept 2014

The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan.

That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama — after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq…

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/23/nobel-peace-prize-fact-day-syria-7th-country-bombed-obama/

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War Comes Home – The Excessive Militarization of American Policing [ACLU Report]

Posted in "War on Drugs" pretext, ACLU / American Civil Liberties Union, Pentagon, Pentagon, Police, Police brutality, Police State, US Government Cover-up, USA on September 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

June 2014

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

War Comes Home: The Excessive Militarization of American Policing

Across the country, heavily armed Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) teams are forcing their way intopeople’s homes in the middle of the night, often deploying explosive devices such as flashbang grenades to temporarily blind and deafen residents, simply to serve a search warrant on the suspicion that someone may be in possession of a small amount of drugs. Neighborhoods are not war zones, and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies. However, the ACLU encountered this type of story over and over when studying the militarization of state and local law enforcement agencies.

This investigation gave us data to corroborate a trend we have been noticing nationwide: American policing has become unnecessarily and dangerously militarized, in large part through federal programs that have armed state and local law enforcement agencies with the weapons and tactics of war, with almost no public discussion or oversight.1 Using these federal funds, state and local law enforcement agencies have amassed military arsenals purportedly to wage the failed War on Drugs, the battlegrounds of which have disproportionately been in communities of color. But these arsenals are by no means free of cost for communities. Instead, the use of hyper-aggressive tools and tactics results in tragedy for civilians and police officers, escalates the risk of needless violence, destroys property, and undermines individual liberties.

This report provides a snapshot of the realities of paramilitary policing, building on a body of existing work demonstrating that police militarization is a pervasive problem. Analyzing both existing secondary source materials and primary source data uncovered through the ACLU’s public records investigation, this report examines the use of SWAT teams by state and local law enforcement agencies and other aspects of militaristic policing.2 As explained in the Methodology section, our statistical analysis included more than 800 SWAT deployments conducted by 20 law enforcement agencies during the years 2011-2012.3 SWAT was created to deal with emergency situations such as hostage, barricade and active shooter scenarios. Over time, however, law enforcement agencies have moved away from this original purpose and are increasingly using these paramilitary squads to search people’s homes for drugs.

Aggressive enforcement of the War on Drugs has lost its public mandate, as 67 percent of Americans think the government should focus more on treatment than on policing and prosecuting drug users.4 This waning public support is warranted, as evidence continues to document how the War on Drugs has destroyed millions of lives, unfairly impacted communities of color, made drugs cheaper and more potent, caused countless deaths of innocent people caught up in drug war-related armed
conflict, and failed to eliminate drug dependence and addiction. The routine use of heavily armed SWAT teams to search people’s homes for drugs, therefore, means that law enforcement agencies across the country are using this hyper-aggressive form of domestic policing to fight a war that has waning public support and has harmed, much
more than helped, communities…

Full PDF report: https://www.aclu.org/sites/default/files/assets/jus14-warcomeshome-report-web-rel1.pdf

‘The Militarization of U.S. Police: Finally Dragged Into the Light by the Horrors of Ferguson’ by Glenn Greenwald [The Intercept]

Posted in Pentagon, Police, Police brutality, Police State, USA on September 24, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

14 Aug 2014

The intensive militarization of America’s police forces is a serious menace about which a small number of people have been loudly warning for years, with little attention or traction…

Excerpted; full article link: https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/08/14/militarization-u-s-police-dragged-light-horrors-ferguson/

Four Myths About Obama’s War on ISIS [FAIR Media Advisory]

Posted in 9/11, Afghanistan, Black propaganda, CIA, Corporate Media Critique, Genocide, Iraq, Obama, Pentagon, Psychological warfare, Qatar, Syria, Turkey, US "War on Terror", US imperialism, USA on September 13, 2014 by Zuo Shou / 左手

A reluctant warrior intervenes against a threat to the homeland–or so we’re told

Sept 12, 2014

With Barack Obama’s September 10 announcement of a military plan to launch strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), many pundits might be breathing a sigh of relief. The White House is finally taking the kind of military action they have been recommending for months.

But there are some serious questions that should be asked–about the threat posed by the Islamic State and about some of the assumptions guiding the debate.

–‘Striking the Homeland’

The idea that ISIS poses an immediate threat to the United States–as opposed to its non-Sunni Muslim neighbors–has been a consistent theme in the media, encouraging the public to support war…

-Obama, the Reluctant Warrior

One clear message from corporate media has been that Barack Obama is unusually reticent about using military force…[b]ut Obama’s actual record conflicts with this picture. In Iraq, Obama tried to keep more troops in Iraq than the Bush administration had agreed to in the withdrawal plan it had negotiated. Obama’s substantial achievement in Afghanistan was a massive escalation of that war…

–Congress Gets in the Way

The decision to consult Congress on the matter of starting a war–as required by the Constitution–is often treated as a weakness…

–Finally Intervening in Syria

Throughout the past year, hawkish critics of the White House and many pundits have insisted that the Obama administration should have intervened long ago…

…What seems abundantly clear is that the media’s coverage of the threat posed by the Islamic State–and the group’s savvy dissemination of appalling propaganda–have produced some shift in public opinion. As journalist Glenn Greenwald (Intercept, 9/8/14) remarked:

It’s as though ISIS and the US media and political class worked in perfect unison to achieve the same goal here when it comes to American public opinion: fully terrorize them.

[Edited by Zuo Shou]

Full article link: http://fair.org/take-action/media-advisories/four-myths-about-obamas-war-on-isis/