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Why Gen. Petraeus’ Assassination Inc. Threatens Us All

Posted on Aug 24, 2010
U.S. Army / Staff Sgt. Bradley Lail

By Fred Branfman, AlterNet

This article was produced by AlterNet.

"[General McChrystal says that] for every innocent person you kill, you create 10 new enemies." "The Runaway General," Rolling Stone, 6/22/10

The truth that many Americans find hard to take is that that mass U.S. assassination on a scale unequaled in world history lies at the heart of America’s military strategy in the Muslim world, a policy both illegal and never seriously debated by Congress or the American people. Conducting assassination operations throughout the 1.3 billon-strong Muslim world will inevitably increase the murder of civilians and thus create exponentially more "enemies," as Gen. McChrystal suggests—posing a major long-term threat to U.S. national security. This mass assassination program, sold as defending Americans, is actually endangering us all. Those responsible for it, primarily General Petraeus, are recklessly seeking short-term tactical advantage while making an enormous long-term strategic error that could lead to countless American deaths in the years and decades to come. General Petraeus must be replaced, and the U.S. military’s policy of direct and mass assassination of Muslims ended.

The U.S. has conducted assassination programs in the Third World for decades, but the actual killing—though directed and financed by the C.I.A.—has been largely left to local paramilitary and police forces. This has now has changed dramatically.

What is unprecedented today is the vast number of Americans directly assassinating Muslims—through greatly expanded U.S. military Special Operations teams, U.S. drone strikes and private espionage networks run by former CIA assassins and torturers. Most significant is the expanding geographic scope of their killing. While CENTCOM Commander from October 2008 until July 2010, General Petraeus received secret and unprecedented permission to unilaterally engage in operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, former Russian Republics, Yemen, Somalia, Saudi Arabia, Kenya, the Horn of Africa, and wherever else he deems necessary.


Square, Site wide
Never before has a nation unleashed so many assassins in so many foreign nations around the world (9,000 Special Operations soldiers are based in Iraq and Afghanistan alone) as well as implemented a policy that can be best described as unprecedented, remote-control, large-scale "mechanized assassination." As the N.Y. Times noted in December 2009: "For the first time in history, a civilian intelligence agency is using robots to carry out a military mission, selecting people for killing in a country where the United States is not officially at war."

This combination of human and technological murder amounts to a worldwide “Assassination Inc.” that is unique in human affairs.

The increasing shift to direct U.S. assassination began on Petraeus’s watch in Iraq,where targeted assassination was considered by many within the military to be more important than the "surge." The killing of Al Qaeda leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was considered a major triumph that significantly reduced the level of violence. As Bob Woodward reported in The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008:

"Beginning in about May 2006, the U.S. military and the U.S. intelligence agencies launched a series of top secret operations that enabled them to locate, target and kill key individuals in extremist groups. A number of authoritative sources say these covert activities had a far-reaching effect on the violence and were very possibly the biggest factor in reducing it. Lieutenant General Stanley McChrystal, the commander of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) responsible for hunting al Qaeda in Iraq, (conducted) lightning-quick and sometimes concurrent operations When I later asked the president (Bush) about this, he offered a simple answer: ‘JSOC is awesome.’" [Emphasis added.]


Woodward’s finding that many "authoritative sources" believed assassination more important than the surge is buttressed by Petraeus’ appointment of McChrystal to lead U.S. forces in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s major qualification for the post was clearly his perceived expertise in assassination while heading JSOC from 2003-‘08 (where he also conducted extensive torture at "Camp Nama" at Baghdad International Airport, successfully excluding even the Red Cross).

Another key reason for the increased reliance on assassination is that Petraeus’ announced counterinsurgency strategy in Afghanistan obviously cannot work. It is absurd to believe that the corrupt warlords and cronies who make up the "Afghan government" can be transformed into the viable entity upon which his strategy publicly claims to depend—particularly within the next year which President Obama has set as a deadline before beginning to withdraw U.S. troops. Petraeus is instead largely relying on mass assassination to try and eliminate the Taliban, both within Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The centrality of assassination to U.S. war plans is revealed by the fact that it was at the heart of the Obama review of Afghan policy last fall. The dovish Biden position called for relying primarily on assassination, while the hawkish McChrystal stance embraced both assassination and more troops. No other options were seriously considered.

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By drbhelthi, December 20, 2010 at 6:18 am Link to this comment

No doubt the U.S. AXIS powers have spread, or attempted to spread, the secretive assassination-team philosophy to all military organisations of its “allies,” especially Germany.  Which philosophy may have been implemented during puppet Gen. Petraeus´s watch, but which did NOT originate from him. 

What with the death of a German soldier in Afghanistan, a couple days ago, which sparked a
special visit by German Chancellor Mrs. Dr. Merkel, one wonders.  Was this the first suicide of a German soldier engaged in support of the NAZI-Bush family LIE?  And who wanted out?  Or was the incident a practice-session of CIA-types within the German army? 

When will accurate detail “leak” out ?

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By LocalHero, September 4, 2010 at 8:49 pm Link to this comment

Absolutely disgusting. No other way to describe it (to sane people anyway).

Guess that leaves out Atilla.

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By Sodium-Na, August 27, 2010 at 3:22 pm Link to this comment

Prince Waleed ibn Talal is considered one of the richest persons in the world. He accumulated his wealth through investment,investment,investment and more investments in countries,companies and corporations,regardless of policies,politics and ideologies. His biggest investment,however,is in New York city because he knows that if Wall Street farts,the rest of the world’s stock markets get very bad diarrhieas.

Donating $300,000 to the Islamic cultural center which is being built two city blocks from ground zero;and another $305,000 to the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow seems to me as a typical Saudi Royal family’s policy to try to please everyone,especially imams,who might bring embarrassment to the family-in the case at hand to Prince Al-Wleed. The donations will,most likely,keep the mouths of the imams on every Friday congregational prayers muted against his investment in FOX NEWS or rather FIXED NEWS which is the true exponent in bad-mouthing Islam and Muslims in its daily propaganda. Rupert Murdech,the chief exacutive of Fixed News knows that Al-Waleed is a cool invester who is willing to invest with the devils in hell to pile wealth over wealth. Therefore,why should he instruct his loud crowd to stop bad-mouthing Islam and Muslims!! No need at all.

Al-Waleed is extremely intelligent man. I saw an interview of him conducted by Charlie Rose of NP TV. Charlie had to travel to Paris,France to get the interview with the prince. Al-Waleed is no different from any bigger than life American invester who uses the capitalistic system very effeciently to reap huge profits. It is simply as that. Nothing more and nothing less: huge Profits,profits,profits,profits and more profits.

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By Atilla, August 26, 2010 at 7:31 pm Link to this comment

“Wrongheaded, but typical thinking of a self proclaimed “patriot”

Glider…In just what branch of the military did you serve?

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By firefly, August 26, 2010 at 3:24 pm Link to this comment

Atilla………… seems to be eager to believe the
propaganda that the MIC keeps perpetuating in order
to extend its long and violent arm across the globe.
“Make sure that the American people are well and
truly afraid, make sure that they believe that there
is a persistent and relentless threat that can only
be addressed by military means (especially attacking
those countries with natural resources which we can
tell the American people will help a) cover the costs
of war and b) help the people of said country.”

Of course the Pentagon is going to say that Wikileaks
exposure of CIA documents (mostly out of date now)
will endanger Americans. What else could it say?
Atilla, don’t be so gullible. Study how leaders
throughout the ages have won support for their
military adventures. Making the population believe
that there is a great and terrifying threat ‘out
there’, is the oldest trick in the book. America is
the most powerful and dangerous nation on earth. It
has the means (and often the desire) to cause the
greatest destruction.

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By gerard, August 26, 2010 at 12:18 pm Link to this comment

Look the Waleed guy up in Wikipedia and even if only half of it is true, you’ll find out more than you ever wanted to know.

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By rico, suave, August 26, 2010 at 9:10 am Link to this comment


Wait a minute. Many progressives (correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe you are one) complain that big media is in the pockets of the power elites, then you complain that Fox News is wandering off-script to badmouth the mosque. Do you think it’s possible that Fox News actually might have a voice independent of its owners? Why does al-Waleed countenance the continued employment of Glenn Beck?

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By Peetawonkus, August 26, 2010 at 8:28 am Link to this comment

According to a report from Yahoo!News, the second largest shareholder, the parent company of Fox News, Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal in News Corp, has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to projects by Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is planning to build a Muslim community center and mosque near Ground Zero in Manhattan. According to the report the Saudi Prince has directly funded the Imam’s projects to the tune of more than $300,000.” The Saudi Prince’s personal charity, the Kingdom Foundation, donated $305,000 to Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, a project sponsored by two of Rauf’s initiatives, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which is building the Manhattan mosque. It seems ironic that Faux News’ second-largest shareholder, after Rupert Murdoch, has financial links to the “Ground Zero mosque” while the Faux News Performers talking heads attempt to link the mosque to radical Islamism.

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By Potash, August 26, 2010 at 6:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The military-industrial complex cannot be spending hundreds of billions of dollars developing mechanized killing machines and not use them.  To justify killing they must have enemies, and if none are readily available what better strategy then to create them?  Judge from the consequences—creating enemies cannot be viewed as mistake by the likes of Petraeus and Clarridge. They may have to suffer short term grief but will enjoy long run benefits.

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By richard, August 26, 2010 at 5:25 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Rico, suave

“Let’s make your “they” the 9/11 attackers and “these people” the WTC victims. Now THAT’S irony.”
Sure, you can turn innocent Americans who want to build a cultural center into terrorists with a few strokes of the keyboard. But that doesn’t make them terrorists.
On the other hand it may make you one.
That, by the way, is the quote that supports Diamonds statement.
Typical right-winger. You don’t have to worry about truth. You can deny something that is right there foreveryone to see. “Who you gonna believe, me or your lying eyes”.
Screw you.

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By rico, suave, August 25, 2010 at 8:38 pm Link to this comment


“And now Rico is accusing the people who want to build this cultural centre and mosque in lower Manhattan of being involved in 9/11.”

Show me the quote from me that supports that statement.

Like I have been saying over and over, the broad brush “all or nothing”, “everyone or no one” generalizations are pointless and childish.

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By Ralph Kramden, August 25, 2010 at 7:27 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This is the most chilling portrait of a fascist I have ever seen. This man is evil to the core, Mr. Duanne Clarridge you prove that you got nothing on Hitler or Goering. May there be no hell or you will burn in the hottest flames. May the guillotine of the righteous, the exploited, the poor, not get you before you die because you deserve nothing but hell. No wonder, when I travel the world, they hate me not for what I am but where I come from. I am willing to wager that this beast, this monster sleeps peacefully every night. He is a psychopath and should be tried for war crimes; heinous crimes and multiple crimes. We in the USA harbor these monsters and they are at our hiring: beck and call. He is not a beast, he is a monster: animals are not as barbaric as this type of depraved human. He is also a liar: Pinochet didn’t murder thousands and only 200 died in El Salvador. Yeah, and the Nazis only killed 300 Jews, Gypsies and Russians. In any case, 200 murders are not enough to convict this psychopath? It’s reassuring to have such a Christian on our side. Gott mit uns, huh Mr. Clarridge? I’ll tell you, we beat the fascists once and will beat them again. You are a fascist pig. You are entitled to your opinions but you are not allowed to manufacture your facts Mr. Mephistopheles. You are evil.

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By glider, August 25, 2010 at 7:16 pm Link to this comment


“wikileaks ... WILL lead to the deaths of our soldiers and civilians who are working with us. seem to have more concern for our enemies than our military people”

Wrongheaded, but typical thinking of a self proclaimed “patriot”.  The insanity of these “wars” does not rest with the war protesters.  We have a run away MIC Machine that has more than fulfilled Eisenhower’s warning to the our population as he stepped away from his presidency.  It exists to grow itself and make $, and their is no mechanism to reign it in short of our bankruptcy.  None of their or your agenda has anything to do with concern for our soldiers, who are pawns in their game.

Concerned for our military people and genuine patriotism would be best expressed by ending our military adventurism, downsizing the military 75% over the next 5 years, and retraining these personnel to become productive members of a new American economy focused on actual productivity rather than parasitical war profiteering on the backs of the captive US taxpayer.

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By ofersince72, August 25, 2010 at 5:40 pm Link to this comment

Calling the United States’ adventures in Iraq and
Afganistan wars,  is as big an abuse of the English
language as calling the BP oil disaster in the Gulf
A spill.

  They are massacres, nothing less, exactly the same
scenario as was done to the American Native Indian.
The most powerful nation in the world, invading, murdering
then occupying and stealing.

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By PatrickHenry, August 25, 2010 at 5:11 pm Link to this comment


I have to agree with Perer K on this one.  Our military screwed up and they classified it to keep it from the American people, not the ‘enemy’ as you call them.

I call them victims.

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By felicity, August 25, 2010 at 4:36 pm Link to this comment

Just thought of something.  Remember the young guy
from Marin County CA who practically walked into
binLaden’s camp and stayed with him for a time?  I
always wondered, given that we’ve been assassinating
people we don’t like for years (like the president of
Chile) why a CIA operative, whatever, didn’t
infiltrate binLaden’s camp and off him.

I also remember when Bush announced that binLaden was
no longer on the list of America’s most wanted - no
reason given - just off the list.  Get the feeling
that the American people really don’t have a clue
about what’s REALLY going on.

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By diamond, August 25, 2010 at 3:56 pm Link to this comment

Well named Atilla. The problem with YOUR whining is that America has killed 1.3 million Iraqis (these figures were in the medical journal ‘The Lancet’ and were the same as figures collected by Johns Hopkins University) and no one knows how many men, women and children have been slaughtered in Afghanistan because they ‘don’t keep those figures’. We’re talking about millions killed, millions more wounded and maimed for life and still more millions made refugees. On the body count America is so far ahead of Muslims as killers that they leave any Muslim organization in their wake.

And now Rico is accusing the people who want to build this cultural centre and mosque in lower Manhattan of being involved in 9/11. Does he need any proof? Of course not. This is along the lines of ‘two legs bad, four legs good’ and is not based on evidence or rational analysis but purely on visceral bigotry and hatred of a religious and ethnic group. This is a pathetic and ridiculous claim made to cover up his bigotry. It’s like saying that every Irish Catholic could be arrested or stripped of their human rights for anything the IRA had done. But in the case of 9/11 it’s worse than that, because there is no proof, none whatsoever, that hasn’t been waterboarded out of people the Americans bought in Afghanistan or kidnapped from locations all over the world, that the people they claim hijacked planes and flew them into the World Trade Centre had anything to do with it. The 9/11 attacks are not listed on the FBI website on Osama bin Laden’s rap sheet and Robert Muller, head of the FBI stated openly that there is no evidence the men named as hijackers had any involvement in the 9/11 attacks - but their names are still on the FBI website even though it’s common knowledge that seven of those listed are still alive. In Rico’s world none of that matters, because to him it’s a crime simply to be a Muslim. Evidence is not required because he already ‘knows’ the truth and he can’t be wrong because he thinks he’s infallible. Like the white racists in the Tea Party and crazed bigots like Pamela Geller he’s too clever to need reason and actual proof of wrongdoing. That belongs to the era before the neo cons decided that ‘the truth is whatever we say it is.’ He and his kind have replaced ‘greed is good’ with ‘hate is good and stupidity and hysterical religious persecution are even better.’

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By ofersince72, August 25, 2010 at 3:49 pm Link to this comment

“nationalism&patriotism;, the last desperate acts of
  a scamp”

someone said that

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By Atilla, August 25, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

Peter Knopfler, if you are an American citizen you are one sorry s o b. The things that wikileaks posted WILL lead to the deaths of our soldiers and civilians who are working with us. I guess that makes no difference to you, as you seem to have more concern for our enemies than our military people. I hope they take that little weasel Pvt. Manning out and shoot his traitorous ass. I would be glad to do it myself. And since when did killing the enemy become assassination? Just another piece of psychobabble from the appeasers.

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By Peter Knopfler, August 25, 2010 at 2:28 pm Link to this comment

Fantastic article it is right in line
and verifies WIKILEAKS.
No wonder the General has back problems with all those medals hanging on one side of his chest.Everyone of those medals is a death reminder,and, in Hitting his Head on the desk in front of the Senate, jarred his memory, and his neo-cortex! Great Job Fred, We all need to help WIKILEAKS.

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By gerard, August 25, 2010 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

Interesting questions:  “.1… if we want to expand our “empire” into Iraq, why are we leaving? 2…And why has the US allowed Iraq to become the sole arbiter of who gets to develops its oil resources?”
  Possible answers: 1.. Because we are bankrupt and can’t maintain all the obligations we have accrued?
Or because of public pressure? Or because we have helped to make Iraq such a mess that we don’t know what else to do?  2… Who in the world else but Iraq should be the “sole arbiter of its resources?  (Furthermore, I’m not so sure that they are the “sole arbiter” even now.  The last I heard it was still a contentious issue.)

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By glider, August 25, 2010 at 1:10 pm Link to this comment

This great article brings home how much covert assassination has come to dominate American war policy. Over a decade ago I recall MSM entertainment putting forth the “issue” of whether the USA could legally conduct political assassinations and concluded we could not, but reality went on to do its own thing.  I am ambivalent about this change in the character of how we conduct our wars.  On the one hand it diminishes the heavy hand that gave us Dresdens, Nagasakis, and bombing of Vietnamese civilians.  On the other hand we are entering an era in which robotic and human sniper killing machines are deployed by unchecked MIC “intelligence”, and a “big brother” force governing world affairs is more palpable than ever. I can not help but be suspicious that the US military now only wants to “eliminate” nuclear weapons after they serve as a deterrent to their overpowering superiority in the coming computerized robotic military machine paradigm.

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By Dale Headley, August 25, 2010 at 1:04 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

America is the most warmongering nation on Earth - perhaps in the history
of the Earth.  So don’t expect Americans in flag-brandishing pick-up trucks to
get all upset over the assassination of people different from us, such as Koreans, Vietnamese, Grenadans, Panamanians, Nicaraguans, Iraqis, or
Afghans, none of whom invaded the U.S., or ever intended to.  They’re all
inhabitants of countries we invaded in the last 50 years unnecessarily.  Why? 
Because we love war!  Always have!  And because they have resources we
covet.  And coming soon: Iranians, Cubans, Venezuelans, Yemenis, Palestinians,
etc.  George Bush, speaking for many Americans, made it very clear:  there is
America - exceptional America - then there is the rest of the world, which must
choose to either bow down to America or be destroyed.  Eventually, expect
Mexicans and Canadians to be on that list.   
    American taxpayers joyously support building a military larger than all the
others on Earth combined and cynically labeling it “defense.”  Defense against
whom?  No country even comes close to threatening us, materially or
rhetorically.  But our nearly 800 unwelcome military bases around the world
threaten many.  So what?  How else can Americans rule the world as God wishes
(It must be in the Bible somewhere)?  Assassination?  Pooh!

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By gerard, August 25, 2010 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

Dazy Democracy: (stretched out on the sofa with a wet towel over her head) “Oh, dear!  I wonder what is wrong with me?  I’ve got this splitting headache and my stomach is upset!  I think I’m going to vomit.

Adolf Fascism:  (getting ready to take over and help her get well) “Don’t worry, honey.  I’ll take care of you.  You’ve had a bad day, what with all those Muslims.  No wonder you don’t feel good.  But leave it to me.  I’ll take care of them, you just wait! No-good bastards!  Upsettng my baby girl!

DD:  “Now Addie.  Don’t do anything drastic!  I’ll feel better in a few days,  It’s probably just something I ate.  Eggs, maybe.  Or one of those Chinese sushi at Mariln’s party.  God, my head hurts!  Hand me another of those Advils, will you.”

AF:  Sure.  Here. 
              TAKE TWO

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By felicity, August 25, 2010 at 11:51 am Link to this comment

rico - Your argument might make sense except that
during the Iran Iraq War (1980-1988) we sold arms to
Iran - remember the Iran/Contra affair in 1986? So
maybe we sold them faulty arms?  Or we sold them less
arms than we sold to Saddam?  Or? 

I recommend a really interesting book by (Republican)
Kevin Phillips, “American Dynasty - Aristocracy,
Fortune, and the Politics of Deceit in the House of
Bush.”  One critic said this of the book, “A sweeping
historical chronicle…Few can match Phillips for the
muscular mix of history, demography, analysis, and
outrage that he brings to his work.”

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By rico, suave, August 25, 2010 at 11:24 am Link to this comment


Bush’s support for Iraq was not an empire building move. It was to counter the Iranians, who were far more dangerous to US interests than Iraq at the time, and still are. The calculus of power politics, pure and simple.

Besides, if we want to expand our “empire” into Iraq, why are we leaving? And why has the US allowed Iraq to become the sole arbiter of who gets to develope its oil resources?

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By felicity, August 25, 2010 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Does anyone remember the infamous Iraqgate?  In June
of 1992 Ted Koppel said, “It is becoming ultimately
clear that George Bush (Sr) operating behind the
scene through the ‘80’s initiated and supported much
of the financing, intelligence and military help that
built Saddam’s Iraq into the aggressive power that
the US ultimately had to destroy (Gulf War)”

Creating enemies is beside the point.  Empire
building is the point.

We need only look at today’s America to realize that
John Adams, way back when, warned that the lure and
pursuit of empire corrodes republics. He referred to
ancient Rome as an example of a once great republic
which in its pursuit of empire ended up being ruled
by an emperor, Julius Caesar, and eventual collapse.

What began as a republic was remolded by expansion,
loss of virtue, luxury, concentration of wealth,
extended terms of office and finally a monarchy. Seem
familiar?  We’re well on our way to follow ancient
Rome into the grave where empire building inevitably
leads once great nations.

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By rico, suave, August 25, 2010 at 10:32 am Link to this comment



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By REDHORSE, August 25, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

Though a few voices remain standing, there is no real anti-war movement. True, a majority of Americans are against the war, but for economic, not moral reasons. In Amertica money trumps morality every time. Assasination, murder and intrique is as much a part of American Imperialism as it was a part of Imperial Rome. And now, American Citizens are asking themselves the same question the Romans ask’d: When did our Republic disappear? How could our Senate have betrayed the Ideals of Freedom upon which our Nation was founded?

  Our best religious and political values have been corroded and distorted by criminal capital. We are a profligate, morally, and soon to be financially, bankrupt America. Our best thinkers and writers have been telling us this was coming for years. “We the people—” are not the first to have their blood chilled by the sneer of tyranny. In fact, we were born fighting it, and it’s back again. Criminal narcissistic psychopathic megalomania. It’s what historians call hubris. It appears on the stone visage of the Caesars and is apparent in the smug sneer of Cheney, Bush, Rummy and any “gold sacks” thug you wish to look at. We are easily willing to accept that Hitler and Stalin were paranoid killers, but American leadership? The German and Russian peoples didn’t want to believe it either. Then the “black mariahs” began to arrive.  Suspicious paranoid murder. That’s what assasination is. Obama has already approved warrentless execution of suspect Americans. In the end, the insane can rationalize anything, for personal profit and power.

    As a barometer, the fact that this forum exists, and I can openly say these things and remain free and alive, indicates the vast power “We the people—-” still hold. POWER!! Americans have earned it in lives and blood. Please don’t take its’ theft lightly.

    War has its own weight and momemtum and is not stopped easily. It has its’ own life and reasons for the things it does. The psychology of its’ machinery serves expedience and it spends human life for its’ own purposes. It is a brutal reality and rarely allows moral choice. President and General, Dwight David Eisenhower warned us clearly about the military/industrial complex and for profit perpetual war. This Imperial Frankencreature is about to clash with the chaos of an exponential world population explosion, GCC and the collapse of natural resources and food and water supplies world wide. Like poor Kurtz in Apocalypse Now you too will experience “the horror-the horror-the horror”.


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By berniem, August 25, 2010 at 10:26 am Link to this comment

As the military continues to gain power at the expense of civilian control, the closer we come to becoming a bona fide fascist state rather than an oligarchy/corpoatocracy. The only difference between us and the Arab world is that their atrocities are committed in the name of Allah while ours are for the greater glory of Moolah!

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By gerard, August 25, 2010 at 10:11 am Link to this comment

Some people are hopeless.

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By Atilla, August 25, 2010 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Thanks Rico for providing the only sensible posts on this topic so far. All of the folks who a whining here about how terrible the U. S. is for killing people who want to kill us would be singing a different tune if it were their heads about to come off. War is for killing people and breaking things. Our present problems is we haven’t done enough of either.

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By rico, suave, August 25, 2010 at 6:30 am Link to this comment


You’re right about irony, particularly your quote:
“They have no reason to hound and persecute these people except that they have a different religion. These people are not criminals, or terrorists and have attacked no one. What’s happening is what’s known as collective punishment and it is a crime under international law.”

Let’s make your “they” the 9/11 attackers and “these people” the WTC victims. Now THAT’S irony.

And now you’re also defending the concept of “private property”! Never thought I’d see the day!

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By mstntslp, August 25, 2010 at 6:03 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Thank you Redhorse:  “Do you doubt the ‘assassination chicken’ will come home to roost?”  No not at all.  That’s why we must fight constitution/democracy/freedom hating monsters like Petraeus now.

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By ofersince72, August 24, 2010 at 11:10 pm Link to this comment

Diamond,  Rico can’t it.  But he has a great sense

of humor.

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By diamond, August 24, 2010 at 10:51 pm Link to this comment

God, rico, the irony. ‘There are bad people in this world who want to kill you for no other reason than that you’re different?’ Do you not grasp that that’s exactly what’s wrong with the people who are hounding these Muslims and refusing to them let build a cultural centre and mosque on private property in lower Manhattan in New York? They have no reason to hound and persecute these people except that they have a different religion. These people are not criminals, or terrorists and have attacked no one. What’s happening is what’s known as collective punishment and it is a crime under international law. I don’t know how many times Americans are going to have to re-invent the wheel on freedom of religion and free speech and rejection of racist attitudes but at the moment it doesn’t look promising for any of these things that Americans have fought for and some have died for in the past two hundred years. The beacon of democracy is looking very dim these days and your ignorant throw away lines don’t throw any light whatsoever.

The fact is that any American is more likely to be killed by another American (and probably someone they know or are related to) than to ever be killed by a Muslim whether foreign or American born. For Americans in Afghanistan that’s not the case but when you invade someone’s country the inhabitants tend to get very pissed off. You think this is unreasonable but no reasonable person would think it was.

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By MeHere, August 24, 2010 at 10:16 pm Link to this comment

And to think that at election time so many used to say: “Please… anything but Bush and Cheney.”

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By ofersince72, August 24, 2010 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

What does Joe Lieberman remind you of????

It just shows to go you…....

all those people in New England ain’t so politically
bright after all.

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By ofersince72, August 24, 2010 at 9:03 pm Link to this comment

Did anyone else have to sing this in boot camp…

This is my piece and
This is my gun,
One is for fighting and
The other for fun
Your left, your left, your left, right, left.

It is all the ones that are over fighting
that don’t know the difference.

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By rico, suave, August 24, 2010 at 8:16 pm Link to this comment

That’s a fine lecture for the ethics and morality classroom gerard, but in the real world there are bad people who want to kill you for no other reason than that you are different from them. And sometimes, damnit, you just have to defend yourself. And if you handed them your post on a notecard as a bargaining chip for your life, they’d laugh in your face and slit your throat.

As for, “the person firing the weapon runs no risk whatever”- that logic applies equally to a cubicle in Texas and a mud hut overlooking a roadway.

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By gerard, August 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

Number 1:  Make peace with thine adversary quickly.
Number 2.  Thou shalt not kill.
Number 3.  Thou shalt not steal.
Number 4.  Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Numbers 5,6,7,8,9,10 for starters, followed by a rather long list of broken treaties as evidence of failure.
  Rico entirely misses the point about IED, probably unconsciously.  Uncnsciousness is big with warriors, particularly droners, ho-hum.
Note: The drone guy is thousands of miles away.

Turn the other cheek.  Whoever asks you to walk with him one mile, walk with him two.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. 

War is what fools do when they want to do something they know they shouldn’t. 

Us - Them.  It’s all the same.  Just cruel, mean, stupid human beings who think they are right and others are wrong.  When called upon to think about a problem, they reach for their concealed weapons, and low and behold!  They find the same old answer—kill, kill, kill! 

Whenever there get to be more cruel, mean, stupid, impulsive human beings than wise, generous, honest, sane human beings, we are all toast.

  Your friend, Last Samurai Standing

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By eir, August 24, 2010 at 5:35 pm Link to this comment

Wellllll, how do we have a War Against Terrorism Economy without any enemies?

Do you think we can just sit back and make enemies?  No, it takes hard work! 

Where you and I might see needless death, the US War Economy and all those who depend on it just see

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By ofersince72, August 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm Link to this comment

If one votes for the “herd thinners”,  I would imagine
that it is the same as having your finger on the trigger.

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By PatrickHenry, August 24, 2010 at 5:03 pm Link to this comment

Gen. Petraeus’s herd thinning views are his own and in no way reflect the opinions of the citizens of the United States.

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By ofersince72, August 24, 2010 at 4:41 pm Link to this comment

A lie remains a lie,

  Such is U.S. and World history as taught.

We have been killing like this for economic expansion
since July 4, 1776.  This is who we are.
Until this is accepted and denounced, we will always have
the same end game.

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By rico, suave, August 24, 2010 at 4:25 pm Link to this comment


By the way. Isn’t using an IED killing from a distance? Where do you think the people who flip the switch are sitting? ON TOP OF THE FUCKING BOMB??? No. They’re on a hilltop a mile away, sipping tea, sitting next to their wives and children, looking through binoculars and waiting to press the last key on their cellphone- Kaboom. How does that differ from a drone pilot, sitting in a cubicle, sipping coffee?

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By rico, suave, August 24, 2010 at 4:15 pm Link to this comment


I admire your samurai ethos. Of course, we stopped killing each other with our bare hands thousands of years ago. When the Greeks catapulted “Greek fire” at Persian ships, I’m sure the Persians wanted to sue them for war crimes. I’m sure French commentators in the fifteenth century were as aghast at the British use of the longbow: “How unfair, how “disproportionate” to kill at such a distance!” Then the crossbow, the gun, the cannon,... the atom bomb,...the drone, the assassin.

How would you propose we kill our enemies?

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By gerard, August 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

Worse does not make bad, good—at least not in my book.  In my book, sneak attack is bad no matter who does it.  Fighting IEDs with cluster bombs is bad.
Killing people from a distance who can’t kill you from a distance is called “unfair advantage” or “disproportionate”.  Drones are particularly cowardly because the person firing the weapon runs no risk whatever.  When I was a kid we used to call such people “bullies.”
  I am amazed that technique has completely overwhelmed the idea of honor and we do what we do simply because we can do it, not whether we should do it. In other contexts that’s called smart-ass arrogance.

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By bozhidar balkas, vancouver, August 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I am only surprised that US hadn’t yet used chemical, bilogical, and nuclear weapons. I am not surprised that US warlords are killing also civilians.

Branfman also only assumes that warlords and masters of domestics and aliens do not know that more civilians get killed, the more aliens get mad and thus retaliate more often.

So what’s to losing more of the mercenairies? US wants land.
So losing a few hired aliens and own soldier, is the price warlords are more than willing to pay.

So killing civilians on purpose [denying it tho] may just create an exodous like in iraq; which, of course, of necessity, must be part of the telic goal: land.
How else to obtain more chunks of land unless the land is cleared of people; oops, they leave their homes voluntarily like palestinians have in ‘48 and ‘67. More could be said. tnx

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By REDHORSE, August 24, 2010 at 3:18 pm Link to this comment

War and oil/gas profit is all that remains of the American Economy. It’s $$$$$, control of natural resources and cheap labor—nothing else.

    Notice F.Branfmans comparison to the Gestapo and Secret Police? Do you doubt the “assasination chicken” will come home to roost? Do you think the shadowboys don’t already have a list of Americans? The drag queen Hoover did. Tricky Dicky did. Ronnie RayGun too. How about Vince Foster? Didn’t a few folks die during White Water? Corporate revolving door politics ensures it. Monsanto already employs “private security” to help intimidate and finance the destruction of private American Farmers. What do you think their background is?  Do you believe there’s no American blood on their hands?  Check out the Corporate assasination of American Union organizers and open massacre of workers. Ask Native Americans if the Fed will disappear you?

    They own it, and in their minds, by extension, they own you. Orwell explained the purpose of “perpetual war” long ago. To question fascist policy is “unpatriotic” and dangerous. How large is the prison/industrial, private security complex in America? How many are behind bars for victimless crimes? Why can’t you have:CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM, HEALTH CARE, SANE DRUG LAW, IMMIGRATION LAW ENFORCEMENT, FINANCIAL REFORM, REPEAL OF THE PATRIOT ACT, SANE TAX LAW.


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By hsalzberg9, August 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Error on page 2: Change “FUTURE” CIA Director William Colby to: FORMER CIA
Director Colby. Otherwise, this a great mega think piece compelling us to question
what the parameters of a rational counter terrorism policy would be to replace the
existing counterinsurgency plus stupid counter-terrorism debacle discussed here.

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By Hammond Eggs, August 24, 2010 at 2:22 pm Link to this comment

Never before has a nation unleashed so many assassins in so many foreign nations around the world (9,000 Special Operations soldiers are based in Iraq and Afghanistan alone)

This will eventually blow up in our faces and, in the end, we, the beer swilling Crusaders, will be run out of the Middle East.

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By rico, suave, August 24, 2010 at 2:16 pm Link to this comment

Of course, we could forget about using drones and hit teams to limit the number of deaths by simply going back to the old WWII method of blanket bombing the whole fucking town and hoping we get the guys we’re after. Who cares about the increase in innocent victims, at least we’ll be playing by the same rules as the bad guys and not using our “technocratic war toys” to our advantage.

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By noxxon, August 24, 2010 at 1:58 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

1)  Petraeus took an oath to uphold the American constitution.  Fire him.  Put him on trial.

2)  The Underwear & Times Sq. “Bombers” were such obvious frauds, why doesn’t Branfman see that?

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By gerard, August 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm Link to this comment

All the time we are “droning away”, happy with our technocratic war toys and commissioning more, we are deserting human decency and sinking to a level lower than those we pursue.
  Our fate is now largely in the hands of our own brand of merciless war-lords —the twin brothers of the worst of the Taliban and Al Qaeda.
  We call our assassins “defense contractors.” We call AQ and the Big T, “terrorists.”
  Who’s kidding whom—and for how long?

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