Thursday, September 22, 2011

Seychelles Will Become A Target If James Michel Brings The War To Our Shores And Get Jean-Paul Adam To Lie On State Media!!

‘A Constellation of Secret Drone Bases’ and the American License to Kill

The Obama administration is assembling a constellation of secret drone bases for counter terrorism operations in the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula as part of a newly aggressive campaign to attack al-Qaeda affiliates in Somalia and Yemen, U.S. officials said.

One of the installations is being established in Ethi­o­pia, a U.S. ally in the fight against al-Shabab, the Somali militant group that controls much of that country. Another base is in the Seychelles, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, where a small fleet of “hunter-killer” drones resumed operations this month after an experimental mission demonstrated that the unmanned aircraft could effectively patrol Somalia from there.

The U.S. military also has flown drones over Somalia and Yemen from bases in Djibouti, a tiny African nation at the junction of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. In addition, the CIA is building a secret airstrip in the Arabian Peninsula so it can deploy armed drones over Yemen.

I wrote today about the legal split, which apparently is little more than a quiet and slight variance of opinion, in the Obama administration over the use of lethal force in Yemen and Somalia, namely by drone strikes, cruise missiles, or commando raids. Drones are obviously the favored tactic of the three, given the Pentagon’s construction of bases in the region specifically for the purpose of launching killer drone strikes. There is no disagreement in the Obama administration or the Pentagon about the legality of these tactics in Afghanistan and Pakistan. But some feeble questions are arising over their use in Yemen and Somalia because (1) we’re not considered to be at war in these countries and (2) targeting low-level foot soldiers in charge of merely parochial local concerns is hard to justify as self-defense. As I explained in the piece, the legal justification shouldn’t be restrictively abstract, but should allow the facts about how these tactics play out inform the legal understandings.

The effects of that sort of policy have been borne out in Afghanistan and Pakistan particularly. Commando raids of suspected terrorist homes, for example, occur at least 12-20 times per night in Afghanistan alone (those executed in Pakistan are kept secret). As senior special operations commanders have admitted, these raids target the wrong people 50 percent of the time, often end in civilian deaths, and result in thousands of detentions per year, many of whom are non-combatants. A recent study suggests these raids may create more enemies than they eliminate.

The drone program in Pakistan, which has also operated on the more permissive interpretation of the legal use of force now being considered for Yemen and Somalia, has produced similar results. Sometimes managing to kill the high-level operatives intended, estimates for civilians killed go as high as one militant for every 10 or 15 civilians, while over 160 children have been murdered by the strikes.

Expanding the Executive branch’s legal authority to kill anyone it deems an enemy anywhere in the world has the potential also to extend this grant to those who simply give rhetorical support to terrorist groups, even if that person is a US citizen. Furthermore, like the commando raids, drone programs have the potential to create more enemies than it eliminates, as was admitted by former Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair.

These shouldn’t merely inform the legal understanding of these tactics, but also the strategic and the moral. How can these operations be justified as keeping Americans safe if they merely engender resentment, create more enemies, and perhaps more often than not miss the target? In Anatol Leiven’s Pakistan: A Hard Country, some of which I talked about here and here, this is also well documented. He writes that drone attacks “have not noticeably impaired the Afghan Taleban’s ability to go on fighting effectively, while causing outrage among Pakistanis – especially because of the very large numbers of women and children who have also been killed by the attacks.” He interviewed a former member of the radical Jamaat Islami, Abdul Rashid Ghazi, describing him as “[seeming] to have been radicalized by his father’s murder, but even more by the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq after 9/11.” “You have to understand, though,” Ghazi said, “that the people who are doing this [joining the insurgency, orchestrating attacks] are doing it from frustration and revenge.”

Even if one buys into the poisoned Washington mindset that informs their militaristic defense strategy, we’re merely chasing our tails here. The Express Tribune, citing the Bureau of Investigative Journalism report on Af-Pak civilians killed in drone strikes that I linked to above:

On February 14 2009, the eight-year-old son of Maezol Khan reportedly lost his life. More than 25 alleged militants were killed in a massive strike on a nearby house. But flying shrapnel killed the young boy as he slept next door. His grandfather later asked: “How can the US invade our homes while we are sleeping, and target our children?”

But one 2009 incident in which children died gives a chilling insight into the tactics of those the CIA are hunting. On August 11 of that year drones attacked an alleged Pakistan Taliban compound, killing up to 25 people. At the time there were reports of women and children killed.

Two years later, young survivor Arshad Khan, now in Pakistani police custody, told reporters that the compound was a training camp for teenage suicide bombers. He named four young victims. Arshad says he was recruited without realising he was to be a suicide bomber.

…Along with two undefined reports of ‘children killed’, a 17-year-old student was killed in November last year. And on April 22 this year, two drones destroyed a house and guesthouse in Spinwan, North Waziristan. A 12-year-old boy, Atif, was killed in that strike, according to researchers working with the Bureau in Waziristan.

Mirza Shahzad Akbar, an Islamabad-based lawyer representing a number of families caught up in drone strikes said: “All these children are a big recruitment agent for militants in the area. When you can show people that children are being killed in the drone strikes, all those who are so far non-aligned, that gets them onto the other side. That is what most worries me as a Pakistani.”

And what about the moral? As I’ve shown above, barely scratching the surface, we know that civilians bear the brunt of these tactics. Where in the world do US officials in charge of these attacks get the moral and legal license to murder children and other innocent civilians? What ramifications ought to await them? Who will account for the unjustified killing of non-combatants? Apparently nobody, because the state demands exemption from the moral and legal laws that govern the rest of society. And they justify it as necessary to protect the nation. Yet we know they’re only making us less safe.


Anonymous said...

JPA says no, Washington Post says YES:

Which is it?

Anonymous said...

Who would have thought ? An American base in Seychelles, during the fag-end of the Parti Lepep era and the fag-end of both Michel and Rene ? American planes in Seychelles remote-controlled from the Pentagon, just like in War Games. Yankee heeded Rene's warnings and went home. But have returned with a vengeance, now that we are at the mercy of Somali pirates and their skiffs.

This job is not doing Adam any good. He is now ageing and balding fast. SBC flashed his bald patch on the screen and soon realised their mistake. To think he was brought into the cabinet for his looks when Sarkozy was appointing French beauties to his cabinet. His voice sounds like that of a 75-year-old. He is no match for these American generals, with the US pledging to go wherever they have to go to get at their enemies. Is that faggot of a Foreign Minister going to stop them ? He should be made to re-varnish that table that he was damaging with his hand during that SBC monologue last night. He will pay for the damage he inflicted on our senses when we boycott the sham elections.

Is Adam what SBC means when it says it is looking for contents that viewers want ? All expletives omitted !

Anonymous said...

Who would you rather believe ?

Anonymous said...

The problem with it is also that Pp would be allow to continue with its one aprty system without worries for the AMIS will become their politcal protector though the latter is offically preaching about the support on democracy elsewhere.Meles the president of Ethopia has been rigging election for years now ,no condemnation from USA why? He works for them, and this will stay this way as long as Meles plays USA game.What is happening in Seychelles will not be different from Ethopia,we might see Michel without hesitation rigging elctions for years to come for he Knows as long as he corporates with the USA he won't be pressured to change but rather they might tell us stability is more important than democracy and freedom of the people.

Seychellois had in the past support USA present on our shores which was fiercely rejected by Pp communists,we all remmeber Pp calling on YANKEES to go home,but here we are USA working with the same communist system which asked them to go home,ignoring our people aspiration for freedom ä.

We are calling on the USA to come clean You support our people thus democracy or you work with dictator which will result in our people taking to the strrets as have been the case in countries like JAPAN,S.korea simply asking them to go out.

Jeanne D'Arc

Anonymous said...

This is a dangerous move by James Michel.Al Queda does not have respect for human life.Can you imagine these terroists infiltrating our shores and causing choas.i strongly believe that the president did not do his homework and would like to know his motives behind it.
Maybe after all it is something to do with our present economic situation ....desperate for dollars.

Anonymous said...

Excuse me, but we already have terrorists on our shores. Apart from those that terrorised us in 1977 we also have a fine collection of terrorists from east europe

Anonymous said...

I do not care if Al Queda gives James Michel a good hiding ...the only people that i am concerned about is the innocent civilians.I totally agree that it was James Michel and albert Rene who started terrorism in seychelles so let them die by the same sword.Let it be a painful lesson to them.

Anonymous said...

Terrorism was introduced in Seychelles by FAR. He had the power to stop that 1st mosque being built. He remain silent about this mosque and allow the churches to crumble. Go figure...

Anonymous said...

WHen a dictaotr and his whole system is crumbled all means of survival is useful be it terror,stability,religious confrontation,ethnic issue and so forth all sudden come out like mushroom,all is good in helping bring division thus a reason to hold a grabe on power.

Jeanne D'Arc