The US has had another drone strike against terrorists in Afghanistan….and it was a large mistake on the Pentagon’s part……and the Pentagon held a presser to explain the monumental screw-up…..
The Pentagon retreated from its defense of a drone strike that killed multiple civilians in Afghanistan last month, announcing Friday that an internal review revealed that only civilians were killed in the attack, not an Islamic State extremist as first believed. “The strike was a tragic mistake,” Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of US Central Command, told a Pentagon news conference, per the AP. McKenzie said the vehicle was struck “in the earnest belief” that the targeted vehicle posed an imminent threat. “I am now convinced that as many as 10 civilians, including up to seven children, were tragically killed in that strike,” he said.
“Moreover, we now assess that it is unlikely that the vehicle and those who died were associated with ISIS-K, or a direct threat to US forces,” he added, referring to the Islamic State group’s Afghanistan affiliate. For days after the Aug. 29 strike, Pentagon officials asserted that it had been conducted correctly, despite numerous civilians being killed, including children. News organizations later raised doubts about that version of events, reporting that the driver of the targeted vehicle was a longtime employee at an American humanitarian organization and citing an absence of evidence to support the Pentagon’s assertion that the vehicle contained explosives.
The drone did what drones do best…..kill civilians.
The media and the Pentagon always give the benefits for the use of drones…..like saves lives (debatable)…..it is precision bombing…..and it is ethical…..
Let’s take a look at all the myths you have heard about drone warfare…..
But headlines show us this isn’t true. A recent US drone strike in Kabul, Afghanistan mistakenly killed 43-year-old aid worker Zemari Ahmadi, along with nine members of his family, including seven children. This idea of precision is just one of many pervasive myths about drones that I’ve set out to dispel in my research.
Military technology aims to inflict maximum damage to the enemy while minimising our own losses of manpower and material. Drones have advantages compared to piloted aircraft, primarily that they protect the lives of those conducting strikes. This has lulled us into a false sense of security about the nature of war, suggesting that conflicts can be won from a distance, with minimum harm to civilians, in wars that are ethical and respect international law.
For analysis, CNN’s Anderson Cooper interviewed Harvard professor and CNN national security analyst Juliette Kayyem.
“We used to joke in our gallows humor…the radicalization of the right we used to call ‘Vanilla ISIS’ — in other words it was just about radicalization,” she explained. “What we have to remember is they’re really focused on an image of America — that they don’t like this America, the white supremacist groups and right-wing groups.”
She said the white supremacists were opposed to “a diverse America one in which women are equal, one in which there is diversity.” She said it “sounds very similar to the Taliban.”
I have written many posts about the rise of the white nationalism that is destroying this country piece by piece.
Where was the so-called “Left” during the rise of these d/bags?
Where was the American left during all of this? Did it form a united front, organizing a mass movement to oppose this rising neofascistic Trumpian movement? Sadly, this was not the case, with much of what passes for the U.S. left being deeply fractured. Many were reluctant to even recognize that a rising neofascistic movement exists, let alone fight it. That’s in part because many high-profile left pundits have, for all intents and purposes, thrown their lot in with this neofascistic movement. More specifically, there is a heavily corporatized, nominally left segment of the punditry, which is heavily based out of Twitter, cable news, Substack, and YouTube, and dominated by personalities like Jimmy Dore, Glenn Greenwald, Matt Taibbi, Joe Rogan, Caitlin Johnstone, and Krystal Ball, among others, and with followers in the hundreds of thousands to millions, who are mainstreaming and popularizing Republican talking points. They work to mainstream the idea of a left-right political alliance in the U.S. They’ve popularized noxious reactionary propaganda and diversionary conspiracy theories that numb peoples’ minds, while convincing progressives that their primary enemy is “the libs,” and normalizing rightwing views, bigotry, and neofascistic politics. These are not individuals that any thoughtful leftist – whether one who advocates for liberal reform, progressive transformation, or socialism – should entertain.
In my opinion the so-called “Left” has been in disarray since 1980….they have spent all those years and decades reacting to the Repubs seldom do they go on the attack until it is too late to counter the hate and the slide….Dems are shirt-sighted…that is the best thyey can muster these days.
So every time we hear these white d/bags referred to as ‘patriots’ counter with Vanilla ISIS or Y’all Qaeda for they are NO better than the slime in ISIS or Al-Qaeda…
I see the Pentagon has given the media who in turn have given the American people a new term…a new enemy…..ISIS-K.
Has anyone explained this situation adequately?
So far all I have seen and heard is the use of the acronym….
I shall attempt to help my reader understand……
The ghastly bombings at Kabul airport Thursday resulting in the deaths of 12 U.S. Marines and as of this writing, 60 civilians, are the latest in a series of especially savage terrorist attacks reportedly by the Islamic State of Khorasan Province (ISKP), the local affiliate of the Islamic State of the Middle East. The growth of ISKP faces the Taliban rulers of Afghanistan with both a threat and an opportunity.
The threat is that ISKP will attract enough Taliban defectors and foreign fighters to cause serious instability and ruin the hopes of pragmatic Taliban leaders for economic development. The opportunity lies in the fact that ISKP are feared by every government in Afghanistan’s region, as well as the United States and Europe. This gives the Afghan Taliban the chance to attract support from all of these states in their fight against ISKP.
ISKP appeared in Afghanistan and the border areas of Pakistan in 2014-15. It was founded not by Arabs sent from the Middle East (though some moved to Afghanistan later after the defeat of IS in Iraq and Syria) but by local figures and groups who adopted the name of the Islamic State to garner some of its prestige and to reflect their own international jihadi allegiance (just as previously, local groups in north Africa and elsewhere took the name of al- Qaida).
Since then, ISKP have emerged as a distinctly more ferocious and radical force than the mainstream Taliban, carrying out savage attacks on targets that in recent years the Taliban leadership have made a deliberate political decision to spare: especially schools, clinics and markets serving the Shia minority. The Taliban leadership have strongly condemned these attacks, although some analysts accuse the Taliban of benefiting from plausible deniability. In alliance with Pakistani terrorist groups, they have also conducted several major terrorist attacks within Pakistan.
These days with the news fixated on the pandemic and then those protests it has all but forgotten about the danger of ISIS….and sadly there will be a second wave of their ascendance…….
ISIS has been beaten but not defeated….they still lurk in the shadows waiting……waiting for the next wave to begin.
Today, Islamic State barely exists in Iraq and Syria, its leader is dead and its recruits are scattered, languishing in jail or hunted throughout the Middle East and Europe.
But the threat of ISIS and of extremism has not gone away. Both on the battlefield of ideas and on the real battlefield, a second wave is certainly coming.
That wave will crash first across West Africa, where clashes between militant groups and national armies are taking place in every country of the Sahel region. The coalition has recognized this; only last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo singled out ISIS attacks in West Africa and said the United States was seeking a global fund of $700 million to continue the fight against ISIS in 2020.
Keep in mind….ISIS maybe be out of sight….but they are far from gone the way of the dodo……
It is only a matter of time before they return to the world stage.
Now the big question will be….Will we be ready for the return?
America’s intelligence agencies risk slipping back into dangerous pre-9/11 habits, a recently departed top counterterrorism official is warning in his first public remarks on the matter.
Russell Travers, former head of the U.S. government’s hub for analysis of counterterrorism intelligence, was so alarmed that he shared his concerns with the intelligence community’s top internal watchdog in his final weeks on the job.
“I think there are really important questions that need to be addressed, and I don’t think they have been thus far,” said Travers, who ran the National Counterterrorism Center until March of this year. “And that has me worried, because I do think we could very easily end up back where we were 20 years ago.”
Travers detailed his concerns, much of which remain highly classified, to the intelligence community’s inspector general. About a week later, he was summarily ousted, he says — and the Trump administration official who fired him didn’t explain why.
Today, 14 July, is when the French celebrate their revolution that overthrew the corrupt monarchy…..lead by the slogan….Liberty, Equality, Fraternity…..but was it all that equal and what about liberty……
The American attitude toward the French Revolution has been generally favorable—naturally enough for a nation itself born in revolution. But as revolutions go, the French one in 1789 was among the worst. True, in the name of liberty, equality, and fraternity, it overthrew a corrupt regime. Yet what these fine ideals led to was, first, the Terror and mass murder in France, and then Napoleon and his wars, which took hundreds of thousands of lives in Europe and Russia. After this pointless slaughter came the restoration of the same corrupt regime that the Revolution overthrew. Aside from immense suffering, the upheaval achieved nothing.
Leading the betrayal of the Revolution’s initial ideals and its transformation into a murderous ideological tyranny was Maximilien Robespierre, a monster who set up a system expressly aimed at killing thousands of innocents. He knew exactly what he was doing, meant to do it, and believed he was right to do it. He is the prototype of a particularly odious kind of evildoer: the ideologue who believes that reason and morality are on the side of his butcheries. Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mao, and Pol Pot are of the same mold. They are the characteristic scourges of humanity in modern times, but Robespierre has a good claim to being the first. Understanding his motives and rationale deepens our understanding of the worst horrors of the recent past and those that may lurk in the future.
Historians distinguish three phases of the French Revolution. The last, the Terror, ran roughly during 1793–94. It began with the fall of the moderate Girondins and the radical Jacobins’ accession to power. As the Jacobins gained control of the Committee of Public Safety, which in turn controlled the legislature (the Convention), the disputes among their factions sharpened. After an interregnum of shared power, Robespierre became dictator, and the Terror started in earnest. It took the form of the arrest, show trial, and execution of thousands of people, including the leaders of the Girondins and the opposing Jacobin factions, who were suspected of opposing—actively or passively, actually or potentially—the policies Robespierre dictated.
Protests….Racism…..Pandemic…..all of the top stories from the MSM in the last couple of months…..even though they are out of mind of the media by no means they are gone….defeated….or any other term one would care to employ.
To illustrate this is the testimony before the House Committee on Homeland Security…..
Thomas JoscelynJune 24, 2020Foundation for Defense of Democracies3www.fdd.org•Al-Qaeda has survived the post-9/11 wars and America’s counterterrorism campaign. The group’s base has spread from South Asia into multiple other countries. Several organizations, often described as al-Qaeda “affiliates,” serve as regional branches. These branches are each led by an emir who swears his allegiance to the head of al-Qaeda. Since Osama bin Laden’s death in May 2011, that leader has been Ayman al-Zawahiri. The official al-Qaeda branches are: al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), al-Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent,and al-Shabaab in Somalia. To thislist we can add the “Group for the Support of Islam and Muslims” (Jama’at Nusrat al-Islam wal-Muslimin, or JNIM), a wing of AQIM.Hurras al-Din in Syria is also part of al-Qaeda’s network, as are other groups based in Idlib. But al-Qaeda’s chain-of-command in Syria has been upset by a number of internal rivalries, power struggles,and arguments over jihadist strategy.2In addition, al-Qaeda works through other groups that are not official al-Qaeda branches but are nonetheless part of its web. Such groups includethe Pakistani Taliban.Still other jihadist organizations are closely allied with al-Qaeda.•ISIS and al-Qaeda remain locked in a competition for the fealty of jihadists around the globe. Much of this competition will take place at the local level, but international terrorism could play a role in the rivalry, as these groupslook to outbid one another for the affection of would-be jihadists. While there may be some cooperation between individual commanders, the two mother organizations are at odds. ISIS has developed an institutional hatred for al-Qaeda. In some areas, such as Iraq, ISIS is definitively stronger. In other areas, such as Somalia and Yemen, al-Qaeda has the upper hand. In West Africa, the two are currently close in strength, though that can change. Any assessment of relative strength in Syria is difficult due to al-Qaeda’s management problems and other factors. And an assessment of their relative positions in Afghanistan is complicated by the fact that al-Qaeda and affiliated groups areembedded within the Taliban-led insurgency. Al-Qaeda has deliberately sought to mask the extent of its operations in Afghanistan.
Now this is a report issued by the Dept. of State……
My point is that these groups are not so much in the news these days….but they by NO means have disappeared……
Both reports are worth the read if you think that terrorism is not so much a problem these days…..
That bunch a barbarous bastards that everybody had an opinion about just a few months ago….remember them?
The pandemic and no the protests have kept my attention elsewhere…so many things happening and so little time and space……..
Using Open Source info I have updated my files….but they are expanding into the Sahel (rapidly)……a quick reference if the term floored you….
FRANCE 24’s Wassim Nasr, the author of the article entitled “The End of the Sahel Exception”, talks about why the Sahel was the only area in the world where the two groups al-Qaeda and IS were not fighting each other for a long time, until a few weeks ago.
There had been hints about the intentions of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, to develop a Central Africa Province (ISCAP) in a speech by the late ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in August 2018. However, it was not until April 2019 that an attack in Beni, in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), was claimed as the work of ISCAP by ISIS-run media outlets. Later that month, Baghdadi formally acknowledged it as an ISIS ‘wilayah’ (meaning ‘province’ and referred to as ‘wilayat’ in the plural) in a video message.
In addition to attacks in the DRC, in June 2019 ISIS started to attribute attacks in Mozambique to ISCAP. The media campaign around ISCAP has been extremely active – in February 2020 a graphic was released comparing the number of attacks conducted in each of the Islamic State’s wilayat, with ISCAP ‘scoring’ the highest number for the month. However, the picture on the ground is very different to what ISIS portrays. The wilayah in fact consists of two armed groups operating in different countries, with only loose connections. Both groups are driven by complex motives, which are predominantly shaped by their local surroundings.
They have lost most of their punch in the Middle East and they are expanding into the Sahel…..is it possible this is the new home of the caliphate?
In 2018, when the Islamic State began losing its “territorial caliphate” in Iraq and Syria, ISIS’s leadership knew that the organization would have to depend on external “provinces” (called wilayat) to keep its global project thriving. The provinces would launch attacks and remain loyal to ISIS, and ISIS could claim that that the “caliphate” might no longer be expanding, but it was remaining. With setbacks in Afghanistan and the Philippines, Africa emerged as the only continent where ISIS could operate like it did in Syria and Iraq during its heyday. So long as ISIS thrives in Africa, the dream of the global caliphate remains alive.
Not only can ISIS conduct sophisticated attacks in Africa, it also can occupy territories and overpower armies. Moreover, with rapidly increasing populations, historical narratives about reviving pre-colonial Islamic states, and challenges resulting from weak governance and security forces’ abuses, ISIS finds fertile ground on the continent. While foreign policy often focuses on geopolitical competition in Africa, especially between the United States and China, the emergence of the Islamic State as a power player on the continent – on top of al Qaeda’s presence there since as early as Osama bin Laden’s 1990s stay in Sudan – means the Islamic State will be a force that governments, armies, aid organizations, multinational corporations, and, of course, civilians will inevitably have to confront.
Let us not forget about al-Qaeda…..French claims to have killed the emir of North Africa…..
France said on Friday that its military has killed al-Qaeda’s North Africa chief Abdelmalek Droukdel, a key fighter who its forces had been hunting for more than seven years, during an operation in Mali.
“On June 3, French army forces, with the support of their local partners, killed the emir of al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.
Al-Qaeda in the Land of the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), to give its full name in English, has its roots in the bitter Algerian civil war of the early 1990s, but has since evolved to take on a more international Islamist agenda.
Its reach has also expanded across the Sahel region south of the Sahara Desert, attracting members from Mauritania, Morocco, Niger and Senegal as well as from within Mali where, in alliance with other Islamists, it is fighting French troops on the ground.
During the Mali crisis, its fighters have dramatically increased their profile, allowing them to further their aim of spreading Islamic law and jihad across West Africa.
These groups are still very active….they did not take time off for a virus…..I feel we will be hearing more fromm these groups in the coming months.
Plus there is a worry about the armies of the Sahel countries may be making matters worse…..
The Sahel has seen years of conflict with Islamic militants, who first emerged in northern Mali in 2012 before sweeping into the centre of the country, and neighbouring Burkina Faso and Niger.
Thousands of soldiers and civilians have been killed in the conflict to date and hundreds of thousands have fled their homes.
Worries from allies such as the United Nations and former colonial power France about the conduct of Sahel soldiers are not new. But reports of abuses have increased significantly over the past few months.
Anne Boleyn is beheaded 1536…..Mary Queen of Scots is imprisoned in England 1568…..Spanish Armada sets sail 1588….Grant attacks Vicksberg 1863….Last battle of Civil War Spotsylvania, Virginia….Congress curbs immigration into the US 1921……Hanoi is bombed for the first time 1968.
And not one of those has anything to do with this post…..Psyche!
It was a terror group in the US mainly run by women….something that the history books seem to leave out when the study of the 1960s and 70s and into the 1980s come around……
On the evening of November 7, 1983, a call came into the U.S. Capitol switchboard. “Listen carefully, I’m only going to tell you this one time,” the caller said. “There is a bomb in the Capitol building. It will go off in five minutes. Evacuate the building.” Then the caller hung up.
At 10:58 p.m., a blast went off on the second floor of the structure’s north wing. The explosion blew doors off their hinges, shattered chandeliers and sent a shower of pulverized glass, brick and plaster into the Republican cloakroom. The shock wave from the explosion sounded like a sonic boom. A jogger outside on the Capitol grounds heard the blast: “It was loud enough to make my ears hurt. It kept echoing and echoing—boom, boom.” According to one estimate, the bomb caused $1 million in damage.
Later, National Public Radio received a message from a group calling itself the Armed Resistance Unit: “Tonight we bombed the U.S. Capitol.” Nobody was killed or injured in the attack, but the ARU made clear that it had contemplated lethal action: “We purposely aimed our attack at the institutions of imperialist rule rather than at individual members of the ruling class and government. We did not choose to kill any of them at this time. But their lives are not sacred and their hands are stained with the blood of millions.”
The one thing that this pandemic has not covered is that of terrorism…..how does this effect a world terror network?
From neo-Nazis to jihadists, the COVID-19 pandemic has proved to many terrorists that the United States is not the ever-prepared, all-knowing power it once appeared to be, and nor are many of its Western allies.
As the world looks on in awe at the governmental, economic, and societal vulnerabilities exposed by COVID-19, terrorists are taking note, and because a novel coronavirus was able to cripple the planet, bad actors are taking the idea of weaponizing disease more seriously than they have for years. Some have discussed ways to use the coronavirus itself to promote their various anarchic and apocalyptic agendas
Over the last few years, ISIS-linked media groups have called for “bio terror” as revenge for events like the 2019 massacre at mosques in New Zealand, and launched all-out media campaigns promoting bioweapons. One disturbingly detailed video from July of 2018, titled “Bio-Terror,” directly suggests hantaviruses, cholera, and typhoid as weapons for lone wolf terrorists. The video, produced by a prominent ISIS-linked media group, even advises how to disseminate these “silent destructive weapon[s]” in “enemy nations.”
I see what this author is saying….but I am not sure that the terrorists are paying that close attention right now…..they may look back on this in search for weakness to exploit.
But then I could be mistaken…..
With coronavirus still out of control across much of the world, officials at the UN, US, and elsewhere are warning that various jihadist factions are looking to exploit the situation to try to recover the level of relevancy they once enjoyed.
This makes sense for groups that operate based on their ability to instill fear, who hope to take advantage of the pandemic panic that is already endemic in the areas. The UN has been calling for global ceasefires to focus on the pandemic, though the latest draft of that resolution exempts fighting against ISIS or any al-Qaeda forces.
It is NOT some mystery virus lurking on the horizon.
Does anyone have any idea what that is all about…don’t bother I will fill in the blanks….
The time is the 1970s and “terrorists” and the world is awash with groups that want to destroy something….the PLA, UNITA, Bader Gang, etc, etc.
You may think that today’s political and cultural divide today is wide, but it’s nothing compared to the ‘70s and early ‘80s.
Imagine what the country would be like today if almost every day there were bombings by domestic terrorists? If there were attacks that assassinated police at point-blank range, and groups like the Black Liberation Army took credit?
Imagine that Marxist-Leninist revolutionaries were discovered to have an arsenal with thousands of military weapons along with FBI and DEA identification cards. Imagine a series of bombings set off in the Officers Club of the Washington Navy Yard, the South African consulate, and the New York City Police Benevolent Association.
All of this actually happened — and at the time there was not even a major sense of panic about it. It was business as usual. It makes Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and his “revolution” look like child’s play.
M19 stands for May 19th Movement…..it is a group that is totally led by women…..
Amidst the social and political turmoil of the 1970s, a handful of women—among them a onetime Barnard student, a Texas sorority sister, the daughter of a former communist journalist—joined and became leaders of the May 19th Communist Organization. Named to honor the shared birthday of civil rights icon Malcolm X and Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh, M19 took its belief in “revolutionary anti-imperialism” to violent extremes: It is “the first and only women-created and women-led terrorist group,” says national security expert and historian William Rosenau.
M19’s status as an “incredible outlier” from male-led terrorist organizations prompted Rosenau, an international security fellow at the think tank New America, to excavate the inner workings of the secretive and short-lived militant group. The resulting book, Tonight We Bombed the Capitol, pieces together the unfamiliar story of “a group of essentially middle-class, well educated, white people who made a journey essentially from anti-war and civil rights protest to terrorism,” he says.