Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
April 24, 2015

"Targeted" Drone Strikes Are Rather Random Murder

May 23 2013: No drone strikes without 'near certainty' of no civilian casualties: Obama

The president, in his most expansive public discussion on drones, defended their targeted killings as both effective and legal.

He acknowledged the civilian deaths that sometimes result, a consequence that has angered many of the countries where the US seeks to combat extremism, and said he grapples with that trade-off.

"For me, and those in my chain of command, these deaths will haunt us as long as we live," he said. Before any strike, he said, "there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured, the highest standard we can set."

April 23 2015: U.S. raid in Pakistan killed two hostages, Obama acknowledges

A U.S. drone strike targeting a compound frequented by al Qaida leaders accidentally killed two hostages, including one American, near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border in January, the White House announced Thursday.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest announced that two other Americans, both members of al Qaida, also had been killed in Pakistan in January.
Neither man had been targeted in the raids that killed them, U.S. officials said.

That "highest standard" for murder by drone is obviously less high that the CIA operators who killed and kill thousands of non-combatants through drone strikes on "suspect compounds," weddings and funerals.

Obama now apologizes because a somewhat "special" American got unintentionally killed in one strike. But out of eight U.S. citizens killed in drone strikes only one was ever the intended target. That's the "highest standard"? And why doesn't Obama apologize for the 4,000+ other civilians killed? Oh, those weren't Jews spying on Pakistan like the "aid worker" hostage killed in that strike? Why can't Obama admit that neither he nor his psychopathic CIA-director Brennan have any real idea who or what they are targeting when they order to press the kill-buttons?

In March Brennan fired the head of the CIA’s Counter­terrorism Center. We now know why. But the man was just a subaltern. The drone-killing policy is made by Brennan and signed off by Obama. They must be held responsible.

Unfortunately that is unlikely to happen. The appalling reason:

Despite the bad reviews overseas, drone strikes remain persistently popular with the American public, with about two-thirds expressing approval in polls. And despite the protests of a few liberal Democrats or libertarian Republicans, they have enjoyed unusual bipartisan support in Congress, where they are viewed as reducing the threat of terrorist attack and keeping American operators out of harm’s way.

Someone should probably start to drone-murder random people in the U.S. That might change the perspective.

Posted by b on April 24, 2015 at 7:52 UTC | Permalink


Speaking of American blood lust, here's disturbing results from a CNN poll on Iran: Though 53% support the tentative nuke deal (a good thing), 72% of Americans think Iran represents a "very serious" or "moderately serious" threat to the US. And, if a deal is made and "Iran violates its terms," 61% support the US taking military action against Iran.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 24 2015 9:30 utc | 1

Only 1 out of 9 Americans had a grip on reality and thought Iran represented "no threat at all" to the US.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 24 2015 10:31 utc | 2

So how come it doesn't stop?

Because it's the business of America. It's what 'we' do. Over there. Since the Philippines. Killing 'niggers' over there. Killing someone, somewhere else, not here. Unless they too are 'niggers' ... or their stand-ins du jour.

The DoJ and the MSM have the younger Tsarnaev set up for execution, because if he lives he'll talk, eventually. About the real guilty party at the Boston Marathon Bombing : the CIA. Without whose typically monstrous actions the Tsarnaevs would never have been in Boston, never have been in the USA, never have been trained as terrorists.

WW II was a big band party. Everyone working, making dough, no more 'depression', dancing to swing ... listening to psychedelic and folk rock in my day, during the slaughter in Vietnam, building giant, finned cars in Detroit, it's what we did. Now war's all we do. It's the basis of our prosperity. Such as its become.

We all know it, and rely upon the MSM to keep it out of the papers.

We swallowed 9/11 whole. Endlessly watch the controlled demolition of the WTC, avert our eyes ... 'well, if that's what it takes to keep the wars going ...'. Because we know the 'secret' of American 'prosperity'.

We conspire, blame it all on 'them', when the only way it will ever end is up to us, independently of them. Up to us to stop acting as adolescents - constantly complaining - and to act like adults - to take responsibility for our government and way of life.

That was the essence of Mike Gravel's run in 2008. 'We' voted in Obama. 'We' knew he would change nothing! but 'we' knew he would make it all palatable, again. He was Black! man.

And he has done so. Made it all palatable again. The Nobel Peace Prize Laureate slash serial random murderer. Now I'm told everyone hates the Russians. Again. 'Believes' they are the aggressors in Ukraine? You gotta wanna believe.

It's up to us, the sheeple. But we don't want to hear it, so we don't. Not even from the 'official' leftist media, who blame it all on the MSM.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2015 10:35 utc | 3

Need proof that the US is 'helping' the Saudi slaughter with 'intelligence' and targetting?

Saudi strike hits wedding in Yemen’s Ad Dali’, dozens killed

Dozens of people have been killed after a Saudi air raid targeted a wedding ceremony in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ad Dali’, local media say.

The US trademark wedding party hit. I'm sure they'll wait, too, and hit the site again to kill anyone trying to help any survivors.

The USA is so depraved and perverted at this point that they've moved this stuff to the world spotlight with the Saudi's floorshow. They're proud, now, of their barbarism, putting it under the spotlight for all to see and 'admire'.

The Axis of Geoncide in the Middle East : US-Israel-Saudi Arabia. The outstanding War Criminals - and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate - of the 21st Century.

Boycott-Divest-Sanction the USA, Israel, and Saudi Arabia.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2015 12:10 utc | 4

I don't think that most American approve, because most American's don't really understand the program or pay much attention to overseas matters.

Americans are often lampooned for things like not being able to locate countries in the news on a map.

This notion that Americans approve of torture or droning is pure propaganda. Surveys that "find" such things are flawed. Survey results are VERY sensitive to how questions are asked and how subjects are selected.

The blame lies chiefly with an unaccountable elite and the presstitute media that serves them.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 24 2015 12:41 utc | 5

Jackrabbit @ 5

Well, if the NYT said "drone strikes remain persistently popular with the American public" it must be a fact. It's based on polls, you see. Oh wait, they don't say what polls. They must have asked someone and that person said Americans like torture and drones.

Imagine making cold calls: "Hello, this is the NYT (Gallup, CNN, Fox News) and we're conducting a poll. Do you and your family and friends and everyone you know like drones?"

It's beyond parody. A real poll would show American are increasingly concerned about drones and how the government is using them and think it's a chicken shit, cowardly way to fight.

The NYT is clueless as to what Americans think about anything.

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 24 2015 13:09 utc | 7

Jackrabbit, I should have added "exactly as you said."

Posted by: Ken Nari | Apr 24 2015 13:15 utc | 8

That CNN poll, 60% of respondents think that Iran is "Moderately serious threat" to "No threat at all"

What is surprising to me is that only 1% is unsure.


I wonder how many of those who think that Iran is a serious threat or that these uSA need to do anything militarily even know where Iran is located?

Posted by: JaimeInTexas | Apr 24 2015 13:55 utc | 9


The cold fact is no one is lifting a finger to end these serial murders. Kathy Kelly is. If you hate drone strikes but voted for Obama II ... or Romney ... who are you kidding? Yourself. No one else. Obama is literally the CEO of Drone Strikes Inc., with a smirk just like W's.

Boston, Blowback, and Barack Obama

"Turns out,” Obama said to White House aides while reflecting on the CIA drone assassination of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, “I'm really good at killing people. Didn't know that was gonna be a strong suit of mine."

... he's proud of himself for 'meeting the challenge'. Bragging about it. He's broken new territory and is assassinating Americans - on purpose - as well as strangers at random. Judge, jury, executioner ... and he doesn't even know who he's killing. When in doubt wipe them out.

You might say there is zero chance of being able to walk into a voting booth in the USA and voting for someone who is not 'OK' with random, serial murder ... and I'd agree. So we have to do something about that, right? Whatever it takes.

Or is it true that we Americans are just incapable of self-government. Just don't have what it takes. Looks like that may well be the case.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 24 2015 14:11 utc | 10

@7 Most questions are reminiscent of the "if your family was brutally murdered" phrasing anyway. The problem stems from Americans not grasping there is only one party.

Posted by: NotTimothyGeithner | Apr 24 2015 14:18 utc | 11
I only partially listened to this propaganda on National Propaganda Radio last night - mainly to hear what bs was going to be pumped out about Yemen. It was lying crap, as one might imagine. Mostly exonerating the exceptional USA with much hand-wringing about how the Saudi's "had to" do what they're doing (I didn't catch "why" - couldn't be bothered) but now - OH NOES!!! - Al Qaeda is getting "stronger" or something something....

It was such patent bullshit, but unfortunately this is what a significant enough segment of our blighted populace listens to and believes that they are being "informed." This is especially true of that Latte Liberal crowd who's only too happy to continue adulating at the feet of their Sainted Savior, Murderer in Chief, the Barackstar (who is "such a nice man and he has a beautiful wife and 2 lovely girls").

Yes, per jfl @3, Tsarnaev HAS to be murdered bc the Elites - via their goon-squads and Hit Men - cannot let Tsarnaev live. I suppose that's why Tsarnaev is alleged to have flipped the bird at someone - I read somewhere that I was supposed to be utterly shocked!! and horrified!!! by this photo, which could've been photoshopped anyway. And why shouldn't this lamb being led to the slaughter flip the bird at us??

Anyway, O'Bomber has ever been very proud of all the 100s of thousands of dusky-hued people his stone cold drone-killed in MENA. As others have pointed out in comments, the murderer is damn proud of himself for it. Brags about it. Thinks he's the Kook Kid for doing this. Go figure.

Why all the hand wringing over 2 WHITE MEN who got themselves in harm's way? Well: WHITE MEN... and probably someone of some sort of power made a stink, so O'Bomber had to *pretend* that he was "sorry" or something something...

I really don't know how anyone can stomach that creature in the white house, but I had a TON of allegedly "lefty" friends and acquaintances who think O'Bomber's just the greatest....

Bush? O'Bomber? Clinton? RMoney? McCain? If there's a difference, please enlighten me. Not seeing it from where I sit.

Posted by: RUKidding | Apr 24 2015 14:56 utc | 12

Al Quaeda strikes are based on the 100% probability of random innocent deaths.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Apr 24 2015 15:45 utc | 13

Drone strikes appeal to the public in the same way that blowing up groups of feral hogs with Tannerite does.
It's "cool" to imagine "worthless vermin" being dispatched via Deus Ex Machina....

Posted by: A. Pols | Apr 24 2015 16:20 utc | 14

b.. thanks for addressing this ongoing madness regarding the use of drones... i liked your last line "Someone should probably start to drone-murder random people in the U.S. That might change the perspective." the folks in the usa seem to have swallowed the neo-con cool aid so deeply, they are incapable of putting themselves in others shoes..

@1/2 fairleft. that confirms my statement above..

@3 jfl.."it's what 'we' do..over there." exactly... proud to be amerikan.. and all that blather too..

@13 the usa and al qaeda are obviously on the same could be forgiven for thinking they were related or that one was a byproduct of the other....

Posted by: james | Apr 24 2015 16:21 utc | 15


"Why all the hand wringing over 2 WHITE MEN who got themselves in harm's way?..."

I can answer that.... "White" skins are superior races, "Black" skins are inferior. Therefore kill them before they kill you here in Amerikka and everywhere, NO?

What is more puzzling why a "Black" man in "White" House authorizes the killing and why a "Black" man in the "White" House in the first place?

I hope on no one here accuses me a racist, did not start using the word “White” but it’s the truths, “Black” skins being kills here (Amerikka) everyday and everywhere.

BTW, you can change the tone of your skin permanently to "White" (or somewhat like "White"), is there a way to change "White" permanently to "Black"? Surly it can be done as we have a “White” man now in the “White” House.

Posted by: Jack Smith | Apr 24 2015 17:31 utc | 16

While the US murders Pakistanis and reinforces the seething hatred almost all Pakistanis feel toward the it, China takes the economic development approach and Pakistan is buying. Great piece by M K Bhadrakumar on ten aspects of the China-Pakistan deal announced a few days ago. #5 and #9 are huge:

#5. Shift in Pakistan’s strategic orientation gets reinforced. The Pakistani elites have been traditionally western-oriented and at odds with the country’s public opinion, which is vehemently “anti-American”. This contradiction is getting resolved to a great extent, thanks to the subtle shifts that have been taking place in the country’s overall strategic orientation. The discretion that the Pakistani elites – civilian and military – have shown by steering clear of any involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen has been extraordinary. More than anything else, it has been a popular decision, but its strategic connotation is at once obvious. ...

#9. Power dynamic in the region changes. Viewed against the backdrop of the international situation characterized by the chill in US-Russia ties and the US’ “pivot to Asia” strategy aimed at containment of China, Pakistan’s gravitation in the direction of China (and Russia) at this juncture underscores a strategic realignment in the making. Here, several other factors also need to be noted: a) Russia is warming up to Pakistan and establishing military ties with that country; b) China and Russia are both energetically boosting their respective strategic ties with Iran; c) Iran is about shirk off the sanctions; d) Pakistan is mending its ties with Iran; and, e) Both Iran and Pakistan are likely to be inducted as members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 24 2015 18:02 utc | 17

Bhadrakumar's #10 point is directed at India, which he says has gotten nothing economically from its lurch a few years ago toward the U.S. and away from Russia/China. India is under pressure to generate economic development, and there isn't much coming out of the West right now except austerity and war mongering. The pull to get on board the economic development and infrastructure projects that China is funding is already enormous and will just get stronger.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 24 2015 18:09 utc | 18

When the Senate torture report was released, and some muted voices very quietly asked if there was not the need for some legal repercussions, Brennan issued something of a threat to Obama by stating that if there were repercussions over torture there might also someday be repercussions over the drone program and Obama might be the one contemplating a future in a jail cell - just as Brennan obviously knew his role as CIA chief left himself somewhat vulnerable to. Putting Obama into the kill loop ensures he is as legally responsible for these crimes as anyone else in the US government, and so there is mutual need to avoid pursuing legal repercussion across the board.

The so-called legality of any of these criminal programs rests solely on the opinions of White House and CIA lawyers - opinions which have never been tested in court and never will be because of the mutual complicity which has been built into the system. The full turn to open savagery and lawlessness by the establishment cannot be challenged within the current political system.

Posted by: jayc | Apr 24 2015 18:12 utc | 19

Bhadrakumar's #10 point is directed at India, which he says has gotten nothing economically from its lurch a few years ago toward the U.S. ...

D'oh! But on the other hand, the band on the Titanic played right up until the last minute ...

BTW, Bhadrakumar only seems cutting edge because he starting copying Pepe Escobar and Peter Lee. Those two have moved on to more fertile seas but he remains treading water in the american doldrums.

Posted by: Some Guy | Apr 24 2015 19:10 utc | 20

@15 b. and James

The exceptionalists don't think war involves reciprocation of any kind. Should such a thing befall them--however much justice there might be in it--they will go full Armageddon on the planet. Because they are, well, exceptional...

Posted by: chuckvw | Apr 24 2015 19:30 utc | 21

I know other nations have some flying robot machines of their own, some for surveillance, some for murder, but notice you don't hear about them nearly as much as the AmeriKan version.
Nations interested in protecting their people need to shoot them down.

Posted by: farflungstar | Apr 24 2015 20:40 utc | 22

Regarding this discussion about popular approval for the expansion of drone strikes under Obama, I think he could avoid the ignominy of being tagged a joystick butcher -- after all doesn't he personally vet each kill list? -- as long as it stayed off the front pages.

This latest snafu is another nail in the Nobel Peace Prize winner's coffin. His antiwar bonafides were always meager. But now, after Libya, Syria and Cold War 2.0, not even NPR liberals would vote for him again if they could; they want Elizabeth Warren now.

If Obama can't deliver an agreement with Iran, he will go down along with W. as one of the worst presidents of the modern era.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 24 2015 21:02 utc | 23

CNN is not a believable organization.They have an interest in bending perception.

Posted by: dahoit | Apr 24 2015 21:37 utc | 24


Posted by: ALAN | Apr 24 2015 21:52 utc | 25

US plans globally integrated military operations — Russia’s intelligence
The US plans to expand the forward deployment of its armed forces, which implies the permanent or temporary presence of its troops in the territories of more than 100 countries around the world

Posted by: ALAN | Apr 24 2015 21:54 utc | 26

I really think that compared with most "Western" countries, the public in USA is short on empathy. Some aspects are discussed here, like attitude to Guantanamo, torture, drone killing etc. But it is a wider phenomenon, including excessive punitiveness of the justice system (among developed countries, matched only by Russia), unpunished brutality of police -- some heads of police departments are elected as sherifs and they do that to GAIN popularity etc.

Most societies wish that "appropriate people" commit crimes on their behalf, and the question is if that should be very exceptional, exceptional or on regular basis. American public wishes that to be done on a regular basis. Say, police stops a motorists or a person walking through a neighborhood and than throws him so he is flat on the ground. A recent case resulted in paralysis, and the video shows such fluent and swift motion of the policeman, resulting in a gent banging the pavement with his head while the legs were in the air, that it had to be trained. If a normal citizen does it that it would be an aggravated assault. Or a citizen enters a police car in reasonable health and is carried out with a broken neck for "unknown reasons". In the aftermath of Ferguson there is perhaps more reports in the press, but total or nearly total impunity is such cases is a norm, so no wonder that when "our appropriate people" do shit for "our benefit" this is also with total or nearly total impunity.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 24 2015 22:01 utc | 27

“It remains our assessment that Iran does not exert command and control over the Houthis in Yemen,” Bernadette Meehan, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, told The Huffington Post.

Instead of rescuing US citizens trapped in Yemen, the US has been rescuing Saudi bombers, refueling Saudi bombers, directing Saudi bomb-attacks from within and outside of Saudi Arabia, and re-arming Saudi Arabia with bombs and ammunition – all openly announced by US officials in public statements. Such behavior is standard operating procedure and unsurprising to people who seriously follow US actions.

Posted by: ALAN | Apr 24 2015 22:16 utc | 28

Well if MoA is going to start recommending a few random drone strikes in the US, they should be done in the areas where the "polling" was conducted, that produced the "majority" support for such strikes.

So we need to know where that polling was done. Let's log into a few databases, wait for our PCs to produce the results ... bzz, bzz ... goody, the polling that produced the information the NYT relied on in its report which MoA linked to shows the following places where polling took place:

1/ the offices of the NYT and all other major corporate media outlets
2/ Capitol Hill
3/ the Pentagon
4/ fundamentalist Protestant churches in areas where the wealthy live
5/ the pro-Israeli lobby

See, MoA, I made it very easy for you! We can now conduct our own "random" targeted drone strikes!

Posted by: Jen | Apr 24 2015 22:21 utc | 29

Mike Maloney 22: if there will be opportunity to elect someone like Warren of Chaffee, I will try to help. Obama was already elected on the account that he is not Hillary, so the chances are that when it happens for the SECOND time, politicians will learn something.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Apr 24 2015 22:21 utc | 30

The U.S. Government paid Iraqi survivors for family members lost to mistakes or friendly fire. Obama would do a lot better with these apologies by including a statement to the families that lost loved ones, that the check is in the mail.

Posted by: Curtis | Apr 24 2015 22:26 utc | 31

Warren got rid of the hawks on her advisory board? She was on the fence about attending the Netanyahu speech until nearly the end, but didn't go.
I would only trust her on foreign policy if Kucinich gave the okay.

Posted by: truthbetold | Apr 24 2015 23:07 utc | 32


If we are going to be fair your list has to be expanded to include the majority of Liberals who support this policy or at least where they congregate. Hollywood and the Hamptons need to be added and certainly any Hillary for President stronghold should be randomly targeted.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 24 2015 23:10 utc | 33

Based on what I've seen of interviews with Warren she is playing the good soldier to the Democratic National Committee which means obeisance to corrupt leaders like Hillary and Chuck Schumer and the permanent warfare state.

I'm intrigued by a Jim Webb candidacy, Reagan Navy Secretary and a former Democrat Senator from Virginia, he is the only guy I can tell who is saying "Every presidential candidate should face pressure to answer, explicitly, these two questions: Given what we now know, was it right or wrong to invade Iraq in 2003 to oust Saddam Hussein and, eight years later, to help topple the regime of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya?"

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Apr 24 2015 23:20 utc | 34

"will haunt us as long as we live" that is the point, you live
and they?

Posted by: Jay M | Apr 25 2015 1:02 utc | 35


I don't think that most American approve, because most American's don't really understand the program or pay much attention to overseas matters.

That may or may not be true; still, we are no less responsible for our neglectfulness. Not all Germans supported Hitler's killing machine, that didn't make them any less responsible for the Holocaust and the long list of Nazi crimes. To this day, ALL Germans carry that historical burden, some more than others.

Americans are often lampooned for things like not being able to locate countries in the news on a map.

Geography is not our forte, and the world is a confusing cat bag with too many countries asking us for money, it is better not to know where they are, just in case we have to bomb them.

This notion that Americans approve of torture or droning is pure propaganda. Surveys that "find" such things are flawed. Survey results are VERY sensitive to how questions are asked and how subjects are selected.

I agree. Surveys can be manipulated in any direction or bent for particular results.

The blame lies chiefly with an unaccountable elite and the presstitute media that serves them.

I disagree. We all have to take responsibility for our actions and/or omissions. We have all been allowed a modicum of free will and common sense, a notion of good/bad and in between, enough to make us responsible for the crimes of not questioning an “unaccountable elite and the presstitute media.” In that sense, we are all to blame for the 115 children, and counting, killed in Yemen by the pervert Saudis, and for the millions of people killed everywhere in the world thanks to our Full Spectrum Dominance policies. It would be morally bankrupt to assign blame to others and free ourselves from the actions of the empire and its consequences on the planet.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Apr 25 2015 2:50 utc | 36

This notion that Americans approve of torture or droning is pure propaganda. Surveys that "find" such things are flawed. Survey results are VERY sensitive to how questions are asked and how subjects are selected.

To add some meat to what you're saying, here's the 2014 Pew Global polling question: " Do you approve or disapprove of the United States conducting missile strikes from pilotless aircraft called drones to target extremists in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia?" 52% of Americans approved in 2014.

Researcher Sarah Kreps perhaps coincidentally references that same 52% figure:

in terms of overall support, individuals went from the control levels of support around 52 percent to between 29 and 27 percent when [poll] questions introduced uncertainty about combatant status and the potential impact of drone strikes on civilians.

Taken together, the research suggests that by sidestepping how drones affect non-combatants, polls have contributed to the prevailing view that drone strikes enjoy high levels of support.

So there's a huge drop when a poll question references the fact that many innocent people die for every 'terrorist' (opponent of a corrupt regime the US is propping up) US drones kill.

Posted by: fairleft | Apr 25 2015 4:41 utc | 37


All polls are biased but the second example is even more chilling than the first because apparently almost 30% of our citizens think it is OK to kill innocents to keep our children safe from the terrorists.

The sad fact of this issue is that it doesn't really matter what citizens think about drones, they will be used regardless of public opinion.

Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 25 2015 6:34 utc | 38

Mike Maloney | Apr 24, 2015 5:02:18 PM | 22 IIf Obama can't deliver an agreement with Iran, he will go down along with W. as one of the worst presidents of the modern era.

And that is why I think Obama will come to an agreement with Iran. He must know that his foreign policy so far is just one failure after another -- Libya, Syria, Iraq and Ukraine can only add up to one big failure. If he pulls off this agreement with Iran along with his work with Cuba he might actually come out looking like a winner in the FP department, as unfair as that might seem. In any case I hope he can deliver.

Posted by: ToivoS | Apr 25 2015 9:23 utc | 39

Being ignorant is fixable, but being just plain stupid is dumb and dangerous, as we keep cheer-leading for more death and destruction against the Muslim world:

Consider Michael Glennon, Tufts University Fletcher School, and author of Double Government, on the intellectual ability of the American public. Turns out the American public mind is one giant mass of Silly Putty! "...the economic and educational realities remain stark [in the USA]. Nearly fifty million Americans-more than 16% of the population and almost 20% of American children-live in poverty. A 2009 federal study estimated that thirty-two million American adults, about one in seven, are unable to read anything more challenging than a children's picture book and are unable to understand the side effects of medication listed on a pill bottle. The Council on Foreign Relations reported that the United States has 'slipped ten spots in both high school and college graduation rates over the past three decades.' One poll found that nearly 25% of Americans do not know that the United States declared its independence from Great Britain. A 2011 Newsweek survey disclosed that 80% did not know who was president during World War I; 40% did not know who the United States fought in World War II; 29% could not identify the current Vice President of the United States; 70% did not know that the Constitution is the supreme law of the land; 65% did not know what happened at the constitutional convention; 88% could not identify any of the writers of the Federalist Papers; 27% did not know that the President is in charge of the Executive Branch; 61% did not know the length of a Senate term; 81% could not name one power conferred on the federal government by the Constitution; 59% could not name the Speaker of the House; and 63% did not know how many justices are on the Supreme Court.

Posted by: Greg Bacon | Apr 25 2015 10:33 utc | 40

US drone strikes declared a ‘war crime’ by judge

Posted by: ALAN | Apr 25 2015 13:40 utc | 41

Now is drones, it used to be Agent Orange. On April 30th will be the 40th anniversary of the end of the Viet Nam war. The damage done to the Vietnamese people, besides more than 3 million killed by the genocidal US war machine, can still be seen and it will be felt by many generations to come. Looking back in time, from the Viet Nam war to now the US has fallen in a state of perpetual war, and the US masses have been tamed and brainwashed into a zombified state of everlasting apathy. The VN generation protested against the war and became a variable the War Machine couldn't ignore; ironically, the current generation with hundred thousand times more access to information, is so apathetic the War Machine could start a nuclear war and the only complaint would be "Oh, there goes my career." Forty years from now, a new generation will be reporting the damage done by drones to people the world over. If there is a planet to report from.

Legacy of Agent Orange

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Apr 25 2015 14:38 utc | 42

It’s really telling that drones in the US (anglo..) world means drone strikes aka intentional and *at the same time* random murder. Drones in Switz. are the coolest machines. I was up in the hills the other day, bright sunshine, and walking down, a drone that I had already seen followed me in the sky. I gave it a cheeful hallooo wave. Then it did a little dance - the drone equivalent of a plane wing-waggle - and went away. Made my day!

Drones save lives. They give you eyes where you cannot go, to find lost / injured people, scope out terrain, avalanches, conditions, signs of life. They deliver medicines and urgent med supplies, even organs for transplant (last from a news article). In many situations, they replace the helicopter (incredibly expensive and can’t land in the middle of a city though I did see that once) and foot-car-bike tasks very advantageously. For ex. here drones are used to check the lighting of the landing strips at the airport. It used to be done on foot, at night, snow and ice, or occasionally by helicopter.

Culture of murder, of death, of destruction, scorched earth, desolation.

Dead mountain mouth of carious teeth that cannot spit
Here one can neither stand nor lie nor sit.

— t s eliot, the wasteland.

To check the remembered quote, read the whole blasted poem. Excerpt:

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London

drones n poetry…hmm what a mix…well it is saturday right?

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 25 2015 15:04 utc | 43

To those that believe that US citizen are responsible for actions of the US government:

1. the high cost of elections means that politicians are obligated to monied interests; the wishes of their financial sponsors often trump the "will of the people" (as we see now with Obamatrade);

that's essentially why:
2. only about 16% of American approve of Congress and only about 40% approve of the President; only a bit more than half of Americans bother to vote at all (these are well established polls that are conducted year after year);

3. presstitute media produces much propaganda and disinformation; religious belief is very strong (reflection of poor educational system);

4. the American educational system ranks low compared to other developed countries (about 30th?); On a GDP-adjusted basis - and focusing on non-elite oriented education, it would be even lower.

5. time for leisure and reflection? a) although a 'rich' country most of the country's earnings go to the wealthy; b) jobs are insecure and low-wage, and AFAIK Americans work longer hours than any other OECD country; c) costs are high: a car is necessary and Americans pay 4 times as much for healthcare than comparable developed countries (which have national healthcare); For these reasons, most Americans have little savings;

In short, Americans on the whole are deliberately kept in the dark and fed fairytales. They are conditioned to view the world thru a self-centered and fearful lens. They are trapped and manipulated by divisive partisan politics that is relentlessly used to signal who to hate and who to fear.

Do average Americans share some of the blame? Yes but only a small part. That's why I added 'chiefly' to my comment @5. Propaganda works (is anyone surprised by that?). And on a practical note, I think that disenfranchised and dismayed ordinary Americans are probably allies, not adversaries, in the quest for a better world.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 25 2015 15:38 utc | 44

If we are going to be fair your list has to be expanded to include the majority of Liberals who support this policy or at least where they congregate. Hollywood and the Hamptons need to be added and certainly any Hillary for President stronghold should be randomly targeted.
Posted by: Wayoutwest | Apr 24, 2015 7:10:56 PM | 32

Nailed it!
Hollywood certainly fueled and justified my youthful appetite for merciless slaughter of uncivilised savages trying to protect their way of life from civilised savages. No punishment was too cruel for those primitive Red Indians...

How DARE those asshole redskins SCALP charming and innocent white folks?
How DARE Hollywood "forget" to mention that scalping was invented by white folks as way to prove that one had vanquished a redskin and had earned, and deserved, a cash reward?

After I'd been told by Hollywood how Evil redskins were I was sorry I was too young, and too late, to help with the extermination. Until one day a relative explained that the redskins were there first and they "borrowed" the concept of scalping from those Nice White Folks.

Fortunately I eventually grew up and learned to question the justification for cowardly, self-indulgent slaughter.
Unfortunately, Obama gets paid to promote it, not question it.

We've all been Hollywooded, hoodwinked and mesmerised to varying degrees.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Apr 25 2015 16:18 utc | 45

Has anyone noticed that there is no longer a 'translate' option on Youtube comments?

Only one meager thread on Google products forum, and within, only one comment showing 'big picture' concern.

Has the world not noticed this? Has it only been disabled in the US, China-style?

WTF is going on? Wagon-circling, before some sort of big bang in Cyrillic-land?

Posted by: Anonymous | Apr 25 2015 16:48 utc | 46

b et al.,

Revelations of extensive collaboration of the BND with the NSA on intelligence gathering on European politicians & businesses, supposedly concealed from the Chancellor. Will likely have knock on effects on willingness of Europeans to accept TTIP. Not to mention, another serious blow for Germany's standing in public opinion across Europe, with the German intelligence service operating as an element of the US deep state's surveillance capabilities. This oughta be good. Thanks again, Edward Snowden, for starting us all down this road of discovery about just how little respect the deep state has for individual and economic privacy as well as for political sovereignty.

Posted by: JerseyJeffersonian | Apr 25 2015 17:34 utc | 47

Houthi arms came from Saleh, not Iran

Gareth Porter says claims Iran is supplying Houthis with weapons ignore group was flush with American arms from ex-president Saleh

Posted by: okie farmer | Apr 25 2015 18:47 utc | 48


' And on a practical note, I think that disenfranchised and dismayed ordinary Americans are probably allies, not adversaries, in the quest for a better world. '

I certainly agree there. But in the complete absence of leadership it is going to have to be on a self-actualizing basis. I read little to no news of that. The 'left' and 'libertarian' media continue to follow the corrupt 'official' action exclusively, strictly in reactionary mode. No news of any actual resistance. Perhaps it is going on, at a blessed distance from any 'leadership'. I hope so.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 25 2015 22:08 utc | 49


To those that believe that US citizen are responsible for actions of the US government:

I don't see anyone else but me, Lone Wolf.

...Do average Americans share some of the blame? Yes but only a small part. That's why I added 'chiefly' to my comment @5.

Guess you have you figured out the blame percentages.

Propaganda works (is anyone surprised by that?).

It works; no one is surprised by it, at least not here at MoA.

And on a practical note, I think that disenfranchised and dismayed ordinary Americans are probably allies, not adversaries, in the quest for a better world.

I am sure they want a better world...for themselves, their horizon being limited to a narrow tunnel vision and a parochial worldview.

I am not about to engage in a byzantine discussion apportioning blame by sectors of society. When the question "Why do they hate us?" is asked to Afghans, Iraqis, Syrians, Egyptians, et al ad infinitum, the answer is not "Oh, we only hate the 1%, we have no quarrel with disenfranchised Americans, they are our allies in the struggle for a better world." They hate us all, without distinction. Frantz Fanon, in one of his many books, was interviewing a boy no older than 10 y/o, don't remember the exact age or circumstances, whose parents had been murdered by the criminal French army, and Fanon asked the boy what he would like to do with his life. The answer, without hesitation was, "I would like to cut a French in pieces." I am sure there are billions around the world that feel the same about us, without stopping to think for a minute if we are oppressors or brainwashed. Theirs is an equal opportunity anger, resentment, and hate.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Apr 26 2015 3:10 utc | 50

Responsibility for the criminal acts of the US government lies ultimately with all of us citizens of the US.

Who else would it lie with? the citizens of some other country?

Or do we all just say we're following the orders given by our government?

Even if we are going to claim 'there's nothing to be done' ... that it's beyond our capacity to do whatever it takes to rein in our criminal government, we have to take responsibility for that (in)action.

I cannot concede that 313,000,000 people cannot overcome 546 people once we've all individually simply decided that it must be done. Once a majority of us, in any case, have so decided. That was the question awhile back, wasn't it? Does a majority of Americans approve of the ongoing serial murders and aggressions, the serial devastation and destruction of other countries ... or not?

If it's maintained that there is such a majority, then it's a question of summoning the will to curb the US government's criminal serial aggressions. If we nonetheless fail, though we've tried, then we are, perhaps, not criminals. But who is going to believe that at 313 million to 546 we have tried and failed? The cops and the armed forces count as us, not them.

If it's maintained that there is no such majority, then we are a criminal nation by definition.

Or an heroic nation, if despite our minority status we succeed.

Same as in Germany, same as in Japan, 70 years ago. Looks like we're headed for the same outcome to me.

In fact we're already where the Germans and Japanese were three score and ten ago. It's a question now, and has been for the past ten years, of stopping an ongoing crime wave, rather than preventing one.

We failed completely at prevention. And we are failing completely at ending the crimes as well, so far. Waiting for the collapse, waiting to 'lose' the wars, will put us in exactly the same position as the Germany, Italy, and Japan of 70 years ago.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 26 2015 9:13 utc | 51


Responsibility for the criminal acts of the US government lies ultimately with all of us citizens of the US.

Who else would it lie with...?

Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin.

After all, apportioning the blame of about 313 million limbaughtomized US citizens to Putin will not be much considering all the evil he's already responsible for. I mean, if he's to blame for the freak Jen Psaki is about to give birth, he can carry our average idiots...LOL...

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Apr 26 2015 13:59 utc | 52

in the msm like guadrian, wapo, etc etc, lots of cunts are defending the drone killing
*in war, there'r bound to be collateral damage*
*may be you ultra leftists would like to send in the bombers instead which case the civilians deaths would increase 100 fold*


+The United States Congress was about to decide whether to give more money to the Contras in their campaign against the state of Nicaragua. I was a member of a delegation speaking on behalf of Nicaragua but the most important member of this delegation was a Father John Metcalf. The leader of the US body was Raymond Seitz (then number two to the ambassador, later ambassador himself). Father Metcalf said: 'Sir, I am in charge of a parish in the north of Nicaragua. My parishioners built a school, a health centre, a cultural centre. We have lived in peace. A few months ago a Contra force attacked the parish. They destroyed everything: the school, the health centre, the cultural centre. They raped nurses and teachers, slaughtered doctors, in the most brutal manner. They behaved like savages. Please demand that the US government withdraw its support from this shocking terrorist activity.'

Raymond Seitz had a very good reputation as a rational, responsible and highly sophisticated man. He was greatly respected in diplomatic circles. He listened, paused and then spoke with some gravity. 'Father,' he said, 'let me tell you something. In war, innocent people always suffer.' There was a frozen silence. We stared at him. He did not flinch.+

i see that enablers of the unitedsnake killing machine are still falling on this bs to defend the indefensible !

Posted by: denk | Apr 26 2015 15:30 utc | 53

Lone Wolf:

I didn't focus on you. I think there are one or others that have made similar remarks. And many more that are thinking that way.

I am not apportioning blame. I am pointing out the disconnect between US leadership and the people. A disconnect which has widened considerably in the last 20 years.


"313,000,000 people cannot overcome 546"
I think you know that its not that simple.

IMO people grew lax and too trusting, not malicious. Many are aware of that, but not yet enough to make a difference. Lets not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 26 2015 17:49 utc | 54

@45 How DARE Hollywood "forget" to mention that scalping was invented by white folks as way to prove that one had vanquished a redskin and had earned, and deserved, a cash reward?

the melanin-deficient settlers certainly did implement & encourage scalp bounties among indigenous peoples however they neither invented nor introduced the practice of scalping itself. a good example of scholarship on that question would be james axtell & william sturtevant's the unkindest cut, or, who invented scalping, which axtell then expanded in his 1981 collection, the european and the indian: essays in the ethnohistory of colonial north america.

Posted by: b real | Apr 26 2015 19:59 utc | 55

" Oh, those weren't Jews spying on Pakistan like the "aid worker" hostage killed in that strike?"

Moon. You're a scumbag.

Posted by: Joel | Apr 27 2015 10:04 utc | 56


It is just that simple in my view. Granted the means of ridding ourselves of the 546 extend all the way down to the very roots of our society, but there is zero rocket science here.

In my view people feel, deep down, that they have something to lose if things are put right ... and so are relying on (hoping that) the evil 'geniuses' who've put everything wrong will now somehow put everything right again. Because they 'know something that we don't know'.

The hard work is just admitting that it's hopelessly broken, that those who broke it are stealing the family heirlooms and slipping out the back window, that we're the only ones left to put it right.

If that can be admitted the work is just more of the same, more of what we've all been doing for all of our lives. The ones who've never done a lick of work are out the back window with the family heirlooms. Again.

And doing what's required will ipso facto be the creation of direct democracy. Workers of the world arise, those of us in the USA among them! We have nothing to lose but our chains.

I'm not in favor of throwing anyone out with bathwater. Barack Obama, Jamie Demon, and John Brennan all still have the right to vote, event though they are serial killers and flim-flam artists extraordinaire, they just cannot nullify anyone else's right to vote either.

Posted by: jfl | Apr 27 2015 12:56 utc | 57


We can find reasons to blame any nationality and every individual for not doing more. 'Sheeple' always seem ready to clutch at the hopeful promises of politicians that are selling them out. Its pathetic but aren't they are more victim than victimizer?

While it may be gratifying, pointing fingers at those "who should've known better" is counter-producive. Its hard to reach out and connect to people while you are accusing them of being complicit in their own demise (and the demise of others). And who benefits if castigated sheeple are made to identify more strongly with their corrupted leadership?

They were lulled to sleep by easy credit, false promises, and relentless propaganda. Many who are more aware believe that the sheeple will face hardships from their selfishness and blind trust. Isn't that enough? Their faults are not comparable to the crimes of greedy, devious leaders.


1) You say "its that simple", then you describe why it is not. Just say'ng.

2) By "out with the bathwater" I wasn't arguing for the inclusion of elites but for not labelling of all Americans as guilty. Extreme inequality and a money-driven political system has has opened a clear divide between American elites and ordinary Americans.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 27 2015 17:45 utc | 58

Someone should probably start to drone-murder random people in the U.S. That might change the perspective.

- b's post at top.

It might have a slight impact for a 15 mins. or 3-day of fame or alarm, probably first on Fox News. (Fox news being not the worst.)

US citizens are murdered by cops, by undergound factions, by unknown assailants, in murders that are never investigated.

They are imprisoned en masse for 'centuries' and tortured and get the death penalty. They are neglected and sheperded and put to risk (often deliberately left to die or be killed) in situations like Katrina. They are subject to massive false flags that kill many. That is without mentioning hunger, no or rapacious extortionist ineffective health care, poverty, unemployement etc.

So far, they have not risen up to object to all this oppression or BS.

Drones would just be a new thing and increase paranoia, hate, fear. Discussion, - if you are clean you have nothing to fear!

Some might even find them ‘cute’ - they buzz and fly in the blue sky - considering themselves invulnerable. You can just see it - the BBQ with Mandy, Jessica, or Brianna, and Bob or Bill, or Jayden, hey, is that a drone? Have a beer… Drones would just become part of life in the quarter, as they are in many other places in the world. Hated and feared.

Except in the US, they would be accepted ..Jessica and Bob die, the Funeral home gets good revenues, everyone says, what a shame. Sob and pray.

Posted by: Noirette | Apr 27 2015 19:07 utc | 59


Moon. You're a scumbag.

Joel. You're a Zionazibag.

Posted by: Lone Wolf | Apr 27 2015 22:18 utc | 60

You write: "Someone should probably start to drone-murder random people in the U.S. That might change the perspective." Well, granted its not entirely random but... i maybe you could count the people killed by cops as something similar?

Posted by: curious.sle | May 2 2015 16:33 utc | 61

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