OMNI NEWSLETTER #6 ON US WAR ON TERRORISM, July 19, 2012. Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace. (#4 Jan. 19, 2012; #5 May 29, 2012).
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“Number of private U.S. citizens killed in terrorist attacks in 2010: 15. Number killed by falling televisions: 16.” (“Harper’s Index,” August 2012, p. 9). And our warrior leaders and their war-monger supporters have produced two wars (or is that four?) to defend “America” and “freedom” at the price of trillions of dollars and tens of thousands of innocent people?
Contents of #4
Cole and Lobel, Less Safe, Less Free
Costs of Privatized War on Terror
Klare: Al Qaeda to China
Obama, Oil, China
Allende to Bin Laden
Mother Jones: FBI vs. Muslims, Continued Rendition
JPN: Islamophobia Around the World
Younge: Bigotry and Europe’s Terrorists
FAIR: Perceiving “Islamic Terror” in Norway
Contents of #5
Bacevitch, What Is It?
European Nations and US
Engelhardt and Bacevich, Special Operations
FBI’s Manufactured Plots
Silverstein, “Terrorism Expert”
Contents of #6
Bacevitch, Obama’ Secret Ops
Fox News Misinformation
Two Books on Terrorism
SHAKIR HAMOODI: 9/11, War on Terror, and PERSECUTION (There are hundreds of cases, and many more egregious ones like Hamoodi’s. One good source is Susan Herman’s Taking Liberties).
Hamoodi Family Benefit Trust
c/o Law Office, 1103 East Broadway, Columbia, MO 65201
Sign petition and contribute to the trust: www.helphamoodi.org
1. GUEST COMMENTARY: Support justice for Shakir Hamoodi ...
May 24, 2012 – Shakir should not go to prison for sending money to his family in Iraq.
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Shakir Hamoodi Dr. Shakir Hamoodi is an Iraq-born US citizen, father, Nuclear Engineer, businessman, Interfaith leader, Islamic scholar and cultural leader ...
3. Shakir Hamoodi and the meaning of justice
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May 19, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi has been sentenced to Federal prison for three years for “ conspiring” to send money to support friends and family left behind in ...
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Find shakir hamoodi on WhitePages. There are 2 people named shakir hamoodi in Columbia, MO.
5. Iraq native did what was right
The Columbia Daily Tribune ...
May 27, 2012 – When I heard the judge sentence my friend Shakir Hamoodi to three years in prison, I remembered our first introduction and his advice before I ...
6. Hamoodi - Commentary
The Columbia Daily Tribune - Columbia ...
May 21, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi and his family came from Iraq and settled in Columbia, where he became a nuclear scientist at the University of Missouri and ...
7. Support Dr. Shakir Hamoodi
To connect with Support Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, sign up for Facebook today. ... Dr. Shakir Hamoodi, a Columbia businessman and cultural leader, was sentenced ...
8. President Barack Obama: Commute the 36-month sentence of Dr ...
Jun 3, 2012 – Dr. Shakir Hamoodi has worked tirelessly to ease the tensions between many different faith groups and organizations. His was sentenced to 36 ...
9. Shakir Hamoodi Remarks on Sentencing
May 28, 2012 – Remarks on the Sentencing of Shakir Hamoodi for Violating Sanctions of Iraq Veterans for Peace Memorial Day Peace Gathering Columbia ...
10. Shakir Hamoodi
May 18, 2012 – Shakir Hamoodi. closeNews podcasts; Use iTunes • Use a different player • RSS. All Content. closeNews podcasts ... Tagged: Shakir Hamoodi ...
11. News for shakir hamoodi
1. Hamoodi punished for his 'family values'
Columbia Daily Tribune - 7 hours ago
Family values are what my friend Shakir Hamoodi exemplifies. Shakir has lived in the United States since 1985 and raised five children to be ...
Son Of Liberty
By Tarek Mehanna, Harper’s Magazine (July 2012)
From a statement read in court by Tarek Mehanna, a twenty-nine-year-old Massachusetts man who in April was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison on charges including materially supporting terrorism, for offenses such as translating and posting Al Qaeda propaganda online.
July 01, 2012 "Information Clearing House" -- -- I was born and raised right here in America. This angers many people: How can an American believe the things I believe, take the positions I take? In more ways than one, it’s because of America that I am who I am.
When I was six, I began putting together a massive collection of comic books. Batman implanted a concept in my mind, a paradigm as to how the world is set up: that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed. Throughout my childhood, I gravitated toward any book that reflected that paradigm—Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, even The Catcher in the Rye.
By the time I began high school and took a history class, I was learning just how real that paradigm is. I learned about the Native Americans and what befell them at the hands of European settlers. I learned about how the descendants of those European settlers were in turn oppressed under the tyranny of King George III. I read about Paul Revere, Tom Paine, and how Americans began an armed insurgency against British forces—an insurgency we now celebrate as the American Revolutionary War. I learned about the fight against slavery in this country, and the struggles of the labor unions, working class, and poor. I learned about the civil rights struggle.
From all the historical figures I learned about, one stood out above the rest. I was impressed by many things about Malcolm X, but above all I was fascinated by his transformation. I don’t know if you’ve seen the movie Malcolm X by Spike Lee—it’s over three hours long, and the Malcolm at the beginning is different from the Malcolm at the end. He starts off as an illiterate criminal but ends up a husband, a father, a protective and eloquent leader, a disciplined Muslim performing the hajj in Mecca, and, finally, a martyr.
Malcolm’s life taught me that Islam is not something inherited; it’s not a culture or ethnicity. It’s a way of life, a state of mind anyone can choose no matter where he comes from or how he was raised. Since there’s no priesthood, I could directly and immediately begin digging into the texts of the Koran and the teachings of Prophet Mohammed. The more I learned, the more I valued Islam like a piece of gold.
With that, my attention turned to what was happening to other Muslims in different parts of the world. And everywhere I looked, I saw the powers-that-be trying to destroy what I loved. I learned what the Soviets had done to the Muslims of Afghanistan. I learned what the Serbs had done to the Muslims of Bosnia . I learned what the Russians were doing to the Muslims of Chechnya. I learned what Israel had done in Lebanon—and what it continues to do in Palestine—with the full backing of the United States.
I learned what America itself was doing to Muslims. I learned about the Gulf War and depleted-uraniumbombs. I learned about the American-led sanctions that prevented food, medicine, and medical equipment from entering Iraq, and how—according to the United Nations—over half a million children perished as a result. I remember a clip from a 60 Minutes interview of Madeleine Albright in which she expressed her view that these dead children were “worth it.” I watched on September 11 as a group of people felt driven to hijack airplanes and fly them into buildings from their outrage at the deaths of these children.
I watched as America attacked and invaded Iraq. I saw the effects of “shock and awe” in the opening days of the invasion—the children in hospital wards with shrapnel from American missiles sticking out of their foreheads. I learned about the town of Haditha, where twenty-four Muslims—including a seventy-six-year-old man in a wheelchair, women, and even toddlers—were shot up by U.S. Marines. I learned about Abeer Qassim al-Janabi, a fourteen-year-old Iraqi girl gangraped by five American soldiers, who then shot her and her family and set fire to the corpses. These are just the stories that make it to the headlines.
I mentioned Paul Revere. When he jumped on a horse and went on his midnight ride, it was to warn the people that the British were marching to Lexington to arrest Sam Adams and John Hancock, then on to Concord to confiscate the weapons stored there by the Minutemen. By the time they got to Concord, they found the Minutemen waiting for them, weapons in hand. From that battle came the American Revolution. There’s an Arabic word to describe what those Minutemen did that day. It was a word repeated many times in this courtroom. That word is jihad.
"Unleashed: Globalizing the Global War on Terror"
By Andrew Bacevich, TomDispatch.com, posted May 29, 2012
The author teaches history and international relations at Boston University
Tomgram: Andrew Bacevich, The Golden Age of Special Operations
Posted by Andrew Bacevich at 6:51am, May 29, 2012.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch.
They have a way of slipping under the radar, whether heading into Pakistan looking for Osama bin Laden, Central Africa looking for Joseph Kony, or Yemen assumedly to direct local military action against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. I’m talking, of course, about U.S. special operations forces. These days, from Somalia to the Philippines, presidential global interventions are increasingly a dime a dozen; and they are normally spearheaded by those special ops troops backed by CIA or Air Force drones. Few Americans even notice.
An ever expanding secret military cocooned inside the U.S. military, special operations types remain remarkably, determinedly anonymous. With the exception of their commander, Admiral William McRaven, they generally won’t even reveal their last names in public, which only contributes to their growing mystique in this country.
But for a crew so dedicated to anonymity, they also turn out to be publicity hounds of the first order. In 2011, for instance, active-duty U.S. Navy Seals (first-name only please!) became movie stars, spearheading a number one box office hit, Act of Valor. It was the film equivalent of a vanity-press production, focused as it did on their own skills in battle in... hmmm, the Philippines (to prevent a terror strike against the U.S.). A team of SEALs even parachuted onto Sunset Boulevard for the film’s Hollywood premiere.
Then last week another special ops team, in coordination with their Norwegian and Australian counterparts, heroically rescued the mayor of Tampa Bay, held "hostage." They also rappelled down from helicopters and arrived in Humvees to secure the area around the Tampa Convention Center, which will service 15,000 members of the media when the Republicans hit town to nominate Mitt Romney for president. Whew! Another close publicity call!
It was a mock assault on terror watched by thousands of Tampa residents, all timed to the annual Special Operations Forces Industry Conference, also in town and swarmed by 8,000 attendees, including McRaven. Its goal: to bring together special operators from around the world and the industry that arms and accessorizes them. (U.S. special ops forces have a $2 billion purchasing budget each year for all the gadgets the defense industry can produce.)
Oh, and if you want a measure of how hot the special ops guys are these days, how much everyone wants to horn in on their act, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke before the conference, offering, according to Danger Room’s David Axe, “a vision in which shadowy U.S. and allied Special Operations Forces, working hand in hand with America’s embassies and foreign governments, together play a key role preventing low-intensity conflicts.” And if those conflicts aren’t prevented, then the Foreign Service, Clinton assured her listeners, will be happy to lend its “language and cultural skills” to the fighting prowess of the special ops troops. Diplomacy? It’s so old school in such a sexy, new, “covert” war-fightin’ world.
The basic principle is simple enough: if you see a juggernaut heading your way, duck. As TomDispatch regular Andrew Bacevich, editor most recently of The Short American Century, makes clear, war American-style is heading back "into the shadows" and it's going to be one roller-coaster of a scary ride. (To catch Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Bacevich discusses what we don’t know about special operations forces, click here or download it to your iPod here.) Tom
Globalizing the Global War on Terror
By Andrew J. Bacevich
As he campaigns for reelection, President Obama periodically reminds audiences of his success in terminating the deeply unpopular Iraq War. With fingers crossed for luck, he vows to do the same with the equally unpopular war in Afghanistan. If not exactly a peacemaker, our Nobel Peace Prize-winning president can (with some justification) at least claim credit for being a war-ender.
Yet when it comes to military policy, the Obama administration’s success in shutting down wars conducted in plain sight tells only half the story, and the lesser half at that. More significant has been this president’s enthusiasm for instigating or expanding secret wars, those conducted out of sight and by commandos.
President Franklin Roosevelt may not have invented the airplane, but during World War II he transformed strategic bombing into one of the principal emblems of the reigning American way of war. General Dwight D. Eisenhower had nothing to do with the Manhattan Project that developed the atomic bomb. Yet, as president, Ike’s strategy of Massive Retaliation made nukes the centerpiece of U.S. national security policy.
So, too, with Barack Obama and special operations forces. The U.S. Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) with its constituent operating forces -- Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, and the like -- predated his presidency by decades. Yet it is only on Obama’s watch that these secret warriors have reached the pinnacle of the U.S. military’s prestige hierarchy.
John F. Kennedy famously gave the Green Berets their distinctive headgear. Obama has endowed the whole special operations “community” with something less decorative but far more important: privileged status that provides special operators with maximum autonomy while insulating them from the vagaries of politics, budgetary or otherwise. Congress may yet require the Pentagon to undertake some (very modest) belt-tightening, but one thing’s for sure: no one is going to tell USSOCOM to go on a diet. What the special ops types want, they will get, with few questions asked -- and virtually none of those few posed in public.
Since 9/11, USSOCOM’s budget has quadrupled. The special operations order of battle has expanded accordingly. At present, there are an estimated 66,000 uniformed and civilian personnel on the rolls, a doubling in size since 2001 with further growth projected. Yet this expansion had already begun under Obama’s predecessor. His essential contribution has been to broaden the special ops mandate. As one observer put it, the Obama White House let Special Operations Command “off the leash.”
As a consequence, USSOCOM assets today go more places and undertake more missions while enjoying greater freedom of action than ever before. After a decade in which Iraq and Afghanistan absorbed the lion’s share of the attention, hitherto neglected swaths of Africa, Asia, and Latin America are receiving greater scrutiny. Already operating in dozens of countries around the world -- as many as 120 by the end of this year -- special operators engage in activities that range from reconnaissance and counterterrorism to humanitarian assistance and “direct action.” The traditional motto of the Army special forces is “De Oppresso Liber” (“To Free the Oppressed”). A more apt slogan for special operations forces as a whole might be “Coming soon to a Third World country near you!”
The displacement of conventional forces by special operations forces as the preferred U.S. military instrument -- the “force of choice” according to the head of USSOCOM, Admiral William McRaven -- marks the completion of a decades-long cultural repositioning of the American soldier. The G.I., once represented by the likes of cartoonist Bill Mauldin’s iconic Willie and Joe, is no more, his place taken by today’s elite warrior professional. Mauldin’s creations were heroes, but not superheroes. The nameless, lionized SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden are flesh-and blood Avengers. Willie and Joe were "us." SEALs are anything but "us." They occupy a pedestal well above mere mortals. Couch potato America stands in awe of their skill and bravery.
This cultural transformation has important political implications. It represents the ultimate manifestation of the abyss now separating the military and society. Nominally bemoaned by some, including former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and former Joint Chiefs Chairman Admiral Mike Mullen, this civilian-military gap has only grown over the course of decades and is now widely accepted as the norm. As one consequence, the American people have forfeited owner’s rights over their army, having less control over the employment of U.S. forces than New Yorkers have over the management of the Knicks or Yankees.
As admiring spectators, we may take at face value the testimony of experts (even if such testimony is seldom disinterested) who assure us that the SEALs, Rangers, Green Berets, etc. are the best of the best, and that they stand ready to deploy at a moment's notice so that Americans can sleep soundly in their beds. If the United States is indeed engaged, as Admiral McRaven has said, in "a generational struggle," we will surely want these guys in our corner.
Even so, allowing war in the shadows to become the new American way of war is not without a downside. Here are three reasons why we should think twice before turning global security over to Admiral McRaven and his associates.
Goodbye accountability. Autonomy and accountability exist in inverse proportion to one another. Indulge the former and kiss the latter goodbye. In practice, the only thing the public knows about special ops activities is what the national security apparatus chooses to reveal. Can you rely on those who speak for that apparatus in Washington to tell the truth? No more than you can rely on JPMorgan Chase to manage your money prudently. Granted, out there in the field, most troops will do the right thing most of the time. On occasion, however, even members of an elite force will stray off the straight-and-narrow. (Until just a few weeks ago, most Americans considered White House Secret Service agents part of an elite force.) Americans have a strong inclination to trust the military. Yet as a famous Republican once said: trust but verify. There's no verifying things that remain secret. Unleashing USSOCOM is a recipe for mischief.
Hello imperial presidency. From a president’s point of view, one of the appealing things about special forces is that he can send them wherever he wants to do whatever he directs. There’s no need to ask permission or to explain. Employing USSOCOM as your own private military means never having to say you’re sorry. When President Clinton intervened in Bosnia or Kosovo, when President Bush invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, they at least went on television to clue the rest of us in. However perfunctory the consultations may have been, the White House at least talked things over with the leaders on Capitol Hill. Once in a while, members of Congress even cast votes to indicate approval or disapproval of some military action. With special ops, no such notification or consultation is necessary. The president and his minions have a free hand. Building on the precedents set by Obama, stupid and reckless presidents will enjoy this prerogative no less than shrewd and well-intentioned ones.
And then what...? As U.S. special ops forces roam the world slaying evildoers, the famous question posed by David Petraeus as the invasion of Iraq began -- "Tell me how this ends" -- rises to the level of Talmudic conundrum. There are certainly plenty of evildoers who wish us ill (primarily but not necessarily in the Greater Middle East). How many will USSOCOM have to liquidate before the job is done? Answering that question becomes all the more difficult given that some of the killing has the effect of adding new recruits to the ranks of the non-well-wishers.
In short, handing war to the special operators severs an already too tenuous link between war and politics; it becomes war for its own sake. Remember George W. Bush’s “Global War on Terror”? Actually, his war was never truly global. War waged in a special-operations-first world just might become truly global -- and never-ending. In that case, Admiral McRaven’s "generational struggle" is likely to become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
Andrew J. Bacevich is professor of history and international relations at Boston University and a TomDispatch regular. He is editor of the new book The Short American Century, just published by Harvard University Press. To listen to Timothy MacBain's latest Tomcast audio interview in which Bacevich discusses what we don’t know about special operations forces, click here or download it to your iPod here.
Follow TomDispatch on Twitter @TomDispatch and join us on Facebook.
Copyright 2012 Andrew
Does Fox Hire Uninformed Pundits—or Does Being on Fox Make You Uninformed?
Posted on 06/08/2012 by Jim Naureckas
On the popular Fox News show the Five (6/6/12), co-host Eric Bolling blasted Muslim advocates who are suing the New York Police Department over its spying program targeting Muslims, saying that in the last 15 years, "Every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim."
In fact, Muslims are responsible for a tiny fraction of terrorism in the U.S.; as a Rand study pointed out in 2010 (Extra!, 5/11), of the "83 terrorist attacks in the United States between 9/11 and the end of 2009, only three…were clearly connected with the jihadist cause."
Bolling has made a habit of broadcasting false information about terrorism in the U.S. Last year (7/13/11), he bizarrely claimed that there hadn't been any terrorism on American soil when George W. Bush was in office. He later (7/14/11) amended that to say "in the aftermath of 9/11"–which is equally untrue (FAIR Blog, 7/15/11).
Studies have suggested a correlation between primarily relying on Fox News for your information about the world and ignorance about basic facts. Those studies do not address whether the relationship is causal—in other words, it isn't clear if watching Fox News makes one ignorant, or if less-informed people are somehow drawn to Fox News. Eric Bolling's popularity on Fox does not clear up that question.
Michael Blain, Power, Discourse and Victimage Ritual in the War on Terror
Blending concepts from 'dramatism' such as 'victimage ritual' with Foucault's approach to modern power and knowledge regimes, this book presents a novel and illuminating perspective on political power and domination resulting from the global war on terrorism. With attention to media sources and political discourse within the context of the global war on terror, the author draws attention to the manner in which power elites construct scapegoats by way of a victimage ritual, thus providing themselves with a political pretext for extending their power and authority over new territories and populations, as well as legitimating an intensification of domestic surveillance and social control. A compelling analysis of ritual rhetoric and political violence, "Power, Discourse and Victimage Ritual in the War on Terror" will be of interest to sociologists, political theorists and scholars of media and communication concerned with questions of surveillance and social control, political communication, hegemony, foreign policy and the war on terror.
An Intellectual History of Terror:
War, Violence and the State By Mikkel Thorup
2010 by Routledge – 282 pages.
Series: Routledge Critical Terrorism Studies
• View Inside this Book
• Author Bio
This book investigates terrorism and anti-terrorism as related and interacting phenomena, undertaking a simultaneous reading of terrorist and statist ideologists in order to reconstruct the ‘deadly dialogue’ between them.
This work investigates an extensive array of violent phenomena and actors, trying to broaden the scope and ambition of the history of terrorism studies. It combines an extensive reading of state and terrorist discourse from various sources with theorizing of modernity’s political, institutional and ideological development, forms of violence, and its guiding images of self and other, order and disorder. Chapters explore groups of actors (terrorists, pirates, partisans, anarchists, Islamists, neo-Nazis, revolutionaries, soldiers, politicians, scholars) as well as a broad empirical source material, and combine them into a narrative of how our ideas and concepts of state, terrorism, order, disorder, territory, violence and others came about and influence the struggle between the modern state and its challengers. The main focus is on how the state and its challengers have conceptualized and legitimated themselves, defended their existence and, most importantly, their violence. In doing so, the book situates terrorism and anti-terrorism within modernity’s grander history of state, war, ideology and violence.
This book will be of much interest to students of critical terrorism studies, political violence, sociology, philosophy, and Security Studies/IR in genera
Mikkel Thorup is Assistant Professor at the Institute of Philosophy and the History of Ideas, University of Aarhus, Denmark
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