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					Vijay Prashad: Droneland                                                 

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           Today's Stories

           July 18, 2011                                                                            July 18, 2011

           Uri Avnery
           It Can Happen Here
                                    A Revived Anti-War Movement?

           July 15 - 17, 2011
           Alexander Cockburn
           NATO's Debacle in        By VIJAY PRASHAD
                                         "Bombardment, by whatever means, of towns, villages,
           Mike Whitney
                                         dwellings, or buildings which are undefended, is prohibited."
           Debt Ceiling Kabuki
                                         (4th Hague Convention, 1907).
           Gareth Porter
           Sadr's Game

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Vijay Prashad: Droneland                                               

           Michael Brenner
           The Big Rollback      A new continent has emerged on our atlas: it is Droneland. The borders of
                                 Droneland run from Libya to Somalia to Yemen to Afghanistan to Pakistan.
           Ramzy Baroud          The Reaper and the Predator stalk the air, driven by young people in distant
           How the PA Sold       bases. A necklace of American power, these bases throttle the globe in a
           Out Palestinian       silent embrace. The New America Foundation estimates that the U. S. drone
           Unity                 attacks in Pakistan alone have killed between 1,579 and 2,490 civilians
                                 since 2004. Last year, the UN investigator on extrajudicial killings Philip
           Conn Hallinan         Alston noted that these attacks might very well be illegal. The UK-based
           The Walls of          Reprieve is seeking an international arrest warrant against John Rizzo,
           Paestum               acting general counsel for the CIA, who told Newsweek in February that he
                                 approved at least one drone strike per month. This would be a minor
           Saul Landau /
                                 earthquake on Droneland, if the accusation were not shelved somewhere in
           Danny Glover
                                 the topsy-turvy offices of Scotland Yard.
           Danny and Saul
           Visit Gerardo Again   In 1922, the head of the British Empire's Northwest Provinces (roughly
                                 Pakistan and southern Afghanistan), Sir John Maffrey wondered aloud about
           Jeff Sparrow
                                 the bombings of the civilians, "What are the rules for this kind of cricket?"
           The Phony Populism
                                 His betters in Delhi responded that international law did not apply "against
           of Rupert Murdoch
                                 savage tribes who do not conform to codes of civilized warfare." It would be
                                 unwise to warn the assailants, and better to use maximum force. After all, it      Weaponizi
           Susil Gupta
                                 was the ferocity that would break the morale of the savages. Any solicitude        Social Scie
           Murdoch's Mafia
                                 toward women was also dismissed. Afghan women, the imperial
           David Swanson         headquarters noted, are treated as "a piece of property somewhere between
           The Blood on          a rifle and a cow." The Air Officer Commanding, India, Philip Game wisely
           Murdoch's Hands       put it in another dispatch, "I expect that in a short time, if we use our Air
                                 Force wisely and humanely, such outcry as there is will cease and air action
           Laura Carlsen         will be regarded as a normal and suitable weapon for enforcing the just
           Return of the         demands of government" (October 18, 1923). Games' hope has come to
           Dinosaurs in Mexico   pass. Apart from Reprieve and the families of those killed by the strikes, few
                                 are upset by the creation of Droneland.
           Neve Gordon
           Israel's Growing     The National Priorities Project, in Northampton, MA, informs us that the
           Crackdown            total war spending by the U. S. government since 9/11 is now in the range
                                of $7.6 trillion. The NPP has the decency to add the Pentagon's base budget,
           Eric Walberg         the nuclear budget, the budget of Homeland Security, and the cost of the
           Israel and the       Iraq and Afghan wars (by themselves $1.26 trillion). It is a startling figure.
           Flotillas            It has been underscored by the otherwise irresolute U. S. Conference of
                                Mayors. The mayors adopted the activists' "war dollars" language and called
           Philippe Descamps
                                upon the U. S. Congress to "bring these war dollars home to meet vital
                                human needs, promote job creation, rebuild our infrastructure, aid
           Demographic Crisis
                                municipal and state governments, and develop a new economy based upon
           Christopher Brauchli renewable, sustainable energy." The economic arguments to end the war
           America Right or     have now entered the mainstream – LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, head of
           Wrong                the Conference and nothing of a progressive, intones the criticism of "war
                                                                                                                     Fear of th
                                                                                                                    The Hidden
           David Macaray
           A Strike Looms in    The mayors say nothing about Droneland, or of the pedagogical importance
           the Grocery          of aerial bombardment. They also say nothing about international law, and
                                its subservience to the "international community," a synonym for the G-7               Intro by
           Jack Random
           Why I Hate Texas     Silent for too long, the anti-war legions have begun to regroup. During the
                                Bush years (eight, but they seemed eternal), it was easy for the radicals to
           Rev. William E.      draw in the liberals: Bush was the lodestone. It was easy to despise him.
           Alberts              The anti-war grouping then was considerable (a million people protested
           Bachmann's God       across the United States on February 15, 2003). But it was unstable. One

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Vijay Prashad: Droneland                                               

                                 strand was hardened against militarism at least, if not fully against
           Alan Farago           imperialism. Among them one finds the various left-of-center parties and
           The Wrecking Crew     the peace organizations, as well as the Quakers, the Bruderhofs, and the
                                 Buddhists. Then there were those who do not like irrational wars, or as
           Damien Millet /
                                 State Senator Barack Obama put it in 2002, "dumb wars, rash wars." This
           Eric Toussaint
                                 strand was furious with the "distraction" of Iraq, and wanted the President
           Facing the Debt
                                 to focus attention on the War on Terror and on Afghanistan. The link
           Crisis in Europe
                                 between these two camps was their antipathy to Bush and to the Iraq War.
           Marica Frangakis      That was the energy that produced the February 2003 wave.
           How the EU Made
                                With the election of Obama, the basis for unity (Bush) disappeared. The
           the Greek Crisis
                                liberal tendency tied its hopes to Obama, and despite the consistent
                                disappointments, remains firmly of the view that this presidency has been
           Walter M. Brasch     trying, despite the (Republican) odds to focus attention on Afghanistan and
           The Change Deficit   to drawdown from Iraq. The death of Bin Laden, for this strand, is proof
                                positive that Obama is the better bureaucrat of warfare. It is unlikely that
           Jordan Flaherty      the liberal branch of the anti-Iraq war movement will assemble once more
           Danziger Bridge      on the expansion of warfare under Obama throughout the Dronelands. This
           Trial: Defending     is perhaps why there has been such silence over the past years, as the U. S.
           Killer Cops          has expanded its operations, and found itself wrong-footed in the Arab
                                Spring (trying to block the Egyptian revolution, succeeding in blocking the
           Karl Shepard         Bahrain uprising, and moving the Libyan struggle hastily to warfare). The    the True St
           Jim Crow             anti-Iraq war formations have been largely silent.                              Grace Co
           Resurrected in                                                                                      Montana
           Florida              Fractions of that earlier coalition continue to assert themselves. We would
                                appear a complicit nation if not for the splendid shenanigans of Code Pink,
           Jon Hochschartner    whether at the empty hearings in Congress or the streets of our cities, and
           Capitalism and the   of the newly created United National Anti-War Committee (UNAC). In July       Introducti
           Environment: an      2010, about eight hundred activists from dozens of organizations gathered
           Interview with Chris in Albany, New York to inaugurate UNAC, and to release a portmanteau
           Williams             statement that opposed all that is bad about military policy (from spending
                                on war to the incarceration of Bradley Manning). On April 9, 2011, UNAC
           Joe Allen            hosted a very large demonstration in New York City against the warfare
           Free Speech in the   state and in defense of Muslims. The antiwar movement had returned from
           Shadow of War        hibernation, and announced that this time it would gather around two
                                intrinsically related principles: anti-imperialism and anti-Islamaphobia.
           Alvaro Huerta
           Striking Out in      Anti-Imperialism: Warfare and war dollars by the United States is not
           Phoenix              irrational and accidental, as the Conference of Mayors suggested. A depleted
                                industrial base and an elephantine financial sector squeeze the possibility of
           David Ker Thomson
                                jobs and social services for the people. This combination of financial power
           Lake Nameless
                                and industrial decline is the signal that a civilization's time of power has
           Missy Beattie        now come to a close. It is a "sign of autumn," wrote the historian Ferdinand
           The Paradox of       Braudel. These signs have come before, in Genoa, Holland and the United
           Progress             Kingdom (as Giovanni Arrighi documents in The Long Twentieth Century).
                                When it became clear that the United Kingdom's autumn was at hand by
           Dr. Susan Block      1925, Winston Churchill proclaimed, "I would rather see finance less proud
           The Politics of      and industry more content." The United States overtook the United Kingdom
           Spanking             as the world's largest and most important economy within months of this
                                pronouncement. The IMF has now declared that China will overtake the U.
           Pradeep Baisakh      S. by 2016. Braudel and Arrighi argue that in the time of autumn, the
           Clearing Forests and declining power resorts to force to try to prevent the inevitable. In addition         By Paul
           People in Odisha     to that cyclical possibility, the United States has developed a warped
                                economy with military production as a centerpiece of industrial
           Dan LaBotz
                                development, and with military power required to secure the primacy of the
           Blues on the Border
                                dollar. War is essential to the absurd dreams of another "American
           Ron Jacobs           Century." An antiwar movement has to see this, and argue for more than

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Vijay Prashad: Droneland                                                  

           Stopping the Train,    the end to this war or that war. Our historical task is to confront the basis of
           Stopping the           these wars, the imperialist war economy that threatens the planet to
           System                 preserve the fortunes and pride of the few.

           Brian Tokar            Anti-Islamaphobia: At the April 9 rally in New York City, leaders of the
           Coming of Age in a     Muslim Peace Coalition and the 100 Imams for Peace provided a brisk
           Different Time         anti-imperialist message, and pointed out that these wars in the Dronelands
                                  have increased the attacks on Muslims and those who resemble Muslims
           Charles R. Larson      inside the United States. Imam Abdul Malik Mujahid (from Chicago) hoped
           Pilgrim's Progress     for "an America that does not bomb the poorest of the poor for the service
                                  of the richest of the rich." For him, war, terrorism and Islamaphobia "are all
           David Yearsley
                                  one evil triplet." A new study from the Center for Human Rights and Global
           Stetch at Full
                                  Justice demonstrates that the United States government has systematically
                                  used paid and untrained informants to sow fear among American Muslims
           Poets' Basement        ("Targeted and Entrapped: Manufacturing the 'Homegrown Threat' in the
           Church, Landau and     United States," 2011). In preparation for what will be a season of
           Ramsey                 Islamaphobia, as the tenth anniversary of 911 approaches, the citizens of
                                  Teaneck, NJ., passed an anti-bias resolution as part of the "An America for
           Website of the         All of US" campaign organized by South Asian Americans Leading Together
           Weekend                (SAALT). Other towns will follow. It is to the credit of UNAC that it does not
           Happy                  see the issue of Islamaphobia as divisive, as irrelevant to what others claim
           Carmageddon!           is the principle issue, namely the war. As Imam Mujahid put it, we have to
                                  "unite against war at home and war abroad."
           July 14, 2011
                                  The election season is upon us. Progressives will be asked the same old tired
           Pam Martens            question: do you support Obama to hold the "Left" united or will you go for
           Conspirators           a third party and hand the election to the "Right"? It is of course the case
                                  that the "Right" is a party of lunacy. Obama's posture as an anti-war
           Unmasked in the
           DSK Drama              figurehead is not as ridiculous as Mitt Romney's populist fancy. The question
                                  of the election is a divisive issue, and it should not be the focus of our
           Tariq Ali              energy. What must guide the anti-war camp is to strengthen our
           Scenes From a          organization and to build momentum in this country against a political class
           Marriage: AmPak        that is largely devoted to war. No point wasting energy on a tired debate.
           Relations              Better to put that time and those resources into building a formation such
                                  as UNAC, which would then be able to challenge a political class that is
           Patrick Cockburn       incapable of deciphering the entrails that say quite clearly that the
           Libyan Rebels          American Century is now over.
                                  Vijay Prashad is the George and Martha Kellner Chair of South Asian
           Fred Gardner           History and Director of International Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT
           How Cannabis           His most recent book, The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third
           Works                  World, won the Muzaffar Ahmad Book Prize for 2009. He can be reached at:
           Israel Shamir
           Zizek and the Gaza     CounterPunchers in Philadelphia can hear Prashad speak on Palestine and
           Flotilla               the Arab Spring on July 23. Click here for details.

           Lawrence Davidson
           Will the US Leave
                                                                                                                          Born Un
                                                                                                                         Notes fro
           Benjamin Dangl
                                            Exclusively in the New Print Issue of CounterPunch
           Grassroots Solutions
           to American Crises

           John Grant                            UNHOLY ALLIANCE
           The Gaza Flotilla
           and the Blood-
                                        The Press, NATO and the Attack on Libya                                          Waiting

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