The corporate-military-political complex that continues to renew the arsenals of the nine nuclear nations represents a colossal failure of imagination.
Everyone knows that a nuclear war cannot be won, that the weapons are strategically useless, and that they are a catastrophic world-ending accident waiting to happen.
Everyone knows that the trillions spent on these weapons along with boondoggles like the F-35 Strike Fighter are heartlessly siphoned away from the fight against Covid, acute hunger in Afghanistan and elsewhere, and the climate emergency – let alone decent pay for day-care workers.
A group of 50 Democratic U.S. lawmakers on Thursday sent a letter to President Joe Biden focusing on the “inexcusable” number of noncombatants killed by drone strikes in the 20-year so-called War on Terror and urging his administration to “review and overhaul” American counterterrorism policy to “center human rights and the protection of civilians.”
“The continuation of status quo policies that have flouted executive and congressional oversight and resulted in devastatingly high numbers of civilian casualties would run contrary to the Biden administration’s commitments to end our forever wars, and promote human rights and our core democratic values,” the letter – which is led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) – states.
“Over successive administrations spanning nearly two decades, presidents have claimed virtually unlimited, unilateral power to use lethal force around the world and without congressional authorization, killing not only armed actors but also innocent civilians – even American citizens,” the lawmakers add.
A Saudi coalition airstrike on a prison killed at least 60 people and wounded at least 100 more in northern Yemen as part of the coalition’s reprisal attacks after the Houthis claimed drone and missile attacks that hit targets in Abu Dhabi earlier this week:
At least three children are among the dozens of people killed Friday, the humanitarian organization Save the Children said in a statement on Twitter. It noted that “the true number is feared to be higher.”
This follows coalition airstrikes in Sanaa that killed at least 20 civilians. The coalition response to the Abu Dhabi attacks has been consistent with the way they have waged the war from the beginning: reckless and indiscriminate bombing that slaughters civilians. The AP reports on the aftermath of the bombing:
“The initial casualties report from Saada is horrifying,” said Gillian Moyes, Save the Children’s country director in Yemen. “Migrants seeking better lives for themselves and their families, Yemeni civilians injured by the dozens, is a picture we never hoped to wake up to in Yemen.”
Of course, this is a picture that we keep waking up to over and over because the coalition governments are never held accountable and pay no penalty for their outrages. They still receive U.S. support and weapons, and they evidently have no need to worry that relations with the US will worsen if they keep pummeling Yemen with U.S.-made weapons. Once again, the people of Yemen are made to suffer as the coalition lashes out blindly. There were also reports yesterday and today that a coalition airstrike in Hodeidah had knocked out Internet service throughout the country, which has cut off Yemenis outside the country from contact with their friends and relatives.
Daniel Larison is a weekly columnist for Antiwar.com and maintains his own site at Eunomia. He is former senior editor at The American Conservative. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.
On COI #219, Kyle Anzalone is joined by Dave DeCamp – News Editor at Antiwar.com – to review Biden’s first year as president.
Dave breaks down Biden’s Ukraine policy. At a recent press conference, Biden suggested, if there is a small Russian invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. may not react. The White House immediately reversed the President’s statement. This confusion in policy comes as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is set to meet with his Russian counterpart.
Dave and Kyle discuss Biden’s Iran policy. Dave explains how Biden missed his opportunity to negotiate a more favorable deal with a moderate Iranian government. Now, Biden has set a deadline on the deal. But with a more hardline Iranian government in power, Tehran is demanding Biden live up to the commitments made by Obama.
Dave explains how Biden has failed to successfully hold Saudi Arabia accountable and end the war in Yemen. The US-aided Saudi slaughter of Yemen increased through 2021, despite Biden’s pledge to treat Saudi Arabia as a pariah state and end offensive weapon sales.
There’s nothing like a nice little war to rescue sagging popularity ratings and Biden’s approval is deep underwater. So is the plan to urge Ukraine to provoke Russia to attack? Republicans will cheer and Democrats will cheer. Only the dead will fail to cheer.
The American Secretary of State is adding air miles to his account this week by visiting Kiev, Berlin and tomorrow Geneva for meetings with President Zelensky, Chancellor Scholz and RF Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov respectively. However, whether abroad or at home he is a captive of the U.S. foreign affairs community echo chamber, utterly indifferent to external stimuli and incapable of responding appropriately to the changing environment. Everywhere he repeats the mantra that Russia is about to stage a classical invasion of Ukraine, just as everywhere President Biden repeats daily that the Russians will face consequences for their actions, very grave damage to their economy as a result of American led sanctions.
Meanwhile reality develops on its own, paying no heed to the script written in stone in Washington, D.C.
The Russians have a very flexible and constantly changing set of responses to threats and opportunities. This is what makes it so difficult for us commentators to foresee the actual path to denouement. But it is also what makes it almost certain the Russians will get what they want and change the European security architecture to their advantage in the face of American obtuseness.