By Bruce K. Gagnon for Organizing Notes – The publication called Business Insider is carrying a story promoting a US first-strike attack on North Korea. The article includes a quote from the Wall Street Journal that reads, “An internal White House review of strategy on North Korea includes the possibility of military force or regime change to blunt the country’s nuclear-weapons threat, people familiar with the process said, a prospect that has some U.S. allies in the region on edge.” The BI article also states: Military action against North Korea wouldn’t be pretty. Some number of civilians in South Korea, possibly Japan, and US forces stationed in the Pacific would be likely to die in the undertaking no matter how smoothly things went.
By Andrew deGrandpre and Shawn Snow for Military Times – In 2016 alone, U.S. combat aircraft conducted at least 456 airstrikes in Afghanistan that were not recorded as part of an open-source database maintained by the U.S. Air Force, information relied on by Congress, American allies, military analysts, academic researchers, the media and independent watchdog groups to assess each war’s expense, manpower requirements and human toll. Those airstrikes were carried out by attack helicopters and armed drones operated by the U.S. Army, metrics quietly excluded from otherwise comprehensive monthly summaries, published online for years, detailing American military activity in all three theaters.
By David Brown for World Socialist Web Site – According to leaked documents, the Obama administration’s use of metadata to identify and target terrorists in Pakistan would misidentify over 99,000 innocent people. The SKYNET program, named after the antagonist in the Terminator movie series, is used to examine the cellular network metadata of over 55 million people in Pakistan and flag suspicious patterns to target for “counter-terrorism” operations like kidnapping, interrogation or drone assassination.
By Jack Serle, Abigail Fielding-Smith and Payenda Sargand for The Bureau of Investigative Journalism – The rate at which civilians are being killed by US airstrikes in Afghanistan is at its highest point since 2008, an analysis of newly published UN data reveals. Research by the Bureau shows that on average a civilian was killed every fourth drone or jet strike in 2015 – up from one in 11 attacks the year before and the first time the casualty rate has risen since 2011. The rate was last at such levels at the height of the Afghan war in 2008.
CENTCOM confirms 9 strikes against ISIS near the Mosul Dam. This is far beyond the limits Obama set. There are no U.S. personnel or interests in needing protection in Mosul or Erbil. ISIS hasn’t threatened U.S. interests. Baghdad, where the Embassy has ,personnel is and our interests lie, is 100 miles away. This is a bait and switch, as we all suspected it would be. Obama authorized air strikes to save the Yazidis. He said further strikes would be allowed to protect American interests and personnel. Beginning last night at 6 pm, U.S. warplanes struck ISIS in Mosul, in an effort to help the Kurds retake the Mosul Dam. The Kurds have reportedly retaken the East side of the dam. “Kurdish peshmerga, with US air support, have seized control of the eastern side of the dam” complex, Major General Abdelrahman Korini told AFP, saying several jihadists had been killed.
As America goes back to war in Iraq with airstrikes, here’s what to know and do instead: – This is a slippery slope if those words have any meaning left. Airstrikes are in part to protect American advisors sent earlier to Erbil to support Kurds there because Iraqi central government won’t. The U.S. is assuming the role of the de facto Iraqi Air Force. What happens next week, next crisis, next “genocide?” Tell me how that ends. – Understand how deep the U.S. is already in. It is highly likely that U.S. Special Forces are active on the ground, conducting reconnaissance missions and laser-designating targets for circling U.S. aircraft. If U.S. planes are overhead, U.S. search and rescue assets are not far away, perhaps in desert forward operating positions. This is how bigger wars begin. Go Google “Vietnam War,” say starting about 1963. – The U.S. media is playing the meme that the U.S. is worried about Christian minority in Iraq, as a way to engorge the American people with blood. But the media fails to note that over half of Iraq’s Christians were killed or fled during the U.S. occupation.