Since October 7, the day’s events have been shrouded in mystery. There are not only questions about the Israeli intelligence apparatus’s colossal failure to anticipate what was happening in the tightly besieged Strip or the quick collapse of their billion-dollar “Maginot Line” but also the details of what actually transpired in the military bases and settlements around the Gaza Strip. We know that, by common estimates, 1,400 Israelis were killed in the following few days, but we do not yet know the details of how. Some reports are beginning to appear, including documentation of the killing of Israelis by Palestinian fighters, but there are a growing number of reports that indicate the Israeli military was also responsible for Israeli civilian and military deaths on October 7 and the days after.
Americans have been shocked by the death and destruction of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, filling our screens with bombed buildings and dead bodies lying in the street. But the United States and its allies have waged war in country after country for decades, carving swathes of destruction through cities, towns and villages on a far greater scale than has so far disfigured Ukraine. As we recently reported, the U.S. and its allies have dropped over 337,000 bombs and missiles, or 46 per day, on nine countries since 2001 alone. Senior U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency officers told Newsweek that the first 24 days of Russia’s bombing of Ukraine was less destructive than the first day of U.S. bombing in Iraq in 2003. The U.S.-led campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria bombarded those countries with over 120,000 bombs and missiles, the heaviest bombing anywhere in decades.
Experts on the conduct and consequences of U.S. drone strikes delivered harrowing testimony Wednesday at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on two decades of aerial bombardment during the so-called War on Terror. "Our nation is at a turning point," Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said upon opening the hearing. "In the months after 9/11 we strayed from our values, engaging in torture and indefinite detention at Guantánamo, which continues." "We also began conducting lethal strikes in unprecedented ways," he continued, later acknowledging the tens of thousands of men, women, and children killed U.S. airstrikes in at least half a dozen nations over the past 20-plus years. Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican on the committee, was dismissive of the proceeding, instead expressing concern for "the growing spike in violent crime, including murders and attacks on police" in the United States.
Today marks 45 years since U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operatives carried out the terrorist bombing of Cubana de Aviación flight 455, a Cuban flight from Barbados to Jamaica. 73 people were killed in the bombing attack on the flight which departed from Guyana, with destination to Havana, via the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, Barbados and Jamaica. Various aviation agencies and the Cuban government determined that the airliner was blown up in midair with the detonation of two explosives which had been placed on the airplane, killing all passengers and crew members of the aircraft which plummeted into the sea off the coast of Paynes Bay, Barbados.
As a parting shot, on its way out of Afghanistan, the United States military launched a drone attack that the Pentagon called a “righteous strike.” The final missile fired during 20 years of occupation, that Aug. 29 airstrike averted an Islamic State car-bomb attack on the last American troops at Kabul’s airport. At least, that’s what the Pentagon told the world. Within two weeks, a New York Times investigation would dismantle that official narrative. Seven days later, even the Pentagon admitted it. Instead of killing an ISIS suicide bomber, the United States had slaughtered 10 civilians: Zemari Ahmadi, a longtime worker for a U.S. aid group; three of his children, Zamir, 20, Faisal, 16, and Farzad, 10; Ahmadi’s cousin Naser, 30; three children of Ahmadi’s brother Romal, Arwin, 7, Benyamin, 6, and Hayat, 2; and two 3-year-old girls, Malika and Somaya.
Washington’s record speaks for itself. Seen from the Potomac’s shores, the value of a civilian life almost directly correlates with how the US Government of the moment feels about the regime that man, woman, or child momentarily lives under. Consider it the obscenity of the arbitrary. A few examples should suffice, but one could fill volumes with consistent exemplars. "Heroic" Libyan rebels – and proximate civilians – mattered once, and only once, President Barack Obama decided their bizarre but harmless-to-the-homeland dictator Colonel Gaddafi had to go. Yet, ten times as many Yemeni lives-extinguished (including at least 85,000 starved-to-death children) didn’t and don’t, because their killers are Washington’s oil-rich Saudi allies. In fact, a complicit US military even lent those theocratic state-terrorists a vital murder-logistics hand. See how the macabre game works?