Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Was the London killing of a British soldier 'terrorism'?

From: The Guardian thru MCM

COMMENT - "Why do they hate us?" which  question I touched on in the first of my series, Drones, and the Military-Industrial Complex.

Sort of obvious, isn't it?  This series will link up all the points in the chains of causality.  Please send article above, and subsequent pieces, on to others. 

Drone contractors, those whose products are providing the leading edge of application for the model of continued oppression to be used against both people around the world and those here in the U.S., are providing essential technology, without which this primary, causal, terrorism, could not happen.

Drone strikes traumatize individuals, shock, and interfere with all parts of the lives of people in those places targeted.  They have also interfered with our lives, here, at least for those of us who pay attention.  

A perusal of Green Hills Software's website  reveals they supply essential software, which is the common element on which the use of drones depends.  Without its tiny brain and the guidance made affordable and reliable, a drone is a motionless chunk of parts. 

Therefore, providing social disincentives, for instance shunning, refusing them service in restaurants, returning their donations to local charities, and otherwise raising their visibility within the community where they lurk, is an appropriate strategy.  

Green Hills Software's corporate office, and management team, with the exception of John B. (Jack) Douglas III, is located at 30 W. Sola, Santa Barbara, CA.  Jack's address in Massachusetts is bogus.  His name is not even on the menu there where he is listed, also curiously, as 'corporate counsel.'

The articles which Mark Crispin Miller sends on are at MarkCrispinMiller.com


guardian.co.uk, Thursday 23 May 2013 09.03 EDT

What definition of the term includes this horrific act of violence but excludes the acts of the US, the UK and its allies?

Woolwich attack, suspect on street
A man appearing to be holding holding a knife following the Woolwich attack. Photograph: Pixel8000

(updated below)
Two men yesterday engaged in a horrific act of violence on the streets of London by using what appeared to be a meat cleaver to hack to death a British soldier. In the wake of claims that the assailants shouted "Allahu Akbar" during the killing, and a video showing one of the assailants citing Islam as well as a desire to avenge and stop continuous UK violence against Muslims, media outlets (including the Guardian) and British politicians instantly characterized the attack as "terrorism".

That this was a barbaric and horrendous act goes without saying, but given the legal, military, cultural and political significance of the term "terrorism", it is vital to ask: is that term really applicable to this act of violence? To begin with, in order for an act of violence to be "terrorism", many argue that it must deliberately target civilians. That's the most common means used by those who try to distinguish the violence engaged in by western nations from that used by the "terrorists": sure, we kill civilians sometimes, but we don't deliberately target them the way the "terrorists" do.

But here, just as was true for Nidal Hasan's attack on a Fort Hood military base, the victim of the violence was a soldier of a nation at war, not a civilian. He was stationed at an army barracks quite close to the attack. The killer made clear that he knew he had attacked a soldier when he said afterward: "this British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth."
The US, the UK and its allies have repeatedly killed Muslim civilians over the past decade (and before that), but defenders of those governments insist that this cannot be "terrorism" because it is combatants, not civilians, who are the targets. Can it really be the case that when western nations continuously kill Muslim civilians, that's not "terrorism", but when Muslims kill western soldiers, that is terrorism? Amazingly, the US has even imprisoned people at Guantanamo and elsewhere on accusations of "terrorism" who are accused of nothing more than engaging in violence against US soldiers who invaded their country


Comment by Mark Crispin Miller, from email.

Drone admissions

In not unrelated news, the US government yesterday admitted for the first time what everyone has long known: that it killed four Muslim American citizens with drones during the Obama presidency, including a US-born teenager whom everyone acknowledges was guilty of nothing. As Jeremy Scahill - whose soon-to-be-released film "Dirty Wars" examines US covert killings aimed at Muslims - noted yesterday about this admission, it "leaves totally unexplained why the United States has killed so many innocent non-American citizens in its strikes in Pakistan and Yemen". Related to all of these issues, please watch this two-minute trailer for "Dirty Wars", which I reviewed a few weeks ago here.

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