Killing them on their streets



Petraeus and the signature of U.S. terror

Greg Miller of the Washington Post reports on the White House debate about CIA director David Petraeus’ request for a homicidal escalation of the CIA drone war in Yemen.

It seems Petraeus and his allies in the current inter-agency debate do not want to be constrained by a list. They calculate if the U.S. slaughters a particular crowd of people at an al-Qaida funeral, they are sure to kill men plotting to attack the United States. The logic, if not the morality, is persuasive: If you kill the certainly innocent, you will also get some of the presumably guilty.

This is also the logic of terrorism, which is one reason why the defenders of “signature strikes” prefer that their names not be published in the Washington Post.

Translation: if Petraeus is demanding more drone strikes in Yemen, it means that the US and Yemen governments are losing here.

And the reasons for this are as obvious as they are logical, if someone were actually looking in the right direction.

After the departure of Yemen’s former “President for Life” Selah, the deplorable conditions under which most Yemenites live have not abated whatsoever. There is still appalling poverty; corruption and lack of transparency; food insecurity; little to no education, and no jobs to speak of, save for possibly in the military.

I know I use this quote from the late President Kennedy frequently, but that doesn’t stop it from being powerfully true: “when peaceful revolution is impossible, violent revolution is inevitable.”

If the US government collectively had a shred of sense, it would be insisting that the Yemenite government use the money it gives it to provide food aid, education, and health care for Yemen’s people, and creating transparent methods to validate that this has actually been accomplished. Then, work to provide an infrastructure where investors will see Yemen as a viable place to invest their capital.

Of course, all this would be…logical.

Unless the fundamental flaws in the infrastructure are corrected, it will not matter how many drone hits the US government has accomplished; things will go from bad to worse here, and the current government may well be toppled and replaced by an horrendously US-hostile government.

If that is the outcome CIA Director Petraeus wishes to see happen, I encourage him to continue in the direction of escalating the drone strikes.

Were it not that Yemen was a neighbor to oil giant Saudi Arabia, where the sclerotic House of Saud is having troubles of its own in terms of unrest, which it, also, is brutally suppressing, we would not be in Yemen at all.

And I understand that for the US government, the scariest scenario would be for some kind of revolution to occur in Saudi Arabia, just at the time that an Israeli/US strike against Iran takes Iranian oil off the market.

The TSA’s mission creep is making the US a police state

Anyone who rode the bus in Houston, Texas during the 2-10pm shift last Friday faced random bag checks and sweeps by both drug-sniffing dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs (the latter being only canines necessary if “preventing terrorism” were the actual intent of these raids), all courtesy of a joint effort between TSA VIPR nests and three different local and county-level police departments. The new Napolitano doctrine, then: “Show us your papers, show us everything you’ve got, justify yourself or you’re not allowed to go about your everyday business.”

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee praised these violations of her constituents’ rights with an explanation asinine even by congressional standards:

Henceforward, when I travel by air (kind of a requirement for getting anywhere from Oahu, unless you own a yacht), because I will not go through the xray machines, I am printing out and bringing a little article which I am going to hand to the invariably dim GropeNazi I will encounter, which can be found here:

But what of the health effects of terahertz waves? At first glance, it’s easy to dismiss any notion that they can be damaging. Terahertz photons are not energetic enough to break chemical bonds or ionize atoms or molecules, the chief reasons why higher energy photons such as x-rays and UV rays are so bad for us. But could there be another mechanism at work? Alexandrov and co have created a model to investigate how THz fields interact with double-stranded DNA and what they’ve found is remarkable. They say that although the forces generated are tiny, resonant effects allow THz waves to unzip double-stranded DNA, creating bubbles in the double strand that could significantly interfere with processes such as gene expression and DNA replication. That’s a jaw dropping conclusion.

And I will say to the GropeNazi smilingly, if the TSA doesn’t like this research, get the researchers at the Center for Nonlinear Studies at Los Alamos National Laboratory to publicly recant!

Of course, they will probably be way too inarticulate to begin to fathom what the word “recant” means.

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