Bernie Hearts Drone Assassinations, but with One Proviso

not bugsplat

‘Not Bug Splat’ art installation in Afghanistan

“You can argue that there are times and places where drone attacks have been effective, there are times and places where they have been absolutely counter-effective and have caused more problems than they have solved. When you kill innocent people, what the end result is that people in the region become anti-American who otherwise would not have been. So, I think we have to use drones very, very selectively and effectively.”

Please, Bernie, may I ask: whose assassinations were ‘effective’?  Those myriad ‘Al Qaeda #2s’?  Or those who were deemed worthy of death-dealing ‘signature strike’ metrics?  Are you blithely unaware that the shadow military comprised of CIA/JSOC/and mercenary armies conduct their own drone murders?  But somehow the two ‘beliefs’ here clang together like crashing two  trash can lids together  in their incongruity, much like your ‘how to fight ISIL’ does below.


Since President Barack Obama took office on Jan. 20, 2009, at least 2,464 people and 314 innocent civilians have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan and Somalia, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. At least seven US citizens have been extra-judicially killed by drones, including one 16-year-old, meaning they were never given a trial as required by the Constitution. Obama himself directly ordered many of the strikes on ‘Terror Tuesdays’.

Another study by the human rights group Reprieve found that as of Nov. 24, 2014, attempts to kill 41 alleged terrorists with drones resulted in the death of as many as 1,147 civilians, including more than 200 children, with thousands more injured.

The rest of the ABC interview with war hawk Raddatz is here.

Yes, Bernie; America ‘should have the strongest military on earth’ if one believes that the Empire needs to grow and thrive, and that the Global War on Terror is an admirable venture.  How hideous it is to hear you to trumpet an alliance with the tyrannical Saudi state, though, and pretend that it’s all down to dollars and cents.  And oof, how easily you accepted the agitprop framing of formerly embedded with the troops Martha’s questions, my stars!  Watching your eyes dart back and forth like a pinball machine showed that you were on the defensive for being called some idiotic peace dove.  Unbelievable.

From Sam Husseini:

“Why should a U.S. progressive be calling for more intervention by the Saudi monarchy? Really, we want Saudi troops in Syria and Iraq and Libya and who knows where else? You’d think that perhaps someone like Sanders would say that we have to break our decades-long backing of the corrupt Saudi regime — but no, he wants to dramatically accelerate it.

Even worse, after the Saudis started bombing Yemen with U.S. government backing earlier this year, killing thousands and leading to what the UN is now calling a “humanitarian catastrophe,” and suffering that is “almost incomprehensible,” Sanders continued. In another interview again with Wolf Blitzer in May, Sanders did correctly note that as a result of the Iraq invasion, “we’ve destabilized the region, we’ve given rise to Al-Qaeda, ISIS.” But then he actually called for more intervention:

“What we need now, and this is not easy stuff, I think the President is trying, you need to bring together an international coalition, Wolf, led by the Muslim countries themselves! Saudi Arabia is the third largest military budget in the world they’re going to have to get their hands dirty in this fight. We should be supporting, but at the end of the day this is fight over what Islam is about, the soul of Islam, we should support those countries taking on ISIS.”

Progressives in the U.S. are supposed to look toward the Saudi monarchy to save the soul of Islam? The Saudis have pushed the teachings of the Wahabism sect and have been deforming Islam for decades. This actually helped give rise to ISIS and Al Qaeda. It’s a little like Bernie Sanders saying that the Koch Brothers need to get more involved in U.S. politics, they need to “get their hands dirty.”

Who were the Terrorists who gave rise to the GWOT, Bernie?  Whose ‘chickens came home to roost’?   Regarding your statements that wars drain the domestic investment, an that that’s what really matters, Husseini notes that MLK would not agree:

“Martin Luther King in his “Beyond Vietnam” speech referred to the wars taking funds from the war on poverty as a “demonic destructive suction tube.” But he also referred to just looking at the funding as a “facile” connection, listing several other, deeper, reasons based on other moral grounds for opposing war. But Sanders rarely touches on those other reasons. It’s as though we’ve learned nothing about blowback since 9/11.”

I won’t even go into his implied or stated positions on Russia, Ukraine, I/P, NATO expansion, R2P Libya, and more, but Margaret Kimberly doesn’t mince her words one bit.

We will of course see many essays like this before it’s all over but the shoutin’.  ‘Sniping at the Sandernistas: Left Perfectionism in the Belly of the Beast’, Jim Conolly channels Rebecca Solnit of “Oh dismal Left!” fame.  Now he declaims in a very reasonable fashion, first noting his (and his forebears’) long history in the peace movement, then pointing out a few of Bernie’s FP flaws, but assures us that some of his statements must be uttered because: electability.  Then he spends a long time on why domestic issues are so much more important, while engaging in self-congratulatory rhetoric.  He offers the parable of Jonah and the Whale, then calls people like myself ‘Left Perfectionist(s) lost in the Belly of the Beast.  (I don’t exhibit any of the ‘Bernie rage’ he assumes, however.

As a side note, on a few comment threads under Bernie’s FP essays, not a few USians have asked, “Is Jill Stein running this time?”  Ouch.


Updated for posterity: stir in paul street’s Sanders’ 1990 Deal with the Dems’, and close enough for who it’s for.

21 responses to “Bernie Hearts Drone Assassinations, but with One Proviso

  1. It ain’t about the Bern. It’s about the Empire. Doofus “left” pragmatics will repeat the empire bullshit – “it about those muslim-hating yellow dog jingoist fellow partiers; we no can’t afferd to have dem reject urs.” Stupid “left” pragmatists; how long you gonna let these sadists blame their violence on your people?

    • ha. could i trouble you to translate this? ;-)

      but oh! look! the white house leaked a (trial balloon)(not very) secret: ‘‘U.S. launches secret drone campaign to hunt Islamic State leaders in Syria’

      The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are flying drones over Syria in a collaboration responsible for several recent strikes against senior Islamic State operatives, the officials said. Among those killed was a British militant thought to be an architect of the terrorist group’s effort to use social media to incite attacks in the United States, the officials said.

      The clandestine program represents a significant escalation of the CIA’s involvement in the war in Syria, enlisting the agency’s Counterterrorism Center (CTC) against a militant group that many officials believe has eclipsed al-Qaeda as a threat.

      Although the CTC has been given an expanded role in identifying and locating senior Islamic State figures, U.S. officials said the strikes are being carried out exclusively by JSOC. The officials said the program is aimed at terrorism suspects deemed “high-value targets.”

      no mention of Xe,, of course….fookers. let’s help create an existential enemy we can do battle with for the next five decades, okay? get it on, bang a gong….

      • Bern is supposed to be unelectable unless he continue to kill them brown ‘uns by remote control. The Neocon Nazi-Americans are befuddling Amerikuns, blaming demockracy for fascist geopolitics. Even if Bern the Socialist wanted to stop the Nazi’s (which he most likely doesn’t) he couldn’t straight talk, he couldn’t oppose them, for land-sakes!

        But he a token socialist, like O a token A-A, n-er-ways.

        They gets their rocks off, them sadists – “look at them stupid Amerikuns; they needs a Republican to start the EPA, a Democrat to implement NAFTA, a negro to fuck MENAfriker, and a Socialist to murder proles! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA.”

        But Bern doesn’t regret, he knows the fascist wisdom, he accepts the fascist wisdom, he almost exploits his socialist cache as much as the sadists. In fact, it might be that Bern has a little sadist he keeps incognito. Now, it’s very unlikely we’ll get to examine Bern like we have the O but I’m sure you’ll catch his monster in your peripheral vision if you look hard.

        The roundup is so thick it’s no wonder no organic idears can sprout.

        • i do thank you for the longer version, comrade x, and yes to all that i grasp of it. a sadistic bern mini-me, though, seems to elude me.

          but yes to the themes that ‘it takes a dem’, it takes and R’ to do the bait and switch political triangulation to “get the job done”. it takes a Negro to fuck over the Negro population, that’s for sure, and to sic the CIA (NED and USAID) to commit genocide and sociocide on subsaharan africans . all it takes it ‘destabilization’, and ‘Africom to the rescue’. MENA is a whole ‘nother kettle of fish, of course.)

          it will be iteresting to see how far bern goes, though. mr. wd and i were wondering earlier if the PTB might not reckon that he’s the purrrfect trojan horse vehicle to put their agenda in play, eh?

          and by the by, what was brother west offered after his reluctance to endorse the bern in june, anyway? phooey on him and his ‘superior moral compass’.

          • “the PTB might […] reckon that he’s the purrrfect trojan horse” and Bern’s shy sadist doesn’t realize that too? Plus, why would a socialist approve of terrorizing brown ‘uns with dronze? Could it be a simulated, overriding sense of loyalty? Are we to suppose he’d drop that pose in office because his regret was too great or that he had a more insistent vision than the Neocon Nazi’s in influence for three decades?

            The sadistic “ironies” of American Democratic Leadership are amusing not to the lead.

            What changed the elder brother brother’s mind? Well, in wrestling with evil, he got pinned again …

            HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA

            (couldn’t resist)

            • to be fair, almost every peep in congress loves da drone mechanized war, as do most Murrikans. no body bags, for one thing. odd, too, cuz it’s so bloody cowardly, thus: no valor, save for mccain or some other asshat wantin’ to create a medal for those who sit at the consoles and yell: splat! and such. po’ things get traumatized, too!

              but loyalty: i’m not sure i take your meaning. but of course ‘progressives’ believe they can teach him better, brother west, for one. but see, bern says that the saudis should help fight isil for the ‘soul of islam’. oof; or is the loyalty that may be pinging you? husseni:

              “But Sanders is unwilling to break with the U.S.-Saudi alliance that has done such damage to both the Arab people and the American people. Now, we have a full-fledged Israeli-Saudi alliance and it must be music to the ears of pro-Israeli journalists like Wolf Blitzer for Sanders to be calling for U.S. backing of further Saudi domination.”

              heh; follow the money, follow the oil…follow the bomb iranites. thirty-eight minute video? i’ll need the cliff’s notes.

              • Bern, America’s #1 “socialist” hasn’t the beytsim to stand against dronze? Do Americanz more love terror by satellite than dolla-worship? Do you suppose they’d ditch Peacenik Bern before Red Bern?

                Desperado Bern is ridin’ the fences, keepin’ that US-Israeli-Saudi alliance off the property. His crapital analysis is probably pretty pathetic, too, in light of what Americuns have been forced to come to grips with. Of the Neocon Nazi connection Americuns have not yet been so acquainted.

                Bern supports lesser evil, but he won’t be promoting (telling you) about it. Goddamn Bern, sure you know what you’re doin’ but you lookin’ ragged on yo way out.

                C’mon, how many hours o yo life have u used up entertained by Brother West’s preaching? Spare a few.

                • yeah, but another *democratic socialist*, jeremy corbyn, seems to be pressing david cameron hard over drone-killing two britons; sorry, bern.

                  now bern is seeking union endorsements hard, as is hillary, but he joined a picket line in cedar rapids a day or so ago. ooof, no brother west in the photos, so i reckon thd was correct in saying that their joint swing through the south was to schmooze black lives and show the media he didn’t have a black problem, as nomad had said. in iowa, the good brother wouldda stood out ‘like a ruby in a black man’s ear’ (joni mitchell).

                  but i’ll remind you that alla bernie’s political capital has come from his populist economic message; ya know, kinda like Ye Olde Dems used to sound.

                  i gotta boot out of him tellin’ martha rubbish i the interview: ‘c’mon; i’ve only been in this race for a short time. i’m s’posed to have a foreign policy page already???’

                  any moron who says he claims to reduce the military budget could start with “close half the US bases around the globe”, no? although, the pentagon won’t really say how many there are in truth, but nick turse counted over 1100 back in 2011, iirc. speaking of which, africom says there’s only ONE us military base in africa. riiiiiight. but then, maybe they’re all cia station houses.

  2. FacePalm and CarryOn.

    Because, GOPPERS: rapture; DEMs: rupture; Greens: schizo (see Nader FP, millenial edition).

  3. Murder US proles?! Perhaps it’s time for individual secession, en masse; under the Lone Wolf Party : EVERY eligible American voter ought to write-in oneself for President. That oughtta put the fear of Constitutional sovereignty by we The (actual) PEOPLE in ’em. If not, back to the good ol’ Jefferson Airplane’s RPMs!

    C’mon, fellow Eternal Flamers.

    • ah, we hope that *this generation’s* got soul. yes? (i could listen to that all day. i could tell some funny stories about the time i saw them in the people’s republic of boulder back in the day…) ;-) i also love it that grace has a two-octave vocal reach, yet did so much with it.

      cuz i can, but stills? i never knew. post-nuclear holocaust:

      ah; it was co-written by crosby, stills, and kantner, but kantner asked them not to credit him because of some lawsuits…until later.

      i’m out; mine eyes are fried.

  4. quite on topic, and it looks likely to be very good, but there’s no transcript up yet, and i’m working on a diary about respectability politics, a bit of more labor and time intensive than i’d first thought. (i’ll watch later, or read.)

    ‘Empire Files with Abby Martin Launches First Show; In teleSUR’s new show, Abby Martin traces the history of the U.S. empire and the growing presence of military bases around the globe

    • “close half the US bases around the globe”

      People don’t realize how much that would opportunity cost. Plus, hundreds of years of crapitalist destiny for naught? They’d sooner worship devils.

      Don’t realize they already are. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA.

      • er…does that come from abby’s video? but your comments here and below are chuckle-worthy, though yes: Manifet Destniy, blessed by gawd.

        the transcript still ain’t up, but mie eyes are fried enough already. time to siesta, find out what’s really up on my retinas among the C-shaped prisms (windows happen, dunno what they signify).

  5. Bern, the elect, thenceforth to be known as Bern-zebub, master of American flies.

  6. Thanks for this, wendye. I did get all the way through the Hedges/Panitch thing, Hedges more likeable than he usually is, bringing P up short, (way too polite though,) on a number of really crass statements he was making. One excellent comment (you’ll know which one) below the transcript at RN. My thought at the end of it – no mention, except obliquely, of the war horrors ongoing that our obompire is causing. No, according to Panitch, TINA, so make the most of it. I don’t like Hedges much, but Panitch is just plain repellant.

    And as for Bernie, shame shame shame. He’s a living example of the road to hell being paved with good intentions.

    • welcome, juliania. i did try to read the transcript, but just couldn’t. i find hedges…well, odious. but if panitch was worse, hoo, boy; i’ll skip it. ;-)
      could you say the quote for me?

      my, my, already there are posts up at counterpunch like jim conolly’s. yep, vote LOTE: bern’s all we ca get, ad *at least he’ll start the conversation* or but ‘Bernie Sanders, the Latest Great White Hope?‘ is kinda fun, and you’ll know exactly who he’s talking about:

      “Jim Connolly’s “Sniping at the Sandernistas” (CP, Sept. 4, 2015) is one of those painfully long essays that could have been boiled down to a bland aphorism: “The perfect is the enemy of the good,” or perhaps, “Shut up and get on the Bernie bandwagon!”

      In response I offer the following: “Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you,” or perhaps, “The emperor has no clothes.”

      but then, bingo:

      “It’s bad enough that a critique of his foreign policy that focuses on how it will affect our domestic affairs is another instance of American Exceptionalism. We need to have a frank discussion about what it means to continue the drone program, an illegal and immoral killing spree directed from the highest levels of our government, from the President himself. This is not beside the point. This is the issue. It sickens me that we can cheer for any candidate, let alone elect one, that has no problem perpetuating a program of deliberate and wanton murder, a program that takes the lives of hundreds if not thousands of innocent citizens, women and children among them.”

    • Panitch, the shyster apologist, is performing public service. Overtly, he condescendingly informs leftish’s of the obligations of crapitalist power. But we must appreciate his inadvertent personification of the privileged “socialist”.

      Protestants evangelized crapitalism; Protestant descendant Hedges now protests their salvation. Compradors endured crapitalism; Panitch now issues crapitalist apologia.

      HA HA HA HA HA.

      Such an amusing clash of prophets!؛

  7. my guess is that this is just by way of covering their rear…echelons, but: ‘Drone strikes by UK and Pakistan point to Obama’s counter-terror legacy; Countries’ attacks on their own citizens vindicate those who warned that the US president’s signature practice would echo around the world as the British and Pakistani strikes look unlikely to be their last’

    and ajamu baracka has a few pointed question for brother cornell west. they are estimable questions. i’d have to google, but as i remember it, the good brother had ‘reluctantly’ endorsed obama in 2012.

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