US Diplomat: Each US Drone Attack Creates '40 to 60' New Enemies
By Jon Queally / commondreams.org
Oct 24, 2013

The U.S. military, according to one former diplomat with a frontrow seat to its drone policy in Yemen, is creating new terrorists in that country at breakneck speed.

In an article published at TomDispatch earlier this week, the site's editor Tom Engelhardt gave the recent and ongoing counterterrorism strategy of the U.S. military an unkind moniker by dubbing it a perpetual "blowback machine."

In the post-9/11 world, according to Engelhardt, "wherever U.S. military power has been applied," the consistent outcome of armed intervention—from the illegal invasion of Iraq and the NATO-backed overthrow of Gaddafi in Libya to the ongoing U.S. drone campaigns in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere —has been to "destabilize whole regions."

But—despite being one of the most informed and sharply critical voices on the failure of the U.S. drone war—you don't have to take Engelhardt's word for it.

As the Huffington Post's Matt Sledge reports, a former high-level U.S. State Department official in Yemen, Nabeel Khoury, is saying that for every drone strike launched by the U.S. military, as many as  "40 to 60 new enemies of America" are created.

Spurred by an article Khoury wrote for The Cairo Review slamming the misguided drone policy in Yemen, Sledge reached out to the now retired diplomat.

"My former colleagues are probably going to get upset with me, because the policy now is to do this," Khoury said.

No military dove, Khoury told the HuffPost he was not"absolutely against the use of drones," but added, in "any country where we're not at war, then it has the complications of sovereignty, of popular opinion. In the end, I'm not talking about international law. I'm talking about cost-benefits."

And the HuffPost continues:

Khoury said his estimate, while not "scientifically drawn," was based on his knowledge of the tribal nature of Yemeni society. His concern over drone strikes is based more than anything else, he said, on the pragmatic question: Should the U.S. be creating this many future enemies?

A report released on Tuesday by Human Rights Watch found that the U.S. policy of not acknowledging drone strikes means innocent victims' families are without the ability to seek U.S. compensation -- further fueling anti-American anger.

This argument is by no means a new one—foreign policy analysts, Yemeni citizens, and knowledgeable experts have been making the same case for years. But Khoury's role as a former insider, especially with a recent focus on the drone wars brought by a series reports from both the UN and independent human rights groups, his comments offer unique weight at a possible crucial moment.

As Engelhardt, taking a slightly broader view of U.S. imperialism and its flailing attempt to maintain military dominance and power projection, summarized:

Washington’s military plans and tactics since 9/11 have been a spectacular train wreck.  When you look back, counterinsurgency doctrine, resuscitated from the ashes of America’s defeat in Vietnam, is once again on the scrap heap of history.  (Who today even remembers its key organizing phrase -- “clear, hold, and build” -- which now looks like the punch line for some malign joke?)  “Surges,” once hailed as brilliant military strategy, have already disappeared into the mists.  “Nation-building,” once a term of tradecraft in Washington, is in the doghouse.  “Boots on the ground,” of which the U.S. had enormous numbers and still has 51,000 in Afghanistan, are now a no-no.  The American public is, everyone universally agrees, “exhausted” with war.  Major American armies arriving to fight anywhere on the Eurasian continent in the foreseeable future?  Don’t count on it.

But lessons learned from the collapse of war policy?  Don’t count on that, either.  It’s clear enough that Washington still can’t fully absorb what’s happened.  Its faith in war remains remarkably unbroken in a century in which military power has become the American political equivalent of a state religion.  Our leaders are still high on the counterterrorism wars of the future, even as they drown in their military efforts of the present. 

_____________________________________________

3.5 ·
1
Trending Today
Surviving Capitalist Depression
Michael Emero · 12,009 views today · We live in a toxic society filled with toxic people. Even the ones with the best hearts- including ourselves- have been raised in ignorance, with disinformation. Our examples...
Real Underground Kingdom That Has Existed for Millions of Years Went Unnoticed, Until Recently...
Kid Krunk · 10,725 views today · 28 Stunning Photos Of The World’s Largest Cave
"The Myth of Time" - Martin Luther King Jr.
3 min · 9,870 views today · Excerpt from MLK Jr.'s last sermon, "Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution". Delivered at The National Cathedral on March 31, 1968 (4 days prior to his...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 8,161 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
How a Lack of Touch Is Destroying Men
Mark Green · 7,999 views today · Why Men Need More Platonic Touch in their Lives
Hans Rosling Brilliantly Explains Complexity of Population and Resource Issues Using Simple Tools
3 min · 3,672 views today · Let me show you the world, says Swedish academic Han Rosling as he demonstrates the dynamics of population growth, child mortality and carbon dioxide emissions. The challenge...
The Price of Certainty
7 min · 2,837 views today · It’s alarming to see how polarized politics have become in the United States. The wider the gulf grows, the more people seem to be certain that the other side is wrong...
How Wolves Change Rivers
4 min · 1,955 views today · When wolves were reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in the United States after being absent nearly 70 years, the most remarkable "trophic cascade" occurred. What is a...
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 1,864 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
A Hauntingly Beautiful Short Film About Life and Death
5 min · 1,673 views today · The Life of Death is a touching handdrawn animation about the day Death fell in love with Life.
How to Fire Your Boss: A Worker's Guide to Direct action
IWW · 1,534 views today · The indignity of working-for-a-living is well-known to anyone who ever has. Democracy, the great principle on which our society is supposedly founded, is thrown out the window...
What Makes Call-Out Culture So Toxic
Asam Ahmad · 1,481 views today · Call-out culture refers to the tendency among progressives, radicals, activists, and community organizers to publicly name instances or patterns of oppressive behaviour and...
True Justice Should Have Compassion in It
Thich Nhat Hanh · 1,434 views today · I believe that true justice should have compassion in it. When someone does something harmful, destructive, the destruction is done not only to the person who is the victim...
What It Really Means to Hold Space for Someone
Heather Plett · 1,227 views today · How to be there for the people who need you most
Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch
Mark Greene · 723 views today · Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.
NRA's Trump Card - Inside Trump's Era of Guns
15 min · 645 views today · Deregulating silencers, broadening concealed carry and undercutting state gun laws are just a few likely changes after the National Rifle Association supported President Trump...
Growing Huge Amounts of Food on 1/2 an Acre - Urban Abundance
5 min · 487 views today · In the small town of Oxford, Kane and Fiona Hogan have transformed their urban 1/2-acre property into abundant veggie gardens. Their business Urban Gardener aims to build...
Meet the Earthship
7 min · 485 views today · Outside of Taos, New Mexico, you'll find a community of people living in off-grid homes made of garbage. The homes are called Earthships and were invented by Michael Reynolds...
Runaway Inequality Elected Trump. Here's How It Can Help Defeat Him
Les Leopold · 461 views today · One of the best forms of resistance will be our demand for a more equitable and humane economy
The Importance of Empathy
3 min · 414 views today · With an increasingly polarized and divided world, we need empathy more than ever before. Too often we are talking at each other, unable to listen and jumping to entirely wrong...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
US Diplomat: Each US Drone Attack Creates '40 to 60' New Enemies