Either by coincidence or design, tonight's foreign policy debate between presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney falls on the 50th anniversary of a Monday night when President John F. Kennedy warned the nation and the world of a nuclear threat from Soviet missiles stationed on the island nation of Cuba, on October 22, 1962.
A year after the execution of former Libyan despot Moammar Gadhafi at the hands of Western-backed rebels, forces opposed to the new Tripoli-based regime ruling parts of Libya are still fighting on. According to news reports, assorted Libyan militias supposedly aligned with the embattled new government have been shelling the Gadhafi-loyalist stronghold of Bani Walid all weekend in a bid to quash the late dictator’s remaining die-hard supporters.
In the heartland of the Taliban it is regularly taken for granted that Western notions of human rights are dismissed as an attempt to foist Christian values on a Muslim nation. Now, the reprehensible murder of a young bride is the latest fact emphasizing the systemic disregard for the rights of women in Afghanistan.
In the pre-dawn hours Thursday Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. drone turned a farmhouse in rural Yemen into a smoldering heap of charred wood that served as a bier for at least eight of those “suspected militants.”
The NYU/Stanford study “Living Under Drones” goes beyond reporting estimates of the civilian casualties inflicted by the deadly and illegal U.S. campaign. It also documents the hell the Pakistanis endure under President Barack Obama’s policy, which includes a “kill list” from which he personally selects targets. The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a “militant.”
Just days after a judge ordered military prosecutors to disclose hundreds of emails exchanged between Army officials in charge of overseeing the detention of PFC Bradley Manning, Courthouse News reports that Manning “privately told his trial judge Wednesday how he intends to respond to charges that he sent WikiLeaks hundreds of thousands of secret files about U.S. diplomacy and warfare.”
Federal agents convinced a naïve, violence-inclined 21-year-old Bangladeshi that he was a member of “al Qaeda,” giving the dupe fake bombs to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before swarming in and arresting him on October 17. As has become typical, government officials scrambled to put out press releases patting themselves on the back for their work protecting the “Homeland.”
The most recent indication that the U.S. military may well be in Afghanistan to stay comes from Marc Grossman, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan. Appearing on a panel at the annual meeting of the International Stability Operations Association in Washington on October 16, Grossman said that “the State Department is about to begin formal negotiations over the extension of U.S. troops past 2014,” according to Josh Rogin of Foreign Policy magazine.
Libyan rebels backed by the Obama administration and NATO governments committed a wide range of war crimes, including, in one case, summarily executing and torturing dozens of prisoners of war, possibly including strongman Muammar Gadhafi and his son, the non-profit group Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The new Western-backed government ruling parts of Libya out of Tripoli, meanwhile, has failed to investigate or prosecute the well-documented abuses.