From Niger to Somalia, U.S. Military Expansion in Africa Helps Terror Groups Recruit

Source: Democracy Now

From Niger to Somalia, U.S. Military Expansion in Africa Helps Terror Groups Recruit

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Related: 

“The U.S. Will Invade West Africa in 2023 After an Attack in New York—According to Pentagon War Game” (The Intercept)

“The US is waging a massive shadow war in Africa” (Vice)

Transcript 

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.
AMY GOODMAN: Well, to talk more about U.S. operations on the African continent, we’re joined by reporter Nick Turse. He’s a fellow at The Nation Institute, a contributing writer at The Intercept, where his latest stories are headlined “It’s Not Just Niger—U.S. Military Activity is a ‘Recruiting Tool’ for Terror Groups Across West Africa,” also his piece “The U.S. Will Invade West Africa in 2023 After an Attack in New York—According to Pentagon War Game,” and at Vice, his latest piece, “The U.S. is waging a massive shadow war in Africa.” He’s the author of the book Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa and his latest book, Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan.

Nick, welcome back to Democracy Now!

NICK TURSE: Thanks for having me on.

AMY GOODMAN: Let’s begin in South Sudan. Why did Nikki Haley go there? Talk about the protest that occurred there.

NICK TURSE: Sure. Nikki Haley was dispatched there basically as a result of a speech last month that President Trump gave to African leaders at the United Nations. It was a very tone-deaf speech, where he, in fact, lauded the achievements of an African country that doesn’t exist—Nambia. But in the speech, he also mentioned that there were conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo and especially South Sudan that needed tending to, that he was dispatching Haley to do something about it. What it was was never exactly clear. She was on something of a fact-finding mission.

She met with South Sudanese refugees in Ethiopia. And then, as you mentioned, she went to one of these protection of civilian sites in South Sudan, where there have been, you know, internal—internally displaced people basically stranded there for years, since the civil war broke out in 2013. And things got heated, and she was escorted out of the camp.

AMY GOODMAN: So, explain the situation in South Sudan.

NICK TURSE: Sure. In December of 2013, the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, launched a ethnic cleansing campaign in the capital city, Juba.

AMY GOODMAN: It’s one of the newest countries in the world.

NICK TURSE: Yes, it’s the youngest nation on Earth. And this was, in many ways, a U.S. nation-building project. The United States spent somewhere around $11 billion bringing South Sudan into nationhood. The South Sudanese fought for and died for their independence, but the United States was really the backer of this project. And it all fell apart in 2013. The country has been in a state of civil war since then. And the government has been carrying out ethnic cleansing campaigns across the nation.

AMY GOODMAN: Against who?

NICK TURSE: It started out as campaigns against the Nuer, which is the largest of the ethnic minorities. This is carried out by, as I said, President Salva Kiir, who’s a member of the Dinka, who are the largest ethnic group in the country. Since then, the civil war has spread. And most recently, it’s been affecting the deep south of South Sudan, the Equatoria region, where there are somewhere around 10 to 20 ethnic minorities. They’ve been targeted, and they’ve been leaving the country in droves, mostly to Uganda, about a million refugees across the border since the late summer of 2016.

Now, Nikki Haley, when she was in South Sudan, said that President Kiir could not claim that his soldiers weren’t committing these atrocities. But, in fact, that’s what Kiir has been doing for months now. He’s been claiming that fake news and social media drove these people across the border. But I was there earlier this year. I talked to refugees who had left the country. I spoke to people who were displaced in the country. I saw the burned villages. These people ran because of a government-run ethnic cleansing campaign, massacres, murder, village burnings. All this was going on then and goes on today.

AMY GOODMAN: What is the U.S. interest now?

NICK TURSE: Well, yeah, the United States, I think, especially—it was a bipartisan effort, so there are a lot of people in Congress that believe that the United States has an ongoing role to play in South Sudan. What the White House thinks should be done there is very unclear. Before Ambassador Haley left, she was talking tough about cutting off U.S. aid as a way to leverage U.S. power against the government of South Sudan. But since she arrived there, saw the refugees, she said that she now understands that cutting off U.S. aid would hurt the most vulnerable South Sudanese. It’s really an intractable situation, and it’s difficult to figure out exactly what the United States can do and what Nikki Haley’s mandate is.

AMY GOODMAN: On Tuesday, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, visited Gambela in western Ethiopia, where nearly 350,000 refugees flooded across the border from South Sudan amidst the country’s civil war.

NIKKI HALEY: This is an international crisis. This is not just Ethiopia’s problem. This is an international crisis. And when you look at the thousands of people here and you see that they’re supposed to have one health clinic for 10,000 people, and there’s 86,000 people in one clinic, it’s wrong. I mean, they’re trying to make ends meet by, you know, working off of food shortages, but at some point you have to look and say, “No one deserves to live like this.”

AMY GOODMAN: Haley said the United States is considering how to pressure South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, into peace, but said withdrawing aid may not work. Nick Turse?

NICK TURSE: Yes. You know, this is the quandary the United States has been in. At one time, they were giving South Sudan millions and millions of dollars for their military, to train politicians there, technocrats. Now it’s been reduced basically to aid. And, you know, that’s the leverage the United States has. But cutting that off means that so many people in need will be without.

AMY GOODMAN: We’re talking to Nick Turse, who is the author of several books on Africa, Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa and his latest book, Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. We’ll talk about the United States presence throughout Africa—6,000 U.S. troops, it’s believed—and what the U.S. was doing in Niger, where the U.S. special ops forces and as well as five Nigerien troops were killed. Stay with us.

[break]

AMY GOODMAN: “Africa Dream Again” by Youssou N’Dour. This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The War and Peace Report. I’m Amy Goodman, as we talk about the U.S. presence in Africa. I want to turn to Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He spoke to reporters last week after a meeting with Secretary of Defense James Mattis, who said the military is shifting its counterterrorism strategy to focus more on Africa.

SEN. LINDSEY GRAHAM: The counterterrorism rules under President Obama, I thought, were overly restrictive. They denied us the ability to basically engage the enemy effectively and aggressively. The war is morphing. You’re going to see more actions in Africa, not less. You’re going to see more aggression by the United States toward our enemies, not less. You’re going to have decisions being made not in the White House, but out in the field. And I support that entire construct.

AMY GOODMAN: For more, we continue our conversation with Nick Turse. He’s the author of Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa; his latest book, Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. Respond to what Lindsey Graham has said. Talk about what the U.S. is doing in Africa.

NICK TURSE: Well, the U.S. is doing a lot in Africa. He talked about restrictions during the Obama era, but this was an era of major expansion, which, this past year, has, I have to say, jumped to another level. U.S. troops are now conducting, according to the commander of U.S. Africa Command, 3,500 exercises, programs and engagements per year. So that’s nearly 10 missions per day on the African continent, something that I think that most Americans are completely unaware of. I think Lindsey Graham states that he was unaware of the extent of this activity. So it’s a massive increase of late. When AFRICOM began, it was running about 172 exercises and missions per year. So this is almost a 2,000 percent rise in U.S. military activity on the Africa continent.

And this runs counter to what AFRICOM was originally sold as to the American people and to the world at large, that it would be something like the Peace Corps in camouflage, that there would be humanitarian operations, building of orphanages and digging of wells, that sort of thing. But it’s a fully militarized U.S. geographic combatant command, where you have troops running missions that, you know, are often sold as training and advisory, and done in a training and advisory capacity, but really are indistinguishable from combat.

AMY GOODMAN: I mean, the discussion this week on Capitol Hill, we keep hearing many senators talking about giving more money to the U.S. military, that the death of the four Special Forces soldiers in Niger means the U.S. needs more money and that Africa is the place where, you know, the U.S. military action will be focused. Now, your story, one of them that you wrote, “It’s Not Just Niger—U.S. Military Activity is a ‘Recruiting Tool’ for Terror Groups Across West Africa,” explain.

NICK TURSE: Yes. This is something that a number of experts told me, that, you know, the United States has been pumping hundreds of millions of dollars into counterterror programs since just after 9/11 in West Africa—Niger, Mali, Mauritania, this entire region. The idea was to make this region a bulwark against terrorism. The thinking just after 9/11 was that weak states, fragile governments, ungoverned spaces, these were places that terror groups could proliferate.

But at the time, the United States didn’t recognize any transnational terror groups in the region. After all this U.S. activity, after running one special ops mission after another, year after year, now there are a proliferation of terror groups all across that region—depending on how you count them, maybe six to 10, including the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara, which is the group that reportedly conducted this ambush that killed the four American Green Berets.

AMY GOODMAN: Not all of them were Green Berets, but they were Special Forces. On that issue of these Special Forces, 800 soldiers in Niger? What is the drone base? Why was it being built there?

NICK TURSE: Well, in 2013, the United States began drone operations there, a hundred U.S. personnel dispatched to Niamey, the capital of Niger. And the base was designed for providing what they call ISR—intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance—over the Niger and the greater West Africa region. Since then, the United States struck a deal with Niger to build a much larger base in the town of Agadez. U.S. Africa Command says that this is—they call it something like a temporary contingency location, which sounds like an airstrip with a couple tents around it. But declassified secret documents that I obtained show that this is a $100 million drone base that they’re building.

They chose Niger, these documents say, because the government there was open to them bringing in MQ-9 Reaper drones, which are the larger, newer variant of the Predator drone, a potentially much more lethal drone package. Originally, these were supposed to be carrying out, again, ISR missions, reconnaissance, surveillance. But now, in the wake of this attack, there’s a major push on to arm these drones and have them fly over the region. And this was something else that I also saw in the documents. Niger was the only country in the region that was open to having armed drones based there.

AMY GOODMAN: And both the U.S. and France are active there.

NICK TURSE: Yes. This is because of the collapse of Niger’s neighbor, one of its neighbors, Mali. In fact, a U.S.-trained officer, one of these—one of the officers trained in the U.S. counterterror programs after 9/11, overthrew the government of Mali, because there was an insurgency in northern Mali that this officer didn’t think that the government was taking on in the correct way. He proved incompetent at taking on the insurgency, as well. Islamists pushed his army back towards the capital. And there was a real fear that Mali would be overtaken by Islamist rebels. So France intervened, with the backing of the United States. And now France has been stuck in a counterinsurgency there, that seems that it’s also interminable and that the French cannot find a way to extricate themselves from.

AMY GOODMAN: Where else does the U.S. have drone bases across Africa?

NICK TURSE: Well, there are drone bases that pop up all across the continent, and the U.S. builds them and shuts them down depending on need. In the past, they’ve had drone bases in Ethiopia, in Chad, also in Kenya. I think the drone base that—of recent vintage, that’s been most important to the U.S., is in the tiny, sun-baked nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa. There’s a major U.S. base there called Camp Lemonnier, but the drone base is a satellite facility. It’s called Chabelley Airfield. And the United States has run missions there that target the African continent. Also they run drone missions that fly to Yemen. And then it was used for engagements against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, as well. It’s a very important, centrally located drone base.

AMY GOODMAN: So, you have 6,000 U.S. troops. Do you think that’s the correct number?

NICK TURSE: I think, on any given day, there’s somewhere between 5,000 and 8,000 U.S. troops on the continent, depending on the missions that are going on at the time, because troops cycle in and out. But 6,000 is a reasonable number.

AMY GOODMAN: In some, what, 50 countries in Africa.

NICK TURSE: Yeah. The United States is in somewhere around 49 or so African countries, at least over the last couple years. They’re conducting training missions, exercises and, in some cases, you know, commando raids and drone strikes.

AMY GOODMAN: I want to turn to Professor Horace Campbell, currently spending a year in West Africa as the Kwame Nkrumah chair at the Institute of African Studies at the University of Ghana, a peace and justice scholar and professor of African American studies and political science at Syracuse University. He spoke on Democracy Now! earlier this week about forces—about U.S. forces in Africa.

HORACE CAMPBELL: So what we must be clear about to the progressive forces in the United States of America, that neither France nor the United States can have any political legitimacy in Africa, when on the streets of the United States of America fascists are walking around with Nazi flags and police are killing black people. I want to go back to the point that we made at the beginning. United States has no legitimacy for fighting terrorism in Africa, because you cannot fight to defend black lives in Africa when black lives are not important in the United States of America.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s Professor Horace Campbell. Your response to what he says, Nick Turse?

NICK TURSE: Well, he makes a strong point there. And, you know, I might add that—and this is something in my recent pieces—that the United States’s counterterror activities in Africa have seemed to have the opposite effect, in many ways, that, you know, the U.S. was supposed to be building up counterterror capabilities, but we’ve just seen a proliferation of terror groups all across the continent. So, you know, the legitimacy is lacking, and then also the execution of this. It’s really gone counter to what the United States’ aims have been.

AMY GOODMAN: In your piece in The Intercept, the headline is “The U.S. Will Invade West Africa in 2023 After an Attack in New York—According to Pentagon War Game.” What is this war game?

NICK TURSE: It was a war game that was carried out over several weeks last year. The acronym of it was JLASS-SP. And this was conducted by students at the U.S. military’s war colleges. These aren’t, I should say, West Point cadets or something like this. These are generally colonels in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, some of the best up-and-coming strategic thinkers in the U.S. military, people that will be generals running the wars in the coming years. They ran a very intricate war game, and this was one part of it—but a pivotal part.

The war game posits that there will be a terror attack in New York targeting the Lincoln Tunnel. It will be the largest terror attack since 9/11, the most casualties since then. And it will be carried out by a West African terror group, al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, one of these groups that’s cropped up in the region since 9/11. Because of this attack, the United States decides to invade West Africa, starting in Mauritania. And, you know—and it won’t be a surprise to anyone that’s watched U.S. wars since 9/11 that this quickly becomes a quagmire, that the United States goes in thinking that it’s going to be a short campaign, that we can eliminate the terrorists there and withdraw quickly, but it soon turns into an intractable conflict where the United States has to surge in forces just to maintain its occupation, and there seems to be no way to get out of it.

AMY GOODMAN: And what’s the significance of a Pentagon war game?

NICK TURSE: Well, I mean, this is—it’s not an intelligence estimate, but this is something that shows what the United States is thinking about, where it sees threats coming from, what it sees as the “reasonable,” quote-unquote, U.S. response to it. And this generally is the U.S. response. I could certainly see something like this happening. And the results are chilling, especially given what we’re seeing now—talk coming out of Congress about, you know, increasing U.S. military operations in Africa. It’s a sobering account of what this might mean for all of us, here in America and especially in Africa.

AMY GOODMAN: What about Somalia? So the timeline was what? October 4th, that was the time of the Niger killings, of the ambush of the U.S. and Nigerien forces. Ten days later, October 14, though a lot of people learned about what happened in Niger, and Trump did not reveal what happened in Niger until after Somalia, but 10 days later, this double bombing in the capital, what they’re calling the Mogadishu massacre, over 350 people killed, 400 people wounded. And The Guardian reports that the suspected bomber is from the specific community targeted by a U.S. raid last August in a village near Mogadishu that killed some 10 people, among them children. Can you talk about what’s happening in Somalia and the U.S. presence there?

NICK TURSE: Well, the U.S. has had a long-standing presence in Somalia. This has been one of the places where U.S. counterterror efforts have been at their largest in Africa. You know, it’s cited by some in the government as a success story. Al-Shabab has, in many ways, been pushed back. But, you know, there’s a continuing terror campaign from al-Shabab that doesn’t seem to be able to be solved through military means. But this is—this is the way the United States has chosen to deal with it and chosen to deal with what it considers threats all over the continent, that it’s a sort of a counterterror whack-a-mole exercise.

AMY GOODMAN: What does it mean that Trump called it a so-called zone of active hostilities?

NICK TURSE: Yeah, this allowed for a loosening of bonds on U.S. military activity there. It allows the U.S. to pursue a more vigorous military campaign. And because of that, there’s a much greater chance of civilian casualties and a chance of just continuing the cycle. This is something that experts have told me again and again, that U.S. operations on the continent are, in many ways, fueling terrorism, that these U.S. military operations are causing discontent, and by killing, you know, innocent civilians, that you’re just breeding more terrorists, country after country.

AMY GOODMAN: During a news conference last month, President Trump congratulated African leaders for helping make his friends rich.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Africa has tremendous business potential. I have so many friends going to your countries, trying to get rich. I congratulate you. They’re spending a lot of money.

AMY GOODMAN: “They’re spending a lot of money,” President Trump said. Nick Turse, as we begin to wrap up?

NICK TURSE: Yeah, I think Trump has viewed Africa maybe in two ways, that it’s some sort of transactional economic zone, where the United States can extract and make money, and then, you know, as a theater of war. And, you know, that speech was exceptionally tone-deaf. And it was the first time he had really addressed what his Africa strategy might be. And as you might expect, after those words, it became more and more muddled. It’s very difficult to understand exactly what the Trump administration sees for the future of Africa, and they really haven’t even staffed up with experts on it within the administration, at the State Department. So, it seems to be an ad hoc policy. I think you’ll see a lot more military engagement, especially after Niger. And, you know, I’m not sure about the economic empowerment that Trump’s talking about.

AMY GOODMAN: You talk about the shadow war in Africa. What do you mean?

NICK TURSE: Well, I mean, these campaigns have been going on in Africa for years, but it’s largely unknown to the American people. And when you ask AFRICOM, as I have, about what’s happening on the continent, they’re always talking about training missions, about advisory missions. Well, this is exactly what the mission in Niger was billed as. This was working with local forces in an advisory capacity. But we see that, you know, an advisory or training mission can quickly become combat. And I think that the more U.S. engagement you see, the greater the chance that we’ll have more and more catastrophes like this.

AMY GOODMAN: Is there anything else you want to add that you think people in the United States—certainly, the corporate media hardly focuses on Africa. I mean, when you have, for example, the attack, what they call the Mogadishu massacre, of 358 people dead, almost no attention. Of course, right away, there is a mention of it. But in the aftermath, the devastation, the loss of life. What should people understand across Africa right now and be looking for?

NICK TURSE: Well, you know, I think it’s important to keep an eye on places like South Sudan, which we talked of earlier, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic. These are places where the United States had a more robust diplomatic effort before, but has—the United States has pulled back, in many ways. And these are places where the United States—the United Nations has warned of potential genocide, of ethnic cleansing campaigns. I think these are stories that are completely under-, and sometimes un-, covered in the United States, but I think they’re places that will be making the news in the future, for all the wrong reasons.

AMY GOODMAN: As President Trump expresses, to say the least, a tremendous bellicose intent in various areas, are you concerned what that will mean as he focuses on Africa?

NICK TURSE: I am. You know, I think that this is the primary U.S. bent on the continent, that, you know, while a country like China has promoted economic engagement, the United States has really seen Africa as a counterterrorism problem. And the way to deal with that, in U.S. thinking, is to deploy more military forces, build more bases, deploy more troops.

AMY GOODMAN: And last question, and this goes to a piece you wrote just a few months ago, looking at what’s happened in Cameroon, “Cameroonian Troops Tortured and Killed Prisoners at Base Used for U.S. Drone [Surveillance].” And this was a report that came out by Amnesty International.

NICK TURSE: Yes, I worked with The Intercept, Amnesty International and a group called Forensic Architecture. And what we found was that there’s a small—one of several small U.S. bases in Cameroon, or a Cameroonian base where the United States has an intermittent military presence and U.S. contractors are flying drones. On the same base, Cameroonian forces were torturing and sometimes even killing prisoners, people that were suspected of supporting Boko Haram but, in most cases, were completely innocent and had no ties to the group. This is—you know, one, it’s illegal. Two, it’s building discontent in Cameroon. And it’s just—

AMY GOODMAN: This is at a U.S. base for drone surveillance—I said “strikes” before, but surveillance?

NICK TURSE: Surveillance. It was a—there are U.S. contractors who are flying drones out of this base, and then U.S. special operations forces that cycle in and out to work with—as this is another training mission for U.S. troops. But, you know, our allies are committing gross atrocities on a large scale. And this doesn’t go unnoticed by people in Cameroon. People in the United States don’t know about it, but we might know about the backlash to it in the coming years.

AMY GOODMAN: And this just happened today: Three U.N. peacekeepers from Chad were killed, and two others injured, when their logistics convoy was attacked in northern Mali, this according to the United Nations. The U.N. Security Council condemned the attack on the road. The 12,000-strong U.N. peacekeeping mission in Mali has become the most dangerous in the world, as Islamic militants routinely attack U.N. convoys across the north. Mali, of course, a neighbor of Niger.

NICK TURSE: Yes. You know, this is what I was talking about. After the U.S.-trained officer, Captain Sanogo, overthrew the government in Mali, it really destabilized the entire country. And because of that, in the north and even in the central part of the country, there have been militant groups operating ever since. They’ve really carved out strongholds. So, you have French and African forces, backed by the United States, conducting counterterror campaigns. But this is an ongoing insurgency, and it shows no sign of slowing.

AMY GOODMAN: Nick Turse, I want to thank you for being with us. We’re going to link to all of your pieces with different news organizations. Nick Turse is fellow at The Nation Institute, author of Tomorrow’s Battlefield: U.S. Proxy Wars and Secret Ops in Africa. His latest book, Next Time They’ll Come to Count the Dead: War and Survival in South Sudan. Nick Turse is also a contributing writer at The Intercept.

This is Democracy Now! We’ll be back in a minute with Carl Hart. We’ll talk about the national health emergency that President Trump has declared around opioids. Stay with us.

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Somalia’s deadliest bomb attack: More than 300 killed

Source:  Independent and  Quartz Media
October 19 2017

somalia 2.jpg

The death toll from the most powerful bomb blast witnessed in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu has risen to more than 300 people with hundreds of others  injured and many more people still missing

Police said a truck bomb exploded outside the Safari Hotel at the K5 intersection, which is lined with government offices, restaurants and kiosks, flattening buildings and setting vehicles on fire. A separate blast struck the Medina district two hours later.

Abshir Abdi Ahmed said the toll comes from doctors at hospitals he has visited in Mogadishu. Many of the bodies in hospital mortuaries have not yet been identified, he said.

It is the single deadliest attack ever in the Horn of Africa nation.

somalia 1.jpgSomali Armed Forces evacuate their injured colleague, from the scene
of an explosion in KM4 street in the Hodan district of
Mogadishu, Somalia (Reuters)

Dr Afzal Ashraf, assistant professor of international relations at the University of Nottingham, told The Independent the attack was likely a response to recent losses suffered by Islamist groups.

He said groups affiliated with al-Qaeda and Isis were “increasingly on the back foot, particularly in Iraq and Syria, and feel they need to lash out.”

More than 200 were injured in the explosion outside the hotel and hospitals are struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

Officials feared the death toll would continue to climb. Many died at hospitals from their wounds, Police Captain Mohamed Hussein said.

Vehicles burn at the scene of a massive explosion in front of Safari Hotel in the capital Mogadishu, Somalia (EPA)

The Red Cross said four volunteers with the Somali Red Crescent Society are among the dead and warned “this figure may rise as there are a number of volunteers still missing.”

Overnight, rescue workers with torch lights searched for survivors trapped under the rubble of the largely destroyed Safari Hotel, which is close to Somalia’s foreign ministry. The explosion blew off metal gates and blast walls erected outside the hotel.

President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed declared three days of mourning and joined thousands of people who responded to a desperate plea by hospitals to donate blood for the wounded victims. “I am appealing all Somali people to come forward and donate,” he said.

somalia 3.jpgAngry protesters took to the streets in Mogadishu a day after the massive truck bomb attack.

Somalia’s government blamed the al-Qaida-linked al-Shabaabextremist group for the attack it called a “national disaster.” However, al-Shabaab, which often targets high-profile areas of the capital with bombings, had yet to claim the attack.

“They don’t care about the lives of Somali people, mothers, fathers and children,” Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire said. “They have targeted the most populated area in Mogadishu, killing only civilians.”

Somalia’s information minister, Abdirahman Omar, said the blast was the largest the city had ever seen. “It’s a sad day. This is how merciless and brutal they are, and we have to unite against them,” he said, speaking to the state-run radio station.

The US joined the condemnation, saying “such cowardly attacks reinvigorate the commitment of the United States to assist our Somali and African Union partners to combat the scourge of terrorism.”

America has stepped up drone strikes and other efforts this year against al-Shabaab, which is also fighting the Somali military and the more than 20,000-strong African Union forces in the country.

Youth from across the world condemn U.S. imperialism

Source:  Granma
October 19 2017

By Lissy Rodríguez, Special correspondent | internet@granma.cu

October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and  Students

cuba at 19th world festival 2.jpgPhoto: Prensa Latina

SOCHI, Russia.– October 18 saw the International Anti-imperialist Tribunal, a space created to denounce imperialist crimes, as part of the 19th World Festival of Youth and Students.

Terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba

The Cuban case was presented by Elián González, who referred to the more than 700 terrorist acts that the United States has perpetrated against Cuba resulting in thousands of dead and injured.

He stressed that subversion on the island involves non-governmental organizations, universities, USAID, counterrevolutionary representatives and Freedom House, considered a vehicle for the work of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. From 1996 through 2015, Elián noted, USAID allocated 284 million dollars to its Cuba program.

The Sahrawi people

Omar Hanesa, representing the Sahrawi people, denounced the illegal Moroccan occupation of their land and demanded justice for the crimes committed against them over decades. He also called for the release of political prisoners sentenced to more than 20 years for defending their people’s cause.

Related:  Cuba Backs Independence for Africa’s Sahrawi People

More than 150 unpunished murders

Similarly, Angela Correa from Colombia denounced the more than 150 unpunished murders of young communists at the hands of government agents in her country, and demanded an observation mission in the face of the avalanche of violence. In addition, she condemned the attacks on Venezuela and the increased military presence in the nine U.S. bases on Colombian soil.

During the day, witnesses from countries such as Brazil and North Korea also lodged their complaints before the Anti-imperialist Tribunal.

New revelations concerning the 1976 Bombing of Cubana Flight 455

Source:  Granma
October 6 2017

By  José Luis Méndez | informacion@granma.cu

New revelations concerning the 1976 Barbados attack

New information continues to come to light regarding this horrendous crime, which occurred 41 years ago this 2017, while the authors of the attack live out their lives in the United States, free and under the protection of the country’s government.

new revelations 1.jpgCuba will forever remember its martyrs and demand justice. Pictured: Cubans march to the Revolutionary Armed Forces Pantheon, in Havana’s Colón Cemetery, in tribute to the victims of the Barbados attack. Photo: Jose M. Correa

In June of 1976 a group of terrorists of Cuban origin, representatives of extremist organizations based in the United States, met in Bonao, the Dominican Republic.
The encounter was headed by the criminal Orlando Bosch Ávila, at that time a fugitive from U.S. justice, wanted for parole violation after being convicted of various crimes, including using terrorist tactics to extort Cuban émigrés.
The meeting was called to organize future attacks on Cuban entities, staff, and interests of countries which, despite pressure from the U.S., continued to maintain relations with the Cuban government.

Two meetings were held, the first to found the terrorist alliance known as the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations (COR), and the second to plan more than 20 terrorist attacks.

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Pictured: flight engineer Ernesto Machín Guzmán (with a mustache), victim of the Barbados attack, with his Canadian trainer in the Cubana de Aviación plane that was bombed. Photo: Alberto Borrego

All those present agreed to participate, except members of the fascist Cuban Nationalist Movement (MNC), who claimed they were already planning another attack organized by Chile’s National Intelligence Bureau (DINA), later revealed to be none other than the assassination of former Chilean Ambassador in Washington, Orlando Letelier del Solar, on September 21, 1976.

In his ruling regarding Orlando Bosch-Avila’s application for admission to the United States, dated January 23, 1989, Associate Attorney General Joe D. Whitley noted that: “Bosch, while outside the United States, founded and let Coordinacion de Organizaciones Revolucionarias Unidas (CORU), an anti-Castro terrorist organization which has claimed responsibility for numerous bombings in Miami, New York, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Argentina, and elsewhere. (1)

“In October, 1976, Bosch was arrested in Venezuela in connection with the October 6, 1976 in-flight bombing of a civilian Cuban airliner, which resulted in the deaths of 73 men, women, and children. Though detained in Venezuela for eleven years on charges arising from this incident, he was finally acquitted. At his trial, evidence was presented that the two men convicted of homicide in connection with the bombing were in contact with Bosch both before and after the bombing.”

Whitley went on to state, “Upon release from criminal incarceration on May 17, 1988, Bosch was taken into custody by the INS (Immigration Service). At that time, the INS District Director in Miami served Bosch with a notice of temporary exclusion, alleging that he was excludable from the United States because:There is reason to believe he would seek to enter the United States solely, principally, or incidentally to engage in activities prejudicial to the public interest.

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Manuel Espinosa, copilot of the Cubana de Aviación plane downed mid-flight over Barbados. Photo: Courtesy of Haymel

What is more the ruling also notes “That he is or has been an alien who advocates or teaches or has been a member of an organization that advocates or teaches the duty, necessity, or propriety of assaulting or killing officers of any organized government…the unlawful damage, injury or destruction of property… and advocates or teaches sabotage.
“That there are reasonable grounds to believe that he probably would, after entry, engage in activities which would be prohibited by the laws of the United States relating to espionage, sabotage, public disorder, or in other activity subversive to the national interest,” going on to note that “Bosch also is excludable on the grounds that he has been convicted of a crime of moral turpitude.”

So, what happened next? Going against the Department of Justice and the Attorney General’s ruling the criminal was pardoned by then President George H. W. Bush who, it is important to note, was also director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) when the Cubana de Aviación plane was blown-up mid-flight on October 6, 1976. (2)

After years of investigations, Cuban-born international terrorist Pablo Gustavo Castillo Díaz (3), known as “El Cojo,” was revealed to be one of the material authors of the murder of Cuban technician Artaigñán Díaz Díaz, in July 1976, in Mexico.
Castillo then escaped to Venezuela, where he studied Cubana de Aviación’s flight routes across the Caribbean and chose the aircraft that would later be bombed.

It has also been proven that Orlando Bosch and Castillo were together when the former was arrested on October 11, 1976, in Caracas. Castillo was responsible for making the bombs – that would later be placed in the Cuban plane by Venezuelan mercenaries Freddy Lugo and Hernán Ricardo Lozano – using explosives and detonators supplied by an explosives expert from Venezuela’s national intelligence service at that time, DISIP, in exchange for a parachute which belonged to anti-Cuban terrorist Rolando Otero Hernández, who called himself “Cóndor” and worked for Luis Posada Carriles during Operation Condor, led by Chile’s National Intelligence Bureau.

Meanwhile, the complicity of the CIA, ever-present when it comes to assassination conspiracies or attacks, is exposed in its very own documents, which prove that it had prior knowledge of plans to blow-up the Cuban plane, but did nothing to prevent it, failing even to issue a simple and timely warning to Cuban authorities.
A declassified CIA report dated October 14, 1976, identified the informant –Posada – to be “a former Venezuelan government official” who “is usually a reliable reporter.”
The cable also notes that Bosch was overheard stating: “Now that our organization has come out of the Letelier job looking good, we are going to try something else.” Several days later Posada was reported to have stated, We are going to hit a Cuban airplane” and “Orlando has the details.”

After the bombing, Luis Posada Carriles thought it wise Orlando Bosch leave Venezuela, crossing over into Colombia on October 9.
More proof that the CIA also had prior knowledge of plans to bomb Cuban aircraft, is found in a secret report involving “sensitive intelligence sources and methods…not releasable to foreign nations,” or “contractors or contractor consultants” dated and issued June 22, 1976, which quotes an informant, a “Businessman with close ties to the Cuban exile community” and “a usually reliable” source, reported, “A Cuban exile group of which Orlando Bosch is a leader, plans to place a bomb on Cubana airline flight traveling between Panama and Havana. Original plans for this operation called for two bombs being placed on the June 21, 1976 Cubana flight number 467, which was scheduled to leave Panama at 11:15am local Panama time.” (4)

Copies of the report were sent to the U.S. State Department, Military Intelligence Corps, Army, Navy, Air Force, FBI and CIA. This information however – which was not only known to the CIA four months prior to the October 6 attack which cost 73 people their lives, including 57 Cubans; but also detailed plans of the attack and identified the criminal Orlando Bosch as the author of the crime, was never sent to the Cuban government.

Everyone knows that sooner or later the truth comes out. New information continues to come to light regarding this horrendous crime, which occurred 41 years ago this 2017, while the authors of the attack live out their lives in the United States, free and under the protection of the country’s government. •

* Investigator at the State Security Historic Search Center

(1) File no. A28 851 622 of the Office of the Associate Attorney General

(2) The criminal Orlando Bosch Ávila died in the U.S. city of Miami without having ever been tried for his involvement in the terrorist attack.

(3) The terrorist was never punished for his crimes and died in Miami.

(4) For more information about the plan see the author’s book Cielo Amenazado.

The White Privilege of the “Lone Wolf” Shooter

Source:  The Intercept
October 2 2017

by Shaun King

mandalay bay shooting oct 2017.jpgLAST NIGHT, THE United States experienced the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. At least 58 people are dead and over 500 more wounded. No, that’s not a typo: More than 500 were injured in one, single incident.

As tens of thousands enjoyed a music festival on the streets of Las Vegas, 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, of Mesquite, Nevada, was perched 32 floors above them in his Mandalay Bay hotel room. Paddock had 19 rifles and hundreds of rounds of ammo — supplies that are plentiful in a nation that has more guns than people. A few minutes after 10 p.m., Paddock opened fire on the unsuspecting crowd. They were sitting ducks.

No expensive wall along the Mexican border would’ve prevented this. No Muslim ban stopping immigrants and refugees from a few randomly selected countries from reaching our shores would’ve slowed this down.

Paddock, like the majority of mass shooters in this country, was a white American. And that simple fact changes absolutely everything about the way this horrible moment gets discussed in the media and the national discourse: Whiteness, somehow, protects men from being labeled terrorists.

The privilege here is that the ultimate conclusion about shootings committed by people from commonly nonwhite groups often leads to determinations about the corrosive or destructive nature of the group itself. When an individual claiming to be a Muslim commits a horrible act, many on the right will tell us Islam itself is the problem. For centuries, when an act of violence has been committed by an African-American, racist tropes follow — and eventually, the criminalization and dehumanization of an entire ethnic group.

mandalay bay shooting oct 2017 2.jpgA bloodied victim lies on the ground during a mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival on Oct. 1, 2017, in Las Vegas.:  Photo: David Becker/Getty Images

PRIVILEGE ALWAYS STANDS in contrast to how others are treated, and it’s true in this case, too: White men who resort to mass violence are consistently characterized primarily as isolated “lone wolves” — in no way connected to one another — while the most problematic aspects of being white in America are given a pass that nobody else receives.

Stephen Paddock’s whiteness has already afforded him many outrageous protections in the media.

While the blood was still congealing on the streets of Las Vegas, USA Today declared in a headline that Paddock was a “lone wolf.” And yet an investigation into his motivations and background had only just started. Police were only beginning to move to search his home and computers. His travel history had not yet been evaluated. No one had yet thoroughly scrutinized his family, friends, and social networks.

Stephen Paddock was declared a “lone wolf” before analysts even started their day, not because an exhaustive investigation produced such a conclusion, but because it is the only available conclusion for a white man in America who commits a mass shooting.

“Lone wolf” is how Americans designate many white suspects in mass shootings. James Holmes was called a “lone wolf” when he shot and killed 12 people at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. And Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who walked into a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and shot and killed the pastor and eight other parishioners, was quickly declared a “lone wolf.”

For people of color, and especially for Muslims, the treatment is often different. Muslims often get labeled as “terrorists” before all the facts have come out.

Just consider President Donald Trump. This morning, Trump tweeted, “My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!” That’s fine, but Trump doesn’t even seem angry. It’s peculiar that he didn’t call the shooter a “son of a bitch,” like he did the NFL players who took a knee during the anthem. He didn’t create an insulting nickname for Paddock, or make an immediate push for a policy proposal.

Compare that to how Trump treats incidents where he believes the assailants are Muslims. After a bomb exploded in the London subway, Trump tweeted that the attackers were “loser terrorists” — before British authorities had even named a suspect. He went on to immediately use the attack to push his Muslim ban.

We must ask ourselves: Why do certain acts of violence absolutely incense Trump and his base while others only elicit warm thoughts and prayers? This is the deadliest mass shooting in American history! Where is the outrage? Where are the policy proposals?

What we are witnessing is the blatant fact that white privilege protects even Stephen Paddock, an alleged mass murderer, not just from being called a terrorist, but from the anger, rage, hellfire, and fury that would surely rain down if he were almost anyone other than a white man. His skin protects him. It also prevents our nation from having an honest conversation about why so many white men do what he did, and why this nation seems absolutely determined to do next to nothing about it.

I spoke to two people this morning, one black and the other Muslim. Both of them said that, when they heard about this awful shooting in Las Vegas, they immediately began hoping that the shooter was not black or a Muslim. Why? Because they knew that the blowback on all African-Americans or Muslims would be fierce if the shooter hailed from one of those communities.

Something is deeply wrong when people feel a sense of relief that the shooter is white because they know that means they won’t suffer as a result. White people, on the other hand, had no such feeling this morning, because 400 years of American history tells them that no such consequences will exist for them today as a result of Stephen Paddock’s actions.

It is an exemplar of white privilege: not just being given a head start in society, but also the freedom from certain consequences of individual and group actions.

Terror prefers the innocent

Source:  Granma
October 17 2016

by: Yudy Castro Morales | internet@granma.cu

 

We Cubans have also been victims of this unequal distribution of condolence, just like that of wealth, much as we have been of terrorism, which has forced us to live with the death of 3,478 of our people and the maiming 2,099

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On many occasions, Cuba has been alone in her mourning, such as that October of 1976, when a brutal act of terrorism saw a Cuban aircraft blown up mid-air. Photo: Jorge Oller

Just for “being in the wrong place at the wrong time,” men kill other men. And the natural balance of the world shudders. Whether for being Black or White, homosexual or Jewish, political or religious, men kill other men. This sin, contradictorily, occurs in the name of a God, or a “leader.” And the blessed balance is distorted.

Rejecting terrorism

The will to prevent and reject the horrors of terrorism, rather than a political doctrine, should emanate from our own human nature. Not even the most fanatical believers, the most loyal subordinates, or the most radical or extremist could justify the death of any one of the innocent people who inhabit our “global village.” But terror prefers the innocent.

“Any man’s death diminishes me,” wrote the English metaphysical poet John Donne. If his principle were applicable to all, there are certain characters, some renowned, who would already have been extinguished. But far from diminishing, death comforts them, and serves, unnaturally, as a mercenary or “religious,” or as I would put it, satanic, offering.

Not all dead are equal

And as distorted as it is, not all dead are equal, whether economically or mediatically speaking, despite having in common their innocence and the possibility of a whole life to live. In terms of death, credit cards, bank accounts and even latitude make a difference, as in these cases the effects of geography weigh in, almost as a curse.

The economic strength of the countries where the barbarism occurs, their weight in the international power balance and even their range of influential allies, act as either a global loudspeaker or silencer. The deaths that occur in “developed” nations change the course of history; those in Third World or “developing” countries barely make the headlines.

Poorer in death

One need not dig too deep to expose the clear examples. The world mourned for Paris and sympathized with Brussels, whereas the massacres of the South pass almost unnoticed and if anything, are only discussed among the victims. The poor are even poorer in death.

We Cubans have also been victims of this unequal distribution of condolence, just like that of wealth, much as we have been of terrorism, which has forced us to live with the death of 3,478 of our people and the maiming 2,099 others.

October 6 of 1976 – only a few shared our pain

On many occasions, Cuba has been alone in her mourning, such as that October 6 of 1976, when a brutal act of terrorism saw a Cuban aircraft blown up midair, killing all 73 passengers aboard: 57 Cubans, 11 Guyanese and five Koreans.

He had said so before, but in his speech commemorating the 25th anniversary of this barbaric act, Fidel was explicit, declaring that “No one, except a group of friendly personalities and institutions, shared our pain; there was no uproar in the world, no serious political crises, no meetings at the United Nations, no imminent threat of war.

“Few perhaps (…) understood the terrible significance of that event. (…) It was as commonplace. Thousands of Cubans had already been killed in La Coubre, the Escambray mountains, at Playa Girón and in hundreds of terrorist acts, pirate attacks or other similar events, had they not?”

Cuba has always condemned any act of terror

Despite this extreme cruelty, Cuba has always condemned any act of terror, against any country, even against that which has offered shelter and protection to the most unrelenting murderers.

Cuba has signed all 19 existing international conventions on this matter and is party to all, except the Protocol to Amend the Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, 2014, as this has not this yet entered into force.

Cuba also strictly complies with the commitments emanating from United Nations Security Council resolutions, and has actively participated in discussions on the work of the Counter-Terrorism Committee.

Respect for human rights

Our country also remains committed to the implementation of the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy, especially its four pillars, which in general refer to measures to prevent and combat terrorism, increase the capacity of states in this struggle and ensure respect for human rights.

The background to this position, however, is not confined to the revolutionary period. It dates back to 1937, when Cuba was suffering and her people were far from able to protect themselves and assert a clear position.

However, in politics, always contradictory, many things are not what they seem, and explanations almost always boil down to convenience. Thus it must have been convenient, back then, for Cuba to feature among the signatories of the Convention for the Prevention and Punishment of Terrorism.

Neo-colonial puppet

I say convenient, and even contradictory, as in 1937 the Cuban government served as a neo-colonial puppet providing ongoing indignities.

For those who pulled the strings, the signing likely acted as a facade; for Cubans, however, it laid the foundations for a much more important commitment, which became definitive after 1959. Such that, beyond the differences, our authorities have repeatedly communicated to the U.S. government the willingness to cooperate in the fight against terrorism.

The list is extensive. Taken at random, we could note the year 1984, when Cuba warned of a plan to assassinate President Ronald Reagan, which led to the neutralization of those involved by the U.S. authorities. In 1998, Cuba informed the Bill Clinton administration regarding the intention to detonate bombs on Cuban planes, or those from third countries carrying U.S. passengers.

Anti-terrorism program rejected by the US government

In 1997, 1998, 2005, 2006 and 2010, the island officially submitted thousands of documents containing data on terrorists based in the United States and other nations to representatives of the Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that in 2001 and 2002, Cuba presented a draft program for cooperation to combat terrorism to U.S. authorities. A proposal that was expressly rejected by the George W. Bush administration.

These refusals did not stop the island trying, and in 2009, 2010 and 2011 Cuba reiterated its willingness to cooperate in this area to the United States government. In 2012, the island submitted in writing a proposal to establish a bilateral program that would ensure effective prevention or eradication of any terrorist activity.

Moving forward with our wounds

The current process toward the normalization of relations has not been exempt from such attempts. In March 2015, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the interest in signing agreements on issues of law enforcement, mainly related to areas in the fight against terrorism. Later that year, the first bilateral dialogue on this matter was held and since then several technical meetings have taken place.

Recently, in June 2016, such an encounter between Cuban and U.S. authorities responsible for preventing and fighting terrorism was held in Havana, who agreed on the importance of cooperation and to continue such meetings in the future.

The results, in practice, are yet to be seen; but this has not weakened the country’s will to move forward, even when we Cubans are still healing from our wounds.

Looking Back at 9/11 After 15 Years of Wars

Source:  TeleSUR
September 10 2016

By: Gregory Shupak

The U.S. government responded to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by killing thousands more…Physicians for Responsibility finds that the first ten years of the Bush-Obama “war on terror” killed 1.3 million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

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U.S. Army soldiers from the 2nd Platoon, B battery 2-8 field artillery, fire a howitzer artillery piece at Seprwan Ghar forward fire base in Panjwai district, Kandahar province southern Afghanistan, June 12, 2011. | Photo: Reuters

The fifteenth anniversary of 9/11 should occasion reflection on how the U.S. government has interacted with the rest of the world in the years following the attacks. The atrocities made clear the consequences of the U.S. ruling class’ pursuit of global hegemony since the American state laid the groundwork for 9/11 in its Cold War proxy war with the USSR.

But, because U.S. foreign policy is set by people with a vested interest in war profiteering and global supremacy, there was no chance the U.S. would change course. Instead the U.S. has carried out countless 9/11s of its own—in fact, it has done far worse and played a major role in the almost total destruction of several countries—and in so doing has created conditions for further 9/11s in America and states with which it is allied.

OPINION:  Afghanistan: The Forever-War We Never Question

The U.S. invaded Afghanistan

Immediately after the attacks, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, where it is still at war. The Bush administration said the war was necessary because Afghanistan’s Taliban government was harbouring 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden but, when the Taliban offered to turn over bin Laden in exchange for an end to US-bombing, the U.S. rejected the offer and opted for war instead.

During the fifteen year occupation, Western bombings in Herat, Farah, and Kunduz have caused mass civilian casualties as have nighttime house raids in Ghazi Khan and Khatabeh. In Oct. 2015, an MSF Trauma centre in Kunduz was hit several times during sustained bombing by US-led coalition forces, leaving the hospital very badly damaged and killing at least 42, including 24 patients; MSF repeatedly provided the coalition with the coordinates of the hospital and had done so as recently as four days before the attack.

Twelve million Afghans are internally displaced

Such violence cannot be seen as a high price for the ultimately worthwhile cause of bringing peace, freedom, and prosperity to Afghanistan. While the Bush administration as well as many Democrats and liberals in the media said that the war was necessary to liberate Afghans, they continue to live in dire conditions. The UN reports that for the last decade one third of Afghans have been continuously food insecure and that the war is one of the underlying reasons. The country has the worst infant mortality rate in the world. Twelve million Afghans are internally displaced, a figure that has doubled since 2013. Meanwhile, the Taliban hold more ground in Afghanistan than at any point since 2001 and the condition of the country is such that ISIS has been able to find a home there.

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq – over a million civilians deaad

The 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq ripped the country apart. Estimates of the numbers of Iraqis killed by the invasion vary but all are massive: The World Health Organization put the number at 151,000 by June 2006; the Lancet estimated 426,369–793,663 by July 2006, Britain’s Opinion Business Research counted over a million civilians. U.S. elites made a killing off the killing and one result was the birth of ISIS.

In Syria, U.S. policy has been to carry out a proxy war against Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah

In Syria, U.S. policy has been to carry out a proxy war against Russia, Iran, and Hezbollah. This cannot be understood as an effort to help Syrians replace the highly repressive government they currently have with one that respects human rights. America and its allies have backed vicious sectarian forces in Syria, including Jaish al-Fatah, a coalition led by al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra. Al-Nusra’s leader, Rania Khalek shows, has openly praised the 9/11 attacks. As Asa Winstanley writes, “15 years on from 9/11, who would have imagined that we would be having to make the case that Western and Israeli support for Al-Qaeda is a bad idea and should stop?”

INTERVIEW:  Anand Gopal on the Iraq War That Never Ended

At the same time that the U.S. supports jihadists in Syria, it bombs Syria in what it says is an effort to defeat the jihadist group ISIS and one recent strike that appears to have been carried out by the US-led coalition killed at least 56 civilians and perhaps many more. Thus far coalition airstrikes in the anti-ISIS campaign have killed an estimated minimum of 1,592 Iraqi and Syrian civilians.

Since the US-led coalition overthrew the Libyan government, the country has been in a state of chaos

In the 2011 Libyan war, the U.S. refused to explore possible diplomatic solutions and caused civilian deaths: its motives included a desire to establish American military bases throughout Africa, resource competition with China, and Wall Street’s interests. Since the US-led coalition overthrew the Libyan government, the country has been in a state of chaos that enabled the spread of weapons to other conflict zones such as Syria, sent Libyan refugees to die at sea, and allowed ISIS to gain a foothold in Libya. Now, citing the presence of ISIS, the U.S. is again bombing Libya. This campaign will surely kill more civilians and send more refugees fleeing but it’s virtually impossible to imagine that it will help resolve Libya’s political crisis and bring its people peace.

The U.S. played a central role in a Saudi-led war on Yemen – Yemeni hospitals cannot cope with the volume of dead bodies

Since 2015 the U.S. has also played a central role in a Saudi-led war on Yemen that aims to secure regional hegemony for the U.S. and its proxies. US-Saudi aggression has inflicted a humanitarian disaster on Yemen and, like Afghanistan, has involved attacks on MSF hospitals. The war has been so devastating that Yemeni hospitals cannot cope with the volume of dead bodies. Furthermore, the war has strengthened Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni franchise as well as the ISIS outfit there.

U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia

Furthermore, U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Somalia in the name of fighting terrorism have caused untold civilian death in those countries. Physicians for Responsibility finds that the first ten years of the Bush-Obama “war on terror” killed 1.3 million people in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan.

More 9/11s in the U.S. and the countries with which it is allied

All of these policies are virtually certain to result in more 9/11s in the U.S. and the countries with which it is allied. Elites in the U.S. and its partner countries know what they are doing—they have access to everything cited in this article and much more. They simply care more about enriching themselves than protecting civilians in their own countries or around the world.

All is not dire

All is not dire, however. Configurations like The Movement for Black Lives and the Palestine solidarity movement aim to weaken the hegemony and militarism of the U.S. and its clients and have considerable momentum, particularly among young people. To stop or curb the U.S. from causing more 9/11s abroad and at home, mass movements like these will need to dramatically re-shape the balance of power inside America and its ancillary states.