Category Archives: War on Terror

The death by drone memo: a throwback to U.S. terrorism in Nicaragua

The Office of Legal Counsel memo justifying the killing of U.S. citizen Anwar al-Aulaki claims that federal statutes prohibiting murder do not apply to CIA officers, who operated the drone that killed Aulaki. To bolster the claim, the memo cites a Cold War-era Justice Department memo that argues for the legality of CIA actions in the context of one of the most controversial acts of the Reagan years: the mining of Nicaragua’s harbors in April 1984, which killed several people.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 4 Comments

Why LA needs a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center

Jordan Elgrably argues for the creation of a city-funded Middle Eastern cultural center in Los Angeles.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 8 Comments

New book explores intersection of Islamophobia and support for Israel

Elly Bulkin and Donna Nevel have a new book out that explores the intersection of Islamophobia and Israel—and the ways that the U.S. “war on terror” impacts both.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 5 Comments

In Ramallah, Palestinian Authority cracks down on Salafi anti-negotiation protests

As U.S. brokered negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian leaders nearly fell apart last week, in the West Bank the Palestinian Authority was busy cracking down on a Salafi group attempting to stage protests against the talks. Two weekends in a row, after evening prayers at a central Ramallah mosque dozens of Palestinian Authority riot police and undercover security services conducted mass arrests of members of Hizb ut-Tahrir, a marginal Islamic group that seeks the ouster of both the PA and Israel.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Israeli Government, Middle East, Occupation, On the ground reports, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , | 13 Comments

Anti-Defamation League exploits fear of Muslims to undermine anti-gay bill

The Anti-Defamation League’s latest dance with Islamophobia emerged in Arizona in the midst of a debate on a bill enshrining the rights of business owners to deny service to gays and lesbians. The ADL used specter of Muslims using the legislation to discriminate against non-Muslims to help kill the legislation.

Posted in American Jewish Community, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | Comments Off

Dronesplain

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Katie Miranda introduces us to a new word – dronesplain. It’s a verb for condescendingly excusing or justifying drone strikes, most commonly seen with politicians and media commentators. Above, Time magazine’s Joe Klein dronesplains to New York Times columnist Tom Friedman.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Media, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Even when US drones hit the mark in Pakistan, they’re still counterproductive

“We will put pressure on America, and our protest will continue if drone attacks are not stopped,” said an angry Imran Khan, leader of Pakistan’s third largest political party, the PTI (the Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaaf). He was speaking on Saturday, November 23, to a crowd of over 10,000 protesters who blocked the highway used by NATO supply trucks taking goods in and out of Afghanistan. The latest protests in Pakistan show that even when the US hits its mark, as in the case of the last two strikes in Pakistan that killed key leaders of two extremist cells, they’re still counterproductive.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | Comments Off

Showtime’s ‘Homeland’ and the imagination of national security

Showtime’s hit TV series “Homeland” is about Obama’s war on terror. Similar to 24, a popular show during the Bush era, it provides a means for the national-security state to publicize fantasies of terrorist threat, while setting new norms of acceptability on issues like surveillance and political violence. It not only sells the public on the notion that the War on Terror has become a permanent state of emergency, but that educated, sober, ethical, and smart people are in charge and that we should trust them to guard us.

Posted in Media, Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 9 Comments

The Heart is Not a Weapon: My correspondence with Shukri Abu Baker

n 2009, after a previous trial resulted in a hung jury, Shukri Abu Baker was sentenced to 65 years in a United States prison after being convicted of having a role in distributing over 12 million dollars through the charity The Holy Land Foundation in material support to the designated terrorist group Hamas. Richard Potter shares his powerful correspondence with Abu Baker from prison.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | 6 Comments

The victims of drones have come out of the shadows

The media has failed to do its job of humanizing the civilian casualties that accompany President Obama’s deadly drone program. But that’s beginning to change. New films, reports and media coverage are finally giving the American public a taste of the personal tragedies involved. And on October 29, the Rehman family—a father with his two children—came all the way from the Pakistani tribal territory of North Waziristan to the US Capitol to tell the heart-wrenching story of the death of the children’s beloved 67-year-old grandmother.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 2 Comments

CUNY Law SJP condemns student suspensions over anti-Petraeus activism

Members of Students for Justice in Palestine at the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law slam the suspension of students Khalil Vasquez and Tafadar Sourov for their anti-militarization activism.

Posted in Activism, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, US Policy in the Middle East, War on Terror | 1 Comment

What Comes Next: The one state/two state debate is irrelevant as Israel and the US consolidate Greater Israel

Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Photo: Reuters)

We are excited to share Noam Chomsky’s addition to our series “What Comes Next?: A forum on the end of the two-state paradigm.” Chomsky argues the one state/two state debate is crucially flawed because it ignores a third option that Israel is pursuing with constant US support – the consolidation of Greater Israel. This reality not only means Palestinians will continue to live under an ongoing occupation, but also that any hopes for a regional peace settlement with Iran is highly unlikely.

Posted in Iran, Israel/Palestine, Middle East, One state/Two states, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | 212 Comments

Compensation fund meant for Pakistani drone victims going to US-based NGOs instead

The peace group CODEPINK recently discovered that every year for the past four years, a pot of $10 million has been allocated for Pakistani drone strike victims. However, instead of going to victims of drones, the funds are getting farmed out to US-based non-governmental organizations to provide humanitarian assistance for Pakistanis who are not drone victims and are not even living in the tribal areas of Waziristan where the US is carrying out the strikes.

Posted in Activism, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 3 Comments

Meet the Arab-American lawyer who the NSA spied on–back in 1967

Abdeen Jabara, above, was hardly shocked when the scandal over the National Security Agency’s global surveillance dragnet broke in June. He has no reason to be–he has personal experience with the NSA’s surveillance capabilities. A court battle that started in 1972 eventually forced the secretive surveillance agency to acknowledge that it pried into the life of Jabara in an effort that began in August 1967.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | 11 Comments

How pro-Israel forces drove two virulent anti-Muslim campaigns

In smear campaigns waged in the last decade, right-wing Islamophobes used Israel as a cudgel to attack the legitimacy of a Boston mosque and Brooklyn school. Those campaigns illustrate how, when Israel enters the equation, many Jewish groups, public figures, and institutions (including those that claim to oppose Islamophobia) take positions based on their implacable commitment to Israeli policies.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, Israel Lobby, Israel/Palestine, US Politics, War on Terror | Tagged | 7 Comments

Opening shots fired in federal lawsuit against NYPD spying on Muslims

The American Civil Liberties Union’s federal lawsuit against the New York Police Department’s surveillance program opened yesterday in a federal courtroom. No decision was issued yesterday, which was the first hearing among many concerning the NYPD’s spy program. But it provided a window into the contrasting positions of the city and the ACLU and their plaintiffs, who were all spied on by the NYPD.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | 4 Comments

Spy on mosques, stay away from synagogues: NYPD surveillance differs based on religion

Revelations that the New York Police Department spied on the extremist group Kahane Chai shed light on how the NYPD treats terrorism differently based on the community the threat emanates from. In the course of investigating Kahane Chai, the NYPD never set foot in a synagogue. But when it comes to the Muslim community, mosques are fair game. “It appears to me that there is a double standard being applied,” civil rights lawyer Jethro Eisenstein said. Above, an NYPD observation post outside a Queens mosque.

Posted in American Jewish Community, US Politics, War on Terror | 29 Comments

A Jewish New Year call for justice for the Muslim community

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In a statement timed for the Jewish New Year, the Jews Against Islamophobia Coalition re-commits itself to being an ally and partner with the Muslim community and all communities challenging Islamophobia, racism, and injustice.

Posted in Activism, American Jewish Community, US Politics, War on Terror | 7 Comments

Target Bay Ridge: The NYPD has burrowed deep into the heart of Brooklyn’s Muslim community

The spying unleashed on the heart of Brooklyn’s Muslim community has been intense. Muslims in Bay Ridge take it as a given that the police are around them, peering into their religious centers. But that doesn’t mean prominent Muslims in the area are taking renewed revelations that the New York Police Department labeled mosques as “terrorist enterprises” in stride. They’re upset and angry. Above, Zein Rimawi sits in the Islamic Society of Bay Ridge, which has been under surveillance since 2003.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | 2 Comments

10 ways to reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on Americans

Medea Benjamin presents a 10-point plan would significantly reduce terrorist threats, save U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars and make Americans more admired in the world. After a decade of wielding the military stick, it’s time for some carrots.

Posted in US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 30 Comments

John Kerry’s democratic coup in Egypt

There he said it, Secretary of States John Kerry, commenting on the Egyptian coup: “The military was asked to intervene by millions and millions of people. The military did not take over, to the best of our judgment – so far.” Where did Kerry make his pronouncement? In another “democratic” country run by the military with the help of US aid – Pakistan.

Posted in Egypt, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 9 Comments

Liberalism and the national security state

Cornell West, on HBO’s Real Time, reiterated his criticism that President Obama is a “war criminal” for killing innocent people through drone strikes. He went on to make a simple, but rarely heard observation, that if you “have an empire, you’re going to have war crimes.” Critical voices like his are an exception in the mainstream. For the most part, establishment liberals have either been silent or have cheered as Obama has expanded the national security state. West chastises these liberals as “morally bankrupt” for giving Obama a pass for the same problematic policies that Bush was roundly criticized for.

Posted in US Politics, War on Terror | 12 Comments

What’s in a tweet? Islamophobe Emerson brings frivolous lawsuit over a joke

Steven Emerson, an anti-Muslim ideologue, is currently suing Cyrus McGoldrick, an American Muslim community organizer and human rights activist, over a sarcastic tweet that McGoldrick sent to two friends. No “reasonable person,” McGoldrick’s lawyers maintain, “could have understood that joke as stating an actual fact about Emerson,” which is fundamental to a “viable libel claim.” Even a loyal supporter of Emerson has publicly acknowledged that the tweet was a joke. Emerson is part of a network of Islamophobes that is well-funded, connected to right-wing Israeli politics, and an integral part of the U.S. “war on terror.”

Posted in Israel/Palestine, War on Terror | 11 Comments

The forever conflict: Will America’s war on terror ever end at home?

Will the war on terror at home ever end? Not anytime soon. The revelations from Edward Snowden reveal that the war on terror at home continues to grind on, capturing in its dragnet millions of Americans and foreigners, many of them innocent of any crime. But the revelations have also sparked a conversation over the domestic costs of this forever conflict, which include privacy erosion, monitoring of communications and crack downs on dissent.

Posted in War on Terror | Tagged | Comments Off

Israeli docs to consult US govt on force feeding Gitmo hunger strikers

Here’s a perfect story to illustrate the U.S.-Israeli collaboration in the “War on Terror.” Haaretz reports officials from the Israeli Medical Association are on their way to the United States to “present policy makers there with their methods of handling hunger strikers” in the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. Above is a video of the actor Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) undergoing the force feeding procedure the U.S. is currently using with hunger striking prisoners. Warning, the video is very difficult to watch.

Posted in Israel/Palestine, US Policy in the Middle East, US Politics, War on Terror | 18 Comments