Truth is not the only casualty (the white “evangelical’s” choice)

Samuel Oakford, investigative reporter for the journalistic project Airwars, reports that the number of civilian casualties in U.S. airstrikes has been escalating since Donald Trump took office two months ago.

DONALD TRUMP: The other thing is with the terrorists. You have to take out their families. When you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They—they care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. But they say they don’t care about their lives. You have to take out their families.


The Trump administration is moving ahead with plans to make it easier for the CIA and the military to target terrorists with drone strikes, even if it means tolerating more civilian casualties, U.S. officials told NBC News.

The military already has declared that parts of Yemen and Somalia are war zones — “areas of active hostilities” in Pentagon parlance — which means the U.S. has greater latitude to launch strikes even if civilian deaths are possible.

That is part of a broad policy shift underway, U.S. officials say, to grant the CIA and the military more autonomy to target and kill al Qaeda and ISIS militants without presidential sign-off in countries such as Yemen, Somalia, Iraq, Syria, Libya and Afghanistan.

“Some of the Obama administration rules were getting in the way of good strikes,” said one U.S. official briefed on the matter.

The Obama administration put in place a rule that no drone strike could take place outside a war zone unless there was a “near certainty” that no civilian would be harmed.

full article:

Another site of interest:


30 thoughts on “Truth is not the only casualty (the white “evangelical’s” choice)

    Hillary might have been willing to go to war with Russia (for good or bad), but Trump is just false.
    When I went to the link you were giving, I shared, there, a response similar to the first link above.

    Tillerson to skip NATO meeting, will visit Moscow: Reuters

    Congressman Adam Schiff talks with Rachel Maddow about breaking news from Reuters that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not attend an upcoming NATO meeting, but will visit Moscow. Duration: 3:06

    …… because whoever calls for the U.S. to establish a “safe zone” in Syria — as Hillary did in her previous utterance to which Sanders was responding — is calling for “ground troops.”

    This fact was made clear by a well-publicized exchange in a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on September 16 between Senator John McCain, chair of the committee, and General Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command [“CENTCOM”], in which McCain pressed General Austin to say that he favored establishing “safe zones” in Syria and General Austin refused to do so, on the grounds that a “safe zone” would require a “ground force.” The video of the exchange is here. The full video of the hearing is here.



    The next person you meet on the street could be forgiven for not knowing that “safe zone” = “ground troops.” Not everyone watches Congressional hearings, or follows them in careful media.


  3. There was another story of (Secretary of State) Tillerson skipping a visit, maybe a week ago. He decided to have his deputy/ies go to Israel (and not he himself), so he could go on to the next stop.

  4. I think I got that wrong, on Israel. Rather, it was something else (a different place in the news) that felt a little personal or “close to home.” But I don’t think I want to explain it right now.

  5. Dozens of civilians killed in US-led airstrike on Isis stronghold in Syria
    At least 33 people killed in coalition strike on school used as refugee centre near jihadi-held town in northern province of Raqqa, says monitor.

    An airstrike by the US-led coalition against Islamic State on a school west of the Syrian city of Raqqa has killed at least 33 people, many of whom had fled nearby fighting, sparking further concerns that new rules of engagements may be causing an increase in civilian casualties.

  6. I wonder how happy those white “evangelicals” are with their pro-life supporting President. But maybe its only the lives of unborn American babies that they are “pro”.

    How many “safe zones” are there in war zones today when hospitals, schools and refugee centres are targeted (or fall victim to errant “smart bombing”?) Of course the current administration hasn’t been the only guilty party – but according to the details in my original post, what was a bad situation will inevitably become increasingly worse.

  7. Sometimes they’re thinking of American babies, sometimes white (U.S. or otherwise). And sometimes they’re really not thinking things through at all. Being evange… Evangelical is very simplistic.

    Simplistic in a self-serving way (not just an innocent or less-than-sophisticated way). Say the magic words, claim the correct political stance — don’t [look like you’re] go[ing] to hell; pass Go; collect ego.

    You know, incidentally, it really only is unborn babies: not their mothers (not truly even while the babies are still unborn), not their siblings, not the babies after they have been born. Come out, those who disagree.

  8. You know, incidentally, it really only is unborn babies: not their mothers (not truly even while the babies are still unborn), not their siblings, not the babies after they have been born. Come out, those who disagree.

    Sadly what you say is more than likely right.

    But maybe if they are from white, reasonably well-off American families there could be a difference.

  9. Well, yes. We’ve seen the discussions of keeping populations up.

    My mother sees something different in what I’ve done than that which I intended.

    I wanted my children to have a large family (in each other).

    But she has talked about adding to the educated among us in our country.
    (Of course, I wanted my children educated, but her reasons aren’t mine.)

  10. Oh, and of course everything I have done she has been against WHILE I was doing it. I shouldn’t home educate my children, shouldn’t have so many. I should finish my degree and go to work.

    She knew better than to ever bring up abortion with me,
    but she harassed me about breastfeeding.

  11. One of the weird Trump surrogates over here (also a congressman) said, a few days or couple weeks ago or so, that we can’t build our country “with other people’s babies.”

    After there was complaining over what he had said, he came out with a brief correction to his words. He said he should have added, “… unless we adopt them.”

  12. Another memory. When I visited my mother the first time after having my first child, I called my mother mom; like a normal person would. She told me to shut up.

    Literally said those words sharply. She didn’t want people [whoever around her home was so important] to know her age. Thank God I didn’t live in the same city she did.

  13. Marlene,

    You frequently express animosity toward your mother, and I never hear a tone of honor for her in your comments. You seem to harbor a lot of resentment toward her because of your many disagreements with her, and it comes through whenever you mention her in your posts. Does she have any positive qualities at all?

    No parent is perfect, not even you, though one might come to a different conclusion from your posts, which often exhibit a “holier than thou”, i.e., a superiority attitude, and a lack of humility, with respect to your mother (and others who have disagreements with you).

    We all have/have had disagreements with our parents, some more than others. But as I have commented to my siblings, one day we will all give an account of our words and thoughts and actions, including toward our parents. Your comments are public and permanent, and God sees all of them.

  14. Jeanne, I know that God sees what I say. But you apparently are my judge (in your eyes).

    I haven’t told you (and won’t tell you) the half of what she’s done. And, by the way, you have no idea who she is (so I can’t be hurting her reputation to the public (or you). I will give you a little more information. My father recently died. She spent time in the weeks immediately after his death, before the death certificate is even issued, telling my oldest son that my father was having affairs (right there in the immediate time before his death). This is false; my mother is simply a suspicious person — and no wonder, as she is the kind of person to DO the things she suspects. My mother said to me during that time (which actually is still present, and she isn’t reborn or moved by respect) that my dad enjoyed the company of my lesbian cousin and her wife because women were “always” hitting on him “in all other situations.” My mother is ridiculous.

    Yes, there is something good about my mother; she worked for decades — but used that good as an opportunity for arrogance (by which I don’t simply mean a little too much pride). My cousin’s father also worked for decades (as has always been expected of men). But he was a child molester. (He was also a harshly judgmental father, and, later, a neglectful one based on his being satisfied with a new family for his creature comforts.) My cousin tried to forgive him such as to carry forward in a strong or even tenuous parent-child relationship. But she visited him in the hospital shortly before his death. There, she learned that there was nothing reformed about him. He had only taken in the usefulness of saying the word “sorry” (especially in church) to go on and get his way. She did not attend his funeral. That is a forever decision, and I support it.

    Her sister (another cousin of mine) did go. This other cousin recently spread a rumour about me that I was using money my mother had gotten from my aunt (her mother) to buy clothes for myself. I was staying with my mother to take care of her, spending hundreds of dollars of my own money on her with no second thought… no problem, expectation to be repaid, worry or need to be thanked or anything. Now, I had gone with a suitcase of a few dark outfits in winter. While there, the weather became warm. So, while I was buying a new toaster for my mother (one that wouldn’t be a fire hazard), I also bought (with my own card) a few spring outfits. So, this gossip gets started about me on no basis at all — just a need by my younger cousin to favor her parents. [Meanwhile, her mother owes my mother money anyway. But certainly that wouldn’t figure in to her mind.]

    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 3/23/17 Russia’s dark dealings a split screen scandal —
    Rachel Maddow reports on the assassination of a critic of Vladimir Putin, the latest in a long chain of such attacks, and also reports on the latest developments in the Russian scandal in the U.S. Duration: 15:30
    THE RACHEL MADDOW SHOW 3/23/17 Being a Putin opponent is dangerous business —
    Bill Browder, author of “Red Notice,” talks with Rachel Maddow about the condition of Nikolai Gorokhov, lawyer for Russian whistle-blower Sergei Magnitsky, who fell from a fourth floor window, and the dangers for being an opponent of Vladimir Putin. Duration: 5:29

    MORNING JOE 3/24/17 How Russia’s shadow over elections extends abroad —
    Adm. James Stavridis discusses the Trump administration and Russia, Russian influence in Afghanistan and national security. Duration: 4:03
    Dem Senator: Why was Trump team talking to surveillance targets?
    MSNBC’s Brian Williams talks to Senate Intelligence Committee member Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM) about House GOP Intel. Chair Nunes sharing information with Pres. Trump. Duration: 4:55


    In Trump’s attacks on the press he may have found a model in George Wallace, the Alabama segregationist governor and populist presidential candidate. A feisty campaigner who favored mass rallies with a tent-revival feel – something Trump enjoys as well – Wallace routinely and with relish used traveling reporters as his foils. I covered one Wallace rally in the spring of 1976 along with a New York Times reporter who had brought his 9-year-old son with him. True to script, Wallace launched into an anti-press tirade in which he called The New York Times “communist propaganda.” He then pointed to the roped-off press section and, in his thick Southern drawl, shouted “and that man right over there works for The New York Times.” Wallace grinned broadly as the lathered crowd responded with hissing, booing, and cursing in the direction of the reporter.

    This veteran newsman had endured such taunts at rallies many times before and was unfazed. But his terrified child burst into tears. When that was brought to Wallace’s attention after the rally, he summoned the Times reporter and his son to his hotel room. When they entered the suite, Wallace quickly picked up the trembling boy, wrapped him in a bear hug, and said in a soothing tone: “Listen here, son, don’t you pay no never mind to the things I said about your daddy tonight; it’s just politics.”

    But are Trump’s venomous attacks – propelled to countless true believers in his tweets and passed along on partisan websites – “just politics”? The consequences to some journalists have been real and personal. Reporters who have criticized Trump have had their home addresses and the names of their children distributed through extremist sites. The Washington Post retained security guards to protect one of its reporters who had been threatened anonymously for his coverage. Female journalists and reporters with Jewish-sounding names regularly endure scathing assaults on social media. Former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly’s criticisms of Trump so riled some in her audience that she hired an armed guard to accompany her and her children as they vacationed at Disney World.

    These threats and attacks come because the news reporters are doing their jobs. They report embarrassing facts about Trump’s behavior or his predilection for repeating statements that are – and you can choose your own word here – inaccurate, falsehoods, exaggerations, or lies.


    Truth, in other words, is not dead after all. Citizens are still quite able to sift fact from falsehood amid the tweets, soundbites, and campaign ads of politicians in order to sustain democracy.

    In open societies, the ability of adults to discern truth has always been present. “Although only a few may originate a policy, we are all able to judge it,” said Pericles of Athens around 430 BC. In the modern digital age with its democratization of data, civic literacy is easier than ever. Finding the truth has become more networked and participatory. With a few thumb swipes on a smartphone, individuals are empowered to judge the truth from a vast universe of sources. And in recent decades, nearly 100 countries have passed laws requiring freedom of information about government.

    In less-free societies, the powerful fear this truth-seeking and are trying to control the borderless world of cyber-information. They distrust the wisdom of the crowd, ban social media, and jail journalists.


    [Twelve hours in (maybe 3/4 way), the vote on the FCC rule is announced.
    Also first deals with that subject. Also has some Gorsuch stuff.
    Starts, at the very beginning, with prayer and pledge.]
    MARCH 23, 2017 Senate Session — The Senate resumesd debate on S.J.Res. 34,
    a disapproval resolution to repeal an Obama administration Federal
    Communications Commission privacy rule for internet service providers.

    I recommend listening to the Gorsuch hearings.(March 20th through 23rd). *

    Just for fun:

  19. I just heard a good “joke” (but true): We shouldn’t vote on Gorsuch to even
    consider confirming him — because we’re in the last year of Trump’s presidency.

  20. A reminder of worthy considerations. This is one example of how Trump (and the like) treat people.

    In the summer of 2010 I interviewed Michael Forbes on his salmon-fishing boat, and he mentioned in passing that they had no running water. Trump’s workers had apparently cut through a pipe leading from the spring that serves the Forbes’s well. The result was that Michael, his wife Sheila and Michael’s mother, Molly, were without running water. This had been going on for a week. And what had Trump done about it? Nothing, according to the Forbes.

    I went immediately to speak to the man in charge of Trump’s building work at the time to get the other side of the story. He confirmed that there was nobody trying to sort the problem out. He explained they had to “assess it first” so that it “would be a jewel of a system and sustain itself. It’ll be the best water system he’s ever had”.

    …. But still the Forbes’s water supply ran dry.

    In the years that followed I went back to the Forbes’s house. I made another film in 2014 called A Dangerous Game, for which Trump granted me an on-camera interview about the residents’ plight. When I filmed that interview in early 2013, I had no idea that Molly was still without a proper working water supply. She is a private person, a former land girl (member of the Women’s Land Army) during the second world war, and used to hardship.

    Throughout this extraordinary presidential campaign, countless articles have been written about the outrageous things that Donald Trump has said. But lesser known is what he has done. ….

    Mexico-style border walls? Check. Mistreatment of women? Check. Failure to deliver on promises? Check. And as for the Forbes’s water? When Trump announced he was running for the presidency in the summer of 2015, I was dumbfounded to discover Molly was still collecting water from a nearby stream because her water supply wasn’t working “all because of Trump”. Now that was a story I couldn’t ignore.

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