Nick Turse, American “Success” and the Rise of West African Piracy

8_21_questionsWe have no idea, none, what reality really is anymore except the illusions that the “establishment” wishes us to believe is real. Stand firmly on the solid rock of American principles, the ones that our government discarded eons ago. Defend your freedom and your rights against the State and do not be fooled into the the feeding frenzy of false patriotism that leads only to death and freedoms destruction, both ours and theirs. Always question everything.

The United States is an imperial power chastened by more than 10 years of failed, heavy-footprint wars.  It is hobbled by a hollowing-out economy, and inundated with hundreds of thousands of recent veterans — a staggering 45% of the troops who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq — suffering from service-related disabilities who will require ever more expensive care.  No wonder the current combination of special ops, drones, spy games, civilian soldiers, cyberwarfare, and proxy fighters sounds like a safer, saner brand of war-fighting.  At first blush, it may even look like a panacea for America’s national security ills.  In reality, it may be anything but. 

Somewhere on this planet an American commando is carrying out a mission.  Now, say that 70 times and you’re done… for the day.  Without the knowledge of the American public, a secret force within the U.S. military is undertaking operations in a majority of the world’s countries.  This new Pentagon power elite is waging a global war whose size and scope have never been revealed, until

In 2010, Karen DeYoung and Greg Jaffe of the Washington Post reported that U.S. Special Operations Forces were deployed in 75 countries, up from 60 at the end of the Bush presidency.  By the end of 2011, U.S. Special Operations Command spokesman Colonel Tim Nye told me, that number would reach 120.  “We do a lot of traveling — a lot more than Afghanistan or Iraq,” he said.  This global presence — in about 60% of the world’s nations and far larger than previously acknowledged — provides striking new evidence of a rising clandestine Pentagon power elite waging a secret war in all corners of the world.

—–The Changing Face of Empire: Special Ops, Drones, Spies, Proxy Fighters, Secret Bases, and Cyberwarfare (Nick Turse)

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reality-icebergAs American hysteria over events in the Middle East rises, news about whatever grim video the Islamic State (IS) has just released jostles for attention with U.S. bombing runs in Iraq, prospective ones in Syria, and endless confusing statements out of Washington about what the next seat-of-the-pants version of its strategy might be.  These days, such things are endlessly on the American radar screen.  On the other hand, the U.S. military has been moving into Africa big time for years and just about nobody seems to notice.  The Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) now annually engages in one kind of activity or another with 49 of that continent’s 54 countries.  Yet Americans know next to nothing about Washington’s “pivot” to a continent significant parts of which seem to be in a slow-motion process of destabilization that may be linked, at least in part, to U.S. military moves there.

Nearly everywhere in Africa, the U.S. military is in action.  However, except in rare cases, like the recent announcement of an “Ebola surge” in Liberia, you would never know it.  At the moment, for instance, according to the Associated Press, AFRICOM is “preparing to launch a ‘major’ border security program to help Nigeria and its neighbors combat the increasing number and scope of attacks by Islamic extremists.”  We’re talking, of course, about the other “caliphate,” the one in northern Nigeria announced by Boko Haram, an outfit that makes the militants of IS look moderate.  But that’s news you’re unlikely to read in this country, not at least until, at some future moment, things start to go really, really wrong. Similarly, U.S. drone bases are slowly spreading in Africa, but you’d have to have an eagle eye to notice it.  Earlier this month, the Washington Post reported that the “Pentagon is preparing to open a drone base in one of the remotest places on Earth.”  Tucked away, far from prying eyes, in the middle of the Sahara desert, the U.S. will now be cleared to fly drones out of “the mud-walled desert city of Agadez.”

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via Tomgram: Nick Turse, American “Success” and the Rise of West African Piracy | TomDispatch.

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