Tuesday, February 26, 2013

"Targeted Killing" - The Heart of the U.S.-Israel Relationship

"Targeting killing" - statecraft from the dark side

A fascinating illustration of the U.S.-Israel "good cop, bad cop" routine was on display at the University of Chicago last night (February 25, 2013).

Amos Guiora, an Israeli "counter-terrorism expert," held forth on the difference between "good" targeted killing -- i.e. the kind Israeli practices (!) -- and "bad" targeted killing -- namely, the kind the Obama administration carries out.

Ostensibly, the talk was about the fact that the Obama administration is taking too many liberties with its "secret kill lists." Much mention was made of the secret legal memo justifying the Obama killings. (You can download the secret memo here.) On its surface, the talk was disguised to be "critical" of what the U.S. is doing.

But what this talk was really about was conditioning the public to accept the idea that "targeted killing" is a legitimate activity of a government. Make no mistake, Guiora is the very model of a modern major military-intellocrat. After listening to him intone the words "targeted killing" in the midst of all his "point one, point two, point threes" and "I humbly submits" and "to wit, the followings" ... it was possible for one's mind to become numb, and to almost begin to think that "targeted killing" is a notion that we have to accept.

Almost. But not quite.

The most important thing for any of us to remember is that WE choose the frame of the debate - and we DON'T have to passively accept whatever we're offered. And certainly not from an apologist for state terror like Amos Guiora.

"Targeted killing" is not the business of a legitimate state. Full stop. (To coin an Amos Guioraism.)

PS - In the course of eliminating the drone menace, a MAJOR task will be understanding the way in which the United States and Israel have conducted an intimate two-step to (1) justify their own state terror against civilians, and then after provoking resistance by those civilians, (2) used that resistance to trump up the idea of "The Terrorist Threat," against which a global permanent war must be waged, complete with abject state of permanent fear on the part of all of us, and abdication of all the checks on government power that might possibly stop the killing.

Watch the Amos Guiora talk at cis.uchicago.edu. Judge for yourself. And then get involved in changing the terms of the debate.


For immediate release

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Israeli Drone War Expert to Illustrate Ties between Gaza Atrocities, Obama Administration Killings, say Activists

Monday, February 25th, 6:00 pm, 1414 E. 59th Street

For more information:

Kait McIntyre, Anti-War Committee, 815-988-8631
Joe Iosbaker, Anti-War Committee, 773-301-0109
Hatem Abudayyeh, United States Palestinian Community Network, 773-301-4108

Area antiwar activists say a Chicago lecture on Monday by an Israeli legal theorist who has helped provide the justifications for "targeted killing" programs like the one pursued by the Obama Administration, illustrates a clear tie between Israeli atrocities in Gaza and the U.S. drone killing program.

Entitled “Legitimate Target: A Criteria Based Approach to Targeted Killing,” the talk by Amos Guiora at the University of Chicago is expected to lay out a formula developed and used countless times by the Israeli government before ultimately being adopted by the Bush and Obama administrations.

“When Guiora was Israel's Legal Advisor for the Gaza Strip, he said Palestinians killed and injured are ‘legitimate targets,’” said Hatem Abudayyeh of the United States Palestinian Community Network. “Guiora’s use of words like “collateral damage" and "legitimate targets" has now been adopted by the U.S. to cover the thousands massacred by extrajudicial U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Yemen.”

As the calls for the release of the secret legal memo justifying the Obama Administration's targeted drone killing program increase nationwide, Chicago-area activists say the legal essentials of the Administration policy are being laid clear for all to see in the lecture by the Israeli expert.

“As another Israeli legal advisor, Daniel Reisner, has said, ‘International law progresses through violations,” said Kait McIntyre, protest organizer with the Anti-War Committee of Chicago. “According to Reisner, ‘[Israel] invented the targeted assassination thesis and [Israel] had to push it. Eight years later it is in the center of the bounds of legitimacy.’

The Anti-War Committee of Chicago and the United States Palestinian Community Network, together with a coalition of anti-war and solidarity groups, will hold a protest at the University of Chicago’s International House against Amos Guiora's talk, beginning with at 6:00 press conference in front of 1414 E. 59th Street.


  1. The Silver Drone with Coca-Cola Cluster
    by michael hall

    What audacity it must take to set yourself apart from those who serve in the pressure cooker
    for a kid gangsta of capitalism to sip a cold coke tightly clasped
    while the other hand is stroking a joystick & with just gentle pressure
    8000 miles away human beings who have never done his or hers any harm are now droned into bugsplat

    What exceptional bravery this act of aggressive violence must trigger
    for s/he might suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or bear a blister on the finger
    with nerves of steel ne'er to complain for lives are at stake so s/he carries on & pushes the button of terror
    careful, what if the soda spilled thereby rendering the keyboard useless? Oh the horror!

    To wreak out death upon terrorists disguised as sheep-herding children, ah the in discerning bravery
    to slaughter dangerous pregnant women at a bridal shower, what pluck & heroism
    to kill marauding medics & first-responders daring to help the wounded from your earlier kill, irreproachable daring
    such gallantry and fearlessness one must exhibit to slaughter mourners at a funeral procession

    So to show recognition to the brave souls who kill at command at the press of a knob 1/2 a world yonder a distinguished 'warfare' medal of honor has been created to award those who have no honor
    announced with grandiose fanfare & full flags a' flapping just the other day by war criminal DS Panetta
    this will outrank the bronze star, the purple heart & what a triumph is that america?

    Such a propaganda coup d'├ętat by the bureaucrats in subterranean dusty think tanks deem
    spun a wonderful way to legitimize a most immoral & illegal act that defines odium
    as they flim-flammed & came up with this 'combat' decoration for a most despicable accomplishment
    still i wonder what lucky american school kid will be the first to touch one or to toss it down a toilet

    Back at home in the united states of mordor vat is known now as da faterland
    a great cackle of cheering among thunderous applause droned at every school, church & walmart throughout the homeland
    to praise & pay tribute to those daring war-idols who've earned such a distinguished medal confer
    the much coveted and respected; 'Silver Drone with Coca-Cola Cluster'

    For who else should earn by total disregard to personal safety with such displays of video gallantry & virtual valor won
    nobody else could deserve such a high tribute & renowned award squealed Leon Panetta from atop a nefarious pile of splattered blood & bleached broken bones swept under the rug by the embedded media & acquiescent proletariat
    these extraordinary actions by lightening slight of hand manipulation upon a joystick of discriminating death with unthinking critical process performed by our blue-blooded obedient hired guns
    to illegally & immorally murder anyone anywhere anytime for any reason above the rule of law is now the definition of American Hero & the legalities for the justification of it are classified... 'secret'

  2. The White Letter from The White House Smells not like a White Rose & it Stinks to High Heaven
    by michael hall

    First obama murdered children inside of foreign nations
    so the people shopped at walmart to show their displeasure
    then obama assassinated children and other innocents in countries we were not war with
    so flags & troops were honored at every sports game around the land in gratitude

    Some lawyers screamed foul as did the few with conscience like Chomsky, Hedges & Blum
    but their voices were drowned out by the silence of the bored & apathetic, the meekly submissive
    still the good loyal citizens did scream for more guns as their constitutional right
    & american idol worship is supposed to be a killer tonight so guess which takes priority?

    Hence obama & the exalted mighty military murdered an unarmed american across the pond
    so what did WE THE PEOPLE then do you ask?
    they swallowed a blue pill sunk their head deeper into the rabbit hole to breath patriotically
    hush hush now little children its all a transparent secret nothing to see here just move along

    While a depressed american teenager out looking for his murdered father with his cousin
    stopped along a dirt road in the heart of a vast desert praying for his dad at dusk
    in the middle of a cookout sitting around the fire, just these two american kids
    without warning silence was broken by terrorism as they were subsequently droned to smithereens by the us military

    Ah but some fires did light up more intensely this time
    so obama & his bunch of hooligans had to reluctantly crawl out of their dark dungeon
    they argued with legal thickets of sharpened stakes, moats, pickets, shielded by secrets & lies atop turrets no one could reach
    through a tapestry of intricate semantics innuendos & bizarre definitions they declared they were upholding the constitution oxymoronically tagging this odium as wise and ethical

    Claiming that the research was so sensitive & so secret that it could not be revealed
    our divine heroes would then be exposed to violence & that would be quite unamerican
    if that happened whistleblowers then would be scapegoated & we know what happens to them
    do you really think that renditions & retaliatory vengeance are just deeds of the recent past?

    Cattle mooed meekly as they contentedly chewed the crass cud of american idol worship
    embedded sheep bleated reverently to the wolves in wool via indoctrination by years of cognitive brainwashing and dissonance bleaching
    the superbowl was a commercial success & beyonce lip-synced flawlessly again
    & the flags, ah, the flags flew so high & piously, almost above it all, but did i see, a bloodstain, a tear or was it smoke?

  3. The Slaughter of the Children Drones On & On & On & On

    When the drones are slaughtering innocent children in your name
    do you bother to get concerned even when on your knees on Sunday?
    or do you just stick your head in the sand blindly support the troops & just not think about whose to blame
    if you care, i have list of their names and ages i could give you from the depths of an odious jingo game

    Do your wonder if your joystick violence is really doing any good
    or do you get the feeling that something is very wrong & your getting spun & fooled
    how can you support exported terrorism when your sworn to defend against it
    how can you donate freedom &democracy when its getting stolen from under you by E/O

    Every bullet bought is a loaf of bread stolen from the belly of the hungry
    & your self-praising charity checkbook fad doesn't seem to dent the starvation
    for if you spent 2.2 million everyday since Jesus was born
    you would have spent what your nation purchased on the military just in one year

    Do you wonder why your schools don't have books & pencils
    why your bridges are crumbling down & the roads are potholed like Swiss cheese
    while your politicians live in mansions with 5-star chefs lapping at life-long luxury
    then again today they announced another bone-cut to the needy, homeless and disabled

    How could anyone with a shred of conscience bow before a flag without bending over with nausea
    knowing underneath it the killing of the innocent is a weekly act in nations we are not at war with
    that after a mob- hit, the gang fires off another drone when medics & rescuers come to the scene
    we've forgotten what we stand for by the very deeds we toe-tag and their is no justification

    Now we know by special executive decree memo called a 'white paper'
    the Nobel Peace prize holder president has the power to murder americans beyond the law
    it is solely up to the president when it comes to life and death and it is all a hush-hush secret
    change we have been deceived by has shown the articulate wooly sheep to be but a child-eating wolf

    Anyone who murders children by drone and then jokes about it is a sociopath
    a leader who becomes a serial killer validated by secret edicts he wont share with his employers is a despot
    expansion and consolidation of extreme consolidated power will one day target you and yours
    For what goes on abroad in your name will backblow as it comes around to get you and yours tomorrow

    Just south of key west at Guantanamo every law, principle and value you hold dear is smashed
    across the pond the most nefarious crimes are done in your name only with your support
    and yet at home you bury your head deep in the sand far from the massive contradiction
    your heart bleeds for Newton yet when your troops do the exact same thing you raise a flag & a stiff arm

    For what profits an empire when it can envelop the world and dominate it
    yet in the process they loose their values, principles and in so doing their very soul
    still atonement must be rectified somewhere at some time
    and this is the vision that i dream someday will come to be;

    For all the innocent children who've been the victims of the american military machine
    i would willingly witness each and everyone of them walk by in front of every war supporter and soldier
    to deeply gaze into their eyes to say with conviction, question and horror;
    Why did you murder me?

  4. Jaffa; a clockwork orange

    by michael hall

    I have a key to a home that has no door nor walls
    but i can still smell jaffa oranges sweet in the breeze down the hill
    over there stands a park where a village once stood
    so my grandmother told me one day, almost everyday

    Have you ever been to the sea
    i've never been there but my grandfather has
    it was warm and salty he says with moist eyes
    but for me the wet of the sea is not allowed

    Not too long ago we walked this land from water to water
    over the hills and down into the farms tending rows and rows of orchards
    some of the olive trees were thousands of years old
    before armored bulldozers came broke and razed them into piles of kindling

    Al Quds is a dream for all of us to see
    without roadblocks checkpoints and permits
    without smug smartass soldiers barking and pushing
    that day seems so far away

    What is ours we cannot build upon
    for illegal immigrants with an army tear it down
    yet they build what they want where they want
    with all the water filling their pools as our crops wither and die

    I walked with children in the southern Hebron hills
    on public dirt roads not bothering no one
    but then it rides roaring down from inside a fortress colony
    guns waving, curses launched from inside of beeping revving cars

    In the courts to be tried by foreigners in your land is surreal
    in a military court judged by bigotry what chance do you have
    someone somewhere somehow saw you throw a rock at a tank
    you must pay for scratching the paint

    Inside the stinking squalid cell in between your beatings
    the words of your grandparents echo in your heart
    you can almost smell the oranges on the limbs of Jaffa
    you can almost taste the salt of the sea....you endure as a freedom rider