The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
A Collection of Interesting, Important, and Controversial Perspectives Largely Excluded from the American Mainstream Media
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Drone War

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Heavy Strike UAV S-70 Hunter
There are probably hundreds of books out there about the so-called "Revolution in Military Affairs", some of them pretty good, most of them very bad, and a few very good ones (especially
Linking Gun Violence at Home to America’s Wars Abroad
In the wake of the February 14, 2018, mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 students and staff members, a teacher thoughts and prayers” cycle by immediately rallying student activists and adults across the country, mobilizing them around such tragedies and the Recent history suggested that such a... Read More
Once upon a time, dystopian fiction was left to the novelists: Aldous Huxley, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Philip K. Dick. And once upon a time, the futuristic dreams of the military were distinctly upbeat. They were of generals leading armies to victory, of air power causing the morale of enemy nations to collapse (with surrender... Read More
Pentagon Documents Detail Dystopian Dangers
For almost 20 years, U.S. drone warfare was largely one-sided. Unlike Afghans and Yemenis, Iraqis and Somalis, Americans never had to worry about lethal robots hovering overhead and raining down missiles. Until, that is, one appeared in the skies above Florida. But that’s a story for later. For now, let’s focus on a 2017 executive... Read More
How Unpiloted Aircraft Expand the War on Terror
They are like the camel’s nose, lifting a corner of the tent. Don’t be fooled, though. It won’t take long until the whole animal is sitting inside, sipping your tea and eating your sweets. In countries around the world -- in the
Six years ago, in late May 2012, I read a wrote this at the time: “Be assured of one thing: whichever candidate you choose at the polls in November, you aren’t just electing a president of the United States; you are also electing an assassin-in-chief.” And I pointed out that, though American presidents had long... Read More
Or Buck Rogers in the 21st Century
[This piece has been adapted and expanded from Alfred W. McCoy’s new book,
A forthcoming report will downplay the bloody consequences
Cities reduced to rubble, schools and hospitals leveled, prisoners tortured and executed, car bombs exploding. Long lines of refugees, their homes in ruins, stumbling along a road to nowhere with their few remaining possessions carried on their backs. Graphic photos and videos from the Middle East, Asia, and Africa continue to show the downside of... Read More
In our part of the world, it’s not often that potential “collateral damage” speaks, but it happened last week. A Pakistani tribal leader, Malik Jalal, flew to England to plead in a
In Washington’s Drone Wars, Collateral Damage Comes Home
In a trio of recent action-packed movies, good guys watch terrorists mingling with innocent women and children via real-time video feeds from halfway across the world. A clock ticks and we, the audience, are let in on the secret that mayhem is going to break loose. After much agonized soul-searching about possible collateral damage, the... Read More
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Promoting the American Way of War in Campaign 2016
The crowd that gathered in an airplane hangar in the
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Two Versions of the U.S. Destruction of a Hospital in Afghanistan
When people ask me what my new job is like, I tell them that I wake up very early and count the dead. When I say “very early,” I mean a few minutes after four a.m., as the sky is just softening to the color of faded purple corduroy. By “the dead,” I mostly mean... Read More
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These executions are a mark of tyranny
The ability to execute its own citizens has been a mark of tyrannical government from Rome in the days of the Caesars to Moscow during the Great Purge in the 1930s The lack of public response to the British government
The Perpetrators Become the Victims of Drone Warfare
The myth of the lone drone warrior is now well established and threatens to become as enduring as that of the lone lawman with a white horse and a silver bullet who rode out into the Wild West to find the bad guys. In a similar fashion, the unsung hero of Washington’s modern War on... Read More
Since November 2002, when a CIA drone strike destroyed the
The United States's targeted killing program has neither the controls nor the justifications the president promises
Ironically, for a president who once ran for office promising “transparency” in government, the dreaded associated “a” word, “accountability,” has been somewhat difficult to discern. Even if government actions were transparent, which they are not, the ability of senior bureaucrats and politicians to make multiple bad decisions goes unchallenged when there is no accountability .... Read More
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Body Counts, Drones, and “Collateral Damage” (aka “Bug Splat”)
In the twenty-first-century world of drone warfare, one question with two aspects reigns supreme: Who counts? In Washington, the answers are the same: We don’t count and they don’t count. The Obama administration has adamantly refused to count. Not a body. In fact, for a long time, American officials associated with Washington’s drone assassination campaigns... Read More
Thomas Cromwell was the principal behind-the-scenes fixer for much of the reign of King Henry VIII. He engineered the interrogations, convictions and executions of many whom Henry needed out of the way, including his two predecessors as fixer and even the king's second wife, Queen Anne. When Cromwell's son, Gregory, who became sickened as he... Read More
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Assassination as Policy in Washington and How It Failed, 1990-2015
As the war on terror nears its 14th anniversary -- a war we seem to be losing, given jihadist advances in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen -- the U.S. sticks stolidly to its strategy of “high-value targeting,” our preferred euphemism for assassination. Secretary of State John Kerry has proudly cited the elimination of “fifty percent” of... Read More
No one can claim that plotting assassination is new to Washington or that, in the past, American leaders and the CIA didn’t aim high: the Congo’s
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How the Predator and Extra-Judicial Execution Became Washington’s Calling Cards
[The following is slightly adapted from chapters two and three of Grégoire Chamayou’s new book,
Drones seemed to come out of nowhere,
It was a typical little
A New Form of War May Be Producing a New Form of Mental Disturbance
The U.S. drone war across much of the Greater Middle East and parts of Africa is in crisis and not because civilians are dying or the target list for that war or the right to wage it just about anywhere on the planet are in question in Washington. Something far more basic is at stake:... Read More
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From Torture to Drone Assassination, How Washington Gave Itself a Global Get-Out-of-Jail-Free Card
"The sovereign is he who decides on the exception,” said conservative thinker Carl Schmitt in 1922, meaning that a nation’s leader can defy the law to serve the greater good. Though Schmitt’s service as Nazi Germany’s chief jurist and his unwavering support for Hitler from the night of the long knives to Kristallnacht and beyond... Read More
My drone is yours, compadre! Or so Washington has now decided. The latest promise of good times in the arms trade comes from an administration that has pioneered a robotic assassination regime
Looking Back on Washington’s War on Terror
It was December 6, 2019, three years into a sagging Clinton presidency and a bitterly divided Congress. That day, the 500-page executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s long fought-over, much-delayed, heavily redacted report on the secret CIA drone wars and other American air campaigns in the 18-year-long war on terror was finally released. That... Read More
The political philosopher Edmund Burke once remarked that all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good folks to do nothing. A glaring example of the impending triumph of a constitutional evil that could be stopped by folks who have been largely silent is the tyranny coming from the White House. And... Read More
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We’re Number One... In Obliterating Wedding Parties
The headline -- “Bride and Boom!” -- was spectacular, if you think killing people in distant lands is a blast and a half. Of course, you have to imagine that smirk line in giant black letters with a monstrous exclamation point
Credit: Wikimedia Commons
It would seem the CIA has gone back into their archives, blown the dust off the Phoenix Program, and put it into play again as the "Drone War." The similarities with the Drone War are readily evident to anyone old enough to know of the Phoenix Program. For those who aren't old enough or who... Read More
Lord knows, I should'a been gone Lord knows, I should'a been gone And I wouldn't've been here, down on the killin' floor - Howlin' Wolf, Killing Floor As convenient as it is for someone in a cubicle in the Nevada desert to press a button and incinerate a Pashtun wedding party in North Waziristan, now,... Read More
PARIS - These are tumultuous times in Droneland. Some bewildered United States drones are actually mired in second thoughts about their god-given mission - as expressed in detail to author and blogger David Swanson. [1] They even founded their own awareness group - DAWN (Drones Against War Now). Others, meanwhile, remain downright defiant. Like this... Read More
(This is the much-abridged version of a conference at the XII Seminar of Political Solidarity at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, March 27, 2012.) The early 21st century is addicted to war porn, a prime spectator sport consumed by global couch and digital potatoes. War porn took the limelight on the evening of September 11,... Read More
(Hats off, of course, to Monty Python) A group of journalists attend a United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) press conference in a nondescript room in Langley, Virginia. Journalist 1 [approaching the podium]: Excuse me, I wish to register a complaint. [CIA spokesman/spook does not respond.] Journalist 1: 'Ello, Miss? CIA spook: What do you... Read More
The killing of Anwar al-Awlaki a U.S citizen in Yemen by a CIA drone missile on September 30 has been publicized by the mass media, President Obama and the usual experts on al-Qaeda as “a major blow to the jihadist network founded by Osama bin Laden” US officials called Awlaki “the most dangerous figure in... Read More
The Reaper was not formally invited to the United Nations General Assembly annual bash in New York. In ancient times, he used to be known as the Grim Reaper. Grim the wily fellow still is - always under many guises. Reinventing the concept of death from above, he may call himself MQ-9 Reaper and strut... Read More