Every time American Predators are going off, controlled by the CIA or the Air Force, going off, hitting targets (more and more in Pakistan) that are undefined, that the intelligence is not very clear on, often very bad, collateral damage is enormously high because we’re going after a member of the, let’s say the Pakistani Taliban, and in that society the women live right next to the men, they’re in separate quarters but they’re there, and boom the Predator wipes out a whole building, clearly, and kills an enormous amount of people who have nothing to do with… they’re non combatants.
- “Terrorism is the war of the poor, and war is the terrorism of the rich.” – Peter Ustinovc
by Farrukh Siddiqui
Legendary American journalist Seymour Hersh gave a CIRS (Centre for International and Regional Studies) Distinguished Lecture titled “The Obama/Bush Foreign Policies: Why Can’t America Change?” before an audience of 800 members of the community in Doha; at an event hosted by Georgetown University School of Foreign Service on January 17, 2011.
Seymour Hersh is Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist and author based in Washington, D.C. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine on military and security matters. He has also won two National Magazine Awards and is a “five-time Polk winner, and recipient of the 2004 George Orwell Award.”
His work first gained worldwide recognition in 1969 for exposing the My Lai Massacre and its cover-up during the Vietnam War, for which he received the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting. He exposed the CIA’s domestic spying on US citizens in a New York Times front page story in 1974. In 2002, he broke the story of how Dick Cheney and Musharraf arranged the airlift of thousands of Al-Qaeda, Taliban, and Pakistani operatives out of Kunduz into Pakistan’s tribal areas in November 2001. His 2004 reports on the US military’s mistreatment of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison also gained worldwide attention.
In the following, we reproduce some selected parts of his speech. You may access the full text of his speech using this link.
1. “In any case, Obama did abdicate, very quickly, any control, I think right away, to the people that are running the war, for what reason I don’t know.”
2. ” I would argue that, what I’m really writing about is, about how eight or nine neoconservative whackos, if you will, overthrew the American government. Took it over. And it’s not only that. It’s not only that the neocons took it over, it’s how easily they did it.”
3. ” So, but in the Cheney shop — I can write about it in ways I could not then, because I didn’t want expose anybody who was there — in the Cheney shop the attitude was, “What’s this? What? What are they all worried about, the politicians and the press, they’re all worried about some looting? And wait a second, Sunnis don’t like Shia? And there’s no WMD? And there’s no democracy? Don’t they get it? We’re going to change mosques into cathedrals. And when we get hold of all the oil, nobody’s going to give a damn.” That’s the attitude: “We’re going to change mosques into cathedrals.”
4. “That’s an attitude that pervades, I’m here to say, a large percentage of the Special Operations Command, the Joint Special Operations Command and Stanley McChrystal, the one who got in trouble because of the article in Rolling Stone, and his follow-on, a Navy admiral named McRaven, Bill McRaven — all are members or at least supporters of Knights of Malta. McRaven attended, so I understand, the recent annual convention of the Knights of Malta they had in Cyprus a few months back in November.
President Obama talks to US Navy Vice Adm. Bill McRaven [one of the Arch neocons], who as commander of the US Joint Special Operations Command had operational control of the mission to get Usama bin Laden, at Campbell Army airfield in Fort Campbell, Ky. [AP photo/Charles Dhrapak]
Ther’re all believers — many of them are members of Opus Dei. They do see what they are doing — and this is not an atypical attitude among some military — it’s a crusade, literally. They see themselves as the protectors of the Christians. They’re protecting them from the Muslims in the 13th century. And this is their function. They have little insignias, they have coins they pass among each other, which are crusader coins, and they have insignia that reflect that, the whole notion that this is a war, it’s culture war.”
Seal of the secretive Opus Dei Organisation
Opus Dei, formally known as The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, is an organisation of the Catholic Church. It was founded in Spain in 1928 by the Catholic priest St. Josemaría Escrivá. The Opus Dei has been criticized from many quarters. Controversies have centered around criticisms of its behaviours, such as alleged secretiveness, aggressive recruiting methods, and its strict rules governing members. The organization’s members have also been categorized by critics as right-leaning elitists, with some individuals supporting fascist governments, such as the Francoist Government of Spain until 1978.
5. ” And yet every time American Predators are going off, controlled by the CIA or the Air Force, going off, hitting targets (more and more in Pakistan) that are undefined, that the intelligence is not very clear on, often very bad, collateral damage is enormously high because we’re going after a member of the, let’s say the Pakistani Taliban, and in that society the women live right next to the men, they’re in separate quarters but they’re there, and boom the Predator wipes out a whole building, clearly, and kills an enormous amount of people who have nothing to do with… they’re non combatants. None of these missions are approved anywhere except the military chain of command. It’s a very strange system and he [Obama] has not tampered with it.”
6. “You know, it is, up to a point, about oil. When I started looking at Cheney from a different point of view, like, two years ago, I didn’t think so: I thought ideology, I thought protecting Israel… a lot of it is oil. You talk to people and they will tell you, “Yeah, there’s the wind and the sun but you [inaudible] it in America and where is it coming from?” And there’s always been an understanding. We tolerate the Saudis, we support the Saudis, who we know supply an awful lot of salafists, and they’re still, their various charities are supplying often the same people we’re targeting and there is certainly, they’re certainly… we see them, for instance, in the Iraqi war supporting the Sunnis, the Sunni Awakening, etc. I mean, implicit… I would argue that there’s nothing subtle about what we do, morally. If you think about it — again this is something I talked about earlier — we and the Brits always assume some imperial right to oil in the Middle East. “
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