War News StoriesExcerpts of Key War News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of war news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
The U.S. Army has been slow to investigate hundreds of millions of dollars in missing weapons systems, vehicles, electronics and communications gear in Afghanistan, according to the Pentagon’s inspector general. The Army field support brigade in Afghanistan responsible for managing gear being shipped out of the country failed to report “in a timely manner” 15,600 pieces of unaccounted gear valued at as much as $419.5 million, according to a report labelled “For Official Use Only” that reviewed major lost-property reports from fiscal 2013. Some of the missing gear eventually may turn up as the U.S. completes the bulk of its withdrawal, Army officials said in a response to the inspector general. Yet with the closing of 309 bases since 2010, “only a fraction of the items” from previous reviews of unaccounted property has been recovered, according to the audit dated Oct. 30. “Due to the significant delays in reporting inventory losses” the Army’s Rock Island, Illinois-based Sustainment Command, which oversees the effort, “does not have accurate accountability and visibility of its property," said Michael Roark, assistant inspector general for contract management, who signed the report. “There is a risk that missing property will not be recovered” and “no one was held financially responsible for the property losses or accountable for missing reporting deadlines,” the report found. The audit disclosed ... 133,557 lost items valued at $238.4 million.
Note: Do you really think this equipment was just lost? Would the military just leave expensive and sensitive equipment carelessly? Could it be that it is meant to fall into enemy hands in order to keep the war machine pumping its huge profits into the pockets of certain elite groups? For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable sources.
Here's the beginning of a little post-9/11 list: six incontestable areas where America is #1. Investment in our military and our national security state! No other country comes within a light year of us! In 2011, the defense budgets of the next 13 countries combined didn't quite equal ours and we've been dumping up to a trillion dollars yearly into the national security budget since 9/11. We're #1 in "renditions" ("kidnappings")! Post-9/11, at least 136 "terror suspects" (some certifiably innocent) were taken by the CIA and other American outfits off the streets of global cities. We're #1 in knocking off wedding parties from the air! At least eight of them in three countries! Bridal parties, brides and grooms, hundreds of wedding goers obliterated by American air power! We're #1 in military bases on foreign soil! We have hundreds of them across the planet, some the size of small American towns. We're number #1 in invading, occupying, and/or bombing Muslim countries, 14 of them since 1980! I challenge you, find me another country with such an accomplishment. We're number #1 in investing in militaries that won't "stand up"! At least $25 billion for the Iraqi military alone (and you know how successful we were there, since it recently collapsed, allowing us to rearm it and stand it up again). And that's nothing compared to the Afghan military into which our country had poured $51 billion by 2011 and billions more thereafter.
Note: For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable sources.
Any doubts about whether Endless War ... is official American doctrine should be permanently erased by this week’s comments from two leading Democrats, both former top national security officials in the Obama administration. Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama’s new bombing campaign: “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.” He criticized Obama ... for being insufficiently militaristic. Then we have Hillary Clinton [who] at an event in Ottawa yesterday ... proclaimed that the fight against these “militants” will “be a long-term struggle” that should entail an “information war” as “well as an air war.” The new war, she said, is “essential” and the U.S. shies away from fighting it “at our peril.” Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear ... that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama’s foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational. “Endless War” is not dramatic rhetorical license but a precise description of America’s foreign policy. It’s not hard to see why. A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights. It also entails a massive transfer of public wealth to the “homeland security” and weapons industry (which the US media deceptively calls the “defense sector”). The War on Terror ... was designed from the start to be endless. This war ... thus enables an endless supply of power and profit to flow to those political and economic factions that control the government regardless of election outcomes.
Note: Read the prophetic writings of one of the most highly decorated US generals ever describing how he discovered after retirement that war is created by bankers and mega-corporations to funnel ever more tax-payer money into their coffers. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
Led by Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the biggest U.S. defense companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world. Investors see rising sales for makers of missiles, drones and other weapons as the U.S. hits Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at Chicago-based BMO Private Bank. “As we ramp up our military muscle in the Mideast, there’s a sense that demand for military equipment and weaponry will likely rise,” said Ablin, who oversees $66 billion including Northrop Grumman Corp. (NOC) and Boeing Co. (BA) shares. “To the extent we can shift away from relying on troops and rely more heavily on equipment -- that could present an opportunity.” Bombardments of Islamic State strongholds added to tensions this year that include U.S.-led sanctions on Russia for backing Ukrainian rebels. The U.S. also is the biggest foreign military supplier to Israel, which waged a 50-day offensive against the Hamas Islamic movement in the Gaza Strip. A Bloomberg Intelligence gauge of the four largest Pentagon contractors ... rose 19 percent this year through yesterday, outstripping the 2.2 percent gain for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Industrials Index. Lockheed, the world’s biggest defense company, reached an all-time high of $180.74 on Sept. 19, when Northrop, Raytheon Co. (RTN) and General Dynamics Corp. (GD) also set records. That quartet and Chicago-based Boeing accounted for about $105 billion in federal contract orders last year. U.S. lawmakers including Representative Peter King, a New York Republican, have suggested that the new global threats could prompt Congress to reconsider planned reductions in defense spending.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war profiteering news articles from reliable major media sources.
As the United States charges once more into war, little debate has centered on the actual utility of war. Instead, policymakers and pundits have focused their comments on combating the latest danger to our nation and its interests. In late August, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel claimed Islamic State was an “imminent threat to every interest we have” and that the sophisticated group was “beyond anything we've seen.” With few dissenting voices, either in Congress or in the American media, U.S. air forces plunged again into the unstable region of the Middle East. For well over a decade — one might suggest over multiple decades — the United States has been engaged in war, yet so few in the public sphere seem willing to ask, as a Vietnam-era hit song did: “War, what is it good for?” It seems plausible to argue that war is a phenomenon increasingly serving itself rather than any durable political goals. War as a political tool has more and more demonstrated its inability to deliver. As historian Mary Dudziak has artfully suggested, “Military conflict has been ongoing for decades, yet public policy rests on the false assumption that it is an aberration.” If war provides meaning, why, as Dudziak asks, does military engagement no longer require “the support of the American people but instead their inattention”? If a theory of forward defense, of fighting on someone else's shores rather than our own, is the rationale for constant war, when will we achieve a sense of national security that no longer requires constant battle? What if peace never comes? What if war only engenders new enemies and new threats? War ... has not assuaged our fears of vulnerability. It has not left us with a more stable international environment. So we come back to that song's question: “War, what is it good for?” And we have to at least consider the song's answer: “Absolutely nothing.”
Note: Kudos to the LA Times for publishing this article, though it fails to mention that war is very good for lining the pockets of all involved with the huge warm industry. Read the prophetic writings of one of the most highly decorated US generals ever describing how he discovered after retirement that war is created by mega-corporations to funnel ever more tax-payer money into their coffers. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
As the Obama Administration prepared to bomb Syria without congressional or U.N. authorization, it faced two problems. The first was the difficulty of sustaining public support for a new years-long war against ISIS, a group that clearly posed no imminent threat to the “homeland.” A second was the lack of legal justification for launching a new bombing campaign. The solution to both problems was found in the wholesale concoction of a brand new terror threat that was branded “The Khorasan Group.” After spending weeks depicting ISIS as an unprecedented threat — too radical even for Al Qaeda! — administration officials suddenly began spoon-feeding their favorite media organizations ... tales of a secret group that was even scarier and more threatening than ISIS, one that posed a direct and immediate threat to the American Homeland. The unveiling of this new group was performed in a September 13 article by the Associated Press, who cited unnamed U.S. officials. AP depicted the U.S. officials who were feeding them the narrative as engaging in some sort of act of brave, unauthorized truth-telling. On the morning of September 18, CBS News broadcast a segment that is as pure war propaganda as it gets: directly linking the soon-to-arrive U.S. bombing campaign in Syria to the need to protect Americans from being exploded in civilian jets by Khorasan. As usual, anonymity was granted to U.S. officials to make these claims. As usual, there was almost no evidence for any of this. Nonetheless, American media outlets — eager, as always, to justify American wars — spewed all of this with very little skepticism. Worse, they did it by pretending that the U.S. government was trying not to talk about all of this — too secret! — but they, as intrepid, digging journalists, managed to unearth it from their courageous “sources.”
Note: Read the entire informative article to see how the media participates in manipulating unsuspecting citizens into more war. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing media corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A sprawling new plant [near Kansas City] in a former soybean field makes the mechanical guts of America’s atomic warheads. Bigger than the Pentagon, full of futuristic gear and thousands of workers, the plant, dedicated last month, modernizes the aging weapons that the United States can fire from missiles, bombers and submarines. It is part of a nationwide wave of atomic revitalization that includes plans for a new generation of weapon carriers. A recent federal study put the collective price tag, over the next three decades, at up to a trillion dollars. This expansion comes under a president who campaigned for “a nuclear-free world” and made disarmament a main goal of American defense policy. Supporters of arms control, as well as some of President Obama’s closest advisers, say their hopes for the president’s vision have turned to baffled disappointment as the modernization of nuclear capabilities has become an end unto itself. “A lot of it is hard to explain,” said Sam Nunn, the former senator whose writings on nuclear disarmament deeply influenced Mr. Obama.
Note: Consider the possibility the Obama, shortly after becoming president, may have received a death threat to his children if he didn't comply with the desires of powerful, greedy forces which want everlasting war on our planet. The trillion-dollar war industry has no qualms threatening anyone who gets in the way of their profits. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources and read what a top US general had to say about how he was manipulated.
The U.S. today began bombing targets inside Syria, in concert with its lovely and inspiring group of five allied regimes: Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, and Jordan. That means that Syria becomes the 7th predominantly Muslim country bombed by 2009 Nobel Peace Laureate Barack Obama—after Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and Iraq. The utter lack of interest in what possible legal authority Obama has to bomb Syria is telling indeed: Empires bomb who they want, when they want, for whatever reason (indeed, recall that Obama bombed Libya even after Congress explicitly voted against authorization to use force). It was just over a year ago that Obama officials were insisting that bombing and attacking Assad was a moral and strategic imperative. Instead, Obama is now bombing Assad’s enemies while politely informing his regime of its targets in advance. It seems irrelevant on whom the U.S. wages war; what matters is that it be at war, always and forever. Six weeks of bombing hasn’t budged ISIS in Iraq, but it has caused ISIS recruitment to soar. That’s all predictable: the U.S. has known for years that what fuels and strengthens anti-American sentiment is exactly what they keep doing: aggression in that region. They do all of this not despite triggering those outcomes, but because of it. Continuously creating and strengthening enemies is a feature, not a bug. It is what justifies the ongoing greasing of the profitable and power-vesting machine of Endless War. As the disastrous Libya “intervention” should conclusively and permanently demonstrate, the U.S. does not bomb countries for humanitarian objectives. Humanitarianism is the pretense, not the purpose.
Note: Read this powerful essay showing how the US has fed Islamic extremism in order to fill the pockets of those who run the war machine. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
A massive, $7.2 billion Army intelligence contract signed just 10 days ago underscores the central role to be played by the National Security Agency and its army of private contractors in the unfolding air war being carried out by the United States and its Gulf States allies against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. INSCOM’s “global intelligence support” contract will place the contractors at the center of this fight. Under its terms, 21 companies, led by Booz Allen Hamilton, BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman, will compete over the next five years to provide “fully integrated intelligence, security and information operations” in Afghanistan and “future contingency operations” around the world. INSCOM announced the global intelligence contract two days after President Obama, in a speech to the nation, essentially declared war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria and outlined a campaign of airstrikes and combat actions to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group. The top contractors on the INSCOM contract are already involved in the war. Lockheed Martin, for example, makes the Hellfire missiles that are used extensively in U.S. drone strikes. Northrop Grumman makes the Global Hawk surveillance drone. Both companies have large intelligence units. 70 percent of the U.S. intelligence budget is spent on private contractors. This spending [is] estimated at around $70 billion a year. [There is a] revolving door between INSCOM and its contractors. The system is corrupted by the close relationships between the companies and their agencies, said [Tom] Drake, who as a whistle-blower was nearly sent to prison for exposing the waste, fraud and abuse in a contracted program at the NSA that ended up losing over $7 billion.
Note: Read a powerful essay written by a top US general showing how he was fooled into supporting wars that were generated by the powerful global elite who want never-ending war in order to keep their profits flowing.
In the space of a single primetime address on [September 10], Barack Obama dealt a crippling blow to a creaking, 40-year old effort to restore legislative primacy to American warmaking. The administration’s rationale, at odds with the war it is steadily expanding, is to forestall an endless conflict foisted upon it by a bloodthirsty legislature. Yet one of the main authorities Obama is relying on for avoiding Congress is the 2001 ... document known as the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF) that few think actually applies to ISIS. Taken together with the congressional leadership’s shrug, Obama has stripped the veneer off a contemporary fact of American national security: presidents make war on their own, and congresses acquiesce. An allergy to congressional authorisation is enmeshed with the president’s stated desire to end what he last year termed a “perpetual war” footing. It has led Obama in directions legal scholars consider highly questionable. Not only has Obama rejected restrictions of his warmaking power, he has also rejected legislative expansions of it - a more curious choice. Obama has been wary that Congress will offer up new laws that entrench and expand an amorphous war that, in his mind, he has waged with the minimum necessary amount of force. Obama last year advocated the eventual repeal of the 2001 authorisation - as well as the 2002 congressional approval of the Iraq war - to aid in turning a page on a long era of US warfare. [After Obama's address] a senior administration official told reporters that the 2001 authorisation covered the war against ISIS.
Note: The war machine marches on as the US presidency claims ever more power over Congress. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
Retired General Anthony Zinni [has demanded] up to 10,000 American boots on the ground to battle ISIS. Retired General Jack [Keane has made] more vague demands, such as for “offensive” air strikes and the deployment of more military advisers to the region. Many of these former Pentagon officials [have a vested interest] as paid directors and advisers to some of the largest military contractors in the world. Ramping up America’s military presence in Iraq and directly entering the war in Syria, along with greater military spending more broadly, is a debatable solution to a complex political and sectarian conflict. But those goals do unquestionably benefit one player in this saga: America’s defense industry. Keane is a great example of this phenomenon. His think tank, the Institute for the Study of War, ... has provided the data on ISIS used for multiple stories by The New York Times, the BBC and other leading outlets. Keane has appeared on Fox News at least nine times over the last two months to promote the idea that the best way to stop ISIS is through military action—in particular, through air strikes deep into ISIS-held territory. Left unsaid during his media appearances ... are Keane’s other gigs: as special adviser to Academi, the contractor formerly known as Blackwater; as a board member to tank and aircraft manufacturer General Dynamics; a “venture partner” to SCP Partners, an investment firm that partners with defense contractors, including XVionics, an “operations management decision support system” company used in Air Force drone training; and as president of his own consulting firm, GSI LLC. Retired General Anthony Zinni, perhaps the loudest advocate of a large deployment of American soldiers into the region to fight IS, is a board member to BAE Systems’ US subsidiary, and also works for several military-focused private equity firms.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war news articles from reliable major media sources.
The rise of ISIS has been aided by the failure of the US government to investigate the connection between the Saudi Arabian government and jihadist networks, said former senator Bob Graham. Senator Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that successive administrations had failed to examine the connections between the Saudis and Sunni militant groups. "I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions ... has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for ISIS," he said. The Saudis have been accused of using Sunni militant groups as proxies, channeling money to Islamist groups battling the forces of president Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, as Sunni and Shia battle for hegemony in the Middle East. The Shia Iranians are chief backers of Assad, and Nouri al Maliki's Shia-dominated government which collapsed following ISIS' onslaught in Iraq, accused the Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS, and facilitating "genocide". [Graham] said that Saudi Arabia gives support to the "the most extremist elements among the Sunni". Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was the son of a wealthy construction magnate, who had close ties to the Saudi royal family. It is alleged that redacted pages of the [Joint Congressional 9/11 inquiry] report establish links between Saudi government officials and al-Qaida.
Note: Watch the highly illuminating BBC documentary "Power of Nightmares" that reveals that al-Qaida, under the control of Osama bin Laden, has never actually existed, but is a US/UK-government psychological operation to launch the "Global War on Terror". For more on this, read Prof. David Ray Griffin's deeply revealing book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
Washington’s elite media, as usual, ... are baying for war. They are ... essentially demanding a major military assault [on ISIS]. Watching post-invasion reality in the region should have made it clear to anyone paying any attention at all that ... military action kills not just enemies but innocent civilians, creates refugee crises, ... further destabilizes entire regions, and alters the future in unanticipated and sometimes disastrous ways. In a nation that considers itself peaceful and civilized, the case for military action should be overwhelmingly stronger than the case against. It must face, and survive, aggressive questioning. There is no reason to expect that kind of pushback from within Congress — leading figures ... are falling into line with the hawkish consensus for some sort of action. And Vice President Joe Biden [said on September 3] that the U.S. will follow ISIS “to the gates of hell“. In the absence of a coherent opposition party or movement, it’s the Fourth Estate’s duty to ask those questions, and demand not just answers, but evidence to back up those answers. [In an interview,] Paul R. Pillar, formerly the CIA’s top Middle East analyst, ... marveled at the “kind of mass emotional phenomenon” based in part on the recent barbaric beheadings of captured free-lance journalists and the scary maps that make it seem like ISIS is about to take Baghdad. But, he said, the press is “getting excited in a way that I think has been blown well out of proportion.” Have we considered whether part of the group’s purpose is to provoke more U.S. intervention?
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing major media corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [is] facing a military commission at Guantanamo Bay and potentially the death penalty. He was captured in 2003 but his case still hasn't gone to trial. Last week, Maj. Jason Wright — one of the lawyers defending Mohammed — resigned from the Army. He has accused the U.S. government of "abhorrent leadership" on human rights and due process guarantees and says it is crafting a "show trial." For nearly three years, he served on Mohammed's defense team. Wright formally resigned on Aug. 26. Wright [says] that it's hard to gain any client's trust, but it was especially hard with Mohammed. His former client is one of six "high-value detainees" being prosecuted at Guantanamo for offenses that could carry the death penalty. "All six of these men have been tortured by the U.S. government," he says. Wright says Mohammed in particular has faced a level of torture "beyond comprehension." He says his client was waterboarded by the CIA 183 times and subjected to over a week of sleep deprivation; there were threats that his family would be killed. "And those are just the declassified facts that I'm able to actually speak about," Wright says. Wright wasn't allowed to discuss too many details of the detainee abuse in court. "The CIA tortured these men. They've gone to extraordinary lengths to try to keep that completely hidden from public view," Wright says. "So the statute that Congress passed has a number of protections to ensure that no information about the U.S. torture program will ever come out."
Note: Why hasn't this been covered by other major media in the US? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.
On July 23rd, officials of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee—the powerful lobbying group known as AIPAC—gathered in a conference room at the Capitol for a closed meeting with a dozen Democratic senators. The agenda of the meeting, which was attended by other Jewish leaders as well, was the war in the Gaza Strip. In the century-long conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the previous two weeks had been particularly harrowing. In Gaza, there were scenes of utter devastation, with hundreds of Palestinian children dead from bombing and mortar fire. The Israeli government claimed that it had taken extraordinary measures to minimize civilian casualties, but the United Nations was launching an inquiry into possible war crimes. AIPAC ... endorsed a Senate resolution in support of Israel’s “right to defend its citizens,” which had seventy-nine co-sponsors and passed without a word of dissent. AIPAC is prideful about its influence. Its promotional literature points out that a reception during its annual policy conference, in Washington, “will be attended by more members of Congress than almost any other event, except for a joint session of Congress or a State of the Union address.” AIPAC has more than a hundred thousand members, a network of seventeen regional offices, and a vast pool of donors. The lobby does not raise funds directly. Its members do, and the amount of money they channel to political candidates is difficult to track. But everybody in Congress recognizes its influence in elections, and the effect is evident.
Note: To understand the powerful influence of the Israeli lobby on US politics, read the entire revealing article at the link above. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
At Just Vision, our mission is to create and distribute media, including documentary films, that tell the stories of Israelis and Palestinians working nonviolently to resolve the conflict and end the occupation. We also provide in-depth introductions to these visionaries by publishing new interviews with them on our website every few days. By providing these resources to millions worldwide, we ensure that those who promote nonviolence have an effective platform through which they can share their accomplishments and ideas with their own societies and others around the globe. Our ... documentary film, "Budrus," tells the story of a Palestinian community organizer who successfully unites Palestinians of all political factions together with Israeli supporters in an unarmed movement to save his village from destruction by Israel's Separation Barrier. The film shows how, for 10 months, the residents of Budrus and their supporters engaged in unarmed protest, and how they ultimately triumphed by convincing the Israeli army to shift the course of the barrier and [save] their village. Since its release, "Budrus" has been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world. Where we choose to direct our attention matters. And in the case of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, this decision can save numerous Israeli and Palestinian lives and help finally bring an end to the bloodshed. Rather than endlessly waiting for new leaders to emerge or conditions to change, it's time we realized that the solutions to the conflict are being played out every day right in front of us. It's up to us to notice.
Note: Why does the media give so little attention to successful nonviolent movements? Watch the video at the link above for ideas. Read another inspiring article on this movement and another here. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.
A century has passed since the start of World War I, which many people at the time declared was “the war to end all wars.” Unfortunately, wars just kept happening. In influential research sponsored by the World Bank, the Oxford economist Paul Collier has shown that the best predictor of civil war, which is all too common in poor countries, is the availability of lootable resources like diamonds. Whatever other reasons rebels cite for their actions seem to be mainly after-the-fact rationalizations. If you’re a modern, wealthy nation, however, war — even easy, victorious war — doesn’t pay. And this has been true for a long time. In his famous 1910 book The Great Illusion, the British journalist Norman Angell argued that “military power is socially and economically futile.” As he pointed out, in an interdependent world (which already existed in the age of steamships, railroads, and the telegraph), war would necessarily inflict severe economic harm even on the victor. Modern nations can’t enrich themselves by waging war. Yet wars keep happening. Why? Governments all too often gain politically from war, even if the war in question makes no sense in terms of national interests. Nations almost always rally around their leaders in times of war, no matter how foolish the war or how awful the leaders. Argentina’s junta briefly became extremely popular during the Falklands war. For a time, the “war on terror” took President George W. Bush’s approval to dizzying heights, and Iraq probably won him the 2004 election. True to form, Mr. Putin’s approval ratings have soared since the Ukraine crisis began.
Note: For more on this, see this concise summary of War Is A Racket, a powerful book written by one of the most highly decorated US generals ever.
For almost nine hours starting on Sept. 18, 1980, brave airmen sought to contain the damage precipitated by a dropped wrench socket that hit a Titan II missile -- which was tipped with a W-53 thermonuclear warhead -- in its silo [in Damascus, Arkansas]. The socket pierced the missile’s skin, causing fuel and oxidizer leaks. The ensuing explosion destroyed the silo, propelling missile parts and [the] warhead into abbreviated flight. One airman died from internal wounds while 21 personnel were injured. The W-53 warhead ended up on a nearby roadside -- passed by motorists but fortunately never detonated. Close, but no mushroom cloud. This freakish event is at the core of Eric Schlosser’s new book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety. “The United States has narrowly avoided a long series of nuclear disasters,” he writes. He reveals declassified studies that disclose hundreds of mishaps between 1950 and 1967 and beyond. They include a B-61 hydrogen bomb accidentally dropped 7 feet from a parked B-52 bomber at Carswell Air Force Base when a crewman pulled a handle too hard, and a Mark 6 atomic bomb landing in a Mars Bluff, South Carolina backyard, creating a 35-foot-deep crater and blowing out nearby windows and doors. Schlosser takes Baby Boomers of the “duck and cover” era down a Megaton Memory Lane while providing a vivid primer for the Twitter generation on a world where nuclear weapons were a fact of life to deter a larger-than-life Soviet Union depicted as bent on world domination.
Note: Watch a 16-minute interview with Erik Schlosser showing how close we have come to accidental nuclear explosions. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear risk news articles from reliable major media sources.
On 11 March 1958, in Mars Bluff, South Carolina, a man called Walter Gregg was building shelves in his shed with his son, when a Mark 6 atom bomb landed in his yard. Mrs Gregg was inside [the house], sewing. The little Gregg girls were playing outside. The fissile core of the bomb had been removed for safer transit, but the explosives that powered it nonetheless blew the Gregg house to bits, killing half a dozen of the Gregg chickens. In military talk this sort of thing is known as a "broken arrow", an accident involving nuclear weapons that falls short of causing risk of war, and Schlosser's book is about the several dozens of these that have happened – counting only those of US origin – since the atomic bomb was invented in 1945. The next-up sort of accident is called a Nucflash. So far, it hasn't happened, but Schlosser considers this due as much to luck as anything else. [The book] aims to "pierce a false sense of comfort", ... the popular assumption that ... the threat of nuclear escalation has gone away for good. It hasn't, is Schlosser's miserable message. "They are out there, soulless and mechanical, sustained by our denial – and they work." In this book, he's interested in how "the effort to control nuclear weapons – to ensure that one doesn't go off by accident" is undermined, over and over again, by demands from the military for bombs they can trust to explode.
Note: Watch a 16-minute interview with Erik Schlosser showing how close we have come to accidental nuclear explosions. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing nuclear risk news articles from reliable major media sources.
The United States is facing increasingly harsh criticism over its use of lethal drone strikes to target suspected terrorists. American drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen may amount to war crimes, according to a pair of reports released by international human rights groups. Examining nine drone strikes in Pakistan, the Amnesty International report concludes that the attacks killed large numbers of innocent civilians, and accuses the U.S. of targeting rescuers who arrive in the aftermath of the strikes to aid the wounded. A report from Human Rights Watch states that the majority of people killed by six drone strikes in Yemen were civilians (57 out of the 82 killed). The groups’ findings that the United States has killed more civilians than it has admitted are bolstered by a UN report ... that stated U.S. drone strikes had killed as many as 400 civilians in Pakistan and almost 60 in Yemen. These reports clash with the U.S. government’s own assessment of the strikes. Officials have maintained that civilian casualties from drone strikes are minimal, even in the face of multiple third-party evaluations that state otherwise. Both groups are demanding that the Obama administration investigate allegations of civilian deaths, release more information about the legal basis for drone strikes on suspected terrorists, provide restitution to those unjustly harmed and reveal the identities of those who lost their lives in the attacks.
Note: If a single civilian in the US were killed by a foreign drone, the entire nation would be up in arms. Do we have a double standard here? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing war atrocities news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.