Bombing victims

Written By: - Date published: 12:03 pm, April 16th, 2013 - 133 comments
Categories: International, Media, war - Tags: , ,

Sincere condolences to the injured, and to the families and friends of the victims killed in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Sincere condolences to the injured, and to the families and friends of the victims killed in other bombings worldwide (from the last month alone):
Multiple bombings in Iraq,
a bombing in Pakistan,
a bombing inThailand,
a bombing in India,
a bombing in Afghanistan,
a bombing in Mali,
a bombing in Gaza,
a bombing in Damascus,
other bombings in Syria,
(and any and all other incidents that I’ve missed).

133 comments on “Bombing victims”

  1. xy 1

    That’s funny, why didn’t you post this when those bombings happened?

    • vto 1.1

      wrong question to wrong place.

    • r0b 1.2

      Because there wasn’t the massively disparate media attention to the previous bombings that we are seeing / will see in the case of the Boston bombing.

    • felix 1.3

      At a guess, because this isn’t primarily a website about bombs. And on one level this post isn’t about bombs either.

    • prism 1.4

      xy
      What’s your point? Go sharpen your pencil, and find a mind to think with?

  2. hoom 2

    Bets on this being by a white, right wing, christian male US citizen born there, who was known to be a bit unstable/weird & owns lots of high power guns?

    Chances that there will be a horde of such people rounded up & sent to Guantanamo, names put on ‘no-fly’ lists?

    • karol 2.1

      Could be right on the type of person – but it seems there was more than one bomb in different places – would require coordination by more than one person.

      Condolences to the victims, survivors and people close to those damaged by bombs, wherever they were.

      And the world is full of militaristic, gun/violence-loving types – loners, in groups, in the militaries – private and state ones.

      • McFlock 2.1.1

        Not sure about the coordination aspect. Timers are easy to rig, and apparently they’ve discovered multiple unexploded bombs. Which to implies “left in place” rather than “carried on indoctrinated teenager”. It could be a couple of people dropping them into rubbish bins around the place, but it could as easily be one dick with a satchel full of the things.

        Back to Atlanta ’96 mode, maybe. But that was on April 13.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          and apparently they’ve discovered multiple unexploded bombs.

          Not the work of an Al Qaeda bomb master. Amateur hour, in other words.

          In rubbish bins? Man they teach you to look out for that on Day 1. What the hell was event security thinking.

          • McFlock 2.1.1.1.1

            the rubbish bins thing was me, no site has been made public yet.

            The thing is, people are supposed to put stuff in rubbish bins. You need them for big events. Could easily be sports bags or whatever.

            stuff is reporting black powder and ball bearings, which is rather survivalist.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1.1

              The thing is, people are supposed to put stuff in rubbish bins. You need them for big events. Could easily be sports bags or whatever.

              Where there are significant security concerns (and a National Radio interview today said they had bomb sniffer dogs all along the course earlier in the day) typical procedure is either to remove the bins or examine them and seal them.

              Extra cleaners are paid to deal with the additional litter.

              • McFlock

                Is one option. So the bad guy just drops a package in handy drifts of wrappers and discarded food.

                Security is a compromise. Big tourist event, you don’t want people knee deep in rubbish. So you boost the bomb dog patrols, have loose perimeter controls and higher security areas for areas like the start/finish lines, podium, contestant areas, and so on. But your major concern will always be crowd control.

                That’s even if bins were involved at all.

          • lprent 2.1.1.1.2

            I’m afraid that everything from it being patriots day (the same day as the Oklahoma bombings), the crappy timing on the bombs that did go off, to (as you say) the bombs that didn’t go off – to me it points to another local homegrown ‘patriot’ tired of lack of progress from those known left-wing collaborators – the tea party. It will be interesting to see what comes out over the next few days.

            And I’m sure it will come out. Whilst the intelligence community in the US is appears to be better at PR (ie getting their story told in TV series and films) than actually being preemptively effective, they do store a hell of a lot of data. Given an actual event, I think that they can work backwards pretty fast.

          • travellerev 2.1.1.1.3

            Thinking the same thing but who are the amateurs? Snipers on the roof as a security measure but not checking Trash cans!!!!

            • Te Reo Putake 2.1.1.1.3.1

              Trash cans were checked twice, once before the race, once during it. The cops are concentrating on finding video evidence of someone planting the bombs after the second sweep two hours into the race.

              • muzza

                http://www.local15tv.com/mostpopular/story/UM-Coach-Bomb-Sniffing-Dogs-Spotters-on-Roofs/BrirjAzFPUKKN8z6eSDJEA.cspx

                University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, who was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when a series of explosions went off, said he thought it was odd there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines.
                 
                “They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it’s just a training exercise,” Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15.

                Yup, Obama asked for the *citizen army* a while back!

                Made to look like the work of amateurs, not too hard at all really!

              • Colonial Viper

                Check clear seal. Check clear seal. Check clear seal. Third step is there for a reason. City officials are understandabley queesy about litter, still…

                BTW its very difficult to thoroughly check a rubbish bin for an explosive device if it is also filled with litter, unless you empty it out in front of you. Since it seems likely that was not done during the event, the checks may have missed the devices.

                • rosy

                  Are you sure the bombs were in rubbish bins?

                  Last weekend I was near the finish line of the Vienna marathon waiting for my partner. I had his stuff in a backpack. With the crowd and the jostling and the noise I reckon it would have been really easy to just drop the pack and walk away. No one would have noticed. The Boston marathon is way bigger and busier, I can’t imagine there is any way to lock down completely an event like that.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Indeed, initial reports said that the bombs were in rubbish bins (“garbage cans”) but updated reports claim they were black powder “pressure cooker” bombs left in bags in the crowd.

            • karol 2.1.1.1.3.2

              The Stuff article linked to above says:

              A person briefed on the attack, which left the streets splattered with blood and glass, said the explosives were in 6-litre pressure cookers and placed in black duffel bags that were placed on the ground.

              The person said the duffel bags contained shards of metal, nails and ball bearings. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

              Not rubbish bins.

              • muzza

                This is a Stuff cut an paste, as usual – AP, Reuters, Stuff.co.nz

                *A Person*
                *The Person*

                Why did the bomb dogs, which were apparantly there, not pick these up?

                If there were bomb dogs there, why?

                If there had perhaps been *a threat*, then why was the event held at all!

                As usual too many questions, and a narrative, ever changing, and controlled by the usual suspects!

              • freedom

                The use of duffels suggests the perps most likely masqueraded as law enforcement or other uniformed person/s who would not look out of place carrying a duffel. How many times has that scenario been shown on TV and film? If true, this explains much of why the Administration has been so selective in their statements. They know full well that unless some person or group claim the attack, there is going to be little chance of apprehending the attackers. I see a solution though for people to avoid repeats of this and other tragedies.

                Stop killing each other.

    • Augustus 2.2

      With all the security in operation around the Boston event, something tells me that the people planting the bombs can’t have been youngish males with middle eastern appearance. Or black. So you’re on the money there.

      • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 2.2.1

        Doesn’t take a genius to put “middle of April” and “bombing” together and get “probably a white male American bomber”.

    • muzza 2.3

      This is exactly the narrative which will be pushed by the media, now it seems they have dropped the story about the *Saudi*.

      Why were the bomb squad already in attendance prior to the blasts?

      Lets see what *added security/removed freedoms*, come as a result of these blasts!

      • Te Reo Putake 2.3.1

        …. breaking the laws of physics … pyroplastic flow … LOL …

        • muzza 2.3.1.1

          What are you on about ?

          I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume you posted the comment based on my use of the term *Saudi*, having put no time into looking more closely at it!

          If you had been paying attention , you might have picked up on this this..

          http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/authorities_under_suspect_guard_y2m8cJO29uC2PDGIjYBalO

          Investigators have a suspect — a Saudi Arabian national

          Lets see where this angle goes!

          • Te Reo Putake 2.3.1.1.1

            Google boston bomb squad. The madness has started already. LOfuckenL

            • muzza 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Actually the report I heard was while watching tv (something I don’t usually do) on TVNZ via the ABC about 8am, which had said, there were initially 2 explosions, and at least one more had been detonated by the bomb squad!

              They were very keen (actually Jack Tame repeated it a few times also), that the 3rd explosion was a controlled detonation…

              So hows about you post some of those links instead of making others go find them eh!

              Keen to see your work ethic, as this is way out of of your traditional territory, innit!

              • Te Reo Putake

                There were two controlled detonations of devices found after the two explosions, according to a couple of news sources I was checking. No surprise if not all the bombs went off, the same thing happened in the London bombings.

                And pointing out the nuttiness of most of your regular sources of ‘facts’ is very much my “territory”, muz. Consider it a social experiment, if you like.

                • Colonial Viper

                  No surprise if not all the bombs went off, the same thing happened in the London bombings.

                  Those bombs were built and placed by part time barely trained amateurs as well.

                  If todays explosives had been placed by dems trained special forces personnel the expected number of failures out of half a dozen devices would have been: zero.

                • McFlock

                  there were unexploded bombs in the 7/7 bombings?
                  don’t recall that.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    My mistake. It was the second series of attempted bombings a couple of weeks later where one of the bombers failed to set his device off.

                    • muzza

                      Your mistake, LOL, oh the irony I’m sure will have flown right by you!

                      In case you somehow manage to gloss over it in your own head…

                      And pointing out the nuttiness of most of your regular sources of ‘facts’ is very much my “territory”, muz. Consider it a social experiment, if you like.

                      Woops!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      No irony involved at all. Perhaps you are unfamiliar with the concept of checking the facts and correcting mis-statements?

                    • muzza

                      My mistake, I didn’t paste the entire comment, so you’ve managed to fragment it, read, gloss over, ignore it, divert, defuse – FAIL!

                      There were two controlled detonations of devices found after the two explosions, according to a couple of news sources I was checking. No surprise if not all the bombs went off, the same thing happened in the London bombings.

                      Woopsy – There is, in your post, incorrect info above!

                      While in the same frantic breath (trying to take a cheap shot at me), the below..

                      And pointing out the nuttiness of most of your regular sources of ‘facts’ is very much my “territory”, muz. Consider it a social experiment, if you like.

                      (pointing out nuttiness of your regular sources of *facts* is very much my territory) = IRONY!

                      No, no it’s not your territory, as I had already pointed out to you!

                      Gold!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah yeah yeah. I made a small mistake confusing two similar incidents a fortnight apart in the same city and you see that as some kind of validation for your sad conspiracy theory. You really are the worst kind of jerk, muzza. Why don’t you leave the victims of this atrocity to mourn rather than use them to inflate your own puffed up ego?

                    • muzza

                      Diversion, projection. more insults all rolled into one package, then then old *let them mourn*, of course comes out, as a final attempt to shift the focus!

                      Perhaps if you had not been so small of mind, large of ego as to take yet another dig, for no good reason at me, you would not have to continue to trot out these sort of weasel words and climb downs!

                      Learn the lesson pal, its your ego which got you into this!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Got into what? I corrected a small mistake. All that shows is that I’m a bit more mature than you and willing to own my errors. And the small mistake does not alter what I said anyway, which was that bombs don’t allways go off as intended. Capice?

                    • muzza

                      No, what it shows, is if you *point out the nuttiness*, (throw an insult), and try to be humerous/ironic/sarcastic? (consider it a social experiment, if you like), it can come back around, very quickly!

                      I don’t mind that you made a mistake, but it came on the back of your childish dig at me, and now you’re still trying to worm your way back out of it.

                      Mature – No, you’re not!

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Yeah, no, bro. My small error, which I corrected myself, and which does not alter the centtral point I made, doesn’t let you off the hook for years of teh stoopid, Muzza. Try owning your own egregious errors before pointing the finger at me. At least I have the wit, couth and maturity to actually check the facts and print the correction … you, not so much.

                    • muzza

                      doesn’t let you off the hook for years of teh stoopid,

                      J.H.C – You’re a real card you are!

                      I’ll lend you my Bobcat, your excavation requires *heavier equipment*, the shovel you’re working with won’t dig a large enough hole for you to fit your head in!

                    • McFlock

                      TRP, everything muzz has ever commented here is one hundred percent correct and does not even need confirmation, because muzz has a perfect knowledge of historical events, the innermost motivations of world leaders, and of course has the flight paths of every aircraft on the planet etched into their memory.

                      Muzz doesn’t want to actually use their perfect knowledge in real life, because as soon as we’re aware of such perfection in our midst it would stunt our development as individuals and as a species.

                      Muzza can, however, influence us through ethereal messages via pseudonym in forums like this.

                      I hesitate to break the “no speculation on identities” rule, but the magnitude of putting all this together suggests, ahem, suggests that… Muzza… is…therefore… god?

                      Or at least I’m sure s/he thinks so.

                    • muzza

                      McFlock, that was genuinely dismal, but nice of you to step in and prop up Voice, who was having a tough day at the office, and needed some support.

                      I’m sure he’s appreciative of it, although no doubt will feel that you’ve managed to weaken his standing further, in doing so!

                      He will make a comeback sometime, just like you though it will involve some , self reflection!

                    • McFlock

                      You are completely correct, oh perfect one.
                      We are but little snivling turdlets beneath your feet.
                      Oh, please don’t turn us into oysters!

                      (BOOK OF ONAN, Onan’s Third Dialogue with the Effluvians Chapter iv, v57-59)

            • muzza 2.3.1.1.1.2

              http://tvnz.co.nz/breakfast-news/boston-explosions-23-injured-2-confirmed-dead-video-5407608

              3m30s mark, a little after – reference is to 3rd explosion, being *controlled*

      • felix 2.3.2

        “Why were the bomb squad already in attendance prior to the blasts?”

        Ah, so muzza you are implying a false flag event. Why did you say you weren’t?

        • Colonial Viper 2.3.2.1

          The conspiracy sites are saying that officials received bomb threats prior to the event (probably not seen as particularly credible ones) so had stepped up bomb security for the event as a precaution.

          What seems odd to me is that no claim of responsibility has yet occurred. What the hell is that about.

          • Pascal's bookie 2.3.2.1.1

            “What seems odd to me is that no claim of responsibility has yet occurred. What the hell is that about.”

            Not unusual CV.

            There’s no strategic reason to claim these type of attacks (where the immediate target is ‘people’ rather than ‘the government’ or ‘police’ or whatever). The strategic reasons for attacking innocent populations are about provoking responses from the government, and fear and confusion in the population. No initial claim of responsibility helps with that.

        • muzza 2.3.2.2

          Felix, at the time of my earlier comment to you which * I agreed*, I had not spent anytime reading available information, other than what I saw on TVNZ at 8am in the morning for about 5 minutes.

          Now that I have had a chance to, I’m still not going to take a position on this one, other than to say it will be used for no good, and a pre determined set of outcomes, whether it was a genuine act or not!

          And of course no one claimed responsibility, which allows the narrative to take any desired direction, although I expect it to take the *local domestic* route!

          http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2013/04/16/gop_rep_peter_king_on_boston_bombing_i_do_think_we_need_more_cameras_.html

          So I do think we need more cameras. We have to stay ahead of the terrorists and I do know in New York, the Lower Manhattan Security Initiative, which is based on cameras, the outstanding work that results from that. So yes, I do favor more cameras. They’re a great law enforcement method and device. And again, it keeps us ahead of the terrorists, who are constantly trying to kill us.

          Blah blah blah!

          • felix 2.3.2.2.1

            Authoritarians will always try to expand their sphere of power after a violent event.

            This in itself is relatively uncontroversial, but it also says – implicitly or explicitly – nothing whatsoever about responsibility for the event itself.

            So why did you pose this: “Why were the bomb squad already in attendance prior to the blasts?”

            • muzza 2.3.2.2.1.1

              I posed that question, having spent some time reading last night, and coming accross…

              University of Mobile’s Cross Country Coach, who was near the finish line of the Boston Marathon when a series of explosions went off, said he thought it was odd there were bomb sniffing dogs at the start and finish lines.
               
              “They kept making announcements to the participants do not worry, it’s just a training exercise,” Coach Ali Stevenson told Local 15.

              You already read the link, so you know…

              Do you believe it an unreasonable question to ask, Felix?

              • felix

                Yep, because there’s nothing at all unusual about bomb-sniffing dogs at a major public event.

                • muzza

                  Good to know these *training exercises*, have such a record of success when they’re being tested out!

                  Straight to more cameras and armed guards, maybe even TSA on the streets, dogs didn’t cut it!

                  • felix

                    Are you surprised that the people who look for bombs are present at major public events?

                    What would you say if there were explosions at a major event and the bomb squad had been stood down zomfg!

                    • muzza

                      Given the failure to prevent these explosions, it makes no difference what I would say!

                    • RedLogix

                      I just wish people would be a lot more cautious and sceptical around matters like this.

                      About the only thing we know with better than 90% certainty is that the media screw up the details on just about everything they report on. We know that they have pre-determined biases and agendas.

                      As far as us ordinary people on the far-side of the planet are concerned we have no direct way of knowing the truth one way or another. All we can rely upon is careful observation, experience, logic and Occams Razor.

                      Just as much as I don’t trust the official media message, neither do I put any better faith in half-cocked speculation cooked up by people on the internet who really have no better hard data to work with than anyone else.

                      Of course this does not mean there are no conspiracies … it’s just that the truth is probably different and more surprising than any of us guess. The only way out of these rabbit holes is to place a bob each way; acknowledge that all the knowledge we have is faulty and to accept that new information may well compel us to change our thinking.

                      The only real mistake you can make is to be 100% sure about things that have no absolute truth.

                    • muzza

                      The only real mistake you can make is to be 100% sure about things that have no absolute truth.

                      Correct !

  3. You are correct r0b to note the loss of lives in all of the recent bombings.

    The difference between this and the other bombings is that this bombing occurred in an area that had wall to wall cameras and we will be inundated by visual coverage of what happened. I guess this was the reason for chosing this particular place at this particular time.

  4. Mary 4

    An event Key will welcome as a nice distraction from his latest assaults on the poor and on democracy.

  5. joe90 5

    Couple of blogs that keep track of wars large and small.

    http://www.warsintheworld.com/

    http://smallwarsjournal.com/

  6. freedom 6

    add another bunch of innocents slaughtered by the USA
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-125820/US-bomb-kills-30-Afghan-wedding.html

    but no shots of this tragedy amongst the disaster porn

    • ghostrider888 6.1

      amidst the political porn

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      Don’t sweat freedom, the families of most of the Afghan dead will get “condolence payments” from the US military of up to US$7500 per victim.

      It’s quite a civilised process, and we wouldn’t want any local tribes people to feel put out by the incident.

  7. millsy 7

    Looks like we are going to have more ‘we will not give into to those who hate freedom’ rhetoric from pollies, just when we were starting to get through all those going on about how wonderful Maggie was.

    I kinda got sick of it on September 12th, 2001.

    Expect more police state snooping carry on as well.

    It never ends.

  8. vto 8

    I see that at the same time as 2 people were killed by bombs in the USA….

    there were 55 people killed by bombs in Iraq…. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/story/2013/04/15/iraq-bombings-wave-attacks.html

    Yet the first 3 pages of our local paper this morning were about the 2 people in the USA.

    Such rampant evil hypocrisy and lack of caring deadens any empathy for the US. Especially after what they have done to the middle east and the hundreds of thousands that have been killed by the US government there.

    Shameful on many fronts. We live in dangerous evil times where only fools trust authority.

    • rosy 8.1

      +1 Even if they can’t keep track of the names of horrific number of people killed in Iraq, Afganistan, Pakistan and beyond, the MSM in New Zealand could at least keep track of the numbers of people killed by the drones that are the killing method of choice of our very, very good friends.

      Btw: Any news on the health of the Guantanamo hunger strikers?

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Between 2000 and 3300 people killed in US drone strikes, since 2004, the vast majority ordered by Obama, and that’s in Pakistan alone without considering Afghanistan, Iraq,…

        And it seems that many of them were civilians, low level Al Qaeda grunts, or merely people seen to be acting suspiciously.

        Sen. Lindsay Graham stated in Feb that the total number of fatalities from US drone strikes was 4700, and that it was unfortunate that civilians occasionally got killed in the programme, but worth it from the US viewpoint.

        Yes, it puts the handful of US fatalities from this bombing into stark perspective.

        http://rt.com/news/drones-us-al-qaeda-militants-649/

        http://rt.com/usa/sen-lindsey-graham-says-us-drones-have-killed-nearly-5000-people-185/

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            That’s pretty revolting. Over 60 kids killed in a drone strike on a school. And under Obama its turned into a full scale drone war over there.

            On the upside, and to give credit where it is due: last 12 months the ratio of civilian deaths has dropped significantly. Which means that they are taking a lot more care than they used to.

            • freedom 8.1.1.1.1.1

              “last 12 months the ratio of civilian deaths has dropped significantly. Which means that they are taking a lot more care than they used to.”

              War has combatants and I fear CV you are forgetting that for at least two years now, any adult male (read over the age of twelve) is now considered an enemy combatant.

              The figures are openly representing the ‘known strikes’ . This we all know means the ‘strikes the administration have admitted to have been actioned’. The very start date of the entire drone campaign is still widely debated, so is its true intensity let alone the actual death counts. The data used is an obviously conservative appraisal of the widely disparate figures that have been released over the years. The reality of drone strikes would be far worse than what is represented in the above interactive.

              None of that changes the fact it is an excellent presentation piece and should be a catalyst for many people as they begin to comprehend and hopefully question the flaws the motives the reprehensible cowardice and the basic illegality of the drone war.

              • Colonial Viper

                Compare and contrast Obama’s comments (taken from the Washington Post)

                BOSTON — President Obama on Tuesday called the bombing of the Boston Marathon “a heinous and cowardly act” and said the FBI is investigating the blasts that killed at least three people and injured more than 170 as “an act of terrorism.”

                “Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians, it is an act of terror,” a grim-faced Obama said in a brief statement from the White House.

                In its drone strikes, the US does not target civilians as such, but dropping a hellfire missile or LGB on to a home surrounded by women and children is almost the same thing, in my mind.

                • muzza

                  You can’t teach that kind of hypocrisy!

                  Still, Obama is only reading of the tele prompt, its not like he is writing the stuff he reads!

                • rosy

                  Yep.

                  I reckon he thinks the word ‘targets’ gives him the moral high ground. He is a lawyer, right? I don’t expect kids in Pakistan and their families are sitting around appraising the meanings of ‘target’ and ‘collateral damage’.

                • Te Reo Putake

                  “In its drone strikes, the US does not target civilians as such, but dropping a hellfire missile or LGB on to a home surrounded by women and children is almost the same thing, in my mind.”

                  You’re not wrong, CV, but the blame really lies with the actual targets, who, generally, are aware that they are potentially going to be hit, but still choose to hide behind women and kids. I have a horrible feeling that some of the AQ related cowards think that it doesn’t matter because the innocent dead will go to paradise anyway.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    What rot.

                    1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria.
                    To this end, the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
                    (a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture…

                    Geneva Convention. My emphasis. Drone strikes are war crimes.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      AQ et al are not armed forces in the sense that clause talks about. They have not laid down their arms. Rather they are using their families and neighbours as human shields.

                      Care to have another crack?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Oh yes, of course I forgot the sub-clause that reads “In the event that non-combatants are being used as human shields, article 1(a) shall not apply.”

                      No, wait…

                      You are engaging in the worst kind of sophistry; your argument justifies terrorist acts as much as it does drone strikes.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Being able to read a clause correctly is not sophistry, bloke. I know what you are trying to say, but using the wrong clause, or the right clause wrongly, does not help your argument.

                      Like it or not, drones will continue to be used to take out AQ leaders. I’m fine with them dying, less so with the civilian casualties. But as I said, the AQ leaders choose to put their own families at risk. It’s their choice, but given how little they value life on earth, it’s hardly surprising that they would do so.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      TRP – I don’t understand the wash-your-hands of it victim blaming defence that you are trying to make.

                      So the US drops ordnance on a school or a village wedding and its the victims fault because they have family members who are suspected or potential terrorist suspects?

                      You do know its a war crime to kill innocent family members and civilian neighbours of combatants, right?

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Like it or not, drones will continue to be used to take out AQ leaders.

                      Sorry mate you are propogating another lie. Just 2% of drone victims have been confirmed senior Al Qaeda leaders.

                      98% have been low level AQ foot soldiers, other suspicious persons, and civilians.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      This would be a great justice system – you’re a family member, child or a nearby neighbour of a known criminal, so we’re going to nail you too. Kill’m off while they’re young, before they become a proper threat. That’s real justice.

                    • felix

                      TRP: “AQ et al are not armed forces in the sense that clause talks about. They have not laid down their arms. Rather they are using their families and neighbours as human shields.”

                      It’s got fuck all to do with AQ. It’s about “1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities” getting U.S. missiles lobbed at them.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Specifically, this is Convention (IV) relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War. It’s the right clause, hence the reference to “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities”.

                      I may not be able to do very much about these war crimes, but justifying them on the basis that they’re going to happen whether I like them or not doesn’t appeal, thanks all the same.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      It’s got fuck all to do with AQ. It’s about “1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities” getting U.S. missiles lobbed at them.

                      Well, lobbed at spots 10m to 20m away from them, apparently that’s the same as “not targetting” civilians.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      CV: yes I know that it’s a crime. The relevant clause is already in this thread. But that’s not what we are talking about (as you yourself noted!).

                      I use AQ in a generic sense and I don’t care whether its footsoldiers or leaders. I have zero symapthy for AQ and their franchises. Their families and other victims are another matter and I have total symapthy for those who are used to shield them and are hurt as a result.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Knowing who these people are, it would be a much better strategy for the USA to simply broadcast their names and the evidence of their crimes, let Interpol do the rest. Let their own families and communities justify the murders. Shame and guilt are much better weapons than missiles.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      TRP, no, they are not being hurt as a result of their proximity to soldiers. They are being hurt as a result of war crimes committed by our strategic allies, helped by our “intelligence” community and our tax dollars.

                      Justify it all you want. Invoke Realpolitik to your heart’s content. It’s a crime.

                    • felix

                      TRP, for clarity is it your position that “1. Persons taking no active part in the hostilities” does not apply to civilians in the proximity of legitimate targets?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      felix, no, that is not my position. Civilians should not be targeted.

                    • felix

                      That wasn’t the question.

                      Please reread and try again.

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      It was a convuluted question, with an internal double negative, presumably written as a lawyer style trap, so bad luck if you don’t like the answer, felix. Why don’t you just put a position yourself and I’m happy to discuss any differences between how we see things openly. Might pay to move to a new coment thread though, this one is getting too lengthy.

                    • felix

                      I didn’t think it was anything but a straight question, but whatevs. Let’s go through it bit by bit.

                      I presume there’s no argument about what “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities” means.

                      I also presume there’s no argument about what “Violence to life and person” means.

                      And “prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever” is very straightforward.

                      I don’t see any loopholes that would allow the killing of civilians to be reconciled with the convention. Do you?

                    • felix

                      I didn’t think it was anything but a straight question, but whatevs. Let’s go through it bit by bit.

                      I presume there’s no argument about what “Persons taking no active part in the hostilities” means.

                      I also presume there’s no argument about what “Violence to life and person” means.

                      And “prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever” is very straightforward.

                      I don’t see any loopholes that would allow the killing of civilians to be reconciled with the convention. Do you?

                    • felix

                      Don’t know why that came up twice. Perhaps that’s the “double negative” you mentioned 😉

                    • Matt

                      “Drone strikes are war crimes.”

                      As is any event involving an errant bullet or artillery shell or bomb or mine that hits any non-soldier?

                      And Interpol? Yeah, have them liaise with the local constable in Waziristan or the hinterlands of Yemen to round up the crooks.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Matt, if the Boston bomber(s) turn(s) out to be home-grown, they will be dealt with by the police ie: civilian authorities. If a drone strike would be inappropriate for them, what legitimises one aimed at Pakistani or Afghani or Yemeni citizens?

                      These are not stray bullets. They are dragons’ teeth.

                    • Matt

                      What’s the difference? In your scenario it is precisely the nature of the “civilian authorities” that is the difference.

                      In, for example, a tribal area, or one controlled by warlords, or one where “authorities” deliberately turn a blind eye to bad things being done in their midst, then who are you going to call?

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Your argument boils down to, since they can’t be reasoned with, the best solution is to kill them. Now explain to me how that legitimises targeting non-combatants, especially in light of the fact that such indiscriminate attacks sow dragons teeth.

                      Strategic stupidity and a war crime, yet you can still find people defending it.

                    • Matt

                      You’re the one that floated Interpol (or civilian authorities generally) as the answer, one assumes that if that could be defended you’d have made even the most cursory attempt to do so. How that is a referendum on anything I’ve said, one can only imagine.

                      Oh, and are you suggesting that known non-combatants are deliberately being targetted? It’s one thing to be careless with words and another thing entirely to suggest that known innocents are the target of strikes.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Of course the civilian solution can be defended. Jaw jaw and all that. But the burning question is whether the military alternative delivers a better result.

                      In the case of missile strikes where civilians are in harm’s way, a bad situation is made worse, not least because of the immediate loss of life, but also because of the propaganda value of such attacks to the enemy.

                      And yes, of course they’re being “targeted”. The cliché “urban” live firing range with pop-up targets springs to mind. Hit the little kid or the woman with the pram and that’s a fail, soldier.

                    • Matt

                      Ha, OK. Have fun with that.

  9. karol 9

    The surveillance records that the US authorities can draw on, while useful in this instance, are worrying in the bigger picture. An ex-counter-terrorism advisor has posted his analysis of the way investigations will proceed. It includes this bit:

    First, the FBI will stitch together hundreds of hours of video camera recordings from private and public surveillance and traffic cameras, as well as recordings made by private citizens attending the race. They will look for when the bombs might have been left behind and then examine the faces of everyone who was in the area around that time. They will try to put names to those faces, using facial recognition matching software, drawing on drivers license, passport, and visa databases.

    It’s interesting that he pre-supposes the possible perps, and that the first line of investigations will pursue those lines: Middle east or US right wing and Aryan supremacist groups.

  10. Te Reo Putake 12

    Felix:

    “I don’t see any loopholes that would allow the killing of civilians to be reconciled with the convention. Do you?”

    Just a guess, but the question of intent is probably why no country has been taken to task over the deaths of civilians by drone strike. If you didn’t mean to kill them, is it a breach of the 4th Geneva convention?

    The lack of war crime prosecutions suggests that the international community accepts that there will be collateral damage when drones are used against legitimate targets. Particularly so when the targets choose to hide among the civilian population.

    And just to be contrarian, I think I might drop wives out of the ‘innocent civilians’ category. Here in NZ, if you know your hubby is a criminal and you live off the earnings of the crime, you too can be charged with a crime. So for the sake of argument, if you know your hubby is a jihadist and you offer him food and shelter, then you are a lot less innocent than your kids.

    Care to put up some alternative views, felix? I do think this is an interesting area for discussion and guerilla warfare was not considered in 1949, so it may be that its time for a further convention to be added to the others. Certainly, the lengthy arguments around whether the Guantanimo inmates’ trials should be military or civilian suggest that there is plenty of room for debate about the nature of modern war and the status of the modern warrior.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 12.1

      In the first place, terrorism is not “warfare” at all. It is crime.

    • felix 12.2

      “If you didn’t mean to kill them, is it a breach of the 4th Geneva convention?”

      You could probably argue that if you were talking about a stray sniper’s bullet. But you’re not. There’s no way you can chuck a missile into a crowded area and say you were only targeting one person. Well you could, but it would be bullshit.

      “So for the sake of argument, if you know your hubby is a jihadist and you offer him food and shelter, then you are a lot less innocent than your kids.”

      You could argue that, but it would tend to undermine all the propaganda about going to war to overthrow the oppressive patriarchs who treat women as chattel and deny their daughters an education, eh? Unless you think you can kill them to set them free.

      “Certainly, the lengthy arguments around whether the Guantanimo inmates’ trials should be military or civilian suggest that there is plenty of room for debate about the nature of modern war and the status of the modern warrior.”

      Yep, but this has nothing to do with the status of the modern warrior. It’s about the status of the modern civilian “taking no active part in the hostilities”. That’s the bit you need to rewrite if you want to reconcile killing civilians.

      • McFlock 12.2.1

        I’m not so sure – it’s like the old soldiers’ joke about targeting enemy equipment with white phosphorous, said equipment being “helmets, webbing and rifles”.

        Basically, as long as there’s wriggle room with intent as to whom was being targeted, I’m not convinced by broad statements about what actually constitutes a “war crime”, unless it’s an explicit comment from Goldstone or the Hague.

        I do, however, think that there are clear arguments for negligence to be made, such as drone operators targeting groups of people because groups of people look like AQ meetings. As opposed to weddings or guys’ bullshit sessions. But in those scenarios the operator is still targeting what they think to be terrorists, not knowingly targeting civilians.

        It’s become too easy for them just to press a button, and it’s becoming counter-productive and indiscriminate (both being heavy negatives).

        • Matt 12.2.1.1

          It’s been fairly easy to press the button far from your target for a long time.

          On a side note, I wonder how many Kiwi heroes were among the flight crews when Berlin, Dresden, or Hamburg were obliterated by RAF Bomber Command.

          • rosy 12.2.1.1.1

            “I wonder how many Kiwi heroes were among the flight crews when Berlin, Dresden, or Hamburg were obliterated by RAF Bomber Command.”

            Probably a few. You can argue the rights and wrongs of the bombing raids into Germany all you like, you won’t find me arguing against some of these being war crimes, but that is a different situation entirely. New Zealand was at war with Germany.

            Pakistan is an ally of the U.S. and has been so since the 1940s. The drone flights into Pakistan are attacks on the citizens of a country that is not at war with the U.S.

            • Colonial Viper 12.2.1.1.1.1

              Yeah but they are done with the tacit (if reluctant) approval of Pakistan govt officials.

              Would you be that surprised if part of the quid pro quo was that the occasional political enemy of the Pakistan govt happened to get caught in the blast radius of an incidental drone attack?

              • rosy

                A wee ‘oops, that one went a bit off course’?

                Or there’s a bit more money for a few more weapons.

                Tacit approval against the will of the people provides a basis for the argument that the drone killings are increasing the destabilisation of the country and adding names to the list of ‘enemies of America’ faster than the drone strikes are enabling names to be deleted.

            • Matt 12.2.1.1.1.2

              “but that is a different situation entirely. New Zealand was at war with Germany.”

              Indeed, and that’s (part of) the point. When you can’t identify your enemy by a uniform, since there isn’t one, or even a particular nationality, then the rules of engagement are different, no?

              • rosy

                That’s the point? I’d like to see the point at which there is and international rule the U.S. can use to engage by using drones to kill citizens of another country who are still in that country without the explicit permission, at least, of the sovereign state. Or, in extreme circumstances, from the UN.

                No wonder the U.S. (along with Sudan and Israel) has refused to sign up to the International War Crimes tribunal.

        • felix 12.2.1.2

          “Basically, as long as there’s wriggle room with intent as to whom was being targeted”

          So you’re drawing a distinction between intent and predictability.

          i.e. as long as you only intend to kill one person, you can ignore the other ten who die, even though you could reasonably predict that outcome given that you chucked a missile into a crowded street.

          I’d be interested to know what the Geneva Convention has to say about intent. Do you know?

    • prism 12.3

      trp
      Wives in many muslim countries and indeed just about anywhere, don’t have the ability to refuse to feed their armed husbands. There are a number of ways that such a man may act but saying he understands her moral right to withdraw labour and support peace isn’t one of them

  11. ghostrider888 13

    gee Flockie, that bomb was the last reply button to muzza; choo got in the last word!

    • McFlock 13.1

      lol
      damn
      that means I have to hope M doesn’t just start whacking reply buttons at random and expect me to realise they’re talking to me 🙂

  12. vto 14

    .
    Imagine if all the energy that went into weapons went into something constructive.

    Imagine if all the energy that came out of weapons went into something constructive.

    • muzza 14.1

      Evil rules this place, VTO, thats very obvious, and becoming moreso by the day!

      We are paying to dig our own graves!

      Imagine indeed!

      • vto 14.1.1

        Well that leads us, on one path muzza, to hope. Sir John Kirwan referred to hope as something which is the final thing that can be clung to, and that it should be so clunged. Others refer to hope being the fatally compromised last bastion from which there is no escape.

  13. Agora 15

    Attempting to put the Boston bombings within US political context, Tarpley points out that
    one thing which happened on the same day was the Obama budget being sent to the congress with the ‘chained’ Consumer Price Index and 400 US$Billion of Medicare cuts [ 370 US$Bill + 30US$Bill more in other medical benefits including Vet Admin, Pentagon TriCare, and others] and the suggestion of one generation being played against another (Peter Peterson of Lehman Brothers & the Peterson Institute suggesting ‘lets play the old against the young’). If you break through where political consensus is greatest, other cuts are feasible.

    It is thought there are 30 million people on social security and medicare in the US at the moment.
    With the ‘chained CPI’ those benefits will decline over time.

    3.2 million disabled veterans get benefits – these are the groups Obama proposes to attack.

    The cultural and moral effect is to destroy moral fibre and political cohesion, perhaps leading to the collapse of political parties.

    Some figleafs of protection are left, but it will hit the oldest, poorest, and women, disproportionately. Poverty is common among the elderly.

    The ‘chained CPI’ goes back to 2002 under Bush – a new data series, including the CPI-W – the ‘urban wage earned and clerical worker wage’ series – overstates inflation, including the substitution effect – eg. cornbeef hash or spam for steak. It was tampered with under Clinton, but now has been tampered with further.

    To sum up, assuming a false flag, it could be intended as a diversion from anti-austerity activism.

    Effective resistance includes a refusal to be diverted. The alternative is to make the Wall St banks pay for the depression, institute a recovery program, a sales tax, seize parts of the Federal Reserve, and force them to finance large parts of the recovery.

    Rosenstein, one of the Governors of the Federal Reserve, says the recovery program is not enough and argues for more more QE3 – opening a new Fed window for more credit stimulus to finance shovel-ready infrastructure projects.

    Before news of the Boston bombings arrived, Doug Urbansky attacked the financial transactions tax on the Russ Limbaugh show before it was sharply dropped during the next break. The dirty secret is that Wall St pays essentially no corporate income tax. A broader realisation could lead to a vehement desire to make them contribute. A Wall St sales tax could have put more cops on the streets of Boston.

    Source: http://tarpley.net/audio/20130416-WGT_on_WTP.mp3

    Where does John Key sit in all of this ?

  14. Agora 16

    For some reason the source keeps getting blanked out.

    I have added a space after each forward slash below to .. hopefully .. prevent this.

    http:// tarpley.net/ audio/ 20130416-WGT_on_WTP.mp3

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