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Fri, Apr

Three Black Service People Victimized In Drone Base Attack

Spc. Breonna Alexsondria Moffett of Savannah, Georgia; Spc. Kennedy Ladon Sanders of Waycross, Georgia; and, Georgia. Sgt. William Jerome Rivers of Carrollton

VOICES

ACCORDING TO LIZ - Drama has unfolded in the wake of the drone deaths of three Army reservists serving on an American logistical base near the Syrian border. A base involved in efforts to “contain and degrade” i.e. military-speak for attack and murder, elements of the Islamic State terrorist group. 

All three killed last Sunday were Black Americans from Georgia, for whom the United States army offers a way out of what is, for them, not always a land of plenty and opportunity. 

The attack drone that ended their lives and injured over 40 others penetrated base defenses about the same time a U.S. drone was returning from a mission. 

Which underlines this as an act of retaliation against an American base that has initiated the killing frenzy in the region targeting whatever it decides are terrorist operations. And is consistent with the claim by the Islamic Resistance in Iraq when they took responsibility for the strike that” All the U.S. interests in the region are legitimate targets.” 

Administration officials on Monday walked back the original declaration by Biden and other senior American political figures that blamed “Iran-backed militant groups” for the attack and conceded they have absolutely no evidence Iran had any responsibility for the early morning drone strike. 

While the Islamic Resistance in Iraq is an umbrella group for Iranian-backed militias including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s foreign ministry categorically denied involvement, asserting that the “Islamic Republic of Iran has no role in decisions by resistance groups on how they support the Palestinian nation or defend their people.” 

“Defend their people” being the operative language. The base that was attacked exists to target what American “intelligence” calls terrorists but the Islamic resistance sees as dedicated soldiers protecting Islamic rights against further incursions in the Middle East by the U.S. and its proxy, Israel. 

The foreign ministry spokesperson warned again that continued military action by the United States against groups and individuals in Iraq, Syria and Yemen is a violation of those countries’ sovereignty. 

If maintaining peace, stability and security in the region is important to the western powers, then why support such attacks and Israel’s oppression of West Bank Arabs and the genocidal gutting of Gaza which will only escalate regional instability? 

Of course, history is always written by the victors, but isn’t it time to step back and look at the optics of deploying the full weight of the American war machine, which costs more than that of the next ten militaries combined, on impoverished countries that happen to sit at the intersection of three continents and have been subjected to western abuse for centuries. 

And if America loses? As it has done continuously since Vietnam? 

Pentagon deputy press secretary Sabrina Singh had told reporters “We know this is an IRGC-backed militia” but did not claim that Iran was responsible. Certainly Tehran wants American influence out of the Middle East and has funded the training and arming of terrorist militias in the region. 

Not so dissimilar to what the United States and the CIA have done and carry on doing in all corners of the globe – propping up despots, fomenting the overthrow of democratically-elected governments, and engaging in “wet work” and torture. 

Iran has suffered for decades under U.S. economic sanctions and the erratic policies of presidents from Nixon to Biden. 

Today’s American warmongers derive power from calculatedly cultivating the fears of the public. Fears that far too many politicians deliberately foster as a method of gaining and retaining office. 

Fears significantly exacerbated by the over-the-top rhetoric and theatrics of Trump and his hangers-on. 

So much so that Paul Krugman in the New York Times points out that the MAGA myth is built on those fears, not grounded in reality. And his colleague Nicolas Kristof fingers American anxieties about war that, after decades of never-ending conflict, are too often self-fulfilling. 

With people fixated on overseas drama, politicians can continue to perform poorly for their constituents. With more and more money directed to the Pentagon and paramilitary police operations, less and less is available for programs that can narrow the gap between the haves and have-nots. 

Furthermore, the country’s continuing focus on retribution rather than restorative justice is straining both our resources and credibility. 

 So stop with the “rah-rah, let’s start another war” to waste tax dollars and put more Americans at risk around the world. 

Especially Americans of color who, because of that lack of other opportunities due to tax dollars being poured down the drains of endless wars, continue to be disproportionately represented on the front lines.

(Liz Amsden is a contributor to CityWatch and an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions.  In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)