Scott Horton Interviews Jeremy Scahill

Scott Horton, February 16, 2012

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Jeremy Scahill, author of Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, discusses his article “Washington’s War in Yemen Backfires;” how Yemeni President Saleh convinced the Bush administration to send aid, supposedly to fight Al Qaeda, but instead used the money to eliminate his rivals; how Obama’s frequent airstrikes, killing scores of civilians, have turned rural tribesmen into anti-American militants; video evidence that missile strikes were indeed from American forces, bolstering the WikiLeaks story that Gen. Petraeus and Saleh conspired to hide US involvement; continuing a US foreign policy that assumes a finite number of “terrorists” who can be killed off with airstrikes, and whose numbers won’t be replenished or increased in response; why Yemen’s tribesmen are willing to take bribes to be Iraq-style “Awakening Councils” to put down Al Qaeda in Yemen; and why Yemen is an imaginary nation, ready to fracture into several autonomous regions.

MP3 here. (20:36)

Jeremy Scahill, a Puffin Foundation Writing Fellow at The Nation Institute, is the author of the bestselling Blackwater: The Rise of the World’s Most Powerful Mercenary Army, published by Nation Books. He is an award-winning investigative journalist and correspondent for the national radio and TV program Democracy Now!. You can read his blog on TheNation.com here.

4 Responses to “Jeremy Scahill”

  1. As I look at the comments around antiwar.con I sense a climate of malaise….!!! I suppose empire doubters and enemies in the countries that constitute the muscle do not find the reading here very pleasant … Yes, the great empire seems to go on and on……. smothering the world with it's fiat dollars and high tech weapons…….. Yes, Yes!! But:…… When America starts taking out their own children with such weapons INTENTIONALLY, well then, the grim details, transforms following the carnage……….. an ever more somber exercise…. Torture, the rape of CHILDREN as a tool of OUR government, wanton assassinations of distant peasants, the bombing of mourners, first responders…….. AND what we are forced to confront…….. is US …..as the monsters….. And as MONSTERS of our own making…!!!! Grim indeed…….

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  3. Scahill's comments reminds me of the articles I read about the Taliban when Canadian troops were in Kandahar: those interviewed had no idea where, or even what, Canada was. One guy thought it was a 'faraway city, long since destroyed'. Other rural Afghanis comment that they thought drones were evil demons.

    When a European reporter followed some 'Talibs' into the field, the commander brought his 12-year old son along and the troops passed the time by seeing who could throw a large rock the farthest – the most primitive hobby I can imagine. When one of his troops was killed the commander cried into his enormous beard, but was determined to resist those who had invaded his land.

    Meanwhile our invading US-NATO troops had X-boxes, South park DVDs, air-conditioners, Burger Kings, exercise bikes. Even the remotest Marine outposts had the true basics: the support of the world's most powerful military, evac to hospitals in Germany, a quarter-million dollars in life insurance and the knowledge that this hellhole wasn't their country. I guarantee that not one Marine ever had to bring their 12-year old son with them when they went on patrol.

    It boggles my mind: the US military v. Pashtun farmers?!!? The US military v. Yemeni villagers?!?! v. Grenadians ?!? v. Somalis?!?! v. Filipinos?!? The "turkey shoot" of retreating Iraqi soldiers in 1991 starts to look glorious compared to this legacy of obscene imperial bullying.

    North Americans have not only divorce themselves from basic logic to support these monstrous interventions, but also from –basic humanity–. Corporate media propaganda is vital in this process of de-humanization. Thank you, Scahill and Horton for showing that honest reporting always contains the seeds of mercy.

  4. I guess that makes americans and afghans in the same boat!
    I remember seeing how americns did not knew where Iraq was or even where Alaska was! You’ll find that on youtube.
    Question is why should they, all they need to know is that some fackers have invaded thier country. And they’ll do as Texans would if some yankee came to take their guns and fack their pigs.
    You see where I’m getin at Eliss?

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