The Staggeringly High Number of Muslim Countries the U.S. Has Bombed or Invaded Since 1980

Source: AlterNet

Author: Zaid Jilani

Emphasis Mine

As the inevitable two-year campaign for the White House gears up, foreign policy is likely to be a hot topic, particularly within the Republican Party, where hawks like Sen. Ted Cruz (TX) may face off with more restraint-oriented lawmakers like Sen. Rand Paul (KY).

Journalist Glenn Greenwald points to a Washington Post op-ed by Andrew Bacevich laying out the case that our foreign relations with the Muslim world are fraught with too much violence – with Syria being the 14th country we’ve bombed or occupied since 1980:

As America’s efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants extent into Syria, Iraq War III has seamlessly morphed into Greater Middle East Battlefield XIV. That is, Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.

Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew.

Greenwald comments on the statistic by referencing the recent controversies of Sam Harris and Bill Maher attacking Islam as uniquely violent, “Those who sit around in the U.S. or the U.K. endlessly inveighing against the evils of Islam, depicting it as the root of violence and evil (the “ mother lode of bad ideas“), while spending very little time on their own societies’ addictions to violence and aggression, or their own religious and nationalistic drives, have reached the peak of self-blinding tribalism. They really are akin to having a neighbor down the street who constantly murders, steals and pillages, and then spends his spare time flamboyantly denouncing people who live thousands of miles away for their bad acts. Such a person would be regarded as pathologically self-deluded, a term that also describes those political and intellectual factions which replicate that behavior.” Read Greenwald’s full article here. (


In Their Sights

Military weapons manufactured in the USA and used by soldiers in the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan have a secret message – a verse reference to the Christian Bible – on their night scopes/sights.  see:

“In August of 2005 Trijicon was awarded a $660 million dollar, multi-year contract to provide up to 800,000 of its Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight (ACOG) to the U.S. Marine Corps. According to Trijicon, the ACOG is “designed to function in bright light, low light or no light conditions,” and is “ideal for combat due to its high degree of discrimination, even among multiple moving targets.” At the end of the scope’s model number, you can read “JN8:12”, which is a reference to the New Testament book of John, Chapter 8, Verse 12, which reads: “Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” (King James Version) (ABC News)”

N.B.: George W. Bush was president of the US in August of 2005.

also: ”

Kai Ryssdal: There is a long tradition in the American military of soldiers and sailors inscribing personal messages on their weapons. Whether its tanks or airplanes or the bombs that they drop. That is soldiers doing the inscribing, not manufacturers, which is why the Pentagon is scrambling to decide what to do about some gunsights it’s been buying for the Army and Marine Corps.

The sights work well enough. It’s what’s on them. what is written on them that’s the problem. Shorthand references to passages in the New Testament, like JN 8:12 for John chapter 8 verse 12. Marketplace’s Mitchell Hartman reports.

MITCHELL HARTMAN: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation says service members fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan started complaining about the gunsights a few weeks ago. They’re supplied under a $660 million contract by Michigan-based Trijicon, which identifies itself as Christian and “faith”-based.

The Foundation’s Mikey Weinstein.

MIKEY WEINSTEIN: To find these Biblical references actually engraved into the gunsights on our M4s and M16s is beyond the pale.

Weinstein says they also violate military rules against proselytizing in the Middle East. An Army spokesman said the Scriptural gunsights aren’t a problem because they’re for American soldiers, not Afghans or Iraqis who might be offended. And, he said, even the U.S. currency mentions God. Weinstein scoffs at that.

WEINSTEIN: It says, “In God We Trust.” It doesn’t say, “In Jesus We Trust.”

Cabrini College business professor Scott Testa says using Christianity in marketing isn’t unusual, though doing it on military weapons is.

SCOTT TESTA: You’ll have everything from real-estate agents, insurance agents, retailers, where they’ll actually quote Scriptures in their marketing materials.

The Marines say they’re reviewing the contract with Trijicon, as is the British government, which also bought gunsights with citations from the Gospels and Revelations.

I’m Mitchell Hartman for Marketplace.” (see:

From Australia (Which has a city named Darwin):”

DEFENCE Minister John Faulkner has told the defence forces to find a way to remove biblical messages etched into gunsights that are prized by Australian special forces in Afghanistan.

The use by US, British, Australian and New Zealand troops of sights bearing references to scriptural passages has raised alarm among military and political leaders that it could reinforce the view that the West is waging a crusade against Islam.

Senator Faulkner examined some of the US-manufactured sights during a tour of defence facilities in Victoria yesterday and asked Defence officials to suggest options to get rid of the controversial inscriptions.

“It’s a sensitive matter and we’ll have to deal with them,” Senator Faulkner’s spokesman said later.”