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Total number of comments: 749 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)


Showing comments 749 - 701

  • In Massive Intel Error, US Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helps ISIL Advance
    • the decision whether or not to bomb a target is more a factor of who is asking for the bombing than what we may or may not know about the target.
      In this case, we had someone on the ground calling the airstrikes in.
      Maybe the US government should tell us who that was.

    • Syria is in the way of a gas pipeline that the USA is pushing.
      Yes, it may be all about oil, after all.

  • Monsters to Destroy: Top 7 Reasons the US could not have forestalled Syrian Civil War
    • the USA has already been deeply involved in intervening in Syria,
      getting the "civil war" going by employing Mercenaries to get the Syrian government forces to return fire into crowds of civilians.
      But that isn't reported here.

  • "We're talking Survival": Pacific Islanders call out Australia on Coal
    • "Australia is the biggest polluter per capita ..."

      I suspect that correlates with them being the most productive, per capita.

      I don't know the answer,
      but these island nation representatives seem to be calling for Australians to inflict economic wounds on themselves, and in return get what ?

      I know some Australians. I have some in my family. These are hard-working folk, and it takes energy to be productive.
      What compromises are being offered ?
      What incentives ?
      and yes, I have some idea of the harm that comes from getting energy from coal.

  • Leftist Corbyn win as head of UK Labour alarms Israeli Right Wing
    • If this guy opposes the brutal treatment of civilians by the Israeli government,
      then he has that in common with most Israelis.
      The hate-mongers like Lieberman and Natanyahu are the ones who are out of touch.
      Go back and get quotes from more balanced Jewish media outlets.

  • Nearly Half of Republicans Could imagine backing Military Coup
    • sorry,
      but who would General Petraeus seize control from ?
      Admiral Rogers, Director of the NSA ?

      some other figurehead of the invisible military-industrial-congressional-banker-security complex ?

  • Russia Ramping up Military Involvement in Syria?
    • According to our 1903 "treaty" with the Cuban Dictator Tomas Palma,
      who was succeeded as head honcho of Cuba by Wm. Howard Taft in 1906,
      Guantanamo Bay Naval Base is officially for supplying coal to US Navy ships.
      This could also be a response to the "European Reassurance Initiative."
      See link to
      Under ERI, US European Command has initiated acquisition of facilities and stationing of officials in 6 Eastern European countries this month, all bordering Russia.
      Or maybe a response to our sending US troops into western Ukraine (we've had troops there continuously since February 2015.)
      Or maybe it's just what they say, they are supporting a historical ally. Check, eg, the language in the WH press release on ERI.

    • John Kerry just accomplished more than all Secretaries of State since Dulles.
      Maybe he qualifies ?

    • that's easy.

      SF missions include "insurgency," "counterinsurgency," and what 20 years ago was called "internal defense and development."

      If the US military is to salvage a "win" in Syria,
      we need to ally with al-Assad and the Russians.

  • How the Sept. 11 Attacks Changed American Lives Forever
    • I got an email from Dick Cheney yesterday.
      If I buy his book, he and Liz will sign it.
      I suspect he admits his errors in the book, takes responsibility, and asks for forgiveness.
      But I'm not going to pay $ 60 to see if that's correct.

  • Pope Francis' call to host Refugees contrasts w/ anti-Immigrant US "Religious Right"
    • "It seems to me that there is a real question as to whether any of those who speak in such hateful ways are actually Christian at all."

      Oh, we're Christian, alright.
      Recall that being a hypocrite, being a sinner, is part and parcel of that package called "Christian."

      I'm not an authority on most aspects of Catholic doctrine and magesterium,
      but I know that you missed in your analysis when you compared today's Muslims to the good Samaritan of scripture.
      The better analogy might be seeing the Muslims as lepers: Helpless, rejected, vulnerable, dependent.
      Maybe someone smarter than me can cite some passages on that.

      Juan, an earlier blog entry suggested these were "regime change" refugees.
      I have repeatedly tried to argue here that the US government was instrumental in turning peaceful protests in Syria into violent suppression, usually only citing sources like PressTV and RT. You seem to allow those posts more, suggesting a recognition that we might have played a role.
      If so, that makes the USA the engine behind all of the attempts at regime change that have destroyed societies, forcing these refugees to flee to Europe.
      so why does Pope Frank let American Catholics off the hook ?

  • Donald Trump Fails Foreign Policy 101, calls Interviewer "Third Rate"
    • Hewitt has it in for Trump.
      He supports another candidate.

      this was a cheap shot. Hewitt could have been more forthright, but was obviously trying to trip Trump up.

      The real test would be if a disinterested questioner asks benign questions, and Trump is confounded. That didn't happen here.

  • Is Israeli military using Barak in struggle w/ Netanyahu over Iran Deal?
    • as to whether Israeli jets could attack Eshafan,
      perhaps the Saudi King would allow them to use his airspace, if coordinated in advance.
      SANG could shoot them down with ADA furnished from the USA, if they flew near the sites protected by the ADA umbrella.
      And who could stop IDF from flying through Syria, or Northern Iraq ?
      This wasn't the case in 2010, pre-ISIS, but today it is possible.

  • Hard to get Good Help: Are US Generals just Incompetent?
    • Good article, Mr. Pastore.

      The Air Force declares 3 core (aspirational) values:
      1. Integrity First.
      2. Service before self.
      3. Excellence in all we do.

      But the USAF Academy has one true core value: Take care of your boss.

      In 2005, the leadership of the Academy conducted research into how they were doing.
      They asked the units that were receiving their “product,”
      newly graduated cadets,
      what they liked about the 2nd Lieutenants they received,
      and how they could improve the product.

      In a classified briefing, while working as a mid-level AF Civil Servant, I learned that those customers responded clearly.
      They said that the Academy put too much emphasis on technical (book) knowledge.
      What they preferred was for these new officers to have a better grasp of the cement that held the AF together, loyalty to one’s boss.
      That stuff written in the West Point library, that was about loyalty to the country, and to the service.
      But today’s Air Force wants loyalty to one’s boss: covering for him or her.
      When someone like Petraeus spends the first 20 years of his career kissing up to this or that rater (the person who writes his evaluation report,)
      Without any concern about right or wrong,
      or what’s best for the unit,
      He is then completely unprepared for the responsibilities of leadership.
      As a General, he has become a craven politician,
      And at that level,
      He advances by kissing up to civilian politicians.

      Look at the track record of Ray Odierno, who just retired from his CSA gig.
      If Eric Shinseki had stayed on as CSA, someone like Odierno might have faced an Article 32 hearing, and maybe even been brought up on charges under the UCMJ.
      But Shinseki didn’t follow the cult of personality that is a cancer in the US Army. His loyalty was to the Constitution, and to the American people.
      So, he had to go.
      How to fix this ?
      Heck, the careerists in the military are invested in this system.
      They don’t see it as a problem.

  • How many thousands US troops would GOP Hopefuls send to Iraq and Syria?
    • GOP,
      listen to Ray Odierno.
      He oversaw widespread crimes against Sunni Arab Iraqis in Nineweh Province in 2003-04,
      and they still haven't forgotten him.

      After the shocking awful invasion in March 2003, we tried to win the hearts and minds of the people we conquered.
      Crimes against humanity have a way of interfering with trying to win hearts and minds.

      And the unstated theme of current GOP proposals to send US ground forces back is that,
      once our guys are there,
      the local populations will shift their support to us,
      because we're the good guys.

  • Young Muslim-American entrepreneurs Fight ISIL Online
    • in the intro remarks,
      the news anchor says that these "initiatives" are funded by the US government.
      I would call them "government contractors" rather than "entrepreneurs."

      what is the business model ?
      collect payments each month from the CIA.

  • How Black Lives Matter is making Bernie Sanders a better candidate
    • as a non-Republican conservative,
      I read BLM as a black flag op to help Clinton.

      The leaks from her meeting with them only confirm that.

  • First Time at the Rodeo? (Political Cartoon)
    • I love Trump;
      I love that he's running.

      But if just one serious journalist would take a look at his campaign staff,
      what he is spending money on,
      it quickly will become clear that this is a joke to him.

      If he was serious,
      he would have a serious staff, a serious manager, a serious campaign lawyer, and a serious budget.
      It appears that he hasn't even made the basic calculations about what it will take to get on the ballot in at least 30 states,
      let alone what it will take to win in each of those states.

      The "Ballot Access" hurdle is something that takes careful planning to overcome,
      and even with gobs of money,
      the state GOP in each state has the discretion to keep him off of their ballot.

      To run a serious 3rd Party campaign,
      he would have had to start the petition process by now.

      This is a joke, Trump is doing this for his own amusement.
      He has spent less than $ 3 Million so far, not counting his personal and travel expenses.
      Even Rand Paul has spent more on a campaign organization.

  • The Long Knives Come out in Baghdad
  • California at the Cutting Edge of our new Mega-Drought Normal
    • Over the last 3 months,
      (see link to,)
      Colorado Springs has had 16.99 inches of rain. Normal for this period is 7.37 inches. We have had 9.62 inches more than normal. 230% of normal.
      If the total amount of rain that falls around the world is relatively constant (is it ?,)
      including what falls on the oceans,
      then there must be other places that are also getting more rain than normal.

  • ISIL: What nonviolent steps could the US take to defeat it?
    • If the USA wanted there to be Peace in Afghanistan,
      instead of fighting the Taliban,
      and consolidating their position as the only legit protector of Pashtuns,
      we would invest in nurturing an alternative organization to protect and govern Pashtuns,
      with that new Pashtun self-governance and self-defense entity visibly independent of the US proxies ruling Afghanistan from Kabul, the Northern Alliance.

      the path to Peace in Iraq is to allow, if not nurture, a structure or framework for Sunni Arab Iraqi self-defense and self-governance that is an alternative to ISIS.
      This new alternative must not be controlled by the US, or by our Shi'ite Iraqi proxies.
      Either we believe the grand proclamations in our Declaration of Independence, or we don't.

    • First,
      the title of this post does not match the content.
      Professor Shamoo does not limit his policy recommendations to just non-violent approaches.
      He advocates for the application of violence when he says:
      "Nothing short of strong self-defense to defeat them is likely to work."
      The third and fifth steps he advocates for diminishing ISIS's influence both entail significant violence, but specifically violence inflicted by Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian forces, rather than by the USA.

      Dr. Shamoo is saying that the USA should stop using direct violent means (drones, ground forces) that the local populace ascribes to the USA, and instead support and work through proxies.

      Professor Shamoo recognizes that the people (Sunni Iraqis) who provide support to ISIS have a conceptual framework
      ("... an overall moral framework that justifies their existence and operations ...")
      through which they integrate their perceptions of American harm to their community.
      It is through that framework that they decide on how to respond, to ISIS, to the "Iraqi government," and to acts of violence by the US military and US Mercenaries.
      The brutal US occupation of Sunni Iraq just ended less than 2,000 days ago. During that era, the USA caused the death or grievous injury of around 25% of all Arab Sunni Iraqis.
      As of today,
      these people calculate that they and their families are better off with ISIS large and in charge,
      than with any forces aligned with the USA (the government in Baghdad, for example.)

      I respect that Dr. Shamoo is not a Sunni Arab Iraqi. That colors his perceptions, and his recommendations.


      The key to US failure in Afghanistan is the bedrock principle that the US cannot allow the Pashtun people,
      (the majority of Afghans, if we treat the Durand Line the way Pashtuns treat it,)
      to govern themselves, to protect themselves, or to live away from subjugation under our proxies, the foreigners / non-Afghans / interlopers of the Northern Alliance.
      We adopted that policy to ensure Afghans never enjoy Peace. It is an evil policy. We do it to punish the Pashtuns for resisting our brutal occupation, for trying to protect their families.

      The USA seems to have the same policy in Iraq with respect to the Sunni Arabs.
      There can be no Peace as long as the USA ensures the Sunni Arabs cannot live decent lives. The only "solution," the "final solution," is thorough genocide. Not even the evil neo-cons who demand constant war against Islam will publicly advocate that position. Yet it drives our policy.

  • Why Partitioning Iraq is a Terrible Idea
    • unfortunate to see you to treat a man with Ray Odierno's track record as a serious commenter on world affairs.

  • Memo to Jeb Bush: It was W's Surge that created ISIL, not Hillary
    • I live in Colorado Springs, one of the most Republican areas of the country.
      Most folks here believe Jeb's version.

  • Where did the anti-War Movement go?
    • Tom got caught up in the protest movement because he thought that he, personally, could make a difference.
      While one of my sons was visiting recently, one of his friends who stopped by told me that my campaign for political office many years ago was eye-opening for him.
      I was running on a largely anti-war, anti-mercenary platform.
      Born around 1982, he said that he never got the idea growing up that he could have any impact on the larger world around him, and that participating in my campaign was the first time he felt he could.
      The "system" has changed, and our youth have lost their natural-born idealism. That's the appeal of that loser pig Donald Trump: maybe he can change something. Anything. Just to show that folks not part of the "establishment" are still alive.

  • Game of Groans: How focus on Trump Taunts hides GOP war on Middle Class, Workers
    • Too much hyperbole.

      "... promoting the rights of blastocysts over those of raped women ..."

      Of course, blastocysts aren't aborted.
      Neither are they protected by pro-lifers.
      That's because, when a woman has a blastocyst inside her, she doesn't know it.
      Heck, sometimes the formation of a blastocyst does not even result in a pregnancy.
      A woman doesn't find out she's pregnant until the blastocyst has developed into something recognizable as distinctly human
      (yet still quite small.)

      "... evangelicals and ... Catholics ... make ... women ... impregnated by rapists bear their rapists’ children ... [to] support[ ] the fatherly rights of the rapist element in society."

      Actually, in secular language, it would be more correct to say that we oppose abortion in order to protect the "right to life" of the child in the womb.
      Informed (or if you prefer, affectated) by faith, I would prefer to say that the child in the womb was given life by God, and we have no business taking that life away.
      I don't think the issue of purported "parental rights" of a rapist is acknowledged by Catholics, let alone a cause for action.

      Among the Catholics I know and live in communion with, we don't explicitly say there is an exception when the life of the Mother is at serious risk, because we think that's between a woman, her husband, her Confessor, her God and her Physician. As soon as such an exception is written into law, it will be abused.

      But if the central issue is the fact that God has created a child, then the fact that a certain child was conceived as the result of a rape does not in any way reduce the value of that child in the eyes of God*. Neither would that fact alienate the child's secular inalienable right to life.

      * - (Actually, I don't know what God thinks about this or most other specific issues, but the tradition, scripture and magesterium of my church give me a confidence that God loves every child He creates.)

  • If Germany can get 27% of its Energy from Wind/Solar, why can't US?
    • as I understand the linked story,
      for one instant,
      one one particular day,
      renewables provided 78% of the demand at that instant.

      If it was windy in the South Baltic,
      where Germany is building extensive wind farms,
      and it was a comfortable Sunday evening as people slept,
      without air conditioning,

      that's a very different situation from
      renewables furnishing 78% of the nation's demand for electricity for an entire day.

    • only criticism,
      I would have preferred that the narrator and translator were German.
      as a former US Army German linguist,
      I love that accent when Germans speak Englisch.
      readers should know that the German government made huge investments to lead this transition.
      The video doesn't make any mention of that.

  • Daesh/ ISIL takes 250 Captive, including 60 Christians in Syria
    • Perhaps Prez Obama will ask our new ally in Tehran to help the Syrians out.

      IDF makes regular air patrols over this area.
      perhaps they can help their old friend in Dimashq.

  • How Likely are the GOP Presidential Candidates Top 10 to drag us into War?
    • what you say about Paul is accurate.
      But I rate him least likely to start a pre-emptive war of this bunch.

      Paul is less likely to start a vanity war than Clinton.

      Only Sanders is less likely than Paul to start an unnecessary war.
      in my opinion.

  • Top 5 Ways Obama's 'All of the Above' Politics led to Sanders & Trump
    • " He has mostly ended the war[] in ... Afghanistan."

      that's an interesting take.
      When Obama took office, there were about 33,000 uniformed military and 10,000 US Mercenaries in A'stan, plus assorted support contractors.
      Today there are about 13,000 military troops. see link to
      I haven't kept up on the number of Mercenaries. Maybe someone else knows. But even if their numbers are about the same, the totals went from about 45,000 to about 25,000.

      I wouldn't call that "mostly ended."
      I'd agree that that's a significant reduction,
      but don't overlook that Obama tripled the number of military in A'stan in 2009.

    • plenty of progressive ... action ?
      unless you mean social issues like homosexual marriage and abortion,
      I doubt the veracity of that assertion.

  • Jimmy Carter: US "Now is just an Oligarchy . . . Subversion of our System"
    • what business did an adult have running for and getting elected to the office of the president ?

      Jimmy Carter had no business being Prez.
      Thankfully, we will never suffer another adult as our leader.

  • Syria's al-Qaeda captures US-Linked Free Syrian Army Commander, troops
    • oh, the irony.

      some of the leaders of the support front,
      the guys who captured our guys 2 days ago,
      were part of the first cohort of "moderates" that the CIA had Eric Prince train in Jordan in late 2010.
      So far, the USA has trained and equipped leaders in every single faction fighting in Syria, except for the al-Assad Syrian Army, and maybe one or two tiny splinter groups.

  • Revealed: The private firms tracking terror targets at heart of US drone wars
    • Great journalism.
      While Blackwater is sort of a symbol for the employment of Mercenaries in Iraq,
      and despite the fact they had the most and the largest contracts to furnish Mercenaries,
      my research suggests that they were not even close to being the most lethal Merc outfit, as far as killing Iraqi civilians.
      4 companies were hired by the US Army Corps of Engineers, out of Huntsville, Ala., to collect and destroy captured enemy munitions (mostly artillery rounds and aircraft bombs.)
      The Corps did not bother to provide any oversight of their activities.
      These companies provided their own "security."
      They were famous for expending more ammunition (assault rifle, machine gun, grenade launcher) per day than an entire US Army Brigade engaged in combat.
      By my inartful calculations, one of these 4 companies - Zapata Engineering - killed more than 80,000 Iraqi civilians, and raped more than 5,000.
      Sure, Blackwater, and anyone who worked for them, deserve whatever contempt you can muster. But they at least had some oversight by government personnel.
      The cowboys who were cut loose to do whatever damage they could, by the Corps of Engineers, did their worst.
      The employment of Mercenaries to kill and subjugate the Iraqi people is the main reason we lost the war, whose success depended on winning the support of those locals.

  • Is our Fossil Fuel addiction setting even our wettest Rainforests Ablaze?
    • regarding the burning tree video,
      I think what we saw was just the burning of the moss.
      The real damage started once the flames got up to the leaves in the crown.

  • Top Six Signs ISIL/ Daesh is Doomed
    • what I meant to say in that last bit:

      "As long as their best hope is with ISIL, they will support that group.
      That’s why ISIL will be around for a long time.

      US and other foreign military interference, superiority and hegemony only strengthens that support."

    • missing from this analysis is the role of the Sunni minority in Iraq.

      They are not represented by the current Iraqi government.
      They cannot participate in the "Iraqi Security Forces" sham, which is 95% Shi'a.

      As long as their best hope is with ISIL, they will support
      and military superiority and hegemony only strengthens that support. that group. That's why ISIL will be around for a long time.

  • Is the ISIS War About Oil After All?
    • a year ago, comments about
      "secret US-run camps in Jordan and Turkey"
      weren't allowed.

  • As the Iraqi Army takes on ISIL in al-Anbar: How did we get here?
    • while some of the details recounted by Professor Williams don't square with my recollections (one of us is wrong,)
      I agree with the overall thrust and conclusion.
      Those who feel that they were wronged by US foreign policy actions (like the invasion) are smart enough to identify specific policy makers who made those policies.
      Any reasonably intelligent person in the US can search public records and find where those former policy makers live.
      I will believe that ISIL is directing attacks in the US
      AFTER I hear about attempts to kill those folks.
      Until then,
      when someone attacks an Army Recruiting Station or other generic symbol of the brutal military occupation of Iraq,
      I will ascribe that to someone operating on their own,
      a "lone jackal,"
      and not consider it a retaliatory strike by an organized adversary.

  • Iraq: As Battle Royale to take Falluja from Daesh/ ISIL Looms, Fears for Civilians
  • Dirty Energy vs. Clean Power The Past Battles the Future at Seneca Lake
    • 15 - 30% of gas captured through fracking never makes it to a furnace to be burned.
      Yes, it burns cleaner than oil, and much cleaner than coal.
      But the gas that seeps out of the distribution system goes right into the atmosphere.

  • Why defeating ISIL/ Daesh with military might is starry eyed idealism
    • this article is an endorsement of USAID and their brand of interference in other countries.
      The author admits to forming his views working for part of the USAID mafia, which USAID calls their "implementing partners."

      but I can remember what happened in al-Kut in 2003, when RTI took over the city and required townsfolk to go through feminist reorientation before they were allowed to collect their food rations.

      USAID, in their haughty contempt for locals and tradition, piss the occupied people off even more than soldiers
      (but not as much as Mercenaries.)

      the way to fight ISIL is not to lecture the people under ISIL "governance" that they would be better off serving US values and US corporations.
      The way to undermine ISIL is to quit insulting and aggravating those locals.
      And for the USA and our "do-gooders,"
      that means we have to leave them alone.
      We cannot treat folks in other countries with dignity.
      It's not in our DNA.

  • Obama: No more US troops to fight Daesh/ ISIL, but more Training
    • folks who talk about "training local forces" as a way to stop and push ISIL back must have little understanding of what soldiering and fighting are about.

      I can teach a guy to operate and care for an assault rifle in 15 minutes.

      I can teach a small unit leader to coordinate the efforts of a squad or platoon in a coupla weeks.

      What I cannot teach is motivation to fight for a cause that the fighters do not believe in,
      no matter how much time I have.

  • Demonizing as Policy: Washington Elites divided over which state to declare Enemy No. 1
    • Mr. Klare is a creative thinker and writer.
      But he is stuck in a paradigm that stopped working some time ago.

      Russia's main power today is not military, it is economic - their control over the flow of gas from East and South Moscow to Western Europe. As Professor Cole frequently notes, this advantage can be erased by switching to solar. Maybe within a decade.
      Russia sees itself as fighting the USA for their very survival. We should stop threatening their survival. We need smarter folks making our national security policy. We would get a better class of policy folks if we imposed a lifetime ban on the "revolving door" between Lockheed, et al, and the Pentagon E Ring.

      The worry about China is even sillier.
      Again, like Russia, the Chinese are operating under the assumption that the rest of the world is out to get them. Part of the psyche.
      Compounding that are the insecurities that ordinary Chinese have around retirement and health care.
      A better class of policy experts would leverage these opportunities to create interdependence and economic growth.
      I understand that we must be prepared to defend ourselves and our allies. But why this nonsense about controlling the rest of the world ?
      Our national strengths run more to creativity, collaboration and charity than bombs and sanctions. We should be using those strengths to our advantage, and freeing ourselves of the constraints of our limitations.

  • Top Five ways for Washington to Fail in Iraq
    • during the period 2005 - 2011,
      wasn't it Contractors (DynCorp and PAE) that trained the (Shi'a) Iraqi Army ?

      does anyone think that US active duty soldiers would do better at training them this time around ?

  • Wife of Israeli Cabinet member tweets Racist Obama Joke, had called for Innocent Palestinians to be Punished
    • my impression,
      folks (adults) who live in S'derot,
      the Israeli settlement closest to Gaza,
      are paid $ 30 K per year to live there.
      Housing, which is hardened like a military bunker, is free.
      Utilities are free. Health care is free.
      Most adults have jobs, but that isn't really necessary.
      It appears that the Israeli government pays for them to act as targets for un-aimed rockets.
      why ?

      these are the people who this woman is concerned about ensuring they have a normal life.
      They live to aggravate the people in the Gaza prison, and she wants to protect them from the consequences of that choice.

  • Down the Iraqi Rabbit Hole (Again): Washington in Wonderland
  • Juan Cole & Jocylene Cesari: "Europe's Muslims after Charlie Hebdo: Challenges and Misconceptions"
    • Saturday,
      the local Infidels Motorcycle Club is going to have a
      "Protest against Islam and Ramadan (and ISIL) BBQ."
      Go online for tickets.
      link to
      I wonder if my Church, which has a "religious freedom" ministry,
      will hold a counter-protest to assert that Muslims are also covered under the 1st Amendment ?

    • Page: 7
  • Can the GOP live down Donald Trump's Middle East "Policy"?
    • early in the speech, 5:30 to 5:40,
      Mr Trump said that the US GDP was below zero.

      for that to be true,
      nobody in the country could have produced or earned anything.

      Donald, I love ya, man.
      Who else could start by inheriting $ 400 Million, and turn that into a fortune worth over $ 1 Billion ?
      But you need to hire someone to write your speeches for you.
      and the speechwriter needs to hire a fact checker.

    • now I fell dumb about signing that petition.

  • The Middle East Policy of President John Ellis "Jeb" Bush: Iraq, Iran Wars?
    • maybe he would pivot toward pro-American policies if he wins the Primary ?

      Doesn't matter. I'm not happy about it, but I'm resigned to Ms. Rodham winning in the General election.

      Rand Paul / Bernie Sanders supporter

  • Has ISIL/ Daesh killed 50,000 in one Year? Iraq's Horrors by the Numbers
    • Looks to me like this Commission was chartered in 2008,
      but nothing happened until the UN got involved in December, 2014:

      link to

      I hope they look at human rights violations 2003 - 2011 under foreign occupation.
      I personally know of an initiative to conduct this research in 2006, that was squelched by Secretary of State Rice.

      The truth shall set you free.

  • Modest Increase in Iraq Training Mission shows Obama still Uninterested & Maybe he's Right
    • I found the video elsewhere.
      I don't think the US President even knew al-Abadi was there.

    • I thought the Pope was Catholic ?

    • is that why it was blocked ?

    • first,
      Rangers, Army SF (Green Berets) or Navy SF (SEALS) are better suited to these sorts of raids than the 82nd Abn Div (our only Airborne Division.)

      More to the point,
      after a bunch or raids, it is likely that a US soldier is taken captive,
      then beheaded on film.

      That would lead to further escalation.


  • Obama: We don't have a "complete strategy" against ISIL
    • I'm no Obama fan,
      but he's right.

      This is not our fight.
      It is up to Iraqis to push ISIL back.
      It's clear what they need to do -
      work with the folks who live in the areas currently controlled by ISIL -
      and until the gov't of Iraq is wiling to take that crucial step,
      we should wait in the wings.

      If the US was to charge in and lead the fight, we would just create more animosity.

  • By the Time Washington wakes up to China's Eurasian Strategy will it be too Late?
    • For all the failures and shortcomings of the CIA,
      they are still very good at one thing:
      they can get indigenous peoples to undermine foreign occupiers pretty well.

      The transformation of human interaction,
      as facilitated by the explosion of personal communications devices like smart phones,
      can be leveraged to sow even more anarchy.

      While the ethnic Han Chinese are very happy about the global expansion of the Chinese government's influence and soft power almost everywhere around the world,
      the ethnic groups that they expand to govern will, in the future,
      mobilize to resist the conformity as imposed, for example, in Tibet.

      Only then will many Americans recognize the strength that comes from our celebrated diversity,
      when diversity in the Chinese empire becomes its undoing.

    • I find the idea that fast rail movement of high-value manufactured goods from Europe to China will drive a shift away from transport by ship interesting.

      It costs about $1,200 to move a 20 foot ISO shipping container (TEU) from Rotterdam to Shanghai today, and takes about 40 days. That cost will come down as 20,000 TEU ships replace 4,000 TEU ships.

      By fast rail, the time could be cut theoretically to less than a week. But it would cost over $12,000.

      Sea freight will enjoy a significant cost advantage for many years to come.

  • Boston Terrorism suspect Rahim switched from Hate Speech Activist Geller to Police as Target
    • the problem here is that all the evidence I've heard about so far depends on the honesty of the folks who killed him.

  • Going for Broke in Ponzi Scheme America
  • US Air Force Absent as Daesh/ ISIL advances on North Aleppo against Sunni Rebels
    • what ISIL is doing is terrible.
      and US foreign policy unleased this Nakba.
      this is not our fight.

  • Thank you, Edward Snowden: An End to General Warrants as so-called PATRIOT Act expires
    • the courage of Leo J Ryan certainly launched his congressional career onto a new trajectory.
      He was the last courageous congressperson.

  • Why Rand Paul is right to Kill the So-Called PATRIOT Act: It was never about Terrorism
    • Rand Paul: dead man walking.
      When you hear yet another news report about the evils of this guy,
      remember that the source of the story is prob'ly the NSA, regardless of who publishes it.
      Maybe if the NSA turned their attentions to the two major parties' presumptive nominees,
      we would get to see them in the same kind of unflattering light.
      not gonna happen, for reasons I think I can guess.

  • Nasty, New Neighbours: How Close Will Extremists Get To Baghdad?
    • in retrospect,
      the ethnic cleansing of Sunnis from neighborhoods in western Baghdad now looks like early steps that anticipated this Sunni blowback.

      And you say that "many soldiers in the Iraqi armed forces are Shiite Muslims."
      such understatement.
      The officers are prob'ly almost 100% Shi'a,
      and the soldiers are prob'ly over 80% Shi'a.
      The Iraq "national government" is a Shi'a project.
      You don't report this I'm guessin' in hopes that the lopsidedness might change if the facts don't appear in print.
      That doesn't appear to be working out.

  • Why the so-called USA PATRIOT Act can't actually Keep America Safe
    • I don't see anything giving credit where it appears to be due -
      to Ron Wyden and Rand Paul.

  • Iraq: Shiite Militias change Ramadi Campaign to "I'm Here, O Iraq", capture southern reaches
    • Since he is sure that Gitmo is NOT a facility for torturing people,
      but for collecting actionable intelligence,
      I expect Senator Lindsey Graham to prompt President Obama to ask the Iraqi government to turn some of the ISIL captives over to us for custody and debriefing.

  • Did the US DIA see ISIL as a strategic Ally against al-Assad in 2012?
    • This DIA document was written with the knowledge of what the US had done to stand up a (non-Syrian) Mercenary "Free Syrian Army" in Jordan in 2010.

  • Obama Prosecutes another Whistleblower to Senate for "Espionage"
    • I don't disagree that the heavyhanded treatment of government employees who become whistleblowers is a bad thing.
      It is essential to have such insiders to keep the government honest.
      But isn't it historically more typical for outsiders to expose abuses of government positional authority ?
      That seems to be the bailiwick of a functioning free press.
      WaPo now has a link on their front page for an anonymous drop box, hinting they want to return to the ranks of the functioning free press. Sure, they'd love to get stuff from insiders there, too, but potential insiders mostly already have thought about how to spill their beans without getting found out.
      And one thing those insiders know is to NOT go through official channels, or go through the Agency IG, or Agency criminal investigation organizations,
      where the institutional culture and values tell those who work there to “protect the boss” and “go along to get along,” rather than expose and correct wrongdoing.
      And for Heaven's sake, don't tell the GAO, where the culture informs those hard-nosed auditors to pull their punches, lest the agencies they “investigate” stop inviting them back for jet rides.
      There was a time when I would have recommended getting this sort of information that exposes wrongdoing by an Executive Agency to a Congressional staffer.
      But today those staffers are all ferociously partisan and exclusively devoted to tearing down the other Party.
      When I was a young soldier, I served with draftees. Back then, there was plenty of pushback against stupid orders that came down.
      But as the draft went away, so did most of the independent thinking. In 1972, I personally knew about dozen guys who had complained about one thing or another to their Congressman, some admittedly frivilous.
      Today, I can only think of 2 uniformed heroes in the entire DOD who have tried to report war crimes, Manning and Bergdahl.
      This same culture of shielding the boss from accountability is now pervasive throughout the federal government. And the ubiquitous surveillance that exists primarily to protect government institutions, rather than American people or values, exists largely to warn anyone who might be thinking about stepping out of line.
      Now more than ever, we need citizens to sue their government in Federal Courts. Until that branch is compromised by big money, that is our best avenue for protecting the Constitution.

  • Washington asks, "Who lost Ramadi?" But Washington never had Ramadi
    • .
      I am the original author of the "Model Communities" Approach, from whence the "Surge / Anbar Awakening" was bastardized.

      I submitted a proposal to the Occupation Authority in May 2004 to stabilize a dozen or so cities, including ar-Ramadi,
      by supporting the indigenous authentic local leaders of communities to govern their cities and villages with the cooperation of the occupying force,
      but not under the bootheels of it.
      The key concept was the independent authority of these leaders to make the day-to-day decisions of local governance.
      GEN George Casey took a corrupted version my Approach to Amman in November 2005 and asked a council of former Sunni leaders of the country and of al-Anbar,
      and asked if they would agree to ruling Sunni territories with a US Army Commissar at their elbow to approve or disapprove every single decision. They declined the offer.
      The "Anbar Awakening" was P4 cramming that same unworkable plan down the throats of the leaders who stayed in-country. Famously, one tribal leader embraced the Approach, and the Resistance movement (probably an early version of ISIS) killed him.
      This abortion coincided with the ethnic cleansing of Sunni portions of Baghdad, which – after the initial bloodbath – resulted in fewer Iraqi civilian and US military deaths overall.
      Statistically, the “Surge” wasn't even a factor.

  • Why does the Iraqi Army Keep Running Away from ISIL?
    • maybe you meant to say Camp Bucca,
      where those who became the leaders of ISIL were incarcerated.

    • the USA has a serious deficiency in our national capacity to translate national security objectives into specific courses of action.
      Our "National Security Advisor" position has always been filled by political hacks, rather than competent professionals. Ambassador Rice isn't unique in her incompetence.
      What can be accomplished through military force ?
      What are our national interests with regard to who governs Ramadi ?
      What threat does ISIL pose to the USA ?
      (as opposed to the question of "how can the imagined threat posed by ISIL be manipulated for political gain ?")
      ISIL is no threat to me.
      I am in far more danger of being killed by a Motorcycle Club, or even the local police, than in an attack by ISIS.
      But another important issue deserves to be considered:
      the people of Ramadi can act to protect their interests. If they don't want to be under ISIL rule, they can do something about it. Give them time, give them support,
      but don't send US soldiers in.

  • Sharia Law Comes To Walmart, According To Allen West
    • anytime this guy gets a mention,
      somebody needs to remind us that he was forced to retire from the Army after holding a gun to the head of an Iraqi prisoner and threatening to kill him unless the prisoner told him about a suspected ticking time bomb.
      Jack Bauer on steroids.

  • As ISIL takes Ramadi: America's Hydra Problem in the Middle East
    • as long as national politicians feel they have to advocate killing the "other" in order to get reelected,
      the US military will continue to play the role of - not Heracles, but Hydra.
      The only way the USA joins (? rejoins ?) the community of civilized nations is by renouncing terrorism.
      I don't see that happening any time soon.

  • Too Big not to Fail: The US Military's Missions Unaccomplished
    • It is your duty, Bill Astore, to help inform the American public about the realities of which you speak. This piece is certainly a good start.
      But it is the duty of everyone who reads this, a self-selecting group, to spread the truth of our malignant military, any way we can.
      A good starting place would be for everyone who reads this to tell the story of Bowe Bergdahl.
      Find out what really happened (no, he didn't desert,) and tell your neighbors.
      His is the story that Sy Hersh told about a small Vietnamese hamlet in 1970, updated to the context of today's military:
      unconstrained, ignorant of American values, and incapable of victory.

  • Obama greenlights Shell’s Arctic drilling, tarnishing his climate legacy
  • Holy War Hotel: 5-star resort opens for ISIS supporters in Iraq
    • I have some understanding of how the US military mind works.
      I expect this place to be blown to smithereens.
      I think ISIL is jerking Air Force targeters around with this announcement.

  • What Islamic State learned from the mad men of the ad world
    • I challenge the veracity of the assertion that
      "... IS is the wealthiest terrorist group on the planet, worth a purported US$2 billion."
      Looking at organizations around the world that terrorize civilian populations, I can think of one that is engaged in conflicts in dozens of countries, overthrowing governments and sowing anarchy.
      $ 2 Billion wouldn't even cover the cost of operating one of their aircraft carrier strike forces for 6 months.
      People join ISIS as a way to protect their communities from this far larger terrorist group.
      When the USA ends their perpetual wars of imperial conquest and domination,
      then ISIS recruitment will fall off.
      we are still imprisoning and torturing 57 or more guys from Yemen at Gitmo that we declared to be functionally innocent in 2009.
      We still haven't made an accounting of the harm we inflicted in Iraq and elsewhere (see, e.g., Abu Ghrayb.)
      We are still going out to start new wars (see, e.g., Yavoriv.)
      ISIS may not be a good choice for resisting our terrorism machine,
      but what other choices do conscientious young people have, besides prayer and passivity ?

  • US Airstrike in Syria kills 53 Civilians, 6 Children
      The Pentagon says that all persons killed were intentionally targeted, and were enemy fighters.
      "... U.S. Central Command spokesman Maj. Curtis Kellogg said there was no indication that any civilians were killed in the airstrikes ...'
      link to

  • Don’t Be Fooled by Saudi’s Reshuffle
    • the US-trained and US-equipped White Army, the Saudi Arabian National Guard, exists primarily to protect the royal family from the rest of the country.
      This palace guard was deployed to Yemen in March.

      The royal family is sensing a threat to their continued reign.

  • Top 5 Signs of the Decline and Fall of the American Republic
    • Thnx, Tom.
      I am pretty sure you don't mean to suggest that an ISIL-type resistance to this new world order is called for, not at this time.
      But what you've written is a more esoteric version of their manifesto.

  • Iraq: 30,000 Sunnis flee as Shiite Militias, Army, approach Tikrit
    • a few years back,
      I was chided for asserting in these comments that the "Iraqi Army" and "Iraqi National Police" were both about 90% Shi'a. But those estimates turned out to be pretty accurate.
      Has the proportion of Sunnis in these outfits gone up much in the last 4 or so years ?
      I suspect not, but haven't read and recent reports.

  • Jeb Bush on Foreign Policy: Peddling old Iraq Myths Again
    • .
      I think it is a serious error to consider the "State Department" as one big homogenous entity.
      There are several Bureaus, each with its own character and culture.

      Within the Bureau of Management
      (IT and mailroom, for example)
      you can find people who read history.

      But in the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
      (the bureau with the biggest role on the ground in Iraq and in Afghanistan)
      you'd be lucky to find one person who has read an entire comic book in the last year.
      They are almost all DEA retreads.
      Xenophobic, ethnocentric bullies.
      These are the real ambassadors of America to those foreign lands.
      If a local Afghan or Iraqi has an encounter with an actual State Dept employee, it's probably someone from INL.
      Even the Mercenaries they hire to train the police and military are a step up from the Direct Hire department employees.

  • Just when you thought they Couldn't be Worse: ISIL trafficking Human Organs
    • this sounds suspiciously like the false reports in 1990 about Iraqi invaders throwing Kuwaiti neonatal preemies out of incubators.

  • GOP's Scott Walker: Pitches possible Syria War to make us Like Him
    • First,
      that's not my picture.

      I advertised for people to help me on contracts that I bid on to perform non-combatant services in Iraq during the occupation. That was back in 2004 - 2008.
      I am still getting CV's from folks offering their services as PSD (personal security detail.)
      I don't believe there is any shortage of people who are willing to serve as Mercenaries.

    • Spyguy,
      I have not spent any time in what was at the time a recognized combat zone. I respect that you have.
      But I think you misstate the situation, circumstances and results with regard to "quasi-military armed forces" in Iraq.
      I believe, without evidence to back it up, that there were relatively few Mercenary deaths in Iraq.
      I believe, again without data to back myself up, that Mercenaries (ground forces) inflicted far more casualties on innocent Iraqi civilians than uniformed military ground forces.
      And I don't just mean proportionally more. For example, I looked at the activities of Zapata Engineering, a firm hired by the US Army Corps of Engineers to collect and destroy "Captured Enemy Munitions." I believe these "engineers" killed between 180,000 to 200,000 civilians all by themselves. They certainly depopulated dozens, if not hundreds, of communities.
      My concern about this prompted me to propose to the US State Department to organize a study of deaths, injuries and property damage, with locals collecting and analyzing the data. State declined the offer.
      I wanted to show that uniformed military, under the control of NCO's and officers, were far less of a threat to local civilians than Mercenaries. Some day, when the US Government is able to recognize the horror we wrongfully inflicted on Iraq, maybe my vision will be fulfilled.
      DAESH was created by Mercenaries.
      And I believe the Corps of Engineers bears even more responsibility than the US Army Military Policemen who sodomized Kalif al-Baghdadi and his lieutenants with their riot batons.
      War has a way of turning ordinary men into monsters.

    • Is the American electorate really so clueless or chickenshit to fall for this nonsense yet again ?

      I think I know the answer.
      To them, war is, in many ways, like a professional football game.
      That electorate has just as much at stake in a war of choice as the Super Bowl. Bragging rights, and nothing more.

  • War Is the New Normal: Seven Deadly Reasons Why America's Wars Persist
    • In 2007,
      there was a pitiful attempt to sue Don Rumsfeld to stop the employment of Mercenaries in Iraq.
      link to
      While it was a temporary speedbump in the growth of that industry, it had no net effect, over the long term.
      The US Constitution was injured, and that still has not healed.

      I ask that some competent person step up and do a better job of taking this issue through the courts.

  • The Need for New Blood at State Dept.: Obama's Problem with the 'Vision Thing'
    • Dr. Bacevich,
      Why do you give the Obama Team a pass on their collective failure to close Gitmo ?

      There is no aspect of closing it down that poses any significant national security hurdle.
      the Democratic Party fears that actually closing it would help Republicans get elected.
      That's it.
      That's the only thing that's keeping them from following through.
      Closing Gitmo might cost $ 2 Billion, but would save maybe $ 5 Billion, so the problem isn't the monetary cost.
      When this foreign policy team finds a core belief or principle that they can rally around,
      (they might check out the "Declaration of Independence,)
      then the "vision thing" will take care of itself.

  • Yemen Civil War? Masses Rally in Capital & South Secedes
    • Seems to me that even a Houthi govt is better than one imposed by and propped up by a foreign government, as was Hadi and Saleh before him.

      Where do the folks of Hadramaut stand ?

  • Yemen: Freeze on US Drone Strikes as Gov't Collapses
    • isn't the organization that you keep calling a "national army" really a tribal militia, with fancy uniforms and weapons ?

      Sorta like in Iraq ?
      Sorta like in A'stan ?

  • America's Walking Dead: The Perpetual War Machine
  • Obama to GOP: More Iran sanctions lead to War (& 7 other Foreign Policy points in SOTU)
    • US Hegemony, one coin with two sides.
      We can blow up anyone who resists our domination, or threaten to,
      the military side,
      or we can explain to them how resistance, which is futile, will lead to their ruination --
      the diplomacy side.

      here we are in the 21st century,
      and we as a nation still cannot treat other nations as deserving of respect.

      And the funny thing is,
      it ain't us 99%'ers who are deriving the benefits of hegemony,
      but the 1%'ers have us conditioned to believe that their exploitation of the 99%'ers in other lands is somehow to our benefit.

    • spy guy,
      you presume that this President has "core beliefs" other than getting Democrats elected.

      Links, plz.

  • Obama wants new Mil. Authority, but Special Ops already on Missions in 105 Countries in 2015
    • Hey, Nick Turse,
      thnx 4 mentioning my old unit, 5/19 SF.

      But to get a fuller picture of SOF global saturation, google "MV cragside."

  • It is Failed State in Yemen that permitted al-Qaeda to Train Paris Terrorists
    • for context,
      I think the USA -- military + CIA --
      has already spent over $ 5 Billion on drone surveillance and drone bombing in Yemen,
      since 2003,
      and spent over $ 1 Billion imprisoning and torturing at Gitmo
      Yemenis we know to be functionally innocent.

    • for about $ 20 Billion,
      the USA could deliver 250,000 small renewable (solar / wind / battery) power systems,
      about 1 system for every 100 residents,
      across rural Yemen.

      this would have 2 profound effects:
      *** empowering small microenterprise development; and
      *** making people aware of their situation, interconnectedness, etc.

      the Yemeni mindset is wallowing in self-pity, thus the prevalence of narcotic abuse.
      this self-pity is how the AQAP movement took root.
      It's how the Houthi movement exploded.

      But if we do this,
      it must be led, organized and controlled by locals.
      Keep the DAI / Chemonics / RTI carpetbaggers out of it.

  • Paris Terrorist was Radicalized by Bush's Iraq War, Abu Ghraib Torture
    • It is still important to note that most of the harm inflicted on Iraqi civilians was done by Mercenaries.
      The majority of murders by Mercenaries, in turn, was mostly by those quasi-military armed forces under contract to the US Army Corps of Engineers,
      but also included those like Blackwater that were under contract to the State Department and the Occupation Authority,

      Those Rules of Engagement that Chickenhawks complained about,
      standing orders that prohibited abuse of civilians (ROE still allowed soldiers to use lethal force when needed to fight armed opponents,)
      were instrumental in helping NCO's and Officers of our uniformed military to keep soldiers from committing war crimes.
      Nobody thought to constrain the Dogs of War.
      It was these Mercenaries that lost the war by turning the civilians against us.

  • MSM ignores Bombing of Colorado Springs NAACP by White Terrorist
    • "Denver" and "Colorado Springs" are 60 or 70 miles apart. This incident occurred in Zip Code 80903.

  • Ten Things You Should Know About Selma Before You See Oprah's Film
    • Haven't seen the film,
      but I hope it portrays the enablers of institutional racism -
      the "good Germans," as I call them -
      as ordinary folk, just trying to live their lives the best they can, without stirrin' up no trouble.
      They are still with us, alas.
      They are the ones saying that we should put the torture debate, and the drone killing debate, behind us,
      because the folks in government are doing these things to protect us and our way of life, and,
      by the way,
      the 10,000 fighters of ISIL are a greater threat to us than
      12,000 nuclear weapons and 2 million Warsaw Pact soldiers ever were to us during the Cold War.

      Good Germans.
      Accusing me of putting the rights of "terrorists" ahead of protecting Americans.

      Though I ridicule them, I'm not so different from them.
      It wouldn't have taken much as I grew up,
      maybe a different coach or different teacher or different best friend,
      and I could easily have grown up into one of them.
      Maybe I did, a little.

  • Iraq Faces Women's Crisis: 1 Mn. Widows, Extremist Captives, Child Brides
    • until polygamy is outlawed, maybe it could serve as a partial solution to the matter of 1 Million widows,
      presumably half of them widowed by the US invasion and brutalization ?

  • President Obama's Biggest Mideast Policy Challenges, 2015
    • Maybe in his last 2 years Mr. Obama can turn USAID into an aid and development agency. It's been a covert intelligence agency under Rajiv Shah.

      Maybe instead of spending aid money on giving arms and ammo to "partners" we hope have our best interests at heart,
      we could send small ($80,000 a copy) renewable power stations to the hinterlands of A'stan, P'stan, Yemen, all those fragile / failed states we have been bombing to smithereens.
      $ 1 Billion would deliver 10,000 of them to hamlets that currently have no electrical current.
      Getting electrical power will revolutionize people's lives.
      Folks will turn to more productive areas of endeavor.

      Better yet,
      set up a local enterprise to build and distribute these solar / wind / battery storage power units.

      America's real power in the world isn't our ability to kill and destroy; it's what we can do to empower others to make better lives for their families.

  • Iraq: Yezidis return home to find Mass Graves, Daesh/ISIL Massacres
    • you mean,
      like we hunted the members of the Bush Administration for far greater crimes,
      against almost the same people ?

  • GOP Figures used racist Ape imagery for Obama before North Korea did
    • I have a pretty clear recollection of war propaganda material left over from WW II that my Dad had saved,
      depicting "Nips" as monkeys.
      The Japanese, in turn, did not appear to show respect for the humanity of the many peoples they conquered in the 20th Century, including the grandparents of people living in North Korea today. Japanese soldiers referred to the occupied as being sub-human and animals, though generally calling them species less advanced than primates.
      The Nazis seemed to think they were a super race, so that everyone else was less human than them.

      Dr. Cole,
      this referring to others as subhuman has been going on for a long time.

      And the fact that you had to stretch so far to find GOP bad guys to tie this to, maybe that suggests the link is weak.
      As for your cites,
      Rumsfeld was saying the Prez was LESS than a monkey.
      Beck was attacking Stern, not the Prez.
      The County official in Cali, that's a solid example.

      There's enough real racism in the world that you don't need to make any up.

  • Baathist Riposte: How the Regime Came back in the Syrian Civil War in 2014
    • Dr. Cole,
      it is my sense that the US Army and USMC did pretty well in Iraq at the tactical level, in alleyways at a micro level. Small US combat units almost always prevailed.

      Sure, we lost, and Ambassador Crocker signed a surrender contract as the rep of Prez GW Bush on 18 Dec 2008.
      I chalk that up to two fatal errors:
      *** employing Mercenaries, which forever turned the Iraqi people against us (regardless of how many puppets we were paying off;) and
      *** surprisingly incompetent leadership, from the Brigades all the way up to the CINC. Our Army has managed, since around 2002, to "ethnically cleanse" competence completely out of the General officer's corps.
      Don't believe Tom Ricks' assessment; he's a fan-boy of silver-tongued brown-nosers.

    • Mark,
      the taint of possible CIA influence can cause fighters to not affiliate or associate with a fighting force, an administrative body or an umbrella organization, or cause them to leave such an organization if they already belong.

      Some fighters joined a CIA-organized group, unaware of who put it together and funded it.
      When they were told rumors of the provenance, rather than wait to find out if the rumors were true, they simply abandoned that original group and joined one they thought had more authentic credentials.

      You can guess who I think is a CIA-backed group.
      That must come up from time to time on the Landis site.

    • I disagree, Steerpike.

      For some parties,
      prolonging the civil war is the preferred result.

      The USA has pursued just such a course in other situations, even going as far as to arm both sides of a conflict so as to wear down both sides.

      Such a course is terrible for the civilian population, but their welfare may not concern the folks that work to keep this conflict churning.

  • The *Other* Torture Report: What the USA looks like to the World
    • the two "Gitmo Czars" each have a copy of the "Dat dazh deet Deradicalization / Rehab Program," a straightforward approach to closing the place down.

      If this President wanted to shut it down, it could be done.

  • How Uncle Sam's Reputation became Icky (Political Cartoon)
    • I guess technically its not feeding.
      People don't get nutrition in their colon.

      To be more accurate, it is a form of sodomy. Rape.

  • Americans' Personal Freedom falls to 21 in World
    • here in the
      "Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave,"
      we have given up a lot more ground on that second point than on the first.

      America has turned into a mushbowl of cowards,
      looking to the likes of Lindsay Graham to protect us from Muslim "terrorists" in the closet and under our beds.

  • Oil Price Fall: Saudi Arabia targets US Shale Oil, Iran, Iraq, Russia
    • recently, the ex-wife of a top exec in the electricity industry complained that her $ 1 Billion divorce settlement wasn't fair,
      that she was worth much more.
      The 1%'ers are going to accidentally trigger a backlash among the doped up masses,
      who will then launch Occupy-style attacks on coal fired plants, and the associated T&D systems.

      the future of electricity in the USA is small, local generation.

  • As SecDef Hagel Exits, an Iraq Daesh/ISIL Scorecard
    • I don't see a Republican Senate confirming Fluornoy.
      What has she accomplished ?
      As opposed to, "what jobs has she held ?"

      me, I'd like to see another enlisted combat vet nominated.

    • I suspect that, having seen war close up and personal like, Chuck Hagel has been opposing escalation and new wars at every turn.
      I suspect that, in every meeting with the President,
      as Marty Dempsey says "four more wars,"
      Chuck keeps asking, "yeaah, but what vital US interest is at stake."
      Bush III believes that being a "war president" will save his legacy. Hagel asks, "at what cost ?"
      by the way, Hagel was brilliant in his Senate confirmation hearing. War mongers wanted him to lie and say the 2007 "troop surge" won the war.
      He wasn't cowed.

  • Why Israel Opposes a Final Nuclear Deal with Iran and What to Do About It
    • two of the author's assertions are contrary to my long-held beliefs. One of us is wrong.

      he says that the arms that the USA (American arms manufacturers, that is) have sold to KSA, Kuwait, and the rest of the GCC are useless without the threat of a Persian Nuke.
      Seems to me they could still have some utility in keeping the people of those "countries" from replacing their kings and princes with a more representative government. Preventing revolution.

      I always thought that the DoD's Office of Net Assessment existed primarily as a platform from which committed Zionists could try to influence DoD thinking in favor of Zionism.
      Don't get me wrong: I don't think that people shouldn't be able to advocate for Zionism,or Catholicism, or even devil worship.
      I just don't like that being a part of official DoD policy.
      This author suggests that ONA can sometimes act independent of Zionist influence. I'm sure he believes it; I just don't think its true.

      As for the leadership at ONA being geniuses, pleas evaluate them based on performance, rather than hype.

  • When will US admit Boots on Ground in Iraq (3000 Troops)?
    • My opinion only,
      but I don't think corruption necessarily makes an army ineffective.
      The most corrupt military in the world today is also the most effective.
      The US DoD exists primarily to enrich the already wealthy. National defense is an afterthought.
      And yet, ISIL treasures the fact that we are declaring war on them, because that puts them in the big leagues, ahead of even China or Russia as a military threat.

  • The Pressure to Escalate: How Washington governs by Whipping up Paranoia
    • the solution is so obvious.

      the way to stop global warming is to stop the flow of oil to industrial countries (and non industrialized countries, too.)

      let's trick ISIL into taking over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

      the folks there wouldn't have any less freedom.

  • Obama and David Brooks's Manhood Problem
    • I think we have been very successful in making people around the world fear us. but I agree with the rest.

    • In February 1945, Yalta was part of Russia. All of Crimea was part of Russia.
      In 1954, a Ukrainian (ethnic Russian) was BMOC in the CCCP, Khruschev, and he generously bequeathed Crimea to Ukraine.
      under Yalta rules, shouldn't Crimea be Russian ?

      Anyone here ever hear of the US partitioning Yugoslavia and giving Macedonia and Kossovo to non-Serbs ? Partitioning Sudan and giving Juba to non-Arabs ? Splitting off Timor L'este and giving it to non-Indonesians ? Liberating East Germany and Poland and giving them to pro-US agents ?
      The USA has never felt constrained by Yalta rules with regard to setting up friendly client states.

    • now Obama is on SEAL Team 6 (DevGru ?)

  • The FBI's Facial Recognition Database Combines Lo-Res Photos With Zero Civil Liberties Considerations
    • is there some kind of opportunity here for a budding entrepreneur ?
      Maybe an appliance / mask that can be donned while on the subway that alters the measurements enough to conceal one's movements ?

  • Top 6 Pulitzer Prize "Traitors" in American Journalism
    • I had regarded Bennett as something of a hero, for other positions he took, unrelated to his gambling addiction.
      I didn't know this about him. He isn't the committed American (Constitutionalist) I thought he was.

  • US Press once again Declines to Call White Terrorism in Kansas, Nevada, White Terrorism
    • some of that has to do not so much with the provision of health services but the provision of abortions.
      textbook terrorism, nonetheless.

    • mind-expanding perspective. Thanks. I didn't know this BLM backstory.
      I had heard the angle about Nevada partisan politics, which may be covered at Kos.

  • Uncle Sam's Eternal Gua-Gulag: US Continues to Imprison Dozens of Yemenis Cleared or Never Charged
    • Two points I’d like to make:

      President Obama believes that he is powerless to send Gitmo Detainees elsewhere, wholesale. He will never close the place down.
      In April, 2009, 3 months after his advisor Greg Craig had persuaded Obama to announce closure of Gitmo within 1 year, his Chief of Staff Emmanuel told him not to, or he would not get reelected.
      The calculation is that one of the “Cleared for Release” Prisoners could, after release, commit some sort of crime. If that happened, any politician who didn’t do all he could to keep the guy locked up, even though he is technically functionally innocent, would be punished by voters in the next election.
      If Obama was to approve a mass release or resettlement or repatriation, and if any one of those released did something wrong, then his party would be held accountable and lose elections for one or more cycles. To some politicians, that’s a bigger deal than following the rule of law.
      The Detainees’ best hope for release is for Rand Paul to be elected President. He at least supports the Constitution and the rule of law. Not likely to happen.

      2. GUANTANAMO CZARS at DOD and State already have a plan of action for Closure
      Special Envoys Sloan and Lewis have a plan that will allow the complete closure of the place, if that was what the administration wanted. It’s called the Dat-dazh-deet deradicalization program, in some circles.
      Why not execute it ? See Point #1.
      They are still free to resettle prisoners case-by-case to allies, in exchange for one type of aid or another. Palau, for example, got a $ 200 Million + facility through the IMF in exchange for agreeing to “temporarily resettle” 17 Uighurs (they eventually took in 7.) Bermuda and El Salvador got about half that much per prisoner to take in 4 and 2, respectively.
      It’s thought that Albania takes them in at cost, as did Algeria.
      But there will be no mass transfer.

  • If Jesus had a wife, would it change the GOP War on Women?
    • who discovered that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality or abortion ?
      citation ?
      perhaps you meant that there is no record that you have read showing that he discussed these things.
      I recall reading something about suffering the little children.
      But as for the rest of your screed,
      as a conservative,
      it is hard for me to reconcile claims of many GOP politicians to being Christian adherents with what they actually say and do.
      Under such leadership, USA has veered as far away from God as the people in the Old Testament ever did.

    • thnx 4 posting that.
      I didn't see the point in interjecting facts into this spiral off into partisan demagoguery,
      but after reading your post I see you are right to state this.

  • Torture is from Mars? CIA's Hayden Says Sen. Feinstein Too "Emotional" To Judge CIA Torture
    • Actually, Hayden has a point.

      If that report is accusing him, Tenet, Goss, and all those others who approved and directed the un-American torture programs of doing what they clearly did,
      they should have been given an opportunity to respond to the accusations.
      He seems to be saying that the committee never gave them that chance.

  • Is Rand Paul right that Cheney invaded Iraq for Halliburton Profits?
    • interesting, reading thru the comments.

      Few posting here, including the site owner, seem to understand the differences between "conservative," GOP, "right wing," Tea Party, neo-con or libertarian.

      Me, I'm not smart enuf to pigeon-hole Senator Paul in one of these Kant boxes, but I can see what the authentic conservative take is on vanity wars -- don't start 'em.

      Here, Paul is talking conservative.
      Bashing Cheney is what conservatives would do in this context.
      Bashing Cheney in this way is not a particularly "progressive" or leftist or communist or socialist response; it is a human response.

    • 2 requirements for the job:
      male; and

      don't even have to be an ordained priest, technically.

  • Top 7 Surprising pieces of Good news in Afghanistan Presidential Election
    • .
      I am under the impression that there are tens of thousands of foreign troops in Afghanistan.
      I understand that the country is under foreign occupation.
      If that's accurate,
      much of what you celebrate is just not so.

  • Top 5 Things wrong with US AID Social Media Plot Against Cuba
    • If USAID wants to improve the living conditions in Yemen,
      while vastly improving US national security,
      they ought to take custody of the functionally innocent Yemenis at Guantanamo and repatriate them home.

      If the Pentagon won't turn them over,
      USAID ought to hire a contractor to invade Gitmo and remove them.

    • .
      A main reason for the extravagant funding of the Defense Department is to transfer money from the public purse to what are euphemistically referred to as defense contractors.

      USAID and Dr. Shah see one of USAID's primary missions to be transferring funds to a dozen "implementing partners" that provide generous post-retirement employment to senior USAID retirees.

      USAID's smaller programs in countries that have not been selected for American occupation are often helpful to the natives.
      But there hasn't been one USAID program in Iraq, Yemen or Afghanistan after we invaded (yes, the US is in Yemen) that benefited locals more than it benefited the contractors.
      And that's OK with the American public, for the most part.

    • I find your faith in the Democratic Party touching.
      Irrational, but quaint.
      It is no better than the GOP.

  • Nancy Pelosi Admits That Congress Is Frightened of The CIA
    • .
      If the Obama Administration is so afraid of Bush's Generals that it took Stan McChrystal openly ridiculing the Prez before anyone would call him to heel,
      and the military is supposed to be under the direct control of the Chain of Command whose pictures are posted up on the wall of the Orderly Room,

      What chance is there that a Donilon or Rice or McDonough is going to call a CIA Director in on the carpet ?
      And without a functioning Congress,
      what chance that career CIA-types are going to care what political appointees tell them to do ?

      Speaking as a minnow,
      I'm taking some comfort that the big fish are getting caught and fried.

  • Has the US lost Iraq to Iran over Arms Deal?
    • uninformed comment:
      looks to me like a negotiating tactic,
      to pressure the US to provide more weapons, faster, at lower cost.

  • What Ukraine Means to the U.S. 1% and to the 99% (Editorial Cartoon)
    • Isn't the top leadership of the Democratic Party also part of the 1% ?
      And the "left-wing media," if there is such a thing ?

      their feelings might be hurt by you leaving them out of the 1%.

  • Kerry on Invading other Countries on a Trumped Up Pretext (Editorial Cartoon)
    • the first US war in Afghanistan,
      October 2001 - January 2003,
      was supposed to be a limited strike to get the guys who plotted the 9/11 attacks.
      At least that was the plausible cover story.


      But yer right about the 2nd US war in Afghanistan,
      circa 2006 - present.

  • A New Crimean War? (Update: Stuff's Getting Real)
    • .
      poor, poor CIA.
      for all the effort expended in Ukraine,
      nary a mention by Dr. Cole.

  • The Real Scientists: CO2 higher than in past 800,000 Years & World is Getting Hot!
    • youse guys and yer tryin' to blame "global warming" on us humans,
      and insinuatin' that this problem started with Dick Chaney,
      that's a losin' strategy.

      Just explain that global warming, though human-caused, is as natural as the seasons.
      It didn't start in the last couple decades, its been goin' on since 1820.

      When you take the finger-pointing and blame out of it,
      and unemotionally describe it as a monster from another planet that doesn't care if its your fault,
      and its gonna kill you and eat you regardless of your political leanings,
      then even rednecks can get behind combatting it.

  • Who Favors Discrimination against Gay Newlyweds? Most Republicans, old People, Southerners, Evangelicals
  • A World Multiply Endangered: Horseman of the Four Apocalypses
    • Um,
      1,000 years ago,
      almost everyone on Earth faced a near-daily prospect of starvation, or getting killed by a disgruntled neighbor.
      What we deal with is far easier.

  • Obama Plans for complete US Withdrawal from Afghanistan in December
    • Another question:
      Is there really such a thing as an "Afghan National Army ?"

      The organization that goes by that name today is almost completely run by folks from the Northern Alliance.

      Pashtuns get to participate at the lowest levels.

  • 4 Darknesses: Internet being Manipulated, Deceived by Western Intel Trolls
    • .
      "Conservatives who mind paying taxes so much don’t seem to mind paying taxes to support psychopaths and sadists who are employed by the government to undermine civil society."

      Where did that come from ?
      I'm conservative.
      I'm a Constitutionalist.
      I don't want this or any other Administration's invisible government, over which there is no real civilian oversight, prying into my affairs, or messing with my reputation.

      But I seem to recall one major party who DOES believe that is a legit role of the federal government to interfere deeply in my life.
      And I don't think anyone would consider that major party to be "conservative."

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