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Total number of comments: 706 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)


Showing comments 706 - 701

  • 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 ?

  • 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.

    • Page: 7
  • 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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