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JTMcPhee

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  • Top 7 Ways Assassination Fails USA as Policy
    • So are the effects of "HVT targeting" highlighted here to be taken as bugs, or as features of the program as written? Gee, I wonder... And do the architects fear, even a tiny bit, that the little mice might penetrate the armor of the Empire and maybe "take out" or "neutralize" a few HVTs here in the Homeland? How much of the "security" budget goes to protecting the ass(et)s of our Brave Courageous Droning Leaders?

      At least Obama and his crowd are back to making the Caribbean's largest island once again subject to the Monroe Doctrine, as occasionally amended and reinforced by the Marines, and hence simplifying the stages of Regime Change as practiced in places like Ukraine, and also hence safe once again for overt "American investment," getting the Mob back into Habana, and making more "Offshore Opportunities" for the oligarchy?

      At least we won't now have to fear the Dirty Commies doing Lateral Drilling through hundreds of miles of rock into OUR GULF OF MEXICO OIL! That's BP's and ExxonMobil's job! Got the Oil Weapon safely back in Imperial hands! link to freedomsback.com

      Gotta keep asking, what is/are the goal(s) of the Game? What's the endpoint? OurRulers (TM) goto Lima and recursively emit a flinty, nasty little puff of methane/CO2 flatulence, making "legal" the continued combustion of the planet... Stability? Sustainability? Boooolsheeet...

  • The Banality of Terrorism: Sydney's other Hostage Crisis, of 1984
    • Heard the same thinking from some guy named Richard Sorry Excuse For A Human Cheney, as I recall, not so very long ago...

  • 3 Ways the Mainstream Media let the Gov't off the Hook on Torture
    • Just curious: Barring some medical miracle, Dick(less) Cheney, he who had other priorities to military service, link to answers.yahoo.com.;_ylu=X3oDMTByaDNhc2JxBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDMQRjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkAw--?qid=20140405104914AAk3hYN , who did all kinds of such other stuff as would require a John Yoo and that creature, Scalia, to come up with a tortured reading of the Fundamental Documents that Cheney took several oaths to support and defend that would let that monster off the hook for all that "past and present and future stuff" he apparently happily "stands for" (sic), barring that miracle I am sure he hopes for so he can keep on representing and fulminating and advancing the evil that men do in this world, he is going to die, maybe fairly soon.

      My curiosity is this: Given all that, is that monster, who apparently is also very typical of too many of us humans, going to be accorded and afforded a full military honors funeral, to lie, lie, lie in state in one of our Great Halls, and be maybe buried in one of our National Cemeteries, among the rotting corpses and ashes of service people who stood their duty and their watches, and got killed for their trouble and loyalty and whatever other motives brought them in and brought them down, in wars of choice that Cheney and his coven rained down on us and the other ordinary people in this sad world?

      Or will he be planted anonymously at midnight, in the center of some out of the way crossroad, with a stake through his jump-the-queue very own new from some other generous soul that surprise, he doesn't think about very much, heart? link to news.yahoo.com.;_ylu=X3oDMTByc25qcnVyBHNlYwNzcgRwb3MDNARjb2xvA2dxMQR2dGlkAw--

  • Daesh/ ISIL Twitter Propagandist unmasked as Bangalore Internet Executive
    • Hmmm... Will it next turn out that Shami is a false flag waver from this, that or the other batch of sneaky-petes who are maybe a little worried about job security as maybe there's an increase in the ire of a growing number of ordinary people "sick of sin" start looking for something better, more lasting, than kleptocratic Imperialism? Likely we ordinary people are left only with classifiedredacted hyper speculation, but also with the sour recollection that the spooks and jackals and creatures of the Koch persuasion have done it and done it and done to us before, and are still stripping and whipping and bleeding us at this very moment... Let's not forget the attack on Castro's beard, and our own Red Squads, and the undercover CHiPs dudes who got their 15 minutes of fame while trying to foment looting in a mass protest against Vicious Policing, just yesterday...

  • Top 5 Planks of 2016 GOP Platform? Torture, War, Bank Corruption, Paid-For Elections
    • Maybe a majority of Americans WHO VOTE will. Gotta love the faux legitimacy we idiot subjects of the Empire give to our rulers by "electing" them and giving them the ability to argue that they have a "mandate" to screw us and the rest of the planet...

  • Part-Time Work: Shiite Militias Defending Baghdad involved in Burglaries, Kidnappings?
    • Speaking of myths of Exceptionality, there's all that stuff about the White Hat Cowboys that has spewed out of Hollywood, slopping over into other faux morality tales about Heroic Americans in War and Peace. To show that Hordism is more of a universal, including the behaviors of "militias" as described above, doing a little side-job kidnapping and extortion and ethnic cleansing, here's a little multi-page vignette from the history of our own Manifest Destiny go-west-young-man-and-steal-all-you-can history: "The Complete List of Old West Vigilantes and Regulators," link to legendsofamerica.com.

      Ordinary people, just trying to live simple decent lives, don't stand much of a chance against GUNmen and greed-heads, and when they try to "take arms against a sea of troubles," and find the temptations and opportunities to abuse the power, and temporary "legitimacy," that organized GUNnery provides, to be too strong for more noble impulses -- especially if life and family are precarious because of all the sh_t that "national interests" dumps in their neighborhoods...

      Remember that the "militia" types, often using funds derived from our Grand Coalition via one black idiotic channel or another (see, e.g., "the Surges,") provided desperately needed income to not-insurgent Sunnis and Shi'as dispossessed by our very own war criminals -- neighbors got paid piecework wages to go out into the night to plant improvised explosive devices, often made from US-manufactured munitions gifted by "geopoliticians" to Saddam and outfits like the Northern Alliance, where our Brave American Troops We Support would pass over them...

  • Psychologists, who Took $81 mn. to Advise, Practice Torture, betrayed the Profession
    • Is it worse or better, in the long haul, to highlight some pretty clear proof that pretty much none of us "have better natures," or
      "are better than that?" That altruism is rooted in gang-mentality self-interest and just part of the set of lovely behaviors that reside in the ugliest corners of our lizard-brain and limbic systems? I used to argue with the head of the History Department back in college; he believed that an honest historian had a duty to demolish all the patently false myths of our Exceptional Empire, while it seemed to me that trashing the myths left damn-all little between us and the Horde behaviors and organization we pretend to deplore while maybe in our heart of hearts (are you listening, Pat Robertson and Tedd "That boy just carried my bags" Haggard and Reed and Hagee and all you other Hypocritical Opportunists out there) we are what we actually seem to be,. on the actual factual record, that is?

  • Why the Founding Fathers thought banning Torture Foundational to the US Constitution
    • Worth discussing. Not so sure that the entire history right up to the Emancipation Proclamation and Jim Crow and the Civil Rights Act don't show pretty clearly that the federal government, attempting to retain a "union" and further the mercantile interests of the kind of people who "framed the Constitution" for us, also set the frame for the legal space that slavery lived in. See e.g., Dred Scott decision: link to ushistory.org .Slaves were "not really human," were not part of the "Sovereign people," and had no legal rights -- the only "contracts" I can think of (leaving out indentures) were the sales contracts between slave owners and sellers. As to judicial torture, the federal frame allowed this stuff: link to en.wikipedia.org Small point, in a world full of so many horrors and cruelties...

    • Have you been watching the news that has been highlighting how American policemen approach their work these days? link to mashable.com , and stuff like this, link to en.wikipedia.org, and in case anyone forgets the nature of "corruption" and the so very obvious "moral hazards" and miserable behaviors that characterize our species, here's a kind of Hangman's History of Chicago, which is hardly alone in the reality of how "rule of law" works in a "democracy:" link to en.wikipedia.org Check out the kind of policing done over all those generations, including the "Summerdale Scandal."

      "Policeman of the world?" Gets into all kinds of categorical and definitional issues, doesn't it?

    • "full agreement," Joe is in, except for all the exceptional exceptions and a relatively dense recapitulation of all those idiot Talking Points and dissimulations that are the "defense" put up by a bunch of a__holes that succeeded only in proving, again, that "the purpose of torture is torture," and that as far as "gaining valuable intelligence," well, gee, "no such thing ever happened!" Nice subtle pitch, though...

      Yeah. "most would agree," some say at least, that there's the "exigiency" excuse for all this abuse, an excuse (sic) or "defense" that exists only by reference to convenient, inventive, hypothetical horribles. Is there such a defense to the charges of Traitorism from the releasing, with explication of what it all means, where it's sited, and where it appears to be going, of Secret Embarrassing Cables and other evidentiary materials resulting from the maybe inevitable (given human nature) amassing of Dark Power by our own shameless cowardly Dark Tower Panopticonians?

      And would I mistake that Joe also takes the position that since there's this self-declared GWOT a'runnin', that everywhere and everywhen and everyone is on, in, under, around, beside, and included willy-nilly, forever, in that Grand Global Interoperabbabbbleable Nutwork-Centric Battlefieldspace, right? So everyhow provides all the everywhy that's needed, and everything is all Legal and Wise... What ever happened to that idiot phrase, "unYooful Enima Combatants?" Waiting for the Riots, post-redacted-tiny-summary-of-Organized-Incompetent-Imperial-Badness release of 0.007 percent of an indicated 6.5 million "pages"... Not that more "blowback" has not likely been Idiotically and maybe intentionally inflated, waiting for the other kind of release...

    • Dare one say it? Lest we forget, even the Heartland understands that “The purpose of torture is torture,” simply that: “The Purpose Of Torture Is Torture:
      Blowing up the ticking bomb myth,” link to boiseweekly.com

      But Jack Bauer is such a Righteous Dude…

  • Climate Change and Yemen's Agony
    • What a wonderful word, "corruption." Covers so many many behaviors and defects. A diagnosis that pretty much applies to the whole "developed" part of the humanosphere too... The disease processes and prognosis are well known and understood. Too bad that, as with the increasing numbers of pathogens and parasites that have wised up to how to defeat, ignore and avoid antibiotics and pesticides, what passes for homeostasis and the normal functioning of the social immune system, that chimaerical "rule of law" thingie and its parts, is overwhelmed by the proliferation of self-created "niches" and metabolic pathways for the worst of us to eat and get ever fatter on the lives and futures of the rest of us... No wonder that the theme of the "Alien" franchise draws so much attention. Poor old Ripley, resurrected again and again to bear yet another murderous, ravenous, "potentially profitable" child... link to en.wikipedia.org And since the money economy and "consumptive capitalism" are mostly about predation and parasitism, a little educational tale about the virtues of symbiosis and comity is free for the reading at link to goodreads.com (originally titled "A Sense of Obligation," a title that wold sell fewer books than "Planet of the Damned." Medvirk and umedvirk -- interesting concepts...)

    • One can bet that our Great Imperial Thingie is, on the one hand, indifferent to the miseries of which what's highlighted in Dr. Cole's post is a present manifestation and also harbinger, and on the other, preparing to take full financial and klepto-capitalist advantage of same. The planning and practice for our Grand Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace Juggernaut to have its "I'm in charge here" moment is well advanced. link to nationaldefensemagazine.org The thinkers note that these changes will most likely happen "fairly suddenly," and anyone familiar with Pentagram Practices care to share how agile-ly the Juggernaucracy can "respond," through its processes and massively top-heavy and self-interested "chains of command?"

      And should the rest of us gloat that Murphy is indubitably on the case, ensuring more endless FUBARs in the Big End-Game Operation? Or sorrow that all that wealth and effort and actual intelligence of the IQ kind that could avert or at least ameliorate so much of what's coming, by "conservation" and renewable-ization and such silliness, will instead go to "better weapons" and more integrated stripping of the planet, starting with the Pentagon's vastly hypocritical "wish" that privatizing and combusting and extracting "Arctic resources" will be "conflict-free," link to scmp.com, while "of course" preparing to assert Imperial sovereignty over pretty much all of it (Harper's Canada being much of a muchness with "Imperial interests"): link to forums.canadiancontent.net As to the Inuit, "How many (military) divisions do they have?" link to ukresearchpapers.topscorepapers.com

      "Restore security?" Reminds me of something I learned in another life, decades ago: "RE-habilitation" is a meaningless buzz term in the area of criminal corrections -- most of the bad ones were never "habilitated" in the first instance...

      As to ordinary people in places like Yemen and Iraq and Syria and Bangladesh and the Far Arctic and those disappearing Pacific Islands: Like the alien, that Imperial trooper that's so much like us in our eat-it-all collective behaviors that we rightly fear it, said to the President, in that little scene in "Independence Day," in response to the Prez's question, "What is it you want us to do?": "We want you to die... die..." link to youtube.com

  • GOP Squirms at Release of CIA Torture Report, warns of "Violence" (So why did they Torture?)
    • Interesting notion, that Obama is "boss of the CIA." Maybe on the redacted, de-classified version of the grand organizational chart, the one that omits all the dashed and gray lines of linkage and authority, but is there any proof that "Obama" can actually control the direction and speed of the state security/"intelligence" juggernaut? Or that he wants to, even if he could?

      Oops, need to remember that us wishful, wistful believers in Hope and Change need always to Look Forward, Not Back -- isn't that what our President exhorted us? link to nytimes.com

      Let us enjoy our little Prague Spring/Let A Hundred Flowers Blossom moment here in netspace...

  • Israeli Forces arrest 8-year-old Palestinian in East Jerusalem (They arrest 2 Children a day on Average)
  • Over 100 ISIL/Daesh Fighters Killed in US Airstrikes in Iraq; Attack on Syria Base Repelled
    • Woohoo! The Cowboys are winning! Hooray for Our Side and the Empire!

      Other stuff we don't read or hear much about is the complex internecine violence, armed by cynical people who profit from selling the means of violence in places like Syria and so many others. Or little roach-illuminating flashes in the great dark cupboards of the world, like this tidbit to remind anyone with any outrage left of How Things Really Work; "Leaked audio shows Egypt's coup leaders as criminal syndicate,"
      link to counterpunch.org . Quelle surprise, as Yves Smith of Naked Capitalism would say, as she offers up all those proofs of the power realities invisible behind Narrative smoke and PR noise...

      And yet the Empire still delivers "aid" to these "democracies" ...

  • Iran: Rise In Youth just living together -- Gov't rails Against 'White Marriage'
    • "White" because on paper, only? One discussion: link to library.cornell.edu Interesting, all the different ways humans work out their coupling...

      Then there's this curious little entry: "Iran moves to legalize marriage for girls under 10 years old," link to digitaljournal.com

      Dirty old men everywhere, take note... a reason to love one facet of "Sharia law..." At least if the reportage is reporting honestly...

  • Iraq Fail: Shiite Gov't asks Sunni tribe to fight ISIL, but Sentences Politician from Tribe to Death
    • ...kind of like the Empire getting po' white folks and all those persons of African-American persuasion, who get such "justice" from our police, prosecutors and legislators, to "sign up, get great training, go to exotic lands, meet interesting people, and KILL THEM!" And come home to homelessness, insanity and piss-poor after-action, post-traumatic-amputation-brain-injury-stress-disorder, with cops happy to shoot you if you cross some invisible barrier of insufficient supineness or perceived "being a threatism." And still the Empire expects you to 'do your duty to God and your THE country," owned by Big Others... and we Muricans don't even got tribes to fall back on and stand up for us, so much, so far at least: link to militianews.com , and link to democracynow.org.

      Of course, when it comes to training and then Droning, ain't no need to even be in the military (contractors get paid better anyway, link to huffingtonpost.com -- can these jobs be outsourced to "wogs" in, say, Pakistan?, and of course "Predator Military Contractors: Privatizing the Drones," link to huffingtonpost.com), or go far from Omaha or Las Vegas, link to theguardian.com, to do their patriotic duty as part of the Imperial Drulag...
      "Where the Drones Are: Mapping the launch pads for Obama's secret wars, link to foreignpolicy.com .

      And the drone-killing has been so very successful, hasn't it? "A "Precise" U.S. Drone War? Report Says 28 Unidentified Victims Killed for Every 1 Target," link to democracynow.org . So successful that it's getting hard to find autocracies that will allow basing them on their domains: "Where In Central Asia Would The U.S. Put A Drone Base?" link to eurasianet.org The CIA is supposed to run this part of the show, as Obama winds down his term as titular "war president," but what's that? "CIA's Pakistan drone strikes carried out by regular US air force personnel"? link to theguardian.com

      Makes you wonder when people other than Sunni tribesmen and Peshmerga will start to get fed up with how the Few are ruling their lives and their families' futures...

  • Threatened by ISIL/Daesh, Kurds Maneuver between Baghdad and Ankara
    • Lucky Kurds have oil and gas and now common enemies and a certain amount of cohesion as a group with some warrior skills and even weapons from various sources. A bunch of people that seemingly would just like to be left alone to kind of live ordinary lives without screwing with or screwing their neighbors or even easily Other-able minorities in their territory. Maybe with leaders and elites that have not soared into the stratosphere of greed and self-pleasing yet.

      "The only certain effect of the US support for these strikes is that it will show, yet again, to the Kurds and the Iraqis that they are dealing with one common enemy who[se] hypocrisy truly know no bounds. But they already knew that, of course. link to thesaker.net

      And the Empire encouraged the Kurds to try to overthrow Saddam, only to pull the rug out and set up another slaughter by Saddam, using weapons the US "thing" gave or sold to an earlier Baghdad "government." link to ilanamercer.com Gee, why would those nation-builders, looking at US duplicity and looting over generations, not want to play nice with us and go along with the Narrative now? Especially since they have seen how the Game Play has turned healthy communities with a modicum of comity and nice buildings and gardens and living spaces into this gap-toothed, bloodstained horror: link to youtube.com Mow the lawn, plow the field, sow the dragon's teeth close together...

      No mention here of serial US betrayals of said erstwhile-Sepoy Kurds, given the same treatment that "we" gave the Hmong and "montagnards" in that other imperial idiocy: "The Snake-Eaters and the Yards:The Vietnamese tribesmen who fought alongside American Special Forces won the Green Berets’ admiration—and lost everything else." link to slate.com

      And here's how "our" new business partner, the Vietnamese who fill the shelves of Walmart with Commie-made nice slacks and shirts and engage in joint naval maneuvers with our World's Greatest US Navy in the Gulf of Tonkin (remember that name?) are treating those same Sepoys that "we" sucked in via the machinations and occasionally maybe even sincere concern and efforts of our Green Berets and sneaky-petes: link to hrw.org.

      Not that the Kurds are a monolith, or exceptionally moral and decent even in their own space and time...

  • UN General Assembly Demands Israel Mothball its Nuclear Arsenal
    • Here is one link to a recent set of simulations of climate effects of nuclear holocaust and much smaller “regional conflicts,” as if the fallout (in all senses) could be somehow limited to a “region:” “Regional nuclear war would have global reach — Even a limited exchange would have severe atmospheric impacts,” link to www2.ucar.edu So maybe 50 (India-Pak, say) or maybe 5. How much is "enough?"

    • When elephants sprout wings...

  • The Beltway Beast: How two Tribes in D.C. are Destroying the Middle Class
    • Does Mr. Moon, or anyone else, have anything to offer in the way of means to starve the Beast? Seems like all roads lead to K Street, and all revenues, and all policies. Ordinary people just bear up and do the best they can to meet Maslow's basic needs for themselves and their families and occasionally villages, even as they are bled out, political-economically and physiologically too. What's a parent or atomised consumer to do?

  • Iran-Iraq War 2.0? Iran Flies bombing Raids on Extremists in Iraq
    • As you have frequently noted, a lot of Democrats are happy members of the War Party, for the usual reasons of MIC connections and connivance, neocon sympathies, AIPACery, etc. The president of the Empire will likely continue what passes for policy in the Mideast, but your "Republican" bogeyman is stuffed with straw.

    • Maybe, even likely. But it seems Turkey flies F-4s, too, and this little paragraph and its links highlight, in a tiny way, the rotten complexity of the world arms trade and sneaky-petery that leaves all us ordinary people living in poverty and fear:

      "Turkey
      The Turkish Air Force received 40 F-4Es in 1974, with a further 32 F-4Es and 8 RF-4Es in 1977–78 under the "Peace Diamond III" program, followed by 40 ex-USAF aircraft in "Peace Diamond IV" in 1987, and a further 40 ex-U.S. Air National Guard Aircraft in 1991.[113] A further 32 RF-4Es were transferred to Turkey after being retired by the Luftwaffe between 1992 and 1994.[113] In 1995, IAI of Israel implemented an upgrade similar to Kurnass 2000 on 54 Turkish F-4Es which were dubbed the F-4E 2020 Terminator.[19] Turkish F-4s, and more modern F-16s have been used to strike Kurdish PKK bases in ongoing military operations in Northern Iraq.[114] On 22 June 2012, a Turkish RF-4E was shot down by Syrian air defenses while flying a reconnaissance flight near the Turkish-Syrian border.[115][116] Turkey has stated the reconnaissance aircraft was in international airspace when it was shot down, while Syrian authorities stated it was inside Syrian airspace.[117] Turkish F-4s remained in use as of late 2014.[101]
      link to en.wikipedia.org Look at all the critters that have their fingers in the pie -- Luftwaffe, Israel, McDonnell Douglas, "Peace Diamond Program," and will we ever know what all's true, actual, real?

    • Lest anyone forget how idiotic this all looks in the long view, here's one little bit of "past history" in the annals of USIsraelIranIraqabilly:

      "Iran threatens US Navy," and stuff about US and Israeli weapons sales to the "fundamentalists" who took our dear diplomatic and CIA people hostage way back when after getting rid of the Shah we saddled them with: link to forums.bakabt.me

  • Iraqi Kurdistan: Can a Bastion of Tolerance and Democracy survive in the Middle East?
    • "Having committed ourselves to military involvement in Iraq, we in North America should be asking ourselves exactly what goals we hope to achieve."

      Comfort ye, my people -- the Aussies are holding up the Southern Hemisphere end of the plank:

      "RAAF bombing runs begin!!!
      ... The Abbott government has committed Australian military forces to a dangerous and potentially open-ended war against Islamic State militants in Iraq with RAAF airstrikes authorised immediately and special forces set to enter in an advisory capacity soon after.

      The historic decision followed the signing of a legal contract between Baghdad and Canberra and comes more than a fortnight after the pre-deployment of 600 personnel and eight RAAF jet aircraft – six of them F/A-18 Super Hornets.

      Flanked by Defence Minister David Johnston and Chief of Defence Force Mark Binskin, Prime Minister Tony Abbott acknowledged the mission would be dangerous and hinted that it could last years.
      "It's the world's fight because ISIL has declared war on the world": Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

      "I have to warn that this deployment to Iraq could be quite lengthy - certainly months rather than weeks," Mr Abbott said.

      "I want to reassure the Australian people that it will be as long as it needs to be, but as short as it possibly can be [but] I also need to warn the Australian people that this is a dangerous mission. It is a dangerous mission, but I am confident that the CDF has put in place all possible measures to minimise risk."

      Asked whether Australia might expand its mission into neighbouring Syria, Mr Abbott refused to "speculate on what might be done in months or years to come." Bwa-haw-haw-haw...

      See? We're not in this whatever-it-is all alone!

  • World's Poor to be hit Hardest by Global Warming: World Bank
    • To #thepoor from #the0.0001Percenters, at this Holy Christmas Season: Suffer the little children? Who among Us cares? Bottom line? Go. Away. Preferably quietly, without making a fuss or creating a public health problem for Us. Jesus loves you -- Us, not so much...

      "How the poor get blamed for disease," link to theatlantic.com

      "Yellen on the poverty of the poor," link to johnhcochrane.blogspot.com

  • Putin, Blocked by Europe, turns to Turkey for Gas Pipeline
    • Those Exceptional Teutons have had a little trouble extending their hegemony over "Natural Deutschland" by force of arms, but hey, is it not amazing what can be done by a mighty Bundesbank, armed only with Euros and the "claims" of Bondholders that "Hey, we have a CONTRACT!", who so conveniently gloss over the fine print that says, so very clearly, that bonds are priced to include that "risk" thing and that you SOBs do not have some kind of absolute right to repayment when "the Market" you have been so vampire-squiddily gaming "goes South?" Especially by outright theft, among other things, of the cash value of deposits that ordinary people have made in the banks you are raiding, of paychecks and earnings... Lay waste, ye Valkyries!

  • Is Turkey letting Daesh/ISIL Weapons & Fighters Cross Freely to Syria?
    • Not really "unhindered:" They at least have to give a little baksheesh to the "border guards," who display the real fundamental nature of enlightened self-interest that rules in that part of the world: link to youtube.com .

      Anyone know what is really happening on the ground?

      "More on Turkish Support for ISIS," link to danielpipes.org

      And it’s a tainted source, but what’s to be made of this? “ISIS Fighters Killed By Kurds Were Members of Turkish MIT (Intelligence Service),” link to themuslimissue.wordpress.com At all reminiscent of Pakistan’s fractured fairy tale “intelligence service” and military?

      Or this? "Syrian Smugglers Say Turkish Buffer Zone At Border Will Not Help Fight Against ISIS," link to ibtimes.com

      As to our great Warheads on Foreheads Program, there’s this: “Airstrikes missing ISIS frontline, say fighters,” link to news.sky.com

      And all this is a little reminiscent of “Coalition” (US) military dudes paying Afghani warlords and Talibanners lots of protection money (and helping the opium trade to hit a new high) to let petroleum fuels and munitions get to “wherever the key front is this week,” even to driving the trucks, while they laughed their a__es off at how stupid we Global Warriors are: "Western aid 'is funding ISIS fighters' because jihadists are demanding huge bribes to let trucks carrying supplies reach desperate families, official claims," link to dailymail.co.uk
      And who is fighting whom, and who has pledged allegiance to whom as of this moment? There’s this, link to danielpipes.org, and reports like this, “Turkey’s ISIS Problem,” link to longwarjournal.org And for a close look at the relations between the warring players, try this from Syria Comment: link to joshualandis.com

      And here’s the Cowboys and Indians mindset, writ large and ugly for all us Patriots to amplify off of (it’s worth reading the whole article and comments – caution, disturbing pictures): “ link to barenakedislam.com

      And The Oil Must Flow: “This is how ISIS smuggles oil,” link to buzzfeed.com

      And we all root for the cowboys, whoever they actually are and whatever their patent and covert and idiotic goals and "interests" may actually be, and deride and hate the Indians, who gee whiz! turn out to be hard to actually identify except by designation by the Imperium, for the moment, via the Narrative...

  • Bush Admin. Spent Billions on an Iraqi Army with 50,000 "ghost" Soldiers
    • The operative word is " believe." Or "what one can get other people to believe." If one just focuses on the fate of ISIL/Daesh, believing in the power of the Empire and the willingness of tribes and kingdoms and states and corporations to "undo" ISIS, does one also note that if the behaviors that made Daesh possible don't change massively, one might have to believe that maybe Daesh has more staying power than believed? And that ordinary people's beliefs and inclinations, plus all those fun, profitable weapons and chaos-engendered corruption opportunities, might make confident belief in the Victory of the Cowboys a little irrationally exuberant? As Jack says, we'll just have to wait and see....

    • "Hopefully, in a couple of years..." "There's a light at the end of the tunnel..."

    • Lookie here! For all the believers in the Purity of American Arms! There are some Troops who do not thank YOU for screwing them over with one futile, corrupt, feckless combat tour after another! Hard to believe, right? 'Cuz We are on the Right Side, right? Really? "Sir! No Sir! GI Resistance 1965-1973," link to militarylies.typepad.com

      A bunch of Troops in the 2nd Armored Division down at Ft. Hood also refused to lock and load and board the C-130s to fly to Chicago in August 1968 to "put down the insurrection" of people assembled to petition for redress of grievances at that Democratic (sic) Convention.

      And there's this, link to libcom.org, dated, but there is so much more, even with the recent BS with the "all volunteer/mercenary military," staffed with rations of true believers in Greater America but with a lot of other folks with something other than "preserving Freedom, Liberty", more like (what at my bunch called) 'The Right To Round-Eyed Pussy' as our casus belli. One small example is "Iraq Veterans Against The War," link to ivaw.org, and one could follow link to military.com for a while to get a sense of the different types that are drawn to and repulsed by our martial imperial culture, and the Major Malfunctions and FUBARs and corruption and appreciation of the Idiocy of it all.

      WTF is with sending young people, ignorant and disdainful of the cultures they are warring on, to go kick in other people's doors, blast them with Hellfires and depleted-uranium 30mm cannon shells, kill them for sport, and then go out "patrolling" to set off IEDs and trigger ambushes and get all angry and "take revenge" when the "wogs" shoot back, taking their own vengeance or resisting the invaders, all the while your Braaasss is living the high life, wallowing in a corrupt soup with the Beltway Bu__sh_tters and people like al Maliki and al Sisi and Karzai? Especially since "the only way to win the 4th Gen warfare is not to play the game," no matter what you hear from the folks who insist the Empire has "the world's greatest military," that finally was able to include an F-22 in an actual mission in Syria, with a pitch for why "we" should have bought a whole nother bunch of these "air dominance" turkeys: "Analysis: Long Road for F-22's First Combat Mission," link to defensenews.com -- Please read the whole article and enjoy hearing about how all the various "programs," B-1 and all that, got to take part, thus justifying all those other billions in tax money that might otherwise fix our nation, change our consumption idiocy, and feed our people and see to their health care and stuff. So see? the at least $67 billion spent on that "program" was all totally justified, right?

      The War Lords have been trying to stuff the military with Confederate soldiers and "Christians," to keep down the tendency to challenge unlawful and idiotic orders. That may have paid off in a reduced incidence of "fragging" of officers and a__hole NCOs, link to en.wikipedia.org, but look here, "‘Fragging and Casualties in Iraq & Afghanistan’," link to garyrumor.com for a bunch of real context on the nature of the beast and a note, back in July, on the whole "phantom soldier" scam and how out Sepoys, our "moderate terrorists," make a buck on both sides by selling their weapons to the Others. (We had a supply sgt in early 1968 who was selling captured VC and NVA weapons back to the "gooks," and somebody cut his throat and left him in a ditch...)

      Does it "make us more secure?" And just how, again? "Serve our national interests," which are just what, again?

      All Milo Minderbinder, all the time: "It's for the good of the Syndicate, and everyone has a share!" link to karen-ib.wikispaces.com .

  • Cairo Erupts as Mubarak, Adly Declared Innocent in Deaths of Protesters
    • So, jewelia, what you are saying is that what might be called "the immunity of impunity" is a universal principle and practice, with hardly a cognizable exception to prove the rule? Maybe that's the only way that "Big Game Big Politics" will ever be played? Sad.

    • Isn't impunity fun?

  • The Rolex Caliph's Camel Selfie: How Iraqi Youth are Ridiculing Daesh/ISIL Online
    • Folks here, myself included, hope that young people in the Mideast and elsewhere go beyond the miseries the rest of us have created to something more civil and durable. Not sure that the internet chatter described is a key indicator. One hopes Dr. Cole is right on, with his read of Millennial and later generations' behavior. Our Empire is still pumping worldwide militarization and the stripping of planetary wealth. Maybe the Chinese won't go down the same path, maybe crazy Russia will turn a corner too, and how about the other BRICS and EU and even places like Ghana?

      But there's still plenty of seductive attraction in "Call of Duty" urban warfare, apparently, and in gaining an identity and personal meaning by joining up with the current Horde – the puerile "we can do whatever we want" murderousness and combat effectiveness of Daesh/IS/whatever: there's too much context like this: "Gregory and Collin Gordon, Calgary brothers, join ranks of Canadians fighting for ISIS," link to cbc.ca . Lots of indications on all sides that young people from all over are drawn to the Horde. And because military skills and the attractions of deploying them are on "our side," too, stories like this are getting common: "Mississippi veteran goes to Syria to fight ISIS," link to hattiesburgamerican.com

      Evidence that "bombing the Shi'ite out of 'em" is "working" is a little thin: “All the indications say that IS today, after two months of coalition air strikes, is not weaker,” Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem reportedly said. “If the Security Council and Washington do not force Turkey to control its borders then all of this action will not eliminate IS.”link to ibtimes.com The Narrative insists that "the Tribes will Sepoy up and happily do the ground-pounding, 'cuz everyone hates ISIS, so Arm The 'Moderates'." On that front, check some informed current analysis on the dynamic sociology and political economy of that part of the world: link to joshualandis.com . Young people without decent work to do, in communities based on conflict rather than comity, with little hope of better, tend to do what humans have too often done before.

      The Big Money is on more militarization, more weapons dumped into the stew, more opportunity for careers with the MIC and state security, more rapacious extractive "capitalism."

      Maybe young people will make a difference. Some in my own family are thinking globally and acting locally (not in the way hedge fund managers or investment bankers or CEOs of post-national Soylent Corporations do), and to good effect. What's happening in the streets of Cairo? Tel Aviv? Tripoli?

  • Iraq Famine Threat? IS Daesh/ ISIL Stealing Wheat, Preventing Farmers from Providing Food?
    • Interesting, the seeming parallels between the buccaneer economics of Daesh/Isis/whatever and our great post-national short term profit maximizing corporate owners. Live for today, take what you can, make it all legal by owning the monopoly on force and violence, force- feed your captive populations on your dogmas (is there a principled difference between free booting and "free market" nonsense?), fill in to any place where there's wealth and value to be captured... Does the Iraqi socialization of farming described here, price supports and supplied seed, fertilizer, etc. include seeds from Monsanto's GMO scam? link to nakedcapitalism.com Cancers and parasites don't care if they kill the host organism...

  • As SecDef Hagel Exits, an Iraq Daesh/ISIL Scorecard
    • The reason I saw was supposed containment and slight possible rollback of ISIS in Iraq. Even that claim changes validity minute to minute. The guy was supposed to be SecDef, over the whole War Department. What did he do to address all the other crap that is so terribly wrong (from the standpoint of us taxpayers and ordinary people around the world) with the Imperial Pentagram?

    • Pity Hagel? Don't think so. Can't hardly wait for his next public appearances and landing zone. As for what he did " on his watch"? What exactly is to back-pat him about? Bigger dumber military, not much luck with those pesky 4th Gen Wars the Empire keeps sticking itself into, more corruption, more GI on GI rape, how about the downward pressure on enlisted pay and allowances and benefits while the Braaasss gets more gold-plated for all its mega millbabble gold- bricking and disloyalty. Heckuva job, Hag! And let's not forget the great progress in reining in the enormous corruption and fraud that is the common coin of the Pentagrammers as they spin through the ol revolving door... (Irony alert) Another figurehead goes to collect his rewards.

  • Two Different American Futures: With an Iran Deal & Without
    • "massive loss of American lives and American wealth." Occurs to me, as usual, that there is no such thing as a unitary personification called the US. Offer that along with the notion that the wealth is not "lost," just transferred from ordinary people (who also do the dying, of course) to one or more of of our larger "war is a racquet" parasites...

  • Top 5 Ways Obama Punked the GOP on Immigration; and the 2016 Campaign
    • Makes one wonder what combination of personal psych traits, skills and externalities leads to the apotheosis of "leaders" like the Clinton Duo, the Bush League, etc. Does not seem to bode well for the species and this planet that such creatures and their "backers" and "friends" end up owning and ruling everything...

    • ...as to who gets hit first, it seems the Generals and their extended families and not no stinkin' figurehead president will decide that. Here's the latest from the Bubble, via the NYT:

      President Obama decided in recent weeks to authorize a more expansive mission for the military in Afghanistan in 2015 than originally planned, a move that ensures American troops will have a direct role in fighting in the war-ravaged country for at least another year.

      Mr. Obama’s order allows American forces to carry out missions against the Taliban and other militant groups threatening American troops or the Afghan government, a broader mission than the president described to the public earlier this year...The new authorization also allows American jets, bombers and drones to support Afghan troops on combat missions.

      In an announcement in the White House Rose Garden in May, Mr. Obama said that the American military would have no combat role in Afghanistan next year, and that the missions for the 9,800 troops remaining in the country would be limited to training Afghan forces and to hunting the “remnants of Al Qaeda.”

      The decision to change that mission was the result of a lengthy and heated debate that laid bare the tension inside the Obama administration between two often-competing imperatives: the promise Mr. Obama made to end the war in Afghanistan, versus the demands of the Pentagon that American troops be able to successfully fulfill their remaining missions in the country. [Say what?]

      The internal discussion took place against the backdrop of this year’s collapse of Iraqi security forces in the face of the advance of the Islamic State as well as the mistrust between the Pentagon and the White House that still lingers since Mr. Obama’s 2009 decision to “surge” 30,000 American troops to Afghanistan. Some of the president’s civilian advisers say that decision was made only because of excessive Pentagon pressure, and some military officials say it was half-baked and made with an eye to domestic politics.

      Mr. Obama’s decision, made during a White House meeting in recent weeks with his senior national security advisers, came over the objection of some of his top civilian aides, who argued that American lives should not be put at risk next year in any operations against the Taliban — and that they should have only a narrow counterterrorism mission against Al Qaeda.

      But the military pushed back, and generals both at the Pentagon and in Afghanistan urged Mr. Obama to define the mission more broadly to allow American troops to attack the Taliban, the Haqqani network and other militants if intelligence revealed that the extremists were threatening American forces in the country....

      In effect, Mr. Obama’s decision largely extends much of the current American military role for another year. Mr. Obama and his aides were forced to make a decision because the 13-year old mission, Operation Enduring Freedom, is set to end on Dec. 31...." link to nytimes.com

      Who's in charge here? Al Haig?

  • In Iran, US Choice is a Negotiated Peace Now or the Risk of War
    • "This does not make sense. An agreement is within reach." Well, yeah...

      Waiting for the pitch for More War On Isis Lest The "Republicans" Call Obama Soft On Defense (SIC) And Order War On Iran. Of course, Congress can "declare war," and via sanctions sort of already has, but in theory it's the Commander in Chief and those Blessed Services and their Blessed Senior Officers who "wage" war, however incompetently and futilely.link to en.wikipedia.org There is a "war party" in the Imperial Capital, all right, link to thewarparty.com for a nice selection of context, but it's not tied to Reds or Blues -- one of the several incredibly durable, long-standing "bipartisan" Areas Of Commonality and Agreement. Yah, the AIPACers and MIC want war on Iran, with the Empire and its taxpayers wielding the Big Stick and getting bled for the benefit of the Israelites and MICC and all that. Time to say "No MAS!"?

      Obama is a figurehead, a front man, as Presidents of the Free World have been for years now, with pretty tenuous links to the actual helm of the ship of state, as ought to be obvious from where "we" are and where "we" are likely headed. But God bless him and his family, as he tries to avoid being crushed by bigger forces, and secure a modest competence for the family, post-Presidency. Doing more effing War Against ISIS/Daesh/whatever (which is just labeling, branding and manufacturing of demand for a much bigger Milo Minderbinder Enterprise, on the notion and grounds that this will keep the boogeyRepublicans/DINOs etc. from doing more war, seems kind of an exercise in idiocy, and the pitch for that profit-generating, wealth-transferring action on that basis smells of fraud...

      And let's remember that all the forces pushing for More War, All The Time, do so from behind walls of Impunity, ever richer and free from any consequences for their "success" and "victories" on the Plains of Policy...

  • The Historical Drivers of Modern Day Developments in Iraq (Cole Interview)
    • There are reasons why, however much one might wish it otherwise in furtherance of the Narrative, ISIS/Daesh is a big and growing phenom: "Allure of ISIS for Pakistanis Is on the Rise," link to p.nytimes.com If the underlying "political economy" fundamentals don't change, there are not enough dollars to buy enough Obombs to put enough "warheads on foreheads" (generating lots of Unfortunate Bugsplats) to have a Hope of Changing the vectors and trajectories the various rudely and fractiously-intractable-to-Empire-dictates parts of our world are following...

      It might be comforting to claim that "towelheads" are not smart enough to operate "complex" weaponry, or maintain it, but the bald assertion seems contradicted by silly stuff like those little videos documenting "hajji" use of MANPADs to shoot down Iraqi and Syrian aircraft, and deployment of various guided antitank weapons made in a number of war-industry-leading countries, and laying and firing captured artillery and a bunch of other weapons and munitions that Operatives and Believers and Apologists see no problem in continuing to deliver wholesale to the "Area of Operations." They may not be flying the planes yet (why bother, if a swarm of missiles affects the tactical balance?), but ISISILIQ/Daesh/whatever includes a lot of US-trained Gunmen from the "Iraqi national army" and former "moderate terrorists insurgents," and various "contractor" types from the ranks of those who service and often operate US weapons, and may find a gig with a growing force attractive. And if the average-IQ American Troopers can figure out how to use our really complicated weapons, that are actually designed to be as simple as possible, you think the "terrorists" won't do so? The field and tech manuals and videos really aren't that challenging, and it's not like there are double-secret passwords between trigger and controls. More context:

      link to businessinsider.com

      link to youtube.com

      link to youtube.com

      The US' real Successes in keeping the Forever Profitable War going keep getting underlined: Here's the Grey Lady's Support-Our-Loyal-Narrative Latest: "In a Shift, Obama Extends U.S. Role in Afghan Combat," link to nytimes.com . How's it go, again? link to youtube.com Couple Stupid with Profitable and you have Unfixable, as far as ordinary people are concerned... Maybe if we all buy solar panels for our homes, and electric vehicles, things might change...?

    • Query: Does ISISILIQ/Daesh/whatever constitute one of " the great macro social movements of the area?"

      The cheerleaders for continued Imperial "operations" in the "area of operations" tell us all how successful Air Power and the mythical alliance of militias, "national armies" and tribal groups has been in degrading the Thing Du Jour. Really? There’s nice War Porn videos of JDAMS detonating and all, but there’s this little tidbit to digest: “ISIS Has Enough Weapons For up To Two Years,” on hand already, with plenty of suppliers who apparently care nothing about the Empire’s preferred Grand Plan: link to dissenter.firedoglake.com

      No, I'm not rooting for the Hordesmen and the Gunmen with the black flag and balaclavas. But why the stupid constant collapse back into the simplistic Manichaean Narrative, when it's so obviously false, and leads to more conflict-generating stupidity and more and more arms being flooded into the zone, like The Gun, link to theguardian.com, and more "effective" stuff like guided anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles and more?

      The UN people who follow such stuff don't see much "degrading," just wiser tactics and plenty of firepower: “The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant and the Al-Nusrah Front for the People of the Levant: report and recommendations submitted pursuant to resolution 2170 (2014),” link to un.org . Even the Summary, which not surprisingly reeks of Narrative, ought to make observers think a little deeper about better ways to defuse, disarm and dissipate the interests and behaviors and incentives that are killing not just Yazidis and Kurds et al., but potentially all of us except for the Few who have their safe retreats all mapped out…

      And when it comes to financing all this Daesh stuff, gee, it appears that EVERYone is in on the corruption that greases the movement of petroleum extracted or extorted by Daesh, that mirabile dictu, loyalty to tribe or army or nation means exactly zilch: “Inside Islamic State’s oil empire: how captured oilfields fuel Isis insurgency -- Coalition air strikes have not stopped the militant group from earning millions of dollars a week from its Iraqi oil operations,” link to theguardian.com . No surprise, when the “WE DON’T NEGOTIATE WITH TERRORISTS” Empire would pay warlords and “Talibanners” and “terrorists” to provide “security” for and even drive the trucks that brought petroleum fuels to “the formerly Current Front” in Afghanistan, be helpfully involved in poppy farming there and setting conditions such that poppies, that need little attention and water compared to food crops, become the field crop of choice, link to thefiscaltimes.com, as much as cocaine in other areas the Empire has gently touched. For one tiny example of self-destructive corruption among so many…

      Too bad “political economy” has been mostly abandoned as a analytical and framing tool, and reduced to more of another feckless oxymoron.

  • 3rd Possibility: Coming Civil War in West Bank/ Jerusalem?
    • No doubt the Israelites have all kinds of nasty warmaking stuff squirreled away with however many nukes the heirs of the Pharisees, link to jewishvirtuallibrary.org, are ready to detonate. Yahoo subtly reminds the rest of the world that he's got the Samson Option in his back pocket. One might bet that the IDF's war plans include destroying US military assets, since they have shown multiple examples of that willingness, like the attempted sinking of the USS Liberty and constant deep espionage on us as nominal "ally."

      As to "Christian" support in the US, an assortment of context that comes to a different conclusion:

      link to haaretz.com

      link to meforum.org

      link to washingtonsblog.com

      At least the hasbara is becoming a little more subtle...

  • Should Iran and the US accept a Good, but not perfect Nuclear Deal?
    • Hey, c'mon -- how many times have our US Imperial Citizens fallen for "trickle down" and "war on Thisthatortheotherthingorgroup" and all the other times the Rulers have done the Lucy Van Pelt "pull the football away after promising not to" routine?

  • Yazidi Women Victimized by Daesh/ ISIL tell of Rape, Slavery, & their Resistance
    • Bad, awful evil. And just because we Exceptionalists had and maybe have among us quite a number of people of substance, and criminals too, who did and do the same thing, often under color of law as with enslaved Africans and indentured others and native peoples unable to resist European organized looting, that does not make what ISIS and Gulf princes and Russian oligarchs and European heads of state any less cruel and evil and horrific. Not a complete list of course, of those who boldly display this particularly endearing set of all too human behavior. But as long as the oil and money keep flowing, ...

  • Top 5 Ways Daesh/ ISIL is Losing, as it lashes out like a Cornered Rat
    • What a surprise, overall...

    • It takes a while for the Narrative to catch up with the Dialogue... especially with all the echoes inside our Imperial Bubble...

  • Daesh (ISIL) Loses Refinery City in Iraq to Iraqi Army, Shiite Militias
    • There's a lot of ways for "insurgents" to take cover, besides jungle canopy, which even all those millions of gallons of Agent Orange did not do away with by the way. Even the "Phoenix Program" in all its evil didn't do the job.

      What is with this drumbeat of "Obama gots to fear the Republican Backlash if he does not beat them to the punch of releasing more 1,500-Troop packs of the Dogs of War and then Hold tough On Iran on accounta The Lobby!"? As for the fairly desolate terrain that's the current site of War, American Style where "we" fund and arm the parties and are just sure, SURE, that it will go according to The Plan, have you looked at "our" success in routing a not quite as horrible a bunch of tribespeople in what was the name of that place again, oh yeah, "Notagainistan..." In case you are too young to remember, and your reading and education did not cover the whole long idiocy of the Vietnam thing, there were endless breathless announcements of how Our Huge Undefeatable Military Machine had dealt one death blow after another to the "gooks." run up huge body counts, won all the big battles by making the "slants" say Uncle and still had those memorable moments of a last few "allies" scrambling to get aboard that last Huey from the Embassy roof.

      Sun Tzu says you ought to have some sensible agreed goal in mind if you want to do successful war, defeating the other guy and taking his stuff. That, and don't impoverish your peasants if you want to win. The whole play in the Mideast ans elsewhere is an illegitimate stripping of wealth and arm-twisting, and until the Rulers get around to playing a different sort of POSITIVE SUM game where that myth about the Virtues of Trading versus the simple theft of resources and spewing of externalities/horrors actually gets actualized, short of the use of nuclear and other really serious weapons there will be nothing but more of the same profit-a-few, beggar-the-world same. Go read or re-read that little Karnow book, "Vietnam: A History," and stuff...

    • One would really like to hope that SOMEone on "our" side is getting a good deal out of all this, and not all the brass and bosses on "our" side are just incompetent schmucks and "freiers," just being taken and shaken down by the more seasoned players in the Game over there. With, of course, us complaisant idiots in the Homeland wearing the boots, and footing the bill...

  • Daesh/ ISIL calls for Terror attacks on Saudi Arabia
    • One has to admire the spread of "business model" analysis of who is actually making wealth available to ISISILIQ/Daesh and other Gunmen: link to nbcnews.com

    • Interesting, it seems likely that if ISISILIQ lasts a while, significant parts of the complex would, like Hizbollah and Hamas, and Likud if those creatures survive their current savagery, take on "governance" of a slightly gentler style. Like the Chicago Machine, maybe, with a tolerable level of corruption, police abuse, all that? Deash seems proving to attract some bright people with more than just Gunmen skills, link to ibtimes.com, and pretty good PR. Maybe the rulers of our Empire, that pretends to be coming from the democratic tradition, will shake hands with an eventual generation of Caliphaters and more overtly get down to business.

      Slightly kinder and gentler toward the ordinary people who are properly obeisant property, while the rape of the planet grinds on? We'll just have to wait and see, right? Since other than observing, commenting, complaining in our little still permissible ways, what can we the little people, who have ceded their autonomy to our autocrats and their people and enablers and Bidness Beneficiaries, do about it?

  • A Day Late & a Dollar Short: Obama & China agree on Languid Climate Goals
    • Snark, right? Of course it already is "their air."

      The people who profit from burning sh_t, extracting carbon and basing their lives on burning more of it, already own the right to pollute, to externalize the costs of that into your lungs and mine, your coastline and mine, your tornado alley and mine. They have and have had and will continue to have the clout to warp our collective need for a social structure, "rule of law" and similar frauds included, into a system of laws and regulations and practices that "legalizes" dumping toxins into the common necessities, air, water, economic transactions of all sorts. You know the TPP and TTAP will further "legalize" the theft-by-initial-assignment-of-"right" to the user-uppers. Who individually, can't say it often enough, have zero personal-threat incentive to do anything but more of the same. Since they are insulated, by "law" and the protections that wealthy indifference can purchase, from any of the consequences of their creation, participation and continuation of "business as usual" to the dead-end point (for us ordinary mopes only: the Few have their escapes -- either into comfortable old-age and death, or some Elysium, or like the billionaire longevity projects in the works, link to thedailybeast.com, into cyber-bodies or deep space). Hence they can laugh, all the way to the (offshore) bank, at all us earnest types who maybe care about our surroundings and our "Soylent Green" posterity...

      We seem collectively to be wired all wrong, plumbed all wrong, framed all wrong to survive. But a very Few of us will really indulge all their whimsies and senses, link to nytimes.com, behind walls of impunity, at the expense of the rest of us ordinary people who don't seem to be able to organize to protect ourselves, from the Few and our own predilections and impulses...

  • Internet Liberty at Stake in Obama World Wide Web Policy
    • It's clear you do...

    • And here's a toast to Dr. Cole, for bearing up under government abuse and pressure and continuing to speak truth ABOUT power, since speaking TO power is largely futile (and ooooh, against "the national interest.")

      Bless you, sir, and may you continue the good you do to counter the idiocies of the Narrative and what lies behind it...

  • Israeli PM Netanyahu Is a National Security Risk—And Washington Knows It
    • Like, it is any surprise that the Israelites are a "difficult ally (sic)?" Starting way back before the IDF shot up and almost sank the USS Liberty, killing 34 US sailors and wounding 174, link to whatreallyhappened.com, to the whole scam of helping Our Friends the Only Democracy in the Middle East to build their pile of may 200, maybe 600, nuclear weapons. That some discount because they think it would be suicide for the Likudians to actually use. But hey, it's not like Rulers have never committed their subjects to suicidal idiocy before, see e.g. the history of modern Europe, and Japan. Often, of course, the Rulers and the worst of The Enemy have safely skulked off to safe havens as the heavens were falling on their subjects’ heads…

      Apparently for decades, some parts of the US imperial state security apparatus have been well aware that there's good reasons to wonder at Israelite chutzpah: "US sees Israel, tight Mideast ally, as spy threat," link to bigstory.ap.org, and even a few in the Heartland of the Homeland have been allowed to make the point in an MSM outlet: "U.S. sees Israel as No. 1 spy threat in Middle East, officials say," link to denverpost.com And from the Snowden revelations, answers to "Why Are We Spying on Israel?" link to slate.com. Even freakin’ FOX News once took a swing at Israelite spying in the US: link to informationclearinghouse.info

      You can bet that among other little secrets, Yahoo knows the contents of the Empire's nuclear war plan, “OPLAN 8010, Strategic Deterrence and Global Strike,” and all the "Single Integrated Operating Plans" (SIOPs) that preceded OPLAN. link to en.wikipedia.org, for those who mostly forget that our very own military is still moments away from ending us, and humanity generally. link to en.wikipedia.org I wonder if our Really Smart Sneaky Petes and General Officers and Executive Branchers know what’s in the Israelite equivalent… Can you say, "We are putzes?"

      But of course in the Great Game, every ‘nation” does it to every other “nation,” so it’s all just hunky-dory, except for us little mopes who believe the myths, enjoy watching the shadows dance on the back of the cave, and slave and die to let the Few have their energetic, kinetic, enigmatic fun over our dead bodies…

  • Why it Isn't that Important Whether ISIL Leader was Killed
    • Re good and bad generals and other warlords, may I make another plug for Gary Schroen's memoir of his involvement as CIA paramilitary operative in Afghanistan, "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan"? It contains, for those who can get past the cheerleading stage, a whole bunch of insights into the nature of free-floating self-interested relations between the many tribal, family, gangster and "government" actors on the ground, during this one small stage of the CIA's much-bragged-up messing around over there, post -9/11. For Schroen himself, there's a brief Wiki article, link to en.wikipedia.org, with a few useful links for those who care. And the CIA thinks highly of itself and its players, how "successful" these little interventions have been according to their values and goals, and has a nice article up on its site: link to cia.gov

      And of course there's Steve Coll's opus, "Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001," the prequel to "First In." link to en.wikipedia.org, that lifts a few other corners of the carpet to uncover the roaches and rats...

      It's so cute, how the jackals and sneaky-petes brag up and display their pride at demolishing stability, overturning democratic motions, and influencing outcomes and stirring the pot and generally raising havoc all over the place, in the name of just what, again?

      There's the idiot mythologies up front, and the "gritty realities" floating in the background fog...

    • Actually, I personally fear gradualist apologists who would persuade the rest of us, by subtle repetition, that "we" first have the right, power and "duty" to "do something" about barbarians who ain't OUR barbarians, and second, that doing the same stuff, again, run by the same bunch who ran the last Imperial "interventions" (that dishonest obscurant term), moving the world ever closer to a variety of chaotic failures, will even do the stuff that enthusiasts claim it will address.

      But I admit to a perverse satisfaction in paging through all the war porn that's so readily accessible these days. What a sorry lot we humans are...

    • For all you true believers in the power of Air Power and the Imperial Fist, a careful read of this little article from today's NYT ought to give some pause and for the honest ones, return some echoes of past excesses: link to p.nytimes.com Or at least stir up some more substantive apologias for doing More Of The US RULES Same...

      Ah, who cares any more? We Imperials all will keep doing what we do, because Impunity and profit and Careers.

  • Why McCain & GOP are Slamming Obama for Writing Iran re: ISIL
    • @slim: "Theres also those on other sections of the internet who are willing to put others down just in the vain attempt to try and make themselves look better than most"

      Out of the mouths of ad hominem babes... Maybe one of us will owe the other an apology on the substance, in a few years or months. Though the flux will long since have moved on to other "issues." Those are quote marks, indicating skepticism and disbelief.

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