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Total number of comments: 2411 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)

JTMcPhee

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  • Turkey allows Kurdish Peshmerga to Cross to Kobane
    • A little article for those who would like something more than the cowboys-and-Indians versions of what's shaking (and BOOMing and collapsing, see apparent 2,000-lb JDAM explosion in opening video) in Kobane, there is this nice piece from Counterpunch:

      "The Battle for Kobani -- A Civil War Without End," link to counterpunch.org

      Pictures of Great Game Geopolitics in action: link to dailymail.co.uk

      "We" should be so very proud of what "we" have brought to pass with "our" Power Projection and Democratization...

  • Iraq: Is the Sunni-Shiite Slaughter at Jurf al-Sakhr really a US Victory?
    • Keep saying it. Maybe next time it will come true... Do cheerleaders for Trooping ever go there themselves and hump a pack?

    • Some of "us" are pretty good at getting other people to trash each other: "F**k The EU" - US State Department Blasts Europe; Revealed As Alleged Mastermind Behind Ukraine Unrest -- link to zerohedge.com What happens when "the US" foments bar brawls elsewhere, in case we forget there are otherwheres than Khesanhalamokobane, speaking of Valor:

      "Ukraine fighters, surrounded at wrecked airport, refuse to give up," link to latimes.com

      Pretty narrow and misleading, to focus on battles and tactics, to forget Sun Tzu, and keep on with the incentivizing of chaos and anomie. Unless one profits from it, or likes to cheerlead for it, of course...

    • Frontline is the last word? One would think that tribal sentiment would extend a little more patently to the Troops We Support. My question about who would be the last one to die in this idiocy was related to the same question our retread Secretary of State asked, as a Hippie Medal-Tossing Vietvet Activist: "Who will be the last American to die for a mistake?"

      A little history for Context:
      Charles McMahon (May 10, 1953 – April 29, 1975) and Darwin Lee Judge (February 16, 1956 – April 29, 1975) were the last two United States servicemen killed in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. The two men, both U.S. Marines, were killed in a rocket attack one day before the Fall of Saigon.

      Charles McMahon, 11 days short of his 22nd birthday, was a corporal from Woburn, Massachusetts. Darwin Judge was a 19-year-old lance corporal and Eagle Scout from Marshalltown, Iowa....
      The first U.S. casualty in Vietnam was Flying Tiger John T. Donovan who was killed on May 12, 1942, but American involvement in Vietnam was not considered official at that time and as such his name does not appear on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

      For over 40 years the first person who died in Vietnam was in controversy. Richard B. Fitzgibbon, Jr.'s death in June 1956 was deemed to have taken place before the start of the Vietnam War. However, the family of Fitzgibbon had long lobbied to have the start date changed and their cause was taken up by U.S. Representative Ed Markey of Malden. After a high level review by the DoD and through the efforts of Fitzgibbon's family, the start date of the Vietnam war was changed to November 1, 1955. The November 1955 date was chosen as the new start date because that was when the Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG), Vietnam was separated out from MAAG, Indochina in a reorganization into the different countries that the deployments were stationed. With this new date Fitzgibbon became the first person to die in the Vietnam War, Fitzgibbon's name was added to the Vietnam Memorial Wall in 1999. The former first two official casualties were U.S. Army Major Dale R. Buis and Master Sergeant Chester Charles Ovnand who were killed on July 18, 1959.

      While McMahon and Judge were the last American ground casualties in Vietnam, they are not the last casualties of the Vietnam War (a term which also covers the U.S. involvement in Cambodia and Laos) recorded on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial; those names belong to the 18 Americans killed in the Mayaguez Incident. link to en.wikipedia.org

      ISIS gunmen are brutal, no doubt. So are US "kill squads," link to rollingstone.com, and link to thirdworldtraveler.com, and of course the Phoenix Program and its extensions, link to lewrockwell.com, and prison guards and etc. But it seems the ISIS Chechens are pretty good field forces, not just executioners like "the Brit," and one wonders if their warrior skills and brutality have anything to do with Soviet Imperial abuse of their homes and families and culture. Sort of like what our Empire is engaged in, from drone warfare to "boots through doors."

      The last dead "person," excluding GIs, from the current Kobane battle seems more likely to be some resident of that city that was unable to flee. Death by US Really Smart Bomb, or sectarian vengeance, or "stray bullet," or random murder? We will just have to wait and see...

    • The Pentagon is immune to any consequences for "getting its butt kicked," with zero incentive to change the many problem behaviors, from huge corruption to Milbabblerry to incompetence, etc., and every incentive, personal and institutional, to keep on keeping on. What changes is the DEFINITIONS, like "war," and "success," and "victory." The DoD writes, and expediently re-writes, its own dictionary, link to dtic.mil, and its PR divisions assault the common language daily.

      The "Defense Department" has long known the real trick is in controlling the Narrative and thus the belief structure that keeps all this going, "justifies" the cost, and bushwas us ordinary people into going along and funding it all.

      Context, anyone? One observer's take:

      The lack of definition in the war on terror is problematic. While it allows national leaders the flexibility to define and redefine success in ways that suit political purposes, it also has potential drawbacks. From an operational perspective, it potentially leads to lack of clarity and understanding, and thus lack of focused national effort along with its attendant risk of failure. The very phrase “war on terror” lacks definition, and therefore presents the United States with a strategic issue that inhibits its efforts to prosecute the war effectively. As multiple sources have indicated, “terror” is not the enemy. In the “war” on terror, neither terror nor terrorism can be defeated since terror is a method and terrorism is a tactic. From this perspective, neither terror nor terrorism takes on the characteristics of entities that can be defeated in the traditional sense. link to hsaj.org There's a nice diagram in there, that fits really well with this one: link to harmful.cat-v.org Another illustrative bit of scholarship: link to academia.edu And one more telling piece on how it all really works, related to the first combat death, link to cbsnews.com, in Operation Inane Repetition: link to g2mil.com

      Now we know the first official dead guy's name. Who, asked Kerry, will be the last one to die?

  • The Ultra Orthodox vs. The Israeli Army: Israel's Other Religious War (VICE)
    • Interesting. Conservatives in the US would call these folks "takers" and "welfare queens and kings" and "useless eaters." How do the Haredim get to be categorized as "conservative," even "ultra-conservative," again? One gets some interesting results and maybe insights if one googles "haredi fraud," doesn't one? Not too many "freiers" in that bunch...

  • Is Egypt's Sinai going the Way of Syria? 30 Troops Killed by Militants
    • Thank you for the timely reminder, if anyone is at all concerned any more. Of course. that's hardly new news to anyone paying any attention. Makes one wonder what the goal of the Game really is, if there is such a singular thing...

    • Ooh, ooh, we need to hurry up and deliver more weapons to everyone! Opportunity abounds, in the manufacture of violence and chaos and then the lovely Rebuilding. ...

  • Iraq: Are Senior ISIL Commanders already Defecting in Mosul & Tikrit?
    • Does anyone know how big the IS cadre really is? Their assets, military and fiscal? And most of their troops and leaders do in fact seem to be patriarchal brutal critters of the worst ugly kind. As to being over-extended, and the possibility of military success against the creature, is what "we" are doing both necessary and sufficient to cure the disease of patriarchal "conservative" religion-excused horror? Or will this maybe be kind of like what happens when somebody stops taking antibiotics because they are feeling better, and ends up with a much worse bug?

      The "over-extended" meme googles up articles like this, link to mintpressnews.com (old news from August) and this, link to mideasti.blogspot.com, from June. It's almost Christmas. ?Wonder what will be under the tree... And of course the combat and slaughter go on in what used to be Syria, and Afghanistan, and Yemen and Somalia and etc. What's the trick for bringing all that under control, if that is any part of the Game?

      Sorry to be so negative about military action by our World's Best Greatest Military. The track record leaves some significant reasons for skepticism, and it sure seems like making more chaos and violence is the intended or casual effect of its ruling class...

    • Once again, evidence that "warheads on foreheads" as a policy has or will result in degradation etc. of ISISILIQ as the latest in Horde phenomenons, any more than it has anywhere else? Mechanistic faith in the power of "smart weapons" to effect social change seems sadly misplaced, as, e.g., US/"Coalition" Forces decamp from field roles in Notagainistan, link to online.wsj.com. Even with "boots on the ground," our Vaunted World's Greatest Military shows time and again that the generals in their well-padded bubbles do not have a clue about how to "win wars," or any interest in the kinds of tools and behaviors that might avoid or end profitable conflicts, despite the incredible arrogance of the whole chain of command, from Obama on down:

      President Obama: Steve, that’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation. We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world. And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing. They don’t call Moscow. They call us.... That’s the deal.

      Steve Kroft: I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent.

      President Obama: Steve, when as issue … when there’s a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who’s helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there’s an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who’s leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That’s how we roll. And that’s what makes this America. ” link to cbsnews.com Speaking of faux statements and delusions.

      Given the INSANITY OF DUMPING AND BURNING trillions of dollars, spent on creating the conditions for an ISISILIQ to thrive, and then convincing us working stiffs to pony up for trillions more to "degrade and diminish" the result, maybe the ALL CAPS SHOUTED phrase might more wisely be "WE SHOULD BE INVOLUNTARILY COMMITTED..." As to t-shirts relating to other insanities like MAD and First Strike, you can shop for one here: link to spreadshirt.com, and for more illustrations of what goes on in our collective id, shop here: link to gadsdenandculpeper.com

    • AMERICAN bombs did that? Really? Is there some source, other than exceptional muscular chest thumping, for the assertion? Granted, our Imperial military is greatly self-impressed with a certain ability to " put warheads on foreheads", link to ninelineapparel.com. Seems to me the rational consensus is that air power can't do it all...

    • Page: 24
    • Gee, could it be that the dynamic of pursuit of self- interest that is endemic with the species and particularly in Byzantium and bazaar- land is just showing a little around the margins? I imagine the Caliph is maybe a little surprised at his success, like a vulture capitalist who is amazed at how easy it was to steal assets and bankrupt the firm after looting the pension accounts. What I read about the sociopolitics of afghpakistan indicates that shifting loyalties, so called, are all part of the mix, which our sneaky petes are happy to use and encourage. While selling the idiot fraud that this is a cowboys vs Indians drama. Well, the cowboys part seems right at least. ...

  • Double-Edged Sword: Can US overcome its Feelings of Exceptionalism?
    • I'd go with aristeides. "My country right or wrong, and whatever my country does (even if it eventually kills us, individually and as a country) is always right!" In the meantime, those who learn the skills of vampires and tapeworms and cancer cells become the truly exceptional, in the Cheney/Bush and ObamaDrone sense -- no law applies to them, they never face any consequences for the harms they do to others, and they get to own everything and rent it back to the rest of us who built it and paid for it too.

      Even some "conservatives" are getting a little nuanced, and thinking about what the doctrines and behaviors they have invented and fostered have catalyzed:

      "The End of American Exceptionalism:
      The very attributes conservatives say make America special—religiosity, patriotism, and mobility—are ones they've inadvertently [!] undermined. Is it any wonder millennials are less impressed with their country?" link to nationaljournal.com

  • The end of National Sovereignty in the Middle East? Iraqi Kurdistan sends troops into Syria
    • Something to remember, as we personify and attribute personalities to nations/states as entities that we glibly attribute as acting as some unitary thing: Whether it's our Empire, with all its little active violent greedy parts (CIA, individual armed service "intelligence" and special ops, the pieces of the State Department, the "White House", corporate grasping and killing, etc.) or "Pakistan" with all its separate conflicting also idiotic actors, or broken geographies like "Iraq" and "Syria" and soon "Israel," let's remember that it's not just "Iran," with the many parts that make up its rulership and effectives, that can and always do play several games at once. Reductionist attributions of simplistic motivations to fit an equally simplistic Game of Risk! (tm) model don't do us much good in trying to understand the flow and complexity and figure out how to protect our simple ordinary selves from being trampled.

      Too bad the moving forces that determine the direction of play and display and determine the aim of the game have little to nothing to do with stability, sustainability, decency and the welfare of all us general ordinary schmucks that fund all the Really Serious Peoples' idiocies.

    • The US, and our huge corporations, ignore or recognize national sovereignty at their arbitrary pleasure. So do all the other players. Nations form and dissolve all the time. link to en.wikipedia.org Czechoslovakia? the Soviet Union? Ukraine? Almost, even, the United States? There's nothing apparently sacred or reliable about nation-state-ery, nor any protections in that legalism for ordinary people just trying to make their way in an increasingly dangerous world.

  • Top 4 Things we can learn from War on Terror in "War on Ebola"
    • And let's remember that Dale Brown published "Storming Heaven," in 1994, that's 1994, one of several novels by different authors positing the use of commercial jets as kamikaze weapons: link to en.wikipedia.org

    • Connections, connections... After 9/11, the War Department/nascent Homeland Security thing convened inventive writers of techno-thrillers, guys like Tom Clancy, to open-endedly brainstorm what "al Quaeda" might do next. All sorts of brilliant possibilities hatched out of that, all added to the "scare" inventory.

      One that was already on the shelf was the plot from Clancy's "Rainbow Six." link to en.wikipedia.org Good thing the NATO Nations had that special set of Really rough Men in place to keep the eco-terrorists who thought they wanted the planet all to themselves from activating their nefarious plot. Wonder if SAS and Seal Teams are equally lucky and up to the task of Saving The World... Given how relatively easy it appears to be to cook up a really nasty virus that gets around via the air, water, fluids, bugs, birds, swine, etc.... link to independent.co.uk

      In the meantime, there's little resource wars to be bitterly fought out, cubicle to window to grant application, little empires to be carved out by careerists whose goal in the game is so tangentially related to the General Welfare.

  • The momentum to recognize a Palestinian State is unstoppable
    • Max Weiss flags a blip of apparent sanity in the recent, largely un-noted pronouncement of the Likudnik Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin:

      At a conference earlier this week, Rivlin, Israel’s president, said “It’s time to admit honestly that Israeli society is sick.” He went on to suggest that his country’s Jewish citizens have “forgotten how to be decent human beings." link to mondoweiss.net, and link to haaretz.com

      Of course the message is also that "both sides" are equally at fault, but maybe, having found they are walking themselves into a cul-de-sac with an IED at the end of it, and hearing footsteps and seeing lots of movement in the shadows and doorways, and hearing ever more weapons being locked and loaded all around, some of the Likudniks are sensing their vulnerability... The sharp move, of course, would be to try to "freier" the Palestinians into "making nice first." link to haaretz.com

      Of course, there's always that nice cache of 200 or 400 or 600 nuclear weapons on constant alert. link to spiegel.de, giving the vicious old Likudniks a nice "Samson Option." You have to wonder what their Rulers' personal escape plans are... link to fabiusmaximus.com

      I wonder: Israeli espionage on "us" has given them access to all our Single Integrated Operational Plan and CONPLAN 8022 documents. I wonder if our battlespace managers have had equal access to the Israeli "National Target List" and operational plans? And what, particularly, the Xtianists and Rapturists in the US Air Force have in mind, if they do?

  • America didn't learn the Lessons of Tribes & Counter-Insurgency in Vietnam, Leading to the Iraq Quagmire
    • And what are YOU saying? Hard to make out.

    • Not saying that at all. But. Please to reflect on the gentle nature of what WE have done there and what replaced the Taliban in Kabul and how successful our coalition nation building counterterrorism activities have been. And I hear it's another record opium harvest this year, and the Taliban thing, was that defeated by a trillion bucks and all that bought? Evil is all around. Don't be falling for Narrative illusions.

    • Speaking of parallels, another book by an actual participant points up (unintentionally, mostly) more of what's sick and deformed about the US empire. "First In: An Insider's Account of How the CIA Spearheaded the War on Terror in Afghanistan," by CIA paramilitary field operative Gary Schroen, somehow made it past the CIA censors, to lay out many braggadocio bits of the Great Defeat of the Evil Commies and Taliban by the "Northern Alliance" of the same kind of self-interested warlords.

      The book showcases "Policy" put into motion by the Great Wise Beltway Bubbleheads, uniformed, uninformed, or frockless, blessed with certain skill sets and lots of money and materiel to throw around, cursed by micromanagement to be consistent with "doctrine" that had to meet the jot and tittle of the Narrative and turned and pivoted not on any kind of consistent war plan but only the ascendance of one little group of "policy" people or another inside the Bubble. Schroen was well aware of and happy to use the corruptions, "shifting loyalties" and predilections of warlords to do the kinds of "regime change" and "interventions" that they do so much of, in service to some idiot vision or other or maybe just out of idiot habit and momentum, or because the gain personally from, or get off on, the Game. He apparently informed his bosses about the complexities of Afghan sociopolitics, to the extent that only idiots or perverse people could press ahead with the stratagems that led to where "we" are now: Used, screwed, bled and universally scorned and hated.

      What's the goal and endpoint of all this? Just more of the same, until the carbon is all burned, and a very few are left to contend over the canned goods and safe drinking water? Do "we" (or those of us who create the wealth that pays for all this, fills the ranks of soldiers, all that, have to keep it up, putting up with Rulers who keep manufacturing and/or exacerbating war-able divides, just to keep themselves and the Brass in comfort and ego-satisfaction? Just curious... It seems like such a silly structure.

  • Iran Proposes Axis against ISIL to Iraqi PM Abadi as alternative to US Coalition
    • How about a history of European violence over the last 20 centuries? Maybe overlap that with a review of wars and empires in the Mediterranean basin over the last 5 or 6 millenia, including of course Messypotamia, and the traditional recitations of Israelite history in the Pentateuch?

      And "we," not the royal or editorial form, but the pretextual presumption that those in communication with us are in comity and communion with us too, "WE" pretend or accept that it's this comfortable frame, all nice and packaged into Good Guys and Bad Guys, the Enemies du Jour vs. US, and it's supposedly about "Our National Interests Uber All..." Add the complexity of corporations bigger, wealthier and more powerful than most states, pursuing whatever THEIR interests are (mostly just MORE FOR THEM and their bigwigs?), and what do you get? Stuff like "At the same time, US and coalition fighter jets continued to fly missions against ISIL on behalf of Baghdad." Nothing but unguided wildly propagating mercenarialism... You think those other players don' be gettin' a really good old belly laugh at "us?" They can even slap us in the face, again and again, while "we" ladle out cubic kilometers of weapons and money to them, to "buy influence and loyalty to our cause"...

    • Hey, guys! Wait up for me! C'mon, guys! No fair! It's my ball, after all! C'mon, PLEEEEZE?

  • Iraqi Sunnis to ISIL, US Coalition: A Pox on Both your Houses
    • ...waiting for "Richard" to chime in and explain what all this really means, from a certain point of view...

  • If Baghdad & the Kurds are allied against ISIL, why is Baghdad Starving Kurdistan of Money?
    • "You can’t expect people to be willing to pay up, if at the same time, you’re slapping them in the face." What an incredibly rich phrase that is! Can it be applied to Israel, al-Sisi, "moderate terrorists," Karzai, al-Maliki, the NSA and the rest of "our" scrutiny-security-military apparatus, Wall Street, Congress, et cetera?

    • ...gee, could it bee, that the frame our Rulers are working so hard to force-fit over "the situation" just ain't going to go? That, as usual, our Rulers, with their iDiot habits, are once again playing some game that almost nobody else, other than bug-splats and collateral-damagees, is really interested in? That once again, nothing is what "we citizens" are taught that it is? That once again, emphasize "gain," something else altogether is afoot?

      "A friend of mine recently said that the best solution to the problem is for people to go home. What sounds like a radical statement at first is probably the only true solution to the issue." Oh, but it can't be that uncomplicated and inexpensive, can it? Because ISILabola or what-everrrr? Of course, it's not like the same Game doesn't keep playing out, dynasty after generation after Horde -- link to en.wikipedia.org in all its parts., or for the visually activated, link to shop.history.com.

  • Defying Turkey, US airdrops arms to Kobane Kurds
    • Richard, you mean reports by the "Pentagon" like this one?
      link to defense.gov

      Or less BS reports like this one?
      link to nationalreview.com
      And I don't seem to find any support for the notion that the errant PALLET was "attritted" by subsequent air strikes. All this of course is small potatoes, in the larger Fraud of War "we" are engaged in. link to hotair.com

    • Leaping to the defense of "Defense..." Maybe not deliberately, just maybe stupidly, futilely, incompetently, venally, idiotically... And is the number not more like Billions, rather than Millions?

    • For anyone too young to remember or too busy to look her up, here's a link: link to en.m.wikipedia.org.
      Not exactly the same game, but same result for a brave young woman?

    • And what could possibly go wrong?

      "IS fighters seize weapons cache meant for Kurds" [actually part of the really competent air resupply mission]

      On Tuesday, IS loyalists on social media posted sarcastic thank you notes to the United States, including one image that said "Team USA."

      But the lost weapons drop was more an embarrassment than a great strategic loss. The Islamic State militants already possess millions of dollars-worth of U.S. weaponry that they captured from fleeing Iraqi soldiers when the group seized swaths of Iraq in a sudden sweep in June."

      link to hosted.ap.org

      Keep repeating: "It's just the fog of war. it's just the fog of war..."

    • I'm sure there's a really good shallow glib explanation for this little bit of information:

      Serena Shim, 1984-2014
      The Death of a Reporter

      ...On Friday, October 17, Serena went on air for Press TV. She was rattled in the broadcast. Serena said that Turkish intelligence officials had accused her of spying. She had reported that Islamic State fighters had been smuggled over the border in trucks with logos from the World Food Organization. No one had seen this before or made such allegations. It came to the heart of the suspicion of various forms of assistance being provided to the Islamic State through Turkey. Barzan Iso, a Syrian Kurdish journalist, had already reported that Qatari charities have been using the Jarabulus crossing to get aid to the Islamic State....

      From the Turkish towns of Mardin, Kilis and Urfa, the foreign jihadis made an easy transit into Syria. Until recently, Turkish authorities did not try to hide this “rat line.” Oğuzeli Airport in Gaziantep (Turkey) had come to resemble the old airport in Peshawar (Pakistan), as the bearded wonders disembarked with a glint in their eyes to join what they saw as a holy war. Pakistani intelligence had the same steel in their walk as Turkish intelligence – the parallels seemed to me more and more appropriate when a Kurdish commander told me that the Islamic State is to Turkey as the Taliban is to Pakistan. link to counterpunch.org

      ... Memo to self: Don't let it bother you. Nothing is ever what it seems, and thermodynamics teaches that disorder is inevitable...

  • Real Estate Agents to the Terrorists: ISIL Steals Mosul Refugee Property to Raise Money
    • Interesting echoes of the business practices of Freedom'n'Democracy (TM) Capitalists in our very own US Empire, or as "we" exploit and expropriate strippable resources here and abroad. You wonder how many Wharton School grads, with the "ethics" they learned there, are adhering themselves to an employer that finds real value and income streams in good old ground rents and real estate, rather than QE and securitization -- though maybe that's next? Will ISISILIQ do licensing and brand franchising? And will its version of Sharia frown on Western lending and fraud styles, or extend the dead-end robbery? After all, we have civil forfeitures and mortgage and foreclosure fraud...

  • America's Colonial Armies: Absentee Soldiers, Corrupt Officers and Collapse
    • It helps to just go with the understanding that the Game is really about wealth transfer and extractive "capitalism," with a sideshow of blowing stuff up -- how silly is it to huge-and-kludge up this gigantic apparatus that is focused laser-like on "delivering applied kinetic force" in the form of high explosives that are directed at or generally in the general direction of some precisely nearly sort of selected and designated little locus that may or may not have the intended or unintended value target in place where the Really Smart Weapon happens to impact. While the real nature of the Beast, the whole logistical chain that starts with the April 15 contributions we all make, added to the billions in petrodollars from all over, through the grasping desiccated self-pleasing paws of the military industrialists, on through to FOB deliveries to ports and airports and depots all across the planet of the tools and innovations and reallyneatgadgets that are so very useful in the destruction of community and comity and commensalism, from the tiniest of spy devices and mines and individual rounds of pistol and rifle ammo, jetting along with the F-35s, and on up to the "Not Ever To Be Used" nukular devices... But hey! We're Number One! in weapons expenditures and "sales" and one idiot war thing after another! Something to really make a fella swell with pride!

  • Is Baghdad next? ISIL takes Hit Base in Iraq, loots it for Weapons
    • RUN AROUND YELLING "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHH!"? Good thing the really smart adults are in charge of this whole global counter-terrorism counter-Horde operation, they will no doubt be seeking advice and counsel from sites like this...

    • In other words, no links? Just echo chamber assertions? Tough manly talk is cheap -- for the blogger, "it's good strategy," makes one seem very substantive and all. Et ISISISILIQ Delenda Est, Sed Assad Magno Delenda Est, right?

    • I see Jack has a new theme, straight out of history: "et praeterea censeo carthago delenda est," Carthage the New now being the person of Bashar Assad. link to blogs.desmoinesregister.com If the test is whether rulers use indiscriminate bombing, how does a barrel bomb stack up against the random mortar and artillery fire directed by our friends the "moderates" into many of the same areas? Or how about Hellfires into wedding parties? Easy sound bite in support of more "regime change" that has no chance in he77 of producing any kind of stable outcome, if that's the real goal. But War Is Peace, right? and decapitation plus ever more weapons to "moderates" plus fig-leafed "coalition" bombing campaigns that, mirable dictu, also kill lots of civilians, equals ego gratification for neocons and lots of wealth transfer, but not a dam' thing of value for ordinary people... Say again how "toppling Assad" will produce a "solution," rather than just be the starting point for a false syllogism?

    • The "we" you are talking about is a military that's more about procurement and promotion, huge and clumsy and bureaucratized, backed by State and Spooks that consistently and famously "get it wrong," because of their own actual interests, at odds with ordinary people's.

      Look back: "we" start stuff in service to corporate "interests," send the ill-equipped and ill-prepared to do the same invading-army corruption a making stuff bover and over, even the generals tacitly acknowledge the forces they " lead" from ergonomic chairs as "battle managers" in their idiotic Global Interoperable Network-Centric Babblespace can't fight and win asymmetric wars. No matter how much wealth they get. Don't fight imperial land wars in Asia, pay some attention to Sun Tzu's wisdoms? Nah, gotta line up that post- retirement (or firing, for corruption or fooling around, never just incompetence) gig. And the goal is just to keep the profitable using up and selling of weapons, the promotion of conflict, the vast opportunities for corruption and advancement, going and going and going...

    • Any links anyone cares to share that substantively document the claim that ISISILIQ has been able to arm itself with lots of volunteer human hand grenades?

      We of course give sincere medals and honors and fine funerals to OUR troops that will throw themselves on a live grenade in combat...

    • Since when have the lying liars who rule us had anything to worry about in the way of consequences to credibility, far less to their persons and wealth, from "backing away from pledges?" Except maybe the pledges given to crapheads like Grover Norquist and our new bloody aristocracy typified by the Kochs? And maybe ISISILIQ is not a true Juggernaut, just the latest in Successful Hordes amplified by all the weapons and technology its management has managed to put in play, but it sure seems so very obviously inarguably indisputably evidence-based clear that "the world's most expensive, expansive, and bureaucratized and corrupt military" has nothing in its massive, ponderous, clumsy, idiotic Table of Organization and Equipment or millions of Doctrine Documents to "address the situation," let alone "prevail," whatever that means given the Follow The Money institutional-reality-activity of Our Military Lordlings...

  • Top 5 Ways Lower oil Prices Could Change the World
    • Individuals go along every day, blissfully unaware of all the many physiological functions that keep them moving and breathing and able to steal from their neighbors, diddle their pleasure centers and occasionally do a good deed. Most of that is called "homeostasis," and we take it for granted that those feedback loops that manage chemical balances, nerve functions, respiration and circulation and all that just do their quiet thing. And when that complex meta-stable system gets disturbed, it's called "disease."

      Too bad there's no provision in our physiology to balance and moderate, or just shut down, the ability of a few of us to get really really rich and potent, with impunity and without consequences, at the expense of the vast majority of us and the house we all have to live in -- where the few can go off into their private suites, where their environment is perfectly controlled, where they get the best possible health care and food and drink and toys. And where their particular predatory and parasitic dysfunctional (for the larger group, the species, or even "nations") adaptations let them "succeed," in the same way that disease organisms and cancers "succeed."

      Not too many good prognoses for most of us, out there in that "unpredictable financialized future," where those "good" and "bad" trades get valued by those who have figured out how to force and enforce their "values"... Interesting that so many of those whose backs and endurance are facilitating that so aptly named "oil BOOM" seem to be aware that their tiny bit of day-labor "success" comes at a huge price -- but that the need to feed trumps any negative-feedback behavior to shut the burning down: link to juancole.com

  • First-rate care on your doorstep when Cleveland Clinic opens in Abu Dhabi
    • Thank you, T&J, for this timely note. PR does not equal health care, or even medical care. One might guess that if a sheik in Abu Dhabi, or one of the Blessed Few who will be getting treated and billed there (did you mention Cleveland Clinic's possible problems with cost control? link to cleveland.com Not that cost would be an issue in Abu Dhabi, and of course there's no pesky CMS or other government regulatory apparatus in the weeds...)

  • Listening to Nobelist Malala Yousafzai instead of just Honoring Her
    • So Soviet MafiaCommunism = Socialism? From the little that's visible, she maybe dislikes all forms of thuggery and thievery? Maybe even our own Vulture Exceptional I am in its many parts? We should all award ourselves prizes for Egregious Self-Interest...

    • Interesting contrast between the lights that illuminate the face of Malala Yousafzai and the darkness that shades the visages of the GUNmen that feature so prominently in the photo headings of so many posts here. Which hold the power and the trump cards and vetoes?

  • America's Oil Wars on ISIL, Iran & Russia
    • The US started the use of "the oil weapon" with the embargo of oil ( and also scrap metal) shipments to Japan in 1941. Corporate interests in imperial clout trumped better sense on all sides. link to strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil. Leading to the US first use of yet another nasty weapon, which we assure ourselves was just to save lives...

  • The Last Days of Kobani Loom as ISIL Closes in on Syrian Kurds with Murder on its Mind
    • The Japanese "lost the war" before they attacked Pearl Harbor, their own generals knew that. Corregidor was a gnat on the backside of the empire-vs-much-smaller-resource-limited-empire activity in the Asian sphere. Khe Sanh and many other "linchpins" were supposed to be the keys to this or that war or at least major battle, and what result? "We" assign that kind of significance to Kobane? And how interesting that you should compare this "moment" to the moments of Mandela and King, who were all about something very other than more Great Game lunacy and killing.

    • I got news for you, Jack -- American troops in Syria is very bad news for AMERICAN TROOPS, and us mopes at home who have to pay to fill up the entire enormous long supply chain and logistics train and fund the comfortable idiotic lives of the general officers who live so fat off the rest of us, so insulated from the consequences of their idiocies along with the Beltway Bubbleheads who support their parasitism. "American Troops" have zero chance of "prevailing," except by decreeing victory and advancing rearward, or maybe counting another piece of Perpetual War as a "victory," or maybe we can finally get some use out of those nukular weapons we have paid so much to get so little use out of...

  • Why is Kobani Important? ISIS advances against Syrian Kurds despite US Airstrikes
    • Our rulers are not sharp enough to play anything other than Elmer Fudd in that Game.

  • You'll Never Believe what ISIL has done to Iraq's al-Anbar Population
    • Fallujah, Fallujah... I recall reading and hearing and even seeing some pictures on the TV and video on youtube about a place with that name. Could that be the same one written about here?: link to roanoke.com

      Gotta love those Grand Geopolitical Struggles and the Big Battles and what happens next in those Key Linchpin Must-Win-At-All-Cost bleeding spots that highlight the Grand Futility of so much of it... because the Game is not about striving for stability and decency and comity, it's about "national (sic) interests," right? About "maintaining freedom of action?"

  • Does Bear + Dragon Trump Eagle? How Russia & China may block the US in Asia
    • A better idea would be "none of the above," since from the ordinary-person standpoint, both of those "initiatives" are a royal screw job...

  • Kurdish Forces Under-equipped, Need ground troop Allies: Peshmerga General
    • If the goal is keeping the oil flowing, we're likely screwed, us combusto-consumers. If the goal is keeping up "sales," that blighted concept in this context, of all the weapons, and redirection of the wealth they generate along with the self-sustaining chaos that leads to still more weapons being "introduced," well, hey, that's an investment opportunity that is a major part of the foundations of all these little (and bigger) foreign wars of choice and their blowback sequels and prequels:

      From 2102: Five Reasons The Defense Industry Is Still A Better Investment Than Other Sectors

      ...It’s easy to see how this counter-cyclical quality might aid investors going forward. Right now, China and Europe are slowing down and the possibility of another Middle East war looms as Israel prepares to attack Iran’s nuclear complex. If Israel strikes, that will probably lead to Iranian missile launches, action in the Strait of Hormuz, spiking oil prices and other developments that depress the shares of most commercial companies. But not defense shares. When war looms, demand for the goods and services of military suppliers rises. Also, politicians defer plans to cut military spending. So while other sectors are faltering, defense stocks thrive.

      Market dominance. The U.S. Department of Defense buys a billion dollars in goods and services every day, seven days a week. The Pentagon’s appetite for technology and technical services is so insatiable that even at peak intensity, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only represented about a quarter of U.S. military spending. Because U.S. defense outlays are greater than those of the next dozen military powers combined, America’s arms merchants dominate the global market in a way that few other industries can. link to forbes.com

      What some at FOX think: link to video.foxbusiness.com

      And for all the false-reductionist Manichaeanism of the current screenplay, the Realists out there, pursuing their own paths to wealth, apparently are recognizing the likely lasting quality of the ISISILIQ, at least to the point of making sure the "caliphate's" supply chains are being tended and filled. For context, a selection of articles on where ISIS's supply chains link up, who's happy to sell and give and "Ooops, those were supposed to be going to MODERATES" otherwise arm the "caliphate," lookie here, or google "who sells weapons to ISIS":

      What they've got already: link to huffingtonpost.com

      link to ibtimes.com

      link to npr.org

      Going forward (or further backward): link to businessinsider.com

      For those who appreciate delicious irony, "us" bombing our own weapons that "we" paid for and idiotically plopped into "their" hands, after yet another failure of "policy": link to pri.org, and of course link to alternet.org

      And for the believers in "Arming Moderates," just one of many selections on what really happens in the complexity that we Manichaeans are too dopey to really play in: link to ijreview.com, and more old news, link to abcnews.go.com
      And this tidbit: Providing weapons to the regional proxies, Mr. Bevan added, is “a massive risk that is heightened by poorly motivated security forces that are facing great challenges.”

      The Islamic State fighters have proved adept at arming themselves as they have expanded their territory. Analysts and rival rebels say the group has gathered weapons from other antigovernment groups in Syria that have joined its ranks, from purchases from Syrian rebels who receive weapons from foreign donors, from battlefield captures and from deals with corrupt members of the security forces in Syria and Iraq. link to nytimes.com Anyone remember who Milo Minderbinder is?

      "The only way to win is not to play the game." Depending, of course, on your role, and the definition of "win"...

  • ISIL Still Taking Towns in Iraq's Al-Anbar as Coalition Airstrikes are Delayed
    • So I guess we, whoever we are, are now all okay that we have gotten over that minuscule moral speed bump that kind of impeded progress toward our imperial destiny, and we are all agreed that the Empire and its coalition are all just doing G_d' s work by flying missions, with all that means, right over and past those ephemeral and inconvenient former sovereign national borders, because, well, you know, ISISILIQ! Reluctantly, sorrowfully, with a deep sense of the duties that history has imposed on us, as Rulers of the Free World. We can all rest comfortable in the belief that the competent adults are in charge, and thanks to their well advertised sense of larger duty, all will be well, going forward...

  • The Alamo of the Kurds: Kobane Near Falling to ISIL
    • Sorry, MK, even with the more detailed re-telling, it still seems plain jack foolish. There are so many fail points in that chain of necessities, so many echoes of failed "policies" out of a long string of Beltway Bubbleheads backing losers... The selected, not elected, government-in-exile, circuitous CIA weapons logistics, force-fitting an Imperial frame on it all via lobbying and wishful thinking? Ain't we done that enough times yet?

    • Does anything about this "policy critique" bother anyone else? The State Department arming factions? The STATE DEPARTMENT? Bad enough that the other Uncontrollable Thing, the “CIA,” is on the case, along with all the factions in the Military Thing that prosper by getting a part of the action, like SOCOM and its corruptions… And the blithe assertion that a "bought" faction is the "right" one, and that they would stay bought, in Byzantium? And the presumption that all that's needed is weapons injection into the right muscles, and the grand mal epilepsy over there will resolve? Oh, and “democratization” by overthrowing elected governments and stuff?

      Early Machine/Colonial/Imperial Age physicians used to “treat” patients by “letting blood” and applying blistering agents to their skin. Depended on the robustness of the patient, whether they survived the “treatment,” and either way the physicians collected their pound of flesh. Weapons-in, from the unaccountable, vast, and growing dump of munitions and “equipment,” has been a failing behavior (from the ordinary person’s viewpoint, of course, ask a Yazidi or now-miserable denizen of Fallujah that “we liberated, or a host of other places) since the git-go.

      Is that all our rulers can manage? Us ordinary people paying the costs of our own violent abuse and murder? Because “realpolitik,” and“Empire,” and “hegemony,” and “upward wealth transfer?” Because “masterful policies, doctrines, strategies, tactics, black activities?” Because “profits,” that don’t have any accounting rules for all the externalities?

    • Re the '35, not to worry, another trillion will put all right. If only the real notion behind all this geometrically more costly crap was anything to do with combat. Which for your hot jet jockeys is mostly listening for warbles, fighting cockpit overload, staying in the envelope and standing way off and fingering their pickles and then "egressingthe area." While hoping not to get a rocket up the tailpipe or a random round through the compressor.

    • Poor old (A-10). So sad. But now there's F-22s which have taken their tutu-wrapped bow, c'mon, fella, got to give the other product lines a chance to get some press. Like the V-22, which is it armored and armed yet, flits around getting just enough "combat" airtime to keep the product alive, while like so many other military procurements that arrive after difficult gestations and various renascences. Like the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, or how about the (finally Up-Armored) Hummer, the XM-25 Game Changer grenadobullet launcher, on and on and expensive, same-old-sh_t on, like the B-2, a loving "Brainchild" out of Cubic Money and the failed YB-49 of Jack Northrup whose corporate doppelganger finally triumphed over planes with traditional empennages. To be supplanted by missiles and drones and Autonomous Combat Devices, on the way to "Terminator World"...

      There are partisans for every weapon system that ever came down the gold-plated pike (in the case of the A-10, the aluminum-wrapped, depleted uranium pike, since that 30 mm ammo is indispensable to the "A-10 punch," and what a nice mess DU also makes of the post-conflict landscape, hey? Lookie here, for some unpropagated training film stuff on the subject: link to youtube.com.)

      Yah, the A-10 is more survivable, and can shoot up tanks and stuff; so could the AH-1 Cobra and SuperCobra and DoubleExquisiteCobra and lots of others: link to military-today.com. Tanks are replaceable, at a lot less cost than you'd think, and there are lots of tankbuilders happy to refill the inventories of all the killing forces. Even our charming "government" has a way of spreading"our" wealth and weapons around the world, look at this interesting bit of legislation: "10 U.S.C. 2581 - Excess UH-1 Huey and AH-1 Cobra helicopters: requirements for transfer to foreign countries," link to gpo.gov

      This whole phase of human devolution is just MADNESS: "Policies" based on imperial and commercial greed and grandiosity set in motion long chains of behavior that just DEMAND that guys (mostly) who get off on weaponry and warfare get to go play with the wealth and lives of large or small populations, set up stuff like ISISILIQ now, or UNITA, or our "very special forces," and the whole World's Largest, Most Inefficient and Corrupt Military and its suppliers, the fraud of "democracy spreading," all of that and other stuff.

      And is "the answer" just (A-10)? Or Trident MIRVed missiles, one sub's worth of which might kill the whole living planet, a weapon system built in clear retrospect and the then present knowledge of "our Rulers" that the Big Bad Bear was nowhere near as dangerous at the moment, though the Soviets had their crazy Tellers and Curtis Lemays, link to brainyquote.com, and were able to leverage their own idiocy on Our MAD/First Strike Supposed Superiority? Or is "the answer" to be found in a resolution of that grand debate, carried out at full-auto shoots and in many a bar fight, over which is better, the M-16/M-4 or the AK-47, or Glock or Beretta, and which caliber and bullet and powder load?

      Here's why the Generals, who get to make the "Tough Procurement Choices," say the A-10 is being "retired:"

      Air Force leaders defend move to retire popular 'Warthog' plane

      (Reuters, March 14, 2014) - The Pentagon's decision to retire the entire U.S. fleet of popular A-10 "Warthog" aircraft is painful but necessary as the military is forced to save money now to develop tomorrow's weapons, Air Force leaders said on Friday.

      General Mark Welsh, the Air Force chief of staff, told a panel in the House of Representatives that eliminating the 283 tank-killer jets would save [all of] $3.7 billion over the next five years plus another $500 million in planned aircraft upgrades. [Not even pocket change, or even pocket lint, in a pocket that's filled with Trillion$...]

      The money saved would in turn be used to bolster current Air Force readiness, which has slipped in recent years because of budget cuts, and to focus on priorities for the future, such as the radar-evading F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, a new aerial refueling tanker and a new long-range bomber. link to reuters.com (Emphasis and parentheticals added)

      I don't accept that humans are trapped into this idiot cycle, but if one buys into the supposed logic of it all, read the above passages again and tell me what I am missing: Is that any way to run an Army, Air Force, Navy, Marines, Coast Guard, Black Ops, "Homeland Security"? F-U-B-A-R. And (A-10) is a little Band-Aid (tm) Dot (tm), on a giant bleeding carcass of Ordinary People...

  • In Iraqi Classrooms, Sunni Muslim Extremists Ban Evolution, Patriotism And Literature
    • Don't you just have to know that the Tea Party/Fundie "faith-ful" here, and William Bennett and Krauthammer and all the rest of the "conservatives," are just aching, ACHING, that a bunch or A-rabs have been able to achieve what they so long to have for themselves, in the way of "social control" and power over others... All the elements of the crap that passes for privatized "Christian" curricula in all those charter schools is imposed ZIP! with the issuance of an edict backed by the kind of gunpower the worst of us wish they had... better keep them away from the knife drawer and any piles of stones, too, and whips and staffs while we're at it. Maybe they can recruit any "returnees" from jihadidiocy to be their enforcers! Anomie >> disassociation >>> Ragnarök link to en.wikipedia.org

  • 7 Surprising Reasons Turkey is entering war on ISIL
    • All you historians out there, does any of this (not just the Turkish rulers' behavior) ring any bells? Headlines on August 1914 newspapers in capitals all across Europe, "It's War!"

  • Denying ISIL Legitimacy and the problem of Radical Returnees
    • ...and for those who point to madrasas and Islamic studies as a source of radicalism, there are other examples to look to, both in the virtual world and "real" one:

      link to telegraph.co.uk

    • Loud applause for this analysis. Thank you, Dr. Cole, for at least putting it up on the board.

      "Lack of being targeted by a Hellfire, .308 sniper round, GPS-guided munition, link to en.wikipedia.org," is not a root-cause analytic that has a prayer (to any G_d) of diverting the people "drawn to the sword" from seeking identity and community there. (And that applies to the same or very similar people who populate Imperial militaries, the various "special ops" types, the CIA and other "intelligence" paramilitaries and field operatives like the guys who run "our" torture and gulag regimes, the huge and growing numbers of private armies -- looking for their identities, their "tribes." People who "we" applaud as "good" and as "protectors" only because of who they treat as Other, as Enemy and who don't loot "us" too much (as in the enormous military-"security" extractions from our Real Economy).

      And for too many -- if one observes the video evidence from helmet cams and GoPros and cell cameras and gun cameras and all -- the visceral excitement of shooting and in Winston Churchill's observation, "there is no greater pleasure than to be shot at without effect. And the wonderful litany of the tribe, whether it's "Allahu akbar," or "Oooaah!", or from my own experience, "Kill a gook for Christ!."

      Set the conditions, plow the field and water and fertilize it, and all those Dragons' Teeth will, "Gee! How did that happen?", sprout and start laying waste. This author and a very few others appear to be working hard to explain the etiology of the disorder and offer something more than explosives and high-velocity metal as the medicine to address the illness. Good luck to them, blessings on them, but of course the Game is set in some pretty massive concrete, eating our wealth and our futures...

  • Palestine goes to UN Security Council to Demand Israeli Withdrawal by 2016
    • It's worth a few minutes to add some context to the frame that has been wrapped around the notions of "settlers" and "settlements." Good job by the Likudians, hasbara-izing the slow cancerous invasion, occupation, displacement and killing of Palestinians and others, for all the complex and ugly reasons and by all the evil means discussed and displayed in these little articles:

      link to telegraph.co.uk

      And Living the American Dream in the West Bank
      Hanging Out with Israel’s Illegal Homesteaders
      link to vice.com

  • $22 Billion to Fight ISIL in same Year Congress cut $8.7 bn in Food Stamps
    • Even when troops were drafted into the Imperial military, the poor made up a disproportionate set of us. With the sardonic humor typical of troops, we consoled ourselves that Uncle was at least providing us with "three squares and a flop," or room and board for the uninitiated. And cool uniforms, and enough, just enough, sometimes too much to their fragged dismay, oppression, to make us displace all that rage and focus our "patriotic" sentiments on killing Others. Same phrase serves well in the lives of our prison populations, another fertile incubator of psychopathology... Amazing, isn't it, how as a species, busily burning our house down around us, we continue the same idiocies for the immense pleasure and benefit of so very few of us? (Recent research indicates that the relationship of ants and aphids is predatory and parasitic -- and that ants use the insect equivalent of FOX propaganda to lull the aphids into bovine, uncomplaining productivity of nectar, while eating up the plant resource they live on and awaiting their turn to be eaten by some ant with a sudden taste for protein...)

  • Pretext for US Syria Bombings?: No sign that Dread "Khorasan" Group even Exists
  • Why Obama underestimated ISIL in Syria and Iraq
    • Interesting question, what "we" ought to do now. Already answered by the "we" that rule "us:" Bomb stuff, missile stuff, slowly boil the frog by incremental loads of "boots" to kick in more doors, take more "us" casualties, up the ante, move the window, use NGO and GO fronts that pretend to be about "democratization" as long as that has no tiny element of "social justice" in it, no actual benefits for the ordinary people who actually create the Real Wealth the Masters feed on. And "them" Rulers, what are their plans and goals, again? Gee, I wonder -- so seductive, the end-point vision of one person, corporate or individual, completing the Reagan Dream of the "ownership society," owning everything and renting it back to the rest of us, who in addition to creating all that wealth are expected to eat or repair all the externality-bred damage and horror so the Lords and Ladies can disport in pleasure and comfort all the days of their consequence-free, impunity-girded lives.

      What "we" ought to be doing is less of more of the same, and some actual addressing and ameliorating of the Same Old Imperial Shi_t that keeps the fires stoked under the pot of oil "we" are cooking in. But the power is all in using sh_t up, leveraging the externalities of combustion and conflict that the "Halliburton Lockheed Martin Boeing RAND Orcs" feed and grow on. What's being done now, on a darkling plain with its confused alarms and false flags and other detritus of struggle and flight, is in no service to the most of "us," just aggrandizement of the Increasingly Few. You got detailed suggestions? Bombing from afar ain't gonna do it, and "our" World's Greatest Military does not e4ven have to pretend to be able to "win" this or any 4th generation conflict in all its complexity -- just keep procuring and using up...

    • One more bit about "what Obama believes." Beyond what Dr. Cole cites from the CBS interview, there's this:

      “Steve Kroft: I think everybody applauds the efforts that you’ve made and the size of the coalition that has been assembled. But most of them are contributing money or training or policing the borders, not getting particularly close contact. It looks like once again we are leading the operation. We are carrying…

      President Obama: Steve, that’s always the case. That’s always the case. America leads. We are the indispensable nation. We have capacity no one else has. Our military is the best in the history of the world. And when trouble comes up anywhere in the world, they don’t call Beijing. They don’t call Moscow. They call us.

      President Obama: That’s the deal.

      Steve Kroft: I mean, it looks like we are doing 90 percent.

      President Obama: Steve, when as issue … when there’s a typhoon in the Philippines, take a look at who’s helping the Philippines deal with that situation. When there’s an earthquake in Haiti, take a look at who’s leading the charge and making sure Haiti can rebuild. That’s how we roll. And that’s what makes this America. ” link to cbsnews.com

      It’s a complicated statement, but really? Haiti? HAITI? This Haiti? link to fourwinds10.net And THIS Haiti? link to wrongkindofgreen.org "Rebuilding?" Really?

      Expletives deleted.

  • Is Mahmoud Abbas right that Israel is Guilty of War Crimes, Genocide in Gaza?
    • So: it's established that the Israelites, while beating their breasts at how abused they as relatives of former victims are, have committed mar crimes and other violations of " international law."

      So, other than give a speech, what is Arafat's successor going th DO about it? Sign off on more settlement invasion?

  • Can Iraq Convince its Sunnis to Fight Extremists?
    • So the Ayatollahs can field 100,000 troops who are any better at asymmetric combat than "the world's greatest military?" Able to " clean out ISIS"? Even if the residual national and tribal attachments were not a problem? What a conundrum: the only thing we humans do consistently over the long haul is "make war," and am I the only one who thinks that all this murderous and costly idiocy is the catalyst, the fomenter, of one serial stupidity (albeit profitable for a few, and of service to exploitative extractors of externality-loaded "wealth") after another? I guess there's no getting the War Train off the Main Line, is there?

    • So: Who are the "optimistic politicians" who are pushing the idea that there is still an entity called "Iraq"? And gee, what personal stakes do they have, what will they gain, from " defeat of the IS extremist group"? More Maliki-quality central government?

  • Hidden Camera Reveals Chilling Life Under ISIS Control
    • What strike me, in this small sample, is how the GUNmen riding around being tough and building their sad identities and enforcing (and expanding and extending with idiot enthusiasm and growing intensity) the rules that their mafia leaders put up on the wall where "some pigs are more equal than others," and sound like a bunch of what are politely called "marginal personalities." Likely are the types who were picked last for the pickup soccer teams, and of course unable to find decent work. Not hard to find a lot of similar types in various backwaters of our own Blessed Homeland, only a small reduction in the elements of social control away from playing the same game. Not surprising, as noted elsewhere here, that these losers-with-AKs are drawn to the Flame of ISISILIQatarianism...

      And in that same vein, our Vast Empire That Really Isn't Trying To Dominate The Whole World has this marvelously hypocritical and tone-deaf exhortation to offer to the Security Counsel yesterday:

      "This is a vision of the world in which might makes right," he said, "a world in which one nation's borders can be redrawn by another, and civilized people are not allowed to recover the remains of their loved ones because of the truth that might be revealed."

      Obama made clear that the United States would act only if surrounded by a broad coalition. He dwelled on his success in signing up five Arab nations to take part in the airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria, casting it as a historic moment in which the Sunni Arab world was united to fight the scourge of Sunni extremism. link to tampabay.com

      Yeah, and if one is wilfully blind to the crap that our Empire does, and cheerleads for the Home Team no matter what crap they pull in the name of "our Sacred National Interests," one can ignore that Obama the Orator is criticizing Evil Russia in that little snippet of text...

  • Apocalypse Now, Iraq Edition
    • Yeah, sounds real tough. Obama now is headlined as "mobilizing the planet!" Well, maybe the dark tentacled creature that is the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Bedazzlespace which he and his drone- driving, all-of-the-above energy "policy," planet-EATING cronies have carefully fed and blooded since he assumed the Imperial Purple. Big tough language, that hippie-punching. Bombing and kicking in more doors and making more widows and bereft parents sure seems like more patent, arrant idiocy, even wrapped up in new @xis-©f-€vil lingo, "containing and degrading and pursuing to the gates of Hell." Any indication of any reasonable sort, other than measured... sonorous... cadenced... diction that PBO or any of his generals or admirals, living high and secure inside their bubble are capable of undoing and healing and repairing any of the imperial kleptocratic idiocy? Other than bald assertions of hoped- for but invisible "competence," even? Please forgive me if I mistook the tenor of your comment.

  • Syrian regime Propaganda coup as Israel Downs Syrian Plane over Golan
    • So we've got mostly US-made jets whizzing through the airspace of the area formerly known as the nation states of Syria, Iraq, etc., and our Imperial President is all about how this is such a fine example of how the Arabs and the United Nations are tackling that pesky world-threatening ISIS thingie. Some have asked what part the GCC people are actually playing in the bombardment-after-notice of formerly sovereign Syrian, etc. territory. Here's a Saudi princeling and the PR release and photos of his supposed sortie-flying:

      ABU DHABI // The son of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince was among the pilots who carried out attacks against ISIL militants in northern Syria this week.

      Photographs released by the official Saudi Press Agency yesterday showed eight Saudi air force pilots at an undisclosed location after returning from the mission.

      The pilots included Prince Khaled bin Salman, son of Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

      Dressed in flight suits, the beaming pilots posed for a group photo in front of a fighter jet parked in an airplane hanger. Two of the pilots were also seen sitting in a two-man fighter jet, and there were additional shots of the pilots examining helmets and other equipment in a dressing room.

      The fighter jet was marked with the crossed swords ensign of the Royal Saudi Air Force.

      “My sons, the pilots, fulfilled their obligation toward their religion, their homeland and their king,” SPA quoted Crown Prince Salman as saying.

      He was “proud of the professionalism and bravery” of the Saudi air force men, he said. link to thenational.ae

      But wait! There's more! "UAE joins airstrikes on ISIL bases in Syria"! link to thenational.ae

      See? PROOF of the great alliance! against the New ISIS of Evil! Please to carefully follow the Narrative on your handouts...

  • 13 Years after US started Bombing it, Afghanistan Still Unstable
    • My guess is that like so many other areas of the planet, short of climate collapse or the triumph of Ebola or similar disaster, the map demarcation identified as "Afghanistan" is not ever going to have "peace," as that is roughly understood. Not while the tribal and sept and family structures, overlain by larger units of competition and vengeance and corruption, like warlord demesnes, drug districts and that thing laughingly called "national government" and its "national army" and "national police force," and of course the state-security structures and "contractor connections" and all the other bits and pieces of such dys-organization as humans can manage.

      And that is without regard to the little quantum jumps in violence and disassociation that the ISI and Pak Army elements and "coalition" and CIA and whatever the Russian and Chinese and British, etc., sneaky-petes can manage to induce as part of their Gamesmanship. From what I read of the area, loyalties and commensalities and arrangements are and will always be in flux, and where everyone (male, at least, and able to carry them) has weapons ready to hand, and a haughty and touchy sense of "pride," and ambition and aggression, occasions for conflict and abuse and oppression will always be immanent. Context?

      link to blog.foreignpolicy.com
      link to presstv.com
      link to pajhwok.com
      link to thefiscaltimes.com
      link to telegraph.co.uk
      ...and so much, much more.

      The faded, corporate-gutted US Empire and its War Department and contractors are just the latest
      clumsy, heavy-booted, idiotic bit player in a very long running drama. "We" can at least take pride in having been manipulated more effectively than prior occupants, and having dumped way more treasure and blood into the ever-avid soil...

    • Maybe it's time to stop pretending that the "international order" can be based any longer on the mythical framing of "nation-states?" The Karzai and al-Abadi and and even our own Empire with its real structure of corporate clout (including the docked tail called the UK) are scarcely the stuff of Bismarckian realpolitik any more. So much of what is screwing up the planet and many locales is the sham attempt to maintain the fictions, while backstage, the Elites ripp all the rest of the wealth out of the planet...

  • Shock & Awe In Syria: It never Works
    • There seems to be some significant debate on that point. The Joint Force Bombers and PNAC types are all brave and convinced about the promethean efficacy of Air Power -- others, not so much:

      Kosovo and the Great Air Power Debate
      Journal Article, International Security, volume 24, issue 4, pages 5-38
      Spring 2000
      OVERVIEW
      In the first of two articles on the 1999 war over Kosovo, Daniel Byman and Matthew Waxman of the RAND Corporation seek to dispel the notion that NATO air attacks alone brought Serbia to the negotiating table. They argue instead that air power worked synergistically with other factors—including the threat of a NATO ground assault, declining Russian support for the Serb cause, and the role of the Kosovo Liberation Army—in ending the conflict. More generally, Byman and Waxman maintain that the current debate over the role of air power as an instrument of coercion is "fundamentally flawed." Noting that the outcome of this debate could have broad policy implications, the authors suggest that instead of asking if air power alone can coerce an adversary to surrender, political and military leaders, as well as theoreticians, should ask: "How can [air power] contribute to successful coercion, and under what circumstances are its contributions most effective?"
      link to belfercenter.ksg.harvard.edu

      So maybe you aren't claiming that air strikes did it all, and given the collateral damage one might ask what all that zoom-and-blast actually accomplished in terms of creating stability and comity, "going forward?" Any more than bombs and missiles, dropped and launched with the hopeful expectation of blowing up something "important," munitions which so often go astray, and patently just blow shit up/build nothing, have a prayer of bettering bad situations that will eventually require political and social resolutions (often delayed and damaged by the bomb-bomb-bombs themselves.) What is with the belief and age-old practice that holds that flattening buildings, and using explosives to blow up tanks and APCs and "troop concentrations" is any kind of way to run a railroad? Granted that war-making seems to be the only longitudinal behavioral marker that distinguishes us from lesser beasts...

      Bear in mind that Bomberdroners and all the other Players, including well-paid white-paper generators like RAND, and ground forces and strategic forces and paramilitaries and jackals and "conractors," are all ambitious careerists seeking to justify their slice of the nation's wealth, and pre-eminence or at least co-coolness in the panoply of Warmaking idiocy.

    • Maybe "we," whoever "we" are, are waiting for Ebola to run its course, hopefully while being able to keep the infected critters out of our Sacred Homeland (except for demonstration projects like infected caregivers, and what could possibly go wrong with importing nice parcels of viruses because "we" have such a great track record of keeping the pathogens under control). Then there would be a tabula rasa to g'wan in and take whatever our corps want in the way of extractables, without having to play games with petty local potentates to buy "legal, legitimate" ripoff chits and have excuses to crush local complainants...

    • "Bombing positions in Syria in the absence of an allied ground force is highly unlikely to be decisive in and of itself." Irony? Since when have "coalition" or even "allied" ground forces even with lots of "air" managed to be "decisive" in 4th gen "whatever you call theme?" Fun for the Blue Force Warfighters, but a very expensive fool's "mission..." "This time it'll be different!!!!" Maybe use our new nukes?

  • NYC Climate Demo: Top 5 Massive Rallies that had no Effect
    • It's sure worked pretty good for the "conservatives" who have just been busily "conserving" the substance of life as it used to be... working busily away at the local level and in the Koch-houses in state capitals, packing the school boards and other places where the smaller cams attached to the levers of real power are pivoted...

    • M. L. King had the same goal, and the same fate. We ordinary people need to start providing some better security for our saints...

    • I would include the Bonus March, but obviously that had one effect, catalyzing the resolve of the Elite to keep mopes from successfully petitioning for redress of grievances... link to ushistory.org

      Naw, stuff like that couldn't wouldn't never happened here...

  • Iraq: Are Sunni Arabs of Kirkuk Province Turning on ISIL?
    • Other than the nominal religious identity of the dudes of IS, and the advantages of telecommunications and really potent weapons like AKs, how are these creatures and their ascendancy any different in the effects on ordinary people than prior Hordes and occupiers? As in the "conquest of the Incas" or in the US proper, the treatment of a Native Americans or blacks in Jim Crow South? As just a couple of random examples from a very long catalog of human interactions?

      For the sake of ordinary people in Iraq and Syria, we can hope that this batch of violent opportunists gets disassociated soon. But it's hardly a unique phenom. It is interesting that the abusive and repressive Gulf State feudalists who helped birth and feed the beast are now crying "existential threat to their own intended abuses... Reality sometimes trumps Narrative, when the dissonance gets too cognitive, despite the best efforts of Power.

  • Changing US-Iran Relations: Kerry: Iran has a Role in Defeating ISIL Militants
    • It's coherent -- just follow the money. The shifting-alliances stuff is often just window dressing to cover the shifting advantages of various corporate players and of course a military thingie that needs a place to practice and "deployments" to justify "procurements" of weapons systems that in the field, in 4th gen space, are big FAILS.

  • Is Israel's Far-Right Government Inciting against the Israeli Left?
    • Hey, the US imperial government does and has done this crap since even before J. "I'm not cross dresser gay" Edgar Hoover. Easier for the charming Israelites to do it, the caseload is smaller...

      Ask, e.g., Fred Hampton and Mark Clark-- oh, wait, you can't, they are dead... Along with M. L. King, and his message about vulture capitalism.

  • Shiite Militias of Iraq Reject US Return, Threaten to Attack US Forces
    • One little oindex of what the "main tug of power" is, out of the mouth of one of the " really smart" architects of imperial idiocy himself:

      Some of the U.S. Army's sharpest minds warned young combat leaders of what they should expect as America enters a new chapter in its war with Islamic extremists.

      Seasoned leaders such as retired Army Gen. Stanley McChrystal met with young Army officers and sergeants at Fort Benning, Ga., just hours before President Obama outlined his strategy for destroying the extremist group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

      "We are at a period where our enemies respect us, but they don't fear us," McChrystal told his audience at the 2014 Maneuver Conference Wednesday. McChrystal is the former commander of U.S. and allied forces in Afghanistan.

      "The specter of American power is no longer enough to get somebody just not to do something." From that General Idiot (ret.) Stan McChrystal. link to m.military.com

      The limits of power have been insanely exceeded. Of course, like with the Israelis, we always have all those Rapture-ready nukularweapons...

    • Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha...

      Whatcha gonna do, you Beltway idiots? You ain't in any way ready to go to war against the who!e world! Too bad you paid so little attention to the lessons you were supposed to learn in kindergarten...

  • The Next Conflict in Iraq? Will the Kurds try to Annex Kirkuk Permanently?
    • “I think in the end the land will belong to the forces that liberate it,” Naqshbandi concludes.

      "Liberate"? Is that the correct verb, except in some odd Narrative? It's just another bit of human conquest, re-conquest, all that jazz..

  • Should US policy toward ISIL be Containment?
    • ...and the CinC/Emperor was down here at MacDill Joint Base today, just a quick turnaround visit, here at the home of SOCOM and where all the really cool SpecOps stuff gets run out of. He was "rallying the Troops," who gave in that air-conditioned huge hangar a thunderous response to Obama's promise that "we have the tools, we have the talent, It's Killer time!" and how there is no place for any of them ISISILIQ Terrarists to hide from the Righteous Wrath of the Great iAmerica!

      Has that dude ever been over the terrain, even looked at it from Google Earthspace, tried to understand how 4th Gen works and does definitely NOT for idiot Empires using vastly expensive weapons at the end of a huge, corrupt procurement/deployment/logistics pipelines to try to swat mosquitoes or little swarms of annoying rats? especially where the Empire's provisioners and spies are also handing out the weapons and training for asymmetric conflict (ooooh, ssshh, don't call it *war,* that might wake the idiot public that's paying for it) to "moderates" that only exist as either lesser gunmen who can't even hold on to their weapons, lose them or abandon them to REAL GUNMEN who know urban combat and are feeling damn successful at running their extortion and kidnapping and execution racket, or are adept at posing with a__holes like McCain, who appears to have taken on a hatred of the nation and military that failed to rescue or ransom his lily-white a__ when he managed to get himself shot down and captured all those years ago. When they put away their black flags and unwind those head covers, how you gonna even figure out who is who? or is it another Phoenix Program screw-up?

      And the Troops here in SOCOM City cheered at the smug lie that there won't be any US GI boots on the ground, whatever that now means -- maybe, undoubtedly, some of them will very shortly learn that "boots on the ground" WILL happen, and then that double meaning comes into play, like this: link to google.com

      Wrong tools, wrong mission, wrong tasks. You don't "defeat" or "degrade" or "destroy" a Flexible Horde like ISISILIQ with either dumb-_ss GIs kicking in doors, shooting up the landscape, Hellfire-ing to the Gates of Hell, or "surgical bombing," or propping up pseudo-democratic "leaders. And what is the image the Emperor has in his head of what the ME, and also the future of the planet, are supposed to look like? And what's in the secret warped heads of his advisers and general-grade officers and "diplomats" and spooks? Anything that us ordinary people would like to be living through, or under? Paying for, and ultimately dying for, like the "all of the above energy policy" and the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement, remember that? and now Wall Street has run up some $2 quadrillion in derivative bets, and their markers are all still payable by you, me, US, not them?

      Professor Cole probably has some very good notions of what actually OUGHT to be done. We can hope somebody will listen to him and other intelligent voices.

      So many slings, spears and arrows aimed at the hearts and guts of the ordinary people. So hard to even try to keep track of them all.

  • I refuse to serve – the lonely conscience of Israel’s refuseniks
    • "All's fair in love and war..." Ooooh, wait a minnit -- I din't know the Israelis were at war with us! They are supposed to be our staunchest ally in the area! And a Democracy to boot! Except for the people there who aren't allowed to vote! And have no rights as citizens! They ain't supposed to be manipulating their staunchest ally, or spying on us! What kind of suckers are we?

      Thanks, MK, adding to the context...

      How many potentially fatal parasites can the ol' US body politic sustain? Israel, the MIC and all its parts, Wall Street and what that includes, the Koch et al. re-feudalization enterprise, add your own favorite... Do we all HAVE to slide down into the same black pit that's swallowed all those previous Empires? Does greed and arrogance trump the simple needs of the most of us?

    • Thew most interesting and important part of this article was the highlighting of the IDF's "Unit 8200," which spies on American presidents and other officials, grabs their "secret phone calls:" and other signals intelligence, coerces and blackmails Palestinians and no doubt Israelis too, including "missions" for the personal advantage of Israeli politicians, like our own CIA and NSA and good old J. Edgar Hoover FBI. link to theguardian.com Makes you wonder at what point US rulers will finally have had enough of the "Freier" treatment and cut off the giant chaos-engendering suck that is Likudianism. They are "not nice people."

  • Turkey's Caution on ISIL War: "It's far away for them but very close to us"
    • Byzantine complexity was one thing, when the weapons were a little less deadly and us humans had not so badly abused the planet we were given, destroying much of its resilience and extracting far more than our needs.

      Now, added to the mix are the kinds of careless idiots that populate the US Imperial Capital. Busily trying to play in a game where shifting alliances and false loyalties and all the ancient long-practiced tricks of "statecraft" and "politics' in the old Middle-Far-Near East are beyond their comprehension and beyond the tools they unlimber to try to control outcomes (though a few oligarchs like Cheney successfully move the levers and dials to line their own pockets, and we are pretty good at destroying actual democracy and creating disorder.) Looking, as "we" do to the more competent players, like useful, clumsy, well-armed, but naive mercenaries (appropriated for and led by self-serving bureaucratic careerists and "supported" by a huge growing armaments industry) that are so easy to manipulate and deceive (Bibi and Sisi and Hamid and all that crowd, you know who you are).

      Do I have it right that the Turkish press is even more under the Ruler's thumb than our own media lap dogs? As I read through the posted piece, and go back to the source ("TurkeyAgenda") and look at what's published there, e.g., link to turkeyagenda.com, is it not the case that this is just the kind of propaganda that comes out of the slippery mouths of people like Josh "You can believe every thing I say" Earnest, link to politico.com and certain columnists for the WaPo and New York Times (the latter at least maybe repenting for cheer-leading us into striking the Iraq Tarbaby -- the NYT editors are maybe having doubts about "this time, second verse": link to nytimes.com, and link to nytimes.com -- and other Chicken Hawks and War Wimps too: link to huffingtonpost.com And of course this is no hit on Dr. Cole's work, that also appears there.

      So what game is Erdogan actually playing? Or more properly, how many different games? What face is he showing? Where the hell do ordinary people, who have but a tiny bit of influence on direction and are so easily misled and misdirected by tugs on their fears and connections and loyalties and identities, turn to figure out what's really in play and whether they can do a damn thing about keeping their ruling-idiot "betters," who are "better" than them only by skills at kleptocracy and killing and power-gaining, from draining and killing them and their planet, all free from any consequences?

      All of this is possible only because ordinary people get up every morning to work to make the wealth that "our betters" are taking ever more of, in a race to the very bottom -- link to globalchange.umich.edu And it presupposes that there will continue to be a game board to play on. Neither assumption may prove accurate.

  • Must Muslim Americans Condemn ISIL? Must Turkish Jews Condemn Gaza War?
    • So few words, so little grasp.

    • Yeah, condemn ISIL, but recognize the processes that let the thugs who have grown this grand criminal enterprise have a fertile ground to grow in. And then what is the remedy for this disease? Bombing is never "precision," despite the hype, and that is just plowing more fields in which the ugly murderous identities of disaffected gunmen can sprout. I would say this is a job for Elliot Ness, but his success was actually minimal, and the Mob still prospers today even after some kingpins were "taken down." Same with the trillions of dollars and all those operatives (so many of whom become corrupt themselves) in the War on Drugs. We should be a little concerned that some of our children find their identity in aligning with and even joining in the killing and domination... Why is that?

      Evaluate the problems honestly, then try to sort through the tool box for something that will actually end up making stability and decency for ordinary people, for a change...

  • Remember Pres. Obama Saying ISIL Campaign like Yemen? Here's Yemen
    • Per the long set of videos behind and including the one in the post, at least it looks like there might be a path to "reconciliation" into nation-state status of the tribally divided groups, who at least so far are still on "yellow card" (nice soccer tie-in) level of discord. All it needs is a strong leader who would pick up the portfolio to cut the corruption and beating-down of protest (making martyrs is SO stupid), and invite the two sides (with apparently some young optimistic leadership, or at least highlighted speakers) to "reason together." Not Sunni-Shia, at least. And NOT IRAQ OR SYRIA EITHER.

      Stay out of it, Boss Man Obama, if you can, or care to...

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