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Total number of comments: 2339 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:37)


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  • 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

      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

      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 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, 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 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, and link to -- and other Chicken Hawks and War Wimps too: link to 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 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?
    • 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...

  • Top 5 Contradictions in Obama's Emerging ISIL Strategy
    • People that do and have done war have offered some advice to others who want to play the game -- too often starting from a notion that the war is supposed to provide some benefit to the nation. Sun Tzu and Clausewitz are a couple, that our warriors are supposed to study (though given the crappy standards of scholarship, with lots of cheating, I guess those lessons don't actually get learned.)

      So now we ordinary people are saddled with huge expenditures for endless conflict fueled by weapons manufacturers and True Believers with all those petrodollars, on phony or trumped-up "justifications," not for the general welfare but to make a welfare state for the generals who live so large on our hard-earned dollars, link to The only rule is "maximize your personal extraction of wealth, in the knowledge that you are playing a singing part in a grand Götterdämmerung, end of the world Wagnerian opera."

      Hitler, if he is still alive, is laughing his moustache clean off...

    • A lot easier with a fragmentation grenade...

  • Arab Allies will wage Financial war on ISIL: Is it Enough?
    • Saudi Arabian rulers CREATED and FOSTER the other-than-moderate warrior dudes that are all in the news. The CIA is dumping weapons into the boiling cauldron. So "we" are going to what, pay them Saudis to train up more "moderate Syrian rebel groups?" Effing madness. But then what's new, in all of this?

  • Media, Politicians should stop Letting ISIL Manipulate them
    • Thank you, Dr. Cole, for your valiant effort to hold up your King Canutian hand and command the tide not to roll in. "If it bleeds, it leads," especially if it's gruesome and atavistic. Prayers for your instinct to spread, but...

      On the other hand, any reason to pay any attention to the headline on the video? As to what attracts all those people, now including "girls from good families," to run away to join ISISILIQ? What social and psych impetuses move what should be comfy, well fed citizens of Orwell's states to go enlist for their identities with the "successful" head-cutter-offers? Gee, what kinds of dissatisfactions and disaffections draw Good People into the Horde? And gee, by what "policies" and "interests" was the ground prepared for these dragons' teeth to germinate and surprise!!! sprout so suddenly?

      Waiting on our collective failure to stop burning, and to control Ebola, and to stop the geometric proliferation of those other fatal viruses, AK-47s and M-4s and RPGs and SAWs and MANPADs, etc. to finish what a few of us started, and too many of us get off on and dive into...

  • Russia denounces Obama Plan for Syria Air Strikes as Violation of Int'l Law
    • Who would have thought it? How did it possibly happen? Hope you are well, bernard.

    • Does this count as Russian press? "Russia's Corruption Stokes ISIS Terrorism", link to

      Seems like the selfish idiots with their self-serving behaviors on all sides, the Few who have goose-stepped and frog-marched all us ordinary people into this pit, are fungible across whatever arbitrary lines of loyalty and difference one cares to favor.

      Gee, I wonder what the policy to defeat that might be?

    • "So in practice it’s one set of laws for the weak countries, and another for the great powers." A pretty succinct characterization of the nature of the "rule of law" WITHIN so many nations, also, including of course the US and Israel and most everywhere else. There's the myth, to provide cover and faux legitimacy and keep the proles in line, and then there's the reality...

    • "Backyard" and the US: kind of like the Monroe Doctrine and its neo-extensions to the ME and Africa and SE Asia...?

  • Obama's ISIL Actions are Defensive, Despite Rhetoric of going on Offense
    • Creating that "somewhere else" ain't going to happen. Pay any attention to what goes on in the idiot space in our imperial capital, where huge amounts of money and "influence" slosh back and forth, unaccountable and blessed with idiotic impunity from the actual consequences of their idiot "decisions, and it's apparent that the effing Rulers that are sucking the life out of the former nation called "America," and beating up on the weakest and most needy of us, for their personal pleasure and profit, are not about to attend to the remedies that might have a prayer of slowing the rush to manufacture huge blocks of anomie, that then convert to "identity" and become the stones that pile up into these Hordes, these gangs as you so appropriately name the phenomenon.

  • 3 Years War? Obama to Bomb Syria in fight against ISIL
    • As my ex-wife would often say to me, "When YOU do it (behavior X), it's WRONG. When I do it, it's DIFFERENT!"

    • How well is Harper holding his?

    • Assigning blame is one approach, very satisfactory to the gut. Some folks try to figure out what comes next, and how anyone can learn to live with people who killed or were busily trying to kill one's family and friends and tribe. :

      "Living Together After Ethnic Killing: Exploring the Chaim Kaufman Argument"

      "I have argued that in some intense commmunal conflicts a stable end to the killling can only be attained by separating the warring population into defensible territories, that in such cases efforts to keep warring ethnic communities together in mixed settlements, or to put them back together after they have become separated in the course of the war, are misguidied and actually dangerous; and that in such circumstances demands for very loose regional autonomy or even for partition of sovereignty should not be resisted.
      This is nearly the opposite of what was for many decades a virtually unexamined consensus -- that separation of populations and partition of sovereignty should never be encouraged, accepted or even tolerated. The United Nations Charter favors states over non-state groups or individuals in almost all circumstances." link to

      Recognizing that there are nominal Shi'a killers too just acknowledges the nature of humanity. Some of us get off on that "liberating" sensation that comes with dealing death. How to get past the past, then? There's still, always, the question of what comes next, what to do, what to promote, what (in the case of Great Game Players) to stay the hell out of.

    • I must have missed something -- I thought US sanctions on places like Iran and now Russia involved exactly the impairing (maybe not 100% penny-tight) of money flows. At least stuff like this could be done, to choke off some of the arteries that are feeding the ISISIQIL thingie:

      "Mr. Putin's Very Bad Day: The Noose Tightens On His Inner Circle And The Russian People," link to

      The US hypocrisy, of course, is enough to gag a maggot -- the US and the sneaky-petes who play their putrid little games with cash from the sale of cocaine or opium or the ever-growing unaccountable, unauditable "black budgets," or just all those shrink-wrapped cubes of used $100 non-sequential US bills, have no problem moving money by any one of a number of means, and have no qualms about doing so, whether it's to "support Moderates" or overthrow governments or fund "the equivalent of our Founding Fathers," aka the "Contra murder squads, that "we" funded and trained and turned loose:

      "Reagan Was the Butcher of My People:" Fr. Miguel D’Escoto Speaks From Nicaragua," link to What a lovely description and indictment of "our policies" that piece is. And that just goes along with other sets of geopolitical zombies, on the ordinary people and many democratically elected governments, leading so often to what's that word, again, "BLOWBACK?"

      Blest paper-credit! last and best supply!
      That lends Corruption lighter wings to fly! 40
      Gold imp’d by thee, can compass hardest things,
      Can pocket states, can fetch or carry kings;
      A single leaf shall waft an army o’er,
      Or ship off senates to some distant shore;
      A leaf, like Sibyl’s, scatter to and fro 45
      Our fates and fortunes as the winds shall blow;
      Pregnant with thousands flits the scrap unseen,
      And silent sells a King or buys a Queen.

      link to

    • When I arrived in Vietnam in August 1967, with four busloads of other nervous GIs, the Brass gave me a little comic book in which a fetching young woman in her fetching cheongsam explained the country's culture in some 50 or 60 vignettes, along with why we were going to kill or maybe die there. I don't recall the reason any more.

      This linked article has some of the same advice for this generation of heavily armed, earnest idiots, advice and understanding that the rest of us might wish that the Brass and their Bosses might internalize and comprehend before forcing us to punch this next Tarbaby:

      "Bullets, bombs and etiquette: Tips for Canada’s advisers in Iraq". link to

      Oh, well. The huge head of " We must ACT NOW WITH ALL OUR MIGHT" pressure just has to be relieved... A tip, guys, especially, this time: Don't mess with their women, while you are relieving your personal pressure over there.

  • New Iraqi Government: Less than Meets the Eye?
  • US Fighting ISIL on Social Media
    • The US has been so terribly effective at manipulating public opinion via our "libraries" and NGOs and Radio Free Hitherandyon. On a roll! Our rulers' best propaganda efforts seem to have been those aimed at the Sacred Homeland...

  • 5 Things to Know Today about the Fight Against ISIL
    • One more thing to know:

      "Iraq’s Shi’ite militia, Kurds use U.S. air strikes to further own agendas"

      The unlikely coalition of Kurdish peshmerga fighters, Shi’ite militias and the U.S. air force won a major victory when it broke a siege of the Shi’ite Turkman town of Amerli last week and drove Islamic State from 25 nearby Sunni towns and villages.

      But the aftermath is far from what the Americans envisioned. Smoke now rises from those Sunni villages, where some houses have been torched by Shi’ite militia. Others are abandoned, the walls daubed with sectarian slogans.

      “There is no way back for them: we will raze their homes to the ground,” said Abu Abdullah, a commander of the Shi’ite Kataib Hizbollah militia in Amerli. link to

      Mass graves, revenge, more revenge, and no matter how "serious" the think-wankers' pronouncements about coalitions filling in around Baghdad, no amount of hopeful personification will nation-build a pacified and obedient and convenient Iraq thingie. If that is even really among the goals of Our Policy...

    • One thing to know about American foreign policy, as the Establishment "pivots" to the ISthreat thing:

      Obama's dilemma is America's appetite for power but aversion to political risk...

      In 1964, then-former US secretary of state and foreign policy adviser Dean Acheson elaborated a plan for the partition of Cyprus which proved unpalatable to all concerned parties. During a visit to Washington, the Greek prime minister and president Lyndon Johnson locked horns over the issue. Shortly afterwards, when the Greek ambassador explained the plan’s shortcomings, Johnson exploded:

      Fuck your parliament and your constitution ... We pay a lot of good American dollars to the Greeks, Mr Ambassador. If your prime minister gives me talk about democracy, parliament and constitution, he, his parliament and his constitution may not last long …

      By 1967, Greece was under a brutal military junta backed by the US from which it did not emerge for seven years.

      With a few notable exceptions, the performance of US foreign policy, both in public and private, has long been an unsubtle blend of carrots, sticks and presidential swagger. Impulse and ultimatum are privileged over reflection and negotiation. In Berlin in 1987, Ronald Reagan called on Mikhail Gorbachev to “Tear down this wall”. Almost 20 years later George W Bush was caught on an open mic, laying out his plan to halt to the strife in Lebanon: “See the irony is that what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this shit and it’s over.” It was high time, he thought, for UN secretary general Kofi Annan to get onto the phone with Syrian president Bashar Assad and “make something happen”. link to

      Too bad, e.g., Obama can't put something of the same sort into Bibi's sneering arrogant face...

      The sub-head of the Guardian article is "Americans want him to ‘do something’ about catastrophes abroad while withdrawing from the role of world policeman." Given the Global Battlespace and all the rest of the stuff "we" are doing to maintain some kind of hegemony and economic primacy,
      "we" have and will continue to arrogate to ourselves the role of "world's policeman," the kind of cops that used to run the Summerdale district in Chicago, link to, and the ones who kick down the wrong doors and shoot unarmed innocent people and steal their stuff and cash and load up on military gear and to what end, again? General welfare? Domestic tranquility?

  • Did Anyone win the Gaza Conflict? Was it even a "War"?
    • So was it a "war" or not? Maybe more of a street-gang beat-down of a 98-pound weakling they've been extorting and starving and laughing at?

  • Top 5 Signs the US is de facto allied with Iran versus ISIL
  • Can Obama Resist Hawks' Pressure to Rush to Syria Quagmire?
    • Yah, this post is about Iraq and Syria and all that, but speaking of "unpalatable options," and the effects on the planet of the clumsy and idiotic "foreignpolicymilitaryindustrialcommercialhegemoniccommunity" hiding out under the chimaerical "protection" of the Imperial Bubble and the "US nuclear umbrella" while its unaccountable members suck the wealth out of the former nation and the rest of the planet so they can Live Large and Be Pleasured, one might do well to note Obama's recent Thunder in Ireland:

      “We will defend our Nato allies – every ally,” he said. “In this alliance, there are no old members or new members, no senior partners or junior partners - there are just allies, pure and simple. And we will defend the territorial integrity of every single one.”

      “You lost your independence once before,” Mr Obama said following meetings with Baltic leaders in the Estonian capital of Tallinn. “With Nato, you’ll never lose it again.” [You might be reduced to radioactive slag or Syria/Iraq/Gaza-class rubble, but you'll be "independent," all right... as long as you do what we tell you...]

      Mr Obama, who faces criticism in the US for being too cautious in confronting Russian president Mr Putin, sharply condemned Moscow’s to

      Sounds an awful lot like the verbal posturing, the chin noise of Great Leaders of Great Empires, that fronted all the preparations of Great Huge Idiotic Clumsy Military-Industrial Establishments in the careful detailed preparations, see,. e.g., the first five chapters of Tuchman's "The Guns of August," link to, for the Great War that bled out the economies and populations of Europe and a lot of the rest of the world, see, e.g., "The African Queen," link to -- destruction not, unfortunately, limited to the Northern Hemisphere.

      And now there's maybe 6 or 8,000 nukelar weapons ready to go, on all "sides," link to, and them damn Commie Rooskies sure seem to be getting as ready as Our Sacred Nato Forces for that gentle-sounding "nuclear exchange:"

      "Russia's Military Begins Massive Nuclear War Drill --

      On Thursday, 10,000 Russian troops began a drill simulating the massive use of nuclear missiles." (story from March 29, 2014)
      link to

      And not to be outdone, the US/NATO thing does this:

      "OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. – U.S. Strategic Command will conduct Exercise Global Lightning 14 from May 12-16 in coordination with other combatant commands, services, and appropriate U.S. government agencies to deter and detect strategic attacks against the U.S. and its allies.

      Exercise Global Lightning 14 has been planned for more than a year and is based on a notional scenario. The timing of the exercise is unrelated to real-world events." link to

      "unrelated to real-world events"? Heeheeheeheeheehee... sob...

  • Elon Musk's Nevada Gigafactory may Save the World
    • The EVs on offer, with the sort of exception of the Smart vehicle, are still heavy carriages for the fat comfortable asses of Murican consumers, complete with leather and chrome and a/c and very special seats and entertainment and 'control' systems.

      I wonder if Mr. Musk has considered some design more along the lines of a dune buggy. Some have extraordinarily strong and protective space frames that use very little material, and foamed body panels and polycarbonate glazing would also keep the weight (the obverse of "range") very low. People are going to be FORCED to walk away from the kinds of idiotic iWantitnow self-indulgent consumer preferences shaped by generations of manufactured demand. Is Musk in a position to start tooling up for something much more efficient that could even be a lot more fun to drive than the swoopy sheet metal pe_is substitutes marketed under Tesla's name, devices I bet old Nicola would be disgusted and asmused by?

    • How hard is GM trying, when it comes to marketing the Volt? The corp needs the product for its Corporate Average Fool Economy rating, but is GM really in the game? Not as bad as Chrysler, that is still seemingly making Big Iron klunks, but there's those pesky save a buck ignition switches as a clue to where their C Suite heads are at... I would love to afford a Volt and grid-free solar, but even with SS and a full time nursing job as I mear age 70, that's a sad dream ( that still won't save the planet.)

  • Obama & Cameron find little Enthusiasm at NATO for new Iraq War
    • ISISIQIL does not seem to be having any trouble attracting recruits, and if the story I broken-linked below has any merit, the "Caliphate" is attracting all kinds, people seeking "victory" along with their "identity:"

      "Horgan is one of the few psychologists in the U.S. who study the minds of terrorists. In the more than 20 years he has been researching the topic, he said he had never seen a message by a member of a terrorist organization as compelling as Poulin’s.

      In the video message, which ISIS later used in a propaganda video, Poulin explained why he had joined the Sunni militant group. “Before I come here to Syria, I had money, I had a family, I had good friends. It wasn’t like I was some anarchist or somebody who just wants to destroy the world and kill everybody. I was a regular person,” Poulin, who later began calling himself Abu Muslim, said in the message. “We need the engineers, we need doctors, we need professionals. Every person can contribute something to the Islamic State.”

      “Very often we see radicals decide they want to become a terrorist turn away at the last minute, but [Poulin’s] message hit the nail on the head, which is to say there is a road for everyone. It makes radicalization and recruitment much easier,” Horgan said. “It is an equal opportunity organization. It has everything from the sadistic psychopath to the humanitarian to the idealistic driven.”

      As far as foreign fighters are concerned, Horgan said, they are driven to join ISIS by the need to “belong to something special.”

      “They want to find something meaningful for their life,” he said. “Some are thrill seeking, some are seeking redemption.”

      link to

      How's the Global Babblespace Battle Managers going to beat that combination for recruitment and field force dedication, with the tools they have at hand?

    • I asked a question here a while ago, a couple of times actually, why ISIS? well here:

      In the video message, which ISIS later used in a propaganda video, Poulin explained why he had joined the Sunni militant group. “Before I come here to Syria, I had money, I had a family, I had good friends. It wasn’t like I was some anarchist or somebody who just wants to destroy the world and kill everybody. I was a regular person,” Poulin, who later began calling himself Abu Muslim, said in the message. “We need the engineers, we need doctors, we need professionals. Every person can contribute something to the Islamic State.”

      “Very often we see radicals decide they want to become a terrorist turn away at the last minute, but [Poulin’s] message hit the nail on the head, which is to say there is a road for everyone. It makes radicalization and recruitment much easier,” Horgan said. “It is an equal opportunity organization. It has everything from the sadistic psychopath to the humanitarian to the idealistic driven.”

    • der the command of idiot Neo-Cold Warriors bound to the ponderous Juggernaut of MADness, and with all those delivery systems mostly intact. And now that professor in the White House, who presumably knows something of history, is mouthing the same script of "Attack on one (including the newly minted client government in Kiev) is attack on all, and will be met with all our force."

      So the corporate-military mash up that is NATO will be the new Alliance, paralleling the runup, in 1914, to Sarajevo. What will be the Archduke Ferdinand moment, I wonder?

      Stupid effing humans!

    • Iraq? What about that silly Ukraine thing that's going down? There's still what,14,000 Cold War nuclear weapons on both "sides," still und

    • You need to read up on 4th generation warfare, and a whole lot of recent history. "Air power" is an oversold fraud on the big scale, maybe short of the detonation of nuclear weapons, and the Imperial military, all musclebound and bureaucratic, can't even win its own rigged war games. "Demolishing ISILAQ" is likely not something that can be done by bombing or rocketing or even boots and M-4s. If peace and prosperity are to be had at all any more, there or here, it won't be achieved by force of arms. But of course peace n prosperity for all tl
      , hat's not the goal of the Game, now is it? And the Imperial military and its appendages and partners want nothing so much as a deal like the Egyptian military -- with their porky fingers in all the businesses that are running, and able to crush dissent behind a screen of false legitimacy. The operative construct is the Global Interoperable Network-Centric Battlespace.

  • Would a US/ NATO war in Syria be Legal in International Law?
    • A couple of observations, sir: First, as far as I can tell, neither S embassies nor consulates are "fully extraterritorial," in the sense that the site would "legally" be Sacred US Imperial Soil that "we" could claim to be defending as if an attack on the Sacred Homeland:

      "Contrary to popular belief, diplomatic missions do not enjoy full extraterritorial status and are not sovereign territory of the represented state.[10][11] Rather, the premises of diplomatic missions remain under the jurisdiction of the host state while being afforded special privileges (such as immunity from most local laws) by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations." link to

      And for some context regarding our Imperial extraterritorial history, here's a good source:

      In the last three decades of the nineteenth century, United States foreign policy utilized significantly elastic approaches to issues of extraterritorial jurisdiction as part of a long-term and focused drive toward establishing overseas empire. While assertively consolidating rising economic, military, corporate, and ideological power in service to imperial ends, U.S. policymakers increasingly discovered that effective projection of power invited (and sometimes seemed to require) novel and sometimes rather strident assertions of extraterritoriality. This article considers a small sampling of these extraterritorial assertions within the context of the U.S. policy approach to a very wide array of jurisdictional disputes in foreign relations during the critical and formative period before the turn to formal overseas empire in 1898. This was a period of time that has beenoverlooked by historians and other scholars of foreign relations despite its significance as the era when innovations of imperial governance were developed and implemented. In particular, U.S. extraterritorial assertions in
      foreign relations between 1877 and 1898 were visible in expansive and durable ways that lay outside of the familiar and oft-studied extraterritorial consular court treaty system. Extraterritorial assertions became a crucial foreign policy tool during this time despite the general presumption against it.
      The resonance of this extraterritoriality in broad policy terms should be seen as the basis for continued assertions of U.S.
      jurisdictional imperialism in the post-1945 hegemonic period."
      (footnote links omitted) link to

      So, basically then, our Rulers have been aggressive greedy self-serving critters of the most arrogant kind since not so long after the Founding Fathers "did their thang." "We" do whatever we want to do, whenever "we" want to do it, and that's all consistent with the distressed anger of one Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, with his observation that "War," as that notion is and has been effectuated by our corporatocracy, "is nothing but a racket."

      And now, having sown the dragons' teeth all over the place, and having only "the world's greatest military" and its massive but clumsy tools and skills and bureaucracy and careerist snares, "we" scramble for some way to deal, effectively and to what end, again? with this huge "crISIS" by blowing stuff up again.

      Some Judeo-Christian context that's kind of fun in this situation too:

      Context [from the Book of Hosea]
      Israel will Reap the Whirlwind
      …6 For from Israel is even this! A craftsman made it, so it is not God; Surely the calf of Samaria will be broken to pieces. 7 For they sow the wind And they reap the whirlwind. The standing grain has no heads; It yields no grain. Should it yield, strangers would swallow it up. 8 Israel is swallowed up; They are now among the nations Like a vessel in which no one delights.…
      link to Does Bibi, does Hagel, read the Bible and believe...?

      All the churning to invent "legality" to "justify intervention" to protect petro-flow and Business As Usual And As "Improved" By The TPP And Other Innovations, for the benefit of the very few. Not a damn bit of it about keeping the planet alive, or addressing the general welfare rather than the welfare of the generals... No wonder Obama is becoming a shadow presence, I bet he knows there is NO SOLUTION, NO WAY OUT, except for him and his family, post-Presidency.

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  • What the Hackers did to Celebs? The NSA has been Doing that to All of US instead of Predicting ISIL
    • I know your post was snark, Buddha, but in case anyone missed it: How much of the hundreds of billions that goes to NSA and "Homeland Security" (kind of sounds like a friendly hometown bank, doesn't it?) goes to NON-US COMPANIES? And how much of it is just wasted? And gee, who pays for the effing idiocy, again? And who benefits from it? Impunity is wonderful, isn't it? Lines right up with deniability, and unaccountability, and the ole open checkbook that always comes up at the end of an Empire...

  • Israeli settlers destroy Palestinian grape vines as Israel Steals More Land
    • And I guess we should all feel good that at least the roofs of "settler" structures, and the former Philistine olive groves and vineyards, are sporting made-maybe-in-China, US-maybe-funded solar panels... So there is that at least...

    • Before the Likudians got busy putting Gazans to the sword most recent!y, a lot of disaffected Israelis took to the streets to protest the effects of the gonif business practice you are talking about. Maybe lawn chairs and mowing the grass have lessened the feeling of impoverishment of average folks. It pays to remember that even when there seems to be a common enemy a and Fear of Rockets in the air, Israelites seem mostly to be first and foremost "me firsters," principally concerned about making "freiers" out of everyone else, even family members and of course their fellow tribalists despite the rules handed down in the Pentateuch and all the subsequent commentaries. While, of course, always on the alert not to be made a "sucker" of themselves, and never to leave money on the table unless it was a bribe. It seems many Jews around the world, who take their traditions of ethical conduct and right living more seriously, are having a kind of crisis of allegiance in relation to Israel as the people who now rule it, coming from a different mindset, have made it, and are making it worse...

      "Patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile."

    • Carly, please do a search on "Israeli use of Palestinian labor" and see if you continue to believe the kleptocrats and thugs that run Israeli, Inc. are any different from the thugs that skimmed the wealth and stole the rights of non-Blankes in South Africa.

      The context, please?

      " Brick by brick: Deconstructing the use of Palestinian labor
      'Foreigners Among Us' deals with the complex status of Palestinian workers in Israel. There’s only one gripe - it should have been held 20 years ago." link to

      "Palestinian Labour Migration to Israel: Labour, Land and Occupation", link to

      "Palestinian Child Labour in Illegal Israeli Settlements," link to

      No, Current Israel is nothing like South Africa, right? See e.g. "The unspoken alliance: Israel’s secret relationship with apartheid South Africa - link to

      And for an interesting side-by-side comparison of Israeli and Afrikaner apartheid, look here: "Comparing South African Apartheid to Israeli Apartheid," link to

      The "invisible" issue: I wonder if there's a book/movie from the Palestinian "house and construction slave" side like "The Help"... link to

      As to the nuclear weapons point, not sure what you are saying but reading this might clarify: "Limited Capability:
      A History and Review of South Africa’s Nuclear Weapons Program," Under "pressure from the West," the Boers "voluntarily" dismantled their nukes, built with help from the Israelis, link to, and you appear to be inaccurate about South Africa's available nuke delivery systems too: link to

      Not that any of this matters, the way the Narrative and the Game are playing out. "Holy Samson Option, Batman!"

    • Just to give a little context to the apparent thinking and belief structures and "investments" of the nice people who are hacking the olive trees and grape plantings and demolishing the houses and appropriating the water and "price tagging" and "necklacing" over there, here is a little assortment of "properties on offer" being built on "reclaimed" land: link to

      Adding pricey, "gated" stock to the bubble housing market over there, and looking out over yet more "reclaimable" territory. And a little view of the Golan, Shebaa, maybe Lebanon and Syria too? Naw, they can't see that far out or ahead, even from the swankier penthouses...

  • Can Iraqi forces take back Saddam's Birthplace from ISIL?
    • Cameron and his government are a bunch of corporatist slugs. They tag along with US "policies" and Peeping-Tom-ism on all of us. There does not seem to be any evidence that they are in the least capable of "managing" the "terrorist threat" at home or abroad. UK police have, as elsewhere, been the most effective at detecting and averting most operations. All us ordinary people just have to accept that there's no Magic Dome that can be erected (by crushing the last of our individual rights) to prevent all inventive sociopaths from pulling off more ugly events. And what good for the world, or Merry Olde Britain even, has the Thatcher/Blair/Cameron "programme" accomplished?

  • Top 5 Reasons "Labor Day" isn't for Laborers Anymore
    • Blurkel, to make your day even better, might I suggest you read a very interesting set of six short atricles put up on Naked Capitalism not so long ago? Under the headline "Journey Into A Libertarian Future" -- it's quite a fun exposition, that takes your addendum even further. Here's the link: link to

      Resistance is futile? At least the Borg got job security and community for their loss of rights and individual identity... link to

    • Nothing hidden about it. Just check the advice from all the columnists and on-liners that tell the shlubs being born into the Invisible Hand economy, with the what-was-that-thing-again Transpacific Partnership Pirate Ship cruising offshore, ready to blow away the vestiges of regulation and sovereignty. In our local paper this weekend, the (very pro)business-section editor/maven Robert Trigaux had this to offer, for example:

      "In braver, new workplace ahead looms the 24/7 employee"

      The pwc report —"The Future of Work" — sees three kinds of competing, intertwined workplace worlds ahead.

      First up are mega-corporations that will act more like "mini-states" to compete globally for the best talent with cutthroat efficiency. They will make big demands on the talent they hire in exchange for better pay, benefits and relative job security.

      "The attractions include high rewards for high-fliers," says pwc. "This is a chance to be one of the 'haves' in a world where stable employment is less and less the norm." It's also a world in which social responsibility is minimized.

      A second kind of workplace is less competitive but more collaborative. More socially and environmentally responsible businesses will meet the demand of workers who seek more family-friendly values in exchange for less pay. These businesses may gain more prominence if the notion of "sustainable" work habits and lifestyles gain ground in society.

      Finally, there is the "small is beautiful" movement that will be based on the rise of a more fragmented and entrepreneurial workplace. This trend is bolstered by the rise of what pwc calls "the portfolio career" in which many people have come to realize they "could enjoy more flexibility and varied challenges by working freelance or as a contractor for a number of organizations." link to of course, what he is talking generically about is not "employees," in most cases -- just specialized mopes hired for little "contract" bits. With no rights, and no "benefits."

      Yeah, enjoy. One hopes for more resurgence of UNIONS, where us shlubs finally wake up and get organized, rather than fractioning off into violently competing little individualized fungible task units, living in our cars...

  • Israelis Alarmed as al-Qaeda Captures Golan, UN Peacekeepers
    • I recall that since the US warriors had so many damn nukes to play with, the SIOP actually included targeting of a lot of Southern Hemisphere cities too. On the notion that if WE are going to blast'n'freeze ourselves, meaning the Great Civilization and Nation of Freedom'n'Liberty'n'Democracy, then "we" Christian Capitalists were going to be dang sure that some bunch of Greasers or Black People don't get to Take Over whatever might be left.

      Having lived through the Cuban thing and Curtis Lemay and MacArthur and having read enough to to become away or a number of the Oopsies and near-misses, I would agree that all the rest of us who don't have a voice in ordering the turning the keys or whatever the launch/drop mechanism is these days, and who read about the kind of crap that goes on amongst the Air Force dudes who babysit all those MIRV'd ICBMs and are daily playing bumper tag with Rooskies and Chinese and all that, all we have as you point out is that saddest of all the plagues on humanity that escaped from Pandora's box -- Hope.

    • Re suicide, our own Rulers have, as you know, on several occasions come within an ace of Mutual Asinine Destruction, ready to launch and toss and drop ten thousand nukes, enough to kill the planet. It has only been by dumb effing luck that the Big It has not happened yet.

      And the warriors in India and Pakistan have had their own Oopsies and near-death experiences. All based on a history of bellicosity that does not seem to give a sh_t about survival of nation, tribe or species.

      If you have inside info on why the Likudians are less crazy and self- destructive than 'our' Rulers and their still-operative MADness, something other than wish-and- hopefulness and continued assertions of the obvious but no reflection on the nature and idiocy of the Israelites whose written history is full of tales like Masada and one poking their G_D in the eye with a stick after another. Truly, I would love to have some real assurance that these people are not going to break the pillars that support the roofs of all our houses...

    • Never use those nuclear weapons, that is. They've shown no restraint in the use of most everything else in the weapons locker...

    • Do a search on "Armageddonists" and you find all kinds of interesting stuff. Like this, in addition to the Hagee/Roberts/Angley nightmare dreams:

      "On The Road To Armageddon," link to . It seems a lot of us Murcans are more than a little agreed that the end of the world (the human part of it) as we know it is getting closer. Remember, anyone, the illustration of how a nuclear reaction leading to an atomic/thermonuclear explosion works? link to Huge amount of stored energy + tiny input of sufficient kinetics = WE'RE F___KED!

      Not going to bother to list all the places where energy, potential and "kinetic" (as in Obama's "kinetic exercise") and emotional has been stored up, tight as the spring of a mousetrap. All those thousands of nuclear and "ordinary" weapons, all the cordite and smokeless and PETN and TNT and all, all in the hands of people not spiritually advanced enough to see that some little mischance or error or idiotic intentional act on their part, driven by some immediate fear or threat or triggered remotely by some idiotic set of circumstances set in place and in motion by the same sh_tS who set up all the mousetraps and ping pong balls of yore, by their arrogant insouciant greedy foolish idiocy, the Great Wars of the Great Game. link to

      And now the sneaks and stupes have the rest of us Ordinary People tugging at our collars in that universal gesture of increasing anxiety and distress, sensing that maybe this time our rulers and kleptocrats, playing their Games with us as self-regenerating pawns, have got us right to the point where some convenient fool like Gavrilo Princip, a mope put in motion by sneaky-petes long dead, link to , might loose the current equivalent of the little bullet that got all the newspapers and legislators and priests of Europe cheering "IT'S FINALLY WAR!" link to

      See, generally (pun intended), Tuchman's works, like "The Proud Tower" for a main course, and "The Guns of August" for dessert. And a challenge to all you Really Smart People out there: Lay out the mechanisms and relations that are in place and operating to keep the Really Bad Stuff from happening, and note that "we" can't even keep from giving reality to the tale of the slowly cooking frog...

  • ISIS: How to Defeat a Phony "Caliphate"
    • Well, hey! There's starting to be some discourse and awareness to the effect that "we," whomever that is, cannot bond and kill "our" way to a " solution." One wonders, given the institutions here (the military, its industrial base, "conservative" politicians and punditry, CIA snd its habits, tc.) all lined up and invested in " launching strikes" and "surgical operations" and infighting over what "doctrine" and devices will prevail in the insulated Imperial bubble, if "we" have the smarts or even many incentive to just wait a bit for the paint to dry and then step carefully out of the corner "we" have let our list for consumption let our Rulers and the actions of Corporatocracy paint us into...

  • US Public Worried about ISIL, Putin-- But Climate Change is Real Challenge
    • Here's a slightly dated version of our warfighters' playbook on how they plan to link up, "interoperate," with other "militaries" across the planet to defeat all those environmental threats, keep us mopes under control, and open up new markets for our inversion- undertaking US corporations. That list would now be extended to include not just the arms industry, but purveyors of genetically modified seeds and civil engineering firms and makers of heavy earthmoving equipment and probably toilet paper and paper towel manufacturers too: link to

  • Not the Onion: Shooting Range raises Age Limit to 12 after 9-year-old girl Kills Instructor with Uzi
    • The cops are fanatics too... it's not clear thinking to put the police in a category of people who are primed to do the right thing, to assume that they actually "serve and protect," when it comes to the street-horror putative arms race: link to

    • Gotta start 'em young! link to Check the proud parents capturing the moment! Do you suppose Hannity would get all exercised about the "gangbanger fist bump" the young hero exchanged with dada after sending a couple of hundred 7.62 rounds downrange at 2700 feet per second? Here's a little vignette, a partial tiny bit of the flood of Very Serious Study And Debate And Discussion that is the foundation and food of the People Of The Gun: link to

      At least the "adults" have that M-134 "Minigun" on a mount that absorbed the recoil and kept that Uzi-idiocy from happening. But the Macho Boys do it this way: link to And "they" say that there's no sexual component to Gun Love: link to , and link to and so very much more. ... From a little experience, it's a whole lot more fun if the targets down range are fellow humans.

      Your fellow Americans, folks -- proud to be, right? Freedom (tm) and all that...

  • Israel War Aftermath: Epidemic feared in Gaza sheltering centers as skin infections spread
    • Can it spread to the Israelites? Hey, if not, does anyone think the Likudianists care, or see this as anything more than just one more successful play in the Grand Book of Joshua Strategy Game?

      Maybe the Gazans need to take a page from old siege warfare, and add some infected body parts to their rocket payloads...

  • Syrian Rebels welcome US Air strikes on ISIL Terrorists
    • But hey, "we" always do what "we" know how to do, with the massively expensive and ponderous tools in the black box, or those artistic operations in the destabilize-and-over- throw Kermit Kit. Because think of all the careers and investments and JOBS and legislative positions that are part of the inept and ill-suited and corrupt Juggernaut of "our" waning but prideful Empire...

    • Was the headline intentionally ironic, given the lede? And does the article argue in favor of US military returning to hired thug mode (where the thug conveniently even pays his own wages and provides his own tools and PR)? I mean, there's such a rich string of past successes of US airpower projection to point to...

  • Why Would They Stay? Making Sense of ISIS and Iraqi Sunnis
    • Maybe the pundits and advisers circling this crisis and puzzled about how Sunnis with no place to go, and with homes and businesses and families and gardens to tend and residual social structures would not flee the ISIS oppression, might look at a natural model for clues.

      Aphids live off plants, and excrete some stuff called "honeydew" or "nectar." Opportunist ants, omnivores like us humans, have figured out how to herd and "milk" aphids, offering guidance and protection from other predators. In the aphid case, there's some benefit to the aphid group from "protection." And recent research indicates that ants use the equivalent of propaganda (pheromones) as well as force to keep the aphids in line. link to Ants are pretty well armed and armored at their scale, and the aphids tend not to vote with their little tiny feet when the ants start to live with, and off of, them. link to

      N.B If an ant needs a little protein to go with his honeydew carbs, it just kills and eats a convenient aphid. There's lots of argument about the nature of the relationship, commensalism or symbiosis or mutualism, but the connection always benefits the ants, and the aphids not always so much.

      How you pacify and domesticate ants, with their massive cutting mandibles and organization and communication and stingers, to make pure herdsmen out of them, is not clear from the literature.

      Humans are patently much more plastic, as the growth of ISIS testifies, and over time even Hamas and the IRA and other sorts (though not our US Imperial ants) have gentled out considerably. So there's hope, if the right influences are applied. Bombing and droning don't seem to qualify, nor does training up and arming "moderates," or dictators' armies, or national police/state security forces...

  • 5 Ironies of US Reaction to Egypt/UAE Bombing of Libya
    • Tone-deaf unintentional irony, or just more of the Arrogance of the Narrative?

    • Maybe on maps, but like Iraq, it seems that the people who live there don't seem to think so. It kind of doesn't matter what "we" call it, us blogitators, now does it? It even appears the White House, that "speaks" its mind or what "we" are allowed to hear of it through the mouth of a guy named Earnest (what a great appointment), is acting like those "countries" have already been Balkanized and subdivided.

    • SS, I second your request for Dr. Cole's thoughts on the nature of the beast and its motions, and maybe a cure for the sickness.

      The article you link to at the Guardian seems to be the kind of eyes-open, informed analysis and understanding that you would hope our Rulers are enlightened by and working from. Fat chance, since their tools consist of undermining and overthrowing the kinds of governments that favor Ordinary People and stability over "manageable dictators." And of course the manifest recourse to a large, dirty drawerful of "military options," consisting, in addition of unschooled booted troops to kick in doors and detect IEDs by driving and walking over them, of which bombs and missiles to use, dropped and fired off from which airframe that needs some current press to "support" future procurement money and sell the military as a career and the products of "our" We-Never-Forget-Who-We-Are-Working-For contractors, link to

      The effing Saudi and other Wahhabis and "Islamist" types are like our own "conservatives," single-mindedly and by application of wealth and constancy of purpose undermining and destroying decency and comity in favor of oppressive medieval wish lists of predation. And "we" do not seem to have a clue, us Ordinary People all around, about how to keep ourselves from being fed to these vultures. You would think there should be a way to counter the seduction of Victorious Mafiasalafism. Should be.

    • The thing we call "Libya" out of habit and convenience, it actually exists and persists and has a "government" that can "ask for intervention?" In among all the other pretexts and flux that are astir?

    • Guns are the culture medium, the agar in the Petri dish on which the vivid colonies of current pathogenic horrors are so virulently growing. And the worldwide military-industrial machine, cheered on by an enthusiastic trade press and popular media channels, just continues to churn out vast quantities of weapons of all sorts, handed along by our "governments," like this -- link to -- and paid for by the lives and labor of a whole lot of Ordinary People. Handed along to pump up, and quickly refill to overflowing, the "pipelines" of procurement and overt and covert “logistical deployment” that keep the "small (and larger) weapons caches" and ammo boxes and lockers full of the stuff that is the actual operating foundation of all this geometrically increasing greed- and tribal- and revenge-driven violence.

      All this policy-talk at about the Really Serious Level of Complexity of the Game of RISK (tm), on “how to stop ISIS with bombing someplace by somebody with something,” when at smaller scale there's so much else that could be done to stop the bleeding -- but all the institutions are invested in profiting and "gaining influence" and giving their Special Ops and sneaky-petes something to do: all using weapons, particularly small and "medium" arms, to try to "buy influence," when every time, EVERY TIME, that proves to be an idiotic strategy, complete with furious stupid unnecessary blowback. People who get these guns suddenly find they have a lot of power and a degree of freedom of independent action, out of the suppliers' control (where the suppliers often have no healthy notion of what their policies are or ought to be, just "operations" to be run) and can so easily cross the bounds of the taboo on murder. And the idiot "training them" mythology? How's that ever worked out to "our" real general-welfare "security" benefit? (By the way, to the idiots who peddle the MIC as a Patriotic Jobs Program, there’s this bit of cold water: “The Incredible Shrinking Defense (sic) Industry,” link to

      A lot of people would like to see an end to the very profitable "legal" (sic) and "illegal" (say what?) spread of ever more assault weapons and related arms and munitions. Good luck to them, of course, and here is some context on the real nature of conflict exacerbation and creation and the reasons why Hordes like IS can grow so effectively (US militias, take note):

      "Transnational Security Threat of Small Arms Proliferation," link to (I had to "select" the whole text of the article to be able to read it - dumb formatting)

      As to scope of these weapons sales AND GIFTS that "keep on giving," and who's getting rich from it all, look here, with some fun graphics:

      "Statistics on Arms Trade", link to

      and this, "The Arms Trade is Big Business," {SIC - no, if one is even half honest about counting the externalities, it's just suicidal and idiotic} -- link to

      For a little desperation on the apparent futility of the efforts to "stop us before we kill again," there's this:

      "Regional, International, and Governmental Efforts to Combat the Illicit Traffic in Small and Light Arms," link to

      And there are people of good will, who recognize the fundamental nature of this "big business" for what it is, just deathly stupid, and are trying to rein it in: here’s a UN Office of Disarmament Affairs piece on the hopeful Arms Trade Treaty, link to

      Given all the small and large people and their groupings who are “invested” and involved in guns and Gunmen, and the whole sorry mess, and since we humans seem to enjoy Big Business As Usual so much, and all the slaughtering (being slaughtered, not so much, but…), one has to be a little skeptical that short of a Big Die-Off there will be much Hope of Change… but more effort into stopping weapons production and spread would seem to be a big cluster bomb's worth of low-hanging fruit.

  • Kicked Off Twitter And Facebook, so-called "Islamic State" Terror Group Finds New Tools
    • Great work, you sneaky Kermit Wild Bill sneaks and spooks and manipulators, and short term profit maximizers. You sure have got 'er done, if Job One was setting the molecules in motion to gin up a geometrically growing and enhanced gathering of all the well trained, well-armed, anomic human worst-ofs who now have a nice Dark Crystal to precipitate out around.

      Are there geeks who make jihad? Who's going to get rich and important and stuff from this Mafiamongolian Horde? Oh, the wonderful legitimacy of violence and extortion, how frustrating it must be to the Deep Staters and rentiers not to have it all monopolized and under orders and control yet! Wonder what the next mile markers in the advance of these too-human monsters will display, since all the Game moves any of the Players can, or care to, make seem only capable of feeding the tumor and facilitating metastasis...

      Why do us ordinary people have to get beheaded and crucified and mown down and blown up and starved and dead of thirst and heat on account of your sins? And have to pay for the privilege?

  • Iraq: Bombs & Bullets vs. Political Process
    • Bombs and bullets are an essential part of all political process these days. Profitable, too, for some of us. A whole lot of legitimacy comes out of the barrels of all those guns...

  • It's not Fergustan: Ferguson is what America Looks Like
    • "What was witnessed"? Really? Glad to hear from your end of the spectrum, guessing you weren't there and have not been keeping up with the reported facts.

      What I observe, first hand, in my Tampa Bay middle working class area, is a lot more pickups bearing the proud Stars'n'Bars flag, 4 x 6 foot or so, often flapping next to that yellow "Don't Tread On Me" insignia of a similar size. This in a place where you can stand your ground, where you can buy a silencer for your pistol or rifle for "hunting," so as the salesman puts it with a smirk, "you won't give your position away," where open carry is in the wings for the wingnuts, and if there were an opening of any sort made by any kind of disorder, any soupcon of a "vacuum," you can bet that the equivalent of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi would have a ready market for the same flavor of idiocy to bring together the Totally Unregulated Militia types under one or both of those banners.

      At least the banners ain't black...

  • Gaza needs UN Peacekeepers, Now! How to Break the Israel/Palestine Stalemate
    • There are some problems getting from here to there, of course, and those who profit from the current situation will, shall we say, continue to march:

      "Forming a new operation: The Security Council determines the deployment of a new UN Peacekeeping operation." link to

      The missions: link to

      How well have they worked: link to

      But it could work so much better, of course. Except, perhaps, for all us humans and our rulers and elites and traditions... and guns, of course, in all their forms.

  • Obama's budding Cambodia Policy in Syria
  • Failed US War on Terror resulted from bizarre search for Moderate Jihadis
    • But not for the ones who are profiting off the current predations, who are already switching over to the new fields of "endeavor..." link to, and stuff--

    • "Basically the US would need to re-evaluate every global relationship and would probably find that most of them no longer serve the needs of the US and should be heavily modified or ended."

      Which US are we talking about here, with this partidular personification? The MIC? The petroleum-extracting, processing and peddling Standard Industrial Categories (oh so SIC)? The "financial industry?" And it's kind of difficult to identify any common "needs" of the 310 million Nacerima, too. link to

      As you say, "The US has far too much inertia and “bad thinking” to make the necessary changes."

  • Can You pass the Iran Quiz?
    • As with everything done by our Deep State sneaky-petes, all is obscure and deniable and spinnable. There's more than enough evidence that the thing called "the CIA" is a master of many heavily planned actions that produce what is charitably called "blowback." Maybe the many educational institutions,link to, that feed these Very Smart People into the Secret Central need to offer a new degree path, to a Master of Unintended Consequences?

      As to the CIA's (shorthand for our imperial duo with Britain) connection with the departure of Pahlavi, it's not just "monarchists" who note that "our" activities and plans and inputs produced the maybe unintended results in 1979. link to Maybe not the straight path that some would want to see, more of a random walk, but if you mix red fuming nitric acid with liquid oxygen, the only question is the size and extent of the resulting exothermic explosion.

      "Our" Very Serious Players think they are so very smart, aiming at apparently nothing but keeping sweet young men of the "right sort," like Tony "I want my very special life back" Hayward, link to , in platinum skittles and craftiest beer, along with the other blessed inhabitants of our own "Elysium," link to With some fog-of-war-ity and tribal-patriotic window dressing to confuse the ordinary people who pay all the prices for effectuation of this "Grand Organizing Principle," and all the wealth and careers that append to it. Meantime, my local power utility has killed more opportunities to go solar, ,link to and has shown great skill in bleeding us ratepayers dry.

      As always, "Apres us greedy bas___ds, le deluge. And what are you gonna do about it?"

    • And I thought I was an informed cynic.... Learn something new and disheartening every day.

  • Iraq: If Terrorists hit Southern Iraq oil fields, $5-$7 a gallon Gas?
    • One might wonder if the ol' Caliph there is trading oil futures, wouldn't you? His Gunmen certainly have the apparent ability to "move the Market." Our mobsters here in the USA, including the drug carteliers and of course the Bankstas, are known to dabble in the Market for their own account too. Some Saudi princelings seem willing to support activities that might bring the whole petro-financial-based house of cards down, to satisfy some patently hypocritical religious notions or maybe do a little profit-taking. .

      In the meantime, us US Imperial Citizens, feeling fearful but safe behind the walls of our Security State cocoon, link to, continue to consume, and/or get rented and robbed to be poor and weak and dead, like there's no tomorrow... link to

  • What do Iraq's Sunni Arabs have in common with Ferguson, Mo. African-Americans?
    • Accommodation, comity, decency, the Golden Rule stuff. The only resolution that might work. You wonder if scarcity, greed, and all those weapons will ever let the other dare I call them virtues a space to grow...

    • Check out the shoot-em-up videos under "Syria combat" on YouTube and such. Lots of that as tactics. Somehow it seems to still result in casualties, and "movement." I wonder if the better schooled Gunmen of IS display any better discipline. For $20 billion in Training Bucks, this is what we get as our return on investment?

      Nice helmet cams, though. Home movies galore.

  • The American Cult of Bombing
  • ISIS to US: We'll drown you in Blood; beheads US Journalist, Holds Tikrit
    • So instead of bombing, the Air Force ought to be enticing ISmen onto C-5s and C-17s and dropping them off on the vanishing Antarctic ice, maybe... link to

    • I guess there are a whole lot of people who are maybe less invested in Obama the Chess Player's aura who see very little difference between the military-industrial-congressional monstrosity under the Bush League, and how the cancer continues to grow under the Obama administration. Still a huge empire, the money, our hard-work-created wealth, continues to generate a giant sucking sound as it floods into the sluiceways of Infinite Threat Creation And Response Weaponized Military. Context?

      "President Obama is Not Actually Cutting Military Spending, But He Should ," link to

      In slightly older news, "War spending surges in President Obama's budget," link to

      And a whole lot more. You really think Obama, that one guy with all that is on his plate, and given the massive power of the Complex, has anything but the slightest effect on "managing the military?" Got any support for that feeling? That whole "War is nothing but a racket" thing is kind of unarguably still in place and in full play...

    • You wonder what al-Abadi's hoped-for scope of hegemony is, in terms of territory and population under "government." To the default "national boundaries" per the current Google Earth mapping? To the Greater Iraq that Saddam aspired to? To a defense perimeter around some petro facilities, the necessary water supplies, and a couple of urban complexes, something like the landscape in "Mad Max"? And how does that jibe with what our loving Deep State has in mind, with all the little potent sneaky subtle obscure conniving greedy paws that tug and pull at the policies and power levers for the sole benefit of their irreconcilable particularized "interests?"

    • Thanks for the link, Loic. And people are concerned about IS and its virulence, with no thought of the genesis and propagation of violent repression in the sacred name of democracy... The question is, how can humans be brought to stand down from that kind of viciousness, in favor of behaviors that might extend, not shorten, our collective time on this planet, and reduce the pain and horror. Any answers to that? Anyone? or do enough of a majority of us humans glory in the gory misery we enable or employ?

    • "As long as there is that level of corruption, it is hard for the government to ask its grunts for loyalty and willingness to sacrifice their lives for this state."

      Intentional or accidental irony here, when considering how the US Imperial political structure actually operates, in clanging dissonance with our endlessly and fraudulently invoked Grand Founding Principles? Good thing we don't have a conscript military any more, and grunts become increasingly irrelevant in the High-Tech Battlespace. Some folks think conscription and a Great National Military and Police Force will cure "the problem" in Iraq -- here's how the thinking goes (right in line with US military and "security" doctrine):

      "The creation of an Iraqi military that mandates conscription, drawing equally from all religions, ethnicities, and creeds, will offer Iraq’s fragmented society an institution around which to rally and will appeal to the traits of honor and loyalty that are so valued in Arab culture.

      This is not to say that such a policy would be unilaterally well-received or that it would instantaneously unify Iraqi society; such a process would certainly take months, years, or even generations to complete. Nevertheless, as the Israeli example demonstrates, the creation of a military in which participation constitutes a rite of passage for every citizen awards the institution a palpable influence—a capacity to take what appear to be disparate and contentious individuals and mold them into a force with congruent goals and values. " link to The article at least goes on to lay out the many problems with creating a likely praetorian military like Israel's and Egypt's and our own.

      So "our" Western policies have sown the dragons' teeth, weakening Ordinary People and their institutions and raising up well-versed warriors with great Gunmen skill sets just needing, maybe like the liquid-metal Terminator guy, a little depression in which to coalesce, to do what heavily armed warriors have always done, giving gangster demagogues the tools to write themselves into the lists of history's Horde leaders...

  • In Iraq, it isn't just about minorities: The "Infidels" attacked by the so-called "Islamic State" include the Sunnis, Too
    • One wonders if perceptions of this sort have a prayer of penetrating the thick, ponderous shell of our Imperial military-political-industrial Juggernaut. Ich resembles, it seems to me, our American planning and response to Western wildfires. Let the underbrush pile up and get tinder-dry, build expensive estates in among the trees, then mount furious and desperate attacks on the margins of the inevitable conflagrations, whether started by idiot arsonists, idiot campers, or lightning strikes. Complete with aerial bombardment to "suppress" the fire, and other familiar diction. All reaction, pure reaction, intentionally or idiotically embedded in our circumstances.

      Any hope of doing anything different? Think a bit about how the whole current shemozzle has come to be, how "official Washington" and other capitals cogitate, how military doctrine "evolves" (or doesn't). Thanks for the few voices that try to reframe the investments and processes that lead to this kind of horror- inevitable stimuli and responses that are the stimuli for the next set?

  • Dutch Lawyer who saved Jewish Boy in WWII returns Medal to Israel over Bombing of his Family in Gaza
    • Dignity, decency, comity. Into what darkness have such honorable gestures disappeared? Is there nothing left but grasping, cursing, a flood of careless killing?

  • Top 10 Mistakes of former Iraq PM Nouri al-Maliki (That Ruined his Country)
    • All this deep and knowledgeadle talk about Big Figures in the Great Game, and whole treatises on the nitty-gritty of Game of Thrones drama-at-the-top. This selfish group or that, who's victim and who's victor. Not a word about any kind of game or mindset or investment or policies that might avert the predation and horror that cost so much, waste so much, lead only to less of everything for most of us and more of the same, and just MORE, for a very few. And all the stuff the poses that be know how to do just turns more farmers and shopkeepers and bakers into the ISIS-gunmen kind of butchers that G_d help us seem to be the end point of that vaunted leap to "civilization" that apparently started where it might start to end, right there in Messypotamia...

      What a proud species we are.

  • Evacuating Miami Beach: Can South Florida Save itself from Sea Level Rise?
  • Only Mideast Democracy? In Midst of War, Israel Clamps Down on Dissent
    • ...we had to destroy that democracy in order to save it, or what-everrr ... The constant drone of the so called "conservative'...

  • Iraq Intervention? More like Ceaseless Escalation
    • "our neighbors no longer have any reason to regard Germany as a military threat..." Of course there's no residual load of Teutonic exceptionalism and sense of Destiny left in Germany. Is there? link to Nor the development of another form of conquest via economic means, link to and all the rest of what's shaking in the Littler EUNations. Nor a huge arms manufactory that is very busy in the global trade, see link to and also maybe link to, where Germany is only #7 or #5. And of course German business is happy to sell U-boats to the Israelis or almost anyone else with the purchase price. link to

      There's lots of subtle and politically aware and astute people in Europe, particularly the people of Germany with their long history and pride and Otto von Bismarck as a model. And does it seem that NATO and the Encirclement Strategy are little but historical artifacts with no purpose other than to keep all of us tied to a deadly and outmoded form of the Great Game, a bureaucracy with a budget in search of, or busily creating, a "mission" to justify its continuation? And of course there's all that money to be made from turning NATO into an engine of economic warfare too. Which maybe if the major players, now being re-cast as "opponents" again, were not still armed with enough nuclear weapons to kill the planet, might be a little more tolerable.

      "Outsourcing military security to NATO and the US has been a key enabler for this." Yes, I would agree with that tightly packed epigram. And all that's implicit and inherent in it. Did I hear a "Thank you" and maybe a smug grin in there somewhere too? Uncle Sucker makes this, too, possible?

      Plaudits to Germans for turning to solar power and away from dependency. But the undertones are all still how to advance the tribe's interests at the expense of other tribes, and with externalities still being dumped all over the planet. Maybe that is the best we humans can do, at the interface between our personal ambitions and greeds and fears, and the apparently dysfunctional limits of how we can organize ourselves to keep the species alive -- if that is actually a good idea or a real concern for us short-lived pleasure seekers. "We could do better, but we probably won't..."

    • Nice to have US troops disbursing lots of US dollars "on the economy" in brothels, bierstubes and suchlike, paying rent on "bases," all that crap. Yep, as you say, as a German that is "desirable." Of course nothing bad could ever come from keeping on with the idiocy of NATO and the Überschwemmung of wealth in the direction of Bonn... By the way, I apologize on behalf of my fellow ordinary Americans that we have let our spooks spy on your spooks who are spying on us in the dead-end rounds of the Great Game, and for being unwise enough to know that our Stasi is not competent enough or organiziert genug to keep you folks from finding out that we were snapping secret selfies of Angela's knickers...

    • The "progressives" that might have a "prescription" for this particular malady of Empire and Great Game get about the same level of attention as did a famous, or notorious if you are a Ruler, dead one, Martin Luther King. They don't even get streets and boulevards named after them, or national holidays. The world view and elements of a style of living and ethos, based on decency and comity and kindergarten virtues like "sharing," are well laid out by some "progressives," models that might keep stuff like the present set of horrors from repeating ad mortem. Those models are anathema to all the self-pleasing, greed-driven, authoritarian, heedless, tribal, enthusiastic, and a whole bunch of other ugly adjectives, set of arrangements and drivers that's the current operating system and apps in the human mass.

      The military-corporate operations that are supposed to "save the Yazidis" and "defeat ISIS" are just a bunch of rackets, that because they are heartless and heedless of the future and the pain of the present, have no interest in or clue about setting up institutions and behaviors that might sustain and better the "general welfare." It's all a bunch of idiot little self-serving games that benefit a few individuals who have the skills and will to "run things" and carve off ever bigger slabs of our common human heritage for their own delectation. There's a scale difference that's killing the species, whether Yazidis or Kurds or Palestinians or Uighurs or Shia or Sunni or Cambodian or plain old ordinary Chinese or Huguenot or whatever. The Few, so far (and they are working on extending their individual personal lives indefinitely, link to, though you can bet the technology will not extend to the benefit of the Egyptians and Indians who live off the stuff in our garbage dumps ), are limited to the stuff and power over others that they can accumulate in an ordinary human lifetime. And their almost universal motto is "Apres moi le deluge." They know they are protected against ANY significant consequences in this life by their various tiers of "personal security'" and "the law" that they write and the enforcement mechanisms that they actually own, whatever the myths of "democracy" say. If there is a species awareness and a joint will to go on living, up against what looks like a universal death wish, it does not seem able to trump that egoism of the "potent."

      As many writing here are pointing out, in great detail, how and why the Great Big Motherf___ing Hammers of the global rulership's military and sneaky-petery are simply the wrong tools to make or repair the complexity of healthy interactions, of comity and decency and Golden Rulery, that's needed now and henceforth. But that's the only tools in the box, Big and BIGGER, and there are too many people on the clock who get paid for making, wielding and apologizing for their "deployment." And not enough that are working on crafting and fostering sustainable models that keep a__holes like Bibi and the lovely people you see him schmoozing with in this video that says so much, albeit in Hebrew, link to and in the raw, link to, where the mindset of "settlers" also gets some air time, and our Obamanites and yes, lots of others, from hammering the crap out of the ordinary people whose sweat and blood create the wealth that pays for all those $469 hammers and $600 toilet seats and the really cushy digs and lifestyles of all the generals, admirals, strongmen, prelates and other predators that live off what could (but for the accretions of history and the worst parts of our own human natures) be a comfortable but not exaltedly luxurious living space for all of us.

      How much proof is needed that sowing dragons' teeth all over the planet does not seem to be likely to work out according to the happy mythology written out here-- link to At least the Phoenicians lasted more intact and flexibly than any of our more "modern" Reichs: link to

      CIA paramilitaries and Special Ops and the sneaks that foment and support antidemocratic coups and the corporate vultures that buy and sell the "legitimacy" and the extractable birthrights of whole peoples via suborning the "governments" of those "nation" things that our Rulers force-fit onto them, and Hellfires and GBUs and 30mm depleted-uranium cannon shells, and all the other sexy ordnance, serve the short-term interests of those who "deploy" and "employ" them. But none of that, all of which is now in ponderous motion under cover of a smokescreen of platitudes and invocations of decent but ignorant semi-altruistic motivations, has a prayer of "fixing" what made and is fostering the ISIS Horde, or sunni/shia exacerbations, or the inevitable tribal hardening of the Israeli Jewish population, none of that.

    • Yeah, I saw on FOXNews how Kurdistan is for sure now a stable society around which a New Middleast Order can coalesce. But is Obama not trying to keep forcing the "nation" frame on that whole much larger fractious violence tribal we-broke-it "thing" we conveniently shorthand as "Iraq?" Which is a word on a map, but if democracy means anything at all, the "dēmos," ‘the people’ in and around the arbitrary old lines that demarcate "Iraq" sure don't seem to think of themselves in their various parts, affinities, fears, hatreds, organizing principles and loyalties as anything close to a "nation."

      I guess one uses that "society" term when one can't talk in terms of a "nation" thing that can be dealt with by our business interests and their extensions into outfits like the CIA, US AID, our military and its contractors and all that. If Wiki is at all correct, "Kurdistan" is a nice reification, link to, consistent with the Narrative "we" are working from, but hardly a "thing" except as that plays into the manipulation of opinion that is still sort of necessary to keep us ordinary people busy funding the actions of our Empire. The CIA World Factbook does not even have an entry for "Kurdistan," link to, and wishes from here and no amount of air attacks or other such military-mediated "humanitarian assistance" will make it so. Nor, demonstrably, from generations of failure by those who keep doing the same old foolish idiotic shi_ in our names all over the world, will extending the Game, under the same rules and with the same players and with all the same perverse sick incentives and deadly feedback/blowback loops, make it so. All, of course, for the benefit of the Very Few and the careerists and Machiavellian sneaks and ambitious policy wheelers and dealers who Make It All Happen.

      You think "Obama," a nice reification for the whole Imperial Apparatus under the Beltway Bubble and in all the echo chambers of the Global Networkcentric Incompetentababble Apatosaurian Battlespace give a shi_ about dead and dying "wogs?" Other than as markers in the Game?

      These folks are planning on RUNNING EVERYTHING THAT'S LEFT as the planet goes to He77, thanks to the processes that the Very Few have set in motion, as all nicely laid out in planning and policy documents like this: link to The heedless or evil (or both) careerists and sneaks have been taking advantage of the idiot consumption affections of the rest of us, manufacturing demand for oil and iCrap and weaponry like autonomous battle robots and nanoweapons and an infinity of assault rifles, and Grand Doctrines like PNAC and Counterterrorism and Nationbuildingbyoverthrowinganddestabilizinganykindof comitybasedmovements.

      But suddenly, you say, in spite of all that other stuff and all the lies told so convincingly in the past, "This is very clearly a intended to save religious and ethnic minorities from physical destruction and protect the one stable society in all of Iraq which is Kurdistan!" (emphasis in original). Really believe that? And the other part, that "But it’s for oil you say! Well yes, the worlds most precious commodity should not be in under the control of medievalists." Yeah, much better under the control of people like Tony "I want my life back" Hayward, link to, and Saudi sheiks, and the whole "War is actually nothing but a racket" crowd, right?

    • But. It sounds so good, and measured. And wise and appropriate. When The Only President We've Got. Tells us. So very solemnly. That for freedom's sake. It must. And it will. Mark my words. It WILL. Be done. (Applause)

  • Hundreds, if not Thousands will Die: Film Crew finds Iraqi Yezidis still Trapped on Mountain
    • Gee, Professor, I thought from all the cheerleading stuff I have been reading about our humanitarian intervention, all this had been comfortably taken care of, with them oh so competent air strikes and air drops, and a little help from the pesh merga, so we should not be troubling ourselves any further about what the Gunmen of IS might be doing to them Yedizis or however you spell it... You mean to say that what we mopes are being led to think is just not so?

      And Jay, might I offer that these dudes appear to be more than a "state-less legion of extremists." they appear to have learned well the art of converting from mercenaries into Horde, and "we" have apparently been paying a pretty penny to provide the supplies, munitions and weapons of all sizes and types that these dudes have managed to vacuum up. And as pointed out in other posts here, the "Caliph" and his cronies apparently have learned a lot from Al Capone and the Chicago political machine about how to self-fund by extortion and robbery.

      Too bad that "we" and the rest of the Imperial players have done such a good job of fertilizing the ground via "our" behaviors and policies in supposed pursuit of "interests" that are now screwing over the ordinary people all over the planet. And wasting us and our only living space with a pretty malignant set of diseases...

  • The Cruel Jest of American "Humanitarian Aid" to Iraq
    • It's worth looking at what actually hides behind that bulls__t phrase "US humanitarian aid". Here's a little context that I've pulled up, for anyone who wants to inform themselves of what it really looks like.

      Here's one part of it, how "we" are using a highly decorated $435 hammer to break up the bakery shop, and then using the same hammer to try to make a dainty pastry:

      "Use of the military in humanitarian relief"

      In the late 1940s, the [military-based]relief system began to expand to other areas of the world: the trouble spots of decolonialization (India, Palestine, et al), …

      In the 1950s, the relief system began to expand into the newly- emerging nations, focusing first on the displaced persons that so often resulted from liberation struggles and then on natural disaster relief….

      Or so they thought. The problem was that these responses were often inappropriate and counterproductive. There were many differences between displaced people in Europe and civil war and famine victims of the Third World. Provision of tents to victims of an earthquake or hurricane often delayed reconstruction and failed to address critical land issues. Construction of refugee camps for famine victims drew people away from their land, making agricultural recovery nearly impossible and creating an even larger relief requirement. Massive inoculations were not only inappropriate but, when applied incompletely, they often broke down the people's natural immunities, actually increasing their risk to disease.

      The military forces committed to these operations also continued to use the same modes and doctrines. Planes are used in ever-increasing instances to deliver food and supplies; engineers are still committed to build refugee camps. Yet there is increasing concern that these uses are not without costs. For example, a number of specialists have pointed out that the use of military aircraft to deliver food in Sudan in 1985 delayed vital decisions on alternative methods and obscured the fact that there was no onward delivery system from the airports out to the rural populations…

      The inappropriate use of military resources is part of a broader problem as well: the scarcity of humanitarian assistance funds. The public perception is that the costs of military participation in humanitarian operations are borne by the respective military establishment; but in most countries, the defense ministry is reimbursed by the foreign ministry/overseas aid department. Even in those countries where the military is not reimbursed, the usual practice is to develop an overall assistance program for the operation and allocate funds among emergency, rehabilitation and reconstruction activities. Within the program, military operations and humanitarian assistance compete for the same funds.

      Military commanders might respond to these criticisms by reminding us that the decisions are usually in the hands of civilian authorities but, in reality, it goes far beyond this. Few civilians are knowledgeable about military capabilities and many harbor unrealistic expectations about what the military can and cannot do effectively. Furthermore, the nature of the relief system itself is such that there are few professional relief managers and many relief workers are first-timers -- to them, an army colonel with a helicopter, a jeep and an efficient staff with radios and other equipment looks heaven-sent.
      Today the military is more heavily engaged in humanitarian operations than before…
      And much more at link to

      The other is of course the real nature of "US AID":

      "A Timeline of US Intervention in Latin America," link to and a host of other depressing sources if you google "US Agency for International Development CIA military"

      And of course the military establishment is all ready to take over everything when global warming finally produces some major collapses and "human tragedies:" Here's a slightly dated version of how the War Department has it all covered: "Trends and Implications of Climate Change for National and
      International Security," link to , written by these ambitious folks: link to

      "We" are ruled by such truly exceptional people, via such exceptional institutions...

    • But it is a tiny drop of milk and honey in a bucket of otherwise repulsive shite. And you can bet that even the tiny bit that "we" are doing eventuated only after a whole lot of nasty Machiavellian "triangulation," not some rush to a sudden flood of decency and comity. In the meantime, the spooks and sneaks continue to "migrate" arms and training in the skill sets that warrior types just love, setting them up to set themselves up as potentates and warlords for their own account.

      It's not just "in the past:" it's what's going on now, and will be going on into the endless (well, not exactly -- there is the global-warming thingie on the horizon) future.

    • Bonnie: Who, may I ask, is your "we"?

    • Maybe you need to look under some of the more disreputable rocks... See? link to

      For other views, link to

    • I thought that expulsion was long since well under way. Please correct me if I misapprehend...

  • "Move a little Inland:" Press Lord Cranky Billionaire Rupert Murdoch on what to do about Global Warming
    • And then we can all revert to serfdom and the feudal model they are working toward, where we pay rents for even more stuff, the necessities of life, that they get to be the "legal owners" of...

      Pitchforks and torches, anyone? Nah, the torches would have to be lit with LEDs, so as not to make global warming even worse...

  • Why is Obama bombing Iraq, Really?
    • If one reads a lot of WW I history, looking for understanding of why the world is so effed up now rather than the fascinating nitty gritty of this battle or campaign which is only military history anyway, one can find lots of clues as to how things could indeed be very different, and how close "we humans" have come to setting inevitable preconditions in place for our own demise as a species. (No jumping ahead, now, to the last chapter, the one on the blandly labeled "Nuclear Age" and all its unbelievable follies.)

      I will never be a cheerleader for or take any vicarious pleasure in the exploits of one effing empire's fungible military or another. That may be the only way that humans can organize themselves, for reasons of flawed biology, though the range of human organizations and the ethics or whatever that move them seems to embrace models that are a lot less asymptotic in their form. But "we" really have to start doing a little better, maybe? Looking at what "we" have wrought under the Games we have been playing so vigorously and partisanly?

      Maybe a turn through the works of Barbara Tuchman, from the fin de siecle through the mass and minute idiocies and fantastic profit-taking of WW I and on and on, might be of more virtue than how near run a thing it was that Churchill (actually, a bunch of bleeding Tommies and Colonial troops -- why do the effing generals and admirals get the credit - and get to run away from the blame for --for Great Victories and Losses?) might have triumphed at Gallipoli. There is nearly an infinite literature on how this or that general or admiral screwed up a sure "victory," with nary a tiny little question about whether that particular trip was in any way necessary other than on the basis of certain idiotic momentary exigencies and thanks to the machinations of evil and vile little and large egos serving their own pleasures...

      We blogspacers and wonks and policy promoters all talk wisely about what "we" ought to do about this or that policy or event, like the latest Horde to form up and descend on helpless villagers, gathering momentum from the detritus of "our" policies and interventions and the contents of armories "we" have left exposed, for really smart geopolitical reasons, and drawing more and more gunmen to that black flag of death. "We" are unfortunately more and more stuck to each other in ways that require altruism and comity to keep the species even alive, and teasing out lessons about how to achieve "victory" by force and arms does not seem to lead toward, you know, like, "survival?"

  • Obama & Airstrikes to Protect Iraqi Kurds: 1991 Deja Vu all Over Again
    • Obama, just a figurehead for the real rulers, has other buttons he could ask THEM to push, the ones that would stand down all the idiocy of Imperial destabilization and all the Great Gamery that the Rulers indulge in because that serves their personal short-term I profitable interests. Seems to me this latest "thing" is no kind of guerilla or any kind of "standard army," it's a Horde. There are probably millions of battle-trained gunmen out there, with no other kind of employment opportunities, or just in love with the viplence, and past that little restraint that keeps ordinary people from this kind of looting and killing. Seems to me this is a Horde. And Hordes are just the virulent form of a disease that our Rulers hither and yon encourage and use our wealth to pay for and then try to restrain.

      Where's the historians reminding us of the other episodes like this? Europe at various times? Various epochs in China? And all the other Hordes with their charismatic leaders and sick and violent common themes and self-amplifying "beliefs"?

      Too bad " Obama" is like one of those many late Roman emperors, having to fear garrotting or stabbing by the Praetorians. Too bad the rest of us, intoxicated and manipulated by "innovation", can only amuse and delude ourselves as the governors of the machine fail, and the revolutions per fortnight reach the fly-away, self- destruct level...

  • Is Zionism/ Jewish Nationalism a Political Cult? The Salaita Firing
    • Super, I thought you knew that "countries" don't matter any more, on a Flat Earth dominated by suicidal corporatocracies who live to please themselves and whose main corporate slogan seems to be "IBG, YBG, Apres moi le deluge, suckers!"?

      What is the new theme or strange attractor that will keep humanity from "inhumanity" (sic), from killing itself off?

  • Israel caused $5 billion in damage to Gaza, 40,000 Homes Destroyed or Damaged
    • Why do people keep turning with hope to the notion that there is anything like an "international community?" The Rulers know it is all about who has the power. The people who populate the bureaucracies that conjugate to make up the Empire, trading memos and talking over the espresso bar and doing lunch with each other, immune to even the sounds of the detonations, let alone the screams and cries, lost in their internal fascinations and concatenations of incremental personal and group "gain," they know the truth, such as it is in an age where power manufactures its own reality (heh, heh).

      Decency and comity and empathy, even survival-level self-interest, the stuff that ought to be the ligaments of an "international community," are pretty clearly minority emotions and aspirations, far as I can tell. To be invoked by the weak to try to restrain the Mighty. You don't get rich and famous pursuing or selling any of those, and we have all these Rev. Martin Luther Avenues and Streets and Boulevards, but how many humans know or care to know much at all about the messages behind the maudlin? Except as something to be submerged, suborned and obscured...

  • Hiroshima Taught us that the "National Security State" isn't about Security for us (Noam Chomsky)
    • So I guess all of us who are meaningless in the mindlessness that looks so much like the Power Is Everything Spielbergian Vision of The Galactic Empire are much like the inmates of Gaza: Just waiting in a basement or house or school or hospital, for the people with the weapons in hand to do whatever it is that they are impelled to do by all those Forces of History and mandatory policy-driving insanity described so flatly by Chomsky.

      How's it feel, folks? Are we stupid enough yet? Ready to have the weapons we pay such a huge price to gift to our Warrior and Imperial Rulership class used to pulverize us? Still happy to buy into the idiot themes and motions that are on the way to killing us? "But nothing's happened so far, so it all must be working..."

  • Israel Still Holding Gaza Civilians Hostage, Doesn't Get Geneva Conventions
    • As we have all learned, "Only might makes right." Under International Law, such as it is.

      Any constraint on the Beast, of course, anything that holds us all back from Ragnarok, link to, is to be applauded and fostered, however hypocritically the notions may be abused and fraudulently applied...

  • Top 5 Ways the US is Israel's Accomplice in War Crimes in Gaza
    • Bill, maybe the writer erred out of habit by including that "the" in front of "American people". Omit that, and that would make it a very fair question, since everyone knows that some American people want Likud to knock it off. And " we" are mired in that bad syntactic habit of referring to "we" when telling the rest of "us" what "correct" and "wise" policy (that sick concept) is and ought to be... Thanks for the cavil, though.

  • Gaza: Analysis shows Israel Keeps Changing Justification
    • Well, duh!
      And of course the "Its" everyone speaks in terms of, when offering analyses of the Politiken du jour, those great personifications like "the US" and "the UK" and "the Great Powers of Europe" also have serial rationales for whatever high-handed murderous idiocy "they" are propagating at any point. See, e.g., "Operation Iraqi Freedom," or "Vietnam," or the runups to WW I and II. Ain't no fixin' any of "It," now is there?

  • Gaza and Soweto
    • Very nice. Very subtle. Hamas is just as bad as Israelikudnia, I see. Implacably threatening "their," not "its," very existence from "just next door." So sensitive too: "Israel could handle things much better," we learn, but the remaining Palestinians threatening Israel from Gaza, unable to even fold their tent and give "Israel" what "it" wants because the Pals are locked in and stateless, (fairness alert, here)"deserve better" from bad Hamas as well as from bad-hanling "Israel."

      Quite a nice bit of subterfginous messaging there. Appeals nicely to the "progressive" in us. Calling Israel an apartheid state confuse the actual issues? And those issues would be what, again?

      Is all that out of a new chapter from F. Luntz's hasbara playbook?

  • Israel Bombs Gaza back to Stone Age: Razes only Power Plant & Plunges Strip into Darkness
    • I read in the link posted by Pulano above that the Likudniks could have applied some pain in the form of reducing available electrical energy by having an Israeli corporate utility dial back the amount delivered to Gaza:

      Even if Israel reached the highly questionable conclusion that disrupting the supply of electricity in Gaza might provide the Israeli army with a “definite military advantage,” under the principal of proportionality, Israel was legally required to choose the action that would prove least harmful to the population. Accordingly, Israel could have reduced the supply of electricity that the Israel Electric Corporation - which is the primary provider of electricity for the Gaza Strip - sells to the Palestinian Authority. However, in the wake of the company’s objection to this alternative, which was likely to harm its commercial interests, the decision-makers within the Israeli government and army opted for the more harmful option." link to .

      The choice of bombing the Gazan power plant to protect Israeli corporate profits reeks of the corporate cynicism that screws over ordinary people and turns them into manipulated partisans or mangled collateral damage, or both, a cynicism and greed that is broad and deep in all parts of the world, just most notably the current killing field of Gaza.

      My fave discourse on the behavior, secondary to the plaintive scoring of "corruption" by corporate players themselves demonstrably and joyfully corrupt all across the planet, compiled into the annual World Corruption Perception Index, is an older Atlantic Magazine article about the sick but so very profitable symbiotic-parasitic relationship between cynical tribal leaders on both sides of the Green Wall, "In a Ruined Country: How Yasir Arafat Destroyed Palestine," link to It's too complicated to parse here, but a good read for those who want to see why the ship christened "HUMANITY" is sinking from so many leaks...

    • Yah, as to "reporting" what's going on, you have to be pretty diligent and persistent to pick up the pieces and nuances and connect the dots and resolve them into something more than a scattered uniform fog. Here is an interesting little video bit that you can find if you wander the electronic pages of the British rag, "The Independent:"

      "Here are far-right Israelis celebrating the death of children in Gaza," a "demonstration" picketing what was reported as a much larger peace demonstration by other Israelis in Tel Aviv on 7/26 -- link to It's reported these brave young fellows were chanting, “there is no school tomorrow; there are no children left in Gaza” in Hebrew, also shouting “I hate all the Arabs” and “Gaza is a cemetery” per reports in the Times of Israel, along with all kinds of other good illustrative stuff. link to

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