Member Profile

Total number of comments: 846 (since 2013-11-28 14:42:39)


Showing comments 846 - 801

  • Is China coming into Syria for its "One Belt, One Road"?
    • Trump is going to punish post-war Syria for not dumping al-Assad
      by refusing to participate in their reconstruction.

      China's Xi responds:
      "go ahead, punk. Make my day."

  • As US throws Kurds under the Bus, Is Turkey preparing to invade Syria?
    • .
      Hizb'Allah was pretty effective in fighting ISIS.
      Didn't the YPG Kurds wait out the fighting several times as part of their negotiations with their US backers ?

  • ‘Shithole countries’: Trump uses the rhetoric of dictators
    • .
      a roster of the people who were in attendance when Trump allegedly disparaged some countries as "s---holes" is emerging.

      We know Trump was there.
      and his Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
      and GOP Senators David Perdue and Tom Cotten.
      and GOP Senator Lindsey Graham.
      and allegedly the only Democrat in the room, Dick Durbin.
      these are the people who have made public statements about the alleged insult.
      Durbin and Graham acted like men (sorry, that's the best way I know how to say it, with my limited vocabulary.)

      All the others, as far as I can tell, have denied Trump used that exact word, but refuse to tell us what they heard. Not a man among them.
      As an American citizen and voter,
      I am entitled to know who was in the room.
      Anyone who has not yet spoken out against Trump on this matter needs to be identified.
      Then it is up to each individual, how they respond.
      I'm pretty sure that nobody who declined to speak out will get re-elected in 2018.
      Then again, Senators onlt face elections every 6 years.
      Maybe not having any personal integrity or a formed adult conscience will be forgotten in 3 or 5 years.
      but there needs to be a website created specifically to assemble this roster,
      and to document the responses
      (or lack thereof.)

    • .
      This hardly started with Trump.
      Consider what the US did to sovereign countries that rejected US hegemony in the time of GW Bush.
      We labeled them "rogue nations;" part of an "axis of evil."

      we praised those who fought against German Nazi occupation in WW II as "Resistance fighters;"
      now we hate the people who fight against US invasion and occupation and wanton killing and destruction as "terrorists."

      Governments are going to twist language to suit their needs and values, it's inevitable.
      But the media and the people do not need to accept thier lies.
      It is up to us,
      on a daily basis,
      to use precise language,
      and thereby deny this weapon to fascism and wrongful governance.
      We need furthermore to acknowledge the role of the CIA (and the US military before them) in turning developing countries into "s---holes."
      many of the countries on that list has been invaded or occupied by us, for the benefit of the 1%'ers.
      Who is going to call Trump out on basic facts ?
      it is up to us.

  • Did Trump just Paint a target on backs of US Diplomats & Businessmen?
    • if I understand Team Trump correctly,
      the problem isn't Trump's attitude.
      the problem is the disloyal media reporting the truth about that attitude.

  • The US Role in Turning Countries into Shitholes and provoking Immigration
  • White Nat'list Trump Adviser Miller Bounced from CNN after Sit-in
  • Bannon's Game: White Supremacist takeover of GOP
    • he can afford another one.
      don't write him off just yet.

    • you watch too many movies.
      the locution, "if and when we achieve our goals" reveals that you think this is a one-time battle,
      and upon achieving victory,
      the threat subsides.
      not so.

  • 16 yr old Ahed Tamimi indicted for slapping an Israeli soldier
    • .
      as bad as this sounds,
      many Palestinians have been shot and killed for lesser offenses.
      This girl enjoys the protection of having her actions,
      and how she is treated in response,
      recorded and broadcast.
      This is an improvement.

      little by little, things get better.
      it IS too slow,
      but progress moves the situation forward.

  • US counter terror air strikes doubled in Trump's first year
    • .
      the US Air Force really doesn't know who they are killing with these bombs dropped from drones,
      any more than they knew who they were killing when bombing from manned aircraft.
      If you believe what the Pentagon is saying about civilian casualties,
      you are being punked.

      To the people on the ground under those USAF drones overhead,
      the USA is the terrorist enemy.

  • Congressional Efforts to Expand NSA Spying on Americans are still a Danger
    • the USA needs MORE surveillance internally, not less.
      The oligarchs need to keep track so that they can take appropriate measures,
      in case the general population ever figures out what their government is doing to them,
      on behalf of our superiors.

  • The Mideast has a Militia Problem: Does Iraq's Ayatollah Sistani Have the Answer?
    • war loosens the strictures of accountability,
      which is why it is so badly wanted by politicians and Generals.
      And a few dangerous soldiers.

  • The GOP Tax Plan Will Complete the Destruction of America’s Middle Class Wealth
    • the consequences of foisting an unpopular candidate on the opposition party just snowball.

  • Solar & Wind: How free electricity would change the world (Economist Video)
    • granted this is just a thought experiment,
      but until we outgrow this limiting concept of a hugely interconnected and interdependent nation-wide grid,
      then T&D costs are never going to permit free electricity.

  • Putin's talk of Draw Down in Syria isn't about Russia leaving, but staying
    • .
      Rumsfeld's decision to substitute Mercenaries for disciplined uniformed infantrymen cost the US military the war in Iraq. The Dogs brutally slayed almost 2 million innocents, compared to fewer than 100,000 killed by uniformed Soldiers and Marines on the ground, and fewer than 250,000 killed from the air by the US Air Force.
      Our stated purpose was to win over the local population; that goal was rendered unattainable through the use of Mercs.
      But the Russians were not in Syria to win hearts or minds;
      they were there to destroy ISIS.
      Letting lawless, undisciplined wanton killers loose on the civilian populations did not hurt their war aims.

      As far as I could tell,
      there were almost no Mercenaries supporting the US military in Syria. Maybe we learned our lesson ?

  • When Will America's Wars have their Harvey Weinstein Moment?
    • Colonel B doesn't say why he holds up Generals Nicholson, Petraeus and McChrystal as examples of military competency.
      Without a doubt, those are politically astute operators who have done quite well for themselves.
      But none of them has ever achieved anything like a military victory.

      In fact, all the notable "victories" in Iraq that I recall - Faloojah, Tel Afer, Diwaniah -
      involved US military leaders choosing to commit war crimes.
      The DOD is lost.
      There isn't one moral leader in the Department.
      Where is today's Shinseki, or Singlaub, who can speak truth to power ?

      We are not in A'stan to help the majority of the Afghan people.
      We are there to subjugate the Pashtun majority under the bootheels of the "Northern Alliance" minority.
      If you understand that,
      you understand the futility of trying to impose our foreign, brutal will on an independent people.
      We are stuck on "stupid."

  • The Rapture of Dominionists: Now Evangelicals are Dictating US Mideast Policy
    • I think I know why we Papists cannot get on board with this modern version of christianity.
      We see God as very powerful, even all powerful.
      But these "christian zionists" see themselves as able to manipulate God into doing what they want. making their God somewhat weak.

    • but this dominionist millenialist evangelical fundamentalism stuff, while truly a mainstream religion,
      is not the same stuff taught by Jesus and spread by Paul.
      please don't think of it as christianity, any more than LDS or Jehovah's witnesses.

  • Why Redneck Revolt Says Deal With Racism First, Then Economics
  • Will the Mideast's New Power Matrix spark Iran-Saudi War?
    • not an expert on military strategy or operational arts,
      but it seems to me that this would be mostly an air and missile war.
      Early on Netanyahu would order US Nukes (not Israeli) to strike dozens of civilian targets (and a half dozen military ones.)
      Yes, I believe he can do that.

  • Will Trump manage to stab both Syrian Kurds and Turkey in the Back at same time?
    • maps have been published from time to time showing a couple dozen US "bases" in Nineweh and Salahaddin Provinces and the 3 Kurdish provinces in Iraq; in Syria; and in Southeastern Turkey
      that were supporting US Special Ops and conventional forces in Syria.

      The large base on the outskirts of Adana is well-developed, but the US military could get by without it.

  • US-Led Bombings in Iraq Killed 31 Times More Civilians Than Reported: NYT
    • Now maybe somebody will count the number of Iraqis we killed when we invaded and occupied their country ?
      You scoff at my estimate of 2 million; the DOD says it was fewer than 70,000.
      Now who do you believe ?

      The USA has a duty to account for the destruction we wrought. We should pay to stand up a Commission of Iraqis to do this accounting.

  • Former Trump NSC Adviser Flynn Accused of $15M deportation Deal with Turkey
  • Trump's Bluster meets the Afghanistan Reality amid Troop Escalation
    • you have a much better grasp of the relevant facts than me.
      But I think I remember something about the Taliban telling us to provide evidence that al-Qaeda was behind the 9/11 attacks before they would consider extradition.
      link to

    • There's a lot of interesting stuff in this article.
      It starts by giving an overview of the reasons that we have not yet won the war in A'stan,
      then focuses in on one central reason that explains all the other failures: the Opium problem.
      But overall the article is fundamentally false, wrong, misleading.
      It misrepresents what the war is about.
      It is hard for someone, anyone who supported the invasion of A'stan at first to reassess that debacle. We invaded with the intention of righteously avenging the attack on the USA on 9/11.
      But instead of attacking the folks who attacked us,
      we attacked the then-functioning government of A'stan, the Taliban.
      These are the same folks that we supported in their insurgency against Soviet occupation 1979-1989.
      The Taliban didn't attack us on 9/11.
      In fact, the Taliban said they would consider extraditing the leadership of al-Qaeda to the USA, if we would just provide evidence that they were the ones who attacked us.
      Maybe they would have, maybe not.
      But for reasons not acknowledged by our government, we chose to destroy A'stan rather than follow the rule of law.
      This article says that we teamed up with “Afghan warlords” to depose the Taliban. Actually, we teamed up with the Northern Alliance. Gloss that over and you will never understand what's happening in that country.
      This article refers to the Pashtuns who oppose our occupation and colonization as “insurgents.” In reality, they are a legit Resistance.
      We have done all we could to instigate and sustain an ethnic conflict, between the majority Pashtuns and the minority Northern Alliance of Tadjiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks. What you refer to as the “government” of A'stan is the puppets we installed and continue to prop up. This is the Dari-speaking minority.

      It is time to stop trying to subjugate the Pashtun people. They will never give up and allow us to give their land to their adversaries. Let our puppets sink, or swim, or move to a place where they will be safe.
      So, will this solve the Opium problem ?
      What the article fails to mention is WHY poppy growing was so low when we invaded.
      Remove the cancer of brutal foreign occupation military forces and the body politic in A'stan will slowly return to normal.

  • Syria: If ISIL is dire threat, why isn't its Defeat bigger News?
  • Lebanon PM Hariri Resigns in fear for Life, Slamming Iran
    • I read elsewhere (?) that President Aoun said he would not accept the resignation as long as Hariri was still in KSA,
      that he would have to return to Lebanon first.

  • U.S. Soldiers Died in Niger. What on Earth Are We Doing There?
    • up until a couple weeks ago,
      about 8,000 of those soldiers whose location is not reported were in Syria.
      While the government was telling us that there were about 1,000 there.
      I don't know what's happened in the last few weeks; maybe with the collapse of the notional adversary ISIS they will be withdrawn ?
      Or if the mission was actually to give Syrian Arab land to Kurds, we might see that number go up.

  • Like his hero Trump, John Kelly falsely smears Critics
    • John Kelley may not show a lot of fidelity to the US Constitution,
      but he is true to the core values honored at the highest levels of the US military:
      cover for your boss.

      though often singled out as the most trusted of US institutions,
      it is actually the most corrupt.
      And this can be laid at the feet of those who divorced the US military from broader society,
      the architects of the all-volunteer force who eliminated the draft.

      When we quit forcing young men to serve in Vietnam against their will,
      we eliminated the self-correcting catharsis of criticism.

      Today, when someone in the military observes and reports corruption or wrongdoing, she or he is told:
      "well, if you don't still want to be here, then get out."
      military career progression today is all about going along with whatever the higher-ups want, right or wrong.

  • VP Pence pulls NFL Political Stunt at Taxpayer Expense
    • from my perspective as an SF vet,
      SF are losing in Iraq and A'stan just as bad as regular infantrymen.
      SF aren't even trying to win in Syria. The idea is to facilitate Kurds taking over parts of the country; we are not there to fight ISIS.

  • Iraqi PM to Secessionist Kurds: "You're Playing with Fire!"
    • I presume some level of collaboration among most or all Kurdish groups.

      The YPG forces acting as a cat's paw for the US military in Syria are currently cleansing out Arab Syrians from large swaths of Eastern Syria,
      to take land that will form the foundation of a future Kurdish state.
      This territory includes the lower Euphrates River Valley, the border with Iraq, and everything in between.

      It is YPG who is doing the ethnic cleansing on the ground, but they are acting under the nominal direction and with the support of the US military. In fact, their success in battle on the ground depends completely on the bombing, reconnaissance and other air support from the US Air Force.

      So who is responsible for this "Ethnic Cleansing ?"
      The YPG on the ground,
      or the US DOD calling the shots ?

    • your map suggests that Kurds are in Northwest Iran, rather than in the Northeast, which abuts Turkmenistan.

  • As ISIL dwindles, Iraq fears extremists fleeing Syria
    • Maybe this transfer of ISIS fighters and families,
      from Lebanese territory to Syrian territory, could have been coordinated better.

      But this is how wars are concluded. This is how open warfare is quenched -- deals are made.

      These fighters and their families were to be moved from Syrian territory to Syrian territory.

      Clearly the US military is out to overthrow the government of Syria and force the entire Syrian people into a state of lawlessness and anarchy.
      But if we respected the rule of law,
      we would not interfere with the Syrians managing their own affairs as they see fit.

      As it is,
      the US military is conducting a campaign of ethnic cleansing in the Euphrates valley and along the Syrian border with Iraq, displacing Syrian Arabs from their ancestral lands, and replacing them with Kurdish residents and a Kurdish local government.

      We are creating the foundations of a Kurdish state.
      When was this debated in Congress ?

      And who is speaking out against this crime against humanity ?

  • Turkey-Backed fundamentalist Militias attack US Troops in Syria
    • The displacement of Syrian Arab and Turkmen families by Kurds attempting to establish a land bridge between Kurdish enclaves of Kobane (200 km East of Iskenderun) and of Afrin 150 km to the west is being facilitated by US airpower.

      While the genesis of the Free Syrian Army is in dispute,
      now that the USA has stopped supporting them,
      they have gravitated to the side of these people we are now displacing.
      The Turkish government is supporting them now.

      This "ethnic cleansing," if you will, is replacing Arabs and Turkmen along the southern side of Syria's border with Turkiye. Turkiye sees these Kurds that we are bringing in as part of the PKK terrorist enemy.

      The US military has over a dozen posts, camps and stations on the Turkish side, and perhaps even more on the Syrian side of this stretch of the border. The YPG Kurds have said that the US military is there for the long haul.

      I can't see Turkiye abiding that situation for very long.


      This is separate from the campaign of "ethnic cleansing" that is replacing Syrian Arab families with Kurds in the area along the Euphrates below (South of) Deir az-Zur.

      The USA has decided where the new Kurdish state will extend.

  • Afghanistan: Pentagon Admits it Low-Balled Public on Troop Levels
    • Reporting 8,400 in A'stan,
      when there are known to be more than 11,000,
      if you include uniformed military who are on TDY and Mercenaries ?
      I call that a rounding error.

      You want transparency in numbers of combatants fighting our wars ?
      The actual number in Syria might be triple what the Pentagon reports.
      Who knows ?
      Maybe its more than triple.

  • Trump's Worst Nightmare: Mueller's Grand Jury Subpoenas Russia Documents
    • I live close to the war in Syria.
      From what I see,
      the "troops" will obey any order.
      They obey their Colonels, and the Colonels are all looking for a promotion.
      Heck, look at what we are doing right this second.
      We launch attacks daily to facilitate the ethnic cleansing of Eastern Syria by our Kurdish cat's paw.
      What link in the Chain of Command is calling out this Crime against Humanity ?
      I don't agree that an all volunteer force will balk at executing an unlawful order.
      But that's just because I see how this force operates daily.

  • Turkey's Vast Censorship now Enlists all Citizens in Twitter Police Reports
  • Why Mosul Matters
    • concerning the fight in Syria,
      the Trump foreign policy team has a very specific operational level (above strategic) objective in Syria -- to take land from Syrian Arabs and give it to Kurds.
      Talk about fighting or defeating ISIS is a cover story.
      I leave it to others to examine the reasons.

  • The Millennial's Palace Coup in Saudi Arabia: How Dangerous?
    • there are three separate armies in KSA.
      There is the notional national army; the "White Army" palace guard; and a "Jendarmarie" force.
      They would battle each other if there was any turmoil. The White Army would bring in US Mercenaries and DOD to do their fighting.

    • a Saudi attack on Iran would be the best possible course of action for the people in Saudi Arabia who are not in the royal family.
      KSA would eventually become a republic.

  • Russo-US dog fights over Syria?
    • Russia has had their nose tweaked.
      They cannot retaliate with a conventional air war, or even conventional air defenses.

      Look for new types of asymmetric retribution, deniable, creative and effective,
      because the USA was congratulating ourselves on our conventional dominance,
      and neglecting how warfare has changed.

      Russia can strike us worldwide, including at home, with things we would never expect.

  • Tillerson-Trump Rumble over Qatar shows White House Divisions
    • Does this blockade, which threatens the lives of people living in Qatar, constitute an Act of War ?
      If so, does our treaty with Qatar (the one that allows us to put military bases there) require us to fight KSA ?

      Sure glad we have such cool heads in the White House at this time of crisis.

    • the US 5th Fleet is based in Bahrain.

  • Taliban Attackers Kill at Least 140 Soldiers at Afghan Base: Officials
    • referring to the rulers of Afghanistan who were installed by and who continue to be propped up by the US military as the "Afghan government" represents a choice.
      Despite the ethnicity of Ghani, and Karzai before him (both ethnic Pashtuns,)
      this ruling clique is more accurately referred to as the "Northern Alliance,"
      one of the warring factions in the ongoing civil war. If one includes the Pashtun population displaced temporarily to Pakistan, the Northern Alliance is yet another minority put in charge by colonial powers to lord it over the majority.

    • Page: 8
  • Trump invents Sweden Terror Attack, Lies about Immigrant Crime
    • for the lazy reader,
      at least some hint of what Trump actually said would have been helpful.

    • if you are talking about fixing the thinking of some amorphous mass of "others" who have wrong values and beliefs, good luck with that.
      but if you intend to help individuals you know and come into contact with to open their eyes to how you view the world,
      let them catch you picking up trash around the neighborhood,
      or bringing a meal to a neighbor family with 8 kids,
      or helping out when a neighbor family has a crisis.

      That will make them ask, "that person is an ordinary schlub like me. Why the heck are they doing good things, with no possibility of reward ?
      What is in their heart that compels them to do good for others ?"

      At first they'll write you off as not sensible. But if this becomes a pattern, and if you appear to be happy to do this stuff, they are going to want to know what makes you tick.
      THEN you pounce.
      Share your values in invitation, not through browbeating.
      You might be thinking that I'm talking about effective methods of religious proselytization, and I am, because this is, in the larger sense, about values and beliefs.

  • Dutch Far-Right Leader Vows to Rid Nation of 'Moroccan Scum'
    • Trying to imagine how it feels to be a Moroccan immigrant in the Netherlands.
      Not a comfortable feeling.
      And if I have kids, I would worry all the time for their safety.

  • Pentagon To Recommend US Deploy Ground Troops in Syria?
    • I spend some time around US military folks in the region around Syria. 2 days ago one soldier told me that her Cav unit has already moved from an airbase in Iraq to an airbase in Syria. I don't believe her, because that would go far beyond what has been publicly disclosed, but who am I to say ?
      There are over a dozen US military stations (as in, "Posts, Camps and Stations") within 20 miles of the Syrian border. They are manned and operational. They could support an invasion within weeks, not months.
      I ask a personal favor of everyone who visits this site:
      please do not refer to this as a "deployment."
      At my day job in the theater, I work elbow to elbow with deployed military people. Deployment is not an act of war, usually.
      Rather, please refer to this by it's proper name, "invasion."
      It may be justified; it may be legal. not for me to say. It's still invading.
      And please call the locals who attack our troops by their proper name, "Resistance," and not as "terrorists."

  • Questions about Judgment: Trump appointed Flynn in the First Place
    • we didn't need the 9/11 Report.
      We sure don't need another report like it.

      That 9/11 report was written by a committee whose charter was to absolve the guy who appointed them of any responsibility,
      Accordingly, the 9/11 report says that Prez Bush had nothing to do with the invasion.

  • Turkey's Long Nightmare: Remembering the Night of the Coup
  • Neither Informants nor Saudis: Wrong Ways to Slam Muslim Ban
    • the elites who run the USA
      (especially Presidents, members of Congress and the puppeteers who pull their strings)
      feel that they have more in common with the ruler of that KINGDOM
      than they have with ordinary Americans.
      and they're right.

  • Trumpworld Fake News: Iran attacks US Navy, Iraqis Massacre Bowling Green
  • The Trump Effect: What will happen to 3 mn Syrian Refugees in Turkey?
    • FWIW,
      I rode through streets of Adana yesterday, and saw Syrian men with spray bottles and towels at stop lights, trying to make a few Turkish Lira by washing windshields. The Turkish driver shooed them away.
      I did not see Syrian children out and about. The driver pointed out a new school building, of modular construction, on a main highway, that the driver said was exclusively for Syrian kids, and that it was in much better shape than the school her children attended.
      She griped that Syrians collect welfare payments from the Turkish government, but that Turks cannot collect such payments.

      While many of my acquaintances whisper derogatory things about President Erdogan,
      said comments being criminal,
      it's clear that there is some support for his program to extort the EU for carrying the biggest burden of refugees from the war that I believe (and RT has often reported) the CIA ginned up in late 2010- 2011.

  • Will Saudi Reforms be enough to Forestall big Trouble ahead?
    • This article assumes that the "citizens" of the KSA will keep "reelecting" the House of Saud to power. Out to at least 2030.
      not a safe bet.

  • Translating Trump's inaugural Speech from the original German
    • Dr. Cole,
      Except for Ron Wyden, Rand Paul and maybe Bernie Sanders,
      I'm drawing a blank when it comes to drawing up a list of "Establishment Peace makers."
      who did you have in mind ?

  • Top 3 Ways to rig an Election
    • get over it.

      until Dems and progressives (two different groups) are able to take an honest look in the mirror to understand why they lost,
      this new Republican Party is going to roll you up.

      As a conservative, that scares me.
      get your act together.

  • Dangers of Trump's Militarization of Government
    • In the military hierarchy, today's senior leaders rarely display leadership.
      they don't have to.
      the folks they supervise are conditioned to take orders.
      The last time a US General needed to exhibit the traits of leadership was during the Vietnam War, when he had to lead Conscripts who didn't want to be there.
      That's a big reason why today's Generals are such poor leaders.
      That's also partly why they cannot prevail in battle: nobody among their subordinates dares tell them when they're wrong.
      That also helps explain why corruption is so rampant today in the Navy and Air Force. It may be just as bad in today's Army, but I am not in a position to notice if it is.
      As we transition into an overtly authoritarian Presidential Administration, addled with these same afflictions, maybe we will see the danger of too many Generals put into leadership roles.
      an authoritarian structure can be good for fighting wars. maybe.
      but not for heading up government.

  • Trump does Poor imitation of Tin-Pot Dictator at "Press Conference"
    • these nominees were approved by Trump; they each promised him that they would deliver on his promises.
      What I think you missed is that they are lying in their testimony. Tillerson still wants to accelerate global warming. Pompeo still wants to torture, and to invade Iran.
      They are either lying, or being circumspect.

    • that's what I was thinking ...

  • For Russian hold on Trump, follow the Money, not the Sex tapes
    • I think it is one of Trump's greatest strengths,
      that he is not capable of feeling shame.

      I wouldn't want to be like him,
      but for who he is and how he operates,
      the idea that he is or could be ashamed of anything he has done is quite doubtful.

  • Welcome to Psychopathocracy
    • I lack many of the markers of a true Muslim.
      I was born and raised Catholic, and still practice that faith.
      But under the concept of the Umma, which I understand to mean the brotherhood of all mankind, that I understand to be a tenet of Islam, I intend to register as a Muslim when that registry is opened. I ask all of you brothers and sisters to join me.
      They can only destroy our society if we let them. Don't let them.

  • Preparing for the Normalization of a Neofascist White House
    • .
      Take all the time you need to mourn your loss.
      But as long as you tell yourselves that Trump supporters were bamboozled,
      you will not understand what hit you.
      Trump supporters knew what they were voting for.
      And what they were voting against.
      Analyze that.
      When your standard-bearer termed them a "basket of deplorables,"
      she revealed that she knew what she was up against.
      She knew then that she had lost.
      Why didn't she tell her devoted followers to vote for someone else ? She could have chosen the next President, from among those on the ballot.
      In fact, she did.

    • I question whether serious people would consider Ms. Clinton more honest or accurate than ALL of her opponents, if you allow me to include the candidates whom you did not consider to be serious contenders. Gary Johnson was the most honest. Rand Paul was pretty honest. John Kasich. But they were all poor campaigners, and were not willing to pander to the haters on either side.
      Many folks, including me, are revolted by Trump winning, but still believe Ms. Clinton would have been far worse.
      If only those on the Left weren't so sure that they knew what was best for the deplorables, and instead were open to compromise, we might have had one of those honest people elected.
      I earnestly hope that some learning took place.

  • Erdogan-Putin Syria Bromance as Turkey accuses US of backing ISIL
    • About half of airstrikes by the US coalition against targets in Syria are launched from an airfield about 1 km from where I'm writing.
      While it has rained heavily all day, and has been heavily overcast when it wasn't actually coming down,
      I haven't heard any warbirds since a pair of Saudi F-15's took off at lunchtime.
      It looks like our team is respecting the ceasefire, even if we were left out of the negotiations.

  • With Fall of Aleppo, will a Russo-Iranian Middle East challenge Trump?
    • the US invests heavily in maintaining turmoil in that region because some key players believe that is good for Israel.
      Has that changed ?

  • Hard Truth: Aleppo Rebels weren't defeated by Main Force but b/c they alienated Syrians
    • As long as one overlooks the central role of the CIA in fomenting this war (in collaboration with KSA) by raising a Mercenary army of mostly non-Syrians in 2010, positioning them in groups peaceful protestors in 2011, and having them fire from those crowds toward Syrian security forces,
      it will be hard to understand what happened, and why.
      Ignoring that genesis also makes it hard to figure out what the Obama Administration had in mind.

  • Trump Taps Man More Far-Right Than Netanyahu to Be Israel Envoy
    • Israel has their hand in my wallet, courtesy of the US Congress, who puts the interests of one party in Israel ahead of US interests.
      That's all the resources they need.
      I just bought them a couple of F-35 fighter planes. Not that I had any say in the matter.

  • Trump adviser reiterates pledge to move US embassy to Jerusalem
  • How Rupert Murdoch & Fox Created the Fake News Industry
  • With Trump, we've all Entered the Dark Dimension of Dormamu
    • sorta like the offspring of Republicans, fresh out of college, appointed to run Iraq in 2003.
      They all pretty much sought out Iraqi counterparts to tell them what to do. None of these counterparts knew anything about governance.
      It turned out as should have been expected.

  • Is Trump "Pro-Russian?" How will Russia Fare? Russians want to Know
  • IC Annual Fundraiser: Now more than Ever
    • I promise to match my modest contribution from a year or two ago
      you commit to hiring some kind of staff so that there is a foundation for this enterprise to grow.
      I assume that a couple of your Grad students help out; that's not a solid foundation.

  • Neofascist Trump Appointee Bannon: "Anger is a Good thing" "if you're Fighting to Take this Country Back"
    • Trump is certainly a con man. That is his essence.

      But he has no core beliefs.
      He is not "right-wing." His beliefs and foundational principles are flexible. The "right wing" shtick was to get elected; who knows what's next ?
      (with apologies to kevin Hart)

    • being pro-Israel (like me) and being pro-Likud (not me) are two very different things.

  • How can Progressives get through the Next 4 Years? Organize!
    • progressives WERE mobilized this cycle.
      Their standard bearer sold out.
      Pick a better leader next time, someone who is more committed to your values.

      Bernie decided that winning for the neocon Dems was more important than losing for progressive principles. He woulda kicked Trump's butt, if he had more conviction.

  • Growing Global Nuclear Threat - as if Election 2016 weren't already bad enough
    • The US planted Aegis Missile Defense sites in Romania and Poland,
      ostensibly to defend against Iranian missiles.
      But when I look at a map, those sites appear to be intended to shoot down Russian missiles.

  • Turkish Gov't arrests 15 Opposition MPs in Further Descent into Dictatorship
    • if we kicked them out of NATO,
      where would we move the Nukes stored there ?
      from whence would we launch drone attacks on Syria, or MLRS missiles ?

  • Emails and Groping: Our Halloween Election keeps Scaring us to Death
  • Is the Islamic State finished? Five possible scenarios
    • ISIS needs to upgrade to a more charismatic leader. On 9 November, just such a leader becomes available.
      Can you imagine the synergy of Trump - ISIS collaboration ?

  • De Mistura: al-Qaeda must leave E. Aleppo to save it from Destruction
    • My misunderstanding of the situation in Syria is legendary. Still, didn't you leave out two extremely consequential combatant groups, when you only mentioned 4:
      Kurds as a whole, working to create or revitalize Rojava; and
      Turcoman forces that enjoy strong backing from Turkiye ?
      The simmering conflict between Turkiye and Kurds may have greater potential to incite a wider war than anything strictly within the borders of Syria.

  • Iraq: Bush DoD paid PR Firm millions to Plant fake I.S. Videos, False Stories
    • By way of an apology, I think, on 9 May 2004, Colonel Tunnicliffe forwarded an "email trail discussing the mistakes made." He told me that "The hard truth is that they come down to some pretty fundamental issues that require a change in national policy and indeed a cultural change in the way the US does business here."
      He had received and scanned my "Model Communities" proposal to try treating the authentic indigenous local leaders of small communities in Sunni Iraq with dignity and respect, and collaborating with them, as a way to bring stability to individual villages.
      He and Dayton Maxwell from USAID rejected my offer in May 2004.
      In December 2005 George Casey took my idea to Amman and asked the former high command of the Iraqi Army to partner on just such an effort. They asked to be given leading roles in the stabilization effort, with Americans in the background, and when General Casey refused, they also refused.
      The most hurtful bastardization and plagiarism of my 2004 proposal was when Dave Petraeus remade my concept into a ratcheting up of colonial oppression with one particular indigenous tribe as the Iraqi face of the "Sons of Iraq Anbar Awakening." For a high enough price he got a tribe to sell out their communities.
      Now that we have some perspective, how did that "Surge" work out over the long term ?

  • Syria: Russia warns of Mideast Apocalypse if US attacks al-Assad's military
    • maybe the bombing of a static Syrian Army position, a position they held for more than 6 months, a position we had under continuous surveillance for weeks, was a mistake.
      In the same vein,
      maybe the timing of that strike, less than 2 days after the Syrian Army killed a US Navy SEAL and one other SF warfighter embedded with Kurdish forces, was just a coincidence.
      but don't we claim to have such good Intel that we don't kill innocents ?

    • maybe referring to one combatant party or another as "terrorists" doesn't really help the discussion.
      In ground combat, the tools of "terrorism" are how one protects his fellow soldiers.
      I ask you to examine the battle field in terms of specific organizations involved in the fighting. Use the names they have chosen for themselves, or the names that others have labeled them with. But do whatever you need to do to examine specific groups involved in the fighting. As long as you are thinking in terms of one huge mass of homogeneous "terrorists," you are unlikely to discern where the different groups get their support from.
      When a DOD-backed group of notionally Syrian fighters crossed the Turkish border 2 weeks ago, escorted by Turkish armor, they were trying to find, fix and finish a group of non-Syrians, the "Free Syrian Army," that is backed by the CIA.

  • Vote For Hillary Clinton Or Die in a Fiery Apocalypse: A Letter To Young Progressives
  • In Massive Intel Error, US Kills 80 Syrian Troops, Helps ISIL Advance
    • the decision whether or not to bomb a target is more a factor of who is asking for the bombing than what we may or may not know about the target.
      In this case, we had someone on the ground calling the airstrikes in.
      Maybe the US government should tell us who that was.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    • that's easy.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

      The leaks from her meeting with them only confirm that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Showing comments 846 - 801